Thiel Audio Owner's Thread - Page 38 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1111 of 1239 Old 03-16-2015, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cawgijoe View Post
Rich......any update for us?
Still tossing and turning on it, but leaning toward picking up the cherrywood 3.7s and having them re-stained if I like them.

(I'm also in a tough work situation for a while, so don't have time to concentrate on searching, buying gear).
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post #1112 of 1239 Old 03-20-2015, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by scott911 View Post
<b>modding the cs2.4</b><br><br>
I saw a post ( that I can no longer find) where someone modified their normal cs2.4 speakers.<br><br>
They'd gotten details on what Jim Thiel had done to create the special edition cs2.4se - upgraded two capacitors per crossover if my memory serves. He posted that he'd sourced even better caps (same specs and manufacture - he just got their top-shelf caps) and was very happy with the results.<br><br>
He claimed a few bucks and some elbow grease resulted in better than "se" sound...<br><br>
I'm not ready to take a soldering iron to my own normal 2.4's (yet), but I'd like to see what this guy had done and exactly what parts he had decided to use... Anyone remember reading about this?
Out of dumb luck I just ran across this post that likely referenced my report of upgrading the caps on my 2.4 crossovers. Out of a sense of duty I joined this avsforum so the OP can contact me IF he still has 2.4s, still reads this forum, still wants to know how to go about it... I imagine this forum lets him contact me through the forum if he has >15 posts.
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post #1113 of 1239 Old 03-20-2015, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by milleman62 View Post
Out of dumb luck I just ran across this post that likely referenced my report of upgrading the caps on my 2.4 crossovers. Out of a sense of duty I joined this avsforum so the OP can contact me IF he still has 2.4s, still reads this forum, still wants to know how to go about it... I imagine this forum lets him contact me through the forum if he has >15 posts.
Yes !!! That was me. Your sense of duty, sir, is very much appreciated!

I don't know that I'd have the guts to bring a soldering iron to my crossovers, but I'd love to know what you've done. I'll pm you now. ~ Scott
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post #1114 of 1239 Old 03-22-2015, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by scott911 View Post
Yes !!! That was me. Your sense of duty, sir, is very much appreciated!

I don't know that I'd have the guts to bring a soldering iron to my crossovers, but I'd love to know what you've done. I'll pm you now. ~ Scott
Problem is, I can't PM you as a newbie until I have 15 posts, something I found out after sending you a quick reply and having it vanish. This forum probably won't let me do this either, but Scott911 can contact me direct at scottdecker9999 at gmail...
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post #1115 of 1239 Old 03-31-2015, 09:54 AM
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Well, I'm now an owner of a pair of Thiel 3.7s!

I haven't received them yet, maybe this weekend or next weekend.

I found a recent pair for sale in a very nice "morado" finish. From the photos they look gorgeous, with the type of bold, interesting wood grain that I just don't get from the regular cherrywood models I was looking at previously. Though I'm not a fan generally of the dark red stain look, so I'll likely have their color altered if I keep them.

I'm excited and also a bit nervous to see if they work out in my modestly sized room, with my amps. Mostly I'm concerned with whether the bass will be overwhelming, though I've been in touch with people who have them in similar size rooms and say they sound controlled and balanced. We'll see. Hopefully I won't regret passing up on the 2.7s.
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post #1116 of 1239 Old 04-01-2015, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Well, I'm now an owner of a pair of Thiel 3.7s!

I haven't received them yet, maybe this weekend or next weekend.

I found a recent pair for sale in a very nice "morado" finish. From the photos they look gorgeous, with the type of bold, interesting wood grain that I just don't get from the regular cherrywood models I was looking at previously. Though I'm not a fan generally of the dark red stain look, so I'll likely have their color altered if I keep them.

