Thiel 2.3 vs 2.4

I have 3.5's and love the deep bass.
I am tempted though to go with a newer and more modern speaker.
Im seeing some good deals on the 2.3's and Im wondering how much of a difference there is between the 2.3's and 2.4's
I have heard the 2.4's at Thiel and they are an incredible speaker!
I have become a devoted Thiel fan so please no other speaker recommendations.
My main concern is losing the deep bass of the 3.5's.
I understand the 2.3's only go down to 36hz or so.
Thanks in advance!
I listened to both and fortunate that the dealer had a close out pair of the 2.3s and the 2.4s were better in every way....except the price. But as the dealer said to me "I need to put these in seperate rooms or the 2.3s will never sell" . But last time I was in they had sold and he din't have a pair of the 2.4s at the time.
2.3 are terrible loudspeakers, pathetic in everyway except for the reputation of the company that made them....and the looks I guess.

The 2.4 is more inline with the Thiel reputation in performance and for me refreshingly good. Other than maybe the 7.2 which is still mediocre at best for the money, the 2.4 is the only Thiel since the 3.6 that I could look a client in the eye and know I would be sending him/her home with a good speaker with no real caveats to that statement.

A harsh assessment I know, but its your money.

Thiel 2.3s are "terrible" and "pathetic"??? You seem very much out of touch with the rest of the audio world where this speaker has gotten rave reviews. No speaker is a perfect fit for every listener but to label it so makes one suspect you ability to hear. The 2.4 is nearly the same speaker as the 2.3 and you think it is much better? Bet you hear cable sound as well. But with a handle like "cinematic_systems" I would guess that accurate audio is not really your thing.
The 2.4 is not "nearly the same speaker" as the 2.3. It's way, way better.

You pay the price of assuming. If you think a speaker with a 7-9dB dip in the upper midrange on axis, audible breakup noise in the mids, double digit distortion at 90dB at 1 meter and several other malladies as "accurate" well I can see why you disagree with my assessment.

But when a speaker designer tells you that the side reflection will "fill in" the huge dip in the midrange...i'm drawing the line there.

Rave reviews? you're kidding me right? LOL!

As for my name, I'll put 7 channels against any BS 2 channel system an avid reader like yourslef can dream up.


Rave reviews? "Stereophile", "TAS", "Soundstage", and many more. Try reading sometime. The 2.3 and 2.4 are very similar. Check out the components and speak with Shari @ Thiel. Measurements? Measured at what distance? Where is the mike placed? 1st order crossover designs can be a bear to measure, just ask John Atkinson. Not everyone likes Thiel speakers but VERY few ever trash them as you have. Seems you have a grudge to me. I've listened to lots of speakers over the years and Thiels have consistantly displayed clean, accurate sound IMO. There are lots of other good speakers but many seem quite colored when up against Thiel. I compared Thiel 2.4s and Quad 988s in the same room a while back and they were not that far apart in sound with the Thiel being a bit more details and dynamic. A friend I brought along had the same opinion. You must follow some Thiel guidelines however. The amp must be comfortable with a 3-4 ohm load and you have to sit, not stand, no closer than 8' from the speakers.


Everyday at work for three years my job was to present the Thiel 2.3's to the public. I know more about that speaker than you will ever know. I have fixed them, upgraded them, tweaked them heard them in more rooms than I can remember. Got feedback from 100's of people. I have tested the drivers.What more can I tell you, what do you want me to do? conform to popular beliefs so you're comfortable? I'm not into "popularity" the fact that most people agree is a great reason to disagree.

You can't possibly know this but I build speakers and they are very well received. My measurement techniques are not flawed and I understand the topology of the Thiel system better than most. It's not magic. I owned 1.2 and 2.2's which may fuel the great dissappointment in the quality of sound available from Thiel since then. That is until the 2.4's which to me represents a rebirth for Thiel.

How you doubt my credibility because I'm going against the (objective?) press. You're acting the same as the person I inform that Consumer Reports has to place Bose in the top 5 because of a lawsuit in the 1980's. They are skeptical but its still true. Do you think Stereophile wants to lose Thiel ad money?

At the last store I worked we declined the offer to carry thiel because the 1.6 has such a terrible distortion problem, that it is just awful and not competitive with any of the speakers we had at half the price.

If you don't believe me look at the Soundstage measurements which show the cone break up modes in the 1.6 in the distortion measurement. Is this the kind of speaker you think should be considered world class? Look at any speaker in its price point and their distortion figures notice how all the subjective reviews understate this problem. I told the Thiel dudes this is unacceptable. And it is, but maybe you can accept it and call it clean and accurate?

