Power for Thiel 7.2

Would two (2) Classe Ca 301 in mono mode be enough (600 w at 8 and 1200 at 4) or a single Krell stereo mode at 400 w channel 8 ohm 800 4 ohm.
Which way to go?
I have occassion to listen to a friend's system with Thiel 7.2's. He is using 1000 watt McIntosh monoblock amps. Based on his observations more wattage for these speakers is better. Not to mention I think the Classe' is a better sounding all around amp than the Krell.
Either amp will provide sufficient power to drive Thiel 7.2's under most circumstances. As to which amp I can not say as I don't care for either one.

What do you like Czbbcl?
I can't say about your choices but I am using a McIntosh MC 602 and that has served me very well... My experience is that high current is as important as high wattage the speakers seem to open up at 200 watts or so but they need reserve to really put the numbers up , best wishes John
may I suggest the sa1000 from www.RedDragonAudio.com
I had the Thiel 7's which I think were harder to drive than the 7.2"s and I used 1 Classe 300 and the Thiels sounded great!! I have owned 5 different sets of Thiels and STRONGLY recommend Classe with them. You mite have noticed that at alot of shows you will find a combo of Thiel, Classe and MIT cables. It is true that with Thiel, the more power the better but I would, without a doubt pick Classe over Krell. I think Krell is over priced and to "Dark" for Thiels. Good Luck, the 7.2 is an excellent speaker and Thiel is the best company I have ever delt with!
For Thiels power is not the issue. It's damping factor that matters most. 200-400 wpc into 8ohms is adequate.
you might consider the McCormack DNA-500. this is one of the few amps that can make the 7.2s sing.

I much prefer Conrad Johnson over the two amps you mention; although I will admit I am biased. In general Conrad Johnson solid state is more tube like (detailed) in the midrange with excellent bass control and highend extension and is a goog match for Thiel speakers. Depending on your musical tastes, room size and accoustics along with volume requirements the MF2500A (250 watts/channel)might be enough. Depending on your budget you could move up to the premier 350 (350 watts/channel) which is more of everything over the MF2500A and in my opinion much better than either of the amps you mention.

Others with Thiels have made positive comments about the Mac 501's or Pass X series. There is a thread on this site you might want to peruse concerning power requirements for Thiel 7.2's some good information.

By the way how do you like the 7.2's? I have a pair of 3.6's and at sometime in the future I would like to step up to 7.2's.

I think the jury is still out for the 7.2 for me. I believe my crossovers on the Lexicon MC12B were not properly set.
My main concern is lack of bass slam. For music in general it is wonderful. I am also thinking of changing my cables from MIT to Transparent.
Any thoughts?
My IConnects are shotgun 330 MIT.
I power CS6s with a Krell 400cx and there is no lacking in any one sonic area. The sound is luscious and simply the best I have heard; while very fine products, I really don't belive that Classe or any of the other amps, with the exeption of Pass makes a better amp than Krell's current line of FPB amplifiers. But then that's my opinion and not surprising since I own that amp. Conrad Johnson is also great through Thiels.

The key is current producing capability. You've got to be able to produce current at that low impedance dip below 3 Ohms that the 7.2s and other Thiel models have, otherwise that part of the frequency response will suffer a bit (the high bass region as I remember for the 7.2s.

I also used to have 7s powered by Bryston 7BSTs with good, but not great results.

I am using all Audioquest cabling, Anaconda for inteconnects and Volcano for my speakers. I have not done any experimenting with cabling so I can't comment. I did upgrade from Audioquest Bedrock to the Volcano and got a huge boost in bass response. I think the larger gage along with better materials is what made the difference here.

If you are looking for better bass response then in general IMO the bigger the amp irregardless of which one you choose will be your best bet. As long as it is of high quality such as Pass, Conrad Johnson, Krell or Classe' all great amplifiers.


Nice speakers! I use Mac 501's with 3.6's with excellent results. I would strongly recommend you upgrade your cables from 330 shotgun to oracle or 350 evo shotgun. The difference is not subtle, I have used many mits in the past including 330 shotgun, now I use 350 reference and 350 shotgun evo. More of everything in spades. Some cable companies have a best bang for the buck in the middle to top/middle of the line but from my experience the higher up the chain with MIT the difference is huge.
I suggest monoblock BEL 1001s or Theta Dreadnoughts. Both will be excellent with your speakers.
Hello all.

