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overwhelming midrange from my cornwalls


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All of the tweaks Ive tried, in 15 years with my walnut-oiled Cornwall 1s, with their B2 crossover, the tube amplifier made the most difference. The RealTraps made the most difference for ALL equipment.

Also, are you sitting inside the beam of the drivers the loudspeakers are angled towards your ears or the back of your head, right?

We, and you, need DEFINITIVE information. I would look inside however and find out exactly what your crossover is no guessing by outsiders. Some Cornwall crossovers (B2) have a vicious bounce-back in the 5-9KHz range, which gives you the ringing sound.

I would also get a Test CD, like Stereophile, and a cheap Radio Shack SPL meter. Then measure your frequency response. You will find that it is tipped up in the treble range, which is what is causing the ringing you hear.


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On 3/30/2004 2:07:18 AM ramair455 wrote:


not sure what you mean buy polarity...if your asking if the positive and negative wires are hooked up correctly im certain thet they are. as far as tube vs solid state goes im aware of the difference that will make but i beleive that cornwalls were sold , at least in 1984 , for the most part to be used with solid state gear. perhaps both my recievers are not a great match for these speakers, still it seems odd to me that they could sound so well with my other speakers...so back to my crossover question.


well i'd just switch the polarity (the + and -) on just one speaker and see if you get a difference. it's free, reversible, and only takes a minute. even though a lot of interesting tweaks are being introduced, i don't think they are the solution to your problem. to me, it really sounds like you have a big problem and not a little one (and most of these tweaks are minor in nature). all that to say, how well are your speakers producing sounds that aren't in the mid-range? are the woofers working? how bout the tweeters? if you sit right in front of the speaker, do they sound fine? (this would eliminate the room from being a factor). also, you mentioned that other speakers sound fine with your setup, so that should eliminate your upstream equipment from being a factor as well. so that leaves you with your crossover (like you originally thought). what are the other speakers?

i remember reading about changing the crossover taps on the crossover and all that, but since i don't own cornwalls i never payed attention to the specifics. i think what you're looking for is someone to point you to one of those threads (i couldn't find them, but i know i read them), or just to re-explain the process. from what it sounds like, it's another one of those free and reversible tweaks. i think all you have to do is move the wires from the one lead and connect them to one of three leads.

another thing to note is that you're experiencing the fatigue at louder volumes...this could be because the room is suffering from "acoustical overload" (a term im stealing from artto). basically this is when the room can't handle the volumes you are playing at which causes the room almost to act like a compressor (at least it sounds that way). if this is the problem you're having, then tweaking the speakers is only going to help minimalize this problem which makes treating the room a more ideal approach...if you've got tone controls on your equipment, i'd try turning the lows and highs up (simulating a decrease in mids) to get an idea of what the crossover tweak might do. if it's still fatiguing then it's the room. (also, don't forget about sitting really close to the speakers too). btw, does the room feel overloaded/fatiguing when you play the other speakers at those volumes?

sorry to be asking you so many questions...and sorry for being unable to give you a quick answer on your crossover taps question thing. hopefully someone else more knowleadgable will pipe in on that.

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other speakers sounding fine with your front end equipment has nothing to do with metal horn drivers or ultra-sensitive speakers like your Cornwalls, you could have a mega buck front end, but if it is the wrong thing for Cornwalls, it will sound like crap!

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but it has everything to do with it! first of all, he doesn't have a super awesome front end. second of all, cornwalls are far from being the perfect speaker. And if "super-duper" crap is responsible for listening FATIGUE (which equates to less enjoyment) then why in the world would anyone go about spending intense amounts of time and money to reduce a FLAW in the basic design (since elimination is impossible)?!?

also, if the other speakers do present some sort of similar fatigue at the same volumes, then the problem isn't necessarily with the cornwalls (it could easily be the room or the upstream equipment). But if they don't, then this scenario shows that there is most likely something "wrong" with the cornwalls. there is something "wrong" because it sounds like crap (which you just said yourself is easy for the cornwalls to sound like).

Granted, you're going to want to blaim the upstream equipment because you probably spent more on yours and have achieved a good sound...but do you even hear the same level of improvement with "crappy speakers"? if not, then good logic would say that your expensive equipment is just compensating for flaws in your speaker. yes, there are flaws with klipsch speakers, whooooooooooooooo! someone call the doctor! But is it bad to compensate for flaws? no, because the end sound is good and ENJOYABLE. But it's bad to use that experience against "bad upstream" equipment when the real flaw is in the speaker. And yes, there is a flaw in the speaker...a nice ringy metal horn speaker. who cares if it's super sensitive if it sounds like crap. And for the record "bad upstream equipment" nowadays is really quite good...better than most of the equipment from the past (when the speakers were actually built)...hmmmm

and my last point, the upstream equipment in this scenario doesn't seem like it's going to change so if it sounds better with other speakers, then there is nothing wrong with using them. also, how do you know the other speakers aren't super-sensitive either? i was under the impression they were heresy's (but i could be wrong).


btw, i just wanted to state for the record that i love hornloaded speakers and i like a lot of the products klipsch produces. I just hate it when anything klipsch is portrayed as the epitomy of audio nirvana when it really is nowhere close. klipsch sure is a lot of bang for the buck though.

