Klipsch Cornwall IV


Hello all,

I'm interested in what people who have heard the speaker feel about it. I currently run spatial M3 turbos and have an all tube analog setup ( line magnetic, hagerman ) with an oppo 105 being the digital front end.


Previous speakers have been acoustic zen, reference 3A, Maggie 3.6, and triangles. I am more concerned with a huge immersive sound stage than I am with pinpoint imagery. I have a big room and have plenty of space between the back wall and my speakers if I need it.


Any thoughts?
B7e9a899 5afb 426d a6de d8e99c5c4719simao
I have demoed them twice at the local dealer on a McIntosh 7200. I do not get the hype and thought they were kind of meh. They seemed pretty average to me. 

I felt like the leading edge of the bass was pretty soft and ill defined. We moved them around the room to try different setups for bass and soundstage. People talk about dynamics from the Cornwalls but I think a lot of the dynamics in music comes from the bass and these missed that imo. I feel like they need subs. 
The highs were pretty good. Much more refined than other klipsch I have heard (I have heard the la scala, forte iii, and klipsch horns). The highs were my favorite part of the speaker. Clean and detailed. Not the hifi air type of sound though. 
The mids were fine. No major issues stood out. They did not grab me either. 
All in all they were a pass for me. The sound just did not inspire me. 
There is a lot of Cornwall discussion going on in the thread called “looking for my final pair!!) if you missed it. 
imho all klipsch heritage models must be heard in person by any other audiophile/hifi lover who has not had them -- they are an acquired taste, very different than most others in what they offer and how they present the music
big immersive get an omni....ideally an MBL

or talk w Duke about building you some splash horns..

@audiokinisis

and yes, of course i have owned hot rod Cornwall w mods....
You’ll get lots of opinions in this thread from people who are familiar with the older cornwalls. Pay no attention to those. The IV is a different animal but as James points out, they are not for everyone.

FWIW, I sold a pair of Spatial Audio X3s when I bought my CW IV. The spatials are a great speaker but for me the cornwalls have a more fleshed out midrange with more tonal colors. And they involve the listener in the performance like few other speakers do.

Gone are the harsh highs, cabinet resonance and boxy sound of older cornwalls. These need not apologize when it comes to inner detail and finesse. You’ll not get a wall of sound that is only suited for loud rock n roll. It is a well balanced sound that suits all genres of music. You should at least listen to a pair.

Oz
Worse case if you don’t have a dealer Music Direct and Crutchfield both sell them and have 60 day return policies.
They are pretty different so you will know pretty quick if they are for you or not.
Your not going to get a 20% Discount at Music Direct or Crutchfield. If your not getting at least 15-20% off MSRP for 90% of the brands out there your shopping in the wrong place.
SIMAO,

I'm not sure you would be happy with Cornwalls given your speaker history. Can I suggest something else? Perhaps a triangle Quartet or Antal. Very tube friendly and they would give your system a good amount of bounce and liveliness. I run Antals (gloss black) and with added subs they play well above their size. I think the Triangles are a huge step above the Klipsch. (I own HeresyIIIs and have demoed the LaScala for a whole afternoon).  
I'm not sure you would be happy with Cornwalls given your speaker history.

I have owned Maggie 3.5rs and Reference 3a Grand Veenas myself, these are comparable to speakers on his list. I would say the CW IV is competitive with these and more upscale offerings.
Oz gives excellent advice to at least give a listen :-)
For an all tube setup, Klipsch Cornwall 4's check all the boxes for a speaker that tubes love; High efficiency, horns, and big woofers. Finding the perfect placement in your room is up to you, but with their front porting, Cornwall's greatly simplify that process. You can make them work with your room rather than being forced to make your room work with them.
Tell me what you liked about the speakers you have had. The 3A's have a very large sound,
The Maggies are fast, open but are they to  forward or thin and forward.
the Zen's are what I would call the modern sound, accurate but they didn't really draw me in.
Not sure what you thoughts are on these, throw me a bone and perhaps I can make a reasonable suggestion. 
I have a pair of Klipsch Quartet’s in my collection, have heard other heritage speakers, and agree with the previous poster that they are sufficiently ‘different’ to warrant an in home demo. You will either ‘get them’ or wonder what the fuss is all about.