This is exactly my question in fact... Recently purchased a pair of 7.2 to replace my Maggie 3.6

My ML 27 suddenly blew one channel.

Desperate to replace with a new amp, budget will only allow me either MC402 or Pass X250.5.

What's the experience with either please? Would MC402 be too slow if run with Cardas Golden reference (DV50s & ML26)? And is 250W just not enough? The anaemic 100W ML27 certainly pumped out no bass what so ever... It also lacked depth.

Sounds silly, but I won't get a chance to audition the MC402, so your input will be very much apreciated, have only heard MC402 with JMLab 927Be special edition.

Small group jazz, vocal.

Many many thanks
At the risk to appear off-track here,...I'm powering my CS6 with ARC VT100MKII and I found this a great match! Are we sure that Thiel must have Solid state infinite power amplifiers? I would consider Reference 300 as my dream. Did anyone out there share my experience?
Check out my thread, here you find some advices.
I strongly suggest to avoid Mac. I had 402 powering my thiel 2.3 and it just couldn't rock. I found it to be slow dynamicaly compressed with very poor bass responce and slam. It was generaly puting me to sleep. The only nice thing was midrange texture, sweet and organic.
But guess what? I got that and a lot more with SIMAUDIO W5 wich is so much better amp then MAC that it is like comparing hifi with true hi-end stuff.
I cannot comment on Pass as I never had it.
I'd suggest the Krell KMA 400's.
Thanks for the reply. Guess problem is there's usually not a prompt and I have left it at that, it's been two months afterall!
The dealer said no, and rep said no, and a few goners said no too - and I went X250.5. Couldnt afford an x350.5.
In a nutshell, I am baffled.
Have had it for almost 5 weeks now.
Mated to a ML26 preamp and Esoteric/Teac DV50s. ML 26 doesn't have XLR input and this seems to be the achilles heel. In short, at the moment, system sounds bright at times.

Compared with my old ML 27 100 watter, I honestly think the X250.5 doesn't mate well with the preamp. The improvement from the X250.5 is manifold - depth, transparency, detail, soundstage, air, holographic presentation. Dynamics is improved the nth degree.

But it may be too revealing and bright - could it be the DV50s? The warmth with the ML27 is now gone completely.

In any case, I had demo x350.5/JR synergy IIi/Metronome CD3/Avalon speakers - it was a beautiful combination. That's why I bought the X250.5.

Mr. Pass has been exceptionally helpful in my little journey and I cannot wait to pair up my Pass with the JR preamp. I very much suspect that as the signal is convereted from comac/single ended input to XLR output in the ML26 it is degraded, essentially asking the preamp to do the amp's job...

Ain't gonna work...

Hopeful, and appreciative of all well intentioned advice, and will certainly post my little review once I get everything on board...
Why don't you try some MIT cabling preferably Oracle. It has nice tonall balance with a lot of detail but never harsh or fatiguing. May be just what you miss.

BTW told you to get SIM AUDIO
I heard them sound great with a bridged pair of BAT VK60s.
I have used both the Thiels and Watt/Puppies (my current) speakers. They are very different but share one common characteristic: they are highly detailed, sometimes sounding analytical or a little bright to the point of hardness, especially with less than perfect source.

I found that the MIT CVT cables, while not ideal for other speakers, match the Thiels and W/P very well because they tend to soften the top end just a tad.

Likewise, I found that a pair of BAT VK-60--the newer SE-75 should be even better--can drive these speakers to great satisfaction because of good match in strengths and weaknesses. The midrange is glorious, the top end detailed and smooth. Only the bottom end could be a little tighter and deeper, but I use a subwoofer so that's not a big problem. The solid-state amps I've tried delivered better bass but none could properly handle the speakers' top end. Of course, I haven't tried everything.
A Bryston 14BSST works very well with mine. I have heard them at Thiel with the Krell 600, and they sound nice. Be careful on cables, some with network boxes that claim to enhance imagery, actually do so by boosting the top end. If you lower the volume to compensate for the boosted top end, you might think you have lack of bass.
I know you guys will laugh but when I first got my Jolida 302B prior to finding the Meadowlark Kestral2s for a second system, I tried the 302B with the CS6 via the four Ohm taps. You know it didn't sound that bad and I was pleasantly suprised. Of course reinstalling the Krell brought them back to full conciousness.

