Thiel CS 3.6 mid-range problem

I have a pair of Thiel 3.6's, with a Mark Levinson No. 336 amp plus Levinson pre-amp and cd processor. I also have Audience AU24 "e" cables and AR6T conditioner. My mid-ranges are blowing out frequently -- 3 times this year. This didn't happen until I got my Audience conditioner and cables. The volume dial of my pre-amp is actually set lower than where it was prior to installing the Audience equipment. I don't think this is a case of playing the system too loudly. Time to upgrade speakers? Anyone have a solution or an idea?
Are you powering your equipment on and off in the proper sequence? Meaning power amp on last and off first? And when you turn the power amp off, are you waiting long enough before turning off the upstream components to assure that the amp is no longer being kept "alive" by energy stored in its power supply capacitors, so that it can no longer amplify turn-off transients that may be generated upstream? That can take as much as a minute or so with some of the solid state amps that I have experience with.

-- Al
Al, thanks very much for your advice. No, I haven't but I will start now! Question: should I power off the amp and then wait at least a minute before powering off the upstream components? Glenn
Hi Glenn,

Yes, I would strongly recommend doing that. The one minute figure, though, was just a guess based on my experience with other high powered solid state amps. I suppose that a good way of determining how much time to allow would be to play some music at a VERY low volume level, then turn off the amp and see how long the music continues to play for. It would probably be a good idea to make that determination for going into standby mode as well as for going into "off" mode.

What makes all of this particularly important with your equipment is that your amp is capable of delivering enormous amounts of power (in the vicinity of 1000 watts) into the 2.5 to 3 ohm impedance the speakers have throughout the mid-range region. So even a very brief turn-off transient from the upstream components, applied to the input of the amp while it is still powered up internally, could very conceivably put your speakers in jeopardy.

Best regards,
-- Al

Once again, I appreciate your interest and advice. You're obviously an expert. In this case, the black wire connecting to the mid-range is the problem. When I removed the mid-range, I observed that the "black connector" on the back of the driver had about 1/4 inch of copper wire still soldered to it. The black rubber-coated copper wire leading from the speaker cabinet to the mid-range was intact, but was detached from the 1/4 inch wire attached to the driver. Inotherwords, I wonder if too much power (or something else) could overheat a wire causing it to split in two. Sounds far-fetched, but I don't know what would make that happen. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge! Glenn
I am interested in a used set of Thiel CS 3.6's and I was talking to the lady at Theil today (Dawn) and she warned that the midranges on these speakers are susceptible to blow if you try to use them with high powered home theater use. You aren't trying to recreate movie sound effects with these speakers are you?You can contact the company and they can either re-build the midranges or they may be able to sell you a replacement driver.
Thanks very much. No, I don't use them with a home theater system, but I do have an audio system with a Levinson amplifier that is 350 watts per channel, fairly powerful.

After further investigation, it turns out that the mid-range driver is actually just fine, but the tweeter is blown. That has only happened once before in the 10 or so years I have owned them. Problem is, Thiel has no tweeters on hand, so they are having a batch made. However, Thiel won't receive them until end of February, 2011. If you like your music like I do (I'm sure you do!), that's an eternity. But, I don't have an option except to wait.

BTW, I am considering purchasing a pair of 7.2's. If I do that, would you have any interest in purchasing my 3.6's? I am the original owner. They are birdseye maple. The cabinets and grille cloths have no scratches or imperfections, but the black bases (which cannot be seen except on extremely close observation) have some dings and imperfections. I live in Louisville, only an hour from Thiel headquarters in Lexington, and could have Thiel refurbish them to like-new condition and avoid shipping charges. Glenn
Hey Glenn,
Not sure what the rules are on selling to other members on the forum, but I may be purchasing the set that I am looking at in Cincinnati.
To be honest with you I'm really needing to think about buying the set. The price is right for the pair but I went and auditioned them for an hour last night and am excited, yet a little confused about the Sound from these big Thiels. I kind of thought that they sounded great on some of the jazz fusion tracks I played, but some of the rock just sounded too clinical. They sounded kind of bright and 2 dimensional somehow. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was dissatisfying me. These were playing through really expensive McIntosh tubed separate components, positioned properly in the room, with really expensive flat speaker wire, etc. I did try playing some mp3's off my iPhone into a Naim DAC and they sounded good, but to be honest, I didn't find it as stellar as I was hoping for. Perhaps I will make another trip to listen some more.
The ones I'm looking at are teak and the wood isn't the prettiest I've seen but its mostly in good shape. Your birdseye maple ones sound way cooler. Can I ask what your asking price might be?

I listen to mostly rock and have had Thiel 3.6 for over 10 years. They need big SS to really open up, I am sure you have heard that plenty. I use Macintosh 501 mono's and have always had tubes in my preamplifier. If anything 3.6 can be a little dry but the preamplifier adds a little bloom and body. If they sound clinical then clinical is most likely upstream, they reveal the good, bad, and ugly.

In the right system beginning with power all the way to the speakers they

are the best speakers I have heard anywhere near their price point. That's why I have had them so long! Feel free to e-mail if I can offer any more insight...
Masri, I would sell them for a figure generally suggested by the Audiogon bluebook and would add the cost of Thiel's refurbishing the bases (I don't think that will be much) if you want that done.

I would sell them thru Audiogon. I don't want to break any of the rules, especially since everyone on this web site has always been uniformly honest, and everyone seems to do their utmost to make sure that transactions are easy. However, I would be interested to know whether you might be interested, and if so, whether you would want the bases fixed. I could make a decision whether to purchase the 7.s's within about a week. Glenn
Your problem is not the same as THIEL's.
The mid range driver 'blew', in my humble opinion, as a result of the incredibly wide band width asked of the THIEL Mid Range driver. The crossover point AND the dynamic askance of that driver conspired to make it's output 'greater than it's ability'. This is not a surprise of most people who follow this kind of information.
I had a pair for 8 years powered by #333, ARC preamp, and #37 Transport + Sonic Frontier DAC. Used them also as the front channels in a hometheater setup as well. Never had any issues.

If you like these, I would recommend getting a pair of bases from Sound Anchors. They improve the bass quite a bit.

Thanks very much. I'll look into the Sound Anchors. Glenn