It might be helpful if you gave us an idea about what kind of music you listen to. I auditioned the CS3.7s back about a year ago. I auditioned a bunch of speakers, and the CS3.7's fell a notch down from Wilson Sophia 3's and Magnepan 3.7R's. They fell a notch above the rest, Aerial 7T's, Cremona M's, Dali Helicon 400MK'2s, and numerous others. With respect to bass, using a wide variety of orchestral music, I did not find the CS3.7's lacking compared to the Sophia's. They were just a bit off in terms of timber, which I would find very objectionable in a speaker I owned.
Brownsfan. Classic Rock, Blues, Jazz. No hippity hop or rap.
I own the cs3.7's and don't miss the bass below 35hz but I don't listen to pipe organ. With respect to a sub, Thiel's smart sub system is amazing. It does far more than "add bass". In fact, adding much bass to a well broken-in and well-fed pair of 3.7's in a moderately sized room would be overkill, IMHO. The smart sub gives you more placement freedom and can make the sound of your system more effortless. I wouldn't even consider a non-Thiel sub with the 3.7's because none will sound seamless. Many people have heard my current system and while it had its flaws to be sure, no one has ever commented on a lack of bass...in fact, most are surprised by how strikingly musical the bass is. Nonetheless, having heard the SS 2.2, I wish I could afford a one but I'll have to save up first.
I guess I would really want to do a careful audition with blues and Jazz. I think there you might well notice the slight issue with timber that I heard. I could see the CS3.7's being pretty good with classic rock. Careful audiiton is always good advice, especially when you are spending that kind of money.
Thank You Brownsfan. I will have to check out the slight timber issue. Who knows, I may not be able to hear it, good advice, thanks again
Honeybee, I'm really sensitive to timber issues, and the music I listen to only makes it worse. I'd much rather give up two octaves on the bottom end than be a micro smidgeon off on timber. The Thiels are good speakers. They may be just fine for your needs.
Brownsfan...that's interesting, as I heard the 3.7s a few times (I own the 2.4s) and think that one of the Thiel's fortes is timbral accuracy. The Thiels do require very high quality amplification to make them sound good, especially high current drive in the partnering amp (they are not easy speakers to drive). Do you mind my asking what amps they were partnered with when you heard them? There could have been an issue with the parntering electronics that could have caused you to perceive them to have timbral issues.
Honeybee2012...you should listen for yourself for sure to make up your own mind but be mindful that Thiels in general and the 3.7s as well will appreciate a very high quality amp (and preamp and front-end :-)) to drive them. Some other speakers are a little bit more forgiving of what is up the chain from them. The 3.7s however are so resolving that they will let you hear exactly how great or how poor the partnering electronics (and music) are.
Just a reminder; bass response can be room sensitive.
Cmalak, The amplification was Electrocompaniet. Don't know the specific model. I heard the same front end followed by a Wilson/BAT audition in another room, followed by the Electrocompaniet/Thiel audition back in the first room. I did not hear any timber issues with the Magnepan/Electocompaniet audition. The issue wasn't huge, but there was just something not quite right especially compared to the Wilson Sophia 3's which I just loved. Those speakers were just dead on.
The Thiels might sound lean to those who aren't used to Jim Thiel's sound signature but having owned and loved the CS2.4SEs and now CS3.7s, I don't find it lacking much to be honest. If there's a lot of bass in the source, the 3.7s (and 2.4s) will reproduce it, but it wouldn't add more bass bloom if it isn't there.
The 3.7s despite having only 1-2Hz extension on paper lower than the 2.4s sounds a lot more filled out on the lower octaves than the 2.4s.
I still ended up with a dual SS2.2 sub to augment the 3.7s for stereo music once I moved to a bigger room for the last mile. By then I was already so invested in the sound of the Thiels and didn't want to muck it up by going a different brand.
I run Project RPM10.1 evolution with Sumiko BlackBird, Bel Canto Phono3 and EMM Labs XDS1 for source, ARC Reference 5SE for pre and Electrocompaniet Nemos for power. Cables are primarily ASI Liveline (power and XLR). Sound Conditioner is Sound Application RLS240
Wow. That is an amazing system! (insert drool emoticon here).
I have some questions: are you running the subs directly from your Arc or are you using the Thiel crossover? I also wonder how critical the wire is connecting the subs. What do you notice that the subs do for the 3.7's. I'm seriously considering this when funds permit.
I use a Thiel S1 integrator for stereo and a PX05 for the surround channels.
The 3.7s don't need the sub for most music, but in a large room, the SS2.2s are so well integrated with the 3.7s in terms of pace and speed and adds that bit of tactile bass for some instruments (double bass etc)
I also have a JL Audio f113 and it's a tad slower than the 3.7s. Don't get me wrong the JL is plenty fast compared to other subs. But the SS2.2s are just so well matched.
I used a reasonably well made but cheap shielded XLR cable for the subs. Silversmith XLR for the stereo power amps.
"With respect to a sub, Thiel's smart sub system is amazing. It does far more than "add bass". In fact, adding much bass to a well broken-in and well-fed pair of 3.7's in a moderately sized room would be overkill"
I had the same impression of the bass in the 16 X 20 x 9 room I tested the 3.7 and s2 subs (with integrator). The bass was too much for me when the subs were on for music. For HT, a sub would be more appropriate in that room.