Cornford Harlequin - Baby Komet Constellation

mrmojorisin

Member
Messages
1,332
I just got a Cornford Harlequin in a swap deal. I am struck by how close the voicing is to the Komet Constellation I used to have. Same fat squishy tone, with that low mids emphasis and voicing, with plenty of gain on tap. I really had no idea when I pulled the trigger on this, but if you asked me to imagine what a "baby" Komet Constellation would be I'd tell you - after playing the Harlequin - that its a Harlequin!

I went to the Cornford website and ran through the Harlequin clips they have there and sure enough - in retrospect admittedly - you can hear the similarities to the Constellation.

Thought folks out there that dig the Komet Connie, but at times longed for a lower volume version for quieter times, would appreciate hearing this observation.

Anyone else out there ever own both a Connie an a Harlequin and care you give their two cents?

Carl
 

Blueser

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,794
Carl,

I thought that the Harlequin sounded thinner than the Constellation. I actually thought the Hurricane came closer in tone to the Constellation. It is a really great amp, but it is $2200, and is 20 watts, so its not exactly a bargain basement piece, but a very versatile amp (has reverb and a loop), and sounded incredible when I played it. In addition, it had a great master volumes, so you were able to get those tones at very low
volumes. If you are ever in NYC, head over to Music Zoo. Tommy is a Cornford dealer, and has most of them in stock at all times!

B
 

mrmojorisin

Member
Messages
1,332
Blueser,

I agree that the Harlequin through the 1x12 combo cab with a Vintage 30 sounds a bit thinner than the Connie. However I replaced the V30 with a vintage G12H30 55Hz and that closed the gap really quick. I also tried it through a 2x12 open back cab with Celestion Blues and that too sounds awesome.

The V30 has a hollow midrange to my ears which I think contributes to the thinner sound of the stock configuration, as doe the 1x12 format.

When you had a Harlequin did you experiment with different speakers and cabs?

Carl
 

pureoldsound

Member
Messages
749
I listen to both Cornford amps clips and compared them to the Constellation. I think the Harlequin may have some of the lead flavor that the Constellation has, but to my ears sounds a bit thinner. You know I would compare the Hurricane more with the Komet. I thought the Komet it was more round sounding and smooth, and that is what I can appreciate about the Hurricane. It has a silky type of sound, were as the Constellation can be smooth but not that smooth a bit more raw(I guess that is why I like that amp).

I thought all 3 amps are $$, but MSRP of $1499 for 6W ouch! $2500 for the 20W…I save up an extra $500 for the Constellation and I get 10 more watts. Although $3000+ for 30W still $$$...
 

Fretmaster

Member
Messages
2,179
I owned a Harlequin for a couple years and still own a Constellation and to tell truth I find the comparison of the two remote at best. They are both capable of very overdriven tones but the comparison ends there IMO. My Constellation has about 100 times the headroom of the Harlequin which had virtually no headroom or clean sound to speak of. The Constellation has gorgeous cleans. The Constellation is far more responsive and dynamic and far less compressed than the Harlequin. Now having said all that comparing the Constellation to the Harlequin is vastly unfair to start with in my book. It's like comparing a top fuel dragster to a Mazda Miata. Both are incredibly fun but designed for two completely different intents. But aside from any comparison I feel the Harlequin is a killer amp based on it own attributes and intents. It was designed to be a studio amp mainly for recording or achieving searing hot lead tones at studio volumes levels. And for that it is damn good. And in the mix she really stands out and sounds much bigger than her watts for sure. The best I can say about the Harlequin is that she was a pile of fun to play!! You could put on your favorite CD or backing tracks and jam your butt off playing solos all day long at room volumes getting some of the hottest lead tones you could imagine and when you where done your ears didnt' ring for the next two days straight and most importantly you didn't feel like you were really compromising your tone to do it.:dude
 

Fretmaster

Member
Messages
2,179
Originally posted by Timster
I don't think you can really compare amps with just clips..

just my opinion
typically I would agree simply because there are so many other factors to be considered from your own playing style to your periferrals. But having owned both these amps I do have to say that the clips on both site are some of the best I've heard at representing their respective amps. I you like the clips of either of these amps you are most likely going to really dig the amp IMO. Of course how well any amp is going to work for you can only come from playing it with your own hands, guitar, cabs, speaker, etc.
 

mrmojorisin

Member
Messages
1,332
Originally posted by Fretmaster
My Constellation has about 100 times the headroom of the Harlequin which had virtually no headroom or clean sound to speak of. The Constellation has gorgeous cleans. The Constellation is far more responsive and dynamic and far less compressed than the Harlequin.
No doubt the Connie has a lot more clean headroom...you'd expect this for a 30 w amp compared to a 6 watt amp, or even an 18 watt amp for that matter. But I am finding I can get beautiful cleans out of the Harlequin - I mean pristine - and at a volume consistent with what I'd expect given the overall volume level of the amp.

