Thiel is back!

Thiel is back! Following a period of reorganization necessitated by the death of Jim Thiel, the "new Thiel," while varying in specifics, promises to respect Jim Thiel's sonic ideals while developing speakers for both two channel and multichannel. Presented by Paul Fisher, pictured here, the new models form the Third Avenue Collection, and include the TT1 tower ($5798/pair), the compact TM3 ($3498/pair, and the TC1 ($2500) center channel.

corrective_unconscious's picture

So do lots of speaker designers.

Apart from that one detail every major thing about this speaker abandons Jim Thiel's design approach and innovations - no pie plate, no coincident drivers, no US woodworking (I believe,) no first order crossovers.

And I in turn promise you I'm stating the obvious.

WJ ARMSTRONG's picture

I have lots of experience with Thiel; mainly because I worked for their sole Scottish outlet for more than a decade.
They were always a charismatic brand, although I do understand the new owners desire to make some changes. In short, although they always sounded competitive, design-wise they tended to fall between 'plain' & 'not quite plain enough' to be considered chic & minimalist. So, their showroom appeal sadly remained limited to the already initiated.
But, let's get back to the magic of Jim's designs, and more particularly, his final flourish - the CS 3.7s.
I recall the UK distributor paying me the compliment that he had never heard them sound so good as they did in our Glasgow store. I remember the partnering equipment: Unison Research Unico DM Pre + matching DM power amps (...remember the little shoebox designs?) along with an Esoteric X-03SE CD player. He continued to tell me that other UK dealers were finding them on the harsh & astringent side, lacking some natural bloom & weight... And well, I'm not saying they were the simplest speakers I ever set up, but with us at least they sounded sounded utterly revelatory (and we had similarly successful results using Ayre electronics also).
In terms of transparency they were a match for the very best electrostatics, but it was their astonishing reproduction of any percussive instrument that I will always treasure; in this regard they surpassed B&W 800s, Wilson Maxx3, Gryphon Poseidons - the lot! Or, in other words, they represented one of the biggest bargains in high-end audio. I recall selling a pair to a London-based orchestral sound recordist (a guy who had won many awards): he commented that we would have crawled over all the other speakers I let him hear that day to get to the 3.7s!
I wish the new Thiel owners nothing but success, but I hope they recognise that they own the rights to one of THE all-time great loudspeakers...
(Now, to find a pair, custom Gibson sunburst finish, if poss?)

stereophilereader's picture


HiFiHighjinks's picture

I own a pair of CS3.7's and the sound I hear from them proves to me that Jim Thiel was onto something. The 3.7 represents the embodiment of one man's lifetime of work refining a technology that would reproduce a music signal accurately in both the frequency and time domain. I think Jim succeeded with the 3.7, a virtuosic swan song.

I think Mark Mason should continue with Jim's work and bring back the 3.7 and follow-on models. That's the only way I can see for the new Thiel Audio to respect Jim's sonic ideals and to keep me and probably others as customers.