Look I don't want to fight with you, but the problems with the 2.3 are not opinion or perception they are facts.

If you like the way the 2.3 sounds then you have to accept these facts. The flaws do not change with ones opinion. Your "awful" and "pathetic" may differ from mine in degree but the 2.3 is a great example of why you shouldn't listen to the press' Rave reviews. It never deserved it.

So there it is. buy the CS2.4, that's my opinion based on the facts.

Facts? Well, still opinion on both our sides. I have had Thiel CS2. 2.2 and 2.3 and they all seem to have a very similar sound. I have even installed the "improved" drivers in my 2.3s and the improvement was subtle. I guess I just like the Thiel sound. It just struck me as odd and out of step to hear such a strident condemnation of Thiel. Even the magazine reviewers write-ups are just opinion, and I take them with a grain of salt but when you seldom get a really negative review the quality speaks for itself. It reminds me of Honda newsgroups where someone would say the Accord was crap and unreliable. It just went against the tide of opinion. I don't want to fight either. The new Gallo Reference 3 impressed me lately. How is that for a change of topic?
Distortion in CS1.6. Just another question. I looked at Soundstage's test and see only another glowing Theil review. This from their distortion measurement:

"Thiel Audio CS1.6 Loudspeakers: Measurements

PLEASE NOTE: Our standard is to provide the THD+N measurement at 90dB with a measuring distance of 2 meters (within the anechoic chamber). Since this speaker produced low distortion levels under those conditions, we have added a second measurement performed at 95dB to give an indication of performance under higher-output conditions."

Where is the cone breakup? I am really curious. Thanks.

Cinematic_systems- Are you a Thiel dealer? Were you a Thiel dealer?
If so,why would you sell a speaker you hated?
Did/do you trash Thiel but still sell them?
I would say you are a bad represenative for Thiel Audio.
I wonder what they would think of a Thiel dealer who trashes their speakers?
I see you are very good at knocking Thiel.
Give me your 'opinion' of my 3.5's please.
Both speakers need a LOT of breakin and complementary equipment (in the sense of high quality and also not being overly lean). The upgrade to the midrange driver of the 2.3 made a major difference to my ear, and eliminated my one serious concern with the speaker. I have heard many Thiels sound wonderful and awful, the same speaker, depending on degree of breakin and associated equipment. Also, they need current. If you underpower them they will provide the volume but it will be unpleasant. Finally, as to your question, to me the 2.4 is worth many times the value of the 2.3. It seems to have a more relaxed, natural sound, and overall seems to improve in many ways.
Sorry I wasn't more diplomatic? 3.5's were great in their day, driver technology limits them today, but I don't know of a 17 yr. old speaker that wouldn't have that problem.

I don't know what you guys want, do you want me to pitter patter around the truth and not make myself clear?

Measure a 2.3 sometime and then explain to me where the superiority is in this design where the accuracy is and its desirable Qualities show up. Why does its replacement seem to eclipse it by such a great margin?

addressing 1.6 issues

As for the "breakup mode" or possible distortion from the tweeter being over driven, do you see the huge distortion spike at 1.2Khz, that is not good and it is clearly audible. This is a $3000 speaker!

The measurements don't lie, even stereophile's measurements don't lie. That's were the truth is, an audio review magazine is a business and writers don't want their job to disappear in a poof of honesty.

Guys I'm getting the feeling that you don't understand that bad products get great subjective reviews all the time and as a participant in this industry It is a very bad thing. Because the magazines want to keep every possible stereo company in business and profitable. That way they have more clients.

Let's review some other quotes in this thread;

"to me the 2.4 is worth many times the value of the 2.3."

The 2.4 is not "nearly the same speaker" as the 2.3. It's way, way better"

"listened to both and fortunate that the dealer had a close out pair of the 2.3s and the 2.4s were better in every way"


Let me tell you a story that shows how bad the 2.3 is:

We were a reasonably successful Meridian dealer and we were selling 5-6 Meridian 568's a month on average, then we switched in the thiel 2.3's with the new MC1 Center channel and we didn't sell a 568 for 1 month, until we switched the thiels out and put the Dynaudio's back in. That next month 4 568's sold.

So bad you couldn't sell any of the equipment connected to them either! Do you want to know that information? Is that relevant to you? Or should I keep that stuff under the rug. You guys all have great jobs that allow you to afford this equipment. I realize that people are free to make their own decisions but he asked and this is my experience...not my opinion.

