Driving a Thiel

I'm looking at purchasing some of the discontinued floorstanding Thiel Models (CS .5, 1.5 and 2.3)and was wondering whether my 120 Watt Marantz SR 8200 receiver has enough power to drive these speakers. I'm not playing anything loud but other threads about appropriate amps and so forth concerned me.

Thanks for all the help!
I've owned several models of Thiels and you're going to hear this repeatedly from others, but no, a receiver will not effectively drive these speakers. Even at low volumes, you'll never hear what these speakers are capable of without a good, solid state amp, such as a Levinson, Krell, BAT, etc. Thiels are great speakers, but are not very efficient and present a 2-4 ohm load, which requires something better than a receiver.
I agree with Dave43 that your receiver will not properly drive the 2.3 [I also have used a pair of 2 2 from Thiel ] . I have no experience with the 2 other models so my comments are limited to the larger Model .

I do want to point out that a well built [ can handle the lower Load ] Tube amp of 120 Watts or more , can sound very nice with these Speakers . Most VTL , Audio Reaserch , Conrad Johnson , etc. of 120 Watts+ will be fine .
To confirm what Tubeo just said, I drive my Thiel 2.4s with Audio Research's Ref 110 power amp (110 wpc) but it has high quality transformers and overengineered power supply (with 520 Joules of energy storage), providing plenty of headroom for peak energy demand. They sound great together but the amp is roughly 2X the cost of the speakers! If you cannot hear the combo together, I would err on the side of caution and look for speakers that are more sensitive with benign impedance curves.

Not to go on a tangent but I would actually work your problem in reverse (funds allowing ofcourse), which is to say, I would start with a speaker that you like and work your way back to find the proper amplification that will drive the speakers suitably. But that may be more than you want to chew on right now. Good luck.
Dave43 is right, so I will go ahead and be the fourth to tell you that your receiver is a poor match for these fine loudspeakers.

Not to say you shouldn't follow Cmalak's advice and get the Thiels of your choice and then move to better amplification as your budget allows. Just make sure that your Marantz receiver is capable of driving <4ohm loads, otherwise you will soon be listening to the wonderful sound of silence.

Better yet, why don't you pick up a pair of used Thiel 2 2's for about $800 (IMO these sound better than any of the models you mention) and use the extra funds to buy an amp that will do the job well.

Good luck.
You can get a bel Canto s500 or S1000 for amp needs for the Thiels. They sound very good together.
I am a Thiel dealer and I have found Thiel loudspeakers to work best with class AB, or class A amplifiers.
I like them best with Plinius myself.
Anything high power and high current should work well!
No, your reciever will run out of power. You will need an amp with some ba..s for any Thiel speaker. Just because an amp has hi wattage does not meean it can handle Thiels. Whatever you try make sure you can drive them at the volumes you really want to listen at. Do not baby them, other wise when you want volume you may not get it. Thiel speakers will give most any amp a through workout. Some high power amps in the 500 to 1000 watt range must be modded by the manufacturer to deal with Thiels.
Thiel makes great speakers they just have a wide ohm range and need lots of power to sound their best.
I have Moon W6's, they cannot drive Thiels with any justice.
I totally agree with Buff

