Snell Acoustics, a leading manufacturer and marketer of high-performance custom-built loudspeakers for more than 30 years, will debut its new Illusion Series LCR loudspeaker at CES 2008. The Illusion LCR (SRP: $10,000 each) is crafted specifically to match Snell’s acclaimed Model A7 Reference Tower Loudspeaker, providing ultimate-quality audio performance for the most refined home entertainment systems. The Illusion LCR features a unique 3-way design that allows for more cone area, which in turn allows for greater output and power-handling. In addition, individual crossover boards for woofer, midrange and tweeter reduces distortion caused by crossover “crosstalk.” Audio Lineage Goes Back to Snell’s Landmark Type A Loudspeaker The Illusion LCR, like the Snell A7, traces its lineage to the very first Snell: the landmark Type A design Peter Snell created in 1978. The subtle form of Illusion Series speakers reflects an altogether new concept in enclosure design, with an intriguing shape that conceals refinements yielding unprecedented freedom from resonance and spurious vibration. Consequently, the literally full-range and entirely uncolored reproduction, which integrates the world’s finest transducers with Snell’s matchless crossover expertise, can be heard with unimpeded clarity and unrestricted detail. Like the A7 Tower, the Illusion LCR employs the “D’Appolito array” eponymous to Snell’s lead designer. The sophisticated 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 sound marries clarity, definition, transient accuracy, and dynamic potential, with the freedom from coloration that is achievable in no other way. Meticulously Engineered, Hand-Crafted for Audio Perfection All Illusion Series speakers incorporate construction details whose acoustical value is well established by numerous Snell antecedents. A dramatically radiused front, which effectively negates diffraction, eliminates higher-frequency reflections toward the listening zone, thereby promoting clarity and definition. A mid/high-frequency sub-baffle exploits Snell’s proprietary multi-layered, elastomerically decoupled “sandwich,” absorbing reactive driver motions to inhibit resonance. And of course, each Illusion LCR is meticulously crafted, assembled, and finished by hand, in calibrated pairs individually matched both acoustically and aesthetically, to the obsessive standards Snell has long established. The Illusion Series speakers are the most accurate, linear, and dynamic Snell has yet produced. Like every Snell across the years, they are individually calibrated (to a demanding response-window of ±0.5 dB) to each quintet of transducers, to which they remain married throughout production. Each crossover section is individually laid out on a discrete, heavy fiberglass circuit board using topology suited to its circuit and position, and freely permitting bi- or tri-amplifying/wiring or single-cable connection. All networks are 24 dB/octave-acoustic, carefully optimized to the drivers and thus requiring only 2nd-order filters at critical positions. Snell recognizes the significance of crossover-component selection, using superbly linear polypropylene capacitors exclusively, ultra-quality air-core inductors at all low-frequency positions, and silver-alloy solder with fully 12-gauge ultra-premium internal wiring throughout. Key to the realistic audio reproduction capabilities of the Illusion LCR is a tweeter specially developed for smooth, naturally resonance-free and widely dispersive response, yet capable of maintaining meaningful response to nearly 40 kHz. Equally important, powerful, accurate output to unusually low frequencies permits low mid-high crossover frequency, a critical factor to the near ideal blending of both amplitude and directional responses of the D’Appolito array. Additionally, a unique “Hexadym” magnet structure—a ring of six small, radially magnetized neodymium magnets in a focused hexagonal array—yields high efficiency and an acoustically open structure that fully optimizes the tweeter sub-enclosure, utterly removing back-wave and internal-resonance factors from the design equation. The Illusion Finish Snell’s reputation for the audio world’s finest wood finishes and craftsmanship is exemplified in the Illusion Series. The “standard” finish is high-gloss automotive 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.