So, subjective words like pathetic and horrible are rough should be backed up which I think I have. I'm sorry i don't have the documentation any longer, I switched measurement programs. But words like reborn and excellent should be weighed just as heavily. I am not a Thiel hater, I'm a bad speaker hater, whether I made it myself or someone famous made it.

My list of bad speakers would shock you, and trust me many of them show up in class A lists.

Finally buy the CS2.4 its a great speaker and the great people at Thiel make it,and I like it. that's the best reason of all :) have a good holiday everyone,

PS: Sorry to have to say those thing about your speakers McTeague, my intentions were only to help D99 make the right choice atleast from a objective performance standpoint, value for the money etc.
Thanks for the info.
I have had my 3.5's x-overs rebuilt,both Dynaudio tweeters replaced and both Scanspeak mids replaced.
Thiel tested them in their chamber and I was told they are 100% up to spec.
Im not sure what you mean by "driver technology limits them today"
Also,would you recommend I keep the 3.5's instead of going with the 2.3's?
p.s. The 2.4's are out of my price range.(I have a great job but the money sucks.....nurse)
I might wait, I only remember liking the Thiel 3.5's, I don't think I've heard a pair since 1990. but my instincts tell me the 2.3 does not offer much more than the 3.5 is giving you already, especially since you spent money to keep the parts new. You would be changing speakers but not upgrading.

I cannot be a judge for you but if I were to buy a speaker to upgrade the 3.5's the CS3.6 comes to mind. I bet you could find a 3.6 in the 2.3 price range. Your electronics will likely hook up nicely to them also. The 3.6 is easier to drive than the 3.5

The 3.6 is a nice upgrade for sure and a certain one in my mind despite its age I like the 3.6 over the 2.3.

It can't be too far off until you can score a demo or previously owned CS2.4. So it depends on how much patience you have....might want to broaden your scope and look at the 3.6 too. See if the 2.4's are worth the wait.

++There are just newer drivers with refinements from those companies, like the revelator split paper series and Dynaudio is several generations passed the D26? things have gotten better when it comes to woofers and tweeters.
Right on ! At least one person hears with their own ears and not the ears of a reviewer who has a vested interest in the rating.John Atkinsons wife ,if memory serves me, used to be involved in Stereophile product ads.I'm not saying he's not a straight up guy but proceed with caution.Gryphons Flemming Rasmusen recently admitted he lost millions because he refused to GIVE a antileon amp to a reviewer after the review and(he believes)got a so so review as a result. No one should believe ANYTHING without hearing for themselves. As a collegue once told me " doubt everything , trust no one. " This is just my opinion,feel free to doubt it as well.
I agree with Cinematic_systems on this one. There is a noticeable dip in the mid-range on the 2.3s. Even the salesperson came in near the end of my listening session, asked to put in Stevie Ray Vaughn "Tin Pan Alley" listened for a couple minutes and said "I never did like the dip in these speakers" and left the room. I had already made a decision not to buy, so his comments didn't affect me. To me the dip makes the bass sound exaggerated and lagging a little behind, with the treble sounding more shrill or forward. 1 good thing I'll say is that they do present a large soundstage. The 1st 30 min. I thought I'd buy them for sure, I hadn't heard a speaker sounds so dynamic. 15 min. later I realized I was just hearing more highs & lows than normal because of the dip in the middle.

On the same setup a year later I found the 2.4s to be an improvment, going on memory of the 2.3s, not side-by-side listening of course. I also agree the 1.6s have a huge distortion problem that you won't read about in any of the mags. Just my opinion.
Good luck.
I have always preferred the sound of Thiels with tube gear, albeit powerful tube gear. I'm not surprised that Thiel 2.3 with Meridian could produce sound that would fail to sell.

As for the cost of a Thiel speaker, bear in mind that once you have Thiels, even minute changes in gear are extremely audible. Owning Thiels is a slipperly slope, in that suddenly you will want better cables, better cd player, etc - because you can easily hear the differences.

So the price of owning Thiels is not merely the initial outlay, IMHO, but the subsequent tendency to make increasingly expensive audiophile purchases to feed the Thiels.


I respect your opinion and agree with everything you say except Your assessment of the Meridian. The Meridian equipment not only has tone controls but it will wipe the floor with any tube pre/CD player you can come up with near its price range. The Meridian wasn't the problem let me reassure you, infact the 2.3 sounded their best on that system by far.

