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Mid-fi amp upgrade for cornwall I pairing.

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Good afternoon, 


I'm looking to upgrade my amp to pair with some recently acquired cornwall's. 


What I have:

I currently have a pair of late 70s Cornwall I speakers which im running with a Marantz Nr1200 (bluetooth 2 Channel AV receiver). I'm looking to upgrade the amp to something with a little more headroom. On the marantz I find it's plenty loud most of the time, but it actually sounds fairly muffled at lower volumes, or like the low frequencies are dominant. I really have to crank it to pull out details. This has been the case with all 3 klipsch speakers I've used it with (RP-600M, Heresy (1980) and the Cornwalls). I find this incredibly frustrating because most of the time I'm happy listening to the amp at 60% volume wise, but the I really have to torch my ears around 85% to get the detail to feel like i'm in the room.

How I listen:

The speakers are in the center of an open floor plan house and serve as the speakers for the whole house. Most of the listening is done throughout the day while living, so not incredibly attentive, but I do put in an hour and a half a night in front of the speakers most nights. Attentive listening is done typically on vinyl with a sony PS-HX500 turntable with a ortofon blue cartridge.   I love the bluetooth/ apple play compatibility for convenience, but i would like to eventually add a dedicated streamer that can support higher-res audio than typical apple play and bluetooth limits. 


What I'm looking at:

Adding an Emotiva BasX A2 power amp

Yamaha A-S801 - I really like the idea of the loudness control. 

Outlaw Audio RR2160-MKII - I like the amp on paper, reviews on the first version are generally good, but it looks atrocious. I haven't read much about the wifi, or the streaming app they were working on. 


I'd love to hear thoughts on these amps or options that should be on my radar. 


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Welcome to the Forum Steelguitars!


Do you play steel guitar? Standel amplifiers were/are very popular with steel players. I have two Standels with JBL D140.


Anyway, I’m surprised no one has responded to this yet.


Klipsch Cornwall I were my first Klipsch speaker, brought new, 1973.


Adding more power isn’t going to cure your “sounds fairly muffled at lower volumes” problem.


Your Marantz is 75 watts/channel. Keep in mind that doubling the amplifier power will only give you an additional 3dB of output. Every additional 3dB results in doubling the power. Going from 75w to 150w = +3dB. 150w increased to 300w = another +3dB. And itt takes about +or-10dB to “sound” twice or half as loud.


I don’t really see any of the other amplifiers/receivers as providing any significant benefits in your situation and even some loss of features. The Marantz is already good to go for using Hi_res streaming services like TIDAL.


The Loudness Control on the Yamaha is a sorely missed item on most modern receivers/integrated amplifiers IMO. It’s really just another form of tone control but I found it handy back in the day. This will tend to boost the bass frequencies at low volumes. The highs may be boosted too but what you’re hearing as “muffled” is probably more in the midrange.


There is probably an app available to control the Marantz NR1200. You might want to investigate the app to see if it has some sort of tone controls for the NR1200. It sounds like the speakers are somehow getting “bassier” at low volumes. These kinds of issue are often caused by speaker placement locations as well where you are listening – all being influenced by the room boundaries.


You mention the room is an open floor plan. Are your speakers or listening position near any appliances such as a refrigerator or near a cold air return, etc? Ambient noise in the room can have detrimental effects on the sound, most certainly at the lowest volume levels.


You also mention the speakers are located in the center of an open floor plan. This is probably a far from ideal location. Try moving the speakers around.

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