Service Continues for Legacy Thiel Loudspeakers

There's good news for owners of Thiel loudspeakers manufactured between 1977 and 2012. Coherent Source Service of Lexington, Kentucky, will provide Thiel warranty and non-warranty service for customers worldwide. The company has been founded by Rob Gillum, who worked with Thiel for over 30 years and eventually became Director of Manufacturing.

Drawing from a stockpile of parts for legacy Thiel models—nearly all relevant parts are said to be available—Gillum will utilize his training in what has been described as "every aspect of service and manufacturing including driver build, crossover building, and cabinet finishing." Full speaker and cabinet restoration services are also available, with prices based on condition. In addition, upgrade kits for Thiel CS2.4 model are available, and include "boutique" capacitors for the speaker's passive networks and outriggers and stabilizer pins from the 2.4SE series.

For those unfamiliar with the history of the company that three college friends, including Jim Thiel and Kathy Gornick, founded in 1976, Thiel did quite well until Jim Thiel died of cancer in 2009. After that, faced with changes in the brick-and-mortar audio retail landscape as well as consumer tastes, Gornick sought investors who could help take the company in new directions. Although she had hoped to stay onboard, at least for a while, she soon parted ways with Tennessee private investor David B. Griffin, who took control of Thiel at the end of 2012 and appointed Bill Thomas as the first in a series of CEOs.

Not long after the sale, at the Venetian Hotel at CES, Thiel's new owners invited a large press contingent to a press launch in a standard size hotel room. In the midst of a caffeine-charged din, the company attempted to introduce a surround system consisting of small, low profile, lower cost models that, to these ears struggling to hear, sounded audibly inferior to Jim Thiel's designs. It is fair to note, however, that Tom Norton liked what he heard from the Mark Mason-designed Thiel TT1 speaker when he reviewed it in September 2016.

The company struggled for several years, with many management changes, until, unable to secure additional funding, it closed its doors early in the New Year.

To Thiel owners, this may have seemed the end of hope for service on legacy models. Happily, Gillum has stepped into the breach.

"Thiel loudspeakers are a big part of my life," says Gillum in a just-received press release. "I am passionate about the brand and the care that went in to the design and manufacturing of these fine speakers. I look forward to working with all of the Thiel customers out there who love music and helped make the brand such a success."

Coherent Source Service, LLC, is located at 763 Newtown Pike, Suite 130 Lexington, Kentucky USA 40511, about one mile from the old Thiel factory. You can reach them at Tel: (859) 554-9790.

monetschemist's picture

A sad story with a nice ending for those who have Thiels. I wish Mr. Gillum great success in this venture.

tonykaz's picture

He's just now setting up for business. He's got 2,000 sq ft of Shop to work with and a backlog of Speakers to repair. He worked at Thiel since the late 1980s, he's an experienced person.

I was one of Thiel's Dealers and am about to own a pair of Thiel 02 Box speakers.

Thiel Audio built 40,000 pairs of Loudspeakers and Rob is setting up to keep those loudspeakers operating properly.

Tom Thiel is up in New Hampshire,

Kathy Gornik and family remain nearby .

The people that bought the Thiel Co. are long gone.

Mr.Gillum remains and seems a competent technician, I imagine that he'll end-up being Service for a wide range of Loudspeaker Companies that need a reliable Service Center in the Central Part of the USA.

Mr.Gillum is in his mid-50s, still young and strong enough to do the hard work of a Start-up.

Fingers crossed !

Tony in Michigan

jrmandude's picture

Great company and speakers. Got a pair in the mid-1980's about the time my first child was born. I believe Kathy was the one who answered the phone when my dealer called them as my wife and I sat in his little office in Baltimore. The family grew up listening and watching Dad listen. The kids all grown up and gone but music has always been a part of their lives and to this day we will trade recommendations. My oldest is far off in Africa in a dangerous place but he still will send me links to great music I have never heard. Replaced that first pair a few years ago to one of the last great models and family and friends talk of the "speakers." I'm glad this guy started his business and wish him well. I may need him some day, but my guess is that as an old man I will listen to these until I can no more.