Snell AIIIi - Replace or keep?

I've got a pair of really good condition Snell AIIIi's that sound awesome. Only problem is they are huge and my apartment is not - getting rid of them would buy me serious points with my significant other. Right now I drive them with a krell ksa 200s, but I also have a 50s I sometimes swap in for a change. Someone is willing to give me $1200 for them, which seems fair. Only problem is once I get rid of them I need a good pair to replace them. Is there any speaker out there in the $1000 range that will sound as good - it's the lifelike quality of the snells I really enjoy - right now I'm listening to Sonny Rollins and it sounds like he's in the room. I think they just may be too big for my apartment. Any advice is much appreciated. thanks
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You won't even come close at $1,000...keep the Snell. You can use the Snells very close to the wall, and still get very good sound...that would get them somewhat out of the way?

Please keep them.

I have owned a pair of Snell AIIIi's since 1989. I now bi-amp them with BAT 6200 amp (400W into 4 ohms), FIM gold speaker cables, and Jena Labs Symphony IC's. They are placed 20" from the wall, with room acoustic material on the back wall. The cables and amp cost me 4 times as much as the speakers, but I would not trade this configuration for speakers costing tens of thousands. Jab and Dave are right. Their wide sound stage and musicality (particularly midrange) would be impossible to match in the sub $2000 price range. You may begin to get closer at around $10K and up.
You guys are telling me what I was afraid of hearing! I was kind of hoping someone would tell me I'd be lucky to get $1200 for them and should take the money and run. My apartment has a weird layout, but if I do a little reconfiguring they might be able to be up against the wall - they'd have to be about six feet apart and I would have to move a wall mounted cd rack, but it could be done I suppose. When I went to a stereo store by my house the guy tried to convince me that speaker technology has advanced and the snells were good for their day but have kind of been surpassed. They sound awesome to me, though. I tried hooking up some b&ws 602s I had kicking around in a smaller system, and they did not sound anywhere near as good (though admittedly those aren't in the same class, but given how much newer they were and the talk of technological advance I thought they might be close). That's what got me worried and caused me to reconsider getting rid of them. Would used Magnepan 3.6's for around $1000 be comparable? They would at least have a smaller footprint. And do I need to worry about the snell's age? I know nothing of how to repair things and snell doesn't do the repairs anymore apparently to the old type a's. Thanks again for any advice.
If you can buy Maggie 3.6's for a $1,000....DO IT! You can sell them at a very nice profit.

I'm obviously a bit unschooled in this stuff - after seeing Dave's post I went back to look at the details - I meant 1.6's - there's a big difference between those and the 3.6's I imagine.
Snell still repairs every speaker they have made. Last year the rubber rings around both 12 inch woofers dried out and fell apart. I sent the drivers to Snell and they had them re-coned (and doped by the same technician who had assembled them originally - his initials are inside the cabinet). This is the only driver that has to be re-coned. They have a replacement for all others. The replacement price list is on their website.
The guy interested in mine said his drivers fried and snell wouldn't do the repair on his earlier Type A III.
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Mainer8, can you give me the specs, including measurements of the Snells and what your new dimension requirements are.
Mainer8, The AIIIi and AIII have the same woofer driver. The difference is the front tweeter baffle - round vs square, and its crossover. The tweeter is the same, but in AIII it was off center. It is centered on AIIIi. The woofer re-coning costs $432 each, and takes about 3+ months. Perhaps, the guy interested in your AIIIi's may just want to buy your speakers rather than spend $900 in re-coning his drivers. The drivers are re-coned by one company is Massachusetts, and as far as I know, they are re-conable, as long as the original driver is made available. I just did that about a year ago.
Mainer8, A suggestion - Snell Type B's. A pair is currently for sale on A'gon for $1200. They are designed to go into the corners, and some preferred them to the Type A's.
Those Type B look nice but really the only issue is size, and those still look pretty hefty. I think my girlfriend is coming around to letting me keep them on the condition that I stop adding big pieces to my stereo system.
Considering WAF or GAF (girlfriend acceptance factor), I'm guessing there are three elements - size of cabinet, placement in room, and finish/design of the cabinet.

You have an advantage with two out of three. Because the Snell A series are designed for near wall placement, they do not intrude into the room as do most speakers. And in spite of their size, the Snell As I've seen had very good cabinet finish. Since you obviously enjoy your Snells, your girlfriend should be willing to accept one out of three factors, their size.

