You must learn to take a lot of information with a grain of salt. Everyone has an opinion about everything. My best advice is to listen and judge for yourself if a particular speaker or whatever is good for YOU.
As for your original question, I don't think anything is wrong with Thiel speakers. They are time aligned and phase correct. A lot of thought and engineering has gone into the design. I have never owned Thiels but have listened to them many times. I settled on Vandersteen for my on personal reasons. They are also phase correct and time aligned. Thiels are well made speakers. Jim Thiel uses his own designs and does not source drivers from other sources. they must be set up correctly and are generally in need of good amplification.
I have tried many cables of all prices and finally settled on Harmonic Technology Pro Silway MK.II. Here again you need to try and Harmonic gives you a 30 day trial at which time you can return the cables for a refund from your dealer. For a silver cable, they sure are smooth without loss of detail. I personally like them better than the Nordost SPM line. The Silway retails for $399/1 meter or $250 for 1/2 meter. Not bad considering the performance.
I also like the Tara Labs ISM The 2. They are also very smooth and detailed. The 2 is more neutral than the cheaper Air 1 series. However, The 2 is a bit pricey as in $1395 for .6 meter.
I agree with Bigtree. Nothing is wrong with Thiel they are very good speakers, well designed and built. They do need good amplification to get the most out of them. I have a pair of 3.6's and utilize Conrad Johnson electronics and audioquest cables. I love the Thiel / CJ combination the Thiels are very accurate and detail. The only speaker I thought about replacing them with are 7.2's. I would highly recommend Thiel speakers. Dunlavy also makes an outstanding speaker although I have no personnel experience with them.
I'll respond since I have made some remarks about Thiel speakers here on Audiogon that could be misconstrued or misinterpreted as being negative or somehow disparaging.
There is absolutely nothing "wrong" with Thiel speakers. They sound very good if used within the proper parameters. As Bigtee states they are phase and time coherent and that is a wonderful thing, but they are designed to be listened to from a particular distrance and they will sound considerably better at that distance because that is the distance at which the sound will arrive "in phase" at your ears. As a general rule Thiel speakers are designed to be phase coherent for a larger listening room, i.e. a longer distance from the speakers, than many customers assume. I am sure Jim Thiel would be more than happy to walk you through the setup of your speakers. Jim is a very intelligent engineer and has contributed a lot to our industry, and his company is great to work with both from a consumer's and a dealer's perspective (I am not a Thiel dealer but know Thiel dealers who say Jim is a class act through and through)
The other important consideration is amplification - and this is where my remarks have been directed recently in these forums. There is nothing "wrong" with Thiel speakers so long as you run them on a sufficiently capable amplifier. Thiel's are very difficult to drive because their impedance is generally quite low. This means that tubes are pretty much out of the question. They simply will not be able to keep up with the current demands, and the sound will suffer considerably as a result.. But you cannot arbitrarily select a solid state amplifier for Thiel's either. The amp must have high current output and must be comfortable with extremely low impedance levels (2 ohms, ideally lower) Amplifiers that make use of current limiting circuitry or that do not play nice with loads under 4 ohms are poor choices. Again, I am sure Jim Thiel would be more than happy to advise you in this matter. I have never heard of a customer calling Thiel and receiving misleading information in the interest of closing the sale. He will tell you the truth and tell you whether or not your room is big enough or your amp is capable of driving his speakers.
If you set them up properly and use the right amp, Thiel's can be magical. But they are tricker to incorporate into one's system than some other speakers which have less onerous demands on the amplifier and don not require such a large listening room.
The response from Symphony Sound is "on the mark". The biggest issue with Thiel speakers is finding a compatible amplifier, due to the impedance curve of the speakers. You should also try to audition the Thiel's and compare them with several other time-aligned and phase-accurate speakers, such as Vandersteen and Dunlavy.
Richard Hardesty has written fairly extensively about the Thiel speakers in one issue of his online audio publication, "The Audio Perfectionist". If you will contact me by private E-mail, I will forward Hardesty's extracted comments to you.
I also agree - nothing wrong with Thiel's. I have owned Thiels for quite some time. There is a downside - a sort of a Catch 22 - they will sound their best with SOTA electronics. Not only sound their best, but actually compete with speakers that cost up to four times their price (I know - I've auditioned lots of 'em). And that's the catch - why buy $3,000 speakers when you can afford SOTA?
