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An audition of Theil CS 3.7


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Have just spent a pleasant 2 hr auditioning a pair of Thiel CS 3.7s at Class A audio. Had to go in and pick something up and Kevin offered the chance to take a listen. Initially he had a pair of ProAc floor standers and I didn't like them at all. Something horribly wrong with the bass. So in came the 3.7's. Wow what a difference.

Had never heard this particular speaker and I have to say its very impressive. At $17k rrp its far from cheap but I have heard a lot worse for the $. IMO would certainly take these over Wilson Sasha, Alexia, B&W 802 or 800, or the big Dynaudio's. The most impressive thing was the amazing soundstage. With very little effort taken to optimise position they produced an amazing soundstage. As good as anything I have heard with a sane price.

The system was the 3.7's driven by Trigon monologue monobloc's, Accuphase C-2420 pre, and either Trigon music server or Accuphase CD player.

With the soundstaging of the 3.7's this evening was unintentionally the best demonstration of how two different front end components can influence soundstage I have ever heard. The imaging difference between the Trigon server and the Accuphase CD player was immediately obvious. Big win to the Accuphase. Not that the Trigon was bad but I did suddenly wonder how to get $11k to buy the Accuphase which is hard for a music server zealot like me to say. In any event the fact that I picked the difference so clearly tells me that these speakers are worth a harder look. And I can't help wondering how good they could be if some time was spent dialling them into the correct position.

My thanks to Kevin for his time and the offer of a special price to try and tempt me

Bad photo attached

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Disclaimer. I don't have shares in Thiel or any association with Class A Audio. Just thought to share my observations.

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Kevin sure has cleaned up that room from my last visit ;)

He has moved in the last few months. On my way there last night I drove to the old address then had to do a quick google.

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Huge call in relation to the Sasha's, I might go in for a listen.

Agree its a big call but I was more impressed by this than any time I have heard the sasha's. admittedly only in showroom etc so possibly not at their best. But then neither were the 3.7s. Don't have the bass slam but then they are also less than half the price. As a former sasha owner I would be fascinated to know what you thought. Actually the imaging reminded me of the TAD's. maybe this coincident driver tech idea has something to it. Every speaker I have heard that uses it I like.

Use the Accuphase pre and CDP if you do try it.

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Guest yamaha_man

Well from my experience the Sasha's imaging far more pin point and defined in my room.

Remembering the Sasha were there for 18 months and i played with positioning lots whilst the TAD's were placed in room and thats where they've stayed. (150kg will do that)

The TAD's have lots more of everything in my room but imaging wise the Sasha's won hands down!

Once settled in my new room i'll play with the TAD's position and get the imaging where i want it.

I remember when i auditioned the TAD's at Sydney Hifi the imaging was superb, hence moving onto them from the Sasha's.

Cheers.

Edited by yamaha_man
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Well from my experience the Sasha's imaging far more pin point and defined in my room.

Remembering the Sasha were there for 18 months and i played with positioning lots whilst the TAD's were placed in room and thats where they've stayed. (150kg will do that)

The TAD's have lots more of everything in my room but imaging wise the Sasha's won hands down!

Once settled in my new room i'll play with the TAD's position and get the imaging where i want it.

I remember when i auditioned the TAD's at Sydney Hifi the imaging was superb, hence moving onto them from the Sasha's.

Cheers.

 

as i remembered Goran put the TAD in a very small room, fully treated though. the bass was abit too much for that room, and i can't remember if they throw decent soundstage, its proper sound but not at it's best.

 

when i see speakers this big, i would prefer to put them in a 6-8m wide room with at least 8-10m length and quite possibly lossy room to give the bass room to breathe.

 

another note, speakers at this price can't be judge in 1 sitting, unless there's something terribly wrong with their engineering. proper placements, amplifiers to drive it, and reasonable room will be needed to get it play right.

 

i don't know about the Sasha, but the Alexia have multiple physical adjustments, for that alone its a brilliant engineering IMHO, where care was taken to set the speakers depending on your listening distance and height. in my recent listening session with Alexia, i can say that they are an ULTRA low distortion speakers.

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Guest yamaha_man

as i remembered Goran put the TAD in a very small room, fully treated though. the bass was abit too much for that room, and i can't remember if they throw decent soundstage, its proper sound but not at it's best.