As for the Maggies suggestion, their footprint may be smaller but they must be placed well out into the room to perform to their best advantage. And with their height, can they really be considered a smaller speaker?

I'd keep what I have if I was you.
I have a good girlfriend - she saw that I was getting bummed out about getting rid of them and we came to compromise which involves me keeping the speakers. I have to move them to a less obtrusive place in the apartment (they're like 3 feet out from one of the walls kind of taking up the living room). It seemed like a reasonable compromise to me so I get to keep them. I never thought anyone would want them for what I was asking so I figured I could just say I had tried with no luck. Thanks for everyone's advice.
Glad it worked out. As Pryso mentioned...near wall placement is fine with the Snells.

I lusted for a pair of those many years ago. Without internet, in those days...finding used pairs, was not an easy task...if at all.

"The guy interested in mine said his drivers fried and snell wouldn't do the repair on his earlier Type A III. "

He is wrong! The only thing that is not available for the typeAIII is the tweeter or mid-range (cannot remember which one) but it be substituted with the "i" (improved) version.

Glad you came around to the right decision. I'm pleased with the fast & large response you received. The AIIIi's are older, but they are tough to beat. I doubt you could find a replacement that meets the smaller size need and still have something that sounds acceptable.

I have two pair of Type A' AI (actually a late model AI that equals the AII, per Mark at Snell) & a pair of AIII's. Snell will rebuild the woofers on any A or replace the smaller drivers if you need to. The bite here is that Snell is charging ALOT for the woofer rebuild...a stunning amount actually. I'll be having Tri-State Loudspeaker in Pennsylvania do my AIII woofers. Redoing the foams is something like $40, reconing & foams is less than $150, if memory serves. TriState has been highly recommended to me, though no doubt there are other good shops.

I know the specific midrange model numbers if you ever need them. The early A's had a Philips/Norelco driver. The AIII & AIIIi had a SEAS driver. Neither driver is commercially available, but they can be found in the aftermarket. I haven't nailed the tweeter's model numbers yet..if anyone knows please post or email me.

Vjay is can upgrade components all you want up front & the Snells will step right up...they won't be the weak link. I find this a great advantage as they are sort of a one-size fits all speaker, within the realm of 86dB sensitivity. The speakers themselves don't cost alot(my AIII's ran me $350 & need the woofers done, the AI/AII's ran me $550 with fresh woofers) & the money you would have spent on speakers can be invested in front-end of the best deals going. If you can afford 12-18 inches from the wall that's plenty to let them sing. Toe them in slightly and they'll dissapear. I set them up on a equilateral triangle(by sound alone until I measured the distances & they are all equal within a half inch). A tube pre & ample SS power is a good combo to drive them. Some say they are ugly...I've never thought so...form follows function...they are a loudspeaker after all. If they need to look like they do sound right it's OK by me. Speakers that look great, but sound medoicre are pretty useless.

Hold on to them, you won't be in the apartment forever. If/when you want to upgrade speakers then upgrade the A's wiring, crossover caps..etc. If you ever do want to replace them email me first & then listen to the new speakers for a while before actually getting rid of the Snells. Better to try new speakers and dump them than to dump the Snells and wish you had them back.
Thanks again for everyone's input. I am definitely keeping them. Fishboat - I may contact you in the future should the need arise. I think you are 100% right about keeping them and waiting to find another pair - I kind of thought all speakers I could get used for around $1000 would be more or less the same, but I think I was wrong about that.

There's lots of options used at $1000...the question is what were they going for when new(it gives you some indication, but not all) & how well were they thought of at the time , or now. I think you've found out how they were regarded then & now.

New the AIIIi's ran around $5300 more or less. Using the CPI and 1985(?) as a reference $5300 would be $10,000 today. Entertaining to think about at least.
I had the AIIIi for over 20 years....made by Peter...modified by Kevin....cost me over $20,000 to get a speaker to replace them...sold them to a neighbor...who still has them....they are great speakers...
These have been sitting in storage for almost 2 years now. I have some dali grand divas I've been using, but I still can't bear to get rid of the snells - they really sound awesome. I've been trying to figure out what I can get rid of to get these back in my condo, especially since my krell ksa 200s just got a complete overhaul and I can't wait to pick it up.