I recently sold my Thiel 2.4se and am now using Klipsch La Scallas. It's a long story but I don't feel that I "upgraded" to the Klipsch. The Thiels were wonderful speakers. The Klipschs are not perfect but they do something that just feels like "home" to me. My first "good" speakers were from Allied Radio which I've heard had a connection to Altec-Lansing. They were horn mid/tweet with an acoustic suspension 12 inch woofer. Really awesome stuff for a 16 year old! I think the La Scallas are resonating with my auditory subconscious.
My "upgrade" from my Thiel CS3 speakers was to Duntech Princess speakers (the forerunner of Dunlavy SC 4s). Interestingly, both speakers use first order crossovers and are designed to be time and phase coherent. I wanted a bigger sound with more dynamics, and the Duntechs fit the bill. It helped to have a large enough listening room for them. I still get to visit my old Thiels, as I sold them to a friend
who still enjoys them.
I would only consider Verity Audio or Magico. Happy Listening!
A lot of users "move" away from Theil due to the fact that they no longer want to be restricted to using a large high current / high output amplifier.
Also, you need to distinguish between pre or post Jim Thiel speakers. IMHO, a lot of people upgrade away from post Jim Theil speakers because they can achieve better performance for much less money.
It may not be an obvious step, so what more are you craving? I still own my Thiel CS 3.6 speakers, but my musical tastes shifted as I got older seeking out a more relaxed sound. Now, I have 300b amps and Horning Speakers, so I kind of flipped 180.
What's funny, is just before I clicked on your post, I was thinking, what good value solid state amps could I pair with my Thiels as a second system? You see, I love my new setup for the jazz and such, but sometimes I miss cranking it up for rock n' roll with the Thiels.
I recently went from Thiel CS7 to Marten Django XL. I tried for the longest time to find the uograde kit to take my CS7 to CS 7.2 but no luck. The Martens offer the next level up (from the CS7) in terms of air, open, accurate mids and bottomless bass. At least in my system. (NAS, Auralic Altair, Parasound Halo JC2-BP, Bel Canto ref 1000m)
Owned Thiel 3.5s for 8yrs. Kept blowing midrange and tweeters. When Kathy Gornick said no more drivers would be replaced under warranty. I sold them. Took 4yrs of Sonus Farber, Wilson, ProAc to finally settle on Avalons
I owned the CS6 for about 10 years and when I decided I wanted a different sound, I bought the Harbeth M40.1. I've had my 40.1 speakers for over 4 years and I have no desire to change.
Your post is one of most insightful tomes I've read on A'gon .
We think we control our brain , it controls us .
Its always looking for a "home" stasis down where things are "resonating with my auditory subconscious " .
It doesn't sound right -until it sounds right!
I wouldn't say that I upgraded from Thiel but I would say that I augmented my available speakers by buying a big pair of active ATCs. They don't make me like my Thiels any less but they do some things that the Thiels wont, like play very loudly. They are a bit more satisfying on large scale orchestra or meaty hard rock than the Thiels. The Thiels are better with small scale stuff and at lower volumes.
Theil are excellent speakers! My suggestion is Bower and Wilkins speakers! B&W! Pricy but superb sound!
If one must divert from Thiel, and wants B&W, go for the 805N/805D and a nice REL subwoofer.
I may be able to answer the OP question soon, but let me say that trying to "upgrade" from Thiels is very, very hard...;-)
I had B&Ws for a long time. First the N804 and then the N802. While I had the 802s I bought a pair of used, old Thiel 2 2s to try them out. I really liked them so a couple of years later I replaced the N802s with Thiel 3.7s. In my opinion the Thiel 3.7s are superior to the N802s in almost every way. The B&Ws will play louder and have more bass but the Thiels have more defined, better bass, clearer midrange, better off axis response leading to less room sensitivity, better midrange intelligibility and a smoother tweeter. It's not that the B&Ws are bad, just that the Thiels are better in every area I care about.
I was surprised by this since B&W is a much larger company with a far larger research budget and all that. I decided that I think B&W, like a lot of producers of high end products, is more concerned with marketing talking points than they are with performance. It's fun to talk about all of the characteristics of B&W speakers. The big black head, the Kevlar midrange, there are a ton of things to talk about. This reveals, in my opinion, how performance can take a back seat to talk and aesthetics in high end audio. Whenever a company's marketing material starts talking about a lot of fancy manufacturing techniques and exotic materials I tend to lose interest.