What I like about them is that they do everything an ideal speaker is supposed to do quite well. In other words, they don't excel in one particular thing, but maximize the performance of all facets of speaker designs to the extent that they can.
As for cables, the MIT 330/750 series work very nicely.
All I can say is that I'm a long time Thiel owner and all the advise above is right on! Don't be afraid to call Thiel, their customer service is second to none.
SS: good response!
What I'd like to add is that Thiel has always taken the flat, neutral spectral response school of crossover design and tweeter padding, so his speakers sound lean and too-bright in most systems. Adding a flat, therefore bright-sounding Harm Tech or Nordost to a Thiel-based system is not to my thinking a wise choice UNLESS your upstream CDP is VERY warm and/or your room is VERY damped.
A high-current, ballsy amp is required, along with sufficient listening distance for proper coherence, as stated above. But if you start with a flat cable with your leannish 2.3 you may find that engineering a slightly-tilted
spectral response (what most of us prefer) to be an uphill (no pun intended!) battle.
So make sure you sit far enough away, without pushing the 2.3 back, and therefore foreshortening the soundstage (ouch!), dampen the floor, sidewalls, and possibly the ceiling (least important), and then tweak your front end and its IC for final optimization.
FWIW Thiel's latest 1.6, although lacking in the bottom octave, and limited in SPLs, is DECIDELY warmer in signature to its brethren the 2.3, 3.6, CS6, etc.
Interesting. Is Jim relaxing a bit? Ha.
I have had a pair of Thiel CS2.3's for about 18 months. The Thiel sound is fast, detailed and transparent and the CS2.3's have it in spades. I have auditioned many speakers up to and including JmLab Utopia's and Revel Salons. I prefer the CS2.3's to all of them and I won't apologize for it.
There are some people who think that Thiels are bright. For those people there are proacs or any other speaker with a blanket thrown over the tweeter and midrange. Each to his own. Let each person vote their preference with their own money.
Back to the Thiels and the CS2.3's in particular. As mentioned previously they are designed to be listened to at least 9-10 feet from the speaker so that the drivers can properly integrate. Thiel mentions this in their documentation. They require good amplification, preferably an amp that can double down to 2 ohms. A pass x250 would work nicely. The x150 will probably also work well as long as you listen at reasonable levels, <100db. BTW, I was bothered by the fact that the Stereophile review on the CS2.3 was conducted with the VAC 70/70 tube amp. IMHO there is no way the reviewer could get the best out of the Thiels with this amp. However Thiel has since used VAC amplifiers with their equipment at CES so what do I know.
Because of their resolving and detailed character the Thiels will be very sensitive to placement and to changes in cables. However I think cables are a blunt instrument when you are trying to tune a system. I recommend a TacT RCS so you can have the maximum amount of control and flexibility in tuning your system.
All good points above. Matching amplifiers is important not just for Thiels if you want to approach perfection. A speaker that works well with a lot of amplifiers is less likely to be great with any one amplifier. Just like Pavarotti is great at opera, he is not very good with other music styles. Where as the girl that won the America idol competition can sing many styles well, but she is unlikely to be great at any one style.
So think in terms of a whole system, not individual components.
At a local dealer while the 2.3 was hooked up, somebody did make a comment that it was bright and nasty. When I looked at the amp and speaker wire hooked up to it, I realized that the sound was purely the sound of the amp and wire. Big emphasis an purely. I thought they were awesome. I bet finding hearing what a speaker cable sounds like would be easy with them.
With those, the big question is, what does the amp sound like.
Thiels, love 'em or leave 'em right? I'm one of them that has been stuborn, and stuck with the Thiels. I've own the 1.5s,2 2s, and 3.6s. I am curently driving the 3.6s with Pass Lab Aleph 1 monoblocks 150w, Audiotruth Dragon silver speaker cables, Monarchy 22C DAC,and transport pluged directly to the amp with WireWorld gold Eclpise 2 ICs. Even though all my gear is warm, it did not come together until I incorporated four 11" ASC tube traps in my small 19'X 12' listening room. Room treatment was my best upgrade!
Sweet is not a word you hear often to describe Thiels. Believe it or not my Thiels are often Sweet. Nothing wrong with that..........!
Have you hugged your Tube Traps lately?????
