Klipsch Heresy or Cornwall Speakers - Anyone Heard Them Lately?

Benedict_Arnold

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Saw a pair on a, erm, "well know auction website", and they pricked my interest because of the "squat" cabinet configuration as opposed to the "tall and thin" shape of most newer speaker models. The "squat" shape would suit my media room layout much better than "tall and thin" because I could then use a larger (wider) projection screen.

So....

Has anyone heard them recently? How would they partner, say, with Cyrus or Primare sources?
 

davedotco

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Well, not quite.

I have not heard a pair of either in a while, but compared to most modern speakers they are going to be very different.

The 'big bass driver and horn' type of design has a sound pretty much all its own, sensitive, dynamic and, at normal levels, virtually uncompressed, they can sound fantastic.

Non fans will point at factors such as uneven dispersion, cone breakup caused by running the woofers to too high a frequency and a characteristic 'horn' colouration in the mids and highs.

These are very definitely the kind of speaker you have to audition.
 

Benedict_Arnold

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davedotco said:
Well, not quite.

I have not heard a pair of either in a while, but compared to most modern speakers they are going to be very different.

The 'big bass driver and horn' type of design has a sound pretty much all its own, sensitive, dynamic and, at normal levels, virtually uncompressed, they can sound fantastic.

Non fans will point at factors such as uneven dispersion, cone breakup caused by running the woofers to too high a frequency and a characteristic 'horn' colouration in the mids and highs.

These are very definitely the kind of speaker you have to audition.

That description makes sense to me. I'm very wary. Kind of like stepping out of a 2015 Mondeo into a 50s Ferrari. Probably, although few would like to admit it, the Mundane-oh does most things much better....
 
All I know is the Heresey is compact by Klipsch standards. Both are highly efficient and could be well driven with low power tube amps.

Very much a 'marmite' speaker, as has been stated.

Being on said auction site you can hardly audition them, possibly buy - try - sell on?
 

davedotco

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Al ears said:
All I know is the Heresey is compact by Klipsch standards. Both are highly efficient and could be well driven with low power tube amps.

Very much a 'marmite' speaker, as has been stated.

Being on said auction site you can hardly audition them, possibly buy - try - sell on?

The Heresey and Cornwall are, esentially scaled down Klipschorns, such as the La Scala.

Horn loading a 12 or 15 inch bass driver is impractical because of the size issue, so they are a nice, high efficiency bass driver in a reflex enclosure with similar compression driver mid and high frequency units as used in the full sized models.

It is a domestically more acceptable compromise on the all horn loaded 'bin and horn' theatre systems of the 1940s and 50s.
 

davedotco

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Al ears said:
All I know is the Heresey is compact by Klipsch standards. Both are highly efficient and could be well driven with low power tube amps.

Very much a 'marmite' speaker, as has been stated.

Being on said auction site you can hardly audition them, possibly buy - try - sell on?

The Heresey and Cornwall are, esentially scaled down Klipschorns, such as the La Scala.

Horn loading a 12 or 15 inch bass driver is impractical because of the size issue, so they are a nice, high efficiency bass driver in a reflex enclosure with similar compression driver mid and high frequency units as used in the full sized models.

It is a domestically more acceptable compromise on the all horn loaded 'bin and horn' theatre systems of the 1940s and 50s.
 

Benedict_Arnold

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Al ears said:
All I know is the Heresey is compact by Klipsch standards. Both are highly efficient and could be well driven with low power tube amps.

Very much a 'marmite' speaker, as has been stated.

Being on said auction site you can hardly audition them, possibly buy - try - sell on?

Only ones I'm seeing on that auction site are asking for virtually the same price as new, probably because people are being over-ambitious about their used value. Therefore I'd probably buy new and sell them on for at / near the new price if I didn't like them.

Heresy III speakers are US$1000 each, Cornwall III $2200 each, new on Amazon.

Seriously tempted, not least because they look a lot like my dad's old Wharfedales and because they're "squat" like I said. Big bass drivers seem attractive too.
 

lindsayt

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I heard Klipsch Heresy's compared to large vintage Tannoy Dual concentrics. Overall I prefered the Heresys due to their wide open midrange and treble with unfettered dynamics. They sounded significantly more alive than the Tannoys.

Don't underestimate the value of wide open dynamics. Which is what you get with high efficiency speakers with compression drivers and horns.

The downside of the Heresys is that they are very lean and unextended in the bass. So they need a lot of room reinforcement, or a couple of sub-woofers to give them a vaguely neutral tonal balance.

