Snell Acoustics E-5 Floorstanding Speakers

E-5

floorstanding

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
bradpmiller   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 24, 2009]

I am quite impressed. My first experience with Snell speakers. I ran comparison tests against some other speakers I own (Dahlquist DQ-10, Magnapan's Model 2, Vandersteen 2 & 2Ce, Acoustat II, Crown ES212, Carver ASL III, Infinity Reference II, and some custom speakers I've built). We played around with several placement configurations and a mixture of audio components (Sansui, Carver, Luxman, Akai, SEA, Soundcraftsman, and Setton). All speakers have a sound somewhat unique to their respective design and don't handle all classes of music equally. That being said, I found the Snell E.5's had a very nice soundstage and overall image quality. While not well suited for heavy rock due to deep bass limitations, the rest of the spectrum response is quite pleasant to the ear. I would not use these in a A/V application, but certainly recommend them for a 'stereo room'. Given my acquisition price, I paid $200 on the Bay, they can't be beat. I would recommend removing the mid/woofers and filling the magnetic shield with a dampening agent. They can resonate. I used a noncorrosive silicone compound. After that, play away.....Regards

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Bill   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 15, 2003]
Strength:

Bass. Soundstage. Presence.

I have had the Snell E.5 mk2 for several months now and am very pleased. I am using them for the front speakers in my home theater with K.5 mk2 for surrounds and Cr.5 mk2 for the center. These speakers throw a very wide soundstage and the bass is excellent with clear attacks. The dynamic range of these speakers is excellent. Midrange and highs are also handled quite well. Very flexible with their placement options due to the switches on the back. In the past several years I have had several other floorstanding speakers and I prefer the Snells. Much better bass response than B&W CDM-7se with a better soundstage. The B&W are a little too overdamped for my tastes. I have also had the Martin Logan Scenarios. No, the Snells Are not as quick(but close) or as clear in the midrange but I always felt there was something lacking in the ML. I would call it presence. Just a little too light. I have very good equipment(Aragon amps and B&K processor) so I can't blame it on upstream components. A killer value for the money.

Similar Products Used: B&W CDM7-SE. Martin Logan Scenario.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
psyopwak   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 08, 2003]
Strength:

Soundstage CLARITY Smooth midrange (female vocals are beautiful) Tremendous bass Delicacy , seperation of sounds

Weakness:

NEEDPOWER- 4ohm type speakers NEED- great pre-pro

Well I have posted a review on this speaker about three years ago. This is a follow up. This is the best damned set of speakers I have owned. I have recently UPGRADED to a DENON receiver with a PARASOUND amp driving the SNELL E-5's. The sound is astonishing! A couple of things I've learned I will pass on- 1 E-5's NEED alot of power. If they have it, they will sound exquisite. If they do not, they will sound good. If you are using a "cheapy" receiver, it may shut down. 2 E-5's need to be moved around to get the optimal placement. The rear firing tweeter will give great spatial effect and soundstage if the speaker is placed away from the wall and toed in JUST RIGHT. To sum up, at the price range I've heard JBL's Polk's, BOSE, Paradigm (I also like and own MONITOR 9's), PSB's, Klipsch's, Theil's and a few others. The E-5's sound the best IMHO.

Similar Products Used: JBL L150 BOSE 901 Paradigm MON 9 Klipsch R??
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Umrswimr   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 12, 2002]
Strength:

Nice wide soundstage and smooth detail throughout the midrange. Inexpensive, yet extremely competative with more expensive speakers from Paradigm.

Weakness:

Inefficient (they''re nominal 4 Ohms) with 89dB sensitivity. SET folks need not apply (though I''m sure you knew that). They''re uninvolving with larger rooms unless you crank the volume- at which point the treble starts to get fatiguing in a hurry. Lack of low-end ooomph will require a sub for HT duty, though 2-channel can go both ways, dependig on your music choices, rooms size, and bass desires. 2-channel only is run sans sub in my room.

