Minimum Power Needed to Drive Klipsch Cornwall IVs? - Considering Erhard_Audio Ray


I'm new to the the hifi world but have taken up the hobby with alacrity. I recently purchased a pair of Cornwall IVs to go with my Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum 2. At the time I purchased the speakers I had no idea what speaker sensitivity is. Now that I do, I realize that I have a lot of interesting options when choosing an amp. I have been toying with the idea of getting an Erhard-Audio Single-Ended Ray along with their Aretha pre-amp. The amp is only 4W/channel. I'm highly skeptical but I've been told that 4W is plenty to drive a 102db speaker and that the sound of an SE amp is amazing.

Wondering if anyone has experience driving Klipsch Cornwall IVs (or other high sensitivity speakers) with a low wattage amp. I'm also interested in experience with SE amps.

My system consists of the following:

Technics 1200G
VAS Nova cartridge
Rogue Audio Triton 2 phono pre-amp
Bluesound Node
Musican Pegasus DAC
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum 2

My room is 15' x 30' with 14' ceilings. It's a photo studio in an old mill. I'm often moving around so I need the sound to fill the space. BUT I've gotten noise complaints from my neighbors so...

Musical preference is all over the place. Today I'm listening to Dire Straits, Sturgill Simpson, Paul Simon, Miles Davis, Tycho, Post Malone, Taylor Swift, Michelle Gurevich etc.


@katokaelin -- just running back of the envelope numbers, if the loud end of your listening is 90 dB at one meter, you're looking at about one-eighth of a watt to achieve that.  The four watts would get you to 108 dB peaks.   So, from my perspective, the Erhard's power is not a problem for the listening levels you gave. The bigger issue will be whether you prefer the sound quality of the Erhard or like a different sonic signature.  If the seller has a return policy it would certainly seem worth a trial.

@mlsstl If a PP amp was being considered, what you say just above would be correct- but with no headroom. SETs, as I mentioned earlier, need to be used such that you only use about 20-25% of full power if you really want to hear what the amp is all about. Also as I mentioned earlier, if you push the amp past that level, distortion will cause the amp to sound 'dynamic'.

Once you know that, it messes with you a bit because you can make out the distortion (which is appearing on the musical transients).

Big rooms need power.   My 300b is working in it’s comfort zone driving my Forte in a 13 X 15 X 8 room     It will fall apart if I play it loud.  

My 40 w Quicksilver amps are a much better match if I were to listen loud but I don’t.    

Unlikely that any flea powered amp can give good results in that size room.  Stick with your Rogue for now , get a feel for the Cornwallis , then try a few quality , moderate to higher powered tube amps.   So important to try your next amp with your speakers.   Would be a shame to sell a good amp like the Rogue and make a lateral move.   



Ok. Lots of differing opinions here and I'm realizing that the only way to know for sure if the amp will work in my space, with my listening preferences, is to try it.  I'm willing to take the risk.  I'm putting together a stereo system in my living room at home which is considerably smaller so in the event it doesn't cut it in my studio I'll use it there.

The most extensive review of a flea watt amp with Cornwalls I came across in a Steve Guttenberg video reviewing the combination of Cornwalls with a 2wpc Decware amp.  He raves about the combination...

I will report back with my findings once I receive the amp in a couple months.

Thanks for all the feedback!