Thiel CS3.7 vs WP8?

The 2nd hand price of Wilson WP8 is dropping down fast! I am thinking of buying a pair of 3.7 but as the WP8's price is almost within reach, I wonder which is the better choice? I have CJ premier 350 and Herron Pre. Now using Thiel 3.6 with very good results. Wanting the next step up!!
The WP are far better sounding and are way better built than the Thiels.
Hi Audiooracle,
I though you don't like the WP7 a lot from your old post. You think the WP8 a much better speaker than the 3.7 though! I have listened to the WP8. Like it a lot but the bass is somehow not smooth! I thought thiel 3.7 might have better bass or is easlier to place? As for match up. Which would be easlier to match with other equipments?
very different speakers. can't imagine you wouldn't like one, perhaps hate the other

I like the WP, I do not think it is the holy grail, and I do think there are way less expensive speakers that are really great such as the top of the line Ushers.

I have always felt that the Thiels are transparent but lack warmth, and are somewhat dynamically restricted where the WP are not.

The imaging of the WP is more specific and the transparency is better than te Thiels.
So the best bet... The 2nd hand WP8 and forget the Thiels 3.7??!! Anyone disagree??!!
Have you heard both speakers with familiar equipment? It sounds like you liked both but maybe heard them in different systems (I am assuming this is the case). It may be helpful to know what amplification and source(s) you will be using with the speaker and what your listening room is like.
These are two COMPLETELY different speakers. If you have upstream components that you believe are neutral to the source, and want to stay that way...go with the 3.7's. If you dont have that, AND still want to maintain your signature, go with the 3.7's. Now, if you are looking for a slight lean into the not so "resolving" arena, and prefer a more extended lower end, the WP's are the way to go. They have the ability to not so blatently provide you a picture of your upstream shortfalls compared to the 3.7's. Also, scratch the 10,000 dollar paint job on the WP's, and now your in a more realistic ballpark to compare cost vs peformance ratio. For heaven's sake, the finish on Wilson speakers look better than the finish on my Yamaha Grand a long shot.
It all depends on whether phase and time coherence are important to you. Plus how can anyone like a speaker that intentionally reverses the phases of the midrange driver relative to the tweeter and woofer?

There is no way I would ever consider Wilson. Boom tiz is what you get and for more bux than they are worth. Thiel knows how implement accurate designs. WA is expensive paint with cheap drivers.

If you move away from Thiel and go to WA you will regret it. Take it from someone who did and learned the hard way.
I have heard the 3.7's and they are MUCH MUCH better than the 3.6's. I am not a huge fan of most Thiels but the 3.7's and the 7 series are very nice sounding. I have not heard the Wilson's but from what I gather reiterates what Stevecham says. All a matter of preference I guess.
If you like the Thiel sound you are probably not going to like the Wilson's............ my opinion ....... I also owned 3.6's and loved them ........... heard several wilson models including the maxx II and didn't care for them ....... The wilsons were not detailed enough to my liking .......... I also drove my Thiels with a cj premier 350 my pre was a cj 16lsII .........

For what it is worth I now own focal 1007 Be and drive them with a Cary SLI 80F1 which is also a great combination .....
I'd choose the Thiel's.
For what it is worth the Stereophile review of the Thiel 3.7s compares the watt puppy 8 directly to the 3.7 (same room same system). They start comparing the two toward the end.

