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Snell Type E/III or Type A/II?


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#1 Oktyabr

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:17 PM

Hi,

I've recently been bitten by the Snell bug. My first pair was a nice Type J/IV which I sold to "upgrade" to the highly touted Type E/III. I LOVE these speakers and they didn't cost a mint either! However I want to move up the aisle in vintage snell and have located a pair of Type A/II I could buy. Include the electronic crossover, all the original boxes, and receipts for $1800 worth of recent (last couple of years) mechanical overhaul including caps, surrounds and replacement snell drivers, where needed.

This pair of A/II will cost me a premium though, above what is listed as average "used" bluebook, and I may not get much opportunity to demo them beyond making sure they work correctly. My question is will the A/IIs be a significant upgrade to my E/III? I'm hoping someone out there will have experience with both models and will be willing to share?

Thanks in advance!

#2 lt_texan

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:02 PM

I bought some Type 1's and replaced my Type E/III's. That was a big upgrade.

Recently, the left fuseholder broke on the left Type 1. So I put the E/III's back in.

Well, oh my, did that remind me that the Type 1's were a big upgrade.

I expect the Type A's will be bigger still!!!
Snell Type 1's, EIII's and K's

#3 soundminded

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 02:05 PM

Hi,

I've recently been bitten by the Snell bug. My first pair was a nice Type J/IV which I sold to "upgrade" to the highly touted Type E/III. I LOVE these speakers and they didn't cost a mint either! However I want to move up the aisle in vintage snell and have located a pair of Type A/II I could buy. Include the electronic crossover, all the original boxes, and receipts for $1800 worth of recent (last couple of years) mechanical overhaul including caps, surrounds and replacement snell drivers, where needed.

This pair of A/II will cost me a premium though, above what is listed as average "used" bluebook, and I may not get much opportunity to demo them beyond making sure they work correctly. My question is will the A/IIs be a significant upgrade to my E/III? I'm hoping someone out there will have experience with both models and will be willing to share?

Thanks in advance!


I had an acquaintance who had AII and I liked them very much. I was sorry when he sold them. Had I known he didn't want them anymore I might have bought them myself. I think he got around $800. He used them with a Shure 400? cartridge which he said was a high end select V15 type V MR, A Technics 1200 turntalbe, and Spectrascan amplifier and preamp.

I liked their clear sound, especially the treble. They seemed to reproduce the tonality of pianos very well. The bass seemed good too. It was Peter Snell's best effort at the time. The next time a TOTL Snell came out, the AIII I think he had died already. The speaker has an interesting and peculiar coloration I liked very much which I didn't understand until many years later. It has a small piece of foam glued to the center of the front of the tweeter dome. I duplicated this sound accidentally while experimenting about 25 years after I'd last heard it. By my reckoning it is due to strong lateral room reflections in the range of 7 to 8 khz, stronger than output arriving earlier and directly. Some people claim this is a brittle sound. Having heard smaller less expensive Snell speakers, I was not usually impressed, I didn't find them particularly remarkable. I think AII uses a 10" Becker woofer, I'm not sure about what midrange or tweeter he used for that model. The phillips midrange with the octagonal frame was very popular with a lot of designers, it might have used that one.

IMO if you have the space and can afford it, It's a good choice.

#4 foo

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:47 PM

Hi,

I've recently been bitten by the Snell bug. My first pair was a nice Type J/IV which I sold to "upgrade" to the highly touted Type E/III. I LOVE these speakers and they didn't cost a mint either! However I want to move up the aisle in vintage snell and have located a pair of Type A/II I could buy. Include the electronic crossover, all the original boxes, and receipts for $1800 worth of recent (last couple of years) mechanical overhaul including caps, surrounds and replacement snell drivers, where needed.

This pair of A/II will cost me a premium though, above what is listed as average "used" bluebook, and I may not get much opportunity to demo them beyond making sure they work correctly. My question is will the A/IIs be a significant upgrade to my E/III? I'm hoping someone out there will have experience with both models and will be willing to share?

Thanks in advance!


I have the Snell A3i, the latest of that line and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I haven't heard the other A3's, but I expect the sound to be much the same: deeep and defined bass, the best midrange money can buy and clear highs bordering on steely. Matching of components is important here to subdue the somewhat hard treble. Im my case this was easily done by getting an Arcam CD player. On vinyl there is no problem in my setup (Rega P3).

I suspect the A3 is in a whole different league than your E's. Well - if you only play Nirvana, Metallica and the like, you might not gain too much, since the E's love to rock, while the A's are ok with it, but not overly enthusiastic.

But still - if these speakers have been refurbished, i would be a little careful. You need to check that all drivers are original. I have been told that the A1 and A2 have woofer surrounds that deteriorate with time (unlike the A3). The woofers are said to be hard to find, but essential to the bass of these speakers. The crossovers are also fine-tuned to the exact type of woofer. No replacement will do.

And if you also feel that the price is somewhat high for the speakers offered to you, I think I would wait for another pair to come along. I payed 1500$ for mine, and they are well worth it. I can't see any speaker, new or used, producing this level of high-end enjoyment for the price.

Have some patience, and you will find the perfect pair.




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