You are reading the Crutchfield information incorrectly. The prices you quote are for each individual speaker, not for a pair of speakers. Thus, a pair of 2.4s would be approximately $5,000 shipping included.
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I considered that too, Unsound, and that is a reasonable explanation, but I can't see people putting something as big as a Thiel floorstander in front of their screen, plus the Polk speakers, for example, are priced per pair. I'm probably being unduly harsh on Crutchfield, but I don't think it is particularly appropriate to price stereo speakers that are not really designed for HT applications individually.
I can imagine some people who might use an acousticly transparent screen in a front projector system using a matching center floor stander in their Home Theatre. I can also see some confusion if Thiel priced their smaller speakers (some of which may have been primarily designed to be used as center, side/rear speakers) singularly and then priced their larger floor standers in pairs.
I like how yesterday, Thiel was a well-respected, extremely customer service friendly, high-end speaker manufacturer and today, with the ability to buy them from Crutchfield, they are no longer any good.
Seems like a smart way to reach a much larger customer base without undercutting current dealers and having to deal directly with customers. (They ship direct from Thiel but all transactions are through Crutchfield.)
It seems an odd pairing. From what I can tell Thiel attracts a pretty limited crowd. I have posted my reactions to Thiels in the past and the fans appear to be mostly from the classiscal music fan base. Not that this is a bad thing at all. But somehow Crutchfield with its emphasis on automobiles, home theater and mid-fi just doesn't seem to be the place to sell this type of speaker. Besides, Thiels are a non-mainstream sounding speaker with treble that many find downright irritable (yes the new models still make me cover my ears) that to sell them without an audition seems to be a mis-service.
While I think this is indeed a strange marriage, perhaps this is a way to have both a dealer network and experiment with a quasi-direct to consumer home trial marketing approach. Aparrently there is a 30 day trial period when purcahsing through Crtuchfield. I doubt that any one would argue that hearing any new component wihtin one's own room within one's own system has it's advantages. On the other hand having a dealer who can properly set up an appropriate system and demo various configurations has it's advantages as well. At this time it doesn't appear as though Crutchfield is discounting Thiel products. As long as dealer's have a decent return policy, I suspect dealers will still maintain an advantage. The Crutchfield option will certainly help those without a local Thiel dealer as well.The interesting consideration here, is that Thiel may now be able to even be more selective in allowing dealers to carry their line, ensuring the best possible demonstaritons. Whether or not, the availabilty of a Crutchfield purchse compromises the snob factor of the Thiel name is yet to be seen. The interesting thing here, to me a least, is whether other firms follow suit. As it stands Crutchfield can't as yet put together a system that really shows off Thiel products to the best of Thiels ability. Should that change and firms like Crutchfield start to caryy more high end gear, it could have a major effect on the traditional brick and mortar salons. With that in mind, I can't help but wonder if dealers revolt and start to reject the Thiel line. I suppose the only other comparison we have to this approach is the one with Monster Cables. While Monster seems to have lost much of it's luster with audiophiles, I suspect they are more profitable. Many audiophile seem to love supporting the obscure underdog and reject the big well known names, regardless of the merit of overdog's products. Thiel may have already "achieved" this status. This might get interesting.
Crutchfield also offers the Marantz Reference series SACD players and amps, and now PS Audio Gain Cell pre/power amps and cable.......and yes, it still sells car stereos which I guess is causing some people's rigid views to go all wonky. Having dealt with both Crutchfield and Music Direct, I can tell you one of these sellers has much better customer serivce. What's next, Crutchfield does Krell? Aaarrrrgggggg.....
I'm gonna have to agree with Art the Malt Man.
Crutchfield is geared towards people who have absolutely
no idea of where to even buy all their mediocre stuff,
let alone have less of an idea of how much their stuff
costs. Has anyone ever noticed their pricing?
It's at retail or above. I thought the concept of catalogs was to sell at a discount, with having no overhead and crap. If there were Best Buys anywhere near all these Crutchfielders, Crotchfield would be bust, OR............ Again, about the only choice for
people who live out there in the boonies with no roads,
except for the UPS guy. :)
I have bought from Crutchfield for many years for some mid-fi equipment for myself and family. They have excellent customer service and would bend over backwards to make sure you are happy. I even had an item replaced absolutely free a year later because I broke one of the speaker wire terminals. Yes, they sell at retail. But when they have a sale they offer great discounts, free shipping and no hassle returns.
They do sell low to mid range electronics and looks like they are expanding to house the higher end. Crutchfield is a very respectable company and will be great competition for Music Direct and Audio Advisor. I wouldnt scoff at a company because they sell lower range electronic. Stop being audio snobs!
Whatever one's opinion is regarding Thiel's actions, one thing for certain is that Crutchfield and Thiel are profitable enterprises and probably know a little bit more about making money in the audio market than most of us.
But I can't help thinking that Thiel may be cutting its throat in an attempt to mass market themselves via a prosumer electronics market. After all, is this not how Bose endeared themselves to audiophiles?