Thiel 3.7 review
WOW, It is getting interesting! I demoed the WP8 but no one has the 3.7 here. The WP8 is special in its own way, very exciting but the bass caught my attention. Neverhtheless, I think the WP has better dynamics and details than my Thiels. I wonder the 3.7 will have all these improvements as well? If I go with the WP8, I need to have tubes!! Yes, it will be a big move! Czbbcl, Why did you move away from Thiels?
WAF is the only reason .............Otherwise I was looking into 7.2's .......... I started researching monitors and a member recommended that I look into the Focals...... After some research and deliberation I went in that direction ...... I like a lot of detail in my music especially in the mid to upper registers and the Thiels as do the focals provide that ...... If you heard the WP and liked them then perhaps they will work for you ....They just never pulled me into the music..... Good Luck .......
First, audiooracle, I don't think you ever auditoned the new Thiel 3.7 if you are linking Thiel 3.7 to lack of warmth or dynamic limitation. you are either caught in the past or taking words from others who are as less informed as you.
Having said that, going back to Luna's original question of Thiel 3.7 vs. WP8, I really don't think you can go wrong with either as they are both excellently built and sounding speakers. it all comes down to your listening evironment, your front end system, and your sonic preference.
If you are already doing well with your 3.6, then naturally, Thiel 3.7 should be the course. You already have systems matched to Thiel. 3.7 is a much better sounding speakers over even thiel's 7.2 and easier to drive, so, sounding and matching wise, you will have a winner I think.
Only reason I would personally think about moving to WP8 is if you are desiring more bass slam as that is what it offers more, and WP8 will be even easier speakers to drive.
However, if you room environment is not right, it would be a harder speaker to place right and control.
Even the best speakers won't sound right if it is placed in the wrong place. How many times have all of us experienced that ? mesmerized at the dealer but disappointed when bought and brought home ? "why don't they sound the same ??" ;-)
Given your situation, Thiel 3.7 seems more likly to win your ears right at your home with lesser risks. My personal thought that is.. It is a great speaker..
I have a friend who have had 3.7s ... been driving them with ARC Ref 210. He heard the Wilson Sophia II at my place, liked them a lot, so borrowed a pair from a dealer and eventually, ended up getting W/P 8s. To his ears, even the cheaper Sophia II speakers were superior to Thiels 3.7.
Thiel 3.7s powered by large McIntosh tube monoblocks were among the highlights of RMAF this year. Full of embodiment, authoritative, neutral top-to-bottom, transparent. None of the Sashas I heard at the show sounded as well balanced, and I've owned WPs.
If you like out of phase speakers then the Wilsons are great.

What area did your friend think the Sophia/Watt Puppy were better than the 3.7? Is there things the 3.7s did better?
Some folks simply don't care about accuracy of timbral reproduction. That's OK, let Wilson enjoy your money.
That is what I was thinking. I have heard the Sophia and 3.7s in different systems and rooms... But I thought the 3.7 were much better. They had a lot more detail in the upper mids and highs. The bass was also more coherent.
I think WP8 has a better WAF than CS3.7 in terms of the look.

if it matters to you.
Not my wife she dislikes any floorstander............ She likes the Focals on stands ........... Go figure ........ I don't see much difference ....A monitor on a stand looks like a floorstander to me ...... But the Focals sound great and she is happy so in the end thats all that matters ...
Sorry to side track a bit, but if Magico V2 is still within budget, this number certainly deserves attention along with your other two. Provided that room is not too large (of moderate size), they are amongst the best in my experience.

Wonderful and neutrally balanced tonality (yet with musicality intact), very coherent from top to bottom. With excellent transparency, resolution, composure and good controlled dynamic lows (grip, impact and punch). Last but not least, given all things right, they can truly disappear as sound source.
Interesting that lots of people say Wilsons are not musical speakers and yet some will say Thiels are bright! They must have something in common then. Sometimes I found me Thiels bright when listening too loud but most of the time they sounded really good. Does thses two speakers share anything in common?
Magical is very hot right now but people say they are over priced and colored. I have no change of meeting them yet! everything else, speakers at these levels are good to excellent and their performance is more dependent on system synergy and room/speaker interaction and setup. Meaning both Thiel and Wilson speakers can be made to sound great and horrible. Can Thiel speakers sound bright. Sure. They are highly resolving and tonally balanced across the frequency spectrum. So if you have lean and bright sounding equipment/cables upstream of them, that's what you will hear. Wilsons are not my cup of tea but they are world class speakers and have many adherents and can be made to sound wonderful depending on what you mate them with and how carefully you set them up (they are notoriously harder to set up than most speakers). Your dilemma is your inability to demo these speakers with equipment you are familiar with (let alone in your own system). Maybe the way to go is to buy used and if whatever selection you make does not work out for you, then you can resell hopefully with a minimal hit to the wallet. Again my opinion is that the lower risk strategy for you is to stay with the Thiels because you are familiar with what the Thiel house sound is and seem to be happy with it. And believe me the 3.7 is vastly superior to the 3.6 (and will mate beautifully with your CJ Premier 350 amp). But at the end of the day, you have heard from people on both sides of the spectrum because they favor one speaker vs. another but the reality is they are both excellent speakers. The trick will be which one best matches your system and room but you won't know the answer to that question until you try. Good luck.
PS: with regards to suggesting buying used, i meant it with regards to the Thiel 3.7s because by definition you will be buying used WP8s.
Thanks Cmalak for your constructive comments. I also believe I will not go wrong with the Thiels. My only other compliant with my systems is that it can sound too neutral. Has anyone tried 3.7 successfully with tubes?
My buddy has tried his 3.7's with a BAT VK55. This amp sounds wonderful but the 3.7's need more power to get the most out of them. He currently uses a Krell FPB-200. I believe Thiel recommends and uses Krell amps. Thiel is located right here in Lexington KY. If you want to email offline please do so and I can give you my buddies email and you can talk with him. your Herron preamp SS or tube design (i know they have both)? I would keep your CJ Premier 350 (excellent power amp with more than ample power to drive any speaker) and introduce tubes via the preamp if you are currently running SS. High quality, high wattage tube power amps can get pretty expensive. I think you can get better results of introducing tube sonics (bloom, fleshed out timbres/textures, etc...) via the pre-amp or even a tube-based digital source (CD or DAC). You will find a lot of threads on Agon that talk about this and advocate for a tube pre and SS power amp setup. Just a suggestion.
Cmalak has a very point. Tubes CAN get expensive in the higher wattages. The choice of interconnects and powercords also come in to play. Don't you just love this ;)
while we are on the subject of cables, I replaced silver speaker cables (HGA x32) with Nirvana SL for my Thiel 3.7 setup and worked out extremely well. So, I am now tempted to replace interconnect between cd source to pre-amp to either Nirvana sx or Cardas golden reference. I will let you all know how that works out if I can get my hands on one of them.
My Herron is tubed-VTSP2. It is neutral sounding and very musical. I can have no complaints with most musics but when listening to female vocials at night... I am missing my Audio Research and Proac 2.5 a bit! How can I have the best of both worlds??!!