I have a pair of Thiel CS 2.2 rosewood speakers with original double packaging boxes and all correct inserts. I am very motivated to sell these speakers at a realistic price. The fabric on the grills is loose in a couple of places and the passive radiators need to be glued back into place. I really do not have any space for such a project and have not used the speakers (in favour of my Audio Note speakers and little tube amp) in quite some time so I just want to sell them.
If you are handy with glue you can get these speakers for a Very Reasonable Price.
Let me know. By the way, all those comments about Thiels are true. I used to use a Levinson M 27.5 to drive these speakers and felt no need for a subwoofer and they sounded great and played both soft and very loud. I returned to the tube world and that is why they are available.
Sugarbrie - I would definitely agree with you that matching amplifiers and speakers is important in the case of every speaker, not just Thiel's. However I would like to rephrase your next statement. I do not believe it is fair to say that a speaker which will run on a wide variety of amps cannot sound as good as a speaker which is more limited insofar as which amps will drive it properly. There are many wonderful speakers which have a relatively benign load and sound as good as Thiel's (different - but just as good) But I think perhaps what you were getting at is that a speaker which is unable to reveal the differences between two amplifiers is clearly inferior to one which is able to do so.
Incidentally as somebody pointed out - the newest Thiel speakers are starting to sound a little warmer and will not sound as bright even on brighter amplifiers. Also the impedance characteristics of these new speakers is considerably more benign than any previous Thiel. I think Jim Thiel may be making an effort to develop a speaker which is a little less picky about the amps which drive it - we may see a tube friendly Thiel yet.
Hackmaster, I don't think the newest Thiel's speakers impedance load is that much different than his other recent entries. They are more sensitive. Some of Thiels older models were more tube friendly, particularly the CS-2's with a 6 Ohm nominal, 5 Ohm minimal load and The 3.5's that were 4 Ohms nominal , 4 Ohms minimal load. The 3.5's did require a beefy tube amp due to the use of an active equalizer. While Thiels recommended at least 50 watts that rating was in reference to standard quality solid state ratings where the amps would double down. As such one would need a tube amp with double that rating from it's appropriate tap. These impedance loads were very steady compared to most other speakers. Unfortunately high powered tube amps usually(!) cost more that similarly powered solid state amps. Most amps enjoy the freedom from roller coaster demands that steady loads provide. The point being that it's not that all Thiels have been unwilling to work with tubes, it was just usually more expensive to do right.
I agree Hackmaster. You said it better than me.
I think that Thiel's are basically a very demanding speaker. At the same time, they are not very forgiving either. This can mean a LOT more work for someone interested in running them than if they chose a speaker that was "less accurate" and / or "less reactive".
As such, most of the task of getting the best from a set of Thiel's is proper placement, listening distance and finding complimentary equipment. While this is a large percentage of making any system "sing", such factors play a bigger role in specific situations. This is one of those situations.
The bottom line is that Thiel's will typically not allow you to "skimp" on any aspect of system performance i.e. components, placement or the amount of "elbow grease" that it takes to make every aspect as good as is possible. I would not call these speakers "user friendly" if one simply wants to be a "user" of a system. You will have to get actively involved in helping the system make music and figuring out what the best method to do so involves. Sean
I do have to take a little exception about the generalization of Thiel models becoming more benign loads as time goes by. My 2.2's are actually an easier load than the 2.3's which have succeeded them, and in a smaller room I was able to drive them very well with a (tube) 45wpc C-J MV-55, which has standard 4 ohm rated output taps. When I moved to a larger room, the C-J ran out of steam, and I now use VTL MB-185 Sig's (also tube) with excellent results.
For a room that is not very large, or for listening at moderate levels, I am sure that the choice of the Pass X-150 should be a fine one. When I was using SS amplification before on my 2.2's, I did not have good results, because Thiels demand better quality electronics than the NAD and entry-level Classe I owned at the time. With power as clean as the Pass, there will be nothing nasty to be revealed by the speakers in that department.
Tubemiser's experience with acoustic treatment is indicative of the wide dispersion Thiels feature. Keep your 2.3's well away from side walls, and set-up along the room's long wall (firing across the room) is often preferable if you can still maintain a 9' - 12' listening distance without putting your head closer than 18" from the rear wall. Toe-in is discouraged by Thiel in their literature, but most owners, myself included, have found that the speakers actually do not sound their best when aimed straight ahead, instead needing at least a little angling in, and I now point mine right at the ears in my bigger room.
