Any Thiel CS3.6 owners?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by BossCo, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. suntzu

    suntzu Member

    Hi folks,

    I have a friend who has a pair of Thiel 3.6s paired with Mark Levinson ML20 and Pass Aleph P preamp. Though I have an Audio Note system, I was astounded by how dynamic his system sounded. Quite a different tonal palette from the signature Audio Note sound. I've listened to a wide genre of music on his system and I've enjoyed it very much. Especially for rock music.

    So this brings me to my question. I've been following this thread with great interest and am very curious whether a pair of Line Magnetic mono blocks LM 503PA (24W Class A) or a pair of Consonance Cyber 800 mono blocks (78W per amp, x4 EL34 tubes per mono block, Ultralinear) could work with the Thiel 3.6s. I have access to both mono blocks. They're fairly heavy to carry. So before I lug either of these mono blocks to my friend's place for a fun listening session (he doesn't believe tube amps have enough juice to drive his 3.6s) I'd like some advice which pair of mono blocks might be more suitable for the Thiel 3.6s?

    丽磁音响有限公司 »
    http://www.opera-consonance.com/products/cyber800.htm

    I've been scouting around for high powered USA tube amps that Warren uses with his Thiel 3.6s but they're not available in my country. We do have access to high powered Opera Consonance tube amps though.
     
  2. audioguy3107

    audioguy3107 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Here's a link to the original Stereophile review for the 3.6. Thiels are known to be especially current hungry and using lower powered amplifiers may not be the best choice. While an amplifier like the LM monos may work per se, you probably wouldn't get the most out of them as you would a high powered solid state amplifier. Check out the measurement section of the review.

    Thiel CS3.6 loudspeaker »

    - Buck
     
    brew ziggins likes this.
  3. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City, USA
    If you read some of Warren's comments in this thread, I think having 4 power tubes per channel is the way to go. So, the Consonance would probably be your best bet. Of course, your room and the type of sound you want is another factor...might just have to try the combo and see if it works out for you - then report back!
     
  4. goldwax

    goldwax Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Update: Well, decided to screw the idea of repairing the Fisher 500-c or Arcam as well as the idea of trying to make the Yamaha/Kenwood combo work, and instead just bought a used Bel Canto eVo2i gen ii at a very nice price. It does 200w into 4 ohm, so I hope it'll make the 3.6s sing.
     
    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  5. BossCo

    BossCo New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surf City, CA USA
    goldwax - have you contacted Bel Canto & asked how that amp will handle being pushed hard down to a 2.6 ohms load?
     
  6. BossCo

    BossCo New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surf City, CA USA
    FWIW - here's updated setup:
    Thiel 3.6
    Bryston 7B-ST monoblocks
    Emotiva XSP-1
    Oppo BDP-105D
    iBasso DX90
    Technics SL-1300

    While I'm quite pleased, the quest for even better is always lingering in my soul. However, the price for any improvement is looking prohibitive without winning a lottery. Case in point, Thiel 3.7 I was eyeing on eBay (from Thiel direct) = $6k.
     
  7. goldwax

    goldwax Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Good idea. I'll try that.
     
  8. goldwax

    goldwax Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Still debating on whether to pursue these speakers or not. Can anyone tell me if they are suitable for listening off-axis and out of the sweet spot? My BA A-150s are great at filling my living room with sound that I can enjoy from any spot. Will the CS3.6s do the same thing or will I be disappointed if I'm not sitting in the sweet spot?
     
  9. BossCo

    BossCo New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surf City, CA USA
    hey there goldwax. Being so dependent on the room and gear, I'm not sure my answer will necessarily apply to your situation. + I'm not familiar with the BA A-150s for direct comparison. I can tell you that my CS3.6s fill our large open listening room impressively (fill the whole house in my family's opinion - LOL ;-). For my most critical classical recordings, there is a sweet spot for experiencing the best spatial imagery, however, it's not a small restrictive space (couple of chair widths at 15' ?). It's really recording dependent IMHO.
    If you haven't already read it, Google "Stereophile article Thiel CS3.6 loudspeaker By Robert Harley May, 1993"
     
    Tullman likes this.
  10. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Hello,
    Sorry to revive an old thread but albeit a very useful one! My late father in law offered me his Thiel CS3.6 few years ago to which I replied that they sound too bright and harsh.., recently I decided to take them off and now I am faced with the dilemma what amp to drive with.

