Amp for Thiel CS1.5?

Hi again folks,
Well I settled on purchasing a set of Thiel CS1.5 speakers to upgrade more to 2-channel from HT. I may live with my Outlaw 1050 powering them for a short time but know I'll need a separate amp from what I've read.

Thiel's website seems to strongly suggest getting an amp that will double the wattage as the impedence halves. Getting something close to this will probably narrow the field of contenders.

My biggest constraint is what I can spend on an amp right now. I can probably swing around $500-600 for the amp.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Just from reading I've wondered about a 70 or 100 watt from Classe, or that a Rotel might be a stepping stone until I can swing something nicer.

In your price range you might be able to find a used conrad johnson 2250; cj is a good match for thiels. I currently run a cj premier350 into thiel 3.6's with great results. Prior to the premier 350 I used a cj 2500A also with good results.

70 watts won't cut it!
These are great little floor standers that love power and can be hard to drive. My experiences with them left me with wanting a little more bass and softer in the highs. These are very "accurate" and a bright amp may not work well.
If I had to choose for your money, I'd look for an Aragon or a similar Class A rated solid state amp with "warmer" sound and built to withstand the speakers needs.

I agree thiels love good quality power and the more the merrier but for 500-600 hi4head is not going to get much. Even what I recommended is going to push his budget probably beyond what he has.


Try the Forte' Model 3(a-b, high bias), I saw one on AG about a week ago for about 365.00. It's the little brother to the Threshold. And a smoothy of an amp,for the price.Careful you run good cables though.THe Audioquest GBC which runs for 100.00 new off hcm Is a decent budjet cable, ok bottom end but not great. I used a Forte' to power a pair of Thiel cs2's.There are plenty of good used amps you could choose from but for 365.00 if you can find it. THe forte' is a great buy. I wish I still owned can't beat it for the amount your look'n to spend. It's a work horse of an amp 100wpc e-z!
All good advise above. Other (perhaps not even as good) considerations include: Classe', Muse and PSE.
Thanks for the input folks.

Any thoughts on Anthem's older MCA 2? It is shown as being rated at 200/350 for 8/4 ohms. This doesn't quite meet Thiel recommendation for doubling when going to 4 ohms.

I'm unsuccessful so far tracking down the specs on units from PSE (Studio Mark IV) or from Muse.

Since I'm new at this in moving from a simple HT receiver setup, I'm unfamiliar with which amps would be "bright".

Thanks again,

I wouldn't let doubling down conern me but another amp to consider would be McCormack.

Chuck, the McCormack is a good recommendation. For someone new to this using the "doubling down" criterion has a lot of merit. The 1.5's hang around 4 OHms and drop to 3 Ohms.

The point of my comment, and I apologize for not saying this earlier, is that one should be more concerned about sound quality and system synergy. Obviously the number of watts required is a function of room size and acoustics as well as the type of music and sound level required.

Another amp that did a pretty nice job with my Thiel 3.6's was a B&K st140 I believe was the model number. A friend let me borrow his until my new amp came in and this should fit well within your budget.

Main concern would be how large a room you've got. If on the smaller side (appropriate for these speakers), even a decent push-pull tube 50-watter could sound better than many affordable SS 100-watters (that's the experience I had with my 2.2's in a smaller room), depsite the fact that tube amps don't "double down". Point is it's going to be the sound quality of what watts you do have that matters most, not the specs, and these speakers will please much more at your budget if you trade off high power for higher-quality power.
From my experience with 1.5s, Classe CAP 100 was a good match. But Thiels use a lot of power, even small Thiels, even in small rooms I now use a Musical Fidelity A300--260w @ 4ohm--and a small REL sub. The sub really helps with power management. The speakers aren't working so hard to distribute all that fine wattage. In fact, I could really go down in power. So, if you still have a powered subwoofer from your HT, use that with the Thiels along with your Outlaw--not sure what that sounds like on Thiels--and wait a bit until you have the money for a quality power source, because, like you've probably heard, Thiels will reveal every mistake you've made upstream. Best of luck.
I echo the recommendation of the Forte amp. Look for a model 4 which is a pure class A outputing 50watts. When I started this hobby many many years ago, I heard the combo at the dealers and was quite impressed. (I had already bought the 2.2 and the Forte model 6 which outputs 200 watts in AB mode at that time.)

Thanks again to everyone.
The speakers are in my living room which is approximately 17x17x9. I do have a powered sub, a Def Tech that was recommended by my local dealer. I also bought the speakers that the Thiels are replacing from him. He said that the Def Tech was fast and would mate well with the Monitor Audio Silver 5's. I'm hoping that the sub will be OK with the Thiels.

The Outlaw has its own base management system. I've been tempted to connect my better cd player in using the 'direct in' hook up which bypasses the bass management. If I do this, then the powered sub is excluded; every bit of the signal will only go to the main speakers. Oh well, something to play with.

I'm buying the Thiels from a guy here on Audiogon and hopefully they will arrive today or Monday.

I want to thank everyone again for their input and suggestions.

My - new to me - PSE Studio Mark IV arrived last night. I've only had a short time to listen to it, but I am seriously impressed. I'm now getting a sense of how good my system can sound. Having this amp in place versus simply powering the Thiels with the receiver is like a whole new world. I am thrilled with what I'm hearing.

One thing that some sellers helped me with was the amount of heat generated by some amps. I appreciate folks honestly telling me that their amp wouldn't be a good fit for my setup (the amp needs to go in an armoire entertainment center). I really feel that folks here have steered me in the right direction.

Hopefully someday I'll know enough to help others out in this hobby as well.