Replacing Thiel 2.2's, Need Monitor Suggestions

I am completely satisfied with my Thiel 2.2's. They are transparent, detailed (sometimes unforgivingly so), incredible imaging, and solid as rocks. Unfortunately, my girlfriend thinks they are clunky looking and since we're getting new furniture she is wondering if there is anything smaller I could replace them with.

I should be able to get $900 out of them to put toward some smaller speakers. I'm considering monitors, or anything smaller and nicer looking (possibly a slim floor stander with a nice veneer.) I would prefer not spending more than $1000 on the speakers, and I don't mind buying used.

I am looking for the things that my Thiel's did well (detail, transparency, incredible imaging, large body of sound) as opposed to overly warm-sounding speakers.

You can use the links below my username to view my system. I'm still getting started, and my next upgrade will be getting a separate amp. Any suggestions for an amp to complement your suggested speakers would also be appreciated. My budget for the amp is no more than $400 used.

Thanks for any suggestions, and please don't answer with "lose the girlfriend." It's not helpful. All other advice is very appreciated.

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If you want as good or better sound from a moniter, and like the Thiels. I would wait until a pr. of the three-way PCS moniters from Thiel show up used. They go for around $1.5K. Its slightly over your $1K budget...but well worth it. They are very good moniters.
Do you have $1000 or $1000 + $900 (from old speaker) to spend ....there is a huge difference at this price range, as you probably know.
Yes Shadorne, that's a huge difference. My meaning was to spend about $100 beyond what I can get for the Thiels, so $1000 total.

It's a tight budget, but I'm hoping something can be done within it.

Era Design 5, B&W 685 or CM1, Dynaudio Audience 42 or Focus 110 (used), Quad 11L, Epos M12.2, Totem Rainmaker or Arro (very small, very good sounding tower speaker with very high WAF, or in your case GFAF).
You may want to check out the Green Mountain Audio line. You should be able to swing a pair of Europas or even a pair of Europa Max. If you were able to swing the $1000 + $900, you could find a set of GMA Callistos (like I did). They should arrive this week - ping me in a few months, I'll let you know my thoughts of them.
"I am completely satisfied with my Thiel 2.2's. They are transparent, detailed (sometimes unforgivingly so), incredible imaging, and solid as rocks. Unfortunately, my girlfriend thinks they are clunky looking and since we're getting new furniture she is wondering if there is anything smaller I could replace them with."

Well you should replace them with a large set of ovoid spheres.

Tell your girlfriend that these Thiels satisfy you and they are great looking and sounding. Sorry dude but you need to grow a large pair of balls and put things in their proper perspective, girlfriend or not. I am so sick and tired of guys caving into their WAFs and GFAFs, it's frigging PW of the worst kind. Music is important, far more than furniture and girlfriend aesthetics.

Cheers and good luck.
She is only your girlfriend now wait until she is your wife. My WIFE doesn't like my 3.6's too big so I told her I would replace them with 7.2's; end of story. Still might replace them with 7.2's.
Clunky looking? Thiel 2.2s? Hardly.
I think there is something to be said for compromise. She doesn't have the final say in what happens in a room, but then again neither do I. She cares about how a room looks and would prefer to not have speakers reaching out into the social area. I also care about how the room looks, and I can see her point, but I get enough benefit from the speakers to be able to deal with it.

When you can't afford your own listening area, it's fair to compromise with the other people who use the room. That's just basic decency that comes from being a REAL man, balls and all.

Czbbcl,Very good.But you must be married for many years.
I wish i had your gonads.Best of luck with the 7.2's
I personally don't think the Thiels are bad looking speakers at all. I like the pyramid-esque shape of them, but for a room of my size they do become the focal point. I have a floorplan of the room on my system page if anyone cares to look at it.

Personal tastes aside, let's go on these assumptions:

1.) Monitor speakers (or slim good-looking floor standing speakers) will be easier to work into this particular room.

2.) I will spend $1,000 on the speakers.

3.) I would like something detailed and transparent with body, I realize it won't have the "Thiel" sound, and I am open to enjoying a new kind of sound.

4.) Looking for lots of value for the money.

Used quad 22L, perfect match, very transparent and open sounding, slim floorstander, looks nice
The problem with compromise is that you compromise, she compromises, everyone compromises and nobody is happy. As someone mentioned Thiels are not bad looking speakers. I could understand her concern if they were say Wilson example beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And yes I have been married for a long time and plan on staying that way for a much longer time (same woman).
I'm not usually a fan of "monitors" or that label for that matter. I don't understand why so many women seem to have issues with the size of speakers either. I guess I'm a bit out of touch. With all that said, I can recommend the "slim" floor standing Meadowlark Kestral Hot Rods and the Thiel CS 1.5's for under $1K used. BTW, If your really want to get the most out any Thiels you might want to give serious consideration to an amp upgrade.
Unsound -- Absolutely I'm going to be upgrading the amp. Any suggestions for an amp to go with the Meadowlarks (or the Thiels) would be appreciated.

