Jump to content

Dimensions for Decorater Cornwall


Recommended Posts

Well. I am tired of waiting for one to come up in a auction that is close and not stained at all.. I was bidding on one about a year ago and at the last minute, It was sniped. ( I think ) Later it was damaged.

I am thinking about building one. Not sure how that will go. I have all of the speakers I need. I think it probably is the same size as a regular Cornwall except for the motherboard and the ports in front but I am not sure.

I was wondering if anyone here has those dimensions.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont know the exact dimensions, but note that the panel size and assembly is entirely different.

Whereas a normal CW is a box with the motorboard laid into cleats (either mitred in the case of veneered, or butt joints in the case of BR), the Decorator is built such that the front panel covers the edge plys of the top (and I think bottom) panels. The edge plys of the side panels still show however.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


I believe the only difference on the cabinet measurements is the "decorator" models had mitered corners. In any case, if you have the drivers it is should be an easy build for someone with fair woodworking skills. After many posts on the DIY of these cabinets I think we concluded the small differences other board members found on various model years would result in no significant change to the sound.

I have included a PDF file for the Cornwall in this post if it helps.

I have heard the new Cornwall III models have the LF driver repositioned on the baffle and I'm sure there are some other changes as well. Perhaps these changes could be incorporated into the build.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

the "decorator" models had mitered corners- I'm not so sure about this. How would the cabinet be constructed as I stated in my first post. I'm sure the motor board extends upward all the way to the top, with the top panel 3/4" shorter than the side panels. I don't see any way that anything but butt joints could have been used for this.

But I've been wrong before

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are right Colter, I stand corrected. The decorator models were butt joints however, I stand on the dimensions of the cabinet. Whenever you build anything in wood the builder must compensate for the thickness of material, joint type etc. With speaker cabinets the inside measurements are usually what counts as the internal volume is designed to match the driver(s). As the Cornwalls main panels were constructed of 3/4" material you would add 1 1/2" to the front baffle height and remove remove 1 1/2" from the width and 3/4" from the depth of the top and bottom panel. Here is a really good post by HDBRbuilder that removes the mystery and cuts to the chase on decorator models:

OK...let me try to explain some of this "decorator" speaker stuff as best I can.

"D" style, or "decorator" style cabinets were a lower-cost alternative for the consumer of SOME of the Klipsch designs of the original "Heritage" series speakers, with the EXCEPTION of "D" style LaScalas and Belle Klipsch speakers. OFFICIALLY, there were never any "decorator" Belle Klipsch speakers made(although there WERE at least two pairs of BIRCH Belle Klipsch speakers made while I worked there (76-83)! The LaScala, or course, was always made out of plywood, so, in effect, ALL OF THOSE were "decorator" models.

The intent of "Decorator" models was that the consumer could use these in a wide variety of applications while saving some money on the purchase costs as compared to the cost of fine-veneered models. The "decorator" style k-horns are likely the major exception to this rule, since MOST of these were used in nightclub or other professional applications...or immediatley modified by owners into C-style cabinets.

The original decorator cabinets for Heresy and Cornwall speakers were what we at the plant called the "flush-front" models. On these models, the assembly of the cabinets was using glue and nails ONLY...with no glue blocks used in actual construction of the boxes, except for the rear of the cabinets, where they were used for mounting the speaker back panel to the cabinet with screws. This cabinet design was extremely strong, and could take falls from over 6 feet onto a corner of the cabinet, usually with no major STRUCTURAL damage.

The idea behind decorator models was that the owner could save money on his/her purchase and still have a number of viable options in which to employ the speakers. They could be built into the walls between studs (especially good possibility in rooms with closets on walls opposite wall speakers were mounted into); they could just be painted to match the room decor, and grille cloth matching the room decor could be stapled to the front with trim tacked over the edges of the grille cloth; or they could be stained and finished to match other furniture in the room.

You would be surprised how many were finished out quite nicely by home craftsmen...using inexpensive moldings and such to cover the exposed plys on the cabinet.

