Help: Thiel CS6 vs CS 2.3

I'm looking seriously at Thiel CS6 or 2.3.

Can anybody explain the performance differences?

Also, what about amplifier requirements? Will the CS6 be wasted with a stock McCormack DNA-1 (185wpc, 30amps, stable to 2 ohms)?
NO waste on the McCormmack...but there are better amps. The McCormmack is a descent amp, which won't make for poor sound. I would consider others if you had the $. Even a used Pass X150 or 250 is much better. Heck, even used Threshold T200 is better.
I've sold/used both of these models in the past. Overall, the speakers are close. The CS6 is a better overall music speaker in certain ways. Not by a lot however. However, the CS2.3 is a better more effective HT speaker in my oppinion!!!! The reason? I find the 2.3 isn't as laid back sounding in teh pressence reigion as the CS6's!..making the 2.3 possibly the best HT speaker Thiel had made to date if you ask me. I've extensive experience with even CS7.2's and 1.5's and SCS3s/MCS1's And as an HT/music speaker choice, noto considering the Newer Thiel stuff, I think the 2.3 is the best for this application...IMO

I'm looking 2 channel speakers, rather than HT. I currently have a stock McCormack DNA-1, BAT VK-3i (tube pre), and Audio Alchemy front end (DDS-Pro, DTI-Pro and DDEv3).

I just took a ten-year old pair of Thiel 2 2's into a dealer who had B&W Nautilus 804s and N801 on a pretty good display using Krell FPB 600, an $8k Wadia CD/pre and kilobuck wires.

In comparison, I found the 2 2's to have a good image/stage, and a better depth (even than N801's). Where the Martin Logans have an image that is forward or rather "in your face", the Nautilus seem to be all in the same plane as the speaker, and the Thiel image is behind the speaker in better 3D (hence a need to place them out in the room).

Although a brief prior exposure to the Thiel 1.6 was astonishingly different - they were against a wall and the image was in the other room!

The N801 had an image that was "larger than life" (per my wife). She felt we didn't need that much presence in our living room (but she really liked it on a Chesky recording of Beethoven's 9th).

I felt the Thiel 2 2 had a lot more bass than the N804s, but was also a little bit brighter on sibilants (e.g. Holly Cole-Tennessee Waltz).

I also felt there was more grain to the Thiel 2 2, and the N80x had better detail.

I've heard that the 2.3 has better detail, and a smoother top end, but other than a brief listen to them in a showroom during a business trip, I don't have access to them to put them through their paces.

I also briefly heard the CS6 on the same trip, but the 2.3 and 6 were in different rooms, on different electronics. At that time I decided the 2.3 wasn't good enough. But hearing the 2 2 on solid electronics makes me think I undervalued the 2.3 (as I did the 2 2).

Can anybody else compare/contrast the CS6 and CS2.3?

Will a 10 year old Thiel 2 2 sound significantly different than it did after it was broken in 9 years ago?

In other words does speaker performance degrade over time?

(No visible deterioration of the cone or the surrounds).

Check out the 2.4 if you are looking for that size speaker.

CS6 and 2.3/2.4 are very different sizes. 6 needs a lot more current but goes way deeper in the bass. 2.3 and 2.4 are way newer designs, probably more coherent, but when push comes to shove if you have the power and current for the 6 I bet you'd be better off.

I have never found traditional solid state geat to be a great match for Thiels bot others do. if you make that match be sure to try Cardas Golden Cross speaker cable. This is mandatory with Thiels and solid state in my view and sounds wonderful.

If you get a used 2.3 make sure it has the midrange upgrade.