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Gear swapping is not going to cut the mustard if there are major acoustic problems period. Maybe he doesn't have the problem with other speakers because they a) aren't as sensitive B) start to run into power compression c) the amplifier begins to clip as other speakers are pushed to maintain a volume that the cornwalls can do with ease.

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Improving Corns

In my opinion, the Yamaha is certainly a small part of the problem, except for a few young hold-outs, you will find that the majority of tweaking audiophile here do NOT like Yammies with big ole horns. The same goes for the high quality Luxman; better suited to driving cones.

The ancient 1988 CD player is definitely a culprit, time to add a cheap California Audio DAC or upgrade to a DVD/SACD player this unit will be harsh sounding with super revealing big ole horns. Also try vibration isolation platforms under the CD and the front-end equipment makes a very nice improvement for little scratch.

Everything you describe is part of the problem with Cornwalls, boomy bass, sharp upper mid-range, did you pull off the back and tell us what crossover you have? Did you get a Test CD and a SPL meter to measure the response?

Test CD will also check polarity, which sometimes is NOT simply positive cable to speakers positive binding screws posts, this will improve imaging and focus tremendously if it is wrong (depends on recording sometimes)

Corns are far from being perfect, but with work and investment, they can be incredibly wonderful. They are seriously flawed, but also seriously wonderful too. In the meantime, yes, they can wear out your ears, but when they dont they also give a realistic, enthusiastic impression of live music. As a confessed tweaking audiophile, I think the improvements and upgrade path is worth it.

Sorry, but Klipsch big ole horns arent the audio nirvana of loudspeakers they ARE the biggest bang for the buck. They arent the Corvette sports car; they are Daddys Olds with the carburetor opened up and fat tires. A thrilling joy ride for us poor kids.

Modern equipment is NOT appreciably better than vintage equipment from the 70s. Using constant value dollars, the same receiver that sold for $700 in the 70s should go for somewhere about $2,100 today. Instead a receiver of that quality costs any where from $3 to 6K today. Now the same quality at all. And the vintage 70s unit? It may need refurbishing of aging parts costing more than the new purchase of the unit, but they can be found for $5 to 75 at yard sales and eBay!

I know. I have seriously auditioned, in my own home, with the same music and equipment, for EnjoyTheMusic.com, several pieces of high end equipment that cant hold a candle to modern front-end equipment WHEN USED WITH BIG OLE HORNS.

Ram-man, did you ever try any of these suggestions? What are you going to do?

By the way, did you ever measure how much louder you are listening to the big ole horns compared to the other loudspeakers? If your volume setting is anywhere near the volume setting used with the other loudspeakers, your several-times-more-sensitive horns will be pumping out several-times-louder-sound than the conventional loudspeakers will that will easily wear out your ears quicker.

Where my big ole Klipsch classic corner horns reach 90s SPL at 8:00 on the dial, and Cornies need 9:00 to reach the same level, all other cone loudspeakers that I seriously auditioned, need 11 or 12 on the dial, even with most solid-state receivers, to reach the same slow C weighted music peaks


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hey guys

nice to get such a varied response.... i have been busy with other things so i havent had time to do much , but i have moved them around the room a bit and that has helped a little. i agree with the philosophy that klipsch speakers are not the be all end all, but i am also aware that a speaker as sensative as the cornwall can be very revealing of flaws elsewhere in the system. for the record my other speakers are good quality but not as sensative, they are also a two way speaker which could account for my sound preference. im sure my c d player is part of the problem and at some point i will retire the yammie to ht only use but for now thats what im using. spl guages and test cds sound a little complex to me, i just want it to sound good... as far as getting a look at the xover the back of my corns doesnt look removable so should i be pulling ot a speaker to get in there and look, also where will i find serial numbers as the factory tags an the back are gone



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Mopar Dave:

I'm glad they worked. I am no expert, but it seemed to help. Right now I have a Mapletree Audio Ultra 4A SE Special Edition preamp added to the system with an old Acurus A150 SS amp. It it a brighter sound, but the caps are still burning in on the preamp, so I will wait a week. It may be time for a little more rope caulk, at least until I can afford a set of mono tube amps.

It is an ever changing system and little changes are required along the way.


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