I'm excited to read some reviews of the 3.7's. Essepecially after reading the manual and tech sheets on Theils site. Got me anxious to know how all that new tech is going to sound.
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Just a guess, but I suspect it may be a tooling issue. In some ways these speakers are quite a departure from previous Thiel designs. On the one hand, Thiel seems to have gotten in the habit of taking a long time to get new products out. On the other hand, I'd rather they got it right, than released them prematurely.
FWIW, I contacted Thiel on this question exactly (comparing the 3.7 with the 7.2). Their answer was that the 3.7 was an improvement in all areas over the 7.2 except in bass depth and large dynamics. In frequency response, clarity, spatial fidelity and efficiciency they believe the 3.7 is the winner. OK, that's their view.....they still don't expect to ship for a few weeks but Crutchfield are now taking orders :)
I demoed the 3.7's last night. The problem is that they were not broken in, they only had 25 hours on them. Anyone who has owned Thiels knows that 25 hours in nowhere near enough time. My initial impression is that the sound stage was HUGE. They were also very smooth, smoother than other Thiels, which can be a little edgy. I won't judge the bass yet. I am going back in a couple weeks after they are broken in. Physically they were slightly taller than the 2.4, and much deeper. More to come . . .
Yeah. I think so. Finally. It sounds like they had some driver mfg. problems initially. It seems like they go through this ever time. Maybe Jim Thiel should start to take these things into account before announcing time frames on delivery. Seems like common sense. This isn't the first time this has happened.
I received an e-mail from Ken Dawkins, Thiels' VP of Sales reporting that there are now some 3.7s at dealer showrooms. He gave me the names of two in the Midwest and also commented that with advance notice an audition could be set up in Lexington after their two week shutdown.
This stemmed from a note I sent him regarding a used pair of 2.2 I bought on eBay for $500 and how impressed I was with these speakers. Never auditioned them before, unfortunately.
The $500 on the used 2.2's was the best value in a speaker I have ever encountered personally. I own speakers costing 20 times this amount. Don't get me wrong, the 2.2s aren't better, but at $500 they truly sound great. Now I too will be looking for an audition of the 3.7s.
My wife and I got to spend a few hours with the 3.7 yesterday. Listened to some vinyl and digital and came to the conclusion that we will not give up our 7.2s and cash (selling them used) to get the 3.7s. They are very good speakers! Great soundstage, great bass, smooth as can be. But so are the 7.2s.
What we thought is that although each speaker has its strengths, neither is overall better than the other. They sound quite a bit alike.
We did decide when (and if) the direct replacment for the 7.2 (7.3 ?) does come out we will spend the cash and upgrade our speakers at that time.
If I did not own the 7.2s I would probably jump on a new pr. of 3.7s. I am going to go back in two weeks after they are fully burned in and take another long listen. The one area that the 3.7s are possibly unequaled by any price speaker I have heard is in the soundstage. The 7.2s are very good. The 3.7s are better.
What is the difference in bass depth and power between CS7.2 and CS3.7?
BTW, it seems that Thiel discontinued CS7.2 from May 2007...
So, either is CS3.7 new provisional Thiel's top model or we will see something like CS7.3 at CES2008...
I've been waiting for this speaker for a while. I bought my 2.3s (the replaced 1.5s) and a few weeks later the 2.4 was announced.
I figured the next step up for me would be to the replacement for the 3.6. Since then I've toyed with buying the 6, or trash the whole Thiel concept and go for something more efficient and scale back from my giant amp.
I'm still thinking about scaling back, but I really want to hear the 3.7, especially after all of the work I've been doing to my system.
Johnmcalpin, I hear you on the amp issue. I bought a pair of 2.2s recently just for a spare pair of background speakers and am really, really impressed by them.
In considering the 3.7s I have to factor in getting a new, larger amp. All my existing amps are rated at between 100 and 150 wpc into 8 ohms. I question whether my ML amp, even as a high current amp can drive the 3.7s. I love the sound of the 2.2s driven by the ML so would plan to also have to buy a new, much large ML amp (even used that is several thousand more to the price of the speakers).
