Snell Type A Prototype...........
I just bought a pair of Snell A's of E-bay. They are serial number 7 and 8. I think they are prototypes. They are flat black and the grills life straight up to come off. They also don't say Snell and all the labeling is stickers with type writing on them. Oh, and the wire to the bass is a 1/4 inch guitar plug to an RCA!
What I can't believe is the sound..............FANTASTIC!
Anyone know anything about early Snell speakers? Are they collectors items?
Whether an item is a collector's item or not is relative. My mom collected everything but none of it was worth anything. But the Snell A's can be considered classics.
I only heard them in the Absolute Sound store in Detroit but from what I remember they were a good sounding speaker. They sounded warm and smooth, very "musical" with very good bass extension but needed a lot of power.
I'd say if you have the room and the means, they are keepers.
I got them for 550.00 on E-Bay. I'm running then with a Conrad Johnson Premier Eleven. They sound really good. I found another pair on Craiglist for 550.
Hi: Sorry to have arrived at this really interesting post a few years after the post!
So you do have an early Snell A version. As for value, tons for anyone who gets it but probably not a lot for the marketplace beyond what you paid. I am not surprised that they sound great. I do not have a guitar patch early set (never heard of one before this), but I have a set of all three A versions. All are just excellent speakers.
Hopefully you have kept them and will put a small letter on the back (in the event you meet an early end) telling someone in your family that they are not "for sale on a lawn in a yard sale" ever.
Peter Snell made these when audio accessories were almost non-existent. And that's a real benefit for any modern owner. The Type A manual reveals all of this and will make you smile. They were made and tested on lamp zip cord speaker wire. They can preform admirably on small amps. And you can push them against the wall and they sound great (not a feat many speakers handle at all).
You may want to turn the bass unit upsiode down and unscrew the baass unit to check the long-throw woofer's condition. Most need refoaming by now. Well worth the minimal cost and NEVEr replace the speakers in there. They are priceless and matched. On my two early units there are intiitials in these that show the final Snell employees names as to who hand-tuned the units. My basic Snell A and my A'IIs both have Peter's initials. I would be surprised if these early gems of yours do not as well.
I have always been amazed at how close to duplicating these unique, time-delayed A's Vendersteens and the B&W Nautilus series come in design. A glance through the top units grill cloth with a flashlight will show you this and make you smile.
Thanks for posting!
Snell Type A numbers 9 & 10
Sorry to have come to this thread late...........
I have Snell Type A's numbers 9 & 10. I'm the original owner.
For years I thought I had the oldest pair still in existence. When I bought these in Framingham, Mass. in late 1976, I was told these were the first pair for sale ever and that they were handmade by Peter Snell. It's ironic that the speakers I had before these were EPI 202's, also designed by the late Mr. Snell. Consistent!
They didn't have shipping boxes for the speaker at the time. My friend and I had to drive in an intense blizzard from Washington, DC (where I lived at the time) to Framingham and back in a panel van with the speakers wrapped in mover's blankets to bring them home in January, 1977.
They have the 1/4" to RCA jumper described above. They have the paper typed labels too.I had the woofers refoamed a number of years ago. The Snells did, and still do, sound exceptionally good.
I have been a mastering engineer for almost 30 years (Don Grossinger : Digital Mastering Engineer for CD, Vinyl) and now use these as my main monitor in my mastering chain. They are irreplaceable to me & my work. Every improvement in ancillary equipment has brought an improvement in their sound. I believe I have still to find out how good they really are.
I have run them with a Yamaha B-2 / Nakamichi 610 amp/preamp, a pair of Kinergetics KBA-202 monoblocks/modified MFA Magus C, and most recently a pair of Bel Canto M-1000 monoblocks with the MFA. I use Cardas Hexlink 5 interconnect and speaker cables.
I'd love to hear from other Snell lovers!
You are some lucky guys, I heard the type A at a show inthe eighties, driven by 20
watt valves amps, they played Jeff Beck live, when Jan Hammer played the low organ notes my chest resonated, but they did delicacy as well, I rekon they are in the top 5 speaker systems that I've ever heard and I've heard many.
I have Apogee Duetta signatures as my main system and Snell type J for my everyday
Wow, cool stuff! I used to hang out at a studio that had a pair of Snells upstairs. They must have either been #5 and #6, or the same speakers Uberpilot bought! I'm pretty sure Jeff bought them from Peter, not from Natural Sound.
I'll confess I was never that impressed by them, but it was hardly a fair audition. Every time I showed up there, someone immediately would drag me downstairs to hear their latest project, and I'm afraid compared to 30ips master tapes through the UREIs, LPs on the Snells always seemed a bit compressed and recessed. In retrospect, that's sort of sad.
I had the old version in several years. Famous for the cheap Philips midrange with the 6-sided basket (but what a sound) plus the now extinct Audax dometweeter.
Peter S. was a wizard - to bad Kevin Voecks nearly ruined it all after Peters dead.
It's a true keeper.
I just have to ad - with respect to C.Voecks, that he took over a nearly impossible job of making new models for the sake of the company's further succes.
I went to Framingham with Peter Qvortrup (AN) where Kevin showed the A Type II with a new midrange-unit (the Philips was unfortunately discontinued) and worst of all a 10" woofer with so much extra weight on the membrane to force it further down in frequency, that the poor thing hang low in the suspension after just a year.
Progress it was called - and PS probably rotated in his grave!
The original Snell E may not measure up to all the virtues, but it was - like Tapedog so rightfully write - a serious tool for professionals, and has given me more delightful goose-pimples than nearly all other loudspeakers I have had the pleasure to own.
I have a pair of type A's myself. I'm fighting a distortion problem in the mid/upper ranges. I've tried different cd players and different power amps and it's still there. Its down to either the preamp, ( Audio Research SP3A) or the speakers. Has anyone here heard of a distortion problem with type A's? Caps maybe?
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