Anyone pairing Cornwall IVs with solid state amplification to good results?

Because I have an obsessive need to try out all sorts of gear, I paired my Cornwall IVs with a nice Marantz PM KI Ruby integrated.  What surprised me was I actually liked a Class D design at a "reasonable price" and the resulting sound is more than livable.  It's a great pairing. 

There's little chance I sell off my tube museum of gear and valves, but this experiment was a pleasant surprise.  I have now tried them with push pull EL 34, KT88/KT120, KT150, 300 B, and Class A solid state, and Class D solid state. 

Any of you out there in hifi land using a solid state amplifier with Cornwall IVs or a horn loaded speaker to great effect?   I am appreciative to hear your experience. 


@bjesien , YES!!!  You not playing around. That is one capable integrated. 

question—What’s your experience like with that amp? 

I’m curious as to when you got, for what setup, what you like it with the CWIVs.  I know you may be busy so no worries if you can’t comment. 

For $349 the new Topping PA5 integrated amp can’t be beat! Class D 48/83 wpc @8/4 ohms. Will do 100+ watts at clipping. Why spend more?


Because some people actually care about how their music sounds.

Because some people have champagne taste AND champagne budget.

Because it’s their money and they want something better.

This list could be longer….


I was only offering a low-end suggestion. I would be happy to use a Topping PA5 in place of one of my high-end amps! I can confidentially bet that the PA5 can go 15 rounds with any high-end amp! 

Mr Bourne have you heard your recommendation with horns or the speakers in question?  

Also, Mr. B, what are your high-end amps that the Topping PA5 sounds as good as or that you would at least be happy with per your post?  

You have me intrigued. 

Ozzy62, how does your Allnic sound with your La Scales? --Sorry if off topic. :)

The Parasound JC1+s sound killer on horns. Actually, they sound killer on just about anything. The sound is airy and effortless. Sweet might be another way to describe it. They sound like very powerful tube amps but with great bass. Although the price is up to $18K they still qualify as the best value in a high performance, high power amplifier. 

I bet Atma-sphere amps would do well on horns. I have not heard them drive horns but Ralph Karsten uses horn loudspeakers. They are not SS but a very different kind of tube amp without output transformers. 

Thanks @mijostyn . I have never heard the JC1 and really want to. Thank you!

Atmas-phere is on my list to try with these someday too,


PS. I have always admired your media room and your woodworking skills. :)

A big plus one on JBH's comment. A bit of your talent and equipment would've come in handy in my audio journey!

Best regards,


I can confidentially bet that the PA5 can go 15 rounds with any high-end amp! 

and what has led you to be so confident?  If you can make that comment then you MUST have tested it a/b against other amps. When I heard that thing it was as sterile and lifeless as can be. 

@blkwrxwgn , AGREED.  

Maybe I'm in the mid-January doldrums up here in gray Chicago, but I'm growing tired of the drop in posts that are all over the place.  



@jbhiller probably a disciple of ASR, there was a super long discussion on the site talking about how great that amp is.  Still no need for blanket ridiculous statements.

I had been using a Pass XA25 until I received the First Watt SIT 3. I think this is  great combo. It’s so organic and seemingly built around a lush mid Range. The Bass isn’t bad either…it’s very ballsy, not near as fast as the Pass, but still hard hitting. I’ve been obsessed with listening to Eric Clapton’s unplugged and Lady in the balcony. It’s beautiful.

Upstream is a Coincident Statement and a BorderPatrol SEi. Upstream a blusound node 2i, probably the next upgrade.

if your into clean and clinical, this ain’t your thing, but you wouldn’t have Klipsch speakers either. It’s just lush and gorgeous. I’m addicted




The Allnic is a great sounding amp. I actually had it before the LS II so I had it paired with the CW IV, which sounded great also. I replaced a Don Sachs pre/Aric Audio amp with the Allnic.

Thank you jbh and Dan. Unfortunately, sometimes things backfire. My wife liked the new cabinet so much she just spent my Trinnov Amethyst money on furniture. Actually, two Trinnov Amethysts on furniture. The old furniture was the wrong color. I now own stock in the Ekornes company. 



Try the LSA Voyager 350 GaN amp, afterwhich, you might be having a used amp sale

Great responses. 

@coachpoconnor , the Pass XA25 needs to be in the system at some point.  I have a black Blusound Node 2i that I only used for about 6 months before I built a Roon NUC Rock endpoint.  I don't have the box.  PM me if you want to buy it. It's just sitting here.  PS I have Blusound devices throughout the house--just not in my music room anymore. 

@ozzy62 ,  I remember you had a Don Sachs.  That Allnic is beautiful.  Do you feel you're off the upgrade carousel?  I would think it will be difficult for you to do much better.

@mijostyn , your built in is super impressive.  I am envious Sir!  You should be very proud. 

@tweak, I would try that GaN amp.  I may sell some stuff to finance trying one.  

@bjesien , I really respect what they aim to do on ASR.  I tried a couple of their top rated DACs (I think one was Topping and the other I know was SML or something).  Both sounded crystal clear and super for the money.  But, neither sounds as good as my Doge Tube DAC or Marantz Ruby SACD/DAC when streaming.  The sound was not 3D, the soundstage was like a letter box.  Everything sounded clean and clear but it was jammed in to a letterbox size soundstage.  20 years ago those DACs would be amazing.  Today, I think they are B+/A-, which is awesome for the money.  But they are evangelistic in their commitment to them on ASR. To each, his/her own. 



In another 30 days, I'll reinstall the Pass XA-25 and make a final evaluation, but as I feel right now, the sound of the SIT-3 is more "tubey", and definitely my favorite. The First Watt F-8 would be another outstanding choice.

As to the Bluesound Node 2i, I was meaning to say, it's on the way out. The weakest link in my system. My Bluesound 2i might make its way upstairs or the Golf Course Pro Shop.

@coachpoconnor , HA!  Yes, the Node was my gateway into quality streaming.  It's not hard to best it, and it can mate well with a bona fide stand alone DAC.  I built an Intel NUC Roon Rock endpoint--just followed Roon's directions. And it was a huge step up feeding the same DAC that the Node did.  

Your comments on the SIT-3 are exactly what I was looking to hear.  I may give that a try. 

I will say the Marantz Ruby integrated is wonderful sounding.  The presentation is really nice and it has good 3D soundstage.  I'm just very curious to play with SS amps now as I've had a good 5-6 tube amps in here with the CWall IVs.  

@jbhiller I don't know about ASR or the rest, you may have mixed me up with another poster. 

I owned the Coda while I was on a speaker binge last year. I wanted to try a few speakers _CW4, Spendor D7 and Gershman. I found the Coda to be neutral, textured without being bright, had great musical flow (PRAT) and large scale sound while still being subtle. Great transparency. Warmish or neutral without loss of detail, fast without the shiver. In my opinion it was better than an el34 and el84 amps I tried or heard.

I'm not crazy about the front panel of the CSIB, mainly the fact that all the lights stay on when you power the amp down, but it's an amp that I would own again and I would even say I regret selling at times. I shipped in from New England to California (where it seems most gear goes) and the volume display and the bottom plate were damaged in transit. It's heavy and packaged well but shipping is horrible these days. Coda fixed the issued for around $275 (very reasonable). 

I've never heard the Pass Labs. I wish they had a presence in the northeastern part of the US.

@bjesien , Yes you are right!  I need more coffee today.  I was referring to @blkwrxwgn . Please excuse that.