what do i power my thiel 3.6 with

Hi all,
Let me start by saying that I do not yet own the speakers. I have a chance to purchase a set of Thiel cs 3.6, in mint condition from a good friend of mine who inherited them. I was not familiar with this speaker until he messaged me. I have always been a paradigm guy. he is asking for 1000 bucks Canadian, so my first question is whether or not this is something I should jump on... based on reviews, I’m going to guess that it’s a good deal.... if I go ahead with the purchase, my big question would be what do I build around them... I have read a lot about these speakers needing a lot of power, and the amp I have now, will not do the trick... it does not even really power my studio series paradigms as is. I would likely get rid of everything I currently have (unless someone suggest otherwise) current setup is studio 80 fronts, studio cc590 center, adp rears and dual pdr 12's powered by a Yamaha rx-v2400 home theatre receiver. any advice would be appreciated, and when replying, you will have to dummy things down for me... I’m big into sound and love music, mostly live concerts is what I watch, but also appreciate a good surround sound for movies. That being said, I am by no means a sound expert, and have only ever dealt with home theatre and stereo receivers. I’m sure a lot of the suggestions are going to be about tube amps and pre amps and such, if you could explain that to me it would be very helpful! Thanks in advance
Its only a good deal if you like the way the speakers sound. Also, the 3.6's are very revealing speakers, so if you don't put some careful consideration into the rest of the system, the results will most likely fall short of expectations.
I agree.

I traded in/up from 2.3s to 3.6s years ago, and regretted that I ever did. The 3.6s definitely incline to the "ruthlessly revealing" side of the spectrum. They also need a good deal of power--typically solid-state, because of how much power needed, but also sweet solid state, if they're going to be tamed. I was running Muse 175 high-current monoblocks. Early DDD-recorded CDs were often just steely.

It was my experience with the 3.6s that directly led me to Cary SET and ProAcs.
yes I agree for sure. all I have done my last 2-12 hour days at work is read up on these speakers and what other people have to run them. it sounds like a very expensive project if I want to get full potential, but it also seems possible to get started at a reasonable price, and slowly upgrade over time. I think my plan would be to run the thiels as a 2.0 stereo, and then have another set of fronts to have as a ht set up. would I be on the right track in thinking that I could run a 7.1 pre amp/processer with xlr outputs as my main HTR, and then run xlr from the pre amp to a power amp to run my thiels?
"all I have done my last 2-12 hour days at work is read up on these speakers and what other people have to run them. "

You really can't trust info like that. If you don't listen to the speakers yourself, as well as the different gear you may want to try with them, you'll pay for it in the form of costly mistakes.

This type of thing happens all the time. Sometimes people get good deals on a component, or a family member gives them a gift, or whatever, and it ends up being far more trouble than its worth. They keep spending money in an effort to get their good deal up and running. You're already starting to do the same thing.

"I think my plan would be to run the thiels as a 2.0 stereo, and then have another set of fronts to have as a ht set up."

Just based on the fact that you haven't even listened to any equipment yet, you're already planning for your 2nd set of speakers to hopefully fill the gap that your first set of speakers leaves open, says you shouldn't be buying anything at this point. It doesn't sound like you are a hard core audiophile. I don't see any reason why you can't just use 1 pair of speakers for music and movies. If you find that you develop a taste for more high end gear, there's better ways of going about it.
the reason for having two different sets was based on some information I was given by an advisor from a thiel dealer...

-"There are a couple of issues you are going to encounter when it comes to the Thiel CS 3.6 speakers. The first is that they are truly designed for a pure stereo application and don’t really lend themselves well to a home theater setup. They are really meant for the audiophile stereo enthusiast and, because of the way they are built, it makes them a challenge to use for surround sound."

-"The price you were offered on the speakers does seem like a great deal. But given the true purpose the CS 3.6 speakers were designed for, as well as their impedance and power demands, I honestly wouldn’t recommend them for a home theater setup"

maybe this isn't accurate, and I could run the thiels in my HT setup, I really don't know. that is why I came here in hopes to get some advice. you are right, I am not what I some would consider a "hard core audiophile", but it is a passion of mine, and I will be chipping away at building a dedicated ht room with good equipment. my original plan was to just get a strong 7.1 htr and run paradigm studio or signature series, but thought I would inquire about the thiels since the opportunity presented itself...
I was just going to say the same thing. Thiels are so good, their use in a surround sound mix is wasteful.
I don't think you took my post the right way. Up to this point, all of your information has been coming from outside sources. At the very least, until you are able to listen to the 3.6's, you have absolutely no idea if you are going to love them or hate them. Its nothing more than a coin toss at this point, because you really don't know if you'll like them or not. To be clear, though, my comments are in the context of you getting the pair of 3.6's. They are a very polarizing speaker. More so than with most other speakers.

