While the dealers set up might have been better, your home placement should be just fine.
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You will have to experiment with what is best for your room. In my main system my CS6s are aimed straight ahead but in my second system the CS2.4s are ever so slightly toed in. In my experience getting Thiels away as far as possible from the front wall is the most important aspect of peoper set up. This is what opens up the soundstage depth.
Stevecham is very right in emphasizing the distance from the front wall with Thiels. My Thiels work best 6 feet out from the front wall. Moving them back to 3 feet reduces the soundstage significantly. Minimum is four feet for them to work well at all.
They are not that sensitive to distance from side walls - in fact, they may work better closer to the side walls and farther apart. The closer you get to the sidewalls, the more you will need to toe them in to avoid first-reflection point issues. Mine work best about 9 feet apart and 10 feet from my listening position, toed in such that the tweeters intersect 18" behind my listening position, so your description of your current position is good except for the depth.
These speakers are far too expensive to compromise them by putting them 2 feet out. Go back to the dealer and have him move them 2 feet out and you will see what I mean. I know this is not what you wanted to hear.
With all due respect to the above posters, I have to disagree. In my 20+ years with Thiels, I haven't found the distance with the (what I call the back wall (the wall behind the speakers) as important as the distance from the side walls. Sure, postioned further out they will provide a deeper soundstage and cleaner bass, but with as little as 1' (FWIW, I use 3') the Thiels will still work well. I find that having them too close to the side walls, requires toe in. Too much toe in and they can get bright. Too little toe in and things get messy. Like any other similar purchase, I suggest you make sure your dealer provides you with generous return policy.
Unsound, I had my Thiels positioned well away from the sidewalls (5 feet) with 1/4" toe-in for years. Recently, I took measurements of bass response that showed, in my room, the bass curve was flatter with the speakers closer to the side walls (still 3 feet away as your recommend but far less than the 5 feet that the manual recommends for large room placement). Perhaps this is because of the large distance from the front wall necessary for best soundstaging.
As you say, I had to toe them in, but I was surprised at the small difference this made in the 'brightness' of the sound. Just as surprising, the soundstaging actually improved with them farther apart even with the toe-in, with no holes in the middle whatsoever. It was the right trade-off in my situation. BTW - my room is almost the perfect Golden Ratio so it is not the room.
Thiel has always had the same placement recommendations in their manuals all the way back to the 1990's when I bought my first Thiel CS5i's. I don't know why - every dealer I have visited with the larger Thiels has them way out from the front wall and so do the manufacturers using Thiels at shows.
Your advice about a generous return policy is excellent. I would think that a dealer would provide in-home setup for the price of these speakers and allow Stvrvn to return them after a reasonable time if not satisfied.
I've had Thiels for over 10 years and agree with most everyone above, the optimum placement for me in my room is 9 feet apart, 5 feet from the front wall and 4+ feet from the side walls with no toe in. I sit 12 feet from the speakers. The distance between the speakers and the distance to your seat are the most important measurements. The soundstage really opens up when Thiels get room to breathe and you need the distance to your seat for the drivers to properly meld for ultimate clarity and transparency.
Not everyone has the room dimensions for that type of placement so my advice is to get as much distance between the speakers as possible and sit at least 10 ft away.
As Thiel suggests, each room will be different and a little experimentation might be necessary. Pops brings up an excellent point. The distance from listener to speaker might be the most important dimension. Thiel recommends a minimum of 8' and a maximum of 12'. Less than 8' and driver intergation will be compromised. Jim Thiel has stated he measures his speakers at a distance of 3 meters (9'9"), of course that's in an anechoic enviornment.
hey guys. Just wanted to say thanks for all the great input. My plan is to place them out about 2 feet with about 9 ft between them until I can move my rig into my sons playroom (which is atually our unused living room) in a year or so. That room will allow me to move them out any distance I want and still maintain the requisite 9-10 feet distance out from them. I look forward to purchasing the speakers in the near future. Know anyone that would be interested in my B&W S3, black ash with sound anchors? Thanks again.
Folks who do not like Thiels (or Krell for that matter) seem to have a preponderence for sarcasm. That tells me that these products must be good. There seems to be a direct correlation to brand quality and the level of cynicism (read faux plausiblly deniable envy) directed at such brands.
My experiences with Thiel (current and long time owner) is that if you don't care enough to power and source them properly, then GIGO for you.