I'm excited and also a bit nervous to see if they work out in my modestly sized room, with my amps. Mostly I'm concerned with whether the bass will be overwhelming, though I've been in touch with people who have them in similar size rooms and say they sound controlled and balanced. We'll see. Hopefully I won't regret passing up on the 2.7s.
congrats on the 3.7s! - I just wanted to offer my two cents on color changes. I personally wouldn't do it. Stain permeates the grain of the wood, so when you add more stain, you're really blending a new pigment with the existing red pigment. You can't really think of it as changing the color like you would by applying a new coat of paint on a car. This will make the result really unpredictable in my opinion. Worst case would be a splotchy finish as the uptake of the stain may very based on a number of factors including oils that the wood has been exposed to by prior owner, how the edges of the vernier will take the stain, etc. - could end up a big mess.

Hopefully you'll love the look of the 3.7's as they are once you get used to them.
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post #1117 of 1239 Old 04-01-2015, 07:59 AM
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Thanks scott911.

Though that's the last thing I wanted to hear, since I bought these on the premise of changing the color if I am to keep them.

Before purchasing this pair I had shown the photos to 2 different wood refinishers, and each said the speaker could be re-finished in the color I want. I figure they would be experienced enough to see a veneer with a cherry stain, and know whether they could re-finish it properly or not. So I'm hoping they are right.
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post #1118 of 1239 Old 04-01-2015, 10:25 AM
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Morado is awesome and in dark red like dark cherry too, you might devalue the pair by restain it to dark cherry, as I think Morado is a non-standard wood and finish that has an 20% upcharge. Dark cherry was part of the standard wood and finish at one point, but I think Thiel moved it to the non-standard wood/stain with an up charge later. Do whatever to make you happy thou. just when you are done looking, there are 2 pr of CS3.7 available on the gon now, with what they are sking, they are practically giving them away. One with local pick up only in morado finish too.

In another news, I bought 4 Pioneer Elite In-Ceiling speaker S-IC671A the other day for upgrade my surround sound setup to ATMOS later. I think it is a mistake that Thiel discontinued the higher plane speakers now that the new Dolby new surround codec and maybe DTS:X will be using ceiling speakers, and we can't buy any Thiel ceiling speakers to timbre match our speakers. Another great move by the new management/owner.
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post #1119 of 1239 Old 04-01-2015, 12:00 PM
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Yes I've seen those other 3.7s for sale. I'd done research on second-hand Thiels, looking at their prices through the last several years. There was a glut of re-sells in later 2014. I figured this was likely due to the changes at Thiel, discontinuing the 3.7, changing their focus. So some spooked people were selling while they could, and dealers were of course giving up on Thiel and getting rid of their demos. So I figured since all those demos were gone by the end of 2014, it might be tougher to find 3.7s. But no, they are suddenly popping up everywhere for some reason. And the prices are dropping.
(I probably paid more than most are now going to pay, though my price included shipping so it works out to similar to the other prices).

Really, I'd originally wanted a pair in amberwood, then ebony. But I didn't want to wait forever, so I bought this pair since they are already dark colored, nice looking, and had the grain I wanted should I decide to re-finish them.
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post #1120 of 1239 Old 04-02-2015, 08:40 AM
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I should have my 3.7s by Friday or Saturday.

The only thing is, my damned system has seemed to reach some stage of entropy. EVERYTHING is breaking down.
Not long ago I received a new CJ pre-amp, went to happily set it up and listen, and "poof" one of my CJ monoblocks dies.
So, no listening for me.

I turn to listening to music on my home theater system but...dang...it's developed some sort of subtle distortion. I didn't want to have to replace the AV receiver before 4K specs were solid in the latest gear. Damn!

After a month in the shop and something like $800 later, the CJs are fixed. I put in my CJ pre-amp and...one channel won't work! I'm still diagnosing that. Meanwhile, I switch to my original tube pre-amp...and IT TOO develops a loud rushing hiss. Now THAT will have to get fixed.

Ok, so I'll concentrate on watching movies instead. Except...my remote control system has stopped working! Something must have jiggled loose or something when I was inserting the CJ preamp, but I'm damned if I can find out what it is.
So...I start using the system, awkwardly employing all the original remotes. I get through one movie, and my PROJECTOR stops putting out an image! I can not get that working at all.

