Old school shootout: Snell A/III vs. Original B&W 801

I miss Snell so much, especially the A/III.  Amazing imaging on and off axis and bass that made you think they could pop your room apart like a balloon.

Along this time the original B&W 801s also were making the rounds, and ... I'd still take Snell every time.

One of the weird combos that was popular was Audio Research + B&W and man, I hated that combination.  It was so gutless and lean.



I can’t agree with you more. The A’s we’re so right for the time. After about a year, I horse traded them for a pair of Ohm F’s which were a whole different can of worms!

Collector Jason will let us know if they actually hold up.

Some day.

If he hasn't been tainted by memory.

I managed an Audio store in 1980 and we carried the Snell Line. I ordered the Snell crossover designed for the type A and bi-amped them with a Threshold Stasis ll on bass and the Stasis 3 for the upper midrange and high frequencies. Dialing in that cross over. Wow. I kick myself for not buying a pair of those and as a retailer you had an employee purchase program which enabled you to buy them at half of retail. Wish I made more money back then.

In Boston we had a radio show called Shop Talk on WBUR that was the model for the much more widely known Car Talk. It featured a psychiatrist audiophile and a physicist playing the romantic music lover vs the hard-headed objectivist. The shrink had double KLH 9s and Marantz 9s at home but the objectivist had Snell As and Apt Holman amps in vertical biamp in his home. I was present for a listening session with a mutual friend who recorded local orchestras with a Revox A77 and DBX NR, live feed to 2 channel with no compression (beside the compander).

Memorable. The source material was far superior to LPs and the speakers sounded magnificent, full bodied and tonally true.