    I am now convinced based on the suggestions of @Warren Jarrett that the best combination with CS3.6 is to use a tube amp. I would love if someone can help me with some tube amp choices as I am a complete audiophile noob. I only have those speakers and an older set of Proac Studio M2 also from my father in law.

    I am also considering selling them, but they have emotional value and would prefer to use them but pair them properly so I can enjoy them. Thanks you!
     
  11. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Hi, I am searching for my first integrated tube amp (< $5k) for the Thiel CS3.6, all the models you listed above are no longer available or some of the companies don’t even exist. I’ve found the following but would greatly appreciate some advice:
    1. Cary Audio SLI-80 (Kt88)
    2. Music Reference RM10 Mk2 (6BQ5/EL84)
    3. Prima Luna Dialogic Premium (Kt88)
    Audio Research, Mcintosh,... are all above my price range for a first tube amp. Thank you!
    PS: I listen mostly to flamenco guitar, smooth jazz, female vocals, new age.
     
  12. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City, USA
    You might also look at these two units from VTL and Quicksilver:

    VTL IT-85
    Quicksilver Integrated
     
    aboulfad likes this.
  13. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I noticed a Rogue Audio Magnum 2 for sale on Canuck Audio Mart. It puts out 100 watts/channel. The seller is asking CDN $2700, which is about U.S. $2080.00.
    Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II

    Another option is to go with a power amp/pre-amp combination:

    This Sonic Frontiers Power 2 amplifier would be a fairly robust 110 watts/channel (CDN $2500.00 or U.S. $1930.00)
    Sonic Fontiers Power 2 Tube Amplifier

    Lots of fans of Audio Research out there. A VT-130 power amp is on Canuck Audio Mart for CDN $3000.00 (U.S. $2315.00)
    Audio Research VS110 power amp (CDN $2700, or U.S. $2080.00).
    Audio Research VS 110

    Audio Research VT200 Power Amplifier: 200 watts/channel. This is the sort of power that Thiel speakers really like.
    CDN $3300.00 (U.S. $2550.00)
    Audio Research VT200 Power Amp

    Audio Research Classic 150 Mono Blocks - 150 watts/channel. U.S. $3495.00
    Audio Research Classic 150 mono blocks

    Audio Research Reference 110 Watt Stereo Amp - Store Demo at $3990.00
    Audio Research Ref 110 Stereo Amp lower price

    Once you find the right power amplifier, you can look for a good, basic line stage or preamp that will match up with that power amp. I would think that Warren Jarrett would be able to tell you which of these might match up well with the Thiel CS3.6 speakers. I had CS3.5 speakers with early Classe Audio electronics and I found them too bright. I would err on the warm side with Thiel speakers.

    Good luck and let us know what you decided!
    Don
     
    aboulfad likes this.
  14. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    @psulioninks , thank you for more choices to ponder on... :)
    @Don Parkhurst , tx, honestly as this will be my first tube amp, I am a bit hesitant to buy used, what are the resident thoughts on used tube amps? I will be using a specially optimized audiophile Mac mini with a DAC (still shopping) to connect to the Tube Amp, all my music is digital (FLAC/ALAC from CDs, Tidal HiFi). To minimize the number of boxes, I prefer to look for integrated tube amps and forego the classic preamp...

    This is really a daunting, albeit fun task, for my initial journey into audiophile, reading @Warren Jarrett comments about the Thiel CS3.6 makes me want to try to use them but I recall even in my fathers in law sophisticated audiophile setup, I wasn’t crazy about them, and probably because they weren’t matched with a musical/emotional tube amp. So I want to give them an honest chance but I can’t buy many amps to try... I visited a local audiophile store and they recommended a “musical” less analytical solid state amp in my budget, the Hegel H360.

    Today I will visit another store Coup de foudre Audio, that seems to carry more selections of tube amps and see what they have to say about the Thiel’s...
     
  15. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Ok what a nice surprise, my visit to CDF Audio was nothing short of fun and enlightenment. One of the proprietor agreed whole heartedly about the need to match those speakers with something smooth, musical and emotional! What she recommended is the Unison Research S6. Designed and Made in Italy. The positive aspect is that I will get to try it a home w my setup and Thiels! So looking forward to that.
     
    Don Parkhurst and Pinknik like this.
  16. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    When they were new they were on my short list. Great speakers but I went in another direction. I think they would be a fantastic bargain used.