While this is going on, the amp I use for my work (sound editing) craps out and I have to put THAT into the shop. I substitute another amp I have on hand while the first one is being fixed. THAT one starts crapping out on one channel!

There is almost nothing I own is working at the moment.

And here come the Thiels.

But this is par for the course. I am well known to be the Bermuda Triangle for technology among my audio pals. Almost nothing I ever buy, be it new or used, actually works properly on first implementation. It's a running joke that when I get any new piece of gear and my pal says "How is it?" I ask "Do you think it worked?" His reply, always "Of course not."

Sigh.

I have low expectations for the Thiels working out. It's the only way to cope.....
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post #1121 of 1239 Old 04-02-2015, 08:42 AM
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BTW, it's too bad nothing ever seemed to come of this:

http://www.cnet.com/news/rolling-sto...igh-end-audio/

After being given such amazing equipment, I could find no follow up anywhere from Rolling Stone.
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post #1122 of 1239 Old 04-10-2015, 10:25 AM
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Look what I have in my studio for review...


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post #1123 of 1239 Old 04-10-2015, 12:11 PM
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Mark, get outta here! A Thiel TT1?

You might be the first. I look forward, with an almost perverse curiosity, to reading how the new non-coherent-source models sound.

Any time frame for the review to appear?

Last edited by R Harkness; 04-10-2015 at 12:15 PM.
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post #1124 of 1239 Old 04-10-2015, 12:14 PM
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BTW,

As I mentioned, I will be picking up my pair of CS3.7s tomorrow.

I've been in touch with Thiel with various questions and I'm really glad the current management retained some of the old timers, especially in customer service. They have been very helpful and responsive on a number of fronts to my questions.
Still a class act for customer service, thankfully.
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post #1125 of 1239 Old 04-10-2015, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
non-coherent-source
Actually that tweeter/mid module reminds me of Energy's coincident source module.

"This one goes to eleven." Martin Logan Descent-i subwoofer
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post #1126 of 1239 Old 04-10-2015, 01:58 PM
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Actually that tweeter/mid module reminds me of Energy's coincident source module.
The Energy speakers would not be time/phase coherent, which is what Thiel's "coherent source" refers to. A design goal they have clearly dropped in the new speakers, sadly.
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post #1127 of 1239 Old 04-23-2015, 03:38 PM
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Well, I picked up my Thiel 3.7s on the weekend and have been dialing them in for the last several days.

First, they the Morado red finish is beautiful, it's a dark color which I wanted, though if I keep these long term I may still re-finish them.

So I was sort of rolling the dice in several ways: I have a smallish room - 13' X 15', somewhat limited ability to position the speakers (due to existing speakers that have to stay where they are, and a very large sofa intruding into the space of the room). I wanted them to work in a fairly nearfield-like position. I had what many would presume is an underpowered amp - the Conrad Johnson Premier 12 tube amps, at 140W side. Also, I have very sensitive ears - and the Thiel brand has the reputation of being in the "ruthlessly revealing" and "bright" camp of speakers. So in a way, it's almost all strikes against the Thiels working out.

Did it work?

Yes!

First of all, when I got them into my listening room and set them up, I played some music for a couple of hours through them before serious listning.
(I'm actually something of a skeptic about speaker break in, but I didn't know how long it had been since they had been used, so I thought loosening up the works would be a good precaution). Standing near them it sounded like they had NO bass at all. I literally wondered if both woofers had come loose in transit. But I came back later, did a quick set up with them just over 8 feet away, just over 2 feet from the back wall, and everything was fine, bass was there. Whew.

Though I could hear some room resonances, and a not quite coherent sound yet from them.

I have had to play with positioning quite a bit, and as usual in my room the closer I move the speakers to me, the smoother and more even the sound, and it's been true of the Thiel 3.7s. Each day I've edged them closer a bit more, re-listening to tons of tracks.

