Advice on Purchase of Thiel Loudspeakers
I’m just looking for some thoughts on the possible purchase of some Thiel loudspeakers. From 1989 through 1999, I enjoyed Thiel CS3.5’s. I moved on to B&W (N804 and 803D1) and now that I am happily retired, I am considering the purchase of another Thiel speaker. However, I do have several concerns, those being which Thiel speaker will best interact with the 2 available rooms in my house and the sustainability of Thiel as an ongoing business concern. I am considering the CS3.7, the CS2.7, the CS3.6, and the CS2.4 (SE if I can find them). Looking at all 4 because I think the value is quite good on all of them at the current prices. Some additional info:
• Preamp is Pimaluna Dialogue Premium and amp is Classe CA2200.
• I listen at moderate levels - never very loud.
• I listen to 50% vinyl and 50% redbook cd’s although I just purchased a DAC to play music directly from a computer – a sort of experiment.
• I heard the 3.6’s about 5 or 6 years ago with Krell electronics and that experience led me to get back to Thiel when the opportunity was at hand. I have found a pair for $1,200. In excellent condition. I recall reading that the 3.6’s were Jim Thiel’s favorite speaker.
• I’ve been listening to the 3.7’s (used) with Classe and CJ electronics in a well-designed room at a dealer. These sound as good as anything I’ve heard in that price range – at least to the best of my aural memory. I can pick up a used pair in pristine condition for ~$6,500.
• I have never listened to the 2.7’s but can reasonably presume that they will have a similar signature to the 3.7’s. That may be too presumptuous. Running used around $5,500.
• I heard the 2.4’s many years ago at RMAF (I think). Can hardly remember the experience, but they get great reviews, so I don’t want to dismiss them. Running used $2,500 to $3,000.
I’ll try to organize my thoughts as best I can.
1. I have a 12’ x 18’ x 10’ high room (2,160 cu ft) that can be dedicated to a 2 channel system. I had a much bigger dedicated room in my previous home, but retirement brought on the desire to downsize. So I can readily appreciate the huge advantages of being able to treat a dedicated room. I am sure that the 2.4’s and 2.7’s would work fine in this room. My concern is that of the 3.6’s or 3.7’s in that they may be a bit large for this room. So first question: Does anyone have any experience with 3.6’s or 3.7’s in a room of this size or would you care to opine as to whether or not they would work in such a room? This is an important point for me because if they’ll work, then I’ll eliminate the 2.4’s and 2.7’s. I have looked at room sizes associated with these speakers in the member’s systems and there are 3 or 4 that are using 12’ wide rooms with the 3.6’s and 3.7’s, although most are in much larger rooms.
2. I could also use our family room which is really a large family/kitchen area. (That’s where the system is currently located. Room size (both rooms) is approximately 25’ wide by 30’ deep with the kitchen’s breakfast bar acting as a sort of separator. This would allow the speakers to be placed as far apart as I desired, but the distance from listener to tweeter will be limited to about 12’. Room treatments would limited although tolerated to some degree by my dear wife. There will also be a wall mounted flat screen tv between the speakers. I am guessing that any of the above speakers would work. So my 2nd request is to get your opinion on this set-up also.
3. I had the good fortune to tour the Thiel facility in 1989 and met many of the folks in the factory. It was a really nice experience. Thiel was recently sold to an equity firm and have clearly taken a much different approach to speaker design. I imagine we may never see the 1.x, 2.x, or 3.x designs again unless another designer resurrects them. So anyone purchasing the 2.7’s or 3.7’s may well be purchasing the last of the CS line. So my 3rd question is whether or not there will be repair parts in the event a driver, resistor, or whatever fails. I suppose this would be speculation on everyone’s part but I can’t think of a better method to determine this. Thiel was always amazingly responsive to questions in the past and quick to send repair parts on the few occasions I needed them.
I’ll try to listen to the speakers whenever I can, but I retired to a small town in lower Alabama and there’s not much around there. I will post this in another forum or 2 to make sure I get as much feedback as possible. I have the same user name in all forums. Thanks for taking time to read this and providing any input you may have.