|Snell Acoustics .5 MK II 7.1 Speaker System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Ed Masterson|
|Tuesday, 01 July 2003|
Page 3 of 3
The Snell theater package is not the most physically imposing system that I have played with, but mains and subwoofer are still large enough to be taken into consideration by your interior decorator. The Snell E.5mk2 speakers come up a bit short in the industrial design standpoint as compared to competitively-priced speakers from B&W and Polk. They are basically a typical box speaker, but the oiled finish gives them the look of fine furniture, which definitely will earn some points with the wife and interior designer.
If you have small children or a large dog, you may find yourself worried about the stability of these speakers. They are tall and narrow, which works well for sound-staging, but it makes them a little unstable. You will want to make sure that they are set up perfectly and or spiked thoroughly.
The SR.5 surrounds work well at modest volumes, but cannot handle as much power as the other speakers in the system. An improvement on the overall system would be a tighter match in power handling and output capability with the rest of the speaker system.
At nearly $6,000, the Snell system goes head to head with some stiff competition – Klipsch, Phase Technology, Definitive Technology are a few names that come to mind. The Snell speaker system provided me with enjoyable theater sound. Snell has done a great job with voicing these speakers to work well with one another. The subwoofer went deeper and blended better with the rest of the speakers than most that I have heard in this price class. Other than the SR.5 surrounds, this system has great dynamic range and is capable of reproducing all of the sound effects that you could throw at them.
This Snell system is fully capable of providing an enjoyable 360-degree soundstage and are best considered as a cohesive package. They do compete in an extremely competitive market segment and I don’t think the Snell system matched the midrange liquidity of some other products that I have heard in the $2,000 price range, such as the Martin Logan Aeon I’s or Revel M20 speakers. Neither the MartinLogans nor the Revels have the bass of the K.5mk2, even before you factor in the excellent Snell P.S.10mk2 subwoofer.
If you are looking for a speaker system that takes a handcrafted, American-made approach to speaker building, this system from Snell demands your attention and in-store audition. For movies and 5.1 music, the system synergy makes for an enjoyable experience that competes with, and in the bass really excels, over the competition.