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Early Cornwall II restoration


912E

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While in high school in the 80's I got a personal factory tour at Klipsch in Hope and was able to see their sound test room, assembly areas, and got to talk with an electrical engineer. It was a great day! So, all these years later, I now have a beautiful pair of early Cornwall II's, but the sound isn't as impressive as I remember. From everything I can tell, everything inside the cabinets is original and I would like to do some upgrading.

 

I'd like to get some advice on where to begin. I found the Crites website and have been pricing cross-overs and new drivers. What I don't know is benefit of going with the Type B or Type B-2 crossovers, and how decide on Sonic or Dayton capacitors. I'd also like to find out how to tell if the woofer, driver or tweeters need to be replaced. They visually appear to be in good shape.

 

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Welcome.  Congrats are always in order for anyone landing Cornwalls so Congrats!  I'm not sure I slept much the first night I had mine so I get it :)

 

For now, just keep reading and maybe post some about what kinds of things you play in what size room and how loud...and outta what kind of amp.  And if you can put some words on what you'd like to be different/expectations, that'd help immensely.  

 

There's a truly staggering amount of information and knowledge here.  

 

Seems half the known world population will tell you what they think you should do with your speakers--it's audio after all--the thing is to figure out what's important to you.  Are there other speakers you really like?  Not prying, just fishing so the members have more to go on to try to assist.

 

Also, we like pictures.  A lot :)

 

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I listen to things from the 80s (think Tom Petty, U2, among other pop of the times), 90s (Soundgarden, Audioslave, Pearl Jam, etc.), 00s (Radiohead, Better than Ezra, etc.), and some heavier bands from the same time range. I also like classical guitar and occasionally listen to Jazz. Right now I'm wanting to build a audio system. I have a mid 00s Onkyo receiver/amp and Pioneer CD player. I'm also hoping to find good suggestions for best bang for buck sort of components, so any suggestions would be much appreciated. I don't necessarily feel the need for loud music, but often (currently) turn it up so I can hear a nice range of frequencies. My guess is if I could get good range, 75 dBa would be nice, but that's hard to get at the low end. The local hifi store closed down many years ago, so I don't know of many brands/models to reference my tastes to.

 

Here's a nice photo..

cornwall.thumb.jpg.f42e212ca0daa02f94be17da8fca08f0.jpg

 

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@912E  Welcome to the Klipsch Forum

 

 get an Ohmmeter , set the dial  to Ohms , open the rear panels by removing the screws ,  K-33 woofers are 4 Ohms ,  K-55V Midrange   drivers are  16 Ohms , K-77 Tweeters are 8 Ohms   , Please reply back with the readings .

 

Your Speakers are   Cornwall  Vertical speakers  -Crites is an Aftermarket  seller . they cannot restore the  klipsch sound  it's a cloned product that does not use factory parts  , however  Type  B  crossovers upgraded with klipsch  original parts   would sound brand  new ..

 

the klipsch Crossover repair Center for the USA  is :

 

@JEM Performance  JEM Performance Audio  (412) 401-6915       Email   theaudioroom@verizon.net 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the reply and for the pic.  If you think you're already used to them and find something or other wanting, let us know.  People's tastes are very different so it's hard to say anything useful until we know what we're trying to fix.  Mess with placement and toe-in.  Room corners will get you more bass if you have the option, but it's fiddly (and less-practical with their size).  Cornwall bass is comparatively better-damped than a lot of vented speakers so it can seem light--if that's your issue, some people add subs.  Swap receivers with a friend for a week if you can.  Drop a tube amp in for a bit if a friend or nearby forum member is willing.  Your stuff should be plenty fine to give a fair shake to the speakers if they're working right.  

 

Putting together a system is as varied as there are people, so it's best to know what you're after.  If you don't know, that's fine--most people cycle through a lot of stuff, it's just inefficient and costlier than it needs to be if you know where you're going.  There are lots of people here with a large variety of rigs using Cornwalls.  Everything does something and costs something else.  There is little agreement about anything in audio.  Follow your own ears.  I have never once heard the verticals so am pretty hesitant to start taking pot shots.  What I can say is that I had cane grilles, too, and had to have the grilles off when I listened, FWIW.   

 

I know this post is effectively useless, but didn't want you to think we'd abandoned your thread.  There's a really good group here, they're just in stealth mode or stuck arguing in the Lounge :)

 

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you just have to make sure that all drivers work in both sets. most likely if something isn't working its the tweeter. since the grills are not removable you have to put your ear up to the tweeter,  same thing for the midrange. the woofer should be the easiest to know if its working.

 

there is only one person on this forum i trust for crossovers

get a hold of forum member Crankysoldermeister or Deang, same member

https://www.facebook.com/deangcrossovers/

 

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Wow, I read early Cornwall 2s and thought mid ‘80s, but you got the OG version, lol. Congratulations.

 

So, at the risk of offending the sensibilities of some, I will say straight up I am not a fan of the venerable K-33 and the B crossover isn’t doing anyone any favours.

 

But, the “upgrade” path is a slippery slope of diminishing returns.

