Which Snell Type A do I have? A-I or A-Original?

Any Snell afficianados out there? I have owned many pairs of Type As over the years and now have a superb pair. The tweeter, if memory serves, is different than I remember from my first set of Type As, though I am pretty certain they are original. I have read that there may be two early versions, the Type A-I and the Type A-Original. Is this true, and if so what is the difference? My pair is serial  numbers 243/244. Separately fused tweeter/mid/woofer. Ugh this won't allow me to add a picture! Well the round plate surrounding the tweeter is white, and a dispersion bar across it diagonally. There are no felt pads near the tweeters but they may have been removed by previous owner. It does have the insulation pads hanging inside the speaker grilled.

How can I tell which model I have, assuming there really is such thing as a "Type A-Original"?

Thanks for any thoughts!
I presently own  a pair of Type A3's bought from the original owner's son. Since they came from New Canaan, CT the likely dealer was Audiocom of Old Greenwich, CT. Presently in storage, awaiting a larger room for setup. I listened many times to the Type A's at Audiocom, starting around 1977! Amplifier of choice then was the GAS Ampzilla. Signal source was a Denon DD TT with the DA307 arm, DL103 mc into a custom clone Levinson JC-1 headamp. I forget what preamp was used - could have been Thaedra. Later an Apt Holman was in use. Price of the original Type A's was $1390 pr. To this day some of the best sounds I have ever heard! The Snell's were the main demo speakers at Audiocom for years! When I found a pair of Type A3's on EBay (for $395 + shipping) I had to buy them! Truly a great speaker and still competitive with today's multi-kilobuck systems!
$395 is an absurdly good deal for A-IIIs. I have owned two pair of A3s and paid three times that very recently. Take a look at the woofers when you get them out of storage to make sure the surrounds have been replaced or are intact. They are an incredibly capable speaker with huge Dynamics and bass and room-filling sound. The earlier versions do not have the deep bass capability that yours do nor the high frequency extension but I like the mid-range better. All three versions have extraordinary strengths and compete very well with expensive modern speakers. For listeners whose goal is organic musicality it is striking how little speaker design has evolved over decades.
I was a Snell dealer back in the day.  Became really good friends with Peter.

The way I remember it was there was a Type A, then the A/II, then the A/III, then the last version was the A/IIIi.

IIRC, there was only one version of the original (Type A).


Among my favorite speakers of all time, but the woofers unusual construction led to early failures.

They added mass in the form of a poured resin which, over time, would  cause the suspension to sag.


I thought there was only one original type A as well! But I have seen reference to two of them. It could be wrong because they're is a fair amount of incorrect information floating around about the Type A. But I would swear the original As I had twenty years ago had a different looking tweeter.

Erik: yes the woofers can sag over time. I am fortunate living in St Louis that there is a top-notch speaker guy named Lloyd Faulkner. He was able to rebuild my woofers, replacing the spiders as well as the surrounds with no problem. 

Does anyone have a picture of an original type a tweeter? I am also interested to know if they all had felt pads attached next to them.
And before they poured resin for woofer mass Snell used a heavy clay! That's what mine have.
Yes $395 was too good a price to pass up! But shipping to me in Florida was not cheap - $400 + for the four boxes required! That's why nobody wanted them! Still less than I paid to have a pair of Quads sent from Rhode Island! 
Here's an interesting story about the Type A's: Back about 1979 Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson visited Audiocom in Old Greenwich, CT. They were trying to get Bill and Del (the owners) to carry their tube products. The main demo speakers were the Type A's, of course. When Bill C. and Lew saw this, they reacted badly, saying that "those are awful speakers"!!!   Bill and Del (the owners) were offended by this but they allowed Bill C. and Lew to demonstrate their tube gear with some Bowers & Wilkins instead. And graciously agreed to carry the CJ line. I was told this by Bill (the co-owner) afterwards!
Before the first pair of Type A's arrived at Audiocom in 1977, Del (co-owner) told me "We're getting a new pair of speakers in soon! They're called Snell's and they are the BEST speakers I have ever heard! And they're $1390 a pair!" That was a lot for '77! And three years later when the original pair was to be replaced with an upgraded pair, Bill (co-owner) offered me the first demo pair for $750! I stupidly passed up his generous offer!
That is a great story. The funny irony is maybe 5 years ago I ran my type A speakers with a Conrad Johnson MV-60 amp And premier ten preamp. The sound was amazing. I was a huge fan of cj, but not these days since they moved more toward "neutrality"... ;)

It is funny they didn't like the Snell's. Go figure.
And I just remembered my very first pair of type As was bought used in 1994 from a Chicago dealer for exactly $750 and it happens that I ran them with a Conrad Johnson mv-52!
A friend had the original Type A back in 1978 or ‘79. Shortly after I heard them I bought my pair. They looked identical except my pair had 2 rear cutouts for the woofer. His earlier pair was sealed behind the woofer cabinet. 
Also, his pair had felt or something similar attached to the inside of the grill cloth directly in front of the tweeter. 
Pater Snell made a number of early prototypes, playing with possibilities. I had never heard  of the rear facing woofers!

