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Classic gear from yesteryear; vintage audio standing the test of time.

Importance of system matching

I picked up a pair of Snell Acoustics model J the other day for $40.00. The guy threw in a set of matching 10" oak stands and three sections of wire that looks like Kimber 4TC although I haven't verified that. They needed new surrounds on the 8" woofers. No problem, Speaker Exchange is about 3 miles from my work in Tampa. Great deal. To the point, when I got everything ready to go I replaced my AR3'a on an Onkyo 8190 integrated and oh my, what veiled horrible sound I got. Thought the Snells needed to "burn in" the new surrounds. So over a two day period I tried everything but to no avail. So I took them upstairs to a Bedini/GAS system and tried them there, replacing JBL L36's. The Snells opened up and were remarkably improved, the veil was reduced, the dynamics better, bass better defined. I understand that some speaker designs are tricky to work with but the Snells are bass reflex with no apparent "tricks" to be considered.

What I don't get is that the AR3a's sound great with the Onkyo and the Bedini/GAS combo and so do the JBL's. Seems odd to me that a speaker would be so cranky about the system it would be paired with especially at the price point the Snell's originally sold for. But I will say that learning this first hand makes me see why so many audio people can be so dead sure that a speaker sounds a certain way when it may in fact be the components the speakers are compared with (or room). I always sensed this was true but I know have a great example.

Overall final analysis, while the Snells are fine, especially with Jazz and vocalist type recordings they are no match for the other two speakers mentioned above, regardless of the systems I own that they are played on.

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Topic - Importance of system matching - Macncheez 05:35:56 02/09/17 (4)


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