    Upgrades for me have been out of reach for a long time due to a reversal of fortune, going to law school putting myself into major hock to gain entry into a modest paying profession.
     
  17. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Hi, then having them for free is even a greater bargain I’ve realized, and I also had a reversal of fortune, that music is an essential element of life, that even unemployed I have decided to invest in a modest DAC/Tube amp to drive the Thiel and my favorite ProAc. GL with your studies :righton:
     
    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  18. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I’m really glad to hear that a local dealer is going to let you try out the Unison Research integrated amp. Keep in mind that it is only 35 watts per channel. You may love it or you may need more power. Don’t be afraid to check out used integrated tube amps. You can replace tubes and make your amp sound like new.

    You may find that the Thiel speakers are not for you even with he tube amp. If that is the case, keep the tube amp and use it to power the Proac speakers! They love tube amps. Only thing is, what model is it that you have? I’ve never heard of a Proac M2. I have however heard of a Proac Studio 140 Mk II. I think that they also made a Studio 100 Mk II. Could they be one of those? If so, I would go straight to those being powered by tubes : )

    But that is just one persons opinion!

    Don’t forget to check out:

    PrimaLuna amps:
    Integrated Amplifiers

    Rogue Audio amps:
    integratedamps
     
  19. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Thanks for that but I’ve been a practicising Attorney for 16 years. :)
    I did much better overall as a graphic designer.

    I’ve paid off 7 student loans and I still owe a little over $60k. (Ironically now at age 61 I’m starting to see Higher Education as a scam)

    So that’s why I say buy good gear keep it a long time and spend the money you save to buy more music.

    Enjoy those speakers they will pay back your investment in electronics with interest. And best of luck to you too in all your future endeavors.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
    aboulfad likes this.
  20. dogilv

    dogilv Well-Known Member

    I'm in the high efficiency tube camp and rarely do I hear something I like in the "Salons" . One of the few exceptions was a pair of Theil 3.1's with huge Mac Mono's. That was years ago fwiw, but it left quite an impression.
     
  21. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Yep, but 35Watts of Tube amps are not equal to 35W of solid state :lol: another point that I need to discuss with the other owner is the impedance matching, the S6 state 6Ohm nominal, and the Thiel are 4Ohm... I guess the best thing is that I get to try the amp and hear for myself! Just too many factors to consider, room, speakers sensitivity, music listening level,... but 35W regardless does seem too little but what do I know!

    OT, Apologies, I couldn’t fix the original post, but they are ProAc Studio 2, not M2. I think they predate my and your time :D here’s a quick picture, they were my father in law first HiFi British speakers in 1982-1984?

    ProAc Studio 2 Pic1: Dropbox - ProAc Studio 2-1.jpg
    ProAc Studio 2 Pic2 : Dropbox - ProAc Studio 2-2.jpg
     
  22. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I here you about going back in time but I am old enough to have almost bought a pair of his speakers in 1988. I did however buy an amazing pair of his speakers 5 or 6 years ago, the D40R model. Gorgeous build and sound, but I have gone down the single ended tube route with high efficiency speakers.

    I do realize that tube watts are better than solid state watts when you need muscle, but those speakers like 200-500 watts of tube power, if possible.

    So, 35 is nice but like those that have owned Magneplanars, you may ultimately desire huge power. Big Proac speakers love lots of tube watts as well ( the model that you shared isn’t likely to need that much power). Same neighbourhood of 200 - 500 tube watts if you have the money. It’s not that they sound terrible with low power, just that they sound better and better with more quality tube watts.
     
  23. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Thanks for your reply, funny the other store owner spoke with me and confirmed that the Unison Research S6 are not that powerful for the CS3.6. I love it when the internet and real world are in harmony :) So now he's proposing a used VTL ST-150, which you listed about the ST-200, I am gonna meet him this Sunday to check this stuff out but I just noticed this is NOT an integrated amp, and that is not a route I want to take, darn ...
     
  24. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City, USA
    If he carries VTL, then he probably has an IT-85 there which I previously mentioned. I'd be sure to check that piece out!
     
  25. aboulfad

    aboulfad Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Gotcha, that’s the integrated model, unfortunately that small shop caters to low power tube amps as I understood it, and the VTL he has was a trade in, and the IT-85 with 85W/ch may be under powered for these hungry speakers ?... anyways I will still meet and learn, this is not simple at all for but still fun, and I am having an equal challenge with choosing a DAC out of the million choices out there...
     

Share This Page