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!
Thanks for the information, I was not aware of that. The only thing that would make me move these into storage would be moving up the food chain. I've been watching a pair of CS5's....but they're too large for my current domicile. *sigh*
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.
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.
I'm something of a fan for Anticables, but I'm now using Goertz Veracity cables with bananas all around. Anticables have a habit of becoming loose when I occasionally have to move the speakers. They're very stiff.
(I just bought a Primare i22 integrated, class d amplification, 120 watts into 4 ohms...)
I actually prefer the Goertz cables a little over the Anti's, I believe they offer a somewhat fuller resolution overall, with the Anti's perhaps being a little brighter.
But then again, I like "bright" sonics in my speakers. I haven't cared much about a few hertz here or there in the lower registers since I dismantled my 10+ year old Klipsch CF-3 speakers a few years back. My 3.5's are 20hz-20khz - the whole megillah.
Long live Thiel!
I just noticed that Thiel has a Facebook or Tweet account. Perhaps you can get in touch with them there,
Here's some food for thought...
For the past twelve months or so I've been buying/selling equipment like I'm going to the chair. 2 McIntosh pieces, Von Schweikert speakers. etc. etc. etc. Ridiculous!
Somewhere in the middle of last year I purchased a Marantz TT-15 turntable. According to my sales guy Bob at Audio Den in beautiful downtown Lake Grove, it's essentially a Clearaudio unit badged with the Marantz logo. (There's really no downtown here, nor is there a lake, nor a grove.) Having never had a "true" phono preamp other than those little pro-ject or other manufacturer small boxes, I was able to scoop up a Primare phono stage for a very nice price used here on the 'Gon. IMHO, an excellent phono stage. I like the brand.
Anyway, I went back there the other day just to see what's new and I was convinced to buy a Primare i22 integrated...It's a class d amp which can put out around 160 watts into 4 ohms - sufficient enough for my listening levels. Primare builds everything from the ground up, nothing inside it is outsourced like so many other class d amps.
Unfortunately, there was no way to hook up the CS 3.5's crossover to the integrated...so back it went. I can't believe I returned something because I might have to part with my Thiels...
Not petty at all regarding my misnaming the Thiel eq. Part of my pair's provenance, as related to me by the fellow member whom I bought them from, is the possibility that Jim himself handled the eq when it was sent back for a very minor service. The route you suggested just doesn't work - we went over everything and decided I'd give it back for a full refund and I'd get the amp instead.
So so far as "old iron" goes...does a Conrad Johnson MF200 qualify? I had this going as well through my ARC LS 3 ss preamplifier - noice, indeed!
Even though Jim eschewed the class d category I'm still forging ahead with the Primare amp, which will undoubtedly have me looking for a nice tube preamplifier - a set up I'd used before with the 3.5's. That was a Pass Labs X150.5 with an ARC LS 2 pre - perhaps the best I had. C'est la vie ... But the Thiels remain.
Funny, I'm not getting that CJ "warmth" from the 200 as much as I did when I had the MF2100 a few years back, but then I was also using a CJ preamplifier - I forget the model number - that, I think, imparted that perception of warmth. I've been hooked on Audio Research for my preamplifiers ever since. For me they seem to mate well with just about anything I've hooked up to it, the only exception being a Musical Fidelity amp which was so colored it makes a CJ look like its black and white.
As the contributors to this post know, "Thiels reveal" - everything in the chain associated with driving them. I'm SO bloody sorry that I sold my Pass Labs X150.5 I can't begin to tell you. Unfortunately the price has pretty much skyrocketed new/used or refurbed - double what I paid Mark at Reno Hifi for mine currently!
As my previous post documented I returned the Primare because I could not use it with my Thiel's eq. I NEVER return anything. I was offered a pair of Paradigm Prestige 95F's from my dealer at a silly price, and though very tempted I refused.
The only way I will part with these is when someone can pry them from my cold, dead hands!
Yeah, I have seen a pretty good amount of Threshold pieces about the inter-web thingamabob but my skepticism about their provenance has kept me from actually dipping my toes in the proverbial waters. Price wise they're certainly in my wheel house.