The first observation is: these speakers are NOT bright. They are just super clear and incredibly smooth, as in low of hash and distortion. This actually makes them much less fatiguing to listen to than many other speakers, IMO. Obviously rooms and different set ups will come into play.
A smallish room like mine could make for close reflections and a bright sound, but my room is quite dampened by a plush rug, a fabric ceiling treatment, big sofa, and curtains in the room. So obviously that helps. As does the "Conrad Johnson Sound" no doubt. I've been using my CJ 140W/side tube amps, with an older locally built tube preamp, and my newly purchased CJ Premier 16LS2 tube pre-amp. The sound is smoooth and fatigue free. And it's also driving the Thiels quite well. The bass re-sponse, while I'm sure it could be deeper with more slam with a hefty solid state amp, nonetheless is rich, and very well controlled. The pitch dilineation in the bass region, something that I've always loved about Thiels, is superb, making bass intruments richly differentiated, and with that tonal density Thiel's do so well. It's beutifully integrated, so that the bass is as holographic as the mids - that is a stand up bass in the far corner of a studio is reconstructed whole, so it all sounds floating free of the speaker, bass included, focused top to bottom in one spot.

I'm getting what I'd hoped for, similar to what I'd experienced with the big CS6 Thiels and my CJ amps years ago in the same room: I'm getting that amazing clarity and detail, with an organic richness and smoothness (helped by the CJ amps IMO), and I'm getting that "X factor" that I was craving, the Thiel sound: the added sense of organized sound, the focus of the instruments in the soundfield, the exceptional density to the imagine, and the liveliness of dynamic shading.

I'm a fanatic about timbral realism. A speaker has to produce organic/acoustic sources as sounding "right" to my ears, or I'm just not interested in listening. I can hear all the imaging, slam and detail in the world and wish to turn on the TV instead, if I'm not getting the tonal rightness - and that means to me wood sounding "woody," brass sounding "brassy," acoustic guitar sounding sparkly yet warm just as when I play one, etc.

I've played with different ways of feeding my CJs (from my old tube preamp, my new CJ preamp, and direct into the amps from my Benchmark Dac out), and with moving in and toeing in and out of the speakers, I've been able to get a variety of tonal balances, all smooth and clear and mostly convincing. Last night in particular using my CJ premap and adding a teeny bit of toe-in on the speakers, the tonal balance clicked into an astonishingly believable, coherent "rightness." Trumpets sounded just RIGHT in the warm brassiness, reed instruments so recognizably organic (I grew up listening to my Dad, a jazz musician/teacher, playing every instrument in the house, and I played sax, guitar, piano etc). Drum snares and bongos had that papery warmth, hand claps had the "right color" of flesh-hitting-flesh etc. Whenever this happens in a system I compare it to my own hand claps and "playing drums" on my legs and sofa, which usually reveals the difference in realism between the reproduced and real sounds.
But in this case, it was all bang on, like my own sounds could be part of the recording, and the musicians were there with me. I played a recording of me playing my acoustic guitar, and damn if it didn't nail the sound of that guitar that I play every day - and the image was utterly holographic, like my doppelganger had just appeared in the back corner of my room, speakers not even playing a part in the sound.

What about the detail to the sound? The 3.7s were regarded as an exceptionally detailed and revealing speaker. Yes, they are very detailed, but I wasn't initially knocked out by the detail. I attribute this to a couple things: 1. They do not push detail in your face by hyping detail; they just lower the noise floor so you can hear more of it if you listen. There's no added sibilance to singers etc. Just a super clear window upon very smoothly detailed voices and instruments. 2. While I often listen my Hales and Waveform monitor speakers, I'm also used to the performance of my MBL Radialstrahler omnis (121, monitor version). They still have to my ears just about the most insanely effortless detail and the most realistic tweeter I've ever heard. So I'm sort of spoiled in that way. That the Thiels come as close as they do is fantastic in of itself.

