I wouldnt recommend a tube-only setup for the Thiels unless they would produce 100wpc minimum-They are extremely power hungry _Ive owned both the 2.4 and 3.6- If you want them to play with a lot of depth and clarity you can never have too much power- just MHO
No, with the 1.6's which I believe is more efficient than there other speakers this would still not be enogh juice. You might get away with 60-70 Watts ie Conrad Johnson Premier 11a or MV 60SE, but not 10watts (IMO). I only used Conrad Johnson for reference as I am familier with there product line.
Of course having said that, what kind of music you listen to and how loud you listen to it as well as room size and acoustics are the deciding factors.
I have a pair of 3.6's and drove them for a short period with a Premier 11a. It did a very nice job but ultimately bought a CJ MF2500a (250 / channel)ss amp. It has much better control of the speakers in all aspects of the music. I listen to classical and female jazz vocals in a fairly large room with decent acoustics.
In the end you can always call Thiel and ask for their opinion. But I bet they will tell you the same thing I just said.
Read my thread titled "Conrad Johnson Premier 350ss vs Premier 140". Should give you a pretty good idea of Thiels and power requirements.
The 1.6 is more sensitive than previous Thiels, but, this just means you can get volume with low power, not quality sound. IMHO. 60-70 tube watts should be minimum as far as my personal experienc with the 1.6's is concerned.. Great speakers though.
Thiel's impedance falls very low. Therefore with tubes you won't have bass no matter how powerfull tube amps you will have.
Marakanetz: Your generalization about difficult impedance doesn't apply equally to all Thiel models. My own 2.2's, for example, have a quite flat curve centered around 4 ohms and little problematic reactance, so appropriate tube amps have worked very well. And the 1.6 is not a difficult load either. (John Atkinson's Stereophile test measurements show the impedance stays above 5 ohms throughout the bass, while above the bass it looks to average between 3.5 - 4 ohms with a mild phase angle and a flat curve shape, with a higher-than-spec estimated sensitivity of 94dB. The 6.5" lightweight aluminum woofer should also not be hard to control.)
Having said that, 10 watts is very low-powered for most speakers in most rooms, and although I don't know anything about the specific amps mentioned, I think that even in a moderately sized room at least 40 watts would be better to have, and would recommend double that if possible (or as a minimum for a larger room). But tubes as a catagory are not at all out of the question with these speakers, and I know that from having listened to the combination at nominal output powers of 45 and 80 tube watts in what was really a too-large-for-the-speakers room.
One of the most involving systems I heard in the past year was a pair of Thiel 3.6 (I think) driven by a Rogue Zeus power amp/Rogue Magnum 99 preamp. Front end was an Electrocompaniet CD player.
Over the past few years, I have kind of walked away from both brands, but the synergy was most surprisingly spectacular. I didn't think it could work either...
The Zeuss I believe is 200wpc at that power rating tubes work great with Thiels. Very involving with lots of detail and a deep wide soundstage. It is not that Thiels do not work well with tubes; they do. Thiels just need large amounts of quality power from either tubes or solid state to perform their best. Tigerpooh was asking about 10wpc and my thoughts are that simply is not enough tube or solid state for Thiels.
Trelja: That impresses me, because I know you're a hawk about loose or one-note reflex bass, and the 3.6 *is* kind of difficult in the bass, and not known as much for successful pairings with tubes. Equal credit must go to the Rogue I'm sure...
I use a Manley Stingray (50 watts) with my Thiel 1.6's. Plenty of power for me.
Zaikesman, if I didn't hear it myself, I would have read a post about this combination with a jaundiced eye.
After what I have heard over the past few years using Rogues, including some past NYC HE Shows (using Audio Physic, Meadowlark, and Vandersteen speakers), and my local dealer who carries Rogue, I have not been happy with their sound. I myself have had a Rogue 88 amp in my system, and the results were not good. They also seem to sound quite nice with Osborn speakers, but most people have never come across them.
Regarding Thiel, about a year and a half ago, I heard the 1.6 driven by a Plinius, and the combination worked nicely, as long as the volumes didn't go too high. After that, the sound became compressed and distorted. The lack of port noise slop from Thiel's slot shaped port impressed me a great deal. Obviously, it isn't the kind of speaker that can go very low, but within the speed limits, it was a more than satisfying sound.
Well, the Zeus, which I understand is Rogue's aussalt on the possible within limits, does seem to be cut from a somewhat different cloth design-wise than their longer-running products, but I've got no Rogue listening experience myself. My problem with the Zeus concept is that I take exception to 200lb. stereo amps, generally thinking that they should really have been made as monoblocks instead; though there probably is some cost savings in the single-chassis design, to my mind that isn't the priority with such a piece. The massive configuration alone rules out any prospective interest for me in what otherwise might be a very worthy amp.
I'm guessing Trelja heard the Rogue and Thiel combination at my house. And a very special thanks for those comments.
The Zeus is driving a pair of Thiel 2.3s, not the much more demanding 3.6 speakers. Still the 2.3 does dip below 4 ohm and nears 2 ohm.
I've used Bryston and Plinius before the Zeus, and each amp was a step down in power rating. But, the bass sounded better -- more air, definition and palpability.
However, we have moved to a new home recently and with it a new listening room. Bass is markedly different because the room is nearly a third larger and has two large openings.
As for tubes and Thiels, it all comes down to system synergy. I've taken great pains to tweak my set up -- power lines, tube dampers and Sistrum racks.
But 10w clearly would not be enough.
Yes, the Rogues with the Thiels were at John McAlpin's home. Most excellent sound, John! I am always more impressed at people who achieve such sound via system synergy and spending time and effort as opposed to those who simply throw tens of thousands (or more) of dollars at the whole thing.
Have been looking forward to hearing your system in the new home whenever you get settled in. That presumes you'll have us over again (BIG if there).
Apologies for not remembering which Thiels you owned...
I had excellent results driving CS2s with a Primier 11A (70w/ch). I had poor results with the same spakers and an MV50 (45w/ch).
To follow up Mcmiller's post FWIW, I had enjoyably fine if not outstanding results with an MV-55 driving my 2.2's, but the pairing worked much better in a smaller room.
Joe, as soon as the living room furniture arives, I'll have an open house.
I do need to get some feedback soon on the new set up. I've been tinkering with an Equitech balanced power unit and a Shunyata King Cobra power cord on the Zeus.
And Zaiksman has a significant point. The Zeus is overwhelming as a physical presence in the room. It makes designing around the amp and gear rack a difficult proposition.