Quality power is more important than quantity. Thiel 1.6's may fill the bill for you as I believe they are smaller than your 2.2's but will still have that characteristic Thiel signiture.
While the Meadowlark Kestral's and the Thiel 1.6's share many design principles, they have different amplifier requirements. I suggest you choose your speakers first then worry about the amp. BTW, if you really want "monitors", and I think my previous recommendations are better, but for less money you might want to consider a design that is not quite as similar but still somewhat close; used Spica TC 60's (these will need stands). Only the Thiels can recieve continued support from the manufacturer.
If the Thiels are what you like I'd suggest a used pair of 1.6s. The newer Thiels have a sleeker look than the 2.2s. There are a couple of pairs listed now. Hate to be so obvious but as Meadowlarks were suggested, I have a pair of Kestrel 2s for sale if your located in the Midwest. I've owned 3 different Meadowlark models and tweeter on the Kestrel 2s to be the quickest. I also owned a pair of Thiel 1.5s a few years ago but they were extremely bright IMO although the Acurus amp I was using at the time probably contributed. Good luck.
I'm sorry, I went from Thiel 1.5's to 1.6's. I think the 1.5's may be found at or below $1K, but, I don't think you'll find the 1.6's that cheap for a long while.
Now hang on just a dern minute!! I just looked at your pix. You have the classic audiophile room. THe Thiels look great. Smaller monitors will only make your room look like an audiophiles room with monitors. My wife hates my 3.6's size, but loves her coldplay, candles, & wine. Save your money, go out and buy some coldlay, candles, & wine!!!!
There are a pair of Celesion SL600s for sale on Audiogon. I have the SL700s in my bedroom and enjoy them very much. They are as "neutral" a look as could be asked for.
I'm looking into the Meadowlark Kestrel 2's. It looks like they won't "rock" as well as the Thiels. Is that just part of the sacrifice of moving down in speakers?

I listen to Independent Rock (The Shins, Sufjan Stevens, Caribou, Decemberists), Jazz (Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderly, Dave Brubeck), Funk (Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Ohio Players), Bluegrass (Doc Watson, Greencards, Alison Krauss), Singer/Songwriter (Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Elliot Smith), so my tastes vary quite a bit.

My thought would be a pair of Energy Pro 22 Monitors (second hand of course as they don't make them anymore). This is the speaker that put Audio Products International on the map. Incredible value. These monitors will rock. (You have to get over the low price stigma)

They first came out in 1982 and were selected as the refence speaker for the National Research Council facilities ( you may have heard of Dr Floyd Toole...). IMHO, Energy never surpassed these absolutely brilliant tweeter that went down well into the mid range.

Only issue is you should be careful to drive them cleanly - like many consumer designs the drivers are delicate - 150 watts is plenty enough for them ...just don't play them with a clipped amp - even a 35 watt amp with heavy clipping could damage them real quick (although parts are still available), as the tweeter works pretty hard (low freq).
Given your taste in music, I would strongly suggest the new B&W 685 or any Dynaudio monitor you can afford new or used. I don't think you will be satisfied with one of the small floor standers mentioned except perhaps the Quad 22L (~$1300 new) compared with your current pair of Thiels. Dynaudio drivers are really stiff, so if you audition a new pair, make sure they are well broken in and driven with adequate power. In general, if you want anything approaching floor stander scale from a monitor size speaker, you better feed them lots of current.
Really good suggestions so far.

Also to be taken into consideration: I have a Velodyne CT-120 sub that I'm integrating into my system as well. Right now it only covers the very bottom (~35 hz) but I could adjust the crossover to fill in a little more if I have a smaller monitor. It's not the most musical sub, but it can add SPL where I need it.

Good to know! Just a reminder; subs usually work best the less they have to go up they frequency range and IMHO 2 are better than 1, even if they're smaller. If your using subs you might want to consider some of the smaller Dunlavy floorstanders or "monitors".
A question for OP:

Why do you want monitors? With their stands, they don't take up any less floor space than floorstanders. It seems to me that you are really looking for slim good-looking floorstanders that can be placed close to the back wall.