They do some things extremely well, and other things not so well, so it really depends where your personal tastes lie. A bit like the Maggies really.
The oppo is a huge bottle neck , buy a quality dac .
Holo springs Or any good R2R  dac is a big step up thst will 
make a Huge improvement in sound quality alone.
Why not buy  Spatial audio x3 orX5 that is their latest 
much more refined models with built in powered Bass.
I’m really to green at this audio stuff to add much to this conversation, but on impulse, I bought the Cornwall IV. When they first arrived, I thought I had made a big mistake. About 100 hours in, they sound so much better. I’ve even had a few “wow” moments. Can’t wait to hear how they sound after the 200 hour mark. Digital side is the Holo May KTE. Analog is Luxman PD-171A, Jelco 850, Hana ML and Channel D Lino C phono stage. 
Based on what you say, you‘ll get plenty more “wow“ moments. They (Heritage series) really love even moderately powered tube amps of good quality. My JLH69 class A transistor amp sounds wonderful with my Quartet‘s, as does my Leben CS600.
I was never a fan of the CW's and felt they were just a big boomey box sounding thing. The CW4 however was a stunning change with serious rework from drivers to the cabinet and crossovers and is now very good. I don't have a lot of experience with speakers outside of Klipsch because I like to buy used then fix/restore and sell on and the Klipsch market is far larger than any other. I have done so with hundreds of sets now. I only had two sets of CW's in all that time because I REALLY did not like them and felt the Chorus was far superior and looked for those instead.

  The CW4's though I can recommend without reservation. The only bad thing I can say about them is they use MDF just like all the rest does now. When I build for myself I use nothing but Baltic Birch. Sound wise they are superb and don't require lots of watts.
" I have demoed them twice at the local dealer on a McIntosh 7200. I do not get the hype and thought they were kind of meh. They seemed pretty average to me. "
  That can be a problem. The Klipsch dealer in Huntsville, AL is clueless about setup and he manages to make those great sounding CW4's kind of MEH. Wall full of Macintosh stuff and sales jargon spews forth and those in the know about how the CW4's CAN sound leave and never go back.
" Oz gives excellent advice to at least give a listen :-) "  I second that with the caveat that finding a competent dealer is a must. Even better is to find a private owner and go hear what they sound like in person in a real home environment. Show rooms are often so full of trickery and manipulative sales shmucks most of the time. I don't know where you are but Metropolis Outfitters in Paducah KY is a very highly regarded dealer well respected by Klipsch fanatics. People drive for many hundreds of miles to deal with him.
Anybody near central Virginia is welcome to come hear my pair.
Why not buy Spatial audio x3 orX5 that is their latest
much more refined models with built in powered Bass.
I have owned both the X3 and the Cornwall IV(current). They are very different speakers (both excellent) but I wouldn’t dismiss the Cornwalls as inferior. Can't go wrong with either purchase. 
I owned both as well. Both are great speakers, but the Cornwalls suit my listening taste more.

Oz



Agree with RIAA in that CWs are overpriced. Crites offers an equivalent which looses on aesthetics but, rivals in SQ and obvious $savings. Are you after furniture and name recognition? If so, spend 4 k more and go with klipsch.

Spatial on a lower tier IMO , including higher impedance and sensitivity.
Agree with RIAA in that CWs are overpriced. Crites offers an equivalent which looses on aesthetics but, rivals in SQ and obvious $savings. Are you after furniture and name recognition? If so, spend 4 k more and go with klipsch
.
Absolutely wrong.

