Go for the 2.4's. The 3.6's are too much for your room. The 1.6's that I heard can't touch the 2.4's in any area.
The big question is, what are your future intentions? If you intend to stick with the NAD, the Thiels are probably too high end for what you're doing. The 2.4's are going to require extremely good power, and lots of it. If you are going to be willing to step up your amp, the Musical Fidelity KW500 integrated is just one of many good matches for the Thiels.
Check the ohm rating factor across the spectrum for all the Thiels, some of which which can be pretty demanding on a small amp's current capabilities. Your NAD might not be able to deliver a powerful signal clean enough to prevent frying itself, the drivers or your ears.
Thiels are notoriously accurate and unforgiving of sources and electronics -- tend to show up any harshness along the chain, and can be fatiguing. If you're in love with accuracy but want to soften the high end a bit, and have the money, look into the heftier c-j tube stuff.
If the NAD must stay, look into something easier to drive, whose resistance doesn't drop much below 4 ohms.
Putting speakers along the long wall is not so bad, depending on boundary reflections (I must do this, too). Just keep them well out in the room if possible.
I use Thiel CS 3.6 driven by Forte 4A which, though rated at 50 amps, is Class A and apparently provides enough current to tame these beasts even for Mahler -- though I hasten to add my room is only 22 x 14 x 9 and I don't play the system terribly loud.
Cannot comment on price differential, except to speculate on relative popularity.
From NAD's website on the 372:
2 x 150W Minimum Continuous Power into 4/8 ohms
220W, 340W, 460W IHF Dynamic Power into 8, 4 and 2 ohms, respectively
I would not consider the IHF figure but only the continuous number.
I'm just a bit concerned that you might be disappointed simply because the NAD will not provide sufficient current to appropriately power the Thiels, regardless of model you are considering. I see the amp is capable of delivering 150W into 4 Ohms and that could be sufficient as long as you don't have unrealistic expectations regarding high SPLs in a large room with this set up. But as you said your room is relatively small. But rooms change with life.
The usual result is that folks end up underpowering them, not the watts mind you, and then blame the Thiels for sounding bright. Thiels do not sound bright at all, but will if underpowered by an amp that cannot swing the current needed. Thiels like amps that double power as impedance halves. That said, the minimum impedances for the models you mentioned are: 1.6: 3.0 Ohms; 2.4: 3.0 Ohms; 3.6: 2.5 Ohms.
I think your best bet would be the 2.4 as it will have better bass response than the 1.6 but be an easier load to drive than the 3.6.
Also, you can always work towards upgrading your amp in the future so I would go with the larger 2.4 model, space and budget permitting. By the way I am a Thiel owner (6s) and found that even Bryston 7BSTs, as good as they are, and they are good amps, could not power the Thiels the way a Krell 400cx does. This made a major improvement in everything the Thiels can do sonically.
Alternatively, you could consider Vandersteen 2Ces. I also own these and they are IMHO, the best speaker value for the money and. like Thiel, are time and phase accurate. They would also be a great match for the NAD as they are easier to drive than the Thiels.
Let us know what you decide to do. Cheers!
Overall NAD and Thiel 2.4s are a great bang for the buck system in that room, and might even embarass some of the more pompous audio jewelry systems out there.
Regarding the 3.6s, I am running the CS 3.6s in a small room, but I would advise against powering them with anything less than 200 wpc. During loud (95db) passages my CJ MF-2500 sounds strained, and I am actually thinking about upping the power once my summer bonus arrives. You may get by at power volumes, but my best guess is you'll still hear the NAD's proverbial "cockpit shaking". The 2.4's would be an easier load and have much of the same characteristics as the 3.6s, minus the deep bass.
Good luck on your audio journey,
I am running Thiel 3.6s on the short wall of a 13' by 21' room, and I am driving them with a pair of Rowland 201 monoblocks. I listen to classical music exclusively, and so far I'm very pleased. The 201s are 250W into 8 ohms and 500W into 4 ohms; I would be hesitant to drive the 3.6s with less power than this. I was using an Aragon 8008BB (200W/400W) before the Rowlands, and although it was able to drive the Thiels, the Rowlands sound more refined, especially on peaks.
This is probably of limited usefulness, but I helped my parents pick out a new stereo system, and after much searching and listening, we settled on a c372 and a used pair of theil .5's. They're not very efficient (87dB) and they dip to 3 ohms, but the combination is surprisingly nice--very crisp and clear and airy--and will play surprising loud w/o strain. I think you'd really like the 2.4, and the nad should sound great with them. Obviously, better amplification would result in better sound, but that doesn't mean the the nad would sound crappy.
I just auditioned a pair of Thiel 2.4s. They are amazing ! Just great sound pours out of them. Wide soundstage, tight deep palpable bass and precise articulate mids and highs. Female vocals to die for.
Now I'm saving my bucks. I'm planning to use a ss amp 230 watts into 8 ohms and 380 into 4 ohms.
good luck in your choice
More power is needed to let any of these three really breathe - 200wpc via Krell, Levinson, Coda, EAD etc. will do the trick quite handily -Your NAD will work but needs more ummph -The 3.6 needs the most power, however you will be rewarded with much deeper bass than the other two...
