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Interesting. After reading this I searched internet and found this discussion:
I kind of agree with the rest. It seems like they are throwing away the whole idea of Thiel and it's history and research. However I guess in the end if it does end up sounding amazing it won't matter. But we won't know until someone gets one. The first thing that struck me is I see no coaxial driver. That has me a little concerned.
Being concerned myself as I just bought new 2.7's which are for sale now here to buy the 3.7's, I sent an email to Thiel and just received (this is only part of a much longer conversation) this today concerning my thoughts on the Jim Thiel coax driver going away. I think they will still build the 1, 2 & 3.7's and the new line will be "in addition" to that line as long as there is demand for the CS line.
They are amazing speakers and I can't imagine them no longer being made. I only hope I can get a pair of 3.7's soon just incase! :o)
Below is just a small part from Tim DeYoung at Thiel. It's not much, but make of it what you will.
As for the coaxes, hopefully not. Our new lead designer actually really loves the coax that is in the CS2.7 and CS3.7
The new group originally said they would keep Kathy Gornik on. Then, basically day one, they fired her. I held out little hope for the company after that. She was as much a part of the company as Jim. Jim designed speakers and she made the company successful at selling them.
People who have been loyal to Thiel speakers for years bought into Jim's design philosophy. With that gone, my guess is that most will very quickly look elsewhere. I am afraid that the new group bought the brand, but will have a very hard time keeping its customers.
These are difficult days for me and my favorite brands. Sonus Faber turned out Franco Serblin. Cary sent Dennis Had packing. Jim passed away and the new group pushed Kathy and Gary out. Well, at least Vince is still going strong at Totem and Harry is still at VPI. Hope Transparent does not start selling anti-cables.
By the way, if you have not heard Vince's new Element speakers, give them a listen. He is passionate about his new design as Jim was about his designs. I can see lot of Thiel folks liking them.
Onhwy61 is spot on. When Jim died the business did also. I could smell it with the new owners press release, it was the typical form letter.
These people are not passionate entrepreneurs which is what the high end is about rather opportunist with the desire to place a big bet on the aforementioned to become big box.
Capitalism, it's our own fault it spins the world. Oh well, another one bites the dust.
However I guess in the end if it does end up sounding amazing it won't matter. But we won't know until someone gets one.Agree!
Why bother buying the Thiel name?How about buy based on quality of the product?
I predict they'll be filing for bankruptcy in no time.Should if they produce products nobody wants.
I am afraid that the new group bought the brand, but will have a very hard time keeping its customers.Maybe they will attract new customers or existing customers that base purchasing decisions on product quality and not company name.
These people are not passionate entrepreneurs which is what the high end is about rather opportunist with the desire to place a big bet on the aforementioned to become big box.Is it possible these companies go bankrupt are too PASSIONATE audiophiles and NOT good businessmen?
Capitalism, it's our own fault it spins the world. Oh well, another one bites the dust.What's your alternative Karl?
"Is it possible these companies go bankrupt are too PASSIONATE audiophiles and NOT good businessmen?"
Oh positively in some cases, and there isn't much heritage built into an industry that relies so heavily on innovation. That makes change from a new investor inevitable. Take it a step further - thats where hedge fund firms come in to play - muscle in and make a change...or else!
"What's your alternative Karl?"
LOL - take my salary from my capitalist corporation and buy another brand.
Good post Knghifi and you are right - hope the cliche "they don't make em like they used to" doesn't apply to the ole Thiel brand!
Good reasoning Knghifi, capitalism is what made it possible to for these
talented entrepreneurs to grow an idea and cultivate and grow successfully
in the first place. So we abolished capitalism and then what, audio
components by government decree? I'll pass. If a consumer doesn't want
these products, the company fails. If they're deemed worthy of purchase
and the consumers are satisfied the company will survive and possibly
flourish. This is the power of choice to say yes or no that capitalism
provides. This is far superior to being told what we can or can't purchase
and limits on how we choose to spend our money.
I think you might have misunderstood me. I wasn't questioning why the customer would buy the Thiel name, but rather why the new owners did. The Thiel name represented a specific criterion of design aspects. If they were going to completely deviate from that, it would probably alienate the Thiel customer base. It probably would have been cheaper just to start with a new company name, or perhaps even try and buy PSB. Dear Jim must be turning in his grave. I only hope his family is well taken care of. I seem to remember that the new owners originally declared they were going to maintain the Thiel tradition. I don't see how I could trust them now.
I think they & we will be alright. This is from Thiel yesterday.
Sounds great, I wish you luck in getting your system exactly how you want!
We will still be making the CS line for as long as there is demand, so probably for quite some time, and of course we will be able to service them indefinitely.
Have a great day.
Tim DeYoung | Technical Support
Why do I get the feeling that; sure they'll continue to make CS's so long as there is a market for them, but the CS's will also wither on the vine without any further development as other products continue to evolve?
Thank heaven there is still Green Mountain, Vandersteen, et al..