Just so you know. Let me add, that I did everything I knew to sell Thiels....everything. best cables best spot in the room, tilted them towed them, measured them,,,etc. A good sounding Thiel would make me a hero, my life would have been simplified exponentially.

No the reason the thiels are the way they is two fold,

1. Thiel is still maturing as a speaker manufacturer the leap in the 2.4's quality has more to do with the drivers than any changes in design philosophy, on the surface the 2.3's and 2.4's are very similar as mcTeague stated.

2. Dynamically almost all the Thiel speakers have an issue because the drivers are pushed to do too much over to wide a range, so they always have this characteristic at which the seem to just snap and get bright. Using tubes with slower rise times of course will add a layer of resistence towards this tendency.

This tendency to be super "revealing" is an instablility in the speaker and that is enhanced by a purposeful accentuation of the High frequencies.

People in audio have been conditioned to believe that a components ability to "reveal" changes in the system as a high quality mark, but like anything else too much of a good thing can turn bad.

See how that logic makes you react, think about it. Excellence should not be so fragile, it is not a fine line. This is a tactic to keep you chasing your tail, Dynaudios and ATC's sound great on a $300 NAD receiver and $25,000 Mark Levinson equipment. Yes you can tell the difference, but neither system makes you run for cover because the speakers are great with a margin.
I have not heard the Meridian piece in question so please don't take my comments as disparaging of the Meridian. I was referring in general to my experience that solid state amps don't fare as well with Thiels as powerful tube amps do. Also I was assuming that the Meridian was the amp, not cd/preamp.
My fault Art, we used a number of amplifiers with the 568 and Thiels in an effort to stimulate sales.

probably everything but a Meridian amplifier :)

I realized that we weren't talking about the same thing after I hit submit

have a good holiday
In '98, I auditioned well over 10 speakers in the 3-4k range, and did some traveling to accomplish this. This included Avalon and Dunlavy, which were a bit more expensive than the Thiel 2.3. At the end of the experience, the Thiel was the obvious choice for me. No other speaker could handle complex and congested music as well.

Yes, the bass doesn't go down very far, but what bass it did have was very clean and articulate. Sure, the double basses, kettle drums, and gongs were not as full, but everything else was there. Also, there is also an inherent brightness that needs proper cable and component matching.

Is the Thiel 2.3 for everyone? Hell no. But there are very few speakers that can play to the Thiel's strengths at their price range. All speakers have inherent downfalls. I suspect David99 understands these things because he has decided to stay with the same brand.

As far as getting a used 2.3, I think the prices on audiogon are too much. This is a speaker that sold in '98 for $3000 and has essentially been upgraded twice. If you heard the 2.4 and really like it, then get this one. Better yet, look for a demo pair 2.4 from a dealer. Also, try to have a listen to the 6, because this will give you better bass and there have been numerous 6s on the market.

Im confused by your comparison of the 2.3 to the 3.5's
You clearly state your dislike of the 2.3's but you wrote "I only remember liking the 3.5's" then you went on and wrote "the 2.3 does not offer you much more than you are already getting from the 3.5's" and " you would be changing speakers but not upgrading"
Correct me if Im wrong but the message I get from this is,the 2 speakers sound similar?
If this is so,how can you like one and hate the other?

Rob raises a good point about the CS6. I have not heard this speaker in many years but my memory of it is that it captured that elusive relaxed musical quality, that Thiels often lack, while also preserving the great coherence, soundstage and nuance that Thiels offer. I also recall that it's heavy and needs a lot of space and power. The prices used for CS6's could make it a no-brainer if you have the space and power (and have been spending time at the gym : - o )
"the 2.3 does not offer you much more than you are already getting from the 3.5's" and " you would be changing speakers but not upgrading"

David its simple, I was 20 years old when I last heard your speaker. I "liked" it but with the level of experience I had at the time I "liked" many speakers I'm sure I would not recommend now maybe even hate.

I said my "instincts" say that the 2.3 would be a trade off not an ubgrade. Meaning it may do somethings better but in areas not as well in others... it is not an upgrade. If you're looking for a reason to buy the 2.3 go ahead just tell yourself that I am clueless and don't know what I'm talking about. Its not like I'm coming over to your house anytime soon. Plus I said the CS2.3 is a bad speaker, I didn't say you couldn't like it. Lots of people like technically bad speakers and there is nothing wrong with that. You are free to buy whatever you want without being judged. I don't listen to music in Trifield all the time to win popularity contests either. So go with what feels right for you.