And Thiels' bad reputation among some audiophiles (borne mostly of those who make the serious mistake of coupling subpar electronics to their speakers) will, sadly, probably further erode an already unfair image of the company. But then again, I'm not in the speaker business.
I agree regardind the Crutchfield pricing - usually, their home stuff is at MSRP. Also, living in Virginia, means that I get to pay sales tax on top of their prices. However, they do have an outlet store in Charlottesville, VA. It may pay off if they discount the returned speakers in price enough to make the trip worthwhile. But, I do remember seeing their selection of Polk RTi and LSi speakers with the price tags taped onto the cabinets with packing tape. Eeek! That's a horrible way to treat real wood veneer.
Pops, I only based that on the responses I have gotten when commenting on Theils in the past. I only know one person who actually owns them. He is mostly into rock, so go figure.
I always got the impression that people were attracted to them for their very good soundstage and huge amount of detail. Whatever works in this wacky obsession of ours.
"Thiels are a non-mainstream sounding speaker with treble that many find downright irritable"
I used to sell and own Thiels, both. The speaker's trebble isn't harsh, and infact, it's well balanced! And, infact, you need an extrememely revealing speaker if you want the potential for high-end sound. That said, what you mate the speakers with can't be bright or edgy, but must be well balanced too. With less than perfect equipment (tubes works well), you can send any of these highly analytical and transparant sounding speakers over the edge!!
I've heard people for years say that Thiels, Wilson's, JM Lab's, Maggies, etc, were bright!! Well, my friend, it's all a matter of system matching (key), acoustics (another key), setup, toe-in, aim (yet another key),and just basically knowing what you're doing! You can walk into a dealer or customers home, who's got them set up wrong, and make assumptions. And they're just that, assumptions to the unknowing.
Hell I can take any number of high end speakers, that are VERY REVEALING, and make them sound too bright to listen to!
You simply use some edgy sounding amp or inteconnect, and that's it!
Yeah, the speakers AREN'T BRIGHT! It's "USER ERROR!"
Now, I don't own Thiels any more, but that's the facts, Jack
For the record, Thiel isn't going to sell anywhere near as many speakers, even to a bigger forum or vender like this! Their main sales needs to come from informed retail salesman, who can justify the purchase to the average customer. I used to sell Thiel, and your average buyer (who pays the bills...the audiophile will buy used) needs to be edjucated, and to be able to hear the darn things to justify that sale.
Good luck to Theil with Crutchfiel. I think it won't work so well, personally
I am somewhat surprised at a lot of the negative responses, it comes off a bit snobbish to me. If Theil never sells one speaker via Crutchfield at least it is getting their name out there to possible future buyers. Furthermore, it is possible that for those who were to purchase them, they may get excited about audio, such as many of us. Being that Crutchfield sells at MSRP, I don't see how this could hinder a local shop. Lastly, what if Theil needed to do this in atempt to keep themselves afloat? (I am not saying they are, I haven't a clue of their financial status.)
Regalmal, your right, Thiels do image great and provide alot of detail so I think it is diverse enough for all types of music.
I just want to comment on Flrnlmb's point even though this debate has gone on seemingly forever. He is absolutely right! Thiels reveal the truth in timbre of not only components upstream but recorded instruments. I own 2 acoustic guitars, a Taylor which has a faster, lighter touch, and a jumbo Martin which is rich and full bodied. Each is better suited for certain types of songs. I can make either sound different or even better or inferior based on the types/brands of strings.
For me, that is a pretty good analogy for how I like my system to playback. Thiels offer the most clarity for a box speaker I have heard, and because of that are revealing of everything that feeds it. It takes work to get the sound you want much like an instrument but it rewards you like no other when you strike that perfect balance. Just my 2 cents, lots of great equipment out there...
The first time I heard Theils was probably in the 80's. It was in a high end store. I had to cover my ears. The salesman was completely baffled by my reaction. What can I say?
Reminds me of a lesson I learned many years ago about equipment. On impulse I went into a high end store in San Francisco. Probably the most elite store I have ever been in. They had what was then B&Ws no-compromise speaker. I can't remember the model. They cost the outrageous amount of $3500 a pair. This was before Wilson and their like started the endlesses upward spiralling of prices for audio gear.
Anyway, I didn't have any records with me (no CDs back then) so from the store selection I put on Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac. It was awful. The bass was just tubby and muddy and bloated and unlistenable. I had heard that song many many times on many systems and never noticed this effect. The salesman asked to play one of his choices. He put on Spyro Gyra. It was sublime. It set a new standard for sound reproduction for me.
The problem is I would never listen to Spryo Gyra by choice but I loved and still very much like Rhiannon. So, was that a good system or a bad system?