 

when i see speakers this big, i would prefer to put them in a 6-8m wide room with at least 8-10m length and quite possibly lossy room to give the bass room to breathe.

 

another note, speakers at this price can't be judge in 1 sitting, unless there's something terribly wrong with their engineering. proper placements, amplifiers to drive it, and reasonable room will be needed to get it play right.

 

i don't know about the Sasha, but the Alexia have multiple physical adjustments, for that alone its a brilliant engineering IMHO, where care was taken to set the speakers depending on your listening distance and height. in my recent listening session with Alexia, i can say that they are an ULTRA low distortion speakers.

Sasha's have the phase correction ability also.

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Guest yamaha_man

and further note on Alexia, they use a high performance 1% Caddock resistor. some high end speakers really use the good stuff :P

All Wilson speakers use Caddock resistors. (Except for maybe the subs)

post-104726-0-86178300-1405038959_thumb.

Edited by yamaha_man
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All Wilson speakers use Caddock resistors.

cool :). i don't have much knowledge about wilson yet, the Alexia is my first for proper listening and orientation.

 

caddock resistor needs heatsink, hence the additional costs for it rather than just the price of the components.

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Please don't steal the show, Wilson's guys, this is a Thiel's thread!

As a previous Thiel owner and owned all the CS 2's and CS3.6. I was getting very close of buying the CS3.7. I love their house sound and I also owned the Sasha. They are oranges and apples. Both are difficult to work with but can do wonders when done well. Would love to hear the 3.7 if there is one around Sydney. 

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Please don't steal the show, Wilson's guys, this is a Thiel's thread!

As a previous Thiel owner and owned all the CS 2's and CS3.6. I was getting very close of buying the CS3.7. I love their house sound and I also owned the Sasha. They are oranges and apples. Both are difficult to work with but can do wonders when done well. Would love to hear the 3.7 if there is one around Sydney.

Care to expend on your oranges and apples comment. Different how? And why didn't you get the 3.7's?

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Yes, another Thiel fan here.

 

Good to read your write up Dr Nick.

Have seen those 3.7's advertised on ebay.

Bought my CS5's from Kevin and yes his room certainly does look different to what it was when I was there last as well.

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Care to expend on your oranges and apples comment. Different how? And why didn't you get the 3.7's?

Ok, I will give it a go but this will be my own opinion and can be biased. You are invited to give your options too.

Thiels to me is all about the transparency. Acoustics and voices are so clean that they are like performed in the lounge without microphones and amplifications. Its sound staging is mid hall and its musical timing and speed is one of the best. Its bass is dry, articulated but always wanting. I think they are true to life and neutral sounding speaker.

I owned the first generation Thiels since 1988. The 2, 2.2, 2.4, 3.6. After they integrated the mids and highs into one unit, I don’t like them as much and I tried Harbeths and Wilsons. Lately, I ventured in to Horns and Sets!

As for Wilsons, it is the emotion and the ‘Life like’ sound stages of you are there with the musicians that captured me. Somehow, it is less neutral then the Thiels. It is like seeing the musicians in the lounge but not unplugged. The feeling is almost surreal!  I guess if done well, Wilsons will have the sort of magic that no one can resist! So, Wilsons are speakers with strong characters and they make beautiful music.

As for my Sasha venture, I love the speaker but I just could not find the best amp for it! It needs very powerful SS amp to get the best from its bass but when you hear what magic it can also do with small tubes amps, it becomes a dilemma between choosing the two!  I guess I could be more happier with the older puppies.

Lately, I am in to Horn and Sets. I believe if done well, it could be the last of my Audio journey to Heaven.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had dinner with Jim & Cathie Thiel in Vegas in the late Eighties. I asked them who was handling their product in Australia, and Jim replied "Nobody, We've looked at the Australian market and at our prices, the potential market is zero!".

 

I'm so glad he was wrong.

Edited by Number 9
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  • 3 months later...

Sumofabeechhttp://www.thielaudio.com/products/discontinued-models/cs3-7/

They've done it. They've killed the 3.7!!!! And in the front page, the TM3 is shown as coming soon.

Huh? Where does it say the 3.7 is dead? It is worrying that the new speakers shown to date have ditched the coincident drivers. Without that they just become me too manufacturers IMO. I guess that's not surprising given that the company is now owned and run by suits.

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