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Enjoy! I love the demo 2.7's I picked up a couple year's ago. I run them with an integrated Wyred4Sound, Wyred DAC and Auralic streamer. I think I'll stay with that arrangement for a long while unless I could ever be convinced tubes would be better for the Thiels. Every move I made to get to this system was a noticeable improvement.
Much Thanks! guys-
I first auditioned the 2.4SE (2) years ago in NC and was hooked.
At that time the dealer/retailer- Audio Video Excellance in Raleigh
used Anthem, Cary and Audioquest gear.
(3) years ago i got my 1st taste of the CS 2.4 w/ Creek , NAD and Audioquest gear. I was hooked then as well. I feel the "SE" is a little sweeter to my ears. Of recent I have read about Conrad Johnson and Pass Labs being a sonic match. I am interested in both companies and each makes a new integrated amp. As we all know their separates are superb. Above all, cabling is my "thing". It is going to be a fun ride!
Cabling is apparently my thing also - I have tried maybe 20+ pairs of speaker cables and almost as many IC's, all different price points. You know because you know Thiel, they have a very revealing, slightly lean, but extremely coherent sound. If mated right I have never heard a speaker with better timbre and tone to my ears. I do think lean is a slightly unfair description. They have such a clean midrange it can accentuated with cables or equipment with the same qualities. That IMO is why they can sound lean.
I am am currently using Kubala Sosna Fascination IC's (musical but clean), KS power cords which add clarity and no bloat, and Stereolab Diablo SC (small copper AWG, revealing yet musical - don't know how he achieved that, and very fast similar to Nordost. This is the best combo I have used. Although cables addicts like us can never say I am done haha...
Unsound you are correct and good call out! Straightwire Maestro II is the most consistent match that I go back to alot - it is also my base to compare other cables. It does everything I like. I owned SW Virtuoso for a while but it was a little grainy compared to Maestro.
I also like and own Goertz M-2's, need new zobel networks, mine are broken. I tried the M-3's but the larger AWG seemed to make them more on the bright side.
^Interesting, your impressions of the MI 2's vs. the MI 3's were so different than mine. I found the MI 3's to negate the emphasis of the brightness region (mid to lower treble), centering the sonic midrange, and though appearing contradictory; making the bass both tighter and richer . Perhaps it's due to different model Thiel's, with different amps, in different rooms through different ears. :-)
How about Thiel 2 2s (no decimal point)? Mine are 20(!) years old now, and whenever I hear another pair of speakers that sound really good, I go back and listen to the 2 2s, and realize that, nah, it really doesn't get much better than this, at least not for any rational amount of money. I drive them with a Classé CA-200 amp connected with Kimber 8PR cables. The system also includes a Mirage BPSS-210 sub, and its active tune-able crossover crossed @ 60 Hz, which isn't loud but is undistorted and remarkably flat and enables the system to go cleanly well below 20 Hz. State of the art at the time, and still darn good! Not so good with most turntables, however. Infrasonic TT rumble can make the sub nuts to the point I have to take it out of the system.
I haven't spent much time auditioning the newer Thiels since I bought the 2 2s, but at the time it was certainly the case that Thiel speakers in general, being rather inefficient and often a bit challenging to drive, were decidedly best with solid-state amplification. Pairing them with a Classé amp was, and likely still is, a match made in audio heaven.
I've driven my Thiels (2.2, 3.1, and currently 3.5's) with both tube and solid state amplifiers and have found that they are excellent with either. The one complaint I have with these "vintage" (minty!, in eBay parlance) designs is the speaker cabling, specifically where Thiel located the binding posts themselves. On the bottom!
This rules out using the "garden hose" variety of speaker cables since keeping them off of the floor proved to be problematic. I've used Goertz Alpha Core, Transparent Music Waves, and now I have AntiCables level 3 - which I've long been a fan of. That aside, very few loudspeakers have impressed me as much as Thiels do. My 3.5's are full range, 20hz - 20khz, and I've never used a subwoofer. They still continue to deliver outstanding sonics.
I think my favorite match up with mine was a Pass Labs X150.5, 150 watts into 8, 300 watts into 4 ohms which the Thiels are. My listening level is very conservative, and I've had fun listening with a McIntosh MC275 Mark VI tube amplifier, 75 watts per channel into virtually any load. Also a Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum integrated, 100 watts per channel. In retrospect I think I have to give the nod to the Pass Labs. Having all that extra headroom made me believe I was treating them right even if my listening level wouldn't stress a modest amp.
I've just purchased a Peachtree Audio 220SE integrated which will out put 350 watts into 4 ohms for the heck of it. (Pretty good deal direct from them.) I'm also looking at an Audio Research 300.2 amplifier - which is class T, capable of 500 watts per channel into 4 ohms.
One thing I will never do is part with my 3.5's again. The first pair I owned I gave to my nephew when I purchased a pair of Counterpoint Clearfield Metropolitans, an Alfred Von Schwiekert design. They were physically HUGE speakers. A few months ago I found another pair of the 3.5's right here not he gone and bought them without contacting the seller first. Regardless of price Thiels are some of the best loudspeakers out there. I love 'em. Good luck with yours!