By the way, I have used Rhiannon as a test ever since. Even the CD has some of the same poorly recorded bass. You should hear what it does to a Bose automobile sound system. It ain't pretty. So I guess that puts Bose in the same league as Theil and B&W ;-}
Crutchfield MIGHT be a good option for those without a local Thiel retailer, but already familiar with the company's products. Seems Thiel has been losing dealers for one reason or another. There have been three in the Louisvlle area over a 24 year period, but apparently none now. Currently my nearest Thiel dealer is in the next major city down I-65 or up I-71 and over an hour away to drive. Not a problem if I were looking to buy NEW. but it might be for some.
While people were questioning Crutchfield's listing of MSRP for "each" speaker, if you get the MSRP price list from Thiel direct, they have been listing the same on a for "each" speaker basis for years. They do that for all speakers in the line, many of which "are" directed mainly for theatre set-ups (e.g., PowerPoint, ViewPoint, etc.). In this case, Crutchfield was simply following Thiel's long-term practice in listing MSRP.
Crutchfield does indeed seem a strange choice of online retailer because they sell nothing to support the purchase of Thiel speakers. They're aimed at the cheap home theater market. Does it make any sense that someone would order a Pioneer receiver and a pair of Thiel 2.4s for their home theater? It would be more logical to see them offered in Audio Advisor or Music Direct, for example. At least they sell real amplifiers that might stand a chance of making Thiels sound decent. The Pioneer receiver would likely go up in smoke.
I have not bought anything from Cruthfield but they did clearly state MSRP was for each speaker and different MSRP for different color of wood veneer. There are so many local dealers who treat customers by the size of their wallets, I may as well give them ( Crutchfield) a try and I am pretty sure that buying from Crutchfield will not make me any lesser a man as I am. Give them a break, guys.
Andrewdoan, so you are willing to buy a $5000.00 pair of speakers from Crutchfield sight unseen, sound unheard? That's the other problem with highend-audio mail order. Who in thier right mind would buy something in that price range without auditioniong them? It's impractical. And if you quote some liberal return policy as your reasoning, let me ask: what do you think Crutchfield is going to do with those returned speakers? They're going to sell them to next buyer of course, which very likely will be you.
Crutchfield does seem like a strange marriage with Thiel, but think: Who really believes nonaudiophiles will be ordering a $249 receiver and a $10K (or even $2K) pair of speakers? The only people who will be taking advantage of this arrangement are folks who might have gone to a high end store and bought Thiels anyway, except they don't live close enough to a dealer (or don't like the dealer they do live close to). As for why Thiel chose Crutchfield over MD or AA, the answer is probably HT (think PowerPoints and PowerPlanes) -- that and the fact that I bet the Crutchfield catalog reaches 50X the customer base of the other two combined. I seriously doubt Crutchfield reps will be expected to sell up the Thiels to mid-fi customers unfamiliar with the product. Assuming Crutchfield is competent to basically just take and process what orders they get -- which I'm sure must be the case if Thiel selected them for this -- then I don't see any downside for Thiel's image, just upside for Crutchfield's. It's a convenient way for Thiel to outsource the marketing, order-taking and payment-processing aspects of factory-direct sales, which take up time and manpower they probably don't have to spare, with a nice dose of extra publicity thrown into the bargain (that they wouldn't get from selling through their own website), while for their part Crutchfield won't have to stock or ship product. I don't see this arrangement hurting Thiel's dealer base much if at all, but it's easily enough ended if it doesn't produce or go smoothly.
Davidrow, If my memory serves me right, I did listenning to three different lines of the Thiel mated with CJ at a local dealer that I used to hang around on my day off. I was not really impressed that much as compare with the slanded 6/8 Apogees at a times. I ended up with ML Aerius I and then LS3. You know what, BB carries ML and VA so I see nothing wrong with Crutchfield carries Thiel. What's next with CC? JM labs or Sonus, perharps. In my home town, hi-end dealers went belly-up one after another. The golden days are over for 60% to100% retail mark-up due to vast internet informations. I know and I hang around quite a few local dealers in my younger age, I know what happens to those returned items.
The point I'm trying to make is that it is terribly unfair to take the time of your local dealer to audition their Thiels and then go home and order them from Crutchfield. Crutchfield is doing nothing for the sale, yet they get the commission. And the dealer who was kind enough to let you hang around and listen to their gear gets nothing. So this arrangement works - and should only be available - in those areas where there isn't a local dealer. One final note, what do you do when you blow a tweeter? Is Crutchfield carrying replacements like your local dealer would? Or would you go directly to Thiel for warrant work?
i know some local dealers who are not exactly thrilled with thiel going to crutchfield.. but its business thiel is in it for the money, glory gets you a seat on the subway(maybe) money talks and bullsh** walks so my answer to them dealers are well stop selling the product and get a grip on reality its business not personal if i was a dealer thiel would be out of my emporium asap...
i figure there are dealers who are not exactly thrilled with thiel going to crutchfield.. but its business thiel is in it for the money, glory gets you a seat on the subway(maybe) money talks and bullsh** walks so my answer to them dealers are well stop selling the product and get a grip on reality its business not personal if i was a dealer thiel would be out of my emporium asap...