@jafant Retail for 2 sets is $190, got mine for $80 from my friend who installed them.
He might also help me redo the crossovers with top notch Mundorf caps at some point.
Some remembrances of Amberwood.
From its beginning, Thiel offered four primary veneers: Black Walnut, White Oak, Teak and Brazilian Rosewood (extra charge). Over time we stocked virtually anything that anyone requested. That was possible because we worked from raw veneers rather than laid-up faces or panels. We matched, jointed and laminated in-house which is highly unusual (some say crazy!) As Brazilian Rosewood became more scarce > illegal to import by 1991, and Teak was becoming lower quality and more expensive, I sought a beautiful, sustainable, affordable addition to our stable of offerings. That materialized in 1990’s CS2.2. The wood goes by Santos Rosewood, Bolivian Rosewood, Pau Ferro (ironwood), Caviuna and other names. To verify ethical / sustainable sources, I went to Brazil and Bolivia to sort the liars from the thieves. I landed on a Japanese mill in Santa Cruz, Bolivia as our primary source - impeccable in every way. I toured the mills, log concentration yards and some harvest operations in the company of the head of the Bolivian Forestry Department, the dean of the University School of Forestry, and Jim Martin, our importer and president of ’The Forestry Fund’ which underwrites tree planting, education and sustainability programs around the world. He had the checkbook that underwrote a serious sustainability program for Pau Ferro with the native Chiquitano tribe as our long-term partner. Think curare blow darts protecting the managed forest plantation. That’s another story for another time.
Back to Amberwood. This Pau Ferro timber is what has been called ’Rosewood’ in European (Danish, etc.) furniture since the 1960s. It’s not a true (Dalbergia) Rosewood, but has similar properties. Among its many international names is Santos Rosewood for the southeastern Brazilian port of Santos where it is exported to Europe. But none grows within thousands of miles of Santos and most of what is sliced in Brazil is stolen from its native range in Bolivia. I wanted a clean name for our clean sourcing of this wood with a very dirty history. The plot thickens in that two primary species of Machaerium are combined for market (a common practice). The lowland (Machaerium acutifolium) is fairly dark purple and goes locally by Morado (purple). We adopted that name for that type. The more rare upland (Machaerium scleroxylon) is lighter and more variable in color, often with more exotic dark striping. Lacking a separate commercial name we felt free to assign one. Kathy Gornik engaged in dialogue with some dealers and customers and coined the name ’Amberwood’.
We were able to segregate the two types due to our direct Bolivian source. But things get more complex. The two species hybridize at mid elevations and conditions. And we learned the hard way that some of that middle-type wood was more photosensitive - bleaching to amber, while other trees stayed darker - mellowing to Morado. Side-step to the veneer inspection / buying process where typically three slices are removed from the sliced flitch (at 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 through the stack). These samples became my inventory-planning samples. I stored part of one of those samples from every ’Amberwood’ log in a sunny location to determine how it would age, forming the basis for naming that flitch either Morado or Amberwood.
This long story addresses a small corner of the complexity of offering real wood finishes at the level of attention that we did. I’ve been told that my ’ageing for identity’ process didn’t continue after my departure, which leads back around to why some Morado isn’t very dark and some Amberwood isn’t very amber. It seems that Thiel Morado became a red-stained finish and Amberwood became more varied as luck would have it.
Enjoy your Amberwood / Morado speakers - Tom
Hello everyone! I currently own a pair of CS2’s and am enjoying their sound quite a bit but was curious what I could expect from a larger, say 3.6 or 3.7 model?
I know people say to make sure and have a powerful enough amp, I currently have a Pass Labs X250.8 which I have no plans to change.
I’m pretty sure the 3.6 or 3.7 would be overkill in my current room (listening position 8.5’ from speakers) but I have plans to be in a different space in the upcoming year and would love to try these out.
Appreciate any thoughts on this