Thiels sound good when set-up with wide separation, side wall clearances allowing. If your room permits (a 30" - 60" side distance is mandatory), try putting them around 9' - 10' apart and listening from 10' - 12' (again, toe-in will be required for focus). If the room is a little small for this, position the speakers as far apart as you can to still listen from the equilateral point or a little farther (however, if you can't get more than 8' minimum distance at the listening chair, then it's time to start looking for different speakers). Proper front wall distance will probably fall in the 24" - 48" range, depending on your room's bass characteristics. Also, your listening chair should be one that does not elevate your ears too much; the best listening axis is a little lower or no higher than the tweeter (if your floors are not carpeted, try getting cups to allow you to still use the spikes for their added height, as well as the stability and rigidity). And make sure you use speaker cable of a quality comensurate with the amp and speakers themselves, one that puts a lot of copper between 'em - wimpy wires here will screw up the whole thing.
(Then be prepared to start upgrading any sources not up to snuff, as they will have no place to hide! ;^)
Thiels are great speakers. They have a wonderful clarity and have a very detailed sound. Someone on these threads said they matched them with Conrad Johnson solid state amps which would be a fanstastic match. The musical of the CJ would probably be pretty good with the detail of the Thiels. I have Revels which I felt were a little more musical but I would be real happy with Thiels.
Again Sean and Zaikesman are right on. I should point out that a lot of the caveats are with respect to getting the most out of Thiels. In many ways they are easier to place than some other audiophile speakers. Compared to many panel speakers the Thiels are a lot less fussy.
I am in agreement with Sean, Thiels are not "User Friendly". The work and involvement has been intensive. The bright side is that for every change made, a small tweak or a new component, the Thiels will reveal the merits of those changes. There were never any second guessing if my changes were synergisticaly correct. It was frustrating at times but always Fun.
I currently am driving a pair of 3.6's with a Conrad Johnson Premier 16lsII preamp and MF2500 power amp, audioquest cables, and SCD-1 front end. The sound is simply amazing the demensionality of the music is so real. My duaghter playes the violin / piano and I the piano and the air around the instruments through my speakers very nearly duplicates the real thing. What more can I say!!!! If you seek realism in your music i.e. classical / jazz this is about as good as it gets.
Since no one has mentioned this, I figured I'd toss it out and read the responses.
Looking back a few years at a Stereophile review of the Thiel CS6 (March 1998), Stereophile reports problems with its first pair of speakers, confirmed by Jim Thiel. Does Thiel go to every buyer's house to personally ensure that the speakers are right? Knowing he doesn't -- and that defective speakers get shipped -- should be enough to scare potential buyers away.
Furthermore, Stereophile reports problems with the midrange, saying it lacked "ultimate clarity or cleanness." John Atkinson also wrote, "There was a feeling of reticence in this region, described by one visitor as a 'hooded' quality, that I couldn't eliminate no
matter how much I fooled around with placement."
So while there were major problems with the midrange (of the replacement pair of speakers), the most important portion of a speaker's response, Stereophile highly recommend the nearly $8,000 Thiel CS6. That should tell readers all they need to know about the integrity of Stereophile.
If you want a phase and time coherent speaker, buy either a Vandersteen or, better yet, a Dunlavy. You'll save a lot of money and get a better speaker.
9rw thanks for the unbias imput. Just his understanding of Thiels. Take it for what it's worth to you. My point is that the 1.6's are a 2 way with a 6.5 inch woofer going for $2k+, that's way out of line. "wheres the bass?" Onto the 9rw's note. Yes if a speaker has problems in the mids, THE most critical region, and at a woooopping eight grand!, we've got problems, big ones! I expect close to perfection in every area for that money.
I'm sure that other manufacturers send out items that aren't up to snuff occasionally. I wonder how many of these other manufacturers would be so quick to admit it, and how many would have the outstanding customer support Thiel has to rectify it. Some people don't have the room to support deep bass but still seek quality sound for that room. Thiel offers different speakers for different applications. I've seen much more expensive speakers than the Thiel 1.6's that offer even less bass. Yes the Dunlavy's and the Vandersteen's are worthy of comparisons, but that doesn't necessarilly make them a better purchase for a given application.
I thought Ronip is interested in the CS2.3's. What does that have to do with the CS6's and whatever midrange problems JA remarked upon? In any event Thiel has excellent customer service and a 10 year warranty.