I bought these speakers back when I was in college as an upgrade from some cheap Sony towers. The other speakers in the running were the Paradigm Ref 60-100''s and B&W 600 series. Compared to the Paradigms 80 and 100, the Snell''s lacked bass response and low-end authority. The 80''s, IMHO, were just plain bad. The 100''s were MUCH better, but lacked the wide soundstage and upper-end detail that the Snell''s provided. The Snell''s had an "air" about them that was simply awe-inspiring. The B&W''s never really drew me in... I always felt left out- liek the speakers were putting up a wall between myself and the music. With an exception of the Phenominal 801''s, I haven''t been fond of any B&W speakers. I took the E.5''s home and was quite impressed with them through my Carver A500 amp, Lexicon DC-1 pre, Rega Planet, and Tara cables. The room was quite small (perhaps 12x14) and the speakers simply buried you in detail. They were awesome. However, once I got my Atma-Sphere MA-1''s (~85WPC tubed monoblocks), I strated to notice two things: first- these speakers have great difficulty giving a "solid" soundstage. Ie, it''s hard to pinpoint a specific instrument or voice amonst a group. They all tend to "blend" together. This is especially true with classical works. They lack the ability to pinpoint the instuments accuratly. Second- they are now entirely unable to enthrall me in a movie. Perhaps it''s the larger room they''re in now (14x21x10) or the tubes, but I can''t get really into a movie anymore. My roommate''s DCM''s provide much more "slam" and enjoyment for movies. Switching back to my Carver''s (250 WPC into 8 Ohms) failed to cure the problem. I think these speakers are simply outmatched with a room this large.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Jon   [Mar 28, 2000]
Strength:

Realistic vocals.
Smooth presence.

The E.5 towers are incredible speakers at a very fair price. I compared B&W, Boston Acoustics, Acoustic Research, Klipsh and a couple of other (higher priced than Snell) brands. The E.5 speakers sounded the most 'realistic' (no, not Radio Shack!!!) to me. I have performed and attended hundreds of live performances and the vocals on the E.5 are smooth, accurate and have great presence. I'm powering them with a Nakamichi AV-10 at 100 Watts per channel and have never clipped. I have an Acoustic Research center channel which will be replaced by a Snell eventually. I use a powered Velodyne 10" sub since I prefer an abundance of bass with some rock music and some movies (like The Mummy). I like the other guy's comment that 'the purists' won't approve of the switches in the back. Well, if they bother them that much, they can get a soldering iron and bypass them. It's not that hard. I have owned perhaps 15 pair of speakers in 20 years. I was always looking for the right sound. Well, I've found it with the Snell E.5 tower speaker system.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jon   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 14, 1999]

i just spent 5 days and nights picking out the perfect home theatre system to entertain my new sony es 555 receiver. the snells were a fantastic surprise for the money. i purchased the e.5 towers,cr.5 center,sr.5 rears and an amazing M&K dual firing 12 inch per subwofffffer. my neighbors hate us to say the least. i would recommend my set up to anyone serious about growing with their music....
enjoy

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bz   Audiophile [Nov 22, 1999]
Strength:

Smooth response, liquid midrange

Weakness:

Bass extension

Current system used in: Nakamichi AV-7 A/V receiver (great bargain receiver), Kimber Kable 8TC bi-wired, Sony DVP-S7700, Velodyne 10" sub, Snell C.5 center, Snell surrounds.

I just bought these for my bourgeoning A/V home theatre setup. Sounds great, nice and smoooth, and not an impossible load for my 'cheapy' 80 W/ch Nak. amp. They sound similar to my Thiel's, but without the clarity of the treble. Needs more break-in time, but out of the crate they are impressive. I don't much care for all of the adjustments on the back (there are multiple switches for rear treble on/off, high/low treble, boundary placement, etc...), as these can only 'degrade' the sound. I was also considering a B&W A/V system, but I came to my senses in time... You can't go wrong with this as your system!