I’m not saying that the right Cornscala (think Justin Weber) built the right way won’t outperform the CW IV. But Crites Cornscala will not come close. I owned a pair a few years ago and even after damping the midhorn and replacing Bob’s xovers with ALK, they wouldn’t touch the Cornwall IV today. The downfall of that design is the removable rear panel which causes a serious mid bass resonance on some material.

And for the life of me I don’t see where RIAA said they were over priced.
Post removed 
@sounds_real_audio



To address your questions:1. I loved the Reference 3A de Capos, especially after I installed the BE tweeters. They might possibly have been the best sounding speakers I’ve heard; however, they were in a much smaller room than I have now. The imaged well and enveloped me in soundstage. Weakness is a lack of depth. I also had a pair of Veenas and those didn’t do anything in my room - small and diminished sound


2. Maggies were indeed fast and open but, as you said, a bit thin in sound.


3. The Adagios were quite good: accurate and pinpoint but not as immersive, not as good with washing a soundscape over me.


4. I owned Triangle Celius’s too many years ago to have any reliable sonic memory; however, I’ve always liked the Triangle sound (with both Celius and Titus having been in my collections: clear and transparent without being clinical). I would be open to a set of good Triangle floorstanders if it comes to that.





Forgot to mention that I’ve owned the Spatial Audio M3 Turbo as well. I much prefer the Cornwall IV.  I will say this, more than any other speaker I’ve owned or auditioned, with the exception of the Maggie 20.7, these Klipsch are just physically large and require forethought regarding if and how they’ll fit in your listening space. 
@kcpellethead.     They should be fine in my room. The room's main weakness is its low, 7' ceilings, but length and width are fine. See virtual system pics:
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/9393http://
Beautiful room! And it looks like the perfect space for the CW IV.

Oz



Timely discussion. A pair of Cornwall IV will arrive this week. I bought them looking for an alternative sound (low watt tubes, high-eff horn-like speakers) to my standard high watt, medium-eff cones and domes system. I’ll be trying them with my stable of 3 watt 2A3 SET, 18 watt EL34 PP, and 36 watt EL 84 PP amps. All vinyl. Should be an adventure! Bought from MD, and I’ve already lined up return shipping by freight, so this is truly an experiment.

FWIW, I brought in Spatial X5 last month and returned them. Not enough flesh on the sound for me, and they needed more power than I expected to energize my largish room. I'm not sure the CW will provide adequate bottom, hence the exit strategy.

I'm not sure the CW will provide adequate bottom, hence the exit strategy.

The Cornwall IV has excellent bass pitch and definition and will go low enough for most music. I am using a pair of subs just to fill in the really low bass and for a little heft. But my room is pretty big and YMMV.


That's encouraging, Ozzy. My space has no real corners behind the speakers, with hallways dropping back, so it tends to eat bass waves. And I can't get them closer than 3 feet to the front wall.  And I don't want to add subwoofers. So we'll see. How long did it take for your CW woofers to start delivering all they have?
They need a couple hundred hours to fully break in, at least to my ears.
Hmm. There's also a pair of Triangle Magellan Cellos for sale here that would be a divorce-inducer if I bough them. But it's tempting.
I bet the Triangles are terrific. But at 92 db dropping to 3 ohms, they are a very different speaker. It depends on what you're after.
I had CWIV for several months last year and already miss them. They are not your grandad’s CWs from years past nor is the more recent CWIII in the same league. I concur with positives other owners have said about the IVs, I’ll also mention resolution and transparency are quite high and distortion low. My only nit to pick is tonality of some instruments. All in all a terrific speaker anywhere near its 6k price, esp if you favor low-powered tube amps.
@mahlman who in Huntsville is a dealer and has the CW IV on display?  I thought all high end dealers were gone in Alabama.  Mid-high end stores in Bham are long gone.  I think Best Buy tried to put a Magnolia in their Hoover store and it's closed now I believe.  They never had the good stuff anyway.  
If you are looking for the true klipsch sound you have to buy one made prior to 1981 otherwise you are buying an asian drivered klipsch not an american drivered klipsch and there is a major difference.
This opinion is not about the Cornwalls but more on your source.
Is the 105 your CD/DVD/Streamer? No TT or other I assume.
If so before you buy another pair of speakers buy a separate DAC.
For $750 -Denafrips Ares2-you will improve your sound much more
than the speaker swap. Or about any Dac you buy.
Have you tried Decware Speakers? 
@chorus.   My turntable is a VPI HW-19 MK4 with a Hana ML running to a Hagerman Trumpet phono pre - which just arrived a few days ago and is breaking in.