So, yeah, tubes can work with Thiels.
I had the opportunity to visit Thiel about 5 weeks ago. In their listening room they were using the 7.2s with Krell monoblocs with Alpha Core Goertz AG3 speaker cables. I've been told that Jim Thiel voices all of his speakers using the Alpha Core cables. Thiel's website lists some amplifier companies that they use (and it seemed that they have at least one sample from each of theese companies in their listening room). As far as cabling goes, they recommend Alpha Core, Audio Quest, Cardas, KimberKable, Nordost, Straight Wire, Synergistic Research, Transparent, and Wire World.

I personally have tried the lower line Alpha Core cables with my 2.3s and was not pleased. I have heard good results with Kimber and Synergistic on many Thiel models, though the 7.2s sound fantastic with the AG3 in Thiel's listening room. The rest of their system consisted of a BAT preamp and a Musical Fidelity SACD player (with Alpha Core interconnects).
I, too thinking of to get a pair of MC602 for the Watt/puppy 5.1. I am using Ayre K1 and Melody 1688II preamps with Sonic Frontier power 3 and JRDG model 5 balance. Anyone can give me some ideas for the watt/puppy 5.1. I 'd like to have a bit more warmth to the mid&high.
I am currently using a solid state pair of Brown Electronic Lab (BEL) 200-watt Class A each channel with the 7.2. Sound is great. Excellent control in the bass.

Generally I would say solid state works well with Thiel speakers. I used to own CS2 and CS3.6. Tube was okay with CS2, but not CS3.6.
Kowkow, The Pass x250.5 is not enough power for the Thiel 7.2s. I would suspect that one would probably even need the x350 for the 2.4s. Overbudgeting on the speakers has essentially left you speaker-poor for the rest of the system. Thiel requires top electronics to be satisfactory. Short-changing the rest of the system will make it very difficult for you to really get the Thiels to show their best. Having gone from Pass x350 to x600, I can say that power is required to get their effortless full-range sound. You should consider selling the speakers unless you forsee being able to upgrade the amp.

Mobe, For me, the 7.2s have remarkable bass with pinpoint accuracy. I can point to the exact position of the kettle drums and the gong and the double basses in the orchestra. The bass has speed and heft, without being boomy. However, the bass was the most expensive aspect to really optimize. It requires proper set-up, power, and cabling. I'm using Nordost Valhalla, which has remarkable bass definition and speed. Some say the Valhalla is a tad dry, but I haven't found better for the bass. Same for the Elrod Statement powercords. These have energized the lower frequency to give it speed and definition. Is this speaker too fickle? Perhaps. Some might say that at that price, you should be able to plug anything into it and be impressed. However, I have not found a speaker yet that has made me want to sell these.

Thiel uses and recommends Krell, right?
Thiel does not make specific amp recommendations for their speakers other than it is of good quality and of sufficient power to drive their speakers.

What do you like Czbbcl?
While Thiel is politely diplomatic, I don't think it's too hard to read between the lines. If one is using Thiel's top of the line product, I think it fair to say that Thiel's top picks might include: Audio Research, Ayre, Boulder, Classe, Conrad-Johnson, Krell, Mark Levinson, Pass, Theta and VTL. I hope I didn't leave anyone out. Check Thiel's web site under FAQ's.
Oops, scratch Audio Research, though they have used them amongst others to demo their stuff in the past.
Thiel's listening room has the CS 7.2 powerwed by a Krell FPB 700cx.
They were powering the CS 2.4 with a BAT VK600SE.
As it has been stated they do not suggest a certain amp to drive their speakers. They only require quality power.

Getting back to the CS 7.2. I've heard them powered by a pair of Levinson 33H and I was amazed at the sound that was coming from an amp that was rated at 150 wpc @ 8 ohms.
I've heard the CS 7.2 powered by the big Mac daddy's 1201, 1200 wpc @ 8&4 ohms, and was not impressed. So from what I experienced do not rule out an amp because it does not put out 600-750 wpc @8 ohms. Audition them in your system and see what works best for you. A lower powered amp might work if you do not listen at high volumes or have a large room to fill with sound.
What do you like Czbbcl?
Thank you Rtnl for your kind advice.

Have had my X250.5 for months now with fairly intense twigging.