"I really don't know. that is why I came here in hopes to get some advice. you are right, I am not what I some would consider a "hard core audiophile", but it is a passion of mine, and I will be chipping away at building a dedicated ht room with good equipment."

I'm not trying to make you feel bad here. I'm just trying to give you my honest advice. When you talk about chipping away and upgrading your system, as you go, I understand exactly what you are saying. There's nothing wrong with doing it that way, in fact, that's how most of us do it. I'm just saying that the Thiel 3.6 is not the speaker to do that with for a couple of reasons. First, its not a forgiving speaker. It will expose the flaws in every piece of equipment you have, including your room and recordings. That's what I mean when I say its not the speaker you buy and then chip away at the rest of your system. Most likely, you'll get discouraged and quit building a system around them, long before you finish it.

Someone that is going to build a system around a pair of 3.6's and have success is going to approach things a little different. Its usually not someone's first high end speaker (for the reasons I list above). Its going to be someone who has a fair amount of experience with audio, and has spent enough time, not only with Thiel, but many other competing brands of speakers, as well. Their likes and dislikes are usually well established. They know what the Thiel sound is, and they are going to have a pretty good idea as to what type of components they will need to match the speakers. And that's just my honest opinion. From the looks of your post it just seems like you're not ready to deal with all the baggage that goes along with getting a pair of 3.6's to sound right. (Assuming you don't hate them.). You'll find no shortage of people who are more than willing to pat you on the back and encourage you. I won't do that to you. The mistakes are far too costly with a situation like this.
Thiels are a try-before-buy. I home demoed the Thiel 3.5 and Kef104.2, and thought the 3.5's were so bright in my system that they were unlistenable, but never heard the 3.6.
I have had theils. I have liked all their speakers. But and this is a big but. They don't fit into systems easy. You have to build a system around them in many cases. And to even get used compatible components will run a minimum many,many times the cost of your 1000.00 for the speakers. Used, trying to save money, I could see one spending about 8000.00(wires, cables, components) not getting anything fancy, if they could pick out the right stuff the first time, which is not very likely. But if you could you would have a reasonably good sound. Not the real high end though but close. However when you get a theil to do what they do well you will have a extremely musical experience. So yes before going down that road be sure what you are going down it with. Highly recommend you listen to it well first. Have fun.
It would be a shame to put the Thiels in amongst a bunch of other HT speakers and gear. They are really great (if to one's taste) but you will not hear them at their best in such a context, and they are so revealing and precise that anything less than hearing them in pretty ideal conditions may well not please.
thank you all for the advice! seems like everyone is on the same page, and this is mostly what I expected to hear. sounds like I might be a little out of my league for now..

Zd542: I did not take any offence to your post, I was just giving you my reasoning for thinking of running two sets of fronts and not using the thiels as my mains for a HT.. I appreciate everything you said and it makes sense!

the problem I have is that there are not hi end audio shops anywhere near where I live, so its very hard for me to audition them with the right equipment. If I purchased, I could eventually bring them somewhere but it would take time..
with all plans aside for building around these speakers... just on a value basis, is this a good enough price to buy them anyway, and if i decide I don't want to invest later on, I could just re-sell later for same price or possibly make a profit?
They are a great speaker that can be purchased cheaply. Unfortunately they need high quality electronics along with high power to sound their best. At least that has been my personnel experience with them.
"Its only a good deal if you like the way the speakers sound." (Zd524)

WRONG! it's a good deal, PERIOD, if the $1000 is less than what the price for such a mint item is going for on the open market! If you don't like em, you simply sell it for a profit and try something else!! (then shove the extra hundo's in your pocket and have more $$$!!! DOH!)
God Forbid someone actually tries em out in their setup and it doesn't work out!!! That would mean they learned something for next time, rather than just rando opinions from the cheer section! Tragic advice...tragic!

Zd524 as a salesman??? FAIL!!
Too hi-end of a speaker for first timer?!? Sounds like your issue. It's stuff to be tried, period
$1000CAD is cheap, if you don't like them, you should be able to get at least $1200USD for them, and chalk it up as a profitable lesson.
"with all plans aside for building around these speakers... just on a value basis, is this a good enough price to buy them anyway, and if i decide I don't want to invest later on, I could just re-sell later for same price or possibly make a profit?
Hordy240 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

That's certainly one option, and there's really nothing wrong with it if that's what you decide to do. The only caution that some of the others, including myself raised, is to not get sucked into an expensive trap with a speaker like that, because its very easy to do. Like I said before, Thiel's are very polarizing. Its usually a speaker that someone either loves or hates.