My guys around the corner just told me that they have a BAT VK3 preamplifier coming in soon - not certain of the exact model number - that they'll let me have for about $1k. I've never had but always wanted to check out their stuff and maybe this is the perfect opportunity to tube front a class d amp!
What this all comes down to is that I am building a new system around my LOUDSPEAKERS - which some people here may think is backasswards...but what the heck. I moved my Maggie 1.7's out and haven't looked back, but when I have my original CS 3.5's to my nephew I haven't been able to look forward. Thiels are THAT good.
Thanks for the tip! Believe it or not the pair I picked up in November from a fellow member for $350 ( !!! ) is in better shape. They're close enough to my office in NJ to inspect if the seller will allow that. I'd like to get a better visual on the midranges as these seem to be the most subjected to abuse.
My rule with eBay sellers is to immediately check out their "other items", if they're also selling ceramic teapots, extension cords, or clothing I run for the hills straight away.
Right now I am checking out my new Primare A32.4 amplifier that I just picked up a few hours ago. Immediate impression? Well mated to my Thiels. Test recording: "Cyril Davies" off "Why?", Ginger Baker. I just ran a couple of hours of Lyle Lovett through it as well. I'm liking what I'm hearing!
Aargh! I'm an idiot. The Primare I just purchased is the 34.2, not the model I stated in my previous post. Either Auto-fill got to me before I noticed or I just flubbed typing it.
In either case, Primare doesn't offer/disclose a 4 ohm rating in a few of their products. Bobby, my main consultant at Audio Den here, and I were equally surprised that they don't.
We're assuming a doubling of the 8 ohm rating, but we'd have to have someone test that.
From this site:
"The A34.2 is a 2 x 150 watt stereo power amplifier utilising proprietary UFPD technology. UFPD’s instantaneous rise time results in a naturally fast, clean and agile sound over a much wider frequency range and with exceptional headroom"
I just googled "UFPD Technology" and there is an interesting pdf from Primare that more or less/kind of explains the ideology.
At any rate, I'm liking it through my Audio Research LS 3 pre....
I will be looking at a BAT VK3i pre sometime this week...
I sent an inquiry directly to Primare and am awaiting their response regarding the 4 ohm spec.
On Saturday I plugged my Astell & Kern AK100 into the cd inputs on my Audio Research LS3 preamp to give the amp a few straight hours of low level operation. Eight or so hours of Lyle Lovett will provide any amplifier with a decent range of dynamics to work with, methinks.
As this is my first class d amp I cannot offer any salient comment about their purported proficiency for good, natural, bass reproduction, nor the class's high frequency " harsh" or "etchy" reproduction. But I do know that my Thiels are opined as having a preference toward the mids and highs that some have found to be...?
This is a good match. I can say without reservation that this amp mates well with my CS3.5's. I'm a happy camper. For now....
Just added my virtual system here - OBLGNY'S February 2016 setup! Eek!
I just received the answer my inquiry regarding the Primare A34.2 amplifiers power rating into 4 ohms. (The only rating given on the site and in the literature accompanying the amp is 150 watts into 8 ohms.)
Primate's email stated that the amp will almost double its power into 4 ohms, "almost 300 watts per channel."
I've been running the Primare through a Classe pre and an Audio Research pre for about a week now. (I'm also coming into a BAT VK3i preamplifier pretty soon...) I'm leaning more toward the ARC preamplifier as that appears to be my "Thiel" amongst preamps - they've made every amp I've owned sound good. I purchased the BAT simply because I want to "tube" the front end.
I also picked up an excellent used pair of Von Schweikert VR5 HSE's only because the price was simply too good to pass up. Suffice it to state that the Thiel CS3.5's need not worry, although I enjoyed the VS in and of themselves. It's difficult to miss the mids and highs that the Thiels provide, and the VS's sounded veiled by comparison. I just sold the VS's.
