This is a shot in the dark, and I recognize that Thiel's balance is tilted towards the treble in most of their earlier models, but I will note that long ago when I owned Duntech Princesses, not a particularly bright speaker by any means, I was troubled for a while with a very slight upper midrange/treble glare similar to what you're describing. It turned out that the culprit was the Purist Colossus, original version, speaker cable that I was using, which had just a small touch of extra presence/energy in that area but was otherwise a great-sounding cable in my system. This particular characteristic is not present in other, later (and pricier) Purist cables I've heard, nor with the Dunlavy speaker cable with which I replaced the Purist. If there's a way for you to borrow another set of Purist cables, say Proteus or one of their newer lines, it might be worthwhile to see if and how much the cable is contributing to the problem you're experiencing before you do your speaker upgrade.
I can't give you a direct comparison - in fact, I've never heard the Piegas. I will tell you, however, that I have noticed the same thing with that particular Holly Cole track. Let me explain:
I used to have a pair of Hales Concept 2s which, like the Thiels, have a sloped and contoured baffle and require that you sit a bit further away in order for the drivers to integrate.
Recently, I listened to the Thiel 7.2s and included "I Can See Clearly Now" in my listening. Gone was the sibilance. In fact, there was NONE of the harshness that people commonly associate with Thiels. There was, however, tons of detail, a HUGE soundstage that was as airy as I've ever heard. Of course, the electronics were quite superior ($70K worth of Krell Reference) and all Nordost Valhalla cabling was used. In addition, the room was pretty large (20X25?) and the listening distance was probably 12-14'.
I don't know if you've heard the big Thiels, but I'm surprised that they don't get more attention. Perhaps its' due to the company's undeserved reputation for making "bright" speakers. Those days are long gone. I know this is probably considered sacrilige, but I preferred the 7.2s to the Sonus Faber Amati Homage that I listened to on the same visit and in the same room. And, in case you get the wrong idea, I'm not a detail freak. I'm more of a euphonic, tube kind of guy.
Finally, speaking of tubes. I don't know what you think about your BAT gear, but I also heard (at a different store) a pair of the CS6s driven by BAT VK60 monoblocks. The bottom end was not very authoritative, but the midrange up was just heavenly. Perhaps in your medium-sized listening room, the BATs would provide adequate power. Plus, with the used prices, they're an absolute STEAL!
Good luck. Let us know what you end up doing. Hopefully some others will be able to provide insight regarding the Piegas vs Thiel.
I am not familiar with the Thiel's, but at the prices I have seen lately for the P-10's I would have to say they are the best bargain in all of audio.
I love my Thiel 7.2's and the more i listen to other speakers the more I come to realize just how good they are! They are not without fault, however. They require lots of power to really open up. I have never heard the Piega's but if they are anything near what everyone says they are a bargain!!
Hope this helps
I would vote for the Thiel 7.2s also, and they would be a very good match for your VK500, which is an excellent amp. The other comment: it might be worth upgrading the front end sooner rather than later, even if only to a Wadia 830 as a temporary fix until you can afford the 861. Otherwise your system will be rather lopsided, as in, the source isn't nearly up to the capability of the rest of it, so you won't be able to hear how good it really is.
I have the 7.2s, and am very pleased with them. I have not heard the Piego's. The Thiel speakers are an exceptional value for their price point, right down the line. They demand excellent electronics. I do not think it would be unreasonable to spend an equal amount on the amplifier as on the speakers themselves. I had a Pass Labs x350, and the speakers just didn't bloom until I upgraded to the x600 monoblocks. Also, room size is important. I have a 17 x 13 ft room which is too small for these. However, I bought them because I will be moving within the year to a larger place. I am not familiar with the BAT equipment, so I couldn't say how they would sound. If they are 250 amps per channel, then that might be cutting things a little thin.
One of the great things about the Thiel's, as you know, is that their entire line is designed and built similarly. The 6s are a great value right now (I think I saw a pair under $3500). There are rumors of a 3.7 on the way, which might fill in a very key segment of their line.
For the Wadia, you might want to check with Steve Huntley about pricing on a modified 861se. I am awaiting a modified Wadia from him, and I suspect that the modification will be important if one would like to bypass the preamp and have concerns about brightness or glare. His modifications are a bit pricey, but not when one considers the price of a excellent preamp. We shall see...
