Snell Type E/III loudspeaker Review System
Amplifiers included a Mark Levinson No.27 (used exclusively with the Quad ESL-63 USA Monitors) and a Krell KSA-250. In addition, I used a very inexpensive Lafayette Criterion SR 10A receiver, just to test Kevin Voecks's suggestion that the Snell Type E/IIIs could also perform with lesser electronics. The Quads and the Snell A/III's midrange/tweeter section were driven by the Levinson No.27 via 15' runs of Monster Cable. Because the two systems were bi-amplified, the Quad/Gradient subwoofer and the A/III's woofer section were driven by the Krell KSA-250 via HF10C Levinson speaker cables. The Quad system used its own Gradient crossover unit, using balanced interconnects; the Type A/III Improved speakers used a Snell-manufactured outboard electronic crossover with single-ended connectors.
Vinyl discs were played on a Linn LP-12 turntable with a Magnepan tonearm and a Yamaha M-1000 moving-coil cartridge; CDs were played on a Krell MD-1 CD turntable connected by standard interconnects to a Krell SBP-32X D/A converter. Other sources included the Day-Sequerra FM Reference, Onkyo TU-9090 II, Revox B-260S, and Magnum Dynalab Etude tuners. Preamplification was provided by a Levinson No.26 preamp with an internal moving-coil head amp and by a Krell KBL preamp. Analog interconnects included AudioQuest LiveWire Topaz interconnect cables and Krell Cogelco balanced leads.
My listening room provides less-than-ideal room-mode distribution. Measuring 13' W by 27' L, it has a semi-cathedral ceiling 12' high at its peak. The room's outer wall, in cross-section, is half an arch, reaching over to meet the other side wall, which is a straight line. The entire room, with a large 10' by 8' opening to the kitchen, the stairs, and upper hallway, represents over 4200 ft3. Its room characteristics are live rather than damped. This was felt to be a good test for the Type E/III, which is represented as an efficient loudspeaker, being 2.5dB more sensitive than the C/IV for the same input voltage.—Larry Greenhill