...is basically a list of (true) Thiel's until just shortly after the founders passing and subsequent sale of his company's name (his own surname). Later and current Thiel's
, with very different designs and made in a different factory are considered by most Thiel enthusiasts as; Thiel's in name only. To their credit, the current Thiel owners are still offering service for Thiel's legacy models.
It gets a little more complicated after that. For the most part as one goes numerically up; the first digit will typically suggest that the speakers tend to have gotten bigger (though not always) and more expensive during their own time of production . Numbers after the decimal points offer a chronological advancement within that series.
Whether an older higher series (1st digit) or a later, perhaps more recent (after decimal point (when available)) lower series is better, is open to debate. The evolution of a series could be modest or fairly
extreme. Even within their own line some prefer the earlier release to the latter ones. Usually as one goes up the series (1st digit) the speakers got bigger (again there are exceptions) and offered deeper bass response. There are however exceptions. The CS 5's and CS 3's series being especially notable in this regard.
As to what's better is open to debate. On an absolute performance basis alone, I think many Thiel enthusiasts might offer the CS 5i, CS 7.2 and CS 3.7's as Thiel's best offerings. Other Thiel's might offer better value or just be better suited for different rooms, budgets, circumstances, or just personal preference.
Though the Thiel's share a house sound (or perhaps share less of one?;-)) the power requirements vary enough between series and even generations within series, that it would behoove one to pay attention to the specific models under consideration.
That was a very informative post.
Thanks Unsound and well done as I know you have been a Thiel enthusiast like myself for many years. I might add that all Thiels have 2 things in common, slopped baffles and first order crossovers.
What each model has that is different besides the obvious size of the box is different driver design. Jim Thiel went to a coaxial tweeter/midrange where they are housed together. I believe it started with the 7.2 and then went to the CS6. All the .4 and .7's have this design albeit with new technologies.
I prefer the older design in the CS3.6 and CS5i. I own both the 3.6 and CS6 and prefer the 3.6 because I believe the midrange is more upfront and engaging. I believe it has to do with the coaxial design. The three legacy speakers that seem to be hot now are the 2.4, 2.7, and the 3.7, which was Jim's last design.
As Unsound says there are many Thiel enthusiasts here with a lot of hands on experience so you will get some good input. One thing we all agree on is our disappointment with the direction of the new owners.
Many thanks to all of you. This discussion has been very helpful even though I'm still not sure I completely understand. I know the Wilson Watt/Puppy series is consecutively numbered with each greater number arguably an improvement on the prior model number. It's a shame the Thiel numbering system couldn't be as clear.
Pops, I believe the first Thiel with a co-axial driver might have been the CS 2.3, and some of the smaller pre CS series, SCS, MCS and sub-woofer lines might not qualify as having sloped baffles.
Philipsus, it made more (if not total) sense as it was happening in real time.
I can speak of the newer models;
CS 1.6, CS 1.7, CS 2.4, CS 2.4SE , CS 2.7 and CS 3.7- all are excellent.
I would be remiss if I did not identify the CS 2.4 as being the true "sweet spot" in this particular line-up. Once you have found your pair, join us over on the Thiel Owners thread.
You hit the nail on the head. The link you provided is EXACTLY what I wanted. Thank You!!!
Saffrpn_Boots, excellent post is invaluable. I wish Audiogon provided a "sticky" option for it. Just as an FYI, it's not really a complete list, as the pre CS series, SCS models, sub woofers and post Jim Thiel products, etc. are not included. The typically most sought after models all seem to be there.
For those not familiar with Thiel's and are seriously considering them, it would behoove them to search for the minimum impedances and phase angles as well. Though most Thiels have a very steady impedance, they don't typically just dip into, but rather often spend much time into those rather low minimum impedances The designs with co-axial drivers also often present challenging phase angles as well.
You're welcome phillipsus.
Thanks unsound. I've put placeholders for the Models 01-04, and a few other unsung models (Dewpoint anyone?).
I've also added the cabinet dimensions, which I noticed were missing. Glad it helped.
^The Audiogon community should be thanking you!
Nice job- saffron and unsound.
The CS 3,7 is one of the all time great speakers. Unfortunately, I never had the space for it. You could find it used for some eye popping low prices.
When Jim died I lost interest in Thiel since they went a different direction with their designs.