There is something else you can do that I feel would be well worth your time. And that is to bring your electronics to the speakers and try them first. You said your friend owns them, so he should have no problem with that. Even if your equipment isn't optimal, you still really need to do this. In all likelihood, the speakers are over 20 years old. Depending on how they were kept, its a very real possibility (better than 50%), that they will need some type of maintenance. Speaker drivers get old and eventually wear out, crossovers sometimes need to be replaced, etc.., stuff like that is maintenance on an old speaker.

I know how some of the others have commented on how good a deal the Thiels are. If they're in good shape and you like the way they sound, then yes, I think they're a good deal. Assuming the speakers don't need any of the maintenance that I listed above, selling them without losing money will still not be easy. If you're in Canada, its not likely sell them to a US buyer. Its a nightmare. I haven't done it in a while so I don't remember every last detail, but things get held up in customs, they may hit you with heavy fees, sometimes the packages get held up for weeks and I've seen where they've opened the box for inspection and damaged goods just from being rough handling them. Add that to the fact that the 3.6's are above the weight limit for UPS and FedEx, so you'll be looking at local pickup, or an expensive freight company if they need to be shipped. If you don't keep the speakers, you'll most likely lose a good portion of your investment. Sorry if I seem a little negative here, but its better that you get all the info up front before you lose anything. I'm not trying to talk you out of buying the 3.6's, just giving as much info, as I can, based on my experience from doing this over the years.
Apparently, many an unsuspecting audio enthusiast has gone near broke whilst being duped into purchasing mega expensive hi_fi equipment, in the pursuit of audiophile grade sound quality!!
If the seller is a good friend, ask to try them out for a period of time.
Agree the best strategy to find nirvana is buy carefully used and do not overpay. Then keep or sell as needed to help finance the next try.

There are fundamentals to apply in setting up a system, but alone cannot guarantee immediate success. Trial and error, live and learn is important. No reason to go broke in the process with just a little common sense tossed in for good measure.

OK. You've made your point. I understand why you're upset, and yes, its my fault. I know this is a little late, but happy Groundhog's Day. And to top it all off, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and declared 6 more weeks of winter. Your rage is understandable. After all, you were just hit on 2 fronts. Sorry, I'll try to do better in the future.
That dumb gopher sees the same darn thing every year. They should make a movie about that.....
Making a profit on a friends generous dealing is something to think about...
The 3.6's are a demanding load. You might get away with cheap amplification, and you might not.
If you have no plans to upgrade your amplification, I suggest you forget about the 3.6's. You'll never get to appreciate what they're capable of, and you'll probably get more satisfaction optimizing around other gear.
Yes, clearly, if I had a pair of the 3.6's (what, 3-4ohm average load???), i'd likely have to use a minimum of a good Parasound middle range dedicated power amp, and probably better, to get the sound quality an control I was after. On the used market, I'd probably be looking to try older used Classe, McCormack, Simm, Threshold,Levinson, Pass, Plinius, Coda, Nero, n maybe even Krell (prob not), for solid state options. Yes, either way, an high quality dedicated power amp is what those speakers are designed for. Just comes as with the territory.
If you want to run a receiver, use smaller monitors, and be prepared to use the crossover, and run a sub.
Unsound: I am not trying to simply make a profit off of my friend. first of all, my friend is not just giving me a generous deal. he inherited these speakers, and has no interest in them, and plans to sell them online, but checked with me first as he knows I have a passion for speakers and music. his asking price would be the same online as he is offering me.
also, I was just asking that if all else fails (meaning I never end up getting the proper equipment) is it a good enough price to go ahead and buy these, and then decide later how I want to approach, and worst case, resell if I choose to not invest in the equipment.... im not trying to take advantage of my buddy, just wondering if I should jump on it or not
but I think I have a good bank of suggestions here! thanks for everyone's replies!
" im not trying to take advantage of my buddy..."

There is no such thing here!- ERRONEOUS! If you simply ask him for a price, and he gives you what is a good price FOR YOU, you have a deal! Both parties are agreeing to a deal!..period! End of transaction.
Taking advantage is an entirely different thing, and doesn't apply here. He either wants to sell to you at a given price you want to pay, or he doesn't. Not your job to educated him that he could get more or less money elsewhere, and so forth! That would be your issue!
This is a standard situation in life, and only as long as you agree to transact. No need for some sort of savior of the sales universe to be involved.
A DEal is a deal is a deal is a deal!. Everything else is emotionalism. But, on that note, i don't typically like doing business with close friends and family, cause it can get sticky, when you deal in hard earned money. But that's my bent on the subject. All Iz sayin....