Now, nobody can decide good-looking for another. So the first thing may be to visit a few audio stores with your GF to get a sense of what shape/size she would find acceptable. Otherwise you could a new pair and discover she is still not happy.
I guess I am not so tough. I wanted a pair of cain & cain (abby's) for a second system. My wife said no way are you putting those ugly things in this house; I caved. So I am probably going to try a pair of the Omega Super 3xrs.

Screw it. I'm keeping them.
Yeah, way to go man! Now that you have the room for floorstanders........Time to upgrade to the 2.4s.
Cheers! Good for you! Now that you've regained your manliness go get a proper POWER amp. On a more serious note, I suspect your new floor arrangement might be sounding better, yes?
I actually just got an Adcom GFA-545 which still isn't where I'd like to be, but it's a huge step up from running off of the receiver. I got it for $75 used, so it's an acceptable and affordable crutch. If I were to buy another amp, my price limit would be $300 used.

The new arrangement sounds SO much better. I think the main difference was getting more soft things into the room. The couch is now fully upholstered (it was leather before), there is another upholstered chair in the room, and the flat wall to the right of the right speaker now has a multi-faceted bookshelf which is working as a good diffuser.

I wish I could spend more than $300 on an amp r
why don't you try a smaller pair of thiels...they'll have the same sound and perhaps your GF will be happier with the smaller footprint. The cs1.6 and the older cs1.5 are a lot least height wise. They have all the virtues of monitors (transparency, imaging, soundstage etc etc) but with MORE bass. Subwoofers are ugly IMO. If you get the fancier veneers she might even take you out to dinner! Also, within your budget you could probably do an even trade used and be able to buy a McCormack DNA 0.5 for about $500 if you shop around. I use a B&K st-140 that I am very happy with (but yes it could be improved) that can be bought for about $250 used here. Take care and cheers to you for treating your lady with consideration!
I guess I just second the recommendations for the smaller thiels. Didn't read the all of the posts. I apologize for my redundancy.
Stick with Thiel and go for the 1.6s.

How about Monitor audio RS-6's They have nice looking vaneers and are detailed. You and your girl friend would be happy with those and they cost $ 1, 000.00 new.....
I know it's a couple years on, but I've finally done it! I replaced the Thiels with some B&W CM1 monitors as suggested by Knownothing above. Thanks so much for everyone's help!

I'll follow up with a review on my impressions of the replacement.
I guarantee that in a year or two you will miss the time and phase coherence of Thiels and will seek another pair to replace the B&Ws. I speak from personal experience.
Initial reaction: Stevecham is probably right. I don't have them on stands yet (just sitting on my entertainment center to the left and right of my TV), and the sound is smaller and artificial sounding. They are new so they have a good amount of breaking in ahead of them, and I'm hoping that opens the sound up.

I'm already looking toward the Thiel 1.6 or Totem Arro at this point though.

More to come.
Don't judge them AT ALL until they are on proper supports.
I know, I know, Rnm4, you're absolutely right. Right now they are too close to the back wall (about 1 foot), and probably resonating the entire credenza into a bass-reflex monstrosity. I haven't even given them the proper attention they need to shine, but you know how it is: you want to hook those suckers up and listen to them!

Hijacking my own thread: now taking recommendations on speaker stands. B&W makes the FS-700 specially for the CM1, but I'm open to alternatives as well.

Nice choice. Theils have there strengths, but so do the CM1's. Your amp has a fair amount of power to drive the CM1's, so I would let the new speakers break in for a while, get them on stands (the B&W stands would be logical match), and then do some serious evaluating and fiddle with positioning - at least a couple hundred hours of playing time out of the box.
Check out the BG Radia Z-92. There is a pair here for $1,500[with center channel] I've seen them go for $900 on the used market. Look really nice in maple, they will totally D-STROY the Thiels in every way, midband, bass you name they give the 3.7 a run for the money! Now that their discontinued they sell right away.
Here is a pic.

There are other nice hybrid ribbon speakers from Sonist, Tonian Labs Etc. but they are quite a bit more expensive. I've modded mine and they just keep sounding better.

Good luck!

You really screwed up her. Thiel for B&W? Gawd. I'm selling my 2.2's to move up to something bigger in the Thiel range. Let me know if you want to own good speakers again.

I sold those B&Ws, because they were just not FULL enough. I put some Sonus Fabers in their place, and finally recovered some of that audiophile magic. The B&Ws didn't have that sparkle, that hint of reality and presence.

I also found some Thiel 1.6 speakers at an incredible bargain, and I'm currently figuring out how to get them situated for optimum performance. I'm not happy with how I currently have them positioned. They don't sound bad, it's just that they haven't clicked into place yet.