A briew story about Jim Thiel:
A few years ago I was transforming my system from a two channel audio system (Thiel 7.2's) to a 5.1 Home Theater (to include Thiel Power Points - rear channels). I called Thiel's customer service department for some advice and spoke to a very nice and knowledgeable woman (Sherri I believe her name was); I explained that I was building a dedicated theater and wanted to make sure I set it up in a way that would optimize 5.1 as well as 2 channel when I wanted to listen to music only. She asked me to send her the blue print of the room lay out so that she could run it by Jim Thiel for his advice. I thought this was great!, after all how many companies would have the guy in charge personally review my plans. A couple of days later my phone rings and who is on the phone?, none other than Jim Thiel himself. Jim spent the better part of 1/2 hour on the phone with me discussing the design of my room, etc... Now here is the best part; I told Jim that I was planning on purchasing a Thiel Center Channel to complete my all Thiel 5.1 system and he actually talked me out of purchasing a Thiel center channel. He explained that the 7.2's image so well that adding a center channel would only marginally better the system. I understand that I have spent quite a bit of money on Thiel products however I was completely blown away that not only did the company's owner take the time to personally call me but that he was voluntarily willing to forgo a sale in the spirt of our shared passion.
Jim Thiel was not only a talented designer/builder of audio equipment; in my book he was truly a Great guy.
My condolences go out to Jim's family as men like Jim don't come around vey often.