Snell Acoustics Type D/IV Floorstanding Speakers

4.75/5 (32 Reviews) MSRP : $1800.00


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Reviews 1 - 5 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ulisse a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2009

Bottom Line:   
After owning for 7 years B&WCDM7 loudspeakers I became tired of their sound: after changing the other gears of my chain (Preamplifier, signal cables, CDP) the sound did’t become better as I expected: the B&WCDM7 sound good (enough warm and detailed, maybe lacking in bass) but are not very transparent, they don’ t change a lot their sound as you change other pieces of your chain. So about 1 year ago I decided to substitute them with more transparent speakers, but I had not over 1300 euro to spend (about 1600 USD), so I began to search in the second-hand market.
In the following months I tried some different speakers (Sonus Faber Grand Piano, Proac studio 140, Proac D25, Advance Acoustics UM40, Thiel CS1.6, and other speakers by Mission, Tannoy, B&W). I loved the D25 but they were too expensive for me.
Finally I found these Snell type D in perfect condition for 1100 euros (maybe in the U.S. it’s expensive but here in Italy a bargain). They are sooooo transparent: as you change the preamp, the source, the power amp, a power cable, as you put on a different CD, the Snell D begin immediately to reveal the difference.
But at the same time they have a precise personality. In every situation the bass is incredibly beautiful: deep, definite, articulate but full and solid like a rock. The other frequencies are all very natural and transparent, with a lot of air between the instruments (if the rest of your chain is good), and all the frequencies are well amalgamated, without any hole or coloration. The ultra-highs are very extended and sweet, and the rear double silk-dome adds a lot of 3D effect into the music.
They sound big: the sound is full and complete, and fills your room all around the speakers, they disappears from the stage: a soundstage that’ s really amazing, deep, precise, realistic (ever if your chain is good). In a word they are transparent, they change but their personality is solid and strong.
They are an easy load: my power amp pass Labs Aleph5 (60wpc but NO high current, they don’ t love difficult speakers) plays loud with a plenty of energy, much more than f.e. with Souns Faber or Mission loudspeakers.
At first hearing the Snell D may seem a little cold-sounding (I became from 7 years of warmth-coloured B&W, but I didn’ t knew it was a coloured sound…). But after few days of listening I get used to their beautiful and big sound and now I didn’ t never go back to B&W, Sonus Faber or Thiel. Yes, Proac D25 are beautiful but they cost 3 times the Snell type D.
I guess that today you must spend 3.000 USD or more to have a similar sound and built quality.
The only negativity: they are not very beautiful, quite encumbering wit a bad W.A.F., my wife is not very pleased with them.

STRENGHTS: sound transparency, amazing bass and soundstage, smoothness and naturality

WEAKENESS: Weight and dimensions, but if you want a big sound....


my chain:
Philips 963SA
NAD 1155 preamp
Pass Aleph 5 power amp
MIT Shotgun S3 signal cable
KIMBER CABLE cables for speakers

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fresco a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Have been keeping this speakers for 12 years now. This Type D is just stunning and never think of changing it now.

I have listened to Thiel cs 1.6, JM lab, revel f32, sonus faber cremona, usher recently and snell type D just beat them all. Those speakers just didnt catch my attentionafter listening to snell type D. I use aragon 8008 for the amp and musical fidelity a3cr for preamp. But later I use BAT VK-60 as the amp and WOW!! Incredible. The sound is clearer and the bass is round and solid. This type D is just hard to beat.(no joking). Try the song "Hotel california" by eagle and you will know why its bass is the best. Try Norah jones songs, and you will know why it has a natural flat sound. Even the current kevin voecks design dont perform as good as his older snell design except its revel salon.

You never know how good this type D is until you listen to it. Sure, the cremona has a good airy and silky sound but thats it. Snell type D beat them in every aspects.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Oregon



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by R.S. a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 1, 2006

Bottom Line:   
These are very fine speakers. I would recommend a tube amp or preamp, because these babys will really extend the details.

We'll start with the bass. Positioning is very important.Too close to the walls, and they will be a bit boomy. Bring them out a couple of feet from the back wall and you will not hear better sounding bass coming from 8" woofers. I've never heard the bass drums sound more distinct during the crescendo at the end of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 than with these speakers. Great bass separation.

The best mids i've ever heard were from a pair of critically acclaimed JBL Ll110s from the mid/late 1970's. The timbre from the Snell Type d's equals the JBLs. The texture from the bows pulling across the violin strings during the beginning of the 3rd movement of Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 is truly a thing of beauty with these speakers. As is the the interplay between the oboe and accoustic guitar during Rodrigo's Concertio de aranjuez. You actually feel like your on stage listening to a live performance.

As mentioned before, these speakers have two tweeters... in the front and in the back. This creates a very realistic soundstage for the higher ranges. Check out Jack Dejohnette's cymbal work on Mile Davis' B----'s Brew, it sounds spectacular.

I was very fortunate to acquire these speakers for $350 a pair. I was looking for a larger pair of older Klipsch speakers and came across the Snell Type Ds in the classifieds. I did a little research on the internet and made a phone call asap. Luckily, i was the first to call and am I ever glad. Beautiful walnut finish without a scratch. I could probably sell them for 3 times what I paid for them, but why? if I paid that much more for a pair of speakers, there's no way they would sound as good as the Type Ds.

These are very fine speakers. I would recommend a tube amp or preamp, because these babys will really extend the details. Also, if you listen to a lot of CDs, make sure you have a good quality cd player (preferably an HDCD or SACD player). The speakers are only as good as their source.


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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   classifieds in local



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by garyoke a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Audioreview needs a more current review of these classics, so here it is. You read correctly; I paid $500 for a gorgeous pair of light oak D's on eBay - really lucked out - nice seller too, whose ad referred me to audioreview for more info on the Snells. i wanted these guys ten years ago, but the kids were too young, the mortgage too fresh, and the marriage too argumentative. Now, the kids are off to college, the mortgage is no longer fresh, and the second marriage much more supportive. And the price just could not be passed up.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by thielejw a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have been the proud owner of the Snell Type Ds since 1997 for use in a secondary two-channel audio system. At the time of purchase, there were few speakers in this price range that could match the natural, effortless sound of these speakers across the audio spectrum. To this day I'm often amazed at how good these speakers sound with both full-scale orchestral and electronic music. The only thing these speakers don't do as well as my B&W 801s is throw a well-defined lateral soundstage, but for the price difference you wouldn't expect them to. Although a simple rectangular box, the finish and construction make this speaker a beautiful addition to any room. Although I will be selling my pair in the near future for an upgrade, the rational side of me says I'm a fool to do so. Highly recommended if you can find a pair on the used market. d

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $1595.00

Purchased At:   Sound Designs




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