Now, here is the big clincher...By the time I began working at Klipsch, the company had been in a "new" building for just a very few years (2 or 3), but an addition to that building, which more than doubled the size of the plant, was just being completed when I got hired on (July 1976). Within two months, the plant had overflowed into this new addition and within another year and a half it was determined that even this new addition was not large enough for the expansion the company needed at the time! How did Klipsch manage to grow so fast at a time when other speaker manufacturers were going under? Simple answer is: Decorator Heresys!! Just figure it this way: In a normal 40-hr week of production, maybe 10-12 K-horns, 10-70 Cornwalls of all kinds(depending on orders), 5-7 Belle Klipsch speakers, 15-35 LaScalas, 150-250 NON-decorator Heresys, and at least 350-700 DECORATOR HERESYS, were produced! The Klipschorn is what made Klipsch famous, but the HERESY, and, in particular, the DECORATOR HERESY, is what made the company PROFITABLE, and KEPT the company SOLVENT through times when other speaker/audio companies were going under right and left!

OK, so just when and WHY did the company change the cabinet design for the "decorator" Cornwalls and Heresys? Well...as the decorator Heresys began to sell more and more, it was noticed that more and more often, the orders came for them to have grille cloth on them. Well, the flush-front models required the cloth be stretched across the front panel, then stapled around the edges of the front, then molding (screen-door moldings) be mitered to length and bradded-on to cover these stapled-on edges of the cloth. This was a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure, and, ESPECIALLY since it was being applied to the low-cost version of the cabinets, the decision was made to change the cabinet construction so that the same grille-cloth panels installed on the mitered-corner finely-veneered Heresys could be used on the decorator style Heresys! Since the new cabinet-build had the front being "dropped-in" and stapled onto recessed glue blocks, just as on the mitered Heresys, we at the plant called them drop-in-front-style decorator Heresys. This change for decorator Heresys was initiated in the fall of 1977.

Since there was never a huge amount of Cornwalls built at that time, and since it was no big hurry in making the changes necessary to do the Cornwall build, it was not until around the beginning of the second calendar quarter of 1978 that the decorator Cornwalls got the same drop-in-front kind of cabinet design....for the same reason as the decorator Heresys got the change.

Another thing happened about the same time as these cabinet changes. The change of the NAMES of these speakers happened, too! Here is the "skinny" on that change.

The expansion of the plant in 1976 had brought about a small hiring spree of folks at the plant in order to keep production up. Many of these new hires were good workers, but there are always a few who just didn't "cut the mustard"...and were sent on their way to other pastures. As things went at that time at the plant, most new hires were sent to the cabinet shop to begin with, if for no other reason than to learn how the speakers were built and to help out in production of parts for them. If they turned out to be good at building, they were kept, but if NOT, then they were sent to sanding...to see how they worked out there. If they didn't work out in sanding, then they were sent to finishing, where they started out applying oil finish to oiled speakers...and hand-sanding sealer coats on speakers getting laquer finishes. If they didn't work out there, they normally went to final assembly or straight to shippping. Shipping was normally their last stop before having to find another job elsewhere. The major point here is that, although there were SOME old hands in final assembly and shipping, MANY of the new people in those areas had already "flunked-out" in other areas of the plant..and it was just a matter of time before they were out the door job-hunting again.

OK, remember that the change-over in the build of the decorator Heresy cabinet occurred in the fall of 1977. THAT same fall was a record sales period for the company, with November of 1977 being the first million-dollar sales month in the history of the company! The company had a number of new employees hired-on just to keep up with production in final assembly and shipping that fall. In final assembly, most of these new hires were basically doing mundane tasks that were time-consuming for the regular final assembly workers...such as filling-out the info on the labels for the backs of speakers, moving pallets of parts up to the worktables, dropping backs into cabinets for the regular folks to secure with screws, etc.

It was not noticed so much during the flurry of activity at the plant that fall, but it WAS noticed at many of the dealers, that not only were SOME of the labels on the backs of speakers NOT filled-out properly, BUT many were either not filled-out at all, or were unreadable. It was also noticed that many of the labels for Decorator Heresys and Cornwalls had the "D" left out of the model designation. Up to that point in time, an unfinished Decorator Heresy was called "HDBR"...and unfinished Decorator Cornwall was called "CDBR" ...but many of the labels just had HBR or CBR on them...WHY? Simply put...confusion of the new employees over model type variations. For example, HWL was Heresy Walnut Laquer, so why wasn't a laquered birch Heresy called HBL?...instead of HDBL? Many of these new employees just never could get it straight.