I also don't find the Harlequin to be more compressed than the Connie, and you know I am not a fan of compression. Sure, if you peg everything on the Harlequin it compresses quite a bit...so does the Connie (if your ears live to tell about it). Apples to apples, with both amps set for a similar level of gain/overdrive, I am actually hearing less compression in the Harlequin.

Having said all this, I must point out that I am using a Mullard 7189 (hi power EL84) and two Amperex Bugle Boy 12ax7's in the Harlequin.
 

57special

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,804
Originally posted by pureoldsound
I listen to both Cornford amps clips and compared them to the Constellation. I think the Harlequin may have some of the lead flavor that the Constellation has, but to my ears sounds a bit thinner. You know I would compare the Hurricane more with the Komet. I thought the Komet it was more round sounding and smooth, and that is what I can appreciate about the Hurricane. It has a silky type of sound, were as the Constellation can be smooth but not that smooth a bit more raw(I guess that is why I like that amp).

I thought all 3 amps are $$, but MSRP of $1499 for 6W ouch! $2500 for the 20W…I save up an extra $500 for the Constellation and I get 10 more watts. Although $3000+ for 30W still $$$...
Komets are a bargain, then!
$100 /watt compared to the Harlequin's $250/watt
And SVT's are real cheap!
 

Blueser

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,794
Originally posted by mrmojorisin
Blueser,

I agree that the Harlequin through the 1x12 combo cab with a Vintage 30 sounds a bit thinner than the Connie. However I replaced the V30 with a vintage G12H30 55Hz and that closed the gap really quick. I also tried it through a 2x12 open back cab with Celestion Blues and that too sounds awesome.

The V30 has a hollow midrange to my ears which I think contributes to the thinner sound of the stock configuration, as doe the 1x12 format.

When you had a Harlequin did you experiment with different speakers and cabs?

Carl
Carl,

I didn't own the Harlequin. I played it in the shop numerous times through both the internal V30 in the combo, and the 4x12 Cornford cab also loaded with V30s. I never tried it with different speakers, and I am sure they will make a huge difference, but once the Hurricane arrived at the store, I never touched the Harlequin again! I really dig the Hurricane. That said, I really didn't think either of them had the same harmonic richness of the Constellation (again, speakers, and tube tweaks could certainly make a big difference), but they were still outstanding sounding amps.

B
 
Messages
728
Having played both of these amps extensively ( I had the 1st
Harlequin in the US, which I believe ended up with Mickey G)
I can honestly say that IMO these two amps are not even
remotely related tonewise. They are 2 totally different beasts.
Personally I would rate the Komet as a far superior amp in terms
of build quality. In terms of tone, well to each his own, it is
totally a matter of preference for the end user. I personally
found the tones of the Komet to be much richer. I do not
own either amp at present. The Harlequin cost me next to nothing
me as Corford really wanted to get one here to be exposed to
certain players whom I was working with. It didn't last a week
before it was sold. The Komet was not mine but spent a fair
amount of time in my studio and I certainly put it through it's
paces. I happen to prefer the Komet 60 over the Constellation,
but thats just my preference. They are both wonderful amps.

The Corford clips are probably some of the best on the web,
but you cannot judge an amp by soundclips. You need to play
it, and if it applies, record with it and than you will have some
info on which to base an opinion or decision.
 

sundaypunch

Member
Messages
2,615
Originally posted by 57special
Komets are a bargain, then!
$100 /watt compared to the Harlequin's $250/watt
And SVT's are real cheap!
I'm first in line for the upcoming $500 Komet 5-watter :dude
 

trisonic

Member
Messages
13,152
Unfortunately Hogy doesn't seem to like any amp below 30 watts!

I wished they would do a AC15 type amp with Vibrato, Tremelo and Reverb!
I really believe that would be a good fit for Komet.
But what do I know?

Best, Pete.
 




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