The other thing to consider is hybrid-design power amps (tube input/driver stage and SS output stage). Here are some to consider:

The Vincent STP-800 was a TAS 2008 Product of the year and can be bought at Audio Advisor that has a 30-day return policy as long as you keep the product in "like new" condition and return it in original packaging.

The Moscode 402 power amp recently was reviewed by Wes Philips at Stereophile in the Sept 2009 issue ( and can be bought direct from the manufacturer with a 33 and 1/3 day (i am not joking about that) in-home audition trial period.

The other option is to get a tube hybrid integrated amp of which there are many options with 200+ wpc and that allows you to simplify your system (fewer components and cabling). I have no idea what the above units sound like but at least these two options can give you the ability to audition and if they don't meld well with the 3.7 or the WP8 then you can at least return them. Just a thought.
I have listened to a few of those tube drive SS out amps, latest CJ's and even Lamm's are not my cup of tea! I found them just couldn't bring out the best of both media. I am thinking of keeping the CJ350 and add a tube amp to my gears, swap them around with different music.
Luna thats what my buddy did but like I said he needs a higher powered tube amp to get the most out of the 3.7's. If you can afford to go this route then I would do it. It would be fun to switch out amps for different music :)
In that same S'phile review he states that 'while some of the THIEL's sounded bright, these DO NOT'--that the blend of the coaxial driver/midrange is perfect giving them the smoothest sound of any THIEL, or words to that effect.


I agree, I did not think they were bright. I thought they were the most balanced speaker I have heard. I also do not think they need tubes to sound expectable (or their best). They seem to need power and tubes just seem like a waist when you get into high power. If someone has lots of money to through at high power (good) tube amps, they most likely would be looking at more expensive speakers. Just my opinion of corse, enjoy the music.
Hey James63,

You pointed me to the Thiels CS3.7 back in Feb 2009 in an Audiogon thread. Thanks for the info. I will be getting this speaker to Enjoy the Music.

Good to hear you liked them. I was ready to buy a pair about 6 months ago but my wife got laid off... and is still out of work (CPA). But I still plan to buy a pair as soon as she is working (holding onto my cash rigtt now).

Be sure to let us know your what you think of them. I hear they take a good 200-500 hours to break in and sound balanced.
I have heard them both and in one respects the Thiel 3.7 is better as a point source.
If you invest $3k for the pair if SVS sealed 13 subs for way under $15k total
You have solid low bass the last 1/2 octave is the only weakpoint
On the Thiels,also if you need to play music constantly over 100 db
The Wilson would be better. And your amplifier needs to be high current
With a little character ,not to neutral.they are both excellent speakers
The Thiel even with powered subs is still $10k less. The Thiels are one of the best values per dollar on the market.
One thing I forgot to mention the New Coda 340wpc integrated is an excellent
Match for either speaker ,and some 650wpc into a 4 ohm load and tons of
Current on demand over 125amps peak .

your CJ amp will sound very nice on those Thiel speakers, especially, if you are using a tubed pre-amp.
@ Audioman58, Hi, 125 amps is irrelevant when most electrical circuit breakers are 15,20,30 amp breakers!