Snell Acoustics K-5 Floorstanding Speakers

Snell Acoustics K-5 Floorstanding Speakers 

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 10  
[Jul 16, 2004]
btrvalik
AudioPhile

Strength:

dead quiet cabinets ruler flat tonal balance works great with tubes (50 watts)

Weakness:

nothing major, they would look nicer of the back was also covered in cherry

This review is for the K.5MkII. I originally bought these for a HT setup based on the praise the received in Absolute Sound (golden ear award) and Perfect Vision. While my HT room is under contraction I've been using these in my CJ based 2 channel system. I've been looking for replacements when the room is complete. My favorites during in-store demos are the B&W 805 sig, Dynaudio S1.4, Joseph Audio Rm7si II,Dali Helicon 300. I have not done an in-house demo of any of these or an in-store side-by-side with the Snells but each time I get home after listening to one of these I'm amazed at how good the Snells sound in comparison. The are so good that I'm now planning to use the in-wall version for HT and keeping them as my main speaker. I use these with a Velodyne HGS-10-II. A side-by-side compare with some of the above speakers will be the true test but at this point they seem to hang in there with speakers costing 1.5-2.5 times the price

Similar Products Used:

Proac Tabletts

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 20, 2000]
Jaime Espinosa
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Very accurate speaker, neutral, very revealing, quality of construction

Weakness:

none

I purchased the new version (k.5 mark II).This speakers are very accurate and ideal for jazz and classical and some pop rock. They are perfect for a typical apartment living room.
They are very neutral and some people will find them laid-back, however, they are never fatiguing to listen to, in fact, the listening experience is very pleasant. Speaker selection is always a matter of personal taste but I would recommend Snell without hesitating.

Similar Products Used:

B&WCDM 1NT

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 26, 2001]
Dave Miller
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Accuracy

Weakness:

Somewhat dark sounding, require adequate power

The little Snells are my front channel speakers in a home theater set-up. It pays to invest in a good set of speaker stands to isolate the speakers from the rest of the room, and get them out away from wall surfaces!

The most pleasing aspect of these speakers is their accuracy; I think they present the music the way the artist and engineer intended for it to sound. The sound may be a little dark for some tastes, so you should audition them for yourself to determine if you like the speakers 'character'.

On the down-side the Snells are not very efficient; make sure you have a high quality power source capable of delivering a minimum of 100 watts per channel continuosly. The speakers can produce adequate base down to 40 hz or so, and sound great paired with the matching subwoofer (model PS 10).

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 09, 2001]
GM Wong
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

neutral, bass, well built

Weakness:

restrained, unforgiving of bad recordings

It has been a little more than a year since I brought home a pair of the Snell K.5s. I have resisted writing this review earlier because I really wanted to get a clear impression of the speaker.

This is a two-way, shielded monitor. Dimensions: 18 x 8-1/2 x 12", 26 lbs. Cross over adheres to an "in-phase" or Linkwitz Reilly design. Bass driver is 6-1/2" (165mm) unit. Tweeter is a 1" (24mm) black-anodized aluminum dome. Product literature indicates that frequency is 48-20,000Hz (±3dB.

This is a very well-designed and made speaker. It is equipped with a heat sink, baffle, as well as a placement switch for selecting different equalization for free space and near-boundary location. The speaker grill consists of a perforated metal cover. The speaker is bi-amping/wiring capable.

I use these speakers exclusively for music. I wasn't too happy with the speakers when I first brought them home. They almost seemed muffled--although that is probably too strong a word. After about a month, they sounded better. And I happy to say that I am very satisfied with how they sound now, and am especially pleased by the bass. They took awhile to break in--about a month. I have also moved them away from the back walls and corners (I didn't want to use the placement switch).

The best and the worst thing I can say about these speakers is that they are very neutral. You can definitely tell the good recordings from the bad ones. They are very unforgiving of bad recordings. I believe the speakers are at their best when played loud. At normal listening volume, they may seem a little restrained--I certainly wouldn't characterize them as dynamic.

In summary, these speakers are what I believe "monitors" should be: they don't embellish. They tell it like it is, for better or worse. They also handle the low, mid-range, and high very well and are engaging at louder volumes. I certainly recommend them at the list price. I would highly recommend them if you can find them at a discount. In either case, if it is possible, take them home for a demo. Also, demo them with good and bad recordings to see how neutral they can be.

Associated equipment:
> Parasound mono amps
> Creek pre-amp
> Technics CD player
> AudioQuest Slate speaker wires


Similar Products Used:

B&W CDM1-SE, Vandersteen 1C, Rega Jura

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Feb 01, 2001]
Jason Gotz
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Very clean midrange, highs, tight bass, cabinet design and looks, solid feel and well 8built and constructed

Weakness:

Nothing really, a tad more Bass, but would be hard without trading off the musicallity of the speaker.

