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Snell Upgrades Three New Speaker Models With THX Ultra 2 Certification Print E-mail
Monday, 23 August 2004
Snell Acoustics will introduce three new loudspeaker models upgraded to include THX Ultra 2 Certification, extending their THX offerings to a total of seven models. The AMC 2000THX offers performance in a hidden solution loudspeaker, the XA 60THX is a tower monitor for audio enthusiasts and the XA 55THX is a dedicated center channel speaker for use with any of the Snell THX Ultra 2 loudspeakers according to Snell.

Snell's complement of THX Ultra 2 products consists of the three new products plus four current models, the XA1900THX, designed specifically for in-cabinet installations, the AMC 900THX, a dipole in-wall speaker, and the SR30THX, an on-wall dipole speaker. These latter two models are best suited for side and rear surround applications. When combined with the ICS Sub 24, the world's first Ultra 2 sub, a systems integrator can put together a Snell sound system using an assortment of installation applications.

The AMC 2000THX, overcomes many key factors that limit in-wall speaker performance according to Snell. Knowing the vagaries of in-wall cavities, Snell has fully enclosed the AMC 2000 in an aluminum enclosure with a damped sandwich baffle, exclusive to Snell that is constructed to control and extend bass response regardless of placement or wall construction. The AMC 2000THX's space efficient enclosure was designed to fit into conventional 2 x 4 walls, even behind acoustically transparent screens. Its dimensions (42 -inches X 14-inches X 3 3/4-inches) are unusually small for a speaker with this level of performance. Low resonance, non-plastic materials are used to give the AMC 2000THX the same low coloration qualities of their hand-built floor standing models.

The XA 60THX is a Tower version of the XA 1900THX, the first ever THX Ultra2 LCR. Designed for freestanding applications the XA 60THX will hold its own in any two-channel application or anchor a multi-channel system with the companion XA 55THX center speaker, the AMC 900THX or the SR30THX surrounds and the ICS Sub24.

All three new THX Ultra 2 speakers employ Snell's exclusive eXpanding Array (XA) technology that is capable of delivering a very broad and even vertical dispersion. The eXpanding Array's design is a tweeter sandwiched between two mid-range drivers mounted over and under a single aluminum dome tweeter, sometimes referred to as an MTM array. Designed for the real world of unpredictable room acoustics and placement considerations, this array manages directivity without undesirable lobing for tonally consistent, vertically controlled response for a combination of multi-channel and two-channel virtuosity according to Snell.

The controlled dispersion pattern of the eXpanding Array and special tuning features, such as boundary and perforated screen compensation adjustments offers unprecedented control over the variables of room acoustics and boundary interactions. The complex design formula of the eXpanding Array calculates driver size, spacing, crossover frequency and slope to come up with an array whose length varies with frequency. As the applied frequency decreases [lower in pitch], the effective array length expands to give constant directivity allowing all Snell speakers using this array to provide a wider sweet spot for the most consistent balance in large seating areas.

Both the XA 60THX and the AMC 2000THX's MTM array consist of dual 2.5-inch midranges and a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter mounted on a separate aluminum plate. This MTM array is coupled with two 8-inch high output woofers, capable of providing bass response to 30Hz for the XA 60THX and to 60Hz for the AMC 2000THX. The XA55THX uses the same MTM array, however, it is coupled with dual 6.5-inch woofers since extended bass is not as critical for center channel dialog and effects and is rated with a bass response down to 55Hz.

For a "toe-in" effect, the AMC 2000THX's MTM array is set at a fixed 20-degree lateral angle so that when the speaker is installed vertically, the array is naturally tilted in toward the listener. The mounting baffle for the MTM array is removable making it possible to rotate the entire array 90-degrees. The array can be pointed in any of 4 directions depending on its relation to the screen. The flexibility of this design makes it possible to mount the speaker in any orientation around or behind a projection screen and still cover the seating area effectively, while reducing the distortions caused by sound reflecting off the floor and ceiling.

All the speakers are fitted with 5-way gold-plated terminals that accept spades as large as 5/16", pins, banana plugs, and bare wire to 12-gauge The XA 55THX and the XA 60THX are bi-wirable and bi-ampable.

The AMC 2000THX is finished in white with paintable metal grilles. The XA 60THX and XA 55THX are available is hand-sanded, hand-painted black oak veneer or hand-oiled natural cherry.

Like all Snell speakers, each of the new models, are hand assembled and individually calibrated, assuring performance to within .5dB of the Reference Master at their factory in Peabody, MA.

The XA 55 THX, XA 60THX and the AMC 2000THX are individually priced at $1,300, $1,700 and $2,000, respectively. They will be available in 4th Quarter 2004. All of Snell's new products can be seen in Booth 650 at the Indianapolis Convention Center during CEDIA Expo 2004.

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