Hopefully, you will find your way back to Thiel- yyzsantabarbara.
Thiel improved with time with the last series being
CS1.7 , CS2.7 and the CS3.7.
I have the CS2.7s and love them ,
The CS2.4 and the CS2.4SE are also highly rated
models by owners to consider.
Size of your room and wallet should determine your choice,
the CS3.7 is not that much larger then the CS2.7,
but it is about 50 lbs heavier.
Cs 3.7s are fab! If you can find a pair, buy them.
I have a pair of CS 2.4's for sale that are being mentioned here. They are in dark cherry finish. I am the original owner and they are in the original boxes, lightly used. Wife wanted a cleaner room so i put all Thiel Power Points in their place. These were $7500 MSRP
FWIW, both the Thiel 2.7 and the bigger 3.7 work equally well in my 15ft by 13ft room.
find a good home for your CS 2.4 speakers. Happy Listening!
I have never auditioned CS2.7, but I did that for CS3.7 - when my choice was between CS6 and CS3.7. I think mid-high ranges are
comparable in both speakers, perhaps CS3.7 give wider and more intensive mid-high ranges, although low frequencies are not comparable - CS3.7s lack them, whereas CS6s give deep solid natural bass. I do not regret that I have chosen CS6s (the coaxes needed reparation that was done in Thiel by Rob Gillum quite well).
I also own CS3.6s and
MCS1s with Thiel smart sub for more than 10 years already, which I also like. Before MCS1s I had some time CS1.9 that have decent high frequencies but I think their mid ranges are a bit saturated, nothing to say about low frequencies. Bookshelf MSC1s are uncomparable superior to CS1.9 s.
I would not hesitate to choose CS6, although if you have a small room and your amp gives below 100 watts then perhaps CS3.7 would be a better choice.
Thanks! for sharing- niodari
FWIW, from my experience of having lived with the CS6s (years ago), and now the 3.7s and 2.7s...
I agree the CS6 has more substantial bass than the 3.7s. It was denser, more punchy, and goes a bit lower. I remember the CS6s as giving the best bass I've ever had in my system and I still don't think anything has surpassed it overall. (At least going on my memory).
The 2.7s are interesting because in some respects they actually remind me more of the CS6 than they do the 3.7s. The 2.7s have that amazing dense, punchy quality like the CS6s, except it's shifted upward somewhat into the upper bass region. And they have that CS6 like density of imaging.
The 3.7s have, to my ear, the most refined midrange of all the Thiels I've owned or heard. Just really low in noise, super transparent and delicate in nuance. The midrange sounds more "complete" and lush, relative to the other models like the CS6 which have a mild reductive quality - instruments get just a bit smaller and thinner on those models, a character I tended to remain aware of when I had those speakers. (But generally speaking, instrumental timbre and density was so beautiful, it made up for it).
And the 3.7s are by far the imaging champs. They still image like nothing else I've had in my room (or heard from any speaker near it's size). And they are overall the most coherent and boxless sounding of any Thiel speaker I've had or heard. As I've mentioned before, in terms of eliminating obvious speaker colorations (e.g. hearing the box), from top to bottom, and sounding holographic and uncolored top to bottom,with no frequency response bumps or nodes sticking out, I honestly have never heard the equal in any other set up. It blows me away every time I use them.
That said, I'd love to hear the CS6s again some time, just to re-visit that wonderful sound.
Thanks, and just one small complement: I had no chance to verify, but I may suggest that the recently rebuilt coaxes sound beter than the originally fabricated ones 15 years ago, as newer made pieces and perhaps somehow upgraded ones were used (I had no chance to audition a pair of CS6 with original coaxes lately) - or that is not possible?
And I agree that CS3.7 midrange is really lovely, but I am not sure comparing the overall performance of CS6 and CS3.7. Why you think that CS3.7 are more coherently sounding? This also has much to do with speaker placement and room characteristics which might be more appropriate for one or another type of speaker.
I can only say that the CS6 displayed in my room the same characteristics I heard in other rooms, though I had a long time to play with many positions of the speaker in the room, and listening heights, etc, and hence I think I got as good a picture of that speaker as I could.
So I'm comparing what I remember of the CS6 to the 3.7 in the same room, which has been an excellent room for a variety of large floor standing speakers.
