Affordable Power for Thiel CS 2.0s

No $$. My Audio Reseach D125 gave-up and I am questioning the wisdom of paying to fix it. Never had enough power for the Theils. Tested against much higher power Haflers and Adcoms. Power sounded better, just couldn't live the the sound quality. I see the VT-20 monoblocks here and it fits my meager budget but I've never heard them. for $650 I doubt that I'd find better on the used market. Thoughts? Suggestions?
I would guess you like the tube sound but need a bit more power. If you can find an ARC D100.2 (their solid state amplifier, now replaced by the 150.2), I think it would be a good match for the Thiels. I used an NAD 2200 with Thiel CS-3s for a while, not bad, but certainly not a tube-like sound, and if you didn't like the Hafler or Adcom you might not go for the NAD. One other possibility is a used Meitner STR-55 or MTR 101s, very rich-sounding solid-state amplifiers that might mate well with the Thiels.

What are the VT-20 monoblocks you're referring to?
I've had CS 2's for years. IMHO warm solid state is the way to go. While the 2's might just be the most tube friendly of all Thiels, the ported bass can be a little soft. I've had wonderfull results with conrad-johnson solid state. You might find used c-j ss in your budget right here on Audiogon. If your want to add tubes upstream the input impdeance of these amps are very accomodating of tubes.
I agree with Unsound CJ ss is a very good match for Thiels. I have Thiel 3.6's and have used an MF2500A in the past I now use a premier 350. I also might suggest Mccormick.


I agree with the suggestion about considering McCormack. I used a DNA 0.5 Deluxe with Thiel 2.2's and, while the Thiels were still a little bright for my taste, the sound was considerably warmer than with the Parasound amp I'd had before. There are exceptional buys on McCormack amps if you're patient and they provide an almost limitless upgrade path if you like them.
With all due respect to the previous posters, I'm not so high on McCormack with the CS 2's. The McCormack amps have some wonderfull qualities, dynamic, deep, tight, smooth and liquid. On the other hand IMHO they can be a bit forward and even shouty. A GREAT match with Vandersteens and perhaps newer Thiels. The CS 2's were more of the old school Thiels. The newer ones seem to be a little more refined. This is not meant to disparage either the McCormack amps or the Thiel CS 2's. Both of which are IMHO amongst the very best bargains on the used market.
I would also echo the use of the CJ solid state (Motif and MF series), as the others have, I should have mentioned them earlier. And if you can get one of CJ's earlier Premiere tubed amps, you might not care about some slightly weaker bass!

Unsound is right, the Thiels following the CS2 and 3.5, while certainly not sounding shelved down in the highs, are not as forward-sounding and as tilted to the highs as the earlier models. Matching them with a forward-sounding amp might be a little too hard on the ears, at least at higher volumes.
I'm dissapointed with myself for not mentioning these earlier: Forte' 5 and 6. There are others in the line, but, I think the power or the cost make them less appealing in this application.
Another thought might be Classe'. Not my favorite of the three lines I mentioned, but, a worthy consideration.
More thoughts keep comming to mind. The next two are guarded recommendations. For some reason I seem to like the Bryston 3B ST much more than most others. With that said the 20 year transferable warranty sure makes it a sound used consideration. The VTL amps with their 5 Ohm output are a natural for the CS 2's. The VTL's tend to have better bass than most other tube amps. That said they don't work for me, as I find them too forward and pushy on the CS 2's. YMMV.
During the 17 years or so I owned the 2s I was quite happy driving them with a Precision Fidelty M-8, a conrad johnson Mv-75a1 and a Bryston 3B-ST. The last two amps I still own.
The Bryston was a very good match. The c-j was excellent imho. I also used a Hafler DH220 briefly and an Audionics CC3. The Audionics was okay. I did not like the Hafler-Thiel synergy. Heard a good demo with the 2s and an Electrocompaniet 100 watter many many moons ago.