Jim Thiel has passed.

See news at S'phile.com
I've had a pair of his CS2.3s for 10 years now.

Much like him, understated, classy and truly of good value.

Our thoughts go out to his family.
I feel great sorrow for Jim Thiel's friends and family. He made numerous contributions to the industry and will be missed.

I visited AMG earlier today and saw this news on the front page.

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary passed away Wednesday at age 72, succumbing to the leukemia she had battled since 2004.

This has been a terrible year, we've lost so much talent. Not only artists, but designers and manufacturers as well. I hope we hang on to the joy each brought to us.
It is a very bad news. His great talents and designs will be missed. I have been a fan of Thiel's speakers. I owned CS2, CS3.6, and now own CS7.2. The CS2 taught me what soundstage was.

I thought I would be upgrading to another new design (CS9?) in the near future. Now my dream may not come true. Hopefully someone in Thiel can continue his great work and designs and offer high value and high performance speakers like before.
As Albert Porter notes above-- this has been a terrible year for losing great talent. We can argue endlessly about differences in gear but it takes a special person to create that gear in the first place. Jim was one such special talent and his company reflected his manner and values. Within weeks we've now lost J.Gordon Holt and Jim Thiel, who knows how long any of us have. Enjoy the music and maybe, maybe, recognize the talent that goes into bringing music to our lives.
Never owned any of the Thiel speakers but he had a innovative mind. He will be missed in the Audio world.
May be find everlasting peace.
Met him once when he was doing the rounds at audio shops introducing the 3.7s. He was a true gentleman. I have owned his 2.4s for the past 3 years and love em. Condolences to his family and friends and may he RIP.
Terrible news! Condolences to his family and friends. Always my favorite speaker designer - the 3.6's blew me away some 15 years ago and have owned them ever since...
I do not know the man but am saddened by this news. I have always had tremendous respect for his products. A true loss!
Visionary. I've had a LOT of fun with Thiel speakers, and cut my audiophile "teeth" hearing those incredibly transparent speakers demonstrate the differences among components and the nuances of beautifully recorded material.
Thiel History: 04a, 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.6, not in that order.
I was really saddened by this news. Jim was a very nice person and I have always been a big fan of his work. My deep condolences to his family.
As 2.4 and 6 owner I have been a fan of his designs for years. My heart felt sympathy goes out to his family and friends.
31 years of hard work design and innovation, the audio industry will miss him.

People like Jim are the " motor/soul " of the improvements/developments and growing up of our beloved audio hobby.

My sincere condolences to the Thiel family.

Best for you Jim anywhere you are.

I've never owned a Thiel product, but his customer service is legendary and his respect universal. Customer service is not even a zero sum game for a manufacturer and the loyalty of his customers and the accolades he earned from neurotic, OCD audiophiles speaks volumes about his character. His life's work provides great enjoyment to many and will ensure that he will not be forgotten. My condolences to his family. I hope they get some comfort from the kind words expressed here (hopefully, someone will forward them a link).

I met Jim Thiel in 1982, while searching for a new pair of speakers. While considering a pair of Snell A1's I just wanted assurance that nothing else was around that was as good or better for the price. A new 'upstart company' from Lexington, Kentucky kept coming up. I read the reviews and became pretty much fascinated by the raves of a company in my back yard, only 70 miles away.
On a lark, one day I called THIEL Audio, to see if I could talk to Jim Thiel personally. To my surprise, with little fanfare or delay, he came to the phone almost immediately. He was quiet and relaxed and friendly, and at the mention of Snell, he was effusive in his praise of the product which surprised me. Then I asked a question which literally changed my life, "Since your speakers aren't sold here in Louisville, how could I hear them?" He immediately offered to give me a tour of the factory and demo the speakers if I could come by Friday. "We'll stay as late as you like; be sure to bring music you know with you." It was records back then, so I took several.
True to his word, we toured and listened. Jim's brother Tom helped with the audition, and Kathy Gornik the President, were on hand to discuss impressions of what we heard. Needless to say, I was smitten--not only with the speakers, but Jim, Kathy and Tom. On leaving, I told my wife, "I want to be in business with those people somehow, someday. At that time I was the Vice President of an Air Freight Company and doing well, so it probably makes no sense to anyone, that seven months later, I had opened an Audio Store in Louisville, featuring THIEL loudspeakers, conrad johnson, and many other names not known to Louisvillians. We sold literally hundreds of pairs of THIELS.
Frequent dinners with Jim and Kathy proved to be one of the best perks of owning my own business. In private, Jim was charming and a great conversationalist on virtually any topic, though we usually discussed theory and design.
In 1991, after a ruptured appendix put me in ICU, I awoke one day to a phone call and door knock simultaneously--the door offered flowers from THIEL and the call was from Jim and Kathy, wishing me a "Get Well"--they had timed the whole thing out. How wonderful that was that they were so thoughtful.
The illness which laid me up for two months, was the death knell for my small mom and pop store.
I became the Director of Marketing for a national Group Purchasing Organization in Healthcare for about 5 years--missing audio every single day. After the company was bought out and I received a golden parachutte, I began consulting from my home, swimming in my pool and enjoying life, but still missing Audio. Then one day, a voice mail came in. For those of you who've never talked to Jim, he had this interesting 'singsong' voice, which was really inimitable. The message said this:
"Hi, Larry.....(long, long pause) This is Jim Thiel... (pause) I was just wondering if you'd like to be our Director of Marketing here at THIEL?"