The big question is do you think you might upgrade your amp in the future. If that's the liklihood, I would recommend the 2.4's. I have a set of 2.4's and 1.6's. The 2.4's are sweet with an adequate setup. With an X250 driving them, they have probably been the favorite speakers I've had, and I've had some decent speakers over the years. My wife has taken control of the 1.6's driven by a Denon receiver and DVD player and that's not bad. I had them on an X3 at one time and they sounded very good. But, I couldn't imagine driving the 2.4's with a C372 long term. And I'm thinking hard about getting a C372 for a third system with Quad 22L's.
when it comes to thiels speakers , I own the top of the line
thiels 5i , Krell amp is the best. matched it with a tube
preamp. you will never look back and just enjoy the music.
However the thiels is not bright , it just take time to match
it. the 3.6 is very good. get it if you have a chance.
Thanks to everyone who has replied to my thread. I wound up getting a previously owned Krell 300iL integrated amp with 200wpc. This was more than I originally set out to spend, but I think the investment will be worth it to sufficiently drive the speakers. I am now looking for the Thiel 2.4 speakers at a decent price and in good condition. Then I will need to figure out which front loading CD player to buy. I've heard the NAD c542 is pretty decent. Thanks again!
I have a pair of Thiel CS 2.4's I am very happy usuing a bryston 3b sst poweramp and bp25 pre. Vinyl sounds alive, Imaging is amazing "wall to wall"
I have a similer sized room as you, a little bit smaller. Placement of speakers about 3 feet from each wall, about 6 feet apart. I am sitting about 8 feet away from the speakers, enough distance for the drivers to integrate.
I highly suggest the 2.4s
3.6 requires lots of space and a BEEFY amp, my bryston would be the bare minimum. the 1.6's lack the great bass the 2.4s have.
I own the 1.6's and am extremely happy with them. Their midrange and highs are excellent and very detailed. The bass is tight and accurate, but does not extend into the low end. I do have a subwoofer integrated into my system and have been able to match it very well with the 1.6 to get that extended bass response.
That being said, the 2.4's are superb. The 3.6's are also excellent speakers that have been a staple in Thiel's lineup for many, many, years and are just now being replaced by the 3.7's which are not officially released yet.
Thiel speakers require good quality amplification to sound their best. I originally drove my 1.6's with a Denon AVR-3300 receiver which surprisingly worked quite well. The downside was that the amp in the receiver tended to get hot and the sound was a bit thin, but it did work. I ended up buying a used Acurus 100x3 amplifier and that has made all the difference in the world with these speakers.
As to why the 3.6's have dropped into the same range as the 1.6's on the used market....I think it's because the 3.6 is now discontinued due to the imminent arrival of the 3.7, and also that the 3.6 uses older driver technology as compared to the rest of the line. The 1.6 is a current product still.
The 3.6 offered on Audiogon are much older than the 1.6 :usualy between 5 and 15 years old , the 1.6 are less then 5 years old.
That`s why they are offered in the same pricerange.
When I auditioned the 2.4 model for I'd say a couple of hrs. and then asked if the 1.6 pair could be plugged in just for kicks (thought I'd save) I was almost embarrased. The 2.4 packs a whole lot for it's size and cannot see myself wanting more out of a set of spks. for at least the rest of my life. I think with the size room you have they will be able to really sing if you set them up properlly. I also think that with an 10x11ft room like I have mine setup in may be restricting them somewhat but admit it still sounds great to these ears.
IMO, either the 2.4 or 3.6 will be a little to much speaker for your room. But if you do go with one of these I like the 2.4 more. I would get either the 1.6.....or even better, The 3-way monitor PCS for your room. These speakers (PCS) are awesome! Also might find them being closed out right now at a better than usual price. A small sub can always be added if you feel the need. Sometimes less is more with speakers.(depending on room size)
I own a pair of Thiel 3.6cs. They come with a subtle, but most likely, unadvertised bill: you need a serious amp to best drive them! And (no offense) an NAD ain't gonna cut it. I'm currently in the process of moving from an Aragon 4004 to a Krell FPB300 to best appreciate them, and btw, they also like to have a reasonably sized room to fully sing. So, my best advice is stick with the smaller speakers in a smaller room.
Don't blame Thiel: Jim is very clear about the need to use amps that double current output as the impedance halves.
Plus it is the dealer's reponsibility to make sure that customers have the appropriate partnering amplifier. If the dealer doesn't do this, crappy dealer.
Yep, Jerry and Steve are absolutely correct. I drove my 3.6's with 200 watts of Classe and then went to 500 watt mono's with Mcintosh and the difference was not subtle.
I have the Emotiva MPS-1 7-Cha with 200W/300W for 8ohm/4ohm amp. I've been interested in the used CS3.6 or 1.6. I know the MPS-1 is not in the same league as Krell or EAD or Bryston, etc, but would the MPS-1 be sufficient to drive these speakers? Anyone have experience pairing similarly?
another +vote for the CS 2.4 speaker. It will allow you to move up on the gear end w/o sacrificing the speaker end. My 1st Thiel demo and 1st impression of the 2.4 was on a Creek integrated/ NAD cd spinner.
This was a very good combination even though the Creek was under-powered. Still, I was struck like a bolt of lightening. IMO, the 2.4 gets "timbre" right. I seek micro detail, dynamics and timbre.