To get these speakers, I think they would have to outperform my Wilson Audio Duettes (which are only 3 mos. old). I would then consider selling these to get these speakers. These are darn good speakers and not sure (other than in the bass) whether the Thiels will be able to top them.
Thanks again for the report. I cannot wait to hear them. From a price point perspective, my heart is set on the 7.2. I just have not heard any speakers like them and they combine all that I love in speaker. I own the 2.3's now and they were an incredible revelation over my original set of 1.5's which is where I started over 7 years ago.
With that said, Jim never ceases to amaze me with what he comes up with. So, hopefully, my favorite dealer in NYC will finally get the 3.7's in for me to audition before the end of the year.
Great to hear from Tom regarding the 3.7 and the 7.2 -- this is the sort of comparison I've been waiting for, thank you. Sounds like the 3.7 is a real advance if it can compete with the the 7.2 and yes, it also seems that in time a new updated 7.3 (or equivalent) utilizing the latest Thiel technology will push the envelope further. Tom, did you go back as you stated for another listen? If so, please do report when you get a chance.
I've been twice. These are the differences I notice between the two speakers. This is not to say (IMO) either speaker is lacking in any of these areas, just the differences between the two. The 7.2s have more midbass punch, are more detailed, and although I think the bass depth is equal on both speakers....it is a little more noticable quanity with the 7.2s.
The 3.7s are warmer, and I guess some would call them more musical.( I wouldnt) They have a smoothness that they didnt have the first time I heard them. A little less upper midrange energy than the 7.2s. (that can make life a little annoying at times with the 7.2s) They have more soundstage depth (for sure) and probably width, but not sure on this one. Which blows me away because the 7.2s are great in this area. The layers of soundstage with these speakers is really very, very, good.
They offer lots of detail, but are not as resolving as the 7.2s. Because of there warmer presentation I think they will be easier to get right than the 7.2s. The bass is better than I thought after the first listen. Almost the equal to the 7.2s. With a sub they surpass the 7.2s. I have listened with and without the giant smartsub. At first I thought I would add a sub if I purchased these speakers, but not sure now. I like these speakers alot! Cant wait to hear them with tube amps.
The 3.7s are in an all Ayre system right now. I have had my 7.2s in an all Ayre system up until recently. The 3.7s Are using VPI Scoutmaster with Dynavector 17D2 MKII cartridge or Ayre C-5XE CDP, Ayre P-5XE phonostage, Ayre K-1XE preamp and Ayre MX-R monoblocks. Cables are a combo of Audioquest and JPS.
My 7.2s have been with Superscoutmaster/17D3 cartridge, Ayre P-5XE phonostage, K1-XE preamp, V-1XE amp. Cabling is all Audioquest. I have also heard the 2.4s in systems very close to both of these and think I have a pretty good hold on the sonic differences.
In the future the shop will probably try Mac and VTL gear with the 3.7s, But right now they sound very good. I doubt they will mess with them unless they have an audition for somebody or something like that. They seem like they can sell themselves in the system they are in now. The room they are in is huge and they fill it with music.
As always, thanks for posting your thoughts. I am pleased to share with everyone that I listened to the 3.7 for the first time the other day. They, according to my dealer, are still breaking in and require 400 hours for the bass driver to fully be at it's best. They are incredible in the midrange. I have never heard, with the possible exception of the 7.2, such lifelike, three demensional soundstaging than these speakers. Jim's new midrange driver technology is the real thing folks and must be experienced to be believed.
The weakest link in the demo system was the amplifier, a BAT solid state example that sounds dull, dry and lifeless to me. BAT's tube amps are another story however! Despite this it was a welcome minor frustration to discover that the sound, like most of Theil's designs, are not "left" or "right". It's just "there" all around you. And that was my immediate reaction upon hearing the speakers whether it was Mozart and especially C.S.N. which sounded so lifelike in the room, I was transfixed.
