What to do with old Thiel CS-2s

I have a pair of vintage Thiel CS-2. Original version in oak. The veneer is pretty beat up, but even worse it turned out the dealer who worked on them after I had two blown tweeters (amp literally exploded) used 3M double stick to keep the grilles on. Speakers sounded off after we moved and I finally decided to pry off the grilles. Turns out *all* of the drivers are damaged. Probably by the movers, but the move was several years ago, so no way to prove it. So I have beat up CS-2 boxes with no good drivers and no grilles. Any thoughts on something interesting to do with these? Buy some drivers from parts express or madisound and just put them in? Ideas? Or are these worth something to someone?

If you are interested in keeping them, Contact Thiel as they offer a complete restoration service for older Thiels in need of TLC. They can bring them back to their full glory!
New drivers from Thiel will cost u a small fortune. I would instead just fix the surrounds then just purchase some good wood finishing at HD. There good to use for an excellent 2nd system...good luck.
I'm suspecting shipping back and forth to Thiel would preclude an economical solution. Not to mention the mark-ups that they would add to any repair parts - after all they are a for-profit business.
I would try to see if they would sell you the drivers directly or share the driver part #'s and then you could procure them yourself probably at a substantial discount IF they are still available. I'm not hopeful on either of those.
If you are successful with the drivers, then you could have the cabinets re-veneered by a local carpenter - MAYBE. I had a tough time finding someone wanting to do that kind of work. I ended up living with the crappy veneer on my speakers.
Given that I was forced to ship a 2.4 mid/tweeter driver back to Thiel for a full rebuild (rather than being able to purchase a new one), I highly doubt that they have any have anything for the 2s still sitting around.
Thiel sent out the CS 2's with the double sided tape on the grills from the factory. These speakers are underappreciated. Though they have are an exceptionally easy amplifier load, the sonic signature requires one tochoose amplification carefully. They have been reputed to be the most durable Thiels ever produced. With that said, they can be found frequently at extremely attractive prices, so the cost for the amount of refurbishing you seem to be implying they need seems imprudent. You might want to considering perusing e-bay or Craigslist for parts or salvage units.
Thanks all. I didn't mention that I did get a quote from Thiel for restoration of the drivers... I was able to buy modern, excellent speakers for less. Their price was ridiculous. And no, they wouldn't sell me the drivers. I do wood working and could restore the cabinets, but not worth it if I can't fix the drivers. I could look for salvage but I also wondered about getting parts from parts express - equal sized drivers - and just installing them. Crossover could be an issue, but maybe there is a kit that might work. Cabinets are heavy and durable. The 2s sounded great but were ridiculously sensitive to different amplifiers. I always wondered why, and the best I could tell it was because the 2s varying in their impedance a lot over the frequency range. They actually sounded best with a b&k st2140. Amps such as a Bryston 3b, a krell ks50s, etc never sounded as good with the thiels. My sense is that most modern speakers are less sensitive in this way... Might be worth calling madisound....
I should also mention that these did not have double sticky stuff on the grills when I bought them, but after the amp blowup, the Thiel restoration included the double sticky tape.. Alas this precluded taking the grilles off, so they weren't checked as they should have been. And then when I did try remove the grilles it ruined the grilles and the surface finish underneath... Thiel might make good speakers but this was an amateur solution.. If they had asked when they did the repair I would have told them not to use the tape - grilles had been fine without it from 1987-1994. Oh well
Trying to replace the drivers with randomly chosen same-sized drivers would produce horrible results. Speakers have many different operating parameters that must all be right to work correctly for a particular design. Your chances of buying even a close match without careful research are zero.

I think your best alternative to original replacements for the cone speakers is re-coning. Hopefully your tweeters are OK. If not, repair may be possible.
I've seen many pairs of CS 2's sans grill, all had the dual sided tape, including the pair I purchased new. Perhaps you had a very early pair? The grills could be removed, unfortunately doing so would remove paint from he baffle. Not really a problem as the grill on this particular model were designed to be part of the smooth detraction efforts, so it would be unwise to play them without the grills, and once the grills were replaced, one wouldn't see the paint damage.
The CS 2's has a very easy impedance load, rated at 6 Ohms nominal/ 5 Ohms minimal. Here's Stereophile's measurements demonstrating just how easy a load it was:
I've heard the CS 2's in many different set ups and with quite a few different amps in my own rooms. I ran them with B&K ST 140s for some time. I'm surprised you preferred the B&Ks to the Krell. That was one of my favorite amps with them. I ended up using ss c-j and enjoyed that combo for many years before moving up the Thiel line and changing amps with speakers.
I wouldn't recommend using random off the shelf drivers. I'd suggest find used parts on line or just ditching them and moving on.
Funny. Mine definitely didn't have it originally. And when it had been on for 15+ years it was a bear to remove and did damage. Oh well. Yes, not a problem unless one wanted to look at the drivers (not to play them, just to see the condition). The nominal load was indeed easy, but it fluctuated over the frequency range. At least mine did. More than many speakers I think. There was no question the B&K did better than the Krell at least for my pair. Go figure. The Krell was better with successor speakers, but not the CS-2s. At least to our ears - always sounded thin and underpowered relative to the B&K.

I agree with everyone - random off the shelf drivers seem like a bad idea. Probably will ditch or try this:


I guess I might just list them on craiglist and offer them as "yours if you come and haul them away". Would be a shame to just trash the cabinets. And oh, by the way, the tweeters are trashed too. I am pretty sure our movers crushed all the drivers. Not any other likely explanation. I just wish we had caught it at the time and I could have put in a claim. Part of the issue was I couldn't easily check them because the grilles were so hard to remove! Oh well.
Did you see the graph on the Stereophile link? That is one smooth, easy impedance load.
I did. I have no explanation. But mine didn't behave that way. I even tested them a bit once and they were not very even. And back in the day - late 80's, they had a reputation for being amp sensitive... Not sure how to reconcile all that. Oh well. they are gone anyway!
Actually on reading the entire review, despite the nominally flat impedance, the speakers sound like they are finicky and prone to interacting with other components. Moreover, he refers to the grilles being off in his earlier sample - I suspect they were of the same generation as mine (no sticky tape, so easier to remove). And I think I got mine in 1986-1987. So I bet I have an early CS-2, which is consistent with his description. I got mine from someone who worked at Goodwins who had had them for a year or two. So they might be very early in the production.