When we started out with the Home Technology Demonstration Project one of the first considerations for the Home Theater room was the type and location of the speakers. The room is not big enough for THX so a 5.1 configuration was decided. We also decided that we would locate all of the speakers in the ceilings and walls (except of course the subwoofer which is in a cabinet). My feeling is that the average living room is multi purposed and speakers that are hidden away … but in strategic locations … will be more popular and effective than one with 5 or even 7 speakers strewn about with the rest of the furniture. Our main concern with this decision was of course the sound quality from in-wall speakers … especially since we found ourselves restricted to uneven and unpredictable wall and ceiling spaces since the room is in an existing structure.
Fortunately for us … Snell Acoustics stepped up to the plate with their AMC700 Flush Mounted Monitors for the 3 front speakers and a pair of AMC 560 for mounting in the ceiling for the rear channels. In addition we can pound out the bass tones with a PS10 Powered Subwoofer.
The AMC700 is the Snell K.5mk2 bookshelf monitor, re-engineered for flush-mount use. To achieve the performance capabilities of a freestanding monitor, this new design overcomes the three factors limiting all in-wall speakers. First, to insure predictable response, regardless of placement or wall type, the AMC700 has been designed with an integrated enclosure. Like all conventional loudspeakers, the enclosure determines the speaker’s bass response. Second, a new crossover design not only “tunes” the AMC700 to its in-wall boundary, it uniquely extends bass in a small volume cabinet. Third, flush mount speakers can not “toe-in” to reproduce a proper soundstage. The AMC700’s “Directed Power” tweeter steers upper frequencies toward the listening area, assuring the spacial realism found only in high-performance monitors. As you would expect, many of the “tricks” developed by Snell over the past 25 years, are in full use. Including, the specially damped baffle, which is constructed in three layers to enhance bass/midrange clarity and deaden wall resonance. And, the precision crossover, hand tuned to guarantee performance to within a remarkable 0.5dB of the Reference Master.
Bottom line … when I installed these speakers and fired them up … all by themselves … I was blown away by the clarity and range of the sound. In fact a friend brought in a favorite CD and remarked that they were hearing things never heard before on it.
The fact that the speakers come with an integrated enclosure made our installation job a lot easier too. We placed them in cloth covered cabinets high up on the wall. The center cabinet is shallow and the two sides are quite deep. This does not seem to effect the sound quality at all … in fact because they are all the same there is no distinction and the sound distribution is even across the wall. The tweeters direct the sound down into the listening area. Once the cabinet covers are in place (The one on the left in the photo was temporary) … we have a wall that sounds awesome (music and movies) rather than 3 distinct sound sources. I’ve included the specs below.
Model AMC 560
The AMC 560 utilizes a high power handling 8-inch woofer and a ferrofluid cooled 1-inch tweeter, together they are hand tuned to a high order crossover for smooth response and wide dynamic range.
These speakers are mounted in the ceiling to serve the rear channels of our system. Once in place … amongst some pot lights … it’s hard to tell they are even there … until a helicopter flies over in the movie that you are watching. Ever found yourself ducking for cover in your own living room? Again I must comment on the clarity of Snell speakers. I’ve found myself getting up to answer a telephone that seemed to be ringing in the next room only to find that once I paused the movie … the ringing stopped. In my opinion this is just what you want from a surround sound experience.
Lots of power handling capability here too. The rest of the specs are below.
The Model PS.10mk2 Powered Subwoofer
Last but definitely not least … we installed the powered subwoofer in the system. This is a must to complete the home theater sound experience. The low end fills in the spectrum and booms out the thunder to make movie watching an experience rather than just something to pass the time away.
The PS.10mk2 cabinet is small enough to tuck behind furniture or place in a closet. Because the bass unit and ports are on the front of the cabinet, you can place the PS.10 directly inside a typical AV cabinet system without performance degradation. The PS.10mk2 produces up to 110dB of continuous output in a 3,000 cubic-foot room. It features a variable low-pass crossover from 50-120Hz, and an internal high-pass crossover that removes bass information below 80Hz from your main speakers. These adjustments, used in conjunction with the volume control and phase switch, permit seamless integration with the main speakers. Full specs can be found at the end of the article.
Overall I’m very impressed with the sound quality and performance from the Snell Acoustics home theater speaker system. We wanted to build a system that sounds great but doesn’t fill the room with cubes of cloth covered wood. It worked.
AMC 700 PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS
78Hz-20kHz Â±3dB anechoic
Recommended Amplifier Power
10 to 150 watts
1-inch aluminum dome, ferrofluid cooling, heatsink; Steerable “Directed Power” waveguide
6 1/2-inch copolymer with butyl rubber surround
2.7kHz, 12dB/octave slope
White cloth over MDF frame
14″ h x 91/2″ w x 33/4″ d
Rough Opening Requirements
1213/16″ h x 85/16″ w
White trim, suitable for painting
Custom paint and grilles are available for an extra charge
AMC 560 PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS
48 Hz â€“ 20 kHz +/-3 dB anechoic
8-inch high power handling woofer
1 inch ferrofluid cooled textile dome tweeter
Suitable for use with amplifiers from 10 to 125 watts
3 kHz 12 dB/octave slope
89 dB SPL at 1 meter with 2.83 Vrms in anechoic half-space
8 Ohms nominal
12 3/8″ h x 9 9/16″ w
Rough Opening Requirement
11 3/4″ h x 8 1/2″ w x 3 5/8″d
PS.10mk2 POWERED SUBWOOFER PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS
Usable Frequency Response
27Hz at -6dB
330 watts RMS
High-Pass Filter: 80Hz, 12dB/octave
Low-Pass Filter: Adjustable from 50-125Hz. External low-pass filter setting effectively removes low-pass filter from network when used in conjunction with a preamplifier subwoofer filter.
Hardwood veneer on 3/4″ MDF. Internal Double H bracing.
Guillotine-style black cloth-covered grille.
Hand-sanded, hand-painted Black Oak veneer.
10″ (250mm) custom-built bass unit with dual spiders, top-mounted heat sink, and die-cast aluminum chassis. With coated paper cone and butyl rubber surround. Video-shielded.
Line Level: RCA inputs in from preamplifier, out to amplifier when using the PS.10 internal crossover.
Speaker Level: High-level inputs bypass the internal High-Pass Crossover. 5-way gold-plated terminals, accept spades to 5/16″, pins, banana plugs, and bare wire to 12 gauge.
– Phase Switch.
– Auto On-Off Switch with instant On,and one-minute Off delay.
– Volume control.
57 lbs (26kg)
16-1/8 x 15 x 16-1/8″
(409 x 381 x 409mm)