Anyway, I'm liking the Primare. Even though Primare was somewhat vague as to the amp's 4ohm power rating, I find that it matches well with the Thiels. For approximately $2400 the Primare is a keeper. It doesn't emphasize the bass that my 3.5's do so well to any degree, which is a good thing, and those trademark mids and highs have not suffered, either. (That and my CJMF200...) There's a current ad on the Gon for a pair of CS5's that I would literally jump at - $1350! - if it weren't for the seller whom I had a previous poor experience with - his geographic location differs from the actual location he ships from, and I found that to be utter bs.
I am really looking forward to hearing how the BAT VK3i will complement my system. While the class d Primare doesn't over emphasize the highs, I think I'm finding the all solid state setup just a smidgen on the "bright" side. With the Classe preamp I found the upper end to be somewhat etchy, which seems to have settled down with the amp running for a few hours. The ARC didn't sound like that at all.
Anyway, I would recommend the Primare for anyone seeking a very decent amp at a very reasonable, IMHO, price.
i dunno about the Primare preamplifier...just a "me" thing about having an all one-brand setup,..ya know? But based upon their R32 phono preamp and this amp I'd have no problem perhaps, maybe, doing so down the road. I could sell my Peachtree 220SE integrated to fund that...
I am slowly moving toward all Transparent Audio cables in my system. Unsound...there's a pair of 1000 watt DSonic mono blocks up for sale here - $775 - that oughta be enough for those CS 5's doncha think???
Going to Audio Den now...just around the corner from me house.
Speaker cables are The Wave, I believe they're the least expensive from Transparent but I like them. They're 10 footers although 8 would have sufficed, bananas on both ends. I have to check on the status of my BAT 3ki pre amp there anyway since my guy there is fixing a busted toggle switch on it. Probably going to buy a complete set of new tubes as well since I don't know the age of the ones currently installed.
Damn...the store only had one pair of Transparent Link interconnects in stock. I ordered three more pairs, and I may have to purchase a few pair of balanced cables since the BAT has those as well.
Since Transparent offers a trade up program on their cables I'm starting with their least expensive models. I'm finding that the Wave speaker cables seem to be the best match with my Thiel CS3.5's. Where other cables such as Anti-Cables, Goertz delivered some pretty acceptable sonics, the Transparents seem to bring out the widest range without suffering from accentuating any particular frequency range.
Dare I say that I find the Thiels to be the most neutral sounding speaker I've owned, and as I've stated before, "Thiels reveal" - anything in the chain that colors the sonics is soon enough found out. Not that coloring sonics is a bad thing, all equipment does that no matter the manufacturer. I know that a few members here and elsewhere find Thiels to be on the bright side, and they can be for some, but I've tossed a good many amp/pre-amp combos into my system the last year and a half and the one constant is the Thiels. They just make almost anything sound good. Some sound different, but all sounded good.
Had a great "Thiel weekend" with my current setup...
Primare amp, Classe pre, Sony HapZ1es server, Thiel CS 3.5 with Transparent Wave cables. (Transparent Link connects on everything in between) I'm still awaiting the return of my BAT VK3i preamp...
I'm seriously considering a pair of 3.6 currently listed that I can get for around $1200...comments? I will keep my 3.5's regardless.
Actually it's just having its toggle switch replaced. My dealer had to request one from BAT. The wait is killing me but...
Thanks for that clarification. I'm sticking with the 3.5's simply because they're so damn good as is.
I stopped by the store yesterday and will be picking it up Thursday. Aaaaargh! Great folks at Audio Den here in Lake Grove but thankfully they really take care of me. I also checked out a pair of Maggie 1.7i's just for the hell of it. (I like Maggie's, too) Oddly I preferred the smaller and less expensive .7's. The owner said he had a pair of used Thiels downstairs and when I pick up the BAT I'm going to ask which models they are...of course! I almost had a pair of CS3.6 from this site but offered $1100...I think they went for $1200..
Thanks for that tip regarding the legacy products. Great to know.
I have to admit that I exercise caution when touting a commercial enterprise here for reasons that are obvious to everyone who buys/sells and posts here. I like the "real world" opinions of people who own and live with the equipment we discourse over as opposed to people who have a commercial stake - not that there's anything wrong with that in the proper setting.