I'm restricted by you desire to buy a Thiel, so I have to work within that parameter and I have respected that. My effort was to sort out the CS2.4 versus the CS2.3 for you and I think I have and I think the consensus of people have backed me up but its still your choice and you have to live with it. Not ours, not us.
Cinematic-Thanks again for your time and info.
I am not looking for a reason to buy the 2.3's
Actually,Im still very happy everytime I hear my 3.5's,especially now that I have a killer front end.
I love these speakers and I can understand why they have a 'cult following'
Being the audiophool I am though,Im always looking to upgrade.Thats the bottom line.
I don't seek the approval of others in what I buy.I left that behind in H.S. :~) I like to hear others opinions and I respect yours and I thank you for the time you have spent on this thread.

The reason I am inquiring about the 2.3 is I have read elsewhere they sound quite similar to the 2.4
When I spent the day at Thiel,while my 3.5's were getting re-built I listened to the 2.4's in the incredible Thiel,main listening room.
If anyone has been in that room to hear music,you know what I mean by incredible!
The 2.4's had the new Thiel sub delivering the bottom end.
When my speakers were done,they were set up in the same position as the 2.4's minus the sub.
The 2.4's clearly played louder.That was my first impression.
They imaged better but not by the magnitude one might expect.
The bass was tighter,deeper and more tactile.But then again the sub was used with the 2.4's
The soundstage was (best guess) 15-20% larger which I felt were the 2.4's best quality.
I would have loved to hear my 3.5's with the sub as I imagine they would have sounded better than they already did during this demo.
Overall,of course the 2.4's are a better speaker,esp.with the sub.In fact,I would say a good sub would be a must have with 'most' Thiel's
I felt the demo showed me the best one can get out of both speakers.
2.4's 5 stars
3.5's 3.5 stars
I feel a well designed 'vintage' speaker can compete or beat out a modern speaker.I also dont feel current speaker technology or modern drivers are 'all that'
Im not referring to the 3.5-2.4 demo either as my basis for this claim.

You wrote "lots of people like technically bad speakers" Are you referring to the 'Best Buy' shopper or audiophile?
Technically bad means to me,bad sounding.
Or are you implying 'technically bad' speakers can sound good?
Am I wrong in assuming you feel you have the experience to tell a good speaker from a bad speaker and many audiophiles (or even some Best Buy buyers) can't hear the differences?

Sir,I do respect your opinion and Im not attempting to stir anything up (me?)
Im just trying to figure out where you are coming from.
Im assuming you dont like Thiel in general and you even dislike their flagship 7.2
I have read a few times "Thiel,love them or hate them" Of course this could apply to most any audio product as well,couldnt it?
Krell is hated and loved.. aghh! Im bored today and rambling on...
I think I'll end this and play with my stereo.
I have a new SACD 'Madman Across The Water' that sounds AWESOME! Anyone disagree? :~)
I have a new PC to check out also.
Shoot,I have to take out the trash today I just remembered.Christmas trash is a drag!
Anyone listening to tunes today,enjoy!!


I hate to keep rehashing this but...
The consensus has backed you up? Maybe two people on this board. Let's add up shall we? : 65 reviews, 4.5 average rating

Stereophile: "CS2.3 is a superb loudspeaker."

TAS: "The 2.3 is an outstanding loudspeaker."

Soundstage: "Highly may have just found your dream speaker."

HiFi Test (Germany): "The CS2.3 is greatly enjoyable."

Home Theater: "The CS2.3 is so good, it'll remind you why you got into this hobby in the first place."

Stereo (Germany)"This is the result when accurate sound and audiophile quality feeling come together...astonishing three dimmensional character...Rated "Excellent".

So, you don't like the speaker, I can respect that. What I don't respect is your claim that it is a bad design and also bad sounding. And let's not get into the "they are only giving good reviews for the ad revenue" nonsense. Let's face it, Jim Thiel knows a bit more about speaker design than all the pundits on this board put together. I don't think they are perfect, the highs a still a bit strong for me, but they consistantly make the best overall package for my tastes, primarily classical music. I have gone to countless live concerts and use that as my speaker quality yardstick. As to the 7-9db dip in the upper mids, I have a few test CDs and a RatShack sound meter and it does not show up in my room, if anything they are a bit up in that range thus giving the slightly bright sound. Perhaps if I made the measurement a standing ear level, but they were designed to be heard much lower and no closer than 8 feet. You don't like them? Fine, but please don't keep pushing this "terrible loudspeaker" stuff. Hook them up to an amp that can't handle the load, play them too loud, sit too close or too high and they may sound bad but that is not the speaker's fault. I do think they put a fair number of restrictions on the listener so are clearly not for everyone, especially hard rock fans, but for those who favor clear sound, very low distortion and boxless sound they can't be beat.