Yes the little pad hanging from  the grille cloth in front of the tweeter was a production feature to knock back the treble slightly. It appears to be standard house insulation with light fabric sewn around it with black thread. Very homemade looking. But the speakers work like few others I have heard..I just compared head to head my Snell's and some $8k Wilson Benesch that have gorgeous fit/finish, and the Snell's were clearly superior in musicality, realness, meatiness of sound. The Wilsons had more treble energy but not nearly as convincing. 
What is the white dope that is on the back of the woofer frame where it attaches to the wood? I have my woofers out to get the foam replaced and noticed the white stuff, kinda like plumbers putty.  By the way, how do I know if the spider needs to be replaced?  When I pulled the bottom off to see the foam gaskets gone, I note the date written:  19 and 20 July 1979.  Just got these Type A's from original owner.  The top half's sound good but Im trying to figure out how to take the fabric housing off to replace the old fabric.  I replaced the bottom wood veneer and stained to match the rest.   
I'm not sure what the white stuff is. It has been awhile since I've been inside of my snells. I assume you are not talking about white putty around the woofer itself around the dust cover... That is mass loading that needs to be replaced if you have the woofer spiders worked on.

when you say the foam is gone I assume you're talking about the woofer surround foam. If so I highly recommend you have a professional replace it. The woofer has tight tolerances and I've heard many stories of people putting surrounds on them and things don't align quite right. I've heard others who seem to have no problem with it but I know at one point Snell corporation stopped providing resurrounding services, and someone suggested it was because it was very difficult to get right.

There is a guy here in St Louis named Lloyd Faulkner who is a guru and he can do it. anyway when you find someone you trust to do it they can assess the need for the spider to be replaced. These speakers are totally worth fixing. More musical than 80% of the speakers on the market today.

Regarding removing the fabric covers, two things:
1. They can be removed if you're very careful and use a dull knife to insert where the grill meets the baffle and gently pry a little tiny bit at a time all the way around. Go around and around gradually and try not to damage the cabinet. If you search on the forums there are a couple of people who describe this process a little bit better than I just did.
2. Be aware that replacing the grille fabric is no easy task. It requires sewing so the fabric turns at a right angle on the corners of the grill. it's not just stretching fabric around it like most speakers. Pain in the neck especially if you don't know how to sew.

That’s putty to help seal the woofer to the cabinet. Leave it alone! It is probably still pliable! If not you can buy something similar at Home Depot or Loewe's. Regarding replacing the grill fabric - don't! It is too difficult to do and get right! Unless of course it is totally trashed!
@montaldo : I'd rather have and listen to my Snell's than ANY of today's over-priced five-figure marvels!
The Snell Type A was $1390 back in '77. Beat out in price then by the Quad 57's at $1780/pair. And we all thougt then that these were expensive speakers! Little did we forsee the prices of speakers today rising into the five and six-figure range!
The truth remains that high-qualty speakers can still be made and sold for a mid four-figure price. Witness the commercial success of Tekton! 
Agree on all counts Roberjerman! I have heard plenty of six figure systems that sound like hifi. The Snells, even driven by modest electronics, sound like music.

Yes now I remember the white stuff... Putty to seal the woofer chassis. I remember peeling it off, re-rolling it into an even rope again, and putting it back to seal well. Yep just reuse it.

 And don't rethink anything about the speaker... Like removing the little fabric square hanging on the grille, or removing the diffraction bar from the tweeter, or pushing down the insulation to fully expose the mid-range driver. I have heard people on forums say they have done all these things because they thought it would improve the sound. Each is needed. The insulation I believe was intended to reduce floor bounce -- that effect where mid-range sound bounces off the floor AND comes directly at you, and the timing difference causes cancellation that makes the mids sound thin and sterile. I have always believed this is one of the secrets to the Type A having one of the best midranges of any speaker I have ever heard, regardless of cost. Scary real. Peter Snell had ears and brains, not to mention a lot of patience to experiment!

Another thing is the crossover. If you ever have to replace any caps or other components, replace them exactly the way they are configured. If there are several smaller value caps stacked, replace them exactly that way. Repair people will get you it is the same as having one cap equaling the total value of the small caps. Not true. Trust Peter Snell in all cases. He did nearly everything for good reasons.
@ mofimadness   is correct on the revisions.

I originally heard the A1s, ended up buying the A2s, and later the A3s. sold the A2s to buy a second pair of the A3s for another system, and ended up sending all 4 upper cabinets back to Snell to get the i upgrade. Those are/were great speakers, and can run with many today.

They key point to mention on any of the the A versions, is they need a ton of power; no 100 watt  per channel stuff. That crossover really consumes the juice.

I ran mine with a pair of Threshold S500s in a vertical biamp config.

A friend also had a pair of A3is, and drove them with the Grant Lumney tube monoblocks, which sounded quite impressive.

The plenty of power concept, was also needed but maybe to a lesser extent with the other Snell models from that era, including the B minor, CV, the D, etc.

I guess the power discussion is like it always is. All things equal more power is usually better. but being a tube guy I will always take 50 watts of tube power over 250 watts of solid state power any day ... With rare exceptions ;)

I ran my first pair of type A-I's ones with a 45 watt Conrad Johnson tube amp and it was magic. But I believe the AI''s were 89 DB efficient. The A2s might have been 88 and the a3s I believe were 86. So as time went on the point about power became more true. The type A is such a dynamic speaker though, that I think it plays fairly well even without a ton of power but, as pointed out, if you can give them power they are that much better. The A3 is really a different speaker in my mind then the ones or twos. it can really blow a room away and has bigger extension on the top and bottom and crazy dynamics. But the mid-range is more neutral and thinner to my ears. Unless I could use equalization, I would always opt for the A1 or A2 over the A3. but that's because the mid-range and tonal balance are my top priorities.