While i don't know the specifics of the situation, i do know that the original Dunlavy SC IV's actually ran the midrange drivers down below their point of resonance. As anyone that has ever tinkered with speaker design knows, this is a BIG "no-no" if there ever was one. Mike aka "Magnetar" from AA had a pair of these and that is how i found this out. From what he told me, he had a "lot" of communications with Dunlavy about this and none of it was pleasant. Sean
I see that Tweek has not lost any of his enthusiasm for publicly doubting the 1.6's despite the fact that he still has not heard them. Tweek, did it ever occur to you (who apparently lives for spec's such as driver diameters) that JT made a very deliberate decision to limit the size of the 1.6's mid/woofer to be best suited for achieving seamless integration with the tweeter in a 2-way design? (FWIW, Talon has just introduced a $7,000 2-way with a 10" woofer - how well is *that* going to mate with the tweeter?) I think it's an eminently reasonable design compromise (and all designs are compromises) to sacrifice low bass extension in a small 2-way to achieve high efficiency and uniform power response. As for characterizing 9wr's input as "unbias(ed)" - as though you could even know - how about trying 'inexperienced' instead? I can't help but notice that he never claims to have actually heard any Thiel speakers; he's merely regurgitating JA's verdict with a negative spin in order to provoke comment.
OK 9rw, here's my comment then: Any adult-minded consumer knows that it's always possible for even the best-quality products to suffer the occasional defective example - for cryin' out loud, the freakin' space shuttle sometimes receives defective components. Not only would I wager that Thiel's QC is the equal of any in the industry (Dunlavy and Vandersteen included), but they supply a 10-year warranty standard, and are universally acknowledged champs at taking care of their customers after the sale, something I can personally attest to. If your criteria for becoming the purchaser of any marque is that they must never have experienced a defective sample, then enjoy listening to nothing but the sounds outside your window, my friend.
As to your 'point' about JA's review and the CS6's class "B" Stereophile recommendation, it was made quite explicit that the slight midrange quality JA perceived in his auditioning was indeed the very thing which kept this model from achieving an "A" ranking. The degree of this deficiency was obviously not found to be severe enough to prevent the CS6 from still qualifying as an excellent speaker overall, something the review also made clear. Far from being indicative of some sort of favoritism as you imply, a "B" ranking is in reality no great compliment to a speaker in the CS6's price range (that is, in this time of runaway 'grade inflation' in the rankings), and despite his owning a pair of CS2.2's for a while as a personal reference, I have found JA to be somewhat less than completely won over by Thiel products in general, respecting as he does their level of engineering and execution, but doubting a bit that JT's is necessarily the best approach (meaning mostly his priorities of time-aligned, first-order design).
You bring up Dunlavy and Vandersteen; it is my own feeling that, along with Thiel, both of these brands have also possibly suffered somewhat in Stereophile's rankings due to JA's acknowledged difficulty in accurately measuring full-size first-order designs. I do not take lightly the vast experience JA brings to judging speaker sound, but I have in the last few years become increasingly suspicious that JA's 'subjective' impressions are comforming too closely to his limited measurements for comfort. The infamous episode of the ranking demotion given the Dunlavy SC-IVa was the first example of JA's conferring this consequence upon a product he did not personally originally review. In that case, it was supposedly because JA allegedly felt the Dunlavy was too bright in narrow band of the low treble - *after measuring the speaker* (even though his public debate with John Dunlavy was ostensibly about ultimate bass extension) - but the net effect is that a speaker even more expensive than the CS6 is now also "B" ranked. (Compare such treatment to that bestowed the Triangle Celius, a $2,000 speaker JA hasn't auditioned or measured, but is "A" ranked by virture of ST's recommendation.) This is not to say that a "B" ranking shouldn't be regarded as a complimentary assessment in an ideal world (or that the Triangle might not be a fine speaker), but that if you're looking for evidence of a lack of integrity or consistency on the part of Stereophile (not difficult to find these days), you're going about it backwards - the "B" awarded the CS6 would probably qualify as one of the more realistic grades they've given, were their ratings system left with even a passing resemblence to its stated criteria.
As for your statement about saving "a lot of money", the last I looked, Dunlavys and Thiels were pretty comparable in that department across their respective line-ups. Vandersteens are generally cheaper for their size than those two, but also do not pretend to offer the same level of cabinetry luxuriousness (though the Five, with its half-veneered cabinet, reasonably falls within the bounds set by the other two brands). Actually, I find your criticism in this regard a little strange, because I think the truth is that all three of these fine brands sensibly exemplify a non-extravagant approach to pricing a quality product in the high end, and the sales are there to prove it.