I have reviewed almost every speaker made, and can say that I have yet to find another speaker that can match the Snell's in terms of sound quality overall on many different types of music, build quality and looks and price. They have been an absolute joy to listen too and are always enjoyable even for long lengths of time. The Snell is the first speaker that my wife and I agreed on, besides the Stratus Mini from PSB, too both really really enjoy. As far as the reviewer above (hobbes) he needs to get a life and not use this forum for pranks and/or propaganda. I have been listening to the Snells through a variety of equipment from Marantz, to NAD (regular and Silver series) and Krell. They will play nice through all of the above, but really open up and shine with better equipment and they especially love having lots of power. Coudl not recommend them higher

Similar Products Used:

TRIAD, PSB, PARADIGM, ENERGY, B&W, M&K, MONITOR, WHARFEDALE, JAMO, KEF, NHT, etc

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 18, 1998]
Bruce Beckner
an Audio Enthusiast

I read Ron Goldsmith's review of this speaker, and I'm not sure his problems are with the speaker. I have owned the previous model (K-II) for several years, and I've heard the K-5 in a store. (The K-II is a shallower, wider cabinet than the k-5; but the cabinet volume is the same and I think the drivers are the same, too.) I think Ron should check his speaker placement and his electronics before he sends the little Snells back to the store. The K's are plus or minus 2dB to 70 Hz; they don't have a boomy, uncontrolled bass. Small speakers are more placement critical, however. If they're put too close to the floor, in a corner or too close to a wall, they excite room resonances which causes boomy bass. The K-IIs are quite revealing of inferior electronics. I know from personal experience. I was driving my pair with an 18-year old Luxman receiver; and they got harsh sounding with the volume cranked (but well under the max power of the receiver). I thought I needed better speakers. For other reasons, I scrapped the receiver and bought the Krell integrated amp. What a difference! No more harshness. With this amp, these speakers are nearly as good as the $1700 Josephs and Aerial 5s that I recently auditioned as potential replacements. The salesman is half right; the little Snell's designer traded off efficiency (90 dB at 1 watt) for bass extension. Other monitors, like the Josephs and the Aerials are 3 - 4 dB less efficient, but give 1/2 octave more bass. That's like having twice as much amp. What this means is that a 45 wpch tube amp that is running out of power pushing the Aerials to room-filling levels will sound just great running the Snells. You pays your money, you makes your choice. As for me, I'm into overkill. I have 150 wpch amp and I'm using a subwoofer with 'em.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Nov 14, 1999]
Joseph
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Very, very accurate speaker. Brilliant mid-range.

Weakness:

Exposes every flaw in your system and your recordings...

These are great speakers that really shine with good electronics. They have a very even sound that reveals every element in the music. They are however sensitive to the electronics you match them with. When I first demo'd them with a Rotel amp, I thought them too bright and with too little bass. I tried them again with a NAD amp and in a somewhat smaller room friendlier to bass response and viola...magic.

I find the fit and finish of the boxes to be excellent. Very sharp edges, good veneer. The grills are attractive to my eye--but more importantly are extraordinarily conductive to sound.

How a speaker sounds to you is quite subjective--both to your ear, your tastes, and the type of music you listen to. These Snell's shine at complex music with a wide range of notes. If you love Bach's double violin concerto, try it on these speakers--it is transcendent. If you prefer hip hop, these speakers will sound great, but you may wish to add a sub-woofer to give you the bass you like.

Similar Products Used:

B&W CDM 1SE

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 19, 1998]
Jeff D.
an Audiophile

Pros: Good dynamics, good dispersion large sweet spot.

Cons: Bass too lean. Mid treble too bright. Grills, I've never seen
an uglier design.

Verdict: Stick with the older Snells. Better sound, better cabinets.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 19, 1998]
Nigel Flack
an Audio Enthusiast

These are without a doubt great speakers. However, I found them to be just a tad boomy in the bass. With a sub (NHT SWP2i) it just didn't sound right. Without a sub, this would probably work to their advantage though.
Well worth an audition, great for the money. Nice smooth sound, a touch laid-back maybe. If you generally like a smooth, laid-back sound and aren't planning on using a sub, these are a good choice.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jan 06, 2000]
Pip Brian Jones
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Over-all sound and build quality.

Weakness:

Real ugly grill covers.

I got these speakers at a close-out for $399. What a deal.
The sound on both music and HT is great. The highs could be a little brighter but a very minor point. I recently put a
PSB Alpha Sub Zero with my two K-5 fronts and what a difference. I liked it so much I bought another sub and
have added a new dimension to my HT system. My next goal
is to get the c-5 center and my system will be complete.

Similar Products Used:

B&W 602 Def TechBP 8

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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