Anyone hear Thiel CS1.6?

Thanks for thoughts.
I heard the 1.6's on a trip to Boston a month or so ago. It was driven by a Krell integrated and a Krell CD player.

As someone mentioned above, when you first crank a song you look around the room trying to figure out which of the larger speakers is playing. It just does throw out a big sound. But whatever makes it sound so large at first made it seem for me a little too in your face after listening for a while.

I think by now it is safe to say that there are all sorts of music lovers here. I have read a lot of people like to listen intensely for short periods of time. I prefer long term listening without fatigue which I believe does require a somewhat more laid back voiced speaker.
I'll pipe in here, I've got a pair of the 1.6s, and I've listened to them in several setups. I've had them for 6 months.

1. They're extremely sensitive to sources, amplification and cables. This can't be overstated. I've heard good things with spectral equipment, with NAIM and McCormack. The worst setup I heard was a Levinson integrated with an Arcam FMJ 23 CD player - the soundstage collapsed. There was no texture - basically it was like listening to a very expensive clock radio. I'm currently using them with an Arcam Alpha 7 CD player, McCormack DNA 0.5 power Amp, Spectral DMC 12 preamp, MITerminator 2 cables, and some cat 5e solid core copper phone wire for speaker cables. The cat 5e is smoother than the MIT cables I was using. The MIT's might not be the best, but they just might be the brightest!

2. There's a good chance they'll sound harsh if you just set 'em up with any equipment. But I find this true of many other speakers, in particular some that are touted to "love tubes". I also find this true of live music.

3. They fill a room, at least a medium room, as well as anything I've heard, and better than other speakers I like.

4. They are extremely detailed and really allow me to hear the beginning middle and end of notes and the nuances of notes with no loss of pace.

5. They are very sensitive to placement.

6. The bass that's there is incredibly natural, and I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

If you don't want to fiddle with equipment matching or messing around with placement, stay away, cause these speakers can reveal alot of upper mid nasties. If you're willing to stick it out, though, I think you'll be rewarded with very natural, detailed, involving performance.


I don't know what to tell you Drubin. We must have as opposite tastes as they come. Spendors are some of the most neutral, accurate and coherent speakers made. In particular, their midrange, soundstaging and vocals have few peers. You will rarely find anyone on these boards having to make excuses for the sound of a Spendor.

Again, I don't own the S8, but I've heard it and it just about smokes everything. As you may know, the British mags are much tougher and honest with their reviews. I remember seeing one that reviewed the S8 and when it came time to detail the negatives the quote was something like "absolutely nothing for that price." Again, we're not talking the old Stereo Review or current Stereophile or TAS.

As for the Thiel 1.6, I found it mediocre at best. Besides the obvious and dreadful lack of mid to low bass, I remember thinking of adjectives like hollow, thin, shallow to describe the sound - particularly the midrange. You're right, the best part of the speaker is the tweeter and it did produce a detailed top-end. However, it probably seems to be more focused or detailed than other speakers because that's all your getting, hence the bright overall balance. It imaged ok, but I didn't find the soundstage particularly large or deep.

The worst thing (and the primary criteria I use for judging equipment) is that it just didn't make my feet tap to the music. If it did for you, then that's all that matters. Enjoy.
The feet tapping is certainly a good criterion for judging.

Regarding the Spendors, I only want to add that I owned SP1/2's for a couple of years and a friend of mine had the FL9, so I wasn't shooting from the hip. Except that my experience with the Thiels has been limited. But my experience has been that they are champs when it comes to image specificity, which I never found to be true of Spendor (or many other speakers).

I'm sorry to say that I never really "got" what all the fuss is about Spendor. And I owned original Quads for 15 years, so it's not like I'm coming from a Cerwin-Vega heritage or anything. And I do know the sound of live music. I guess my musical priorities are different from the legions of audiphiles who admire Spendor.
Totem beaks - don't know how good they really are but Spendor dealer put them on the 1/2's. Obviously he was aware of the cabinet design - I think it's called "lossy".
They sure didn't solve the problems of the Spendors as I heard colorations on vocals and think it was due to box resonances.
Spendors seemed like analog / vinyl type of sound. Detailed but soft.