Here on Long Island there are two bricks and mortar stores a body can WALK into without an appointment - and this one is literally right around the corner from me. When I first moved here 22 years ago I had virtually no furniture so I bought a pair of Klipsch CF-3's from them - to fill up my living room. (They were fun for a while but those horn loaded tweeters...oy vey!) The fact that they're still around is testimony enough to their business acumen.
Anyway, I should be picking up my BAT preamp this afternoon and when I do I'll be checking out the Thiels they mentioned - which may pose an issue. If they're a model above my CS3.5 dare I consider them? Woe is me!
I have a very good pair of CS3.5's right now but, as mentioned a few posts back, had offered $1100 for a pair of CS3.6's here on Audiogon which was declined. The seller just messaged me that their buyer backed out after they accepted and I could have them for $1100 now. Original cartons and everything.
It would be nice to lose that electronic equalizer but I would be sacrificing about 5hz at the low end - is it "what's a few hertz between friends" or "you're an idiot - keep the 3.5's! Or do I start a vertical collection of Thiel models? Thanks.
No. Rather than going to an electrical supply store for this they are dealing directly with BAT - and they were sent the wrong toggle switch. Grrrrr.... It's just a flipswitch! I'm not being charged for this so my patience is extended if not tested. They're good folks so I'm not truly concerned. However I sold my AR LS 3 and my Peachtree 220SE integrated and my Classe CP35 so I'm music less now...
No, at least not for the moment!
I still have my new Primare A34.2 amp that's barely, not even broken in. I also have a "spare" CJ MF200 amp as well. I was actually thinking of returning to Pass Labs amplification. but the 150.5 that I had, and bought for $2495 a few years ago has almost doubled in price - even used/demo. Mark @ Reno keeps me updated. Yikes! That would have been the only piece of equipment I've had that actually increased in price.
If the BAT is truly something special I'll more than likely purchase a new unit. It's kind of how we should buy automobiles; check them out in a rental then decide. If that were possible in every case I would not have bought my 2011 Lexus ES 350. (An imported Buick at best!) Very uncomfortable seats, low headroom even with the sunroof open, no rear view camera...a mechanically bulletproof car with decent mpg and performance but...real world daily usage feh! I was thinking once of leasing the Cadillac XTS but after I rented it for a vacation week, found it was like driving a refrigerator box with slits for windows. Ridiculously limited rear visibility on all sides.
Wow...went off topic there!
I finally received the BAT VK3i preamplifier back from the good folks at Audio Den here in beautiful downtown Lake Grove. Along with it I also purchased my last set of Transparent input connects so now I'm 100% Transparent on everything - except the Marantz TT-15 turntable which has proprietary cables built in.
My initial impression is that this is a very laid-back preamplifier. I tossed Ginger Baker's "Cyril Davies" into it and heard imaging better than my ARC LS 3, but I'm finding the highs a bit reigned in, or reserved? Build quality is excellent. I don't know how many hours are on the tubes so I'll be playing with that aspect in the near future. Hard to tell that this is a used piece - well worth the $1k I paid for it. As soon as my right arm mends I'm going to toss my CJ MF200 into the mix and see what happens. Too damn heavy to monkey around with now. Current amp is a Primare Research A34.2.
Its all good.
Dig in, you won't regret owning Thiels. If at all possible try to locate 'em geographically convenient since even the smaller models are HEAVY. My CS 3.5's are a permanent fixture even though I've had Magnepan,. Von Schweikert...all very good speakers but...I return to them above all. (I just listened to the new Magnepan 1.7i and .7 last week. I really like the .7 better.). I'm thinking about a used pair for sale here on the site...just for kicks, a complement to my system not a replacement.
I got my 3.5's from a fellow member here for a pittance, actually the least expensive piece of equipment I own. Just make sure to inspect all the drivers visually if possible. I've seen too many models here and elsewhere with mid ranges suffering from dry rot, dented dust caps on the woofers, dimpled tweeters. The 3 different models I've owned all came with the instructions to leave the grills on for listening.