There's an old saying that 'You don't want to get to know your heroes too well, because they'll dissapoint.' In this instance, it couldn't be more untrue. While working for Jim, I came to realize that all I had known of him was just the tip of the proverbial iceburg. As a boss, instructor, professorial teacher, he was, sincere, honest, honorable and kind. Truly one of the most gracious and humble people I've ever known--as well as being confoundingly intelligent.

I hope that somewhere in the vast cosmos, that Jim is creating the perfect loudspeaker, with technologies that only he could conceptualize, and that everyone has perfect hearing, and the music is everyone's favorites--and, that he's giving afternoon seminars every day--and that finally, I can understand 'most' of what he's trying to teach us.
I miss you Jim. The world is a poorer place in your absence.

My first foray into 'high end' audio came from listening to a pair of Thiel CS2s (and 3s) at a high end store called Audition in Birmingham. AL around 1986. I immediately fell in love with the wonderful sound and craftsmanship of the speakers. Being originally from Kentucky, I called when I was in the area and asked if it was possible to tour the factory. They honestly seemed as enthused as I was to let someone see the pride in their work. It was a very nice tour and speaking with Mr. Thiel was a true education. He will be missed I'm sure not only in the high end audio world he helped create but by all who knew him.
Theil CS2.0 were my 2nd step into high end. I later upgraded to CS3.5s (or 3.6s don't remember) and enjoyed the speakers tremendously. Jim did a lot to bring Audiophile Nirvana to many at a great value and and an extremely well made product. He will be missed. I loved the quality wood finish on his cabinetry and simple setup. Jim will be missed. My condolences to his family.
Condolences to all of those that were close to Mr. Thiel. Lrsky, Thanks for sharing the heartfelt memories.
I too have enjoyed his speakers for many years....... Very sorry to hear of his passing .... Condolences to all of his friends and family .....

A briew story about Jim Thiel:

A few years ago I was transforming my system from a two channel audio system (Thiel 7.2's) to a 5.1 Home Theater (to include Thiel Power Points - rear channels). I called Thiel's customer service department for some advice and spoke to a very nice and knowledgeable woman (Sherri I believe her name was); I explained that I was building a dedicated theater and wanted to make sure I set it up in a way that would optimize 5.1 as well as 2 channel when I wanted to listen to music only. She asked me to send her the blue print of the room lay out so that she could run it by Jim Thiel for his advice. I thought this was great!, after all how many companies would have the guy in charge personally review my plans. A couple of days later my phone rings and who is on the phone?, none other than Jim Thiel himself. Jim spent the better part of 1/2 hour on the phone with me discussing the design of my room, etc... Now here is the best part; I told Jim that I was planning on purchasing a Thiel Center Channel to complete my all Thiel 5.1 system and he actually talked me out of purchasing a Thiel center channel. He explained that the 7.2's image so well that adding a center channel would only marginally better the system. I understand that I have spent quite a bit of money on Thiel products however I was completely blown away that not only did the company's owner take the time to personally call me but that he was voluntarily willing to forgo a sale in the spirt of our shared passion.

Jim Thiel was not only a talented designer/builder of audio equipment; in my book he was truly a Great guy.

My condolences go out to Jim's family as men like Jim don't come around vey often.