Harmonic Tech Truth Links should work well for the interconnects but I wouldn't use there speaker cables. I got the best results with my 2.3 when I switched to Cardas Cross speaker cables with Truth Links.
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Wow Hug, sounds like you've tried almost everything. I have 3.6's and they are bright only when the recording is. I'm using fairly warm electronics; Meridian digital, cj 14 with mullard tubes (warm and full), and classe amp - but using all silver ic's (kimber) and goertz (copper) speaker cables. My listening room is also on the damped side. I know Thiels need alot of room behind and to the sides and no toe in will also disperse the stage some and tame some brightness ... thiel recomends no toe in. Good luck...
I've owned 22's for almost five years and did find them on the bright side until I changed my front end. Currently using the CAL Alpha/Delta with Mullard tubes. My preamp is a Jeff Rowland, with old Parasound Amps. I'm using Straightwire Maestro's interconnects and speaker cables. I've used MIT in the past and both kept my highs smooth and warm with no hint of brightness unless the recording was terrible. Also, have you isolated your DAC? If not, by doing so can make a world of difference.
Why try and make a piece of equipment something it is not? I do not care for Thiels myself, there are others who do. From your description it sounds like you do not like the basic sound of the speaker. Blocking out part of the sound to make it tolerable certainly doesn't seem like the way to go. Why would you want a piece of equipment you can't enjoy no matter what other virtues it seems to have? To me it would make more sense to write off the speakers as a mistake for your listening tastes. Sell them and get something more enjoyable to you. Don't try and use your whole system as a tone control for speakers you probably won't enjoy anyway.
I have a pair of 3.6's and they sound fine. I have auditioned the 2.2's and agree that they sound much brighter. At the risk of tarnishing the signal path, I would suggest getting an equalizer. Purists would eschew this, but a good quality equalizer can keep the tone components out of the circuit when the controls are set to flat. Only the bands you need to modify will be in the circuit. Unfortunately, you can't avoid having an extra set of interconnections. Audio Control is an established name with a range of equalizer products. I have a Rane ME60 in one of my systems -- it's got good build quality and more, narrower frequency adjustment bands.
MIT speaker cables did the trick for my CS-6's. Take a look at some of the classifieds (Joe Abrams helped me out).
If you are looking to attack a specific frequency range, using cross-over adjustments might be better than decreasing the overall response of the midrange. It's tricky working with Thiel cross-overs because they are so unusual and use very gradual db reductions. If the tissues work, why not stick with them? Maybe in conjuction with different speaker cables. Happy listening. Great idea with the tissue!
It sounds like you've found a short term practical solution. It may seem a bit harsh, but I have to agree with Phill23, ie I would not want a speaker that has a sound character that is unsuited to my personal preferences in listening.
The rest of your gear/wires does not appear to be prone to brightness. I specifically avoided the Thiel 22/23 when speaker shopping because of their reputation for brightness, and ended up with Vandersteen 2Ce/3As at the time(s). Good Luck. Craig
I would sell them and get something else, and I do take my own advice, I have owned 2.2s and 2.3s and after endless changes in electronics and cables I gave up, I did get them to sound better but never great. Best results occured when I went to a tube preamp (VTL) and changed to MIT cables. The sound never was very natural on the high end. Ended up going with Virgos and ProAc 2.5s which better fits my music tasts. Good luck, these speakers will drive you nuts trying to get them right.
Thiels are absolutely fussy with the components that drive them. If you are determine to keep these speakers, I suggest playing with different tubes in your preamp frist and then audition other front end players, amps.
If you have enough patience, it is possible to get these speakers right and they will reward you with great sounds.
I use to drive my Thiels 22 with Classe, Audible Illusion, and Cal Audio. I now drive my Thiel 3.6 with Pass Labs 1 monoblocks, ARC LS2B Mk ll, BAT D5, WireWorld Gold Eclipse, and Audiotruth Dragon spk cables. Good Luck !
Could be your room. But it is hard to treat your room without change its look. I would say change to a not so bright speaker. That's a quick and direct solution. Lots of people already try different electronics and cables(bright & soft/ss & tube). Majority of people can't get the brightness tamed. Blame on preamplifiers or cables seem unnecessary. Usually electronics (include tube) and cable have a flat spectrum compared with any speaker. If your speaker can't perform flat spectrum in your room, changing electronics won't help much. Especially you already try some good electronics on both sides (soft and bright).
So I would suggested either move to better room or change your speaker. Edgy sound may appear "clear" in the beginning but starts to kill your ears min later. Sometimes, people are chasing that "clear" sound by wasting money and time on wrong equippment change.
Some just being lucky to have a soft room, and they have more chances to get good sounds out of your speakers.