 

I have owned four pairs of Cornwalls over the years, my least favourite was a ‘79 pair with the B crossovers, nice at low volumes, as is to be expected. But I also had an ‘84 pair with the B-3 crossovers at the same time, which I kept. I had a pair of ‘86 Cornwall 2s which despite having a different crossover and completely different tweeters was more alike than different from the ‘84s.

 

I kept one pair of the B-3 Cornwalls, to play with. 

 

A pair of Crites woofers found their way into them and the difference was not subtle. Immediately recognizable lower and tighter bass. The K-33s are safely tucked away in the boxes they came in for posterity.

 

There is an ALK B crossover schematic that, based on my recent experience with the ALK A crossover clones in my La Scalas I believe would be worth trying, but I have never seen any feedback on here about them. I had no idea the K-77 could sound as fine, and the mids are fully adjustable. Yours should have the Alnico K-77 versions that Bob Crites preferred, but are very low wattage drivers.

 

More bass, steeper slopes, and the ability to tone down the K-55 would make for a sweet(er) sounding pair of Cornwalls. The Crites woofers will never go to waste and the mods are fully reversible. 

 

Of course, once you touch so much as a screw on them you can’t call them Cornwalls anymore and St. Peter may have a bone to pick with you, lol.  

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Just finishing the upgrades and starting install of my Cornwall Theater, where the old school Cornwall II will stand at Center. All of these speakers have been redrivered and new crossovers built: Crites 1526 woofers. John Allen A55G midrange drivers, SMAHL lens tweeters, and MultiCap RTX goodness (in a B2 configuration) in the crossovers. 

 

They sound what I would expect a new pair of upper-four-figured speakers should sound like, which is to say that they make quite the impression, and are so much more than a "simply rebuilt pair of Cornwalls". I have this feeling like "I really outdid myself here" but there's definitely merit to reworking these.

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I opened one of the speakers to measure the impedance. All of the measurements were fluctuating and holding the test leads firmly on the tabs didn't seem to help. For the K33J's, the readings were 0.4 - 1.1  with the occasional 0.F. The K55V's were 0.6 - 1.0. The K77's were 0.5 - 1.0.

 

Any suggestions on how to refinish the cabinets? The tops have some wear from (probably) being used as furniture.

 

 

IMG_20220530_204750.jpg

IMG_20220530_204908.jpg

IMG_20220530_210745.jpg

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You should remove the wires before testing them. If not you will not get a correct reading. Diode setting of meter will also tell if one has continuity. Changing caps will change the sound but whether it will be an improvement is debatable. Changing crossovers is an expensive gamble IMHO relative to the value of the speakers. For the price of new crossovers one can buy new excellent sounding new design Klipsch speakers or for just a little more money. For instance. 

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-R-26FA-Floorstanding-Speaker-Channel/dp/B083GKTW4S/ref=sr_1_16?crid=1N9P81CK6A41E&keywords=klipsch+speakers&qid=1653994364&sprefix=klipsch+speakers%2Caps%2C108&sr=8-16

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5 hours ago, henry4841 said:

You should remove the wires before testing them. If not you will not get a correct reading.

The wires are soldered onto the speaker tabs. Would it suffice to unscrew the wire running to the crossover?

 

11 hours ago, 001 said:

are you sure the Ohmmeter dial is set on Ohms  ?

Yes, it was set to Ohms and the leads were in the right sockets on the meter.

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7 minutes ago, 912E said:

The wires are soldered onto the speaker tabs. Would it suffice to unscrew the wire running to the crossover?

 

Yes, it was set to Ohms and the leads were in the right sockets on the meter.

since the wires are soldered ,  remove the wires from the  barrier strip of the  crossover    , but  tag them  so as to re-plug them correctly later  /  and redo the readings once more  ---------woofers should be less than 4 Ohms , Midrange less than 16 Ohms , and tweeters less than 8 Ohms .

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12 minutes ago, 001 said:

since the wires are soldered ,  remove the wires from the  barrier strip of the  crossover    , but  tag them  so as to re-plug them correctly later  /  and redo the readings once more  ---------woofers should be less than 4 Ohms , Midrange less than 16 Ohms , and tweeters less than 8 Ohms .

exactly

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On 6/1/2022 at 3:04 PM, 912E said:

Woofer measured at 2.5 Ohms, Mid 10.2 Ohms, Tweeter 11.5 Ohms. So it sounds like the tweeters need to be replaced?

nothing wrong with the tweeters  , the K-77 Tweeters in these speakers are  16 Ohms  versus 8 Ohms , so , all is ok ,all drivers are in good working order , the woofers are the very sought after K-33 Jensen  , which means these Cornwalls were made between early 1963 and  late 1967 .

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On 6/1/2022 at 3:04 PM, 912E said:

Woofer measured at 2.5 Ohms, Mid 10.2 Ohms, Tweeter 11.5 Ohms. So it sounds like the tweeters need to be replaced?

Wow, pretty nice congrats. 

Wouldn't worry about it.

Maybe a crossover refresh and 

listen to your music.

Glad you at least got them in the door before upgrade bug bit...

 

 

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