I found a pair of Snell type A speakers at an estate sale the owners agreed to $250 for the pair. They say the speakers work. They look in decent shape. Is that a good price assuming they are working and a follow up question. I see they show a 4 Ohm input; will my mid-level Denon AVR-X3300W power them?
Problem with the Snell A's is the foam woofer surrounds deteriorate over time. They will still work but will have little to no bass! Turn the bottom cab over and remove the base cover. You can then see and probe the foam surround to check its condition. Do this on both speakers. Chances are that both surrounds will need replacement. This can be done for a reasonable cost. $250 is certainly a bargain price for the A's - which originally cost $1390 in 1977 - and $4900 in 1985 for the AIII's.
I repaired a friend's AI's by replacing the original 10" woofers with a pair of 10" AR woofers (from a pair of AR 2A's). Rubber surrounds that will not deteriorate, unlike foam! My repair was successful. His AI's sounded great!
I thought I had the lowest price paid for the Snell A's. Paid $400 + shipping $400 (four boxes from CT to FL) USPS. From the original owner (deceased) - who bought them from Audiocom (Old Greenwich, CT), where I used to work back in the late Seventies!
If your Denon receiver can handle 4 ohms, then yes! Though the A's do benefit from more power. The sole dealer in CT, Audiocom, used a GAS Ampzilla to demo them. But they will sound fine with just 50 watts!
The Snell Type A can go right against the wall. A good friend of mine still has his originals. He is powering them with an older ARC tube amp and they still sound as good as they did when brand new. He had his original Type A updated about a year after he bought them. He and I brought them up to Newburyport, MA in his pickup for the updates and we met Peter Snell. He gave us a tour of the factory. On the way back home, we ate at Hilltop Steakhouse. We had a complete steak dinner with 1 pound Porterhouse steaks, large salad, baked potatoes, and beer and I believe each meal less the beer was under 9 or 10 dollars. It was truly a great day
I see where Snell sells the individual woofers for $275.00. I do like roberjerman's idea of replacing the woofer with a speaker that has a rubber surround...Anyway, when I pick them up 30 June I will see what they need, if anything.
@billgjr : I already had a nice pair of 10" woofers with rubber surrounds that I took from a trashed pair of AR 2's. They were a perfect drop-in fit for my friend's Type A's. Both the Snell and AR woofers had the compliance for a sealed box. So I figured why not try them out? The swap worked and sounded great! My friend was very happy!
Some of the later versions of the Type A's used 12" woofers. You will have to check. I haven't examined my pair yet (not in use at present). But I do have a pair of KLH Six's with 12" woofers that might fit! I recommend you get replacement woofers with rubber surrounds or have the originals repaired with rubber - NOT foam!
Well, I got them, hooked them up and they sound terrific. I’m wondering how to take the speaker grill off and see what it’s gonna take to replace the fabric on the top section. Gonna look around Baton Rouge / New Orleans to see if a shop can tune them up as needed. I will remove the bottom piece of wood to look at the woofers.
Just as I thought! Age ruins foam! Do what I did: get a pair of 10" woofers with rubber surrounds. Mine came from a trashed pair of AR 2's. They fit perfectly in my friend's Type A's. He was very happy with the result!
I found a place that will re-foam the woofers. Two more questions. 1: How do I know if the spider needs to be replaced. It looks ok. and 2: what is the soft white gasket material (like plumbers putty) that is between the metal speaker frame and where it screws to the wood cabinet? Thanks much.
Boys, you can't just swap speaker drivers will nilly just because they may fit. Well, actually you can, but the speakers won't sound the same or as the designer intended. The xovers were designed for a specific dynamic woofer driver. Substituting a different unit will almost certainly work (in the broadest sense of the word) but it won't be optimal. Unless you are talking about vintage Tannoy or Altec drivers, exact replacements are usually not expensive, especially used. And substituting non-original parts is going to make your restored speakers hard to sell and/or lower the value for resale.
Do not look for any 10" driver to replace the Snell 10." Diameter is just one of MANY operating parameters that matter and the chance that another random 10" driver will reasonably match those other characteristics is close to zero. If the foam edge has deteriorated (the most common problem with age), you need to get that edge replaced, either doing it yourself or having someone do it for you. There are plenty of kits out there, for example, Simply Speakers has a Type A kit for $25 a pair. This is an iconic speaker that still performs very well, so there are plenty of repair options out there.
The Snell’s sound good since I had the woofers re-foamed. Someone recommended that I power them with a separate amplifier and let the Denon AVR-X3300 power the rest of surround speakers. Any ideas for an amplifier for a small budget? Thanks again for all your advice.