I use Conrad Johnson MF2500A ss amp and 16lsII tubed pre-amp with my Thiel 3.6s and feel it is a very good match. I can not comment on the sound of Classe. Good Luck
The Thiels need the current to drive them at demanding low impedances (3 Ohm minimum) so that the low and lo-mids will come through with punch. The W5 is a great amp and should be able to provide all the cureent needed. I used to have the CS7s driven by Bryston 7BSTs and while the sound was good, there were time when I felt they also bright.
After a (long story) selling the CS7s and the Brystons, I am now back with Thiels again, this time with Cs6s. But now I am driving them with a Krell 400cx amp and I have all the warmth, punch and sweetness I could ever want. I would recommend cj, ARC, Levinson, Theta, Rowland as other alternatives. If possible, home audition the Classe amps before you buy, if that is still your interest. My guess is that the Classes will not be any "warmer" than the Simaudio you now own. Let us know what you do though. I am always interested in hearing about what other Thiel owners are up to.
Classe is a great match for Thiels. After I purchased my CS6's, I called many dealers that sold Thiels and amps such as Krell, Levinson, BAT and Classe. The general consensus was Classe. I also talked to Kathy at Thiel, the Classe CA400 was one of their reference amps. That sold me on the Classe. I use a CAT SL1 Ultimate for my preamp. The combination of the CAT and Classe is unbelievable. Very fast, musical and dynamic.
As a Thiel owner, I can say that if you hear any brightness it is somewhere in your system and not the speaker. Could be your preamp, cables, and possibly the amp. Whatever it is, the Theils are presenting it and not causing it.
I have heard the Thiel 2 2, 3.6 and CS6 - but not the 2.3 -with the Classe CA amps and Classe preamps and they do work extremely well together. However, don't expect the brightness to disappear with the Classe - whatever is causing it will remain and the Classe will not gloss over it, even though it is a bit on the warm side of neutral. I would have, without reservation, purchased the Classe. I chose the Mark Levinson 20.6 monoblocks instead.
Thiels are bastards - you cannot skimp anywhere in your system with them. They will brutally highlight shortcomings in electronics and cabling.
Hello, I have owned the Thiel MCS 1's the 2.3's the CS 6's and the 7's. I always used Classe Amps, including the CA 300,the newer 301 ( which I liked more than the 300 as it was quieter w/ no ground loop hum)and the Omega. Krell to me sounded to dark with Thiel. I also used Audio Research pre-amps including the LS 2B Mk II and the REF II. Believe it or not for the money I used the LS 2 because it was a hybrid. The 1 tube design I thought was just right. At alot of the shows I used to see, Thiel,Classe and A.R. used alot together. Good Luck!
First off, I would think that the W-5 is going to pair up very well with your Thiels, and I would not think that a shift to Classe' would be a huge difference. More of a side-step than an upgrade, but perhaps a sonic signature that is more pleasing to you. When I went looking to upgrade amps to drive my Thiel CS3.6's, my shopping list included Classe', Moon Audio, Krell, Theta, McCormack, Bryston, Edge, Pass Labs, and a few others. I listened to as many of these as possible (though not Classe'), and to my ears, the Theta Digital amps were by far the best pairing for Thiel. Talking to Shari at Thiel, she said that for the last couple of shows, they have used Theta Digital amps, and they are thrilled with the response. Talking to Theta, they use Thiels (including 3.6's) some some of their benchmarking, so it seemed a good match. I ended up with Enterprise monoblocks for the 3.6's, and an Intrepid for the HT. A two channel Dreadnaught II is a fantastic amp for your 2.3's.
Good luck, Tom.
Thanks for all your informative replies. I have only had my Thiels a short time and each day they seem to sound better. Another factor is that I posted this message after I listened to them in my system for the first time and it was late at night and I was very tired. But now a couple of days later they do not sound nearly as bright. In fact they are quite stunning. Probably the piece that could be improved in my system is my cd player which is a Pioneer Elite PDF19 301 disc player.
I may also look at speaker cable improvements
I have had alot of speakers but now I have found the speaker family I'm sticking with. Should I ever upgrade it would be to a CS3.6, CS6 or even a 7.2.
Thanks again for your input!
Hi! I use a Classe ca301 with my Thiel CS6's and find it to be a good combination. I do use a Joule Electra tube pre-amp with mind and the highs are very nice in my opinion. I have heard nothing but good news on your Sim amplifier and would be surprised if that causes you any concern.One thing that made a smooth difference in my system was when I purchased some MIT speaker wire and interconnects.I like to spend my money on speakers rather than wire but when I finally tried the MIT it was worth it.Funny though, I do not like this wire when using my Aerial 8's instead of the Thiels.I have been a long time Thiel owner and as your last letter stated,I think you will find the sound grows on you!
Sometimes, you just never know!
I have a NAD S200 stereo amp driving my Thiel 2.4's. I was previously driving it with an Arcam AVR200 receiver. What a difference - a rather flabby bass tightened right up!
I am now going to upgrade my interconnects from Kimber 4 to Kimber 8's.
The retailer I bought the Thiels recommended Theta or the NAD as two options (the Theta Dread II being slightly better though 2-3x more expensive) so I am sure Theta is a great pair up - even though it was way outside my budget at the time.