The main quality of the Thiels that stand out are just the ones noted in almost every review: it's not simply that they are "more detailed" in various ways than competing speakers, as there are many high end speakers that show you a lot of sonic detail. It's the particular character of the Thiel sound: the way it seems to ORGANIZE all the elements of a recording to perfection. All the timbral information, dynamic information, spatial information of any one instrument or voice that in other speakers can sound diffuse, are coalesced into a convincing whole. A wood block being hit SOUNDs like a solid wood object you could almost reach out and knock on yourself. A saxophone SOUNDS like a present, dense, vibrating column of air and and brass, right in front of you. The result of this "re-organization" of the sound so precisely is to clarify what is actually going on in mixes "Oh, I don't know THAT sound had always been coming from THIS instrument exactly right there, now I know what's happening more." But the result takes that step further to reality: where the air moving presence, and the dynamic intentions of the musicians becomes more notable - the liveliness just mimicks the senseation of listening to "musicians playing instruments" in front of you, rather than a hi fi system. And in this way I find myself always sucked into the PERFORMANCE of the musicians routinely, vs just "the sound." My foot is always tapping.

I actually have to watch out because the sound is so addictive, so smooth and low in distortion, that it's easy to crank up, and listening sessions of 5 hours a night have been all too easy! (Yes, I'm tired).

So, in all the important ways the 3.7s have been a hit.

Anything not amazing? My quibbles so far would be: an occasional sense of leanness to the sound. Though I'm not sure "lean" is exactly the word. I've always found the Thiel sound be to slightly reductive, though dense and satisfying. It's sort of like the double-edged sword of a speaker that adds so little to the sound - when there's deep bass in a track, it's THERE with the Thiels, but you find out lots of tracks have less bass warmth than you may be used to. Hence the 3.7s can sound more lightweight and mini-monitorish than floorstanders some times, depending on the recording. And yet can bloom with a realistic size when the recording changes. This can also be due somewhat to my going more nearfield, and taking some room bass-lift out of the equation. But I have only just begun playing with their positioning, so I'm sure I've more to discover. (BTW, I'm now at about 7' 1" away from the 3.7s, and it's working very well).

So, sonically, they have been great. There are some tracks that I still have liked somewhat better on my other set ups, but mostly the Thiels are deeply satisfying.

I still have issues to work out due to my idiosyncratic situation, though. My plan has been to store the 3.7s in another nearby room, have them on wheels, and wheel them in when I want to listen to them (I'm keeping the current Hales speakers in their position for home theater duties). But now I'm a bit afraid that raising them significantly higher will put me too far below the midrange, making for perhaps a too mellow sound. So I'll have to experiment with solutions for that. I hope I can come up with a way to keep these things :-)

Over 'n out.

Last edited by R Harkness; 04-23-2015 at 03:54 PM.
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post #1128 of 1239 Old 04-23-2015, 03:58 PM
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Look what I have in my studio for review...

Woonder if it is going to be similar to the PSB sound being designer Mark Mason came from there.
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post #1129 of 1239 Old 04-24-2015, 10:55 AM
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I'm really looking forward to Mark's review of those new Thiels, which as far as I know will be the first review available.

Though I don't see any reason to think they will sound anything other than a refined set of PSB speakers. It will still be interesting to read about how accomplished, or not, the design sounds.

Back to listening to my new 3.7s...
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post #1130 of 1239 Old 04-25-2015, 02:34 PM
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It's a bummer to have discovered this thread late, after it went quiet and Thiel is "no more."
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post #1131 of 1239 Old 04-25-2015, 04:31 PM
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I'm really looking forward to Mark's review of those new Thiels, which as far as I know will be the first review available.

Though I don't see any reason to think they will sound anything other than a refined set of PSB speakers. It will still be interesting to read about how accomplished, or not, the design sounds.

Back to listening to my new 3.7s...
Well, I do have the Imagine X2Ts in for review as well... so I'll be able to speak to that at some point. For now, the Thiel TT1 review is mere days away from completion.