And yes, Decware is right up the road from me and is always an option. I've visited Steve's workshop and place a few times along the audition road.


Interesting about the Oppo - some say it is indeed a consummate swiss army knife of a player that sounds terrific on its own, and others deplore its sound. Compared to my analog rig it sounds a bit thin, but I have many times more money and time invested in my analog rig.
@saburo, you wrote  "My only nit to pick is tonality of some instruments."  Since the CW IV is said to not have horn colorations, would you mind giving more detail on your comment. Thanks.
If you are looking for the true klipsch sound you have to buy one made prior to 1981 otherwise you are buying an asian drivered klipsch not an american drivered klipsch and there is a major difference.

Seriously? You ever hear the phrase, “if you don’t know what you are talking about, you should probably stop talking”? Yeah, well that applies here.

All Klipsch Heritage speakers are designed in the USA  by Roy Delgado and manufactured in Hope AR.

I guess you aren’t quite the “speaker master” you think you are........
@mlg  In comparison to classic series Spendors and the Harbeth world I came from; string and wood instruments are easier to pick out like violin vs a viola or clarinet vs a bassoon. etc. than on a the CWIV. I can't call it a horn coloration per se but rather a deviation somewhere in freq response. Another shortcoming is the tweeter, its extended and doesn't call attention to itself like past Klipsch speakers but the treble isn't detailed and lacks clarity. Like I wrote before, the CWIVs can be very resolving, more so than a speaker with a much lower sensitivity being superior at dynamic contrast that will leave a Harbeth sounding impotent. It comes down to tradeoffs, if you want dynamic expression that will suspend your disbelief that you're at a live show, the CWIV is masterful at this. Choosing CWIVs will ultimately depend on your sonic priorities, the rest of your system and the type of music you enjoy most.
@wrm57 assume I'm ignorant of what you're saying, even when 20 years experience in this hobby. My line magnetic 518 has taps for four, eight, and 16 ohms. Would that make a difference with those triangles?
Saburo that's a great few lines that you wrote there. I'm sure people can argue the finer points of your observation but nicely done. 39 posts and we get more value in what you write than some who post 20,000 completely idiotic pointless statements. Over the years this site has really been dumbed down but there's hope in sensible comments that talk about tradeoffs. Have yo heard the Devore Orangutans by chance? I'm trying to get a read on CWIV by comparing the o series which I know well. 
" @mahlman who in Huntsville is a dealer and has the CW IV on display? I thought all high end dealers were gone in Alabama. Mid-high end stores in Bham are long gone. I think Best Buy tried to put a Magnolia in their Hoover store and it's closed now I believe. They never had the good stuff anyway.   "
  I will have to call my Huntsville speaker buddy and find out. I have never been there but he and his friend were and both were irritated by their experience.

 
" If you are looking for the true klipsch sound you have to buy one made prior to 1981 otherwise you are buying an asian drivered klipsch not an american drivered klipsch and there is a major difference. "
  Well well well, an authoritative source for components I see. Last time I checked the Eminence woofers used in the CW4 were made in Kentucky. The Celestion tweets driver in England. Don't know about the mid driver.
  Yes the cheaper lines are Chi-com but not the heritage or pro lines.
" All Klipsch Heritage speakers are designed in the USA  by Roy Delgado and manufactured in Hope AR. "
  Having been in the factory and Roy's sound lab in person a year ago October I can verify your comment.