Q. How Can I Maximize My $10K Snell Speakers?

The answer lies with a new amplifier, says Graig Stephens of Visually Sound.

Sep. 19, 2008 — by Graig Stephens

Q. In my home theater I’m most interested in the audio quality. I have the Onkyo 875 AV receiver, Arcam universal DVD player and I just upgraded to my dream speakers - Snell A’s (the $10,000 babies). I love my system but can’t help but feel that I am not maximizing the Snell speakers. Should I upgrade by going back to a component processor? If so any suggestions? And should I go with a SACD player rather then use the Arcam for both CD’s and DVD’s. I guess I want an audio listening room within my theater. - Dan, PA

A. While I’m not familiar with those speakers per se, the Onkyo 875 will work with any high-end speakers but won’t give you the ultimate experience. It would be like owning a Lotus and filling it with 85 octane. If you are looking to maximize the speakers and create a great listening room, you will need to upgrade your amplifier. I would look to Sunfire, a company owned by one of the most trusted names in audio, Bob Carver. The Sunfire TGP-5 (picture below) is a great processor for audiophiles and goes great with their TGA series amps. This is a pricey solution but will provide you with quality. If you are looking for a less costly solution, then look to Denon. Their 3808 and 4808 are both good solutions as well. As far as your SACD, if you have a collection of SACDs then you should definitely have a separate player. I am not familiar with that brand but if you are looking for a quality DVD/CD/SACD, look to Denon’s 2930ci. It’s a great all-in-one solution.


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