Klipsch Cornwall IV Review

If you love the vintage look of the Heritage series, you’ll fall in love with the Klipsch Cornwall IV the moment you see and hear them. Instantly. Tested at 7200 euros per pair.

By Andreas Eichelsdörfer

I first encountered this speaker at its premiere in November 2019 at the German HiFi Days in Darmstadt. It stood next to the mighty Klipschorn AK6, demonstrated by none other than Werner Enge, the Klipsch specialist par excellence. Alternating with the AK6, the brand-new Cornwall IV took its turn. I wasn’t particularly surprised that this gem of speaker design captivated not only me but also many other trade show visitors.

Even when asked about the price of over 7000 euros, most listeners didn’t even flinch. Compared to the AK6 at 20,000 euros, the Cornwall might seem like a bargain, but 7200 euros per pair is still a lot of money. On the other hand, as always with Klipsch, the buyer gets a lot of speaker for their hard-earned money.

Build and Design

Natural Cherry, Satin Black Ash, and American Walnut are available for the Cornwall’s cabinets. It looks best in Walnut and Cherry. The Heritage series has always been a treat for the eyes and ears. This is especially true for the imposing yet pleasantly simple Cornwall IV. As a genuine retro speaker, it is only available in veneered versions. Choices include Black Ash, American Walnut, and Cherry. I highly recommend one of the two wood versions, as they particularly highlight the speaker’s understated beauty.

In Black Ash, it becomes a black monolith, which is also elegant, but the wood look is superb. The iconic front grille perfectly complements the outfit. Whether to use the fabric grille is a tough question. Without it, it looks much more martial, almost intimidating. The silver-gray fabric appears more elegant and aesthetic. Either way, the Cornwall IV is a real eye-catcher. Oh, and the speaker is, of course, handmade in the USA.

Size matters – that’s how the comment from the measurement lab starts. There’s no replacement for displacement except more displacement. According to the measurement diagram, the speaker delivers a solid bass. The frequency response, remarkably linear for this horn configuration, is particularly noteworthy. The distortion spectrum shows a peak around 800 Hertz, but this only becomes noticeable at extremely high levels of about 100 decibels.

If you listen to the Klipsch at normal volumes, you won’t notice this even at high volumes and in larger listening environments. You will notice the high efficiency: the Cornwall IV can be driven well with lower-powered amps. Fans of tube amplifiers will appreciate this characteristic.

Sound Quality

As a fan of the Heritage series, I couldn’t wait to fully test the Klipsch Cornwall IV in our listening room. I already had a taste at the German HiFi Days 2019 in Darmstadt, and I really liked it there.

For a first test, even the iPhone will do, connected via Bluetooth to our reference player T+A MP 3100 HV. “Back In Black,” the superb album by AC/DC, was the perfect start. Unfortunately, I forgot to close the bunker-like door to our listening room, and the solid rock sound filled the entire stairwell, immediately attracting spectators. The Klipsch called, the listeners came. No one could resist the charm of the Cornwall IV, but I had to work. So, iPhone off, guests out, CD in, door closed! Now I was alone with the Cornwall and the new AUDIOphile Pearls Vol. 28.

Andrew Roachford’s soulful track “Too Much To Lose” kicked things off. It was a start that couldn’t have been better. The Klipsch swung and grooved wonderfully. Dynamically and very precisely, but never analytically, it presented the musical event clearly structured in the listening room. Roachford’s strong voice is already a highlight, but the midrange horn brought it even more to the forefront.

The slightly mid-centric tuning gave voices a great presence. This was also true for track 3, Suzanne Vega with “Marlene On The Wall,” a highly listenable live recording from her album “An Evening Of New York Songs And Stories.” The live atmosphere at the beginning of the track is almost an immersive sound experience. I didn’t know whether to be more delighted by the great song or the fantastic performance of the Cornwall IV.

The volume control mostly stayed in the first third – unbelievable how modest this speaker giant was. Finally, we treated ourselves to the CD track by guitar master Al Di Meola: his comprehensive interpretation of the classic “Till There Was You.” We experienced a straightforward reproduction, detailed, structured, precisely positioned, and with excellent soundstage. Conclusion: The Klipsch Cornwall IV is not just a musical speaker, it is a full-blooded musician.

MEASUREMENT LAB

The Cornwall IV consistently converts voltage into sound pressure with 92 dB/2V, resulting in the low AUDIO rating of 33. The frequency response is remarkably smooth for a speaker with two horns, only the midrange distortion could be better. There’s nothing to complain about the loud and deep bass (110 dB, 31 Hz/-6 dB).

IMPRESSIVE:

  1. The large baffle is well-utilized and richly equipped.
  2. From 5000 Hz, the high-frequency horn with a one-inch titanium diaphragm takes over.
  3. The wide baffle offers plenty of space for drivers and also shows acoustic advantages.
  4. Behind the modified Tractrix midrange horn works the new K-702 driver, providing finely resolved details with high dynamics. The massive binding posts perfectly match the high-quality impression the Cornwall conveys.

Competitors

  • JBL L100 Classic
    • Strengths: Rich and engaging sound, iconic design with Quadrex foam grille.
    • Design: Retro aesthetic with contemporary acoustic performance.
  • Monitor Audio Gold 300
    • Strengths: Detailed and balanced sound, ribbon tweeter, and robust build quality.
    • Design: Luxurious finish options with contemporary design.
  • Bowers & Wilkins 804 D4
    • Strengths: Diamond dome tweeter for high-frequency clarity and balanced sound.
    • Design: Modern and sophisticated design with premium materials.

Verdict

The Klipsch Cornwall IV is one of the most interesting models from the Heritage series. Still priced well below the 10,000-euro mark and sonically on par with much more expensive speakers. A must for lovers of live recordings!

10 Total Score
Recommended Klipsch Cornwall IV Review

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Klipsch Cornwall IV: Price Comparison

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Klipsch Cornwall IV Floorstanding Speakers in Natural Cherry
$6,598.00 5 new from $6,598.00
in stock
Amazon.com
Klipsch Cornwall IV Floorstanding Speaker - American Walnut
$6,598.00
in stock
Audio Advice
Last Amazon price update was: July 20, 2024 7:30 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Picking the RIGHT KLIPSCH Speaker!! Cornwall IV Review

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