I had a pair of CS2.4's and recently traded them in for CS2.7's. I don't find that toe-in is necessary at all. The imaging is fantastic from almost anywhere in front. BTW, the 2.7's definitely have better articulation than the 2.4's and don't seem to lack for a full sound (compared to other speakers of a similar price range; I compared with Aerial 6T and 7T).
I do have a question (and being a newbie, please let me know if a different forum might be preferable). My room is approx. 22' x 13'. I have my entertainment center on the long wall with the speakers fairly close to the large cabinet. I figure I'm sitting maybe 8 to 9 feet from the speakers. When I'm sitting, my ears are pretty level with the mids/tweeters and the speakers are still too bright (I have Transparent cables and an Ayre Integrated, so the perceived shrillness is not due to these components). If I stand against the opposite wall the whole system sounds very good. Sorry for the long prologue. I am wondering if I either need to eliminate the cabinet's interference with the speakers or if the ultimate solution will be to move my system to a short wall so that I can move the speakers away from the wall and cabinet and also move the sitting to a range greater then 9' away? As things are now, the bass is getting lost somewhere. I'll eventually experiment, but I'm wondering if others have had experience with this?
Maplegrovemusic, ones room and listening position will ultimately determine speaker positioning. The Thiels are very accurate off axis to begin with, and straight ahead positioning can help provide a wide soundstage as well as negate some brightness. More importantly to attain driver integration and wave form fidelity; one should sit at least 8' from Thiels.
dar57, Most rooms vary enough, that there are no hard rules. My room is very similar to yours, though I do have a rather high ceiling.
I prefer the long wall placement when it can work. I have my Thiel's backs out 3' from the wall behind them, 10' apart center to center, >5' from speaker cabinet wall to side wall, with my listening position close up against the opposing wall with a large piece of thick foam with thick fabric covering, speakers are about 9' from the listening position firing straight ahead, without toe in.
Of course one could use other approaches, i.e., rule of thirds, etc.. With Thiels do try to keep 8'-12' from listening position to speaker. Keeping the entertainment center cabinet well away from the speakers is a very good idea!
it is good to continue reading about Ayre being a sonic match w/ Thiel.
Ayre gear can be matched w/ Transparent cabling to boot.
I concur with the panel, sit 8-12 ft from speakers, as they throw, a wide and deep soundstage. Most certainly not a near-field listening speaker.
Additionally, I would not place any furniture in the path between you and your speakers. Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Just for the heck of it today I stopped in at my local bricks and mortar shop right here down in good old Lake Grove, NY. I'm about to invest in SOMETHING new.
Anyway, after talking with my sales guy for a while regarding new amps I spotted a used Conrad Johnson MF200 solid state amp with a really good price tag attached to it. I came home and hooked it up and...pretty darn good!
The only amp that my Thiels did not like was a NAD 375bee integrated.
unsound, jafant, others,
Thanks very much for the encouragement. I think the next step will be to borrow some very long cables from the local shop and try various speaker locations. I am pretty much in agreement with everything said and will post (when I have time over the weekend) any progress. Thanks again!
You might consider a Belles amp. Perhaps the Soloist 1 integrated even. They have a full, tuneful and robust sound to me that would mate quite nice with Thiels. However, as a previous Thiel owner, I'd go with a solid state amp, think Levinson, Krell, Conrad Johnson, BAT, Classe or Belles. Then add a tube preamp which will help to flesh out the sound from the Thiels. As Thiel's Kathy Gornick was once quoted as saying, " I never heard a Thiel speaker that didn't sound better with a tube preamp." For cables, go Straightwire, Transparent or MIT. Keep us posted and enjoy your Thiels.....they're worth it. Best.
I played the CJ MF200 for a few hours yesterday and I can say that it's a pretty impressive amp for its age. CJ doesn't offer a power rating into a 4 ohm load like my Thiels, but with 200 watts into 8 ohms I will assume I won't be stressing either.
Anyway, I'm currently using an ARC LS 3 solid state preamp, and it may be only my aural imagination but I am not getting any of that "warm" CJ sound - which is a positive. (Not that the warmth of CJ equipment ever bothered me.) I thinks its more their preamplifiers that impart that trait in many user's opinions. (I've had other CJ amps and preamps as well.)
I also have a Classe preamp...model number eludes me right now, and THAT imparted warmth. I'll be hooking that up and comparing sometime this weekend.
Overall the CJ and the ARC preamp are a good match. I heard excellent low end response from my Thiels at a very moderate listening level. I sit approximately 10 feet away from my speakers so that's a good thing. I use Ginger Baker's "Cyril Davies" cut off of his most recent release "Why?" as a canary-in-a-goldmine reference since it has dynamics all over the place. I then use some New Orleans jazz - if an amp can render this and that well its a keeper!
PS: I got the amp for under $700...
I'm also thinking of raising my Thiels a few inches higher than their bases situate them currently. I read much about Maggie 1.7's here and used similar information to good effect when I had those. (I love Magnepan, too.)
MHO: Thiels are Maggies with more bass...
I don't know if that will improve anything sonically, but it will certainly help in connecting different cables to them. I doubt it will suffer anything, either.
My local store just became a Transparent dealer which saves me a 50 mile trip - maybe even money! I do suggest using spades on the speaker connections since their location and that little tunnel to run them through can be a nuisance with banana connectors.