Thanks for the memories Jim, we knew we would miss you, just not how much.
Yes, that may be true, but thank God also for all the Thiels that are here now and will be for many many years. Best speakers I have owned. If I am lucky enough to get a pair of 3.7's I will carry them to the grave so it really does not matter to me after that. If not, I am happy to have my 2.7's Thiel is a speaker I can own for 20-30 years.
All of this is very sad (this just taught me that Gary is gone now too)... I'll buy a pair of 3.7s in a year or two and that'll be the end of the company for me. Hopefully they don't disappear completely so that I can still get the speakers serviced many years down the line. Fortunately I've read that the 3.7s are quite robust.
Thiels ARE Thiels BECAUSE of the front sloping baffleless cabinets, driver placement, thick sturdy materials, coherence, diffraction control etc. This new Magico-wannabe TM3, Sonus Faber CAD/CAM 2.5 way clone thing is hideous. The other ghastly TT3 thing is a Mordaunt-Short cabinet copy with some dual-driver oval goodie via Wharfedale Jade stuck in the cabinet ala Canton. YIKES. Jim Thiel was replaced by Mark Mason; but was not replaced at all.
Lots of promises are made by new owners of companies. History shows that in reality the old is almost always forgotten quickly by new owners and new designers. The old almost becomes the enemy of new designers and management after a while, as they tire of hearing about how great the old products are. Everyone wants to put their stamp on the company and almost nobody wants to live in the shadow of what was done before when they were not part of it at all.
This likely won't be like Audio Research under new ownership. The new broom at ARC did not sweep all the personnel away like it did at Thiel.
Companies have to make a profit. Thiel will do that by selling new speakers. The plain fact is they will do whatever they decide is best to do that. Companies need to innovate usually to remain relevant but they would be foolish to trash the Thiel brand by selling new products that do not retain the things Thiel is known for.
I hope it works out well for all. Change may be good or bad. Try to keep an open mind. HOlding on to the past solely usually leads to disapointment.
Wow. Just took a look at the new TT3. I suppose there could be a number of business reasons the Thiel name and company could have been bought, but with no backward-sloping baffle, first-order crossovers, or coincident drivers one certainly starts to wonder why. Can't imagine loyal Thiel customers ever purchasing these new speakers -- they appear to share nothing with The Man's philosophy or implementation. And I agree that since the new lead engineer has very different ideas on speaker design that the older designs will probably be starved and basically left to wither on the vine until they eventually die. Sad. Whether or not Thiel as a company is technically dead, in spirit it indeed appears dead. One of the few remaining true time/phase coherent speaker makers likely lost. What a shame. RIP Jim -- you did great things.
The problem with good speakers (like Thiel) is that they tend to stick around a long time. That means new customers are needed. Thiel will do what it thinks it needs to do to get new customers. Hopefully, they take care of existing customers as best they can along the way. If not, well, there are other good options out there.
So far the "new' Thiel still has the same great Thiel service. I have talked to Tim DeYoung, Gary's replacement at Thiel, and he is very helpful and a really nice guy. I was talking to him about my CS 5's, which I had recently purchased,and he was quite knowledgeable and very frank. On another occasion I emailed service and was contacted by the new sales manager himself, on a weekend.
I've had Thiels since 1981, from 03a's to 2.2's to 2.3's to 2.4's and finally, the great CS 5. I don't see a falloff in Thiel service.
The speakers will speak, or hopefully sing, for themselves!
I also had very nice & prompt replies recently concerning questions between my 2.7's I own now & 3.7's I was thinking about purchasing. I received very long & detailed answers to my questions. Very satisfied with my customer service provided by Thiel.
Not sure where their new adventure will take them, but I will remain a happy Thiel customer for a very long time. I hope they can mix their newest efforts with the time tested results of the great Jim Thiel.
I love my old 1.2's and thought of upgrading to 1.7's but now I problably won't. I hope the company survives, but Jim Thiel was the visionary for the unique speakers they produced. With him gone, that vision is also gone, and they may be left with just a good cabinet-making facility. If there is nobody to take his place as the technical leader, they could become just another producer of box-style speakers with off-the shelf drivers and nothing unique about them. That is alot of speculation and I hope that doesn't happen, but it will be interesting to see what direction they go in.
I would just like to chime in that I too have had nothing but great interactions with Thiel since all the changes happened. They just did some "warranty" work on a crossover for my first generation smartsub, that I bought used and must be > 10 years old. I only had to pay for shipping there. Tim's been quick and attentive to anything I brought to them.
Apparently the 3.7's will be replaced this summer with those "life style" looking white speakers. Most likely the rest of the traditional line will soon follow into the abyss. Appears all the in house construction and parts is being done away with too. Using more off the shelf parts and off campus manufacturing. Probably to save money but keeping the price the same. Thiel as we knew it is gone.
But it remains to be seen what it becomes. I'm personally sad to see this era come to an end. A unique piece of speaker history is disappearing before our eyes.