|Snell Acoustics Series 7 Speaker System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Saturday, 01 October 2005|
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Music and Movies
Prior to setting up the Series 7 speaker package in my theater system, I connected a pair of the LCR7s to a Linn Classik Movie System Di that I keep in my office. The Series 7 lived in this system for about two weeks to allow the speakers to break in. During this time, I noted that the speakers were well-balanced, with low frequency extension sufficient for enjoyable listening without a subwoofer
After setting the speaker up in my theater and letting them break in for a few days, I wanted to see how they would do as a (sub/sat) stereo pair with the subwoofer. I first listened to U2’s “The Sweetest Thing” off their album Best of 1980-1990 (Island). I immediately noticed the LCR7’s ability to portray a solid soundstage with stable pinpoint imaging. Having had the opportunity to hear this band live several times, I could tell they had the proper timbre on vocals, and I was able to achieve a good blend with the subwoofer after a little bit of fiddling. I then played “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” a song that begs to be played loud. I was surprised by the Snells’ good dynamics, despite their relatively small size. It was only at very extreme volumes that I noticed any loss of composure. At listening levels anywhere near reasonable, the Series 7 maintained its composure, clear but never harsh, even at volumes too loud for sustained listening.
I then listened to Crystal Method’s “Busy Child” on their album Vegas (Outpost Records). Those of you who are familiar with this club favorite know that it has great dynamics, with deep and powerful bass. The LCR7/ICS300 combination provided coherent deep and powerful bass.
Moving on to 5.1, I listened to some Diana Krall from her album Love Scenes (GRP/DTS). This record features her performing some great standards, including an amazing rendition of “Peel Me a Grape.” The Series 7 system did a good job maintaining tonal neutrality and consistency all the way around a 360-degree soundstage. When I got up from my listening position in the sweet spot and moved around the room, I noticed a big change in Krall’s voice. When the center LCR7 is positioned horizontally, there is a notable change in sound quality when moving off-axis. While I did not have one to evaluate, I would suggest considering the matching CR7 speaker for the center channel if your listening room does not accommodate placing the center LCR7 in a vertical orientation.
I thought that “Heat” (Warner Home Video) would give the Snells a good workout, especially my favorite movie shootout scene. I watched the bank robbery scene a few times in a row at volumes ranging from very low to extremely loud (all with the center channel in the vertical position). I found the Snells to be very detailed and articulate. Vocals were always clear and easy to understand. When the gunfight breaks out, the Snells maintained their composure until the volume was sure to cause the neighbors to report a gun battle in my otherwise sedate suburban neighborhood. It was only at extremely loud volumes that there were any noticeable signs of compression or harshness. At all other volumes, the Snells were very well behaved, with enough speed and detail to keep everything crystal clear.