About the deterioration question on the 2.2 - I don't think so, and this would be true generally for most any recent speaker of this quality. Mine aren't quite as old as yours, and I've replaced some drivers I killed over the years, but there's no reason to suspect you've lost any performance in that time. Like you, I've found this speaker has been able to keep exceeding my expectations of it as I've improved my system and rooms.
I just picked up a brand new pair of 2.3's that were store demos for 3K (they were only on the sales floor for two months!) I could not be happier with these speakers for music as well as great theater performance. I recommend calling around to Thiel dealers to see if they are interested in selling their demos since the 2.4's are arriving in stores this month. The 2.4 has the same driver layout, but Thiel says that the drivers as well as the crossovers are totally new. I cant wait to audition the 2.4s to see if the difference is that great. 2.3s are a good size 42" and the cs6 is way bigger, so if space is an issue, or your wife has some say, the 2.3 may fit better with your surroundings.
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the 3.6's. Perhaps the best value tin the current line.
....(but other than a brief listen to them in a showroom during a business trip, I don't have access to them to put them through their paces.)...

Akaddict, may I make an assumption in that you are going to dealers and listening to speakers(systems), and making judgement on the speakers from THEIR SET UP'S!?! Since there are a lot of varriables, It's too difficult without auditioning the speakers in other systems/rooms, including your own, to tell what's what! You're going to need to try em in your room, with your gear, after proper set up! That's the only way you'll ever know ANYTHING ABOUT THESE SPEAKERS PROPERLY AND FAIRLY!
I would suggest giving the pair you find a good deal on a try. And if you don't like em, then sell em and move on to the next pair! If you think you'll just buy a pair of speakers once as the "be-all" speaker to "end all" for your system, you may be fooling yourself! Because in the end, it's going to come down to trial and error, and experiementation.
I think when people try desparately to find gear that's "the best" for their purposes/situation, they'll find it's not a "done-in-one" kind of an endevor! You could get lucky...but if you really want to nail things down better, you gotta experiement..simple as that.
Why not try a pair of "something" you have a desire to try, and see what you can do with It? That's part of the fun, for me any way. I guess everyone's different.
As for my experience with the Thiels, I've always found MOST of the Thiel designs to be a little laid back and less involving for movie soundtracks than others. I do think the CS2.3's are the best of the older series Thiels for this application, but you need a strong strong amp to handle the HT! I've no experience with the newer Thiels for HT, so I can't commment. Although the higher sensitivity of the Thiel 1.6's makes for a good advantage for dyanamics. They might be a good chioce in a smaller/medium sized room/set up, or in places where you have "higher ceilings"....or you have extensive ceiling treatment.
To be brief. I found the CS6 to be overly warm with emphasis given to the 2nd octave, to the point that the bass can be obnoxious and distracting. IMO the bass detracts from speakers clarity. The midrange still has the same Thiel sound but there is less of it with these speakers. Highs are rolled off slightly so the speaker lacks air and extension of the CS2.3.

The CS2.3 (I have the pre-upgrade midrange/tweeter) has excellent extension up top with wonderful midrange transparency and slightly lean bass. I'm told that the midrange/tweeter upgrade produces a laidback sound, but I have not heard it for myself, so I will defer to those with first-hand experience. IMO the only thing the CS6 has that the CS2.3 lacks is about 10hz of bass extension.


Yes, I suppose you are correct. Unfortunately, the "AK" in Akaddict is Alaska, and we just don't have many listening choices up here. I've been trying to triangulate by comparing elements that I do know. Also, it'll cost as much as $500 to get a big speaker up here - I'd rather buy music instead of minor performance changes. So I gather as many data points as I can from nice thoughtful people like the Inmates, then leap blindly into a new solution.
Jazzdude, I don't have any personal experience with the 6, but what you report sounds an awful lot like a set-up/room interaction effect. Just based on common knowledge, I would hazard a guess that the biggest deciding factor between these two models could well be room size, not necessarily amp power per se. I would also think that in a room which could accomodate either model, the bigger speaker would not only yield some more bass, but also higher volume capability, all other things being equal. Akaddict, maybe you should specify the room dimensions, what types of music are listened to most, and how loud you like to listen. But I will say this from experience: The 2.2's cannot go really loud, which is more evident the bigger the room, so if you've been alright with their dynamic range in your room up 'til now, you may not need (or be able to get the most out of) the 6.