Cornwall IV vs. Volti Rival, Razz; Razz v. 1, 2, 3 -- what changed?

Looking for efficient speakers. I had the opportunity to listen to a Cornwall IV yesterday. It was run on nice tubes (Primaluna 400 EL34s) with a bluesound node streamer/dac.

QUESTION: I'm curious if anyone has compared CW IV with Volti Rival of Razz. Thoughts?

QUESTION 2: Anyone know what changed in the Volti Razz when it moved from v. 2 to v. 3?



@hilde45 ,

I found another pair of speakers I like slightly better. At least I think I do. I still think the Cornwalls are very good speakers. I wasn’t looking for speakers just kinda popped up. 

Post removed 

Lots of great responses in this thread and interesting comparison feedback. Nice!

What I dont see however is a budget limit. One gets discussed and another speaker beats the last one mentioned, and we ramp up from $6-7k speakers right up to $20k speakers. Bring on the $25-30k horns before we know it.

You see this same upward spiral develop on $800 Magnepan threads that evolve into Sanders and then triple the price Soundlabs, and it keeps going to the moon, then Mars and Jupiter into the galaxy, LOL.

Keeps going up-and-up!:

I’m not a horn guru or anything but helped a buddy on a design to build three pairs of Altec Onken model replica speakers for him and two of his friends. It started out as a reasonable budget speaker pair design. Well that went out the window quickly too. Then he went back and resigned and completely rebuilt the crossovers a few times, all original drivers to start. Nope, then up another level there too - then on to Great Plains reconditioned drivers. This project reminds me of finding the best speaker we can with a budget set limit. Without a budget limit set, these purchases and projects can feed into themselves and get completely out of control, good grief. Then looking back spending 3-5x of what we started with in the beginning. Oh well, nobody ever said audio-foolery fun was cheap to do, lol.

Price Ranges:

It might be fun to read a thread with horns let’s say "best overall value" in the $4-5k range. Then $5-7k, best for $10k, best for $15k range, best for $20k range. Heck, bring on the $30k horns an up. Start shopping for a new Mustang and end up with a new Porsche Carrera payment. Good grief, and so it goes.

@hilde45 if some of these top out for ya, might as well throw some of the Great Plains Audio builds into the mix too if interested in something custom designed and built too in between some of these. Would likely need to find a regional-local person to listen to them if anyone in your state has built them. I’ve heard them a few times, can be nice too! Just another option as this spirals upward and outward!


I'm just here to say that I'm still thrilled with my Rivals. A buddy came over with the 12" 45 rpm of "For Those About to Rock" and the Rivals may have cracked the foundation. :)  And the mids! The screaming mids! And the lows - the highs were there of course.

Then we put on the MFSL of Beck's Sea Change at a more reasonable volume level and the sound was just as impressive with a nicer more euphoric sound and sound stage.

Then back to hard rock to STP and the volume back up.

Then to Elton's Funeral for a Friend - Speakers Corner vs. UK OG DJM, one after another. 

After that side 2 of a tri-color, Santa Maria of Axis Bold as Love and back down to a more reasonable voulme and WOW -= there is some magic ferry dust in that pressing. The 3D / sound stage was on another planet.

More to follow after that and it was permagrin for 3 hours until my wife came back from her hair appt and power off.

I've never heard a Klipsch Heritage so I can't make that comparison but what I can say that I still look forward to every listening session like it is an event. And it is.

Cornwall IV are decent in stock form but not great, IMO. However, if you’re willing to put some effort and $1,500 or so into them, they become great. Change out the capacitors and resistors in the xover according to the Don Sachs recipe in the long thread thread on this board. Damp the horns and woofer baskets with Dynamat or similar. Upgrade the binding posts to WBT NextGen. None of these mods is complicated or difficult if you can solder and desolder. Because I have a hardwood floor, I adhered Herbie’s Giant Gliders to the bottom corners with carpet tape. Altogether it was maybe 15-20 hours of work because I’m slow, hyper-careful, and minimally skilled.

If I had not done these mods, I would have returned the speakers to MD precisely because of the criticisms mentioned in this thread. Highs were a little aggressive and ragged, tonal balance was tilted up while the bass was inarticulate. I was not satisfied at all. After the mods, combined with a good 300B amp, I have no criticisms worth mentioning. I swap in two other amp/speaker combos into this system, both costing much more. The CW/300B combo is my fav.

It’s weird to buy new speakers and have to perform surgery for them to become acceptable (at least to me). I definitely get that. The Voltis might be as good or better out of the box. But I love these speakers now. They do everything I want in a horn/SET system without going too huge.