What was suprising however was the bass response. I am not a bass addicr by any means and the lows weren't weak by any means, just not as loud as I thought it was going to be in connection with the other frequencies. I think break in and system matching are at fault here.
The 7.2, when measured by Stereophile, was slightly elevated in the low bass but I am only too much aware that the sound of any speaker is predicated on what is in front of it along with inherent capabilties.
I still prefer the 7.2. but that could change with greater listening to both. Yet this time around, the new designs midrange driver is truly a technlogical breakthrough.
As you so aptly put it, "I can't wait to hear it with a tube amp". Ditto!
I thought the 3.7 sounded bad last year at L.A. Just heard them again at the RMAF driven by all Sim Audio or Moon Audio equipment and they sounded wonderful. And the best thing is that the binding post are now on the back, not at the bottom. And I guess if I have to, I can live with them, just need to cover the ugly tin cans with teh speaker grill.
According the the rep, Thiels is working on replacing the 7.2. The new version should be coming out in about 2 years. No plan to replace the model 6 yet.
Comparing the 3.7 to the 7.2 does not add up.
Don't get me wrong. The 3.7 is going to represent a wonderful valud at under $5k, and will likely be classed among other lines of speakers costing up to $12k. Add a subwoofer, and I'm sure it will be something to behold. However, the 7.2 was $15k 10 years ago, and is a true full-range speaker. It is heavier, goes lower, and is a 4-way design. It has some of the most accurate and coherent bass I've heard. The 7.2 competes with speakers $25k and below, even today. I have resigned myself to acknowledge the need to spend over $25-30k to get something that betters it. For Thiel to produce a clear improvement on the 7.2, I would suspect it would cost $20-25k taking into consideration the number of sales and in-house production costs. That end of the market is far more competitive than it was 10 years ago.
I heard there are no plans to do a 7.3 as of now. Thiel has probably taken the wise strategy of more firmly straddling the home theater/2 channel market. They have kept costs reasonable whereas most companies are in the stratosphere. Power requirements are said to be more reasonable. Going to Crutchfield is a way to gain more widespread sales by breaking out of the audiophile niche market. Introducing subwoofers has brought modularity to their line. If he does decide to do a flagship two channel system like the 7.3, I wouldn't expect it for at least 5++ years. This is based upon the way new designs are slow to trickle from the company despite rumors that something is just around the corner. So don't hold your breath.
The cost of a pr. of 3.7s is $10K, not five. Also the 7.2s in the standard finish were $13.5. They are comparible and I can see some who are not great fans of the Thiels thinking the 3.7 are the best they have made. I like my 7.2s. If I owned any lesser Thiel I would probably upgrade to the 3.7s. They are very nice speakers.
I think I must have been looking at the price for each speaker. I'm also a fan of Thiel, just a bit skeptical the 3.7 should be viewed as a sucessor of the 7.2. Perhaps the 3.7 will have an even broader appeal, although Thiel has always seemed to sold quite well. I guess only time will bear that out.
Owning the 7.2s (like you) and listening to the 3.7s on many occasions....I (like you also) dont consider it the successor to the 7.2 either.
Everything I have bought or upgraded since getting the 7.2s has been to compliment them. I dont see that trend here changing any time in the near future. They are the only audio gear I have owned that my wife has claimed final say on selling or trading.
However if I didnt own the 7.2s I could see me bringing home a pr. of the 3.7s and a smartsub to go with it, and being very happy.
I recently listened to the 2.4 and then the 3.7.I felt the 3.7 was a giant leap forward,very revealing,huge sound stage,much smoother.I then did an a/b with the 3.7 and B&W 803D,though the 803D has a great high end the Thiels were much more revealing through the mids and I thought over all better.I am putting together a whole new system and was considering the 2.4 for my mains,now I am trying to figure out how to afford the proper amplification for the 3.7.I plan to use them not only for stereo but surround sound as well.Any advice would be most appreciated.