Technically questionable speakers that people like and have endless positive reviews.

Sonus Faber Amati Homage
Aerial 10T (recent versions)
Eggleston Works Andra
Talon Audio --
Krell Lat-1
Martin Logan Prodigy

I cannot begin to fill in all the holes and all the factors that I feel justify my statements. I did not arrive at the comments arbitrarily and don't think you think that I did.
We have a good repore going here but this is the frustration of the internet. I cannot have you here to demonstrate what I'm talking about. Something I have done many many times. I don't run my (keyboard) mouth unless I have converted several people through demonstrating what I'm talking about before I go on and on. That's why I won't back down because other people have soldified my points of view through there actions and their own comments. So my opinion is based on others...many others.
I don't like to kid myself, its a waste of time.

This conversation outlines why buying audio is so difficult.
We are discussing a brand that by all rights is an outstanding company with press and happy customers to back them up. My job was to sell their product and not being an ordinary fellow I'm always looking at the strengths of a product and unique features that make it sellable and explaining it in a way that would put my customer out of reach of my competition. Something I do very well, and Thiel was an endless stream of positive advantages.

Thiel had everything going for it, looks, reputation, world class customer service and brochures. And yet in 3 years I sold 1 pair of 2.3's. Having been a Thiel owner only 5 years before my enthusiasm for the product was very high. I can tell you all the things I tried (it would boggle your mind) to make these speakers sound so that when a person with Thiel on the brain would sit down and go oh yeah box them up! That day never came for the .5, 1.5, PCS, 2.3, 6, or 7.2. CS3.6 managed to pull it off on occasion. Thiel came to visit us and they were astounded by the lengths we had gone through to sell their product. I'm talking Kathy Gornik fellas. We moved the store around tried all the equipment we had and some equipment we didn't have to make them right. The day never came. The speaker never impressed the listener enough not to ask the deadly question. "What else do you have in this price range."

What we had was a speaker that was better in every way, and the masses agreed by immediately plunking down the cash to cast their vote. Thiel exhausted me, because no matter what I did they never sold. Which is unbelievable considering the brand that people were buying at the time had none of the things going for it on the marketing side that the Thiel had. I still shake my head today, we did so poorly with that brand.

If I was a terrible salesperson, I wouldn't have sold anything. But the fact is I sold almost everybody, in the end something else.

That's my experience.

Notice no judgement on sound quality, admittedly I have put 2 and 2 together to arrive at my comments and the final straw is would I buy that product...

I respect your experience and do not doubt you heard what you heard. I just could not figure out why it conflicted with so much opinion in the other direction. I know popularity means little in the end, just look at the top box office movies and books. I am actually listening to new speakers at this point, not that I am unhappy with the Thiels, but just like to see what is new that may be better. The Gallo Ref 3s sounded pretty good but, as with the Thiels (and all speakers actually), you never really know how they sound until you get them home. And, few high end dealers I found allow returns. But, that is a topic for another thread. Thanks for your input on this one.

Now I think I know where you are coming from.
You couldnt move Thiel and you're possibly bitter for this reason?
If all most all of your customers passed on buying Thiel (you wrote you sold one 2.3 in 3 years) how then did other dealers move them?
It's no wonder Kathy was astounded!
There are many 2.3's out there.I'll have to contact Shari to get the exact number.
The only Thiel speaker (other than the 2.4) you like is the 3.6 which BTW you mentioned you could sell.
Yet you like the 3.6 but not the 7.2? I havent heard a 7.2 but I imagine it beats the snot out of the 3.5,which I have heard.

Your list of 'technically bad' speakers, which you changed to 'technically questionable' are owned by many hard core,very experienced audiophiles.
What do you hear,or not hear in these speakers others dont? Is it the specs. you dont like?
Many audio products have poor specs. but sound sensational.
Finally,and this is my last post.
I think you have done a diservice to Thiel by publically trashing their speakers.
You (or your boss) were once a represenative for them and I believe it is in bad taste to bash a product one sells or sold in the past.
My final opinion is,the reason you couldnt move them had nothing to do with the Thiel speakers.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread..

I meant the 3.6 not 3.5
David, that seems a disproportional response. Personally, I appreciate
Cinematic's posts in this thread and welcome his point of view. (Just as I
appreciate your posts and your point of view, which I definitely do.) Thiel can
take the heat. Same for those other manufacturers. The conventional
wisdom needs to be questioned.

