Hey Guys, not sure if you Thiel fans will be interested in my final decision, but I thought I would let you know. It's always good to hear different perspectives right?
A few months ago, I contacted Matt at Audio Architect for some advice. He's a huge Dyn, Thiel, and Focal fan and convinced me they were all worth considering. My problem was room limitations. I wanted to do a complete new system in my Family room which was 18 x 16, tile floors, big window, brick fireplace and big mantle, plus my niche was only big enough to fit the tv so I had no room for floor standing speakers. Matt thought the Dyn SRs could work well as wall speakers or maybe a Thiel in ceiling set up would be nice. So, I went in for a demo. I loved dynaudio's since I am a little sensitive to shrill. Listened to the Dynaudio SRs, Focus line, and the 3.4s. Awesome speakers. Then Matt came over and looked at my room and came to the conclusion that we just wouldn't be able to make it work with the dyns due to room limitations.
Next, after many many hours of Matt's educating me and more demos, he recommended a Thiel in cieling set up. Power point 1.2s across the front and higher plane in the rear. Nice stuff for sure. I agreed, He ordered all the gear and he was ready to install it on a Saturday for me. The Friday before, I called him and asked what he thought about changing my room orientation around so I could put the TV on a different wall which would allow room for floor standers. Boy, I think he was more excited than I was. Even though he had done so much work already and could have easily talked me into sticking with the original plan, he didn't. Matt is so passionate about what he does, that he was more than anxious to send every thing back and start over. That was a hard phone call for me to make and Matt couldn't have made me feel better about it. Like Matt said, if I can go with floor standers vs. even the best in ceilings out there, I would be much happier in the end.
Needless to say, we started over and demo'ed some Thiel, Dynaudio, and Focal profile and Electra. Dynaudio was still really nice, so was Thiel, but the focal Electra's just had so much more clarity with their Beryllium tweeters. I was nervous about fatigue, but the electras didn't seem to quite get to that shrill point but still gave you tons of clarity and beautiful highs. True, there is a slight bass sacrafice when compared to Dynaudio, but I think the highs more than make up for it. It was a tough call. Many many more hours with Matt and I finally decided that Focal Electra was it. Sorry guys, I really wanted the Thiels or Dyns to win the battle, but the highs of the focals won me over. Truthfully, either line would have been awesome. Part of it came down to HT considerations and the complete package Focal could offer plus the looks had a little to do with it.
If you guys need help with anything, I would strongly encourage you to talk to Matt. He is a wealth of information and not just out for the sale or the highest margins. He wants you to be happy at all costs. You can trust that he won't sell you something because it's best for his pocket. He has a nice store down here in San Diego. Well worth the drive (if you're in southern California) to check out all his stuff or call and he can hook you up by phone and ship anywhere. Of course, don't just use him for his info and then buy off the internet. That kind of stuff is killing the industry. We have to support the local high end dealer if we want them to be around for us in the future. Remember guys, it's not all just about the cheapest price, it's about knowledge and service. I don't know about you, but paying a few extra bucks for years of knowledge is well worth it. If you want to buy the right gear the first time, talk to and buy from Matt. You won't regret it. This is what he set me up with in the end:
Focal Electra 1027
CC 1000 be Center
SR 1000 be Surrounds
SW 1000 be Sub
Sim audio Aurora 5 (200wpc)
ReQuest music server
URC MX-950 remote
Toshiba HD XA2
Samsung Blu Ray BD-P1200
Zektor MAS 7.1 switch
This setup will blow your mind.
It's not completely set up yet, but close enough to start checking out stereo and HD DVD. So far, I've only had a chance to listen to about 10 hours of 2 channel stereo and about 3 hours of HT, so this is a little premature. All I can say is WOW! I can't see how anything could sound better. The highs, the clarity, and the incredible bass from the sub give you a perma grin
. It's like a drug and I want more
. What's really cool, is that it will only get better after the break in and tweaking the speaker placement. Plus, the Sim Audio amp should be here very soon and that may enhance the sound. Right now, I am using AA's Parasound as a loaner.
Matt from Audio Architect is my new god. I need to go pray now and give thanks.
Enjoy your Thiels everyone! They're incredible speakers.