Thiel CS1.2 vs. Ohm Walsh 2

I'm not really an audiophile, though I do love to listen to music.   I am looking at a pair of Thiel CS1.2 speakers, vs. Ohm Walsh 2, for about the same price.  Both in decent, not perfect condition, Ohm needs grills which would be an additional cost.  No way to listen side by side.  Listening to B&W 685 speaker with Polk 10" subwoofer driven by a Denon 80 watt/ch AV receiver (Denon AVRX100w).  Room is 20' x 15' x 7 or 8' ceiling.  Listen to primarily "classic rock" and some jazz. Any suggestions oh gurus?
These are two different beasts, to put it mildly.
Not to start a flame war-
If you are serious about music, get the Thiel's.
If you just want a general 'nice' sound around the room, get the Ohm's.
The Thiel's are time and phase aligned, while the Ohm's are more direct/reflecting- like Bose.
You'll get more detail and imaging with the Thiel's.
Both are nice speakers, it just depends on what you are looking for.
Since you have B&W's now, I think the Thiel will be a better move.
I’ve had Thiel speakers in my main rig since 1996. First with the CS .5, which is a little smaller than the 1.2, and since 2011 the CS 2.4 which is a decent bit larger. They are fabulous speakers. I also happen to have B&W 684 speakers fronting my home theater setup. The Ohm speakers I cannot speak to. My only concern would be is if your Denon AV receiver would be up to the task. Thiel speakers are demanding speakers when it comes to amplification. You really need a decent high current stereo amp to handle the nominal 4 ohm load which may well dip below 4 ohms at times. I have my doubts about the Denon AV receiver being a good match.
Thanks. Any thoughts on how best to answer the power issue? Don't need earshattering volume. It'll be a tough sell to my wife to spend as it is, and to set up "huge" speakers. Telling her I was looking at amps too would probably result in my sleeping outside in the snow. Although it's a bit of a drive, they are asking only $280 for the Thiels. Hence my interest. 
Concerning power requirements.   Need high current amp that is easily 4 ohm stable.   Your B&W 685 speakers are 8 ohm speakers with 88 db sensitivity.   The CS 1.2 are rated at 4 ohm and 87 db.  4 ohm is a much more demanding load than 8 ohm.   At minimum you need 40 watts per channel rms with both channels being driven at the same time with something considerably less than 1% THD 20-20Khz; and I'd be looking for something more.
Suitable amplification will likely cost more than the speakers are currently going for.
Thanks again for the advice. Looks like I will have to let it go, or try the Ohms. I can't get the speakers and upgrade my receiver for an amp. It would be okay if the performance wasn't optimal, but if the sound would be fatiguing, or there could be damage to the receiver, that would be bad to say the least.
If you don't have suitable power and the speaker requires it you can literally fry the speaker.   


As luck has it, Thiel loudspeakers, are in heavy rotation on the secondary marketplace. Take your time selecting your model and have fun!

Happy Listening!
Any suggestions for a "low cost" power amp that would do it that I can find on the secondary marketplace as you say?  As I have said, would not have to maximize the speakers' performance, just work, and sound better than the present configuration.

Something by NAD, for example?

And I assume no need for you to see the Denon specs (i.e, power at 6 and 8 ohms, distortion etc.).  i guess I could ask Denon what the power rating would be at 4 ohms.
Yes, NAD, especially their Class A/B amps, would likely make for a more suitable match.

And if a manufacturer does not specify a 4 ohm spec the amp is likely not stable down to 4 ohms.

So are you looking for a power amp or an integrated amp?
(A basic power amp would require another component to perform the preamp chores)

And very importantly, what is your budget?
Fair questions.
I would think I could use the Denon as a preamp with line out. (Have to check.) I have a separate preamp for the turntable, and otherwise just play CD's and the occasional DVD.  So I would think a basic power amp would do it, esp if it reduced the cost.
   Incidentally, i looked uo the Magnepan LD, which although their budget at $650, needs more power they say.
  As for budget, not enough I am sure. Is there anything I could used or refurbished for $300? That is why I did a quick look at NAD on ebay. Used to have some NAD receivers and liked them .  I can't tell yet which are A/B, and min power necessary at 4 ohms.
   Thanks for all of your advice.

Wait, isn't your Denon 80 watts per channel? If so, I would think you have enough power for the Thiel's, at least for now- and, if you don't try playing too loudly.
If you need a decent low cost amp, you could try to find an old Adcom GFA-555, but they are a bit long in the tooth.
I would suggest finding a used McCormack DNA-1. or .5. The best thing is that you can send it to SMcAudio for upgrading down the road.
A Belles Aria integrated would be another suggestion.
Unfortunately, they cost a bit more than $300, but when you move up to a high fidelity speaker, you have to get higher fidelity equipment to power it.
FWIW, I think the Denon will be fine, for now. I've driven 4 ohm speakers without issue using a receiver pf lesser caliber years ago. It sounded pretty good, too.
To use the Denon as a preamp you need a stereo variable line out.  If the line out is fixed .... it won't do. If it has a stereo pre out ... that would be best.

If the Denon is not 4 ohm stable, then the risk would be to the speakers.
When speakers ask for more power than the amp can safely deliver, then the amp clips, and speaker components overheat, literally frying the speaker and potentially damaging speaker components.

If you can stretch your budget to $399 ... then my suggestion would be to look at the Emotiva TA-100 in their BASX line.  You could buy that directly brand new from Emotiva ... and that should match up well with the Thiel CS 1.2 speakers.   And that is well suited to being used as a starter pre amp down the road.
if the Denon in question is actually the AVR X1100w then here is the specs from web manual-

o Audio section
0 Power amplifier Rated output:

80 W + 80 W (8 Ω/ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz with 0.08 % T.H.D.)
120 W + 120 W (6 Ω/ohms, 1 kHz with 0.7 % T.H.D.)

80 W (8 Ω/ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz with 0.08 % T.H.D.)
120 W (6 Ω/ohms, 1 kHz with 0.7 % T.H.D.)

80 W + 80 W (8 Ω/ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz with 0.08 % T.H.D.)
120 W + 120 W (6 Ω/ohms, 1 kHz with 0.7 % T.H.D.)

Surround back:
80 W + 80 W (8 Ω/ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz with 0.08 % T.H.D.)
120 W + 120 W (6 Ω/ohms, 1 kHz with 0.7 % T.H.D.)

Output connectors: 4 – 16 Ω/ohms

Thiel CS1.2

Link from Stereophile review measurements show what looks to be a fairly balanced impedance load.  If the Denon is not asked to play in excess it would appear that it would and could work at reasonable SPL.  Problems arise quickly when clipping of the amp is introduced, ie- blown tweeters usually happen first.  Again, given a safe dynamic range to work within the Denon looks like it will work, just not up to the optimal level the Thiels would prefer or shine in.
@bryhifi . 
+1, thanks for retrieving all the information.
For the Thiel CS 1.2’s; I’d suggest an amp capable of at least 80 clean Watts into 4 Ohms.
A recapped Hafler DD-200 or DH-220 is perfect

the Walsh is not a cupcake load either