As I said, it's been years since I had the CS6s, but I do remember what I loved and didn't love quite as much about them quite distinctly. (They remain one of my favorite speakers, which is why I sought out the 3.7s)
Both speakers CS6 and CS3.7 have similar skeletons, a single coax drive, a woofer and a passive radiator. Perhaps, the coherence has to do something with woofer/low frequencies, the more you have them, less coherent sound the speakers? So one chooses what prefers. I think CS6 give all the sensations a speaker may reproduce, I can precisely feel and hear the way a record is made, how it was recorded, etc. They give open, clean, realistic sound and I do not feel that there is some real lack in midranges (with CS3.6s a little lack of midranges (and also a bit of high frequencies) is notable though).
When I will have a chance, I will again try to audition CS3.7s which I think are significant valuable speakers.
Excellent discussion and valuable information here guys.
referencing the CS 2.4 and 2.4SE, the passive radiator really adds a nice low -end to the overall sound , presentation of the music.
Give us an update- phillipsus
I know this is an old thread, but I might alleviate some confusion. The original (O) series was consecutive. Each product number followed the previous, regardless of size, configuration. The model 2 followed the model 1, etc. Any update added a letter suffix, ie the O1a was an update to the O1, etc. The final O series product was the O4a, the phase-coherent, floor standing version of the O2 bookshelf, both 6.5"x 1" ported two-ways with audiophile orientation. The CS (Coherent Source) series began with the CS3 which followed in the steps of the O3-O3a-O3b as a floor-standing 10" 3-way which was phase-time coherent from its introduction in 1978. The CS series was form driven, so each ascending number (before decimal point) was larger and more capable than the preceding lower number. The CS2 was the "little sister" to the CS3 and, like the O2 (and O4), the CS2 applied more delicate, smaller scale, less expensive solutions to the floorstanding CS3. Later the CS1 and CS.5 filled in the bottom. As has been stated, the post decimal number is the generation, always starting with .2, ie: CS2.2 (except for the "Bose bullying problem" which made that the CS2 2). And the CS 3.5 was the fifth generation of the 3-series (O3, O3a, O3b, CS3 . . . CS3.5. From then on things progressed in a more orderly fashion. If anyone is interested I can tell you why there isn't a CS4 series.
One area of confusion is about subtle performance qualities which seem inconsistent with the post decimal series progress. In fact, we learned as we went and then applied appropriate learned solutions to the next product under development, whether larger or smaller. As unsound mentioned, it made sense in real time because everyone knew which product came next, and the editorial press underscored the significant trickle-down benefits to Thiel owners. Please remember, we were not a large company, and we were making all this up as our knowledge grew.
About the DewPoint: the DewPoints were an outdoor-ready version of the PowerPoints, part of the home-theatre surround / architectural line, which shares the 6.5"x 1" coaxial of the SCS (Small Coherent Source) and MCS (Medium Coherent Source) models. The SCS in the early 90s had our first coaxial driver which gradually made its way into other products, sizes and generations.
You might note that Jim's core interest was in high fidelity music playback. The home theatre and architectural products came about for survival in a changing marketplace, and diluted his ability to work toward the CSX which would have been his assault-on-the state-of-the-art masterpiece . . . As the line stands, the CS3.7 (seventh generation of the O3) is his breakthrough product with the radical driver technology that would have supported the upper-end extension of the line.
As always...tremendous info from someone who truly was "there"!
I, for one, would love to know why there isn't a CS4-series. Also, as the owner of a pair of 3.5's, was it the only model to feature the Electronic Bass Module and if so, why?
Thanks for your participation in these forums!
Nice updating- tomthiel and arvincastro
it appears that the OP has disappeared?
I'd hazard a guess it might be due to Asian market considerations. In Chinese the number 4 is claimed to sound like the word for death. It is thought best to be avoided. Some buildings in China skip the 4th floor, just as some western buildings skip the 13th floor.
The Thiel 3.5 was the last Thiel to use a bass boosting equalizer, but certainly not the only model. I believe all the 3 series preceding and some of the earlier, smaller models did as well.
Sorry to resurrect an old post but I have a pair of Thiel CS1.6's which I bought knowing the bass drivers were shot and called about rebuilding the speakers which would be at a cost of about $500 for the pair. I don't have much in the pair but was wondering if anyone had tried different bass drivers in Thiels and their results?