I personally prefer panels (currently own the great Magnepan 3.6/R) but the Thiel CS6´s are probably the best
"boxes" I´ve ever heard. Great bass, tight, "fast" and articulate.
The 6´s I heard (at a dealer) were hooked up with VAC amps
and AQ Argent cables, a truly amazing sound.
Zaikesman makes several fine arguments, some of which, however, can be refuted rather easily. First, I have in fact heard many of the Thiel speakers, including the CS6 . The local high-end shop is a Thiel dealer. Also, let me hasten to say that I've heard far worse speakers than Thiel. And I'm hardly "inexperienced." I've been involved in this hobby for 24 years and have heard many high-end speakers from many of the big names in the industry.
Moving on, drawing any comparisons between an incredibly complex space shuttle and a pair of speakers is plain silly. It's not asking too much for a manufacturer of $8,000 speakers to make sure that they perform as intended. Or perhaps they did. Draw your own conclusions.
As for saving a lot of money by purchasing Vandersteen or Dunlavy, those savings result from not having to break the bank on an amplifier and cable. Thiels are very inefficient and fussy where cables are concerned, normally needing something like MIT or Transparent Audio to tone them down. That in itself demonstrates a problem.
As for Stereophile, all you have to do is look at how small the issues have become and how often you receive offers for subscriptions at rock bottom prices to realize how far the magazine has fallen. I realize that that's not news to anyone who has been active in this hobby for any length of time.
And, yes, grade inflation is rampant at Stereophile. Still, a pair of speakers that retail for $8,000 should not have the obvious flaws JA observed and still warrant a recommendation of any kind. Stereophile has a habit of using measurements only when it's convenient. If the editors like a particular designer or company, they explain away poor measurements as "room artifacts" or "aberrations." If the editors don't have a fondness for the company, they condemn the speaker, even though as you point out, their measurement techniques are flawed.
My suggestion to Ronip is nothing elaborate or original: Simply listen to several speakers, including the CS2.3, before buying anything. And enjoy the music.
Glad you've heard what you condemn, 9rw - only problem is, you don't offer your own opinion of them. As for refuting the remainder of my 'fine' arguments 'rather easily', well, I guess you must enjoy keeping us in suspenders. ;^)
IMO, Thiels will always attract the kind of negative attention this thread was started about, mostly because they do what they do so very well, and are quite successful in the market as a result. There is perpetual room in the high end for those who relish rooting against the overdog. Love 'em, hate 'em, or indifferent to 'em as speakers, the fact remains that were Thiel not so preeminent in the industry, they wouldn't be a target for this sort of thing. They're not the enemy, folks.
Yes, the Thiels require a quality amp, and Porsche's require high test. Hardly as demanding as some other speakers, like certain Apogees. There are some relatively inexpensive amps up to the job. However, the Thiels will be transparent enough to appreciate better quality stuff. One needs to use the appropriate tools for the job. As far as needing particular cables to tone down a problem, I beg to differ. I have used the rather inexpensive and fairly neutral (it's all relative) Straight Wire with much success for many years. As for Sterophile's testing procedures and recommendations I'm sure most everyone here is sophisticated enough to know tht Zaikesman was right on. I can hardly wait untill the time when everything worked perfectly all the time. Till then I'll suspend my move to Utopia. Even very expensive luxury cars have recalls. I'd venture to say that Thiel probably has had less defective products leave their house than most others in the industry. In the mean time I'm content knowing I'm dealing with a company that makes a top quality product and has the best people offering the best customer service in the industry. Just ask anyone who has ever dealt with Shari at Thiel.
this thread is exactly like i was thinking of, i think i learn more about thiel.
After some lisening i am happy with it.
I think i buy the cs 2.3, i know it's perhaps dificult speaker, but also i think they will leaave me a room for future upgrade of ampflication and source.
Ronip, you'll love the 2.3's (I loved mine until I replaced them with the 6's). To answer your question, you may want to check out the MIT speaker cables (Joe Abrams sells a lot here on Audiogon and is a class act) to go with those -- it's a match made in heaven. Plus, listen to Tubemiser and check out some acoustical treatments -- that is a good idea with any set-up. Good luck.
I own a pair of Thiel CS1.5
I have a little integrated naim amplifier.