Sean has been as dismissive of highly-regarded products on many ocassions
and people around here seem to want to canonize the guy. Although, in
fairness, Sean tends to not name names, to be less direct, and to go into
greater detail about the reasons for his criticism.
There are many 2.3's out there. And this makes it a good speaker.....B.O.S.E. No safety in numbers my friend

The 3.6 is a $4000

The 7.2 is a $14,000 speaker,

The question is; can the 7.2 beat the snot out of a $15,000 ATC,or Dynaudio and the answer is absolutely not even close.

I'm not bitter, puzzled to this day yes. Dissappointed we couldn't sell a sellable speaker. What should have been a sellable speaker.

And like I said I sold everybody anyway,so it was no big deal. Your attempt to find some negative motive is futile. Like that phrase in A Few Good Men, "you can't handle the truth", And I've gone to great lengths to show that my opinion was not formed by some single audition. And its funny but all this effort will prove out that you will believe what you want to to believe no matter what. What is funny is with all my experience selling speakers, building speakers and the literally hundreds of systems I have installed It cannot buy one inch of credibility with you in the end. I'm trashing Thiel, well actually I'm trashing the Thiel 2.3 and praising the 2.4. What you see before you is a very methodical exercise to show you the facts. And as the corner gets smaller and smaller your true feelings are squeezed don't want to believe me.

Let me note that I have heard about 3 songs on Thiel 2.4's but I guess since we agree that its a good speaker I know what I'm talking about in that case.

So ignore me as some bitter dude and buy your 2.3's and be happy. As for hardcore audiophiles, what do they know? Everyone I ever met either ran out of the store afraid that everything he thought coming in was suddenly wrong or he left with a surround processor from me to replace his tube preamplifier.

Amati Homage: When you watched a DVD or played spoken word on them they lisped and sounded like mush mouth, we sent a pair back because it was so bad yet we were told it was fine. Maybe to some people that's a signature of a more "musical" speaker. I couldn't disgree more.

ML Prodigy: Tell me its better then the QuestZ at half the price and we'll have a huge disagreement

Aerial 10T: Used a Dynaudio Audience 52 and a Rel Strata II to trick some "hardcore audiophiles" into thinking they were listening to the 10T's. Then when I switched over to the 10T's they claimed our pair was broken because the Dyn's/Rel destroyed them head to head. I have more on this speaker. Well they weren't broken because a 10T owner bought his second pair and didn't notice a problem.

Krell Lat-1, Talon, Andra: If I have to explain? go listen for yourself first.

As for my character and trashing Thiel, who should I serve the manufacturer or the customer? You guys bitch and whine and have bad systems because people give you what you want they "Enable" you to buy the wrong thing. Like $500 power cords! The path of least resistence to get you out the door with less money. Is that what you want from your dealer? Let me make you feel more comfortable.

Look at all the press on the 2,3 its all positive. Crystal clear highs and coherent source design plus the Thiel heritage. How can you go wrong? I can tell you that no speaker images like the Thiel either its a known fact that a flat phase response is key to getting a stable wide image. The 2.3 are definitely a bargain at this price. They make all their own drivers in house which helped move them ahead of the lead pack because it cuts down on R&D time. Before they had to have samples sent from Scandanavia and that took time and cost money. Now all of the works is right in Kentucky, quadrupling the development speed of their speaker line. Let's listen to some music.

There you go brother. The light is green.
how then did other dealers move them?

We think (a collective answer of the staff through research) that those dealers carried speakers of equal of lesser quality to the Thiels. We on the other hand offerred a vastly superior speaker which would not let people circle back to the Thiel.

In fact we aksed how certain dealers did and the most successful dealers had weaker speakers than Thiel at that price range. I never said Thiel was the worst speaker. Also like our Levinson sales people just bought them without listening. Thiel had such a powerful marketing that people wanted to listen to them as a reference, then go look at other speakers. Dude I'm exhausted, I could write a research paper on this. Like I said the thought we put into making this work for us was immense and sincere.

