Snell Acoustics is introducing its new Phantom loudspeaker system to compete in the big leagues with the likes of B&W, Aerial, Revel, MartinLogan and Wilson Audio. The Snell Phantom (SRP: $20,000/pr) is engineered to provide the luxurious style and incredible sound of the company's flagship Illusion, only with an even sleeker design and smaller footprint. In keeping with Snell's pedigree and its "No Compromises" sound proposition, Phantom features many of the same astounding audio characteristics and leading-edge technologies as Illusion, including an innovative 3-way design and extraordinary handcrafted cabinet construction.
Designed by Joe D'Appolito Ph.D., Snell's Chief Engineer, Phantom boasts dual 4.5-inch machined XL magnesium midrange drivers mounted over and under an extremely low-resonance 1-inch SEAS XL silk dome tweeter with neo-magnet. This configuration, called a D'Appolito Array, is a fine-tuned symphony of driver elements, transducer parameters and geometric layout, and time-domain design of electrical components, all conspiring toward a single goal: a coordinated wave-front with smooth and consistent axial dispersion. The resulting 3-dimensional soundfield brings together clarity, definition, transient accuracy, and dynamic potential, with the freedom from coloration that is achievable in no other way.
Further enhancing the dynamic listening experience afforded by Phantom are dual 8 inch aluminum woofers coupled to the loudspeaker's unique enclosure, ensuring fast, detailed, extended bass to nearly 30Hz. In addition, Phantom's discrete crossover boards for bass, midrange and treble dramatically reduce distortion while allowing for triamp (triwire), biamp (biwire) and single amp connectivity.
Unique Asymmetrical Tapering Tower Design
Like the flagship Snell Illusion, Phantom features a unique asymmetrical tapering tower design, with gently curved surfaces and a sculpted, statuesque appearance. Snell woodworkers and design engineers spared no expense in the creation of this exceedingly labor-intensive cabinet, which houses a full spectrum of fast, sublimely musical transducers, integrated with an exceptionally precise crossover network. The combination of the unique cabinet design and sophisticated audio componentry results in a superbly balanced, highly dynamic device that creates a nearly holographic soundstage that puts voices and instruments not just in their proper location, but in the their proper size relative to each other - with consistent acoustic characteristics at every listening level.
The Phantom Finish
Snell's reputation for the audio world's finest wood finishes and craftsmanship is exemplified in Phantom. The "standard" finish is high-gloss black under multi-coated, hand-rubbed clear lacquer. But virtually any wood finish, however familiar or exotic, is available under special order, as is deep-luster lacquer, or other specialized finishing, in any color or shade desired.
The Snell Phantom is scheduled for availability in the second quarter of 2009.