Should I buy used Thiel CS5


Stumbled across a pair of these beasts at a used stereo store. I can get them for 3 grand. The loudspeakers are probably 30 years old. Would you goners grab these for 3 grand or get something new for 3 grand. What new would you recommend for 3 grand? 
jeffvegas
If you have the room and can provide the rather demanding amplification; they can be terrific!
jeffvegas
Should I buy used Thiel CS5

 If they are in good condition, a definite yes, as even by today’s standards one of the greats, but only if driven from an amp that is stable and can deliver big current into 2ohm continuously and remain comfortable doing it.
Stay away from tubes, most Mosfets, and Class-D "if" you want to get the very best out of them, read here.
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/what-class-d-amps-will-drive-a-2-ohm-load


Cheers George
The price seems high to me . For comparison , I bought a pair of CS7 off craigslist with a matching center channel and a pair of cs2 for $1700 
You should ask this question on the Thiel owners posts which has been running for a few years and seems to get daily activity too .
@maplegrovemusic , you scored one of the all time bargain deals!
The $3K asking price is currently on the low side of typical for CS 5's.
@maplegrovemusic , you scored one of the all time bargain deals!
+1
jeffvegas

Keep me posted if you decide to purchase the CS5 loudspeaker.

Happy Listening!
Start your search for a krell FPB 600...
rather demanding amplification

I think that's a bit of an exaggeration made mostly by Stereophile.  I currently have a 150W amp and it is driving the Thiels fine.  They can go pretty low.  

I think that's a bit of an exaggeration made mostly by Stereophile.
A 87db 150w is fine (even 100w) , what Stereophile means is you need good current to back up that 150w  so it can do up to 300w into 4ohm and try to get near to 600w into 2ohms. (If you want the best from them)

" it can be seen that the CS5 presents an amplifier with a pretty severe load. To say the least—"current capability" if the sound is not to become anemic."
https://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/690CS5FIG01.jpg


Cheers George

@jeffvegas, Yes, a Krell FPB 400CX will work. Should work very well.
The CS5 is certainly one of the better Thiels ever, especially regarding bass reproduction (sealed woofer) but, as others have noted, needs a lot of current to drive properly (and quality current is $$$). $3K seems pricey to me for a speaker that age. You will want to replace electrolytic caps.
If you like the Thiel house sound perhaps but you need to familiarize yourself with this sound before buying. One look at the crossover on this speaker could scare the hell out of any prospective buyer. The tweeter on these older Thiels some find very objectionable.
You will want to replace electrolytic caps.

No electrolytic caps, all plastics, last forever (well almost)

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/data/attachments/17/17403-3e3aa52a4bb8c32c4dab3b281e022f17.jpg
" The CS5 crossover is itself also heroic. Constructed on a single hard-wired board, it incorporates 87 elements realized with 114 components. Only—only—55 elements are directly related to the first-order high- and low-pass filter functions, the rest being used to fine-tune the system’s time response. The two midrange units, for example, are electrically "moved backward," by the equivalents of ¾" and 3/8" respectively, to bring their acoustic centers into the correct alignment.
All coils apart from one are air-cored, and the capacitors are polypropylene and pure polystyrene types, the latter custom-made with tinfoil plates and copper lead-out wires. The internal wiring is a polypropylene-insulated solid-core type."


The tweeter on these older Thiels some find very objectionable.
I only found that with with bad recordings or soso electronics, same also goes for the CS7
No electrolytic caps, all plastics, last forever (well almost)
Holy cow! That's a crazy number of parts!
It does *look* like there are 2 ELs at the bottom of the pic, maybe a couple more at the other end? But, yeah, mostly film caps (PPTs and MKPs). Nice.

Still, *I* would upgrade the resistors and probably some of the caps for better sonics if not to replace drifting ELs.
I dont care what quality of parts you put in this crossover it is an abomination in terms of complexity and total number of parts. Seems to be a very complex way to approach whatever problem Mr Thiel was attempting to solve. When I look at a crossover like this I simply scratch my head and wonder why.


This info on the caps below in italics is from the owner that stripped them, and "time alignment" parts info from Thiel.


complexity and total number of parts. whatever problem Mr Thiel was attempting to solve.
The two midrange units, for example, are electrically "moved backward," by the equivalents of ¾" and 3/8" respectively, to bring their acoustic centers into the correct alignment.

It does *look* like there are 2 ELs at the bottom of the pic
All coils apart from one are air-cored, and the capacitors are polypropylene and pure polystyrene types


Cheers George
@georgehifi
Yes, I read all of your earlier post. I’m just saying it looks, LOOKS, like there are two ELs on that board. All the yellow caps are probably the custom-for-Thiel polystyrenes. On other models I’m more familiar with these were 1 uF bypasses (much of what I know comes from Tom Thiel). The larger black ones with red ends look like Solen polypropylenes. But there are two smaller black ones with a middle hump and rounded ends that are similar shape to ELs.

For example (Link)

But there are two smaller black ones with a middle hump and rounded ends that are similar shape to ELs
Possible, but the guy that stripped those xovers and posted the pics says they are plastics,
Those ones have "two little men" on them after I zoomed in on them, which I’ve never seen, and they seemed to have been bypased with poly’s
If they are bi-polars electros then yes change them as they are only a couple of dollars each.

Cheers George
I must also consider the first order crossover and the extra work that it places on drive units. No doubt there has to be some voice coils in those drivers that are near burnt after 30 years of use. I will have to call cohert source service to see if they have replacement drivers for the CS5. 
@jeffvegas, when making that call, you might want to inquire about availability and costs for upgrading to CS5i status, as well as about possible future upgrade possibilities. 
jeffvegas,

For a price point, I have a pair of CS5's that I bought for $2600 including delivery about two/three years ago.They are oak with the cream colored grills.

I had to replace one of the yellow speakers (largest of the three small ones) about  a year ago. Otherwise no problem except finding a good DAC to tame the tweeters which can sound sharp.

Thanks for listening,

Dsper
Other way around to me, the tweeter doesn’t need taming, it’s oil can resonance is well above 25khz and low in amplitude
The dac/pre/amp has to be good, so the tweeter doesn’t show up their HF deficiencies.

There is the possibility though that the tweeter if "ferro-fluid" cooled, this will go hard with age and cause non linear sound distortion issues.
B&W need their ferro-fluid replaced around this same age https://www.speakerrepairshop.nl/en/instructions/replace-ferrofluid-in-tweeter/c-36

Cheers George
@georgehifi

Hi I just bought a new (Manufactured 2019) pair of speakers that uses Ferrofluid in the tweeter. How long does it usually take for the tweeter to go bad? Any factors that can make the tweeter go bad prematurely, likely hitting it with abusive loud volumes? I usually play low-med volume...just sayin Thanks in advance.

From what I’ve seen and read 10-15 years is when it can start, depending on environment (dry/humid/hot/cold), how they were used (sedately or punished) and quality of the Ferro-Fluid (dries out quick or slow). People think their tweeter needs replacing when all it needs is a little time and new fluid
  https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1312.R1.TR0.TRC0.A0.H0.TRS1&_nkw=speaker+Ferro+fluid&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=speaker+Ferro+fluid

Cheers George