Currently I'm using a Sony Hapz1es music server for all my digital stuff which is a really good piece of equipment. It has a 1TB hard drive which I've barely put a dent in.
So far as synergy goes I'm still checking it out. I'll be buying some tubes tomorrow since I have no idea how long those installed have been in service.
Right now I'm listening to Mose Allison and everything is spot on. The B. A. T. VK3i is one of the best preamps I've owned. True to my intent and hoped for in my expectations is it's definition; the "reigned in" impression I previously mentioned remains, but this is not necessarily a negative aspect with the Thiels. (As some listeners find them a bit too "bright.") I never have and never will. Does it mate well with Thiel? Yes.
The Primare A34.2 is the first decent class D amp I've tried, "decent" meaning somewhat audiophile - my first toe-in-the-water with class D amplification was via a pair of Musical Fidelity M1PWR mono blocks which was a fairly cheap way to investigate the category.
I think I was pretty fortunate to get the B. A. T. for $1k used. It's a bargain. Considering that it's a 20+ year old piece I can only imagine how good the current models perform. As is my usual path in this hobby, moving up the food chain is definitely in the cards sometime this year.
GAS Son Of Ampzilla update...
Given its age I had relatively low expectations for this piece and my pre-assumptions about its sonics were fairly spot-on. (I have a Pioneer SX 1080/Marantz 2252b/Conrad Johnson MF200 in controlled storage as well.)
As per the seller's ad here, its condition was better than I could expect- no serious dings, scratches or discolorations anywhere. The metering glass is a little dull but that wasn't/isn't any major concern.
I left it playing for about 24 hours at low level since the seller stated it had been serviced in 2014 and stored since; I had no reason to doubt that claim as the above described physical condition was, again, given its age, very good.
I left all of my cabling intact, which is 100% Transparent. I saw no reason to alter anything in order to see how the GAS would perform.
The first piece of music I listened to was Ginger Baker "Cyril Davis" off of "Why", which is my litmus test for anything I add to my system and, perhaps unfairly, based upon the best amp I've had, IMHO, a Pass Labs X150.5. (Don't start me on why I sold THAT - I'm an idiot.) As stated in a previous post I am currently using a Primare A34.2 amplifier.
Anyway, the GAS is indeed a "vintage" piece, sounding very much like my Marantz 2252b. The midrange strikes me as being...crowded? Muddled? There are bass lines in the tune I listened to that the GAS simply couldn't reproduce as faithfully as the Primare does - there was a discernible lack of texture to the instruments as well. *Sigh*
The power meters barely moved at all, which is an indication of how conservative my preferred listening level is rather than an indication of a malfunction. I noticed this with all my previous amps that had meters as well. Even when I "cranked up" the level the meters indicated less than 20 watts. (The X150.5 meter displayed current, not watts, but I've had a couple of McIntosh pieces that back this up.) Sheesh - do I really need gobs of power to drive my CS3.5's?
All in all, it was a fun 'speriment, one that satisfied my curiosity about the brand at a very low acquisition cost. I have a "thing" for "vintage" equipment, borne of my introduction to hifi way back in the 1970's which had been Sansui/Marantz/Pioneer - first receivers, then separates. In that categorical perspective the GAS showed well enough, but in comparison to the newer equipment I've owned, and own currently, it just couldn't. Mind you, this is no knock against GAS - I love its look, it performs as it did, and it was fun listening to it, comparison or not.
Subsequently I may be selling it here, along with my other amps to fund a re-acquisition of a First Watt or Pass Labs. The prices on Pass have quite literally rocketed upwards since I sold my X150.5 a little while back, which I obtained for $2495, currently fetching roughly $1K more. (And this is used!) Yikes!
My CS3.5's are remaining in place. I believe I saw a pair of 5's somewhere for $2995 which would be the only speakers I could part with the 3.5's for...woe is me!
Happy listening, folks!
Just an update...
Just this afternoon I replaced all the tubes in the B. A. T. preamplifier, four 6922 and two 6V6's because having bought it used I had no idea of their length of service. (All Genelax Gold Lions)
Those it came with were GE and Sovtek - perhaps how it was dressed at the factory?