We tried the Heresys with a push pull amp and a SET amp. They sounded better with the SET. More detailed. More natural.

The Heresys with the SET amp and well recorded 1960's jazz album on a well fettered Garrard dished up a magical listening experience.

$2000 for Heresys / Cornwalls makes no sense to me. For that sort of money 2nd hand Klipschorns or Jubilees or Belles make more sense. Or go for Scalas for $1500 or less.

Also keep your eye out for Altec. They made a number of squat high efficiency speakers. EG Model 19's. The Altecs should give you the dynamics of the Heresys / Cornwalls with a smoother tonal balance. EV Sentry III's are also good squat speakers. And then there's JBL's. Biggest problem with JBL's is that they seem to attract premium pricing compared to equally good EV and Altec alternatives.
 

matt49

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lindsayt said:
$2000 for Heresys / Cornwalls makes no sense to me. For that sort of money 2nd hand Klipschorns or Jubilees or Belles make more sense. Or go for Scalas for $1500 or less.

Also keep your eye out for Altec. They made a number of squat high efficiency speakers. EG Model 19's. The Altecs should give you the dynamics of the Heresys / Cornwalls with a smoother tonal balance. EV Sentry III's are also good squat speakers. And then there's JBL's. Biggest problem with JBL's is that they seem to attract premium pricing compared to equally good EV and Altec alternatives.

I've been watching the 2nd-hand market for this kind of vintage speaker for a while now. I've yet to see anything that looks like a real bargain -- in the UK at any rate. Some of the pricing looks a little ambitious, for instance £6K for a pair of EV Patricians. Perhaps I've been unlucky or am looking in the wrong place.
 

Benedict_Arnold

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The downside of the Heresys is that they are very lean and unextended in the bass. So they need a lot of room reinforcement, or a couple of sub-woofers to give them a vaguely neutral tonal balance.

That worries me, especially if I am contemplating Cyrus or other sources of a similarly "detailed" nature. Unless I can audition them I guess I need to keep looking. Thanks for that insight. You probably saved me $2000 and a lot of earache (from the wife).
 

davedotco

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When mounted against the wall the Heresy bass is, to my ears, not lean at all but it does lack extension for a speaker of it's size.

There is a well known trade off between bass extension, sensitivity and enclosure size that is very difficult to get round and if you use the kind of lightweight bass cone that is the norm with these designs, deep bass is bound to be absent. The Heresy is built to be sensitive, high 90s dB/watt, but this is not going to extend into the deep bass region, personally I think it fairly well judged, the midbass is very good.

I used to have a pair of similar type speakers roughly 3x2x2 ft, roughly 9 cubic ft internal volume, the 15 inch bass driver was reflex loaded and the mid and high range units were highly sensitive compression loaded horns. The bass driver was limited to a modest 93dB sensitivity (in the bass region) but still produced little of note below 50hz.
 

lindsayt

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matt49 said:
I've been watching the 2nd-hand market for this kind of vintage speaker for a while now. I've yet to see anything that looks like a real bargain -- in the UK at any rate. Some of the pricing looks a little ambitious, for instance £6K for a pair of EV Patricians. Perhaps I've been unlucky or am looking in the wrong place.

£6k for fully working EV Patricians in good cosmetic condition represents a good purchase. They normally sell for significantly more than that.

With a nice £1250 SET amp I prefer them to c£60k's worth of Linn Klimax Exakt 350 speakers and amplification (more realistic bass, more extended bass, better low level detail, more wide open dynamic sound).

And the Patricians are likely to appreciate over time.

Every time I've contacted a Craigslist seller with good value hi-fi equipment, the seller has either not replied, or they've moved overnight from London to the Outer Hebrides!

The USA has enough good value classic speakers for sale. Especially of the type that Benedict is looking for.
 

Blacksabbath25

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Benedict_Arnold said:
davedotco said:
Well, not quite.

I have not heard a pair of either in a while, but compared to most modern speakers they are going to be very different.

The 'big bass driver and horn' type of design has a sound pretty much all its own, sensitive, dynamic and, at normal levels, virtually uncompressed, they can sound fantastic.

Non fans will point at factors such as uneven dispersion, cone breakup caused by running the woofers to too high a frequency and a characteristic 'horn' colouration in the mids and highs.

These are very definitely the kind of speaker you have to audition.

That description makes sense to me. I'm very wary. Kind of like stepping out of a 2015 Mondeo into a 50s Ferrari. Probably, although few would like to admit it, the Mundane-oh does most things much better....
nothing wrong with a mondeo I have one now now ! Lol
 

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