We had much better speakers to offer and people bought them. That's why they didn't sell.
Thanks Cinematic,you have the last word.
Happy New Year and happy listening!!
Again let me tell you how refreshing it is to hear(read) your words.You stick by your opinion despite the avalanche of reviewers.I too have heard most of the speakers you mention and agree with your assesments. In particular the 7.2 comment was right on. Audio is alot like wine tasting. People tend to collect and drink the wines others (critics) like. They also tend to use price as a gauge of quality. It's amazing how blind tasting will change peoples opinions. You take away their expectations and they are forced to decide for themselves if they really like the wine or not. If you like it then it is worth what you are willing to pay for it. All these critics, and the assumption that well known" manufacturers" really know better , has retarded my ability to learn what I really like for myself. I took me years to stumble on to my Wilson Benesch Chimeras because of them. I have never read a review of them but to my ears they were best for me.Trust no one,doubt everything. The audio world is full of pseudoscience and tons of people trying to get you to believe that that California Cabernet really is worth $800 because they say it is.
David my attempt here was not to beat you into submission, but more to make you understand all of the experience and thought that went into my original comment.

Let me state clearly, you may love the CS2.3's and you should listen to them.

McTeague loves his and many others do too.

But now you have about 20% of my experience with the speaker and all of this going on and on I hope helps you find the right speaker that you can keep for as long as your 3.5's.

Thanks Everyone who participated and commented
Happy New year
You didnt beat me into submission.
I just saw this thread as getting no where.
Besides,you said "dude,Im exhausted" so I figured I'd give ya a break!
Hey,there's a Thiel 7.2 thread just started.
Rest up and see ya there!!!

I did not read anywhere in your thread what sub Thiel had paired with the CS 2.4. Was it the SS2? I have talked to Sheri numerous times and she said it is seamless (no gaps) bass when paired with Thiel speakers. I have the CS 2.4 and the bass is deep and accurate, however I listen to chamber music and trance music which really puts the bass to the test. I would like to put one in my system and hear what it sounds like. Shari said it truely is an audiophile two channel sub.
You may want to save your pennies and wait for the unveiling of the CS 3.7. which is due out in 2005.
Maybe all us loyal Thiel users can get together for a pilgrimage to Lexington, KY for the debut of the CS 3.7. Since Cinematic-systems knows Thiel products so well he can be our spokesman and critique Jim Thiel on " How to design a speaker properly".
Irish65- The SS2 it was.
Go for the sub.
I could go on and on about the sub but you must (not)hear it yourself.It's a must have.

Shari is a straight shooter and rabid audiopihle.She knows good sound.
P.S. I'd love to take another trip to Lexington!
That Thiel room HAS to be experienced!
I live in NY but it was a beautiful drive.
Very nice state,'ol Kentucky! And the people there are all as pleasant as Shari!! :~)
p.s.s. as Im sure you know,Shari owns the 2.4's her ears.
p.s.s. As Im sure you know,Shari owns the 2.4's her ears.
How do those Thiel subs work? There is a very expensive outboard processor of some kind in their product line, but it's not clear to me if you need that to use their sub in a two-channel system.
Have any of you 2.4 owners listened to the current Merlin VSM speakers and, if so can you make a comment of two on the sound character difference? Not which is better mind you, because I am sure they are both excellent, but just the perspective or character differences in the sound.

I have owned several Thiel speakers over the years (though not the 2.4) and am trying to decide what to go with next.


If you have Thiel speakers then you would get the PX02. It is a passive crossover for two channel ($600.00). The PX05 is for five channel.

If you do not have Thiel speakers then you will need the Integrator (I believe $5,000.00).


I went to Ky in the fall and it was beautiful. I was scheduled to meet Sheri who had the CS7.2 set up for me with the Krell FPB 700cx. I was on a tight schedule and had to be in Bowling Green, Ky at the same time to pick up my other toy.
I have a pair of 1.6's and they keep sounding better as I get more playing time on them... however, after having them for only 4 months, all I can think about is getting 2.4's. TAS in their December '04 issue, rates them a best buy... I think the only other speakers I'd look at other than the Thiel 2.4 is either Von Schweikert VR4jr or Sonus Faber Grand Pianos (love the warmth and bass that lack from my 1.6's)...
If you get 2.4's, you might want to hang onto your 1.6's for a while before you sell them. I own 2.4's and, while they are very good, they did not turn out to be quite what I had hoped for, which was the 1.6 with more bass.
has anyone heard the ss1 yet? i have the cs1.6's and as drubin said i'd just like the 1.6 with more bass. i have a 22' x 15' listening room with downstairs neighbours (and suspended wooden floor) so whilst i don't want to p*ss them off to much, i want to make sure it's a worth while outlay.

I know this is *way* off topic, but what hardware combinations did you prefer (and which ones sold best for you)?

This has been an interesting thread to follow.