I have to state...wow. Huge improvement. Even at low volume the 3.5's were way more articulate, and Thiels ARE articulate to begin with. When I put some vinyl on the sonics were absolutely over the top - best sound I've gotten to date. The "reserved" nature I previously mentioned regarding the preamp were completely gone. (Primare R32 phono pre)
This is a much better setup now.
Is anyone here aware that there is now an official factory Thiel outlet store on eBay?
Odd, methinks, that a company with a reputation in the audio world as enviable as their's wouldn't consider this site as their first choice?
Mega millions NY jackpot $330 million. Tuesday drawing. I wagered $1.
If I win it I'm buying Thiel.
Not a pair of Thiels, Thiel itself.
I'm using a Primare R32 phono preamp as well; so far the mating of the B. A. T. with the Primare is a very solid match - particularly with vinyl. The separation is practically magical.
The Primare is still barely broken in as I've been busy with work, listening maybe 6 hours a week. I usually allow the pre about 15 minutes before I listen - seems to show best when the tubes emit a little warmth.
I'm looking at a BAT VK250 listed here now...trying to figure out how the heck I can get it!
i just this past Saturday sold a very nice pair of Magnepan .7's that I purchased only recently because...well, I like Maggies, too. (I still have my CS3.5's.)
To round out the Mags low end output I subsequently purchased a Rhythmik L12 sub - which has gotten some very positive reviews.
I also have this for sale here but...doesn't appear to have gained an audience yet.
As you know the Thiel CS 3.5's incorporate an equalizer to extend the frequency response 20hz-20khz which I've found to be wonderful. Cutting the response to 40hz on the eq suffers separation and overall sonics.
My question is...would removing the Thiel eq and incorporating the sub instead offer any benefits and, where would I position the crossover point?
I don't believe in modding anything but since I might not sell the sub too quickly...
That's what I was thinking more or less as well. I doubt I'll do it because I think the 3.5's bass is damn good as it is. Just figuring if I have the sub.... Boredom!
I like Rel too. Had a couple in the past.
I have noticed that leaving the equalizer out completely suffers everything on the speaker. Gonna s'periment!
First I'll try with the eq set at 40, then remove it from the chain. Vedddddy interesting...
Thanks for your thoroughly enlightening information! By far and away the most informative I've received or have been able to read about them.
I should make it clear that I had/have absolutely no qualms regarding the bass output of these speakers in the first place. In fact I think they are unbeatable in more respects than any other speaker I have owned, period. At their used prices they are an utter steal. My first pair of them cost $800 and I drove 250 miles to pick them up from a fellow member. I hooked 'em up and experienced one of my very few "wow" moments. I forget what amp/pre setup I had at the time but I became a zealot at that moment.
That pair went to my nephew who still has them. I had to repair one of the mids before handing them.
My current pair cost me $350 from a fellow member and I drove 95 miles to get them. Absolutely the best money I've spent on anything. The Audiogon BB shows an average of around $900, which is higher than what they're actually going for. Unfortunately most of them costing that and below are in poor shape. I'm currently looking for another pair to keep for parts.
Anyway, my inquiry regarding the implementation of the sub was not proposed as a means of improving anything, nor adding anything I feel is lacking. These are excellent speakers, period. I have this sub...just tinkering.
I always scan the site for 3.6's and above, but I also seek a geographically desirable location when I do. No eBay sellers, thank you. It's somewhat of a shame that I only found out about this brand after Mr. Thiel passed away.
These are extraordinarily difficult speakers to beat at any price.
My favorite amp to drive them? Pass Labs X150.5. Like a schmuck I sold that.
Were I constrained by space I'd definitely consider the integrated based upon my experience with the 150.5 amp - besides that, an appreciable cost efficiency as well. I see that Reno Hifi has one for $3795 right now. If you were to go separates pretty much double that.
I bought my 150.5 from Mark there, I do believe you've mentioned doing business with him as well. I paid $2400 for a demo a couple of years ago and regret selling it. Currently used ones are fetching about $1k higher! Sheesh. I'm an idiot! I think I was using an ARC pre at that time.
