Upgrade Thiel CS3.6 or McIntosh AMP

I currently have a McIntosh MC7150w (150wpc) that I am using with a pair of Thiel CS3.6 speakers.  I'm thinking of upgrading and trying to determine if I should spending $3-4k on a bigger amp or put the money towards a different set of speakers.  Any suggestions?
1bbfef99 6c79 4b7a 80f0 0d279d40f773dnanstad
I have the 3.6's and had them for over 20 years. As I upgraded the front end over the years (from Adcom separates to the Levinson 20.6's and 23.5) the 3.6's sounded better and better. 

Personally, I think that you will not find a speaker worthy of replacing the 3.6's with only 4 grand. The only speakers I've heard that I would consider replacing mine with is the Magico S5 as I was impressed with that speaker's ability to handle the low end of orchestral recordings.

It's unfortunate that the 3.6's are not taken seriously as they only cost about $4500 new (when one is willing to spend twice as much on a power cord).

I have a hunch you will be disappointed in getting rid of them.
What are you not happy with? I think you could use a larger amp, but only if you are not happy with the dynamics - Tough to beat the 3.6 with 3-4K, they are such a great value. If you are looking for a better sound, try some room treatments. Much cheaper, and very rewarding!
I agree on NOT getting rid of the thiels!  So, a different amp it is.  Never had a tube amp so that might be kind of fun
Yes, but it would need to be a powerful one for the 3.6.
I have never owned the 3.6 but looking at there specs. Your going to need some serious tube pwr at least 100 watts to make them come alive.If I was using solid state I would want at least 200 to 250 watts and I'm not a headbanger by any means.
Offcourse that's just my opinion and your room size and preferences would dictate what you would prefer.

I had a set of the Janzen Valentina's for a short time that are only 87db efficient and they definitely needed some pwr to Sound their best,but in the end they didn't work out in my room and I sold them.

Hi dnanstad,

I have had Thiels (CS5i and 2 2) for 25 years and suggest a high-current SS amp of 100W or more that doubles down all the way to 2 ohms for your 3.6s (think old Classe DR-9, Fifteen, or Twenty Five or Krell FPB-300/600). Put the tubes in the preamp or CDP and don’t forget the importance of great cables.

I used 3.6s for about six years and agree with you that they have a lot of potential and will be hard to beat with something new in the 3-4K price range.  I used mine with a Classe DR-10 initially but it seemed to run out of power on peaks, so I replaced it with a Classe CA-300 which was a very good match.  There is an advantage to 300 watts vs 100.  However, my final days with the Thiel were spent with a modified Dyna ST-70 tube amp and I actually preferred its sound quality to the Classe.  The Dyna was clearly limited in power but at reasonable volume levels it was actually more dynamic than the Classe amps.  So don't rule out tubes.
By all accounts (including my own experience) the DR-10 was the goat of the Dave Reich-designed Classe amps and the later CA series did not have the magic of the Reich designs (Reich left Classe after the DR series), thus my recommendation of specific Classe models.

salectric, I notice from your System page that you primarily listen to acoustic jazz (very nice system BTW) and can see that a lower-power tube amp with that jenre could sound very good with the 3.6. If the OP has a more diverse musical palette (macro dynamics/high listening level), the tube amps will leave him wanting.   Tubes elsewhere in the system do  benefit the sound with Thiels IME.



feel free to join us over on the Thiel Owners thread.
Another +vote for adding a tubed pre-amp to a solid state power amp.

Happy Listening!