Best affordable amp for Thiel CS3.6

I have a pair of CS3.6's, which I am currently driving with a pair of Adcom GFA-555II's in bridged mono mode. While I am fairly happy with this setup, I realize that the Adcoms may not be in the same league as the Thiels. Any suggestions as to what amps mate well with the CS3.6's? Ideally, I'd love to find an amp (or two, if mono) for under $2,000, but if it's worthwhile, I may go higher. Obviously, if there is a great option out there for less money, I'd be even more interested. Used gear is fine with me, if it is quality gear. I am also considering modding my Adcoms to smooth out the mids/highs and add a little support in the low end.

Another consideration is that I am currently using an Adcom GFA-2535 for my center channel (Thiel SCS3) and surrounds (AR TSW-110), and since it is nice to have matching amps for HT, I'd probably have to add an additional amp or two (eventually).

My sources are currently a Denon DCM-460 and a JVC SA-600, but these are likely to be upgraded in the relatively near future. Both are sending digital outs to my Rotel RSP-1066, which handles the processing.

Thanks for any input/advice.


I'm driving my CS3.6's with an Aragon 8008BB. I've been very happy with it. You can get one used for around $1200 or so.

Good luck!
How about some Monarchy SE-160s hybrid monoblocks. I've seen these as low as $1800.00 a pair. May add some sweetness to the Thiels.

Good Luck!
I upgraded from a McCormack DNA1 (175 watts) to a pair of Classe CAM200 monoblocks (200 watts). The difference was huge- better bass, better resolution of details in the high end, sweeter. It seems like the ability to 'double down' (400 watts into 4 ohms, etc.) might be the thing to look for- not all amps can do this, and the 3.6's go to 2 ohms at certain frequencies.
GamuT 200W stereo is considered a good match. I listened to that combo driven by a Rowland pre and the result was very musical and nicely detailed. Big room (~35x20).

Good point about doubling down. I know those Thiels present a demanding load, and I want to make sure the amp is up to the challenge. Do you think the benefits from the McCormack to Classe had more to do with increased headroom and the monoblock design, or was it more of a "McCormack versus Classe" kind of thing? I had been considering McCormack as a contender.


I was waiting for someone to suggest Aragorn. It seems to be a logical match. The Bryston and CJ recommendations are also along the lines of what I had expected.

You people have me doing some research! Thanks, Tom.