The "powers that be" made a decision at that point...to DROP the "D" from the decorator Cornwalls and Heresys in the designation on the labels...for a number of reasons. First, it saved time, by having one less thing to write on the labels. Second, since all birch Heresy speakers were now being sent out with grille cloth panels included, they were not as much of a "decorator" style as they had previously been. Third, since all the decorator Heresys now came with grille cloth panels, it was necessary to raise their price to adjust for the addition of that panel. It was easier to just call them something besides decorator models...something that more closely aligned the new cabinet style with the cabinet style of the mitered ones with the same grille cloth panels...and those mitered ones had a three-letter designation (generally speaking)...so the new three-letter designation was picked up for the decorator models....leaving out the "D" from that designation.

ALthough the "D" was left out of the new "OFFICIAL" designation for the birch Heresy cabinets, the plant folks still called them decorator models in-house. When the change to the Cornwall cabinets occurred in the spring of 1978, the same designation change to them occurred, the "D" was dropped.

OK...now let me cover the differences between vertical-horn Cornwalls and horizontal horn Cornwalls. From a cabinet-build viewpoint, the only difference is the orientation of the horns and woofer on the motorboard (front panel). Other than that, they are indentical in EACH build! IOW...the only CABINET difference is the router form used to rout-out the motorboard for them!

Some people claim they have "two-port" or "three-port" Cornwalls of either vertical or horizontal driver/horn lens orientation. Actually, the Cornwall only has ONE PORT extending along the end of the motorboard, opposite from the high-frequency "end" of the motorboard. The openings in that motorboard, FOR THAT ONE PORT, are either two or three openings. WHY? Just look on the port as ONE WIDE OPENING, but WITH a reinforcing "STRUT" in its center, to provide some extra frontal structural strength to that END PANEL of the cabinet. In the case of three openings, you have two reinforcing "struts". That is ALL THERE IS TO IT! NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS! BTW...if you measure the TOTAL area in square inches of the openings in the so-called two-port and so-called three-port Cornwalls, you will find out that the TOTAL opening area is almost EXACTLY the SAME!

One note here that may be of interest to some of you. The router forms' BASES for these speakers were originally made out of steel plates, which made them rather heavy and unwieldy to use on the overhead router. Those steel plates also tend to wear heavily on the pins on the router table of the overhead router. Since the easiest way to empty a router form of built-up sawdust is to flip it over, its weight tended to ALSO wear out the poor soul who was stuck routing these parts all day long (meaning ME...for most of the time I worked there!). Also, as time went on and modifications to parts became necessary, it was very expensive to have a machine shop lay-out and mill the openings into new STEEL router form bottom plates. So, sometime around 1978-79, we went to using tempered masonite for the base plates of the overhead router forms, since those could be easily made "in-house" and since tempered masonite had no tendency to wear down the pins on the router table. We still continued to use the steel-base-plated router forms until they either became obsolete or wore out, though. The first forms to become made of tempered masonite were the ones for Heresy fronts, of course, since they were the most used in the plant! When the new masonite bases were made for Cornwall fronts, they had three port openings in them, partly because it made the ROUTER FORM hold up better to use by new employees who tended to let the router pin SLAM into corners while routing the parts...which would have rendered the form useless in a short time if there had only been two port-openings in the base of it! Even with three openings, those bases on the Cornwall front forms had to be replaced regularly thanks to the slamming of the pins into the corners of the openings by router newbies!

One other note...although there is a distinct time at which the vertical Cornwall II became a non-standard build (IOW, it was no longer OFFICIALLY offered as a model), it was still built...even up until I left the company in 1983! It seemed that I had to rout out a few fronts for vertical-horned Cornwalls every year I worked there...due to special orders for them...NORMALLY a special order for a SINGLE one...to match one an owner already had purchased for his previous monaural system, but who was changing over to stereo and needed a second one to match his first one.

I don't know whether the vertical ones were offered on special order after I left in 1983 or not, but I doubt they were offered past the advent of the 1985 Cornwall II version!

Thanks HDBRbuilder, I enjoy your posts and inside info. It must have been quite a time at Klipsch. Not many manufacturors like Klipsch around these days. Most are CNC cut and fold with vinyl finish.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...