Similar Products Used: Thiel 2 2
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 01, 1998]

Listened to several different speaker brands; B&W, Paradigm, NHT, Mirage, Polk,KEF, Klipsch and a couple others and the best I heard were the SNELL E-5s for
$1260.00 a pair. Extremely clear and bright and fill up my living room. They are
a 4 OHM speaker and at this time I'm only using an ONKYO 100 W receiver with
radio shack cable. I ordered a B&K Amp and Pre-Amp with in. connects and
Bi-Wiring speaker cables and can't wait to hear what the Snells will do with good
electronics. My wife was upset with the $ until I brought the Snells home and
listened 1st to Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon; now she is ready for a pair
of E-5s or K-5s for the back. They aren't even broken in yet; I've played them for
approx. 15 hours. The only thing I would like to do in order for even better sound would
be to add a Powered Sub. Also on bad recorded CDs you can definitely hear that
the quality of the recording was poor. Everyone has a different ear for speakers but
before you buy; and if you want to stay below $2000.00 a pair; listen to the SNELL E-5s.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
zigzag   an Audiophile [Mar 01, 1999]

I wanted to graduate from minimonitors to full-range speakers, and also give home theater a try, without investing too much in case I later became dissatisfied. I ended up with the E-5's, a Snell C-5 center speaker, and a Snell PS-10 sub (using my old mini's in the rear). These speakers have served my purposes very well for over a year, such that I feel no compulsion to upgrade further. One great advantage that they have is flexibility - if you enjoy home theater, they are magnetically shielded. More importantly, the E-5's have three switches to control tweeter response, bass response, and a rear-firing tweeter (a Snell tradition and now also incorporated in the very expensive Revel speakers). If you have a particularly live listening room, you can adjust the tweeter response. If your speakers are placed close to wall surfaces or a large TV, you can adjust the bass response. The rear tweeter provides a remarkable amount of air and openness to the music, but you can turn it off if you please. These switches might offend purists, but most purists are deluded and don't want to account for real-world listening conditions. Additionally, these speakers are built like tanks and come with a very long warranty. The drivers are mounted in a special non-diffracting baffle, and there are actually heat sinks on the back - these are serious speakers for the money. They use metal grilles instead of cloth - I find them to be more attractive than cloth, not to mention more durable. No sagging, no lint. Of course, if you're so inclined you can remove the grills for serious listening, although I don't hear a significant difference. For the money, the speakers are attractive and distinctive in a minimalist sort of way - well-proportioned and free of pointless ornament. The most important thing is sound, of course. All speakers, including the most expensive ones, reflect design trade-offs, and I feel that the Snells are as well-balanced a set of speakers as you will find. I enjoy them immensely and have yet to feel that I'm missing anything with either music or home theater. Imaging seems particularly outstanding. Diane Krall sounds like she's right there in front of you, and you don't have to turn out the lights or close your eyes to experience the effect of having the speakers disappear. Bass and treble extension are as you would expect from a speaker of this size and type, but what's more important is balance and smoothness, and I feel that the Snells are particularly well-balanced, smooth and non-fatiguing, and this is enhanced by the availability of the aforementioned switches. Of course, like any speaker, these speakers are enhanced by a powered sub, but they nonetheless do very well on their own. There have been many occasions where I forgot to turn the sub on and failed to notice until I played some particularly bass-heavy material.
Snell itself makes more expensive and elaborate speakers, and there are excellent speakers available from other manufacturers in all price ranges. I think it's pointless to say that the Snells are "better" than, say, the B&W's, the Paradigms, or vice versa - these are all excellent makes and evaluating them is largely a matter of taste and budget and placement in a particular listening environment. However, as a practical matter, I think that the performance returns above this price range diminish very quickly. If you're looking for an outstanding value, and the advantage of tonal response flexibility in your listening environment, definitely audition the Snells. Five stars considering the price.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
holmejr   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 1999]

I am also using the E.5's mated w/ the PS10 sub.True, these are considered entry level floor standing speakers, but I'm hooked. The E5's perform wonderfully in my environment (approx. 15x20 w/ cathedral ceiling). I auditioned many speakers before selecting the Snells including B&W,Energy,Theil and Van's. I listen to everything from 311 to L'estro Armonico and sometimes Xtremly loud. These speakers have never let me down. I beleive for the money, not only the speakers but the combo also would be a wise consideration for most any listener....AudioEgoPhiles excluded.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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