Best amp/ IC's to go with my Thiel 2.4SB's


Hello All,
It has been many years since I have joined in on the forums, sadly it was because I sold off all of my Ayre components, but fortunately I kept my Thiel speakers. 
As for the amp question I pretty much know the answer before asking, the Ayre V-5Xe. That is the amp I previously owned. But just like before I am at the crossroads of do I go with an Integrated or a stand-alone two-channel. Before I started with the BAT VK-300x SE, Ayre A7-Xe, and finally the Krell KAV-400xi. The Krell out of the three Integrated s performed the best as I was completely surprised at it's power output and ability to drive the Thiels. Then when finances allowed I purchased the V-5xe and the Ayre K-5Xe pre-amp. I have a shot at another V-5Xe, except this one is Black (originally a $250 up-charge) for $2,750 from the original owner.
My second question is at the time I went with AudioQuest Cheetah XLR IC's they were second from the top at the time. I always like the neutrality of AQ's when it came to their sonic footprint. But after working for 5 years for a local company, which will remain unnamed. I found out what many people don't know and that is that all of AQ's cables are marked-up aprrox. 300% from what an employee would pay. Now to me I just won't pay that kind of money I would rather buy something used at half the price. With that being said since I was last in this game I see the Siltech cables which from what I read are high quality and very neutral. Can anyone give me a fair comparison between AQ and Siltech .
Finally, I am trying to decide if I should go with an Integrated first. The only reason I am even considering this is because I have found a very clean Ayre K-5e pre-amp but to be up to date it would be $1,200 to send it back to Ayre to have it brought up to the present K-5 xeMP pre-amp that sells new for $5k. I am looking a a 5 month old Music Fidelity M5si, they are asking $1,500 but is accepting offers, I figure $1,250. It being rated at 150 W @ 8 Ohms and only puts out 265 W per channel @ 4 Ohms.
Sorry for the long thread but I greatly appreciate your input.
Thanks,
David
f1wheels
Buy the Ayre V-5Xe and K-5e. This is what you have tried and are familiar with your Thiel's! Excellent amplification! Keep the K-5e stock (it is already a superb preamp!). Regarding IC's: contact HCM and see if they have any left of the AQ Silver Extremes (list $400). I paid $100 new for mine (5 pairs - $500!). A superb IC!
AQ might be marking up 300%, but do you think any other manufacturer is going to be selling their  product at a lower markup?-esp. if it is highly regarded.
Business is business, and making money is the name of the game.

Why not just buy used and save on the depreciation?
I agree with roberjerman, get the Ayre-you can always upgrade later.
B
The only question I would offer an option to is the interconnect question.
Although you will receive many different answers, IMO I would go with the Cerious Technologies Graphene interconnects or their newly released Matrix interconnects depending upon how much you want to spend.
Yes, the Matrix is more expensive but extremely good compared to the Graphene interconnects which are good, and for the price a killer interconnect.
For interconnects I would try these they are very good irrespective of price. No affiliation just a satisfied costumer.

https://www.dysonaudio.com/

As for an integrated I would go with Pass but they are fairly pricey. The Thiels like a lot of current to sound their best and the Pass can provide that. 

Chuck 
I have found a very clean Ayre K-5e pre-amp but to be up to date it would be $1,200 to send it back to Ayre to have it brought up to the present K-5 xeMP pre-amp that sells new for $5k.
I have done 3 Ayre upgrades (AX-7 to "e", CX-7 to "e", and QB-9 to "DSD") and experienced worthwhile improvements for each. Recommended if your budget allows. (BTW, I'm using an AX-5 Twenty on my CS2.4 SEs).

You should visit the "Thiel owners thread" on the Speakers forum. Tom Thiel is going to help Rob Gillum engineer XO upgrades for some Thiel models and I think the CS2.4 will be one of the first done. I think this will likewise prove a worthwhile upgrade.
WoW,
I did not expect so many of you to take your time and give great advice. Ya I know that all of the IC companies are all about the money, it's just when you know the REAL price of the cable it is almost next to impossible to pay retail for them. I of course will not do this, if I have to wait and go without the use of the amp I purchased until I find a used pair of IC's then so be it. There is one last question, I have never had any experience with Pass Labs. The Thiel's, like you all said are "power hungry" and the V-5xe puts out 300 W/CH @ 4 Ohms. There is a Pass Labs X250 in great shape 500 W/CH @ 4 Ohms on Agon right now for the same price as the V-5xe I am looking at. Which one would you choose??
Many thanks to all of you out there, I will have to join the Thiel speaker forum. I always wondered what would happen if one of my drivers went bad, since Thiel is now pretty much out of business? I have had the coherent driver go bad twice in the same speaker and Thiel replaced it.
Pass and Ayre are both top-shelf. Can’t make a bad decision. I am a fan of the Ayre’s zero-feedback sound and find it a great match with my CS2.4SE. Others say Thiel’s sound better with more power. What did you find lacking when you previously had Ayre?

