Originally Posted by wgerman
To those who own the CS3.7, how big is your sweetspot? Is it true the 3.7s look better in person than in pictures? How well do they disappear sonically? Does the 3.7s midrange compare with that of the electrostatics?
I am no professional reviewer so please take what I say with a grain of salt. Our 3.7 have about 150 hours of work but not driven hard so they may need another 150 hours to fully break in. Out of the box, high rolled off a bit soon, mid was recessed, low was OK but disjoint. 10 hours of initial play changed that a bit but mid was still hesitant. Now, everything sounds "together".
Our set-up (not final yet) is 8' apart on-center, no toe-in. Seating position is 9-ft perpendicular to the plane formed by the front baffles of both speakers. Speakers are at least 8-ft away from nearest side wall, 5-ft from wall behind the speakers and some 20-ft of emptiness in front of the speakers. Ceiling is 8-ft. We are still finishing up HT work so the room has low pile of junk laid about but not within 5-ft in front of the speakers.
Sitting 6 ft in front of one, leveled with the tweeter+midrange assembly, I can barely discern sound coming from the drivers. The instruments hover mostly around the speaker, not quite announcing themselves straight from the drivers. The rest of the sound stage remains viable. By 7-ft, the speaker vanishes. On older recording where they split deliberately to R and L, they cannot quite disappear of course. On other shrill recording with prolonged and intense tweeter work, then the speaker can announce itself if you happen to sit in front or near in front of one. It has to be prolonged though to pull our attention over to the speaker. On any decent recording and on good ones, 6-ft is about where it begins to disappear even if I sit in front of one.
I am unsure how to define sweet spot for these speakers; more like sweet zone? I could be all wrong because I have not yet experienced anything quite like it, not even when compared against the 7.2. Starting from the traditional sweet spot in the middle, extend in a line to the right and left all the way out until you sit in front of each speaker and the sound stage remains stable along this entire line. We are the ones moving, the "orchestra" remains where it is; exactly as it should be. Each speaker, at 9 ft away from this sweet line, never calls attention to itself. The weirdest part is to stand up, walk around out of this "sweet zone" and the sound stage remains surprisingly stable where it is. For HT use, we can easily sit two rows and not lose much, if at all. May be there are speakers out there that can do this too, so I may just be outdated but that is what we hear.
Yes, the pictures cannot show off how they look. We have the cherry and Thiel matched the grain on both speakers so they go well together. The grain is beautiful, so is the muted satin finish. The best example I can give is to find a piece of old fine Cherry furniture (Amish furniture) with fine grain, stain it with light oil to show off the grain, no shinny stuff and that is what you get. It adds a lot of warmth to the room. The fitting of the wood is also smooth and tight, no gap and no seams, really nice work. It reminds me of the finish of the Sonus Faber Amati Homage but with a natural Cherry finish. The round black bullet head is fine, my wife was worry it would look weird but no problem
I have never owned an electrostatic, no way to compare. On a good recording, a violin is convincingly a violin. A piano is a piano and vocals are as real as they get for female and male. Well recorded cymbal work can softly materialize in space as though it is in our room. There is no hint of a driver doing the work. Instruments are the ones making the sound. Dynamics is wonderful, starting and stopping on a dime and plenty fast when needed. It goes down to 33 hz so a subwoofer can help. We do not have a sub yet, we plan to get them to round out the whole spectrum.
I am not claiming it is perfect, just that to my ears, given my limited experience, I have not heard anything like this in our house. We have had a pair of 2.4's for a long time. Before that, a pair of Polk Monitor. In showrooms, I have spent an hour each to hear the Amati, B&W, Martin Logan, Thiel 7.2, and a big name with passionate followers. Thiel 7.2 came closest to my taste but the high was just a tad too hard. These 3.7's are for now, best fit for our ears.Nothing beats listening to them in person
so a visit to a dealer is worth considering. You may not like what I like.
Some CDs for reference:
TELARC CD-80402 : Viennese Violin - The Romantic Music of Lehar, Kreisler and Strauss.
Sony Classical SK66841 : MOZART The Piano Quartets with EManuel Ax, Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo and Yo-Yo Ma.
We drive them with Audio Research tube gear.
Hope this helps a bit.
[ps. "Sound stage" here means the ability to locate instruments or orchestral sections as they were arranged on a real stage for the recording. Recording that has been heavily remixed often loses spatial cues. Movie soundtracks also often lose these spatial cues. Good movie soundtracks can "appear" almost behind the screen, as though an orchestra is playing right there as we watch the movie "up front". By "stable" stage, I meant the 3.7 kept the instruments where they were as we moved from the traditional sweet spot. So it gave a sense that we were moving, not the stage.]