How much should I pay for a 2001 Thiel CS 3.6?

Hi guys
I'm a novice to this audiophile business.
Came across an offer and opportunity to buy a 10-year-old Thiel CS 3.6 here in town.
Went to listen and see them. They look in great condition and sound fantastic (of course the guy has an $11k, 300W amp etc so that helps..). Is there anything specific I should check for? How much should I pay for these? should I be concerned that they'll be in a bad condition in a few years?
If you're not worried about cosmetics, they're of a very good built quality. They're extreamly hard to drive but you don't have to break the bank. You can use pro grade amp or any modern class D(or T) amp that will be in low thousands range.

I'd say $3k may be too much and you should try to get as
low as possible. If you reach $1500, you'll hit the bull's eye. Be argumentative when you try to 'lowball' stating that it may be the time to change woofer that could go bad in few weeks and it's $$$amount of money per each side...

Depending on your project set up and room, these speakers might not do the best job for you so you gotta be more flexible with your choice.
THIEL speakers are very detailed but can sound a bit forward in the upper-mids and trebles. they are miles better than a boomy speaker from Best Buy however.
a couple of grand shouldn't even be too much to spend if they are really well cared for but look out for tipped-up high frequencies. i even got to hear the big beautiful CS-5's one time and they were very coherent and powerful, but there was that prominent high-frequency edge again in a speaker that should have been beyond reproach. really excellent build-quality though.
Hi guys
Thanks A LOT for the helpful info. My situation is that I was planning a modest setup -to spend up to $1500 on speakers and pair them with a NAD 356BEE amp (e.g. was considering B&W). All of a sudden came across this unique opportunity with the 10-year-old Thiels which are obviously orders of magnitude better on paper but (1) I'm concerned I may not have the expertise to verify they are in good shape (2) I'm concerned about having a very non-matched setup where they will not sound good with a $800 80w-per-channel amp.. Cant afford more now.. But may b golden opportunity.. Any thoughts are welcome I'm such a novice in audiophile world.. Cheers and thanks again
If you can't afford to power the Thiel 3.6's, you'll never get all they're capable of.
fwiw, the NAD with it's slightly subdued high end may be a good match for the Thiels

my two cents...

also I am currently listening to speakers that are 17 years old and they sound great and the speaker surrounds look fine - 2001 is not that bad for the Thiels (for the right price of course)
you can afford Crown XI2000 right onto your budget.
Thanks everyone
I am so confused..
Came across a chance to buy these speakers around $1300 but really didn't plan on buying a high power amp until I met these speakers. there seems to be a consensus that these speakers must be driven by very strong components.
If you had this money for speakers and a 80-100W amp as a given, would it make sense to buy these at all? in this configuration, could they actually sound WORSE than a new pair of B&W you could buy at the store??
That wouldn't make sense if you plan on keeping your current amp. You need at least 250wpc for these.
Have you considered something like the Vandersteen 2's?
Agree with Philojet, unless you intend on blasting the Thiels in a large room. I have owned a couple of Thiel speakers and they do have tipped up highs. Have also owned the NAD C352 and did feel it had a full-warm sound which may tame the Thiels.
If you like the Thiel sound and the price, I say go for them.
Definitely would not worry about their age.
Buy them, they are classics, I had those in my system for 10+ years. Be patient, upgrade upstream slowly and they will give you years of enjoyment.
I used the 3.6 for about 8 years, and it is a very good speaker in many ways. It is quite demanding in amplifiers though. If you go with a solid-state amp, you will find that you need lots of power. I started with a Classe DR-10 with about 200 watts at 4 ohms. It tended to sound too restrained, like it was holding back, so I traded up to a Classe CA-300 with 600 watts at 4 ohms. It sounded much more powerful but even with those reserves the 3.6 still sounded like it was holding back dynamically.

I ended up trying a number of tube amps ranging from Cary CAD-100 monos to push-pull 300B monos, but in many ways the best sound I ever got out of the Thiels was with a bone-stock Dyna ST-70. Sure it wouldn't play as loud as the big Classe but the overall tonality and dynamics within its power range was superior.

So the Thiels are very good but don't be surprised if you start getting the urge to change other equipment to make them sound fuller and more dynamic.
FWIW, many B&W's aren't the easiest load for amplifiers either.
I will pay double the full price for a NOS 3.6! They are that good but note that Thiels do not have any stock tweeters left for replacement! You may want to check this out.
Hi everyone,
Thanks for all the detailed advice!! you guys are great.
So I decided to do something that most audiophiles will probably consider a sin...
I'm going to take a commercial Sony 125W amp I have lying around and will go to the seller and hook it up the Thiels tomorrow to listen to how they perform with a low-grade amp If they sound good I'll get them and with time will look into upgrading upstream components gradually and making them sound GREAT.. I'll keep you posted, thanks for all the help
bring the NAD instead
Hi guys
So - wanted to share with you, for closure - that I bought the Thiels with a set of Goentz cables for $1400. Thanks everyone for your insights and help!!
I'm very happy. Guess now I need to open a new thread on best amp for these speakers under $1000... currently thinking about NAD 356 BEE w/ DAC although it may be low on power to drive these babies..
I'm an NAD fanboi but you are better off with a MUCH MUCH higher power amp and upgrading to a more refined high power amp in the future. Some of the Adcom 555/5500 series will get you a lot further than a new shiny 80 wpc NAD.

Reason I say this is that I used to own Thiel's and they really needed grunt to sound right. The only way you will get these right, just as others have said, is to power the crap out of them, and that means into a 4 ohm load.
sounds like you got a bargain

I hope you enjoy and let us know how it goes after a few weeks of listening
You might want to keep your eyes open for a pair of used B&K M200 monos. Which Goertz cables did you get? Do they have the RC networks (zobels)?
Hi guys
So - wanted to share with you, for closure - that I bought the Thiels with a set of Goentz cables for $1400. Thanks everyone for your insights and help!!
Closure? Hell, your just getting started.
Keep us posted on the progress.
Forget 4 Ohms, how about 2.3 Ohms!
Even 250 watts as a stand alone spec won't necessarily provide what is needed to power these properly. Trust me, I own them and love the sound of them, but it took a Krell 400 cx (even a 300 cx wouldn't do, I tried!) to finally get them to "light up" and pump clear, textural bass as they were designed to. Also, you need current to get them to warm up and sound sweet and delicate when called to do so. When you get the power right though, they are wonderful speakers.

An amp that doesn't flinch into 2+ Ohm territory is de rigeur.
I've had my 3.6's for over 14 years and have been driving them with a McCormack DNA 1 Deluxe that I had upgraded by SMc Audio to Revision A Gold with some extras in 1998. The amps are rated at 185 watts. I have to say that I have enjoyed them very much and I do wonder what they would sound like with a more powerful amp in consideration from the comments here. I do find them to be somewhat bright at times. I have been strongly considering changing the amp and letting the Thiels go in favor of the Vandersteen 5A's. Not sure when that will happen.
It is true that the tweeters are not in stock, however mine had to be replaced recently and I was able to send it back to Thiel and they rebuilt it. Good as new and they were a pleasure to work with.