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post #1132 of 1239 Old 04-25-2015, 08:21 PM
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Well, I do have the Imagine X2Ts in for review as well... so I'll be able to speak to that at some point. For now, the Thiel TT1 review is mere days away from completion.
That should be fascinating, thanks. There's certainly a family resemblance between those PSB and new Thiel speakers.
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post #1133 of 1239 Old 04-26-2015, 07:56 AM
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Rich wrote: "The first observation is: these speakers are NOT bright. They are just super clear and incredibly smooth, as in low of hash and distortion. This actually makes them much less fatiguing to listen to than many other speakers."

I have a large room (16 x 24 x 12) and you've just described the sound of my 2.7s (however, mine are driven by a Bryston 4BssT2)

George
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post #1134 of 1239 Old 04-26-2015, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Old Fud View Post
Rich wrote: "The first observation is: these speakers are NOT bright. They are just super clear and incredibly smooth, as in low of hash and distortion. This actually makes them much less fatiguing to listen to than many other speakers."

I have a large room (16 x 24 x 12) and you've just described the sound of my 2.7s (however, mine are driven by a Bryston 4BssT2)

George
Bryston & Thiels. The late Jim Thiels favorite combo.
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post #1135 of 1239 Old 04-28-2015, 06:38 PM
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Nice! R Harkness- the CS 3.7 is a very fine loudspeaker that requires a large room to really open-up and "breathe".
What other gear is in your system?
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post #1136 of 1239 Old 04-28-2015, 06:39 PM
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Mark-


very much looking forward to your impressions on the Thiel TT1 loudspeaker.
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post #1137 of 1239 Old 04-29-2015, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JA Fant View Post
Nice! R Harkness- the CS 3.7 is a very fine loudspeaker that requires a large room to really open-up and "breathe".
What other gear is in your system?
Locally built tube pre-amp.
Conrad Johnson Premier LS2 pre-amp
Conrad Johnson Premier 12 Monoblock amps
Eico HF-81 Integrated Tube amp (use it sometimes, love it)
Benchmark Dac1 (about to be replaced with a Benchmark Dac2L)
Micro Seki turntable (given to me by my father-in-law, just re-building a vinyl collection).
Rotel phono stage

Cables: it varies. I don't go in for cables making significant differences in sound. But I have a friend who has access to "high end" cables of all types, which if I need a new cable I will borrow. Hence at any one time my system may comprise of off-the-shelf interconnects/speaker cables, to crazy-priced high end cables in the mix. Whatever is convenient.

I also use my Hales Transcendence speakers (T1) for two channel listening, unhooking them from my AV receiver and hooking them up to my tube amplification/2 channel source gear.

Having paired down my speaker collection, aside from the Thiel 3.7s, the Hales Transcendence speakers, I have the MBL 121 omni speakers and a pair of older Waveform ("egg shaped") Mach MC monitors.

Music is ripped to iTunes and streamed.
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post #1138 of 1239 Old 04-29-2015, 10:28 AM
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Right On! R Harkness-


I am beginning to read more and more guys are using Conrad Johnson gear w/ Thiel loudspeakers! Who knew this combo would result in a sonic match?


Cables/Cords-wise, you can use both Audience and Audioquest products w/ C-J gear and it sounds outstanding.
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post #1139 of 1239 Old 04-29-2015, 11:18 AM
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I believe I have some Audioquest cables in my system right now. Though the CJ preamp apparently likes low capacitance cables, so I'm likely to purchase some made by Blue-Jeans, which are very low capacitance. And as Blue-Jeans cable supplies measurements and specs for their cable, you know what you are getting. With lots of high end cables I can't even get the specs! (Nor do high end dealers seem to know much about the cables they sell: if I ask about the capacitance of certain cables they sell, I get "not sure really, but they sound good" type responses).
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post #1140 of 1239 Old 04-29-2015, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Look what I have in my studio for review...

Mark, I've meant to ask: how familiar are you with the classic Thiel "coherent source" speakers?

I'm wondering because, while an assessment of the new Thiels in of itself - whether they sound any good - may be interesting, the big story is new Thiel's break from the engineering principles of the past, so a sense of what was gained or lost in performance with the new designs would be of interest.
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