Agree with you entirely. I think the weakest link for a pair of speakers like these is certainly the amps. Do plan to try either the 600.5 or the XA100 maybe in a few months.

Biggest improvement was a harmonic tech fantasy AC to tame the esoteric which perahps mated with the metal diaphragms of the Thiels were a bit bright sounding.

O, forgot, also changed to Synergy IIi in the meantime, and this is a much better mate with the X250.5.

I am reasonably happy right now with this combination. Need another power cord for the Synergy, currently using Zu Cable Mother PC.

Thus far, I must say the musicality from using Maggies previously is almost there (yes... hard to believe isn't it...). The Harmonic Tech pushed the highs, improved transients and squeezed even more air around instruments. I hardly listened to music loud and almost always run the X.5 in pure Class A power. But the well intentioned advice on this forum is much heeded and I guess Thiels do need all the juice you can throw at them. Gryphon Encore & XA100 & X600.5 are all the next affordable price range and will try them out hopefully xmas.

Many thanks again, happy listening

I have been listening to CS6 speakers and have a friend who has a pair of CS7.2. He bought my Pass X350 and when he bought the CS7.2 he tried to drive it with them, while I used an X250 with the CS6. None of the amps worked well, although the X350 was OK with the CS6.

Before this I had a Levinson 331. Outcome is, that the Levinson 331 although it is only rated at 100W/8 200W/4 400W/2 had a better overall control than the X250. Later I had an ML No. 333 which was the best for my taste. (Remember that I am talking baouth the CS6 with is a much easier load than the CS7.2)

The X350 could not drive the CS7.2 of my friend to its full potential and the X250 was not capable to drive even the CS6 correctly. I am not saying that the music was not loud enough, I mean that with complex musical passages in classical music the amp lost its integrity. My friend then swithched to an ML No. 33H and it solved his problem but he needed to build a dedicated AC line for the amps.

If you like the sound of Pass amps, I think you should go with the X600. IMO there is no need to go for the X600.5 version only if your budget allows. BUT BEWARE! THE XA 100/160/200 AMPS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DRIVE THE CS7.2. IT DOES NOT MATTER THAT THEY RUN IN FULL CLASS A, BUT THEIR OUTPUT IS LOWER AND LOWER AS THE IMPEDANCE DROPS...

The X600 is a great amp, but you should also consider the Jeff Rowland Model 8TiHC for example because its high current.

The CS7.2 is a reference speaker and it is wonderful, but it is almost impossible to find the right amp for them besides the X600, ML No. 33/33H, Big Classé amps, or Krells etc. The 33H is very-very conservatively rated at 150W, actually when it was tested it put out an amazing 225W/8 doubling down to 2 Ohms and they were unable to measure it at 1 Ohm because the AC line started to collapse... Levinson gives the output of their amps with both channels driven between 20Hz 20kHz while Pass gives the power at 1Khz (as usual). So as someone has already mentioned it is not only power which is important.

BTW, I currently use the Nuforce Ref 9 monoblocks with great results but I have not tried them with the CS7.2 yet. They have a damping factor of 4000 and rated at 160W RMS, and 350W for 20ms hold time at 8 Ohms. (analog swithching amps you may check them out at nuforce.com.)

Sorry for being a bit too long, but I hope this can help. Happy listening!
Right now, I'm sitting in front of my stereo listening to Beethoven 9 by Barenboim and the Berliner Staatskapelle. The DAC is at '100'. The sound is glorious.

Is 600 watts enough? Yes. Yes it is.
Is Pass Labs a good match? Yes. Yes it is.
Do I worry about the latest and what others say is the 'best'? Not at all.

Enough said?
I use a 400cx to drive my CS6s and this s a very good match; the Thiels are not sucking wind in any way, shape or form.
Been real busy, squeezing in an Eva Cassidy and Wynton Marsalis here and there only.

Lez, many thanks. Really appreciate it.

I honestly think Thiels deserve a much higher profile that it currently has, be it here in Australia, or Asia where I bough them...

Been listening to music and haven't worried about how they match. True, I think the X250.5 isn't quite enough. But the effort, financially & everything else, to upgrade, deters me a little. Will need to be truly convinced to up the next step. Always keen, not as much as before before of work and career. Other half smiling...

Thanks guys. Lez your comments truly awesome.