Because I'm an idiot!!!
I think I did to fund a McIntosh MC275. Still kicking myself for that.
In the past two/three years I've had...
The newest McIntosh stereo receiver MA6700
Which I liked kind of...took that back and bought the MC275 tube amp because, well, it looked so cool. Had a minor issue with it which McIntosh customer service absolutely proved useless so I sold that off...
My local shop had a CJ MF200 which I bought because it was...there. I'm having it looked over right now.
A Peachtree 220SE integrated.
A Primare i32 integrated which I liked but not enough, so I returned it and purchased my current amp, their A34.2 which is really good. My local shop is also Primare's national distributor.
A pair of Musical Fidelity M1 monoblocks - which were fun.
I think I might have missed one.
However, currently my BAT VK3i pre and the Primare are working really well and I'm not really looking. Unless of course I am able to find a Pass...A few posts back I mentioned there was a BAT amp I was watching with a buy it price of $1500 - about $500 below the BB average but the seller let it go for $1000!!! Aaaaargh!
Until I landed here about 3 years ago I had pretty much regarded interconnects/speaker cables as the last thing on my list. Sight unseen, sight unheard, heck - the components came with them, right?
I think the first "high end" amp I purchased here was a "vintage" McIntosh MC2100 105 watt per channel solid state affair which had very small screw terminals for the speaker connections. The seller related that he found a certain brand, which is now long forgotten, perfect for bringing out the amp's best performance. I was then using a pair of Klipsch CF-3's which had been driven by Radio Shack cable from a 100 foot spool, tucked along the walls and laying - gasp! - on the shag carpeting. Them speakers was 101db efficient comprised of two 10 inch woofers and a centered compression tweeter which I found to be shrill - especially with my new "audiophile" amp.
This thread could also be titled "How Audiogon Ruined My Life and Why I'm Still At It."
On subject... Based on the seller's advice I walked into my local shop and made the inquiry. They knew of the amp's Trumpian sized speaker terminals and fashioned a pair for me out of some Tara Labs cables. Bingo! Wow, this stuff is true! Mind you, I was then somewhat surprised at paying over $100 for speaker cables having never done so before.
I then, and up to quite recently, had a very mixed bag of cables for everything, a few Tara's, MITs, Silnotes, Morrows...never using one brand or another in the chain altogether.
Goertz speaker cables are amongst my favorites. I still have 2 pairs, single and bi-wire just in case, 7 feet long. I have not had any speaker wires laying on the floor for a long time now!
Currently I am 100% Transparent Audio throughout, components and speaker alike. Reasonable in cost, excellent customer service, with a trade up policy I believe no other cable company offers. I'm sold and happy.
Sight unseen, sight unheard...it's sound, not sight that matter. Cables ain't sexy, there's no lights, buttons, meters, brushed aluminum fascias, toggles, aerospace graded space age polymer coatings to appreciate. I cannot offer any technical opinions regarding my preferences for cables in general, but I will offer that experimenting pays off. I suggest starting off small and continuing from there. I have and it's worth it.
Damn you, Audiogon!
By the way, my spate of recent posts to this thread was conducted whilst spinning vinyl and ripping discs into my server yesterday in an air conditioned space. 105 here yesterday afternoon. Yikes.
Great forum, I'm still learnin' stuff!
I've used Anti-Cables too but their stiffness creates issues of their own which are more esthetic than sonic. I think the most dramatic or at least discernible immediate differences I experienced were with the Goertz cables and the Transparent. I still have both brands on hand but it's only the Transparent that I have 100% throughout with; if I'm going to fairly compare results I'll start with the Goertz.
I've not heard the CS5's but a pair pops up on the site every once in a while for about $3k which is just a stupid good deal. Unfortunately they're on the other side of the country. Typically Thiel sales require local pickup because of their weight, so opportunity rarely presents itself perfectly. Sigh.
Of course they would require more power than I currently have but that ain't stopped me before from purchasing anything. I can always drag out my Pioneer SX1050 receiver as a stop gap while I search.
And I have listened to it through the Thiels before. My, how we suffer here sometimes!