Opposite of Thiel

Got the bug. Love my new Thiel CS2.4 loudspeakers. Thinking of getting rid of my Eminent Technology LFT-8b planars, mostly because they're so damn big. They do sound glorious, though.

So if I picked up another pair of speakers physically on the size of the Thiels or smaller, what would be a great candidate with a wholly different set of attributes than the Thiels? Here is what I love about my CS2.4's:

-- resolution & detail
-- frequency response
-- ruthless treatment of upstream equipment + recording

So I'm thinking I might want to try something eminently "musical", maybe not full-range, but sweet and euphonic with a broad, deep soundstage and great fun factor. Pinpoint imaging may not be necessary, but I have to say I love that huge soundstage my planars provide.

Amp: Bryston 4BSST2
Preamp: Parasound Halo JC-2
CD: Cambridge Audio 840C
Turntable: VPI Traveler with Dynavector HO MC cartridge

Budget is $5K or less. Some brands that have caught my eye:

Paradigm S2

Smaller, narrow electrostats?

Any thoughts are appreciated.
Not sure but Dynaudios under $5000 are not what you are looking for. They will be pretty flat sounding like the thiels but with less of the good stuff IMO. Less slam and punch in the bass but softer highs, not that different just less dynamic=less fun. Big money Dynaudios are a different story.

Used Vandersteen Quatros (cloth model) maybe?
"Used Vandersteen Quatros (cloth model) maybe?"

I don't think that would be a move in the right direction. The Quatros are much more detailed than the Thiel. You may not notice it initially because they do have a fuller sound.
I had Thiel 2.3 for a couple of years, and traded for Proac Response 2.5. Thiels were to fatiguing for me after long listening sessions.

Loved the musicality of the Proac's which served me well for many years. Still love them but got the bug and purchased Dynaudio C1 signature. They are somewhere between the Thiel and Proac. So far I'm quite pleased with the results.

For you I would strongly recommend Proac. Very musical with a deep broad soundstage. I am now considering selling my Proac's.


how do you like the sound of the Bryston amp on those 2.4 speakers?

I have had listening sessions w/ both the Bryston & Thiel 2.4, respectively, not together in the same room.

I have always wanted to hear these 2 guys in the same system...
If at all possible keep the LFT-8B's as well! I reviewed it for Dagogo.com and its a terrific value panel speaker. You will adore the experience of having both technologies available to you - whichever dynamic speaker you settle on. The LFTs used will not bring a huge windfall because they are so affordable in the first place. For about $5K you can find a wide variety of excellent speakers; the $1k additional would not make or break the purchase, imo.

BUT, having both to swap is wonderful! Something to consider. If it's a space issue, you have no choice, but if possible there's nothing like the thrill of two vastly different experiences to suit one's mood. :)
Pre owned Vandersteen Quatros
Still phase and time correct so it will sound
correct to you
You might enjoy the flexibility they offer.
also Dealer for 20 years...
Verity speakers are another small floorstander that leans more toward "musicality" than ruthless accuracy.

At your price target, I'd suggest checking out the Von Schweikert VR33 which lists at $4500 a pair. The fully tricked-out version is the VR35.

Alternatively, I heard the VR22 at RMAF this year and ended up purchasing a pair as a graduation gift. These are real overachievers, competitive well beyond their $2850 a pair price (factory direct including shipping) with a 90 day in-home trial.
I went from a pair of Thiel 3.6's to Focal 1007Be's and have not looked back ........
I agree with Yashu. I had the Proac Response 2.5's myself and recommend them highly. It sounds like the type of speaker that you are asking before in your original post.

Also, I want to add to my first post for clarification. My post kind of sounds like I'm not recommending the Vandersteen's because they aren't good in some way. Nothing could be further from the truth. Vandersteen is my favourite speaker. The OP asked for a speaker that was the opposite of his Thiels. The only point I was trying to make is that they are not the opposite. The Thiels do share some of the same characteristics. That's all I meant to say.
Any of the original Sonus Faber line. In that range, the original Cremona are the sweet spot. The newer Cremona M are not as "musical" as the old Cremona. People say the original Cremona are colored in the mid-range, but that is what makes them "musical". You can find used original Cremona for $4K or less these days.

I use Thiel 1.6 in my theater for detail and slam and Cremona in my 2 channel for sweetness.

As an aside, I find the 840c to be pretty "digital". It may be contributing to the sound you have with the Thiels. But the turntable should be very "musical". A more musical tube pre-amp or amp may also give you a more musical sound.
I had Thiel 2.2, 2.4, 3.6 for many years. I also had Harbeths HL5S which has completely opposite character. Not coloured but very musical with less resolution. Proac is in between.
I used Thiel 3.6 for nearly ten years and then went with Spendor SP-100s. The Thiels were lean and bright, the Spendors were (and are) warm, dynamic and to my ears much more natural. Harbeth and Spendor have many of the same qualities.
Harbeth. Maybe Dynaudio.

OHM or other omnis for a completely different kind of presentation, at least in terms of sweet spot and listening flexibility.
Sonus faber, Vandersteen
FWIW, my Ohm Walsh 2000s seem to fit your list of desirable attributes. Check the Ohm web site: Their Walsh lilne offers essentially the same sonics, scaled for rooms of different cubic footage. The top two models are beyond your budget, but the rest will fit. You can see my review on this site, as well as follow-up comments at this thread:


They come with a generous in-home trial period, although you lose the shipping if you return them.

I actually find my Ohms to be very revealing, but in a pleasant way, even with less than perfect recordings.
High quality tube preamp would be the 1st suggestion.
Theil's mate nail everything to my ears - with one exception - a bit analytical and clinical - not what I would call musical. But they are oh so transparent and you can correct those problems to some extent - but only to some extent - with tube upsteam gear.

I am not sure if I have heard anything in the $5K range (with one exception I will mention later) I would put ahead of the Theil actually. I can tell you speakers like Rockport, ProAc Carbons, and Lenehan Audio Reference blow it away, but at a significant increase in cost - damn I wish I could tell you of a few in your price range that would do it - they are that good. The only thing I can think of is the Lenehan ML1 Reference at $5K:

They are clearly better than the Thiels - but only go to 50hz or so.

I live close to the Lenehan factory, go down to hear their gear all the time and own a lot of it, so am almost certainly biased.

What does 'eminently musical' mean to you. I know it when I hear it, and I can kind of describe it, but how would you describe it.

I can say that I had the Paradigm S6 3 years ago. I did not find them particularly musical or fun.

Now I make no secret that I have finally found a speaker that is fun, musical and does things 'all together' that I hadn't even conceptualized from having listened to typical 'hi fi' speakers. That is Zu Audio. I purchased a pair of the current iteration of the Essence 2 months ago on Audiogon.

They are just as the reviews state they are. They are not boring, the music comes into the room and the music comes across to me simply 'totally wonderfully'.

They are the least expensive loudspeaker I have purchased in the last 3 years of 'hi end' purchases. Just goes to show you that you had better do your research prior to making a decision on your next purchase. As we all know, most of the time you are flying kind of blind when you do purchase your next speaker, but it is fantastic when you finally find them. I wish you well on your journey....and Happy New Year:)