If you have a medium sized room you can't go wrong with p-10's. They are fun to listen to and CZAPP is right in that at used prices it the best bargain. Very easy to drive
as a very happy p-10 owner and one who has heard the 7.2s' i don't think you can go wrong either way.they are both great speakers.i agree with snook that you should look very seriously at the used p-10 prices.they are unbelievably low for a superb speaker.if the p-10s have an advantage it is with their ribbon mids and tweeter that are superb.mids and highs are just amaxing and the bass extends down to 19hz +/- 1db if i remember right.i can almost guarantee that if you choose the p-10s' you will be very satisfied. i have heard the c-series piegas' and plan to upgrade to the c-10 ltd probably by the end of the year but the p-10 is not far behind the much more expensive c-10 ltd in its performance...which is one of the best 2 or 3 speakers i have ever heard. good luck with your choice.
Thanks to all of you for your comments. Due to location I can't listen to any of these speakers, so your advice is very helpful!
OK, any advice on how to choose among CS6, CS7.x, P-10, without listening to any of them? They seem to be equally loved by their owners.
I will definitely try removing that cable. Thanks for a good insight.
I agree that disk is bright, but on some gear its tolerable, and others its not. Also, I love the BAT gear. The pre- and extra cables do add a bit of a veil (compared to CDP straight into the amp), but overall I prefer it over the trade-offs. The VK-500 is in an entirely different class from the rest of the gear. 250w and it weighs 100 lbs; it has outstanding control and authority. I have 0 complaints about the amp (well maybe it's weight). I was stunned by the improvement over my previous well-liked McCormack DNA-1. I preferred it over the Classe CA-400 on my friend's all Classe/MIT/Avalon Radian HC system. IMHO, the BAT has more control and isn't as dark.
I felt the same way, but recently tried an 830 and found it to be only a small improvement over existing gear. I decided a better model was required to justify an upgrade. Compared to existing, the Wadia's bass was noticably less defined, while the highs were sweeter and it had better presence. I definitely liked a balanced I/C better than RCA. And going directly into the amp was a revelation in terms of taking a "dirty pane" out of the picture, but the bass was even worse without the pre. On the whole the difference wasn't enought to justify the cost.
BTW, although she hears equipment differences better then I, wife thinks I've gone over the edge with this next round of upgrades. I keep telling her its not how much I spend, but how much I wanted to spend by didn't: see how much I saved....
I wasn't going to respond as I'm a bit late in the post but was drawn in by your reference to Holly cole and I can see clearly now. It is one of my favorite discs and one I have long used in assessing a system. Being Canadian I have also heard her sing it on several occassions in good halls so I have a reasonable idea of what the real thing sounds like. With regards to the piegas I had the p8ltd not the p10 s which are quite similar, and the disc was stunning on them. In fact its one of the things that sold them to me. Her highs were perfect, natural airy and lifelike. Nothing of a glare in my system whatsoever. I bought them by the way sight unseen and never looked back. Unfortunately I have only heard somewhat older Thiels so I can't add a lot there, they are very well known and as I understand superb speakers. I should add that after I bought my speakers I developed an association with piegas North American distributor so please take anything I say with a grain fo salt. Good luck.
I must chime in on this thread. I am a associate of Sanibel Sound, the importer for Piega. I strongly urge you to seek out the nearest Piega Authorized Dealer and listen to a "quality dealer demo" before deciding on which speaker to buy. We are opening a new round of dealers in the upcoming months and will be positioned in almost every major market in the U.S. We will announce at least 10 new dealers by December so please try to be patient and visit one in your area.
Piega designs and builds all there own ribbon drivers making it exclusive to their products. The cabinet of the C Series is a 9 layer configuration of cork and very uniform wood shaped under extreme heat and pressure. The technology was previously only used in a sensitive labratory environment where explosions may need to be contained. This has solved several problems which conventional enclosures simply cannot surmount. Watch for the upcoming reviews this fall and look up the current press relating to the summer show in San Francisco. Three current publications call the AIX Piega Room one of few absolute standouts at the show. September Stereophile, October Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, and September issue DVD etc.
If you need the nearest dealer please call 18005316886 for info.
Who carries Piegas in Ontario?
Our representative in Canada is Dr. Gary Gelfand. Dr. Gelfand is a avid enthusiast who felt strongly enough about this speaker to set aside the time to promote in Canada. We have a long term relationship with him and offer any needed support from our offices as well. He currently has C-8 ltd 2 channel and C-3 and p1 woofer for his multiformat system. Please give him a call and he will respond promptly. Please call us at 540 7211076 for his number and any details. Thanks, Steve