Thiel is now pretty much out of business?
Yes, but fear not: https://www.coherentsourceservice.com/
Thiel service will continue as ever!

Again, please read "Thiel owners thread: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/thiel-owners-2
I did as you asked and posted on the Thiel owners forum. I was wondering if since the diver dimensions are the same on the standard 2.4's could I upgrade mine with drivers from the 2.4 SB's?
As for anything lacking , NOTHING! I never got to a point where I needed more volume then what the Ayre could produce and was always happy with the combination I had Ayre V-5xe, K-5x, and CX-7e with AQ Cheetah XLR IC's and AQ Mont Blanc speaker wire.
Thanks,
David
I assume you mean "SE"? Never heard of the CS2.4 SB.

Most differences are cosmetic: veneer and finish, stainless steel outrigger spikes and driver screws, laser-etched binding post plate. The *only* sonic upgrade was Clarity SA caps on the coax feed. That’s it. You can read about it at Ultra Audio and EnjoyTheMusic.

IOW, the drivers are identical. There is nothing to upgrade there. Rob Gillum can repair them if need be, and he has the Clarity SAs if you want to upgrade from the stock Solens. But I would wait to see what Tom Thiel comes up with. I think he’ll have an upgrade path that will handily surpass the two Clarity SAs.
Very nice system! f1wheels.

beetlemania is spot on with his advice. I can attest that if you get an opportunity to buy AQ Volcano speaker cabling- do it!
Otherwise, your gear/cabling selection is perfect.

Happy Listening!
Right now I still have the Mont Blanc speaker cable from my old system and liked it very much. I don't see any reason for changing it out I am going to have to spend enough money on IC's just as it is.
David

f1wheels


I like the AQ Sky IC -RCA or XLR. It is outstanding.

Happy Listening!

If you're going to consider pass, I would call them and ask for a recommendation. I used an xa30.5 on mine, which was much better than a 250.5. At the time I was warned by pass that the 250.5 would be "a little bright" with the 2.4s, and that was true. The xa series lost that brightness and felt more natural to me. With the new lines, I'd ask for their recommendations. They don't care if you're buying used.
P.S. I loved my pass & Thiel combo.
If you're going to consider pass, I would call them and ask for a recommendation. I used an xa30.5 on mine, which was much better than a 250.5. At the time I was warned by pass that the 250.5 would be "a little bright" with the 2.4s, and that was true. The xa series lost that brightness and felt more natural to me. With the new lines, I'd ask for their recommendations. They don't care if you're buying used.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/175913-pass-labs-amp-combination-thiel-speakers-pass-advice...

https://www.passlabs.com/press/leaving-class
Hi,
I appreciate the input from all of you! I ended up going with the same amp that I had before, the Ayre V-5xe. It is a one-owner and in really good condition. Plus it is in black, which at the time Ayre charged an extra $250 for this. I prefer the black as it will match the rest of my gear. 
I also got ahold of Rob @ coherent source and he sent me the up-grade kit with the different caps to install. So I am looking forward to getting that as well.
The only thing I have left to decide is do I want to go with the Ayre K-5x pre-amp or just save some money and keep using my Marantz AV-7701 pre-pro? There are 2 K-5's on Ebay right now, one of them I already called Ayre on. It is from 2004 but went in for a non working remote this last January and it was given a clean bill of health, it is selling for $1,600. Or there is another but it is the K-5xeMP, which is current for $2,600 OBO. Ayre would charge me $1,200 to upgrade the K-5x to the current K-5xeMP.
Anyone have any thoughts on this matter?
Thanks Again,
David

Thanks! for the update - f1wheels


keep me posted as you install, re-cap your speakers. I look forward in reading more about this project.

Happy Listening!

Just a quick update, I got my Thiel caps from Rob @ coherent source along with the box to send him my grill covers. They aren't in bad shape but after 12 years it is time for some new ones. I ended up buying the Ayre K-5xeMP pre-amp and a guy I used to work with is getting me a great deal on some brand new AQ Earth's. A 1 M pair and a 1 1/2 pair XLR for $1,000 brand new. I am going to wait to do the cap upgrade on the speakers so I can listen to them first the way they have always been. Then I will switch out the caps. Even Rob suggested doing it this way as he said I would really notice the improvement in sound. I will keep you updated.
David

Thanks! for the update - f1wheels

Keep us posted on your project of switching the caps.

Happy Listening!