Are Thiel 2.3 much better than the 2 2's?

I'd like to upgrade from Thiel 2 2's, and the 2.3's are appealing.

1) Based on your experience, are they much better than the 2 2's? (I live in a remote area - the nearest 2.3's are like 1,000 miles away, so I can't go listen.)

2) What other speaker in the 2.3 price would you recommend instead?

Thank you.
I have owned them both and both can sound good with the right components. I tried numberous amps Pass, Krell, Aragon, BAT, VAC with MIT cables but the 2.3s still had a bright edge to them. The BAT with a BAT tube preamp with MIT cables sounded the best. But in the end I could not live with the brightness. The 2.2s sounded more neutral but I would give a slight edge to the 2.3s. I have not heard the 2.3s with the new drivers which I have heard tames the high end. I moved to Audio Physic Virgos which sound great and can be found for about the same price as a used pair of 2.3s. Be sure you like the Thiel sound before you invest in any of their models
I sure do agree with Gjrad. I tried and tried to like the 2.3's - but the brightness was impossible. Put on a VERY well recorded cd and they are wonderful. But most cd's are not wonderfully recorded and the sound was so bright it almost became harsh after extended listening. I replaced them with Proac Response 2.5 and was thrilled the first listen and they have only gotten better. I am once again just enjoying the great music---no matter what cd I put on. I should have made the change well before investing in cables, interconnects, positioning, etc. that never seemed to work. It really is about the music---isn't it?
You should consider 3.6's, they are a big step up from the 2.2's. Mine aren't bright at all, I'm using cj pre and classe amp with silver ic's and kimber speaker cable. I have not heard the 2.3's so I can't offer a comparison. You can get a used pair of 3.6's for 2k or less - Thiel still makes them. Buy em and the quality of your source components will never out grow em... just an opinion...
My Thiel resume is a lengthy one, as follows :)

1)Auditioned the 2 2s at a dealer (w/ BAT electronics, MIT cabling, Naim CDP, jazz music)
2)Owned the 1.5s for a year
3)Traded up to the 2.3s and have been using them for the last two years.

Wish I had a clear favorite among them, but I don't. Whenever I see someone selling the 2 2s for 1K - 1.5 K on the used market, however, I regret not having an extra room in my house for a pair. They are that good. In terms of value for the money, used 2 2s represent (to my mind) one of the best deals on the market.

I have the 2.3s now and like them for their excellent precision and the somewhat greater "presence" they offer over the 1.5s I owned previously, if not much of a boost in the bass dept.

I don't think the 2.3s give you a tremendous improvement over the 2 2s.... maybe a bit more detail, transparency, and bass tightness.

But here's the deal with Thiel: They are very accurate loudspeakers. They will "notice" when you change speaker cables, interconnects, move them too close to a wall, etc.
That applies to any of the Thiel models I've heard.

Use a quality source component (Cal Audio, for example) and ample watts to drive their 3-4 ohm load.

If I were choosing between the 2 2s and the 2.3s and I doubted the quality of my source or amplification, I'd opt for the 2 2s, which seemed to be a bit more forgiving.

To give you some context for my comments: For the 2.3s, I use a McCormack .5 Deluxe (Revision A) with Shunyata power cord; this results in a nice refined sound with excellent extension (not bright). The McCormack .5 was plenty of muscle for the 1.5s, but maybe just enough for the 2.3s at normal listening volumes. I suspect that the 2.3s really crave something on the order of 250 watts into 3-4 ohms, so I might be looking at a larger stereo McCormack (or monoblocked .5s) at some point.

Other Thiel owners report good results with Classe and Plinius, but I haven't heard those combinations myself.

Bottom line: If a friend asked me to recommend the best speakers for 1K, I'd tell him or her to try to find a used pair of Thiel 2 2s in excellent condition.

Some other speakers in the price range to consider: Revel M30s, Aerial Acoustic 6s, and B&W N 804s.

Hope that helps...

The 2.3's are an excellent speaker,but I do agree with everyones comments on the brightness.However,if these speakers have had the upgrade apllied,new mid-tweeter and components changed on the crossovers,they are absolutely stunning.I considered parting with mine until I did the upgrade.Now,they will never leave my residence.I have not heard the 2.2's and cannot comment on them.But,I highly recommend the 2.3's.This upgrade seemed to make the speaker more efficient.I use CJ tube equipment and the amps had a hard time driving them until the mod.My system has been reborn due to the upgrade and I no longer look for other pieces to change out.If you would like to see the upgrade procedure for the 2.3's,I can e-mail you the info.I believe the upgrade runs in the 300-400 dollar range.It is well worth it.Good Luck with what ever you choose.

Such a simple sounding question, oiy vey. I've owned Thiel 2.2, 2.3, 3.6 and Proac 2.5 and currently Spendor FL-9. Here goes....

1. Thiel sound vs Proac vs Spendor
Thiel are very clean and analytical. They need a lot of power to sound their best, especially the 3.6. Proac is more naturally musical but slightly less neutral and detailed. Spendor is even a bit less neutral and detailed, but to me the most musical. One could argue that Thiels are missing some of the naturalness of the music, or, that the Thiels are fine but the components or recordings are the problem. Sigh.

2 Some people prefer Thiel 2.2 over 2.3. Not me. I think the 2.3 is far preferable to the 2.2. It is more extended on top and bottom and astoundingly coherent top to bottom. It is more coherent than the 3.6. 3.6 has far more bass energy though, when properly powered. (400wpc solid state) 2.2 vs 2.3 appears to be a matter of taste since opinions do differ on this.

3. A LOT of breakin is needed for all of these speakers. Just playing them for a hundred hours is not enough. I discovered that a quick breakin is possible, by placing the speakers face to face and reversing the leads on one speaker. They will play out of phase with each other and the midrange and bass information cancel out, while the drivers are working hard. You can play speakers loud in this configuration and hear almost nothing. You can also destroy your speakers if you are not careful.... but when done carefully, you can achieve extraordinary breakin, really, years of breakin, over several nights of quiet play.

Many, perhaps most of the complaints about all of these speakers look to me to be attributable to lack of break-in or, in the case of Thiel, under-powered.

4. Cables matter. Quality of gear matters. A lot.


ps have any of you heard the new Thiel 1.6?
Great information from both Art and Obriander - one point worth a second is the accuracy and sensitivety of Thiels. I have changed several ic's, speaker cables, and a couple of power cords..and the change is immediately apparant with the Thiels, so is movement of an inch!! My MIT speaker cables just malfunctioned and I replaced them with a backup - Kimber 8tc. The whole context of the system changed - I've done this very thing with Polks then Vandy's and the change was noticable but subtle. Also, my classe amp at 200 watts drives 3.6's aplenty....good luck.
P.S. -- Art & Pops are absolutely correct about the importance -- and potential rewards -- of cable matching with the Thiels. When I replaced Kimber 8TCs with MIT MH-770s, the balance became warmer, shifting quite noticeably toward the low end of the sonic spectrum. It would have been like increasing the bass tone control on my pre-amp (that is, if my pre-amp had a bass tone control :)

Ultimately, I returned to the Kimbers, though. The MIT seemed to be slightly diminishing the Thiel's treble range. Not a lot, but enough to make my wife observe that violins sounded a little less exciting. But, oh, that "extra bass" was nice.

Lately, my Thiel 2.3s are sounding good through Transparent Reference cables...

Good luck in your search!