I have Thiel2.4 and I think Cmalak never listened his speakers yet.
I strongly suggest Cmalak to put a powerful SS amp behind the 2.4 and listen how much them sound differently
I use the Parasound Halo JC1's , kinda 400/8ohms and 800/4ohms to feed my 2.4 and I bought them from a guy with ARC monos 120 .. he's another one that never listened this speaker correctly powered.
It's a impedence matter .. tubes can't correctly copy the long fall into 2 ohms that 2.4 has in the mids territory where on the contrary the powerful and good SS amps floodlight that area.
Curio...I have had powerful SS amps behind my Thiel 2.4s...I had the Musical Fidelity A5 (250/500/1000 wpc into 8/4/2 ohms) and I had Musical Fidelity KW500s (500/1000/2000 wpc into 8/4/2 ohms). And I upgraded to the Ref 110 with a big smile on my face. So thank you for your recommendation but I tried all three and know what sounded best (to me). If you read my post I told the OP to be cautious and choose speakers that are more sensitive and have a more benign impedance curve because it is unlikely that has integrated receiver will be able to drive any of the Thiels.
Hevac1, the Thiels don't have a "wide Ohm range", in fact it's just the opposite.
Curio, the Thiels don't have a "long fall", see above.
Thiels can be run with some tube amps, but due to the load, tubes aren't the most cost efficient way to power them.
A speaker that can have loads down to 1 ohm is a wide range to me. Most amps are rated 8 to 4 ohms. not many have a lower Ohm rating in their specs. I have listened to a few amps with Theils and found most even if rated down to 2 Ohms cannot handle them.
Hevac 1...I am not sure where you get that the Thiel CS2.4 goes down to 1ohm...in the attached link, you will see that the speaker stays between 3 and 4 ohms from 100Hz to 50KHz and drops to 2.7ohms (min dip at 600 Hz). So a high quality 4ohm rated amp with 100wpc+ will drive the Thiel 2.4 very nicely. Here is the Impedance vs Phase vs Frequency plot from Stereophile: http://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/theC24FIG1.jpg
Hevac1, there's a difference between low range and wide range.
What amp was used and would it have been able to go down to 1 ohm?
3 to 4 ohm is what Theil states their speakers low ranges are, even the 7.2 is only 2.7 ohm min.
It is a conservative estimate at best I think.
I had Theils a few years ago and found, the more power you have the better they sounded and the lower ohms the amp can handle the lower the bass would go regardless of rating.
BTW, I am not saying that Theils are not an excellent speaker. I am just saying that a quality amp with lots of power is best and a receiver will not do them justice.
Hevac1...my point is the Thiels don't dip down to 1ohm. The Stereophile measurements on the Thiel 2.4 show the min dip of 2.7ohms at 600Hz and for most of the frequency spectrum the Thiels stayed in between 3 and 4 ohms. In any case, i agree with you that the Thiels do need high quality power and a lot of it and the OPs receiver will not drive them properly. By the way, every time i check out your system, I am impressed. Nicely done.
It is NOT impedance but a combination of low impedance and a high phase angle which defines a bad load.

Even a mediocre amp will drive a resistor. Some even at 3 ohms or MAYBE even lower.
However, throw in a highly reactive load and there you go.


None of the above links are to the Thiel models asked about, but certainly indicate a design philosophy which requires a first rate amp which can maintain into large phase angle loads.
Good hunting.
All Thiel's respond poorly to mid-fi amplification. I know because I ran several receivers and seperates such as Carver and Adcom, searching for a low cost amp for my CS3.5s. They just don't cut it. The amps mentioned by others are no-brainers from a pure quality standpoint, but come at a steep price of entry. You will need to spend at least $600 for something worthwhile. At that price, you can get a used Odyssey Stratos. That will keep you happy for a while, no doubt about it.
Hello smata67,

I still have the Odyssey Stratos Plus but trust me with my Thiel 2.4 it doesn't sound half than my Parasound Halo JC1's do!
IMHO to drive Thiels 2.4 two monoblocks like JC1's are just a good starting point.
On the 2.4 brochure there is a black&white picture of the 2.4 tested by Thiel and "strangely" close to the speakers there are two Mark Levinson 33H amps.. why? :)
because they want to sell the speakers to testosterone imbued customers like yourself :-)
I suggest Cmalak to try these "Testosterone Amps" besides his 2.4 .. maybe he 'll discover new & unespected frequencies coming from his well known speakers

Happy New Year from Italy to everyOne!

that was a joke Curio :-) I was just teasing you.
I have had Thiel 1.0, 1.2, 2.0, 2.2 ans 2.3
and used B & K 202 200 wt-OK
McIntosh 200 wt-MC206-Heaven
no a cheapo reciever will not work
Had a pair of 1.5s that I wish I'd never sold. Ran them on Classe, Mac, Cary, and Musical Fidelity, both tube and solid state. By far the worst combo was with the Musical Fidelity, IMO. You need a good AMPLIFIER, not a receiver; otherwise you'll hear the limitations. 120 clean watts for the 1.5 was more than enough.
I want 3.7s/But heard CS1.5s with a Thiel sub and Bryston electronics that was heaven
It's not the impedance OR sensitivity alone.

Many Thiel speakers have some awful phase angle problems, sometimes where the impedance dips.

Good amplification, maybe even an ICE based solution?
"awful phase angle problems", perhaps with the wrong amplifiers.