I have the feeling that the sound is too smooth, not detailed..I would need more medium on voices..
What happens? Is naim not aggressive enough???
I think you may have answered your own question. "little" Naim. From the posts I've read and my brief audition of the CS1.6 the Thiel love and need their power to sound their best.
I own a pair of 2.3s. For a few years, I've paired them with a 60 watt VAC Avatar tube amp. Nordost SPM ties everythng together. Absolutely loved it. Even in triode (30 watts). This in mid-sized typically damped room.
By the way, VAC and Kevin Hayes is another class act.
Then, in part due to listening to all the posts about the Thiels needing mucho power, I succumbed to the upgrade bug and the heady excitement of the Audiogon auction. (I agree that the Avatar didn't provide the punch on the low end this aging rocker missed.) So - now I'm using a CJ Premier 16 and Pass X250. Now have a little more and tighter bottom end (the sound, not me!) and a more truthful mids/highs, but you know, I sometimes miss how my Avatar would lie to me. There are some things I just don't want to hear!
So - I guess I'm saying that the Thiel 2.3s need SOME power - probably no SETs should apply - but the quality of that power is more important.
I auditioned a pair of CS 1.6's at a local high-end store recently.
They seemed to be good speakers, but I'm not sure they're worth over $2000. The bass extension was fine - they seemed to go a little deeper than the specs indicate. However, there was a room-related resonance (according to the dealer) which gave some of the bass notes a boomy quality. Farther up, they were pretty neutral (I used the Editor's Choice CD). Overall, the sound was good, but not as good as I might expect for the price. They had a little "bubble" around instruments at times, perhaps a result of associated equipment, which sounded unrealistic to me.
I own and like a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 2's, which go down about as far as the Thiels and are almost as neutral. They retail for $400/pair. They aren't perfect, but I think the value/money ratio is quite good.
The 1.6's are reputed to be much easier to drive than earlier Thiel models.
Wouldn't you expect a dealer trying to sell an expensive speaker to have treated the room? Otherwise they have to "explain" the room problem to customers.
Also, when listening to a system at a dealer, it is hard to know what you're hearing, if you don't happen to have the same equipment at home. They used an MF upsampling CD player with tubes, and Classe amplification - both of which are quite different from my equipment.
Finally, I think one should be able to expect more quality control in the high end - one reads too many examples of expensive products which are essentially "broken" or not working. Sending products like this to a magazine for a review is really dumb and, if it reflects the general qc of the company, a reason not to buy from them.
The part of the equation that settles in the amp as well is the interconnects and speaker wire, if you have neutral wire it keeps the amp sounding much more like it should and doesn't bring the coloration into the system that makes amps not work. I have seen many people try five or six amps that none of worked due to what seemed like the unforgiving nature of the speakers, put neutral cable in and all of the amps would work but you can pick the one you like the character of without having a downside.
I was working with a guy who had the big Thiels and he was having such a difficult time finding wire that he thought he had an amp problem. Neutral wire makes a huge array of amplifiers work in a way that they don't when mid grade wires are in the system. The best JPS costs less than mid-grade Transparent, Audioquest, MIT, Nordost, etc.
I just was looking at what BigTee was saying and most of it is good, but the part where he says he has not had Thiels is the part to pay attention to, he cannot recommend wire that works for his Vandys for Thiels, that is exactly what will get you into trouble, Vandersteens are not ruthless. The best thing to do is ask Thiel owners what they have settled into as wires that seem to allow a wide latitude of electronics to be used. When you find that formula you'll know you are on the right track.
What sets the Thiels apart is their high resolution like Watts Puppys that will reveal wire coloration as flaws. You actually need wire like would be used with the WP7's but most are working with a different budget than those who pay $25k for their speakers. Get the good neutral wire and you'll be able to use any good electronics.
Put up a thread asking Thiel owners what wire is working and you'll see a pattern form.
I dont really consider the fact that the Thiels require powerful amplification a flaw, more like a characteristic of the speakers. Getting the cables right is a major part of really enjoying the Thiels. They will show the true character of cables like no other speakers I have heard. I have tried many any have settled on the Audioquest DBS cables from start to finish. Right now I have Panthers from table to phono and from phono to preamp. I've got Cheetahs from CDP to preamp and preamp to amp. I'm using Mont Blanc speaker cables.
I looked inside some Thiels. They used single-core internal wire. FWIW