Thiel 2.3--bright or harsh ?

I have a pair of Thiel 2.3's running with a Krell integrated-KAV300i and a Rega Planet CD player. With a great CD the sound is wonderful----but put on a "questionable" recording and they sure sound bright or harsh. I heard about an upgraded driver for the 2.3's but did not arrive yet. Anyone have any experience with this.. Will the new drivers do the trick---and/or is there anything else I can do get rid of some of the brightness.
Hello I have experienced the same problem with my Thiel 2.3s and was ready to replace them with ProAc 2.5 which would also look good in our living room. The Thiels have a High WAF. I too am running a Krell, but the KST 100 Power amp which is surely not helping the brightness problem. I went to a VTL 2.5 tube preamp which helped a great deal. Then I switched to MIT MH750 speaker cable, this made them sound very good, not at all harsh. I might at some time try replacing the Krell with a different amp BAT or PASS etc then swap out the cables to which ever gives the best sound. Ever wonder why when you see Thiel 2.3s at a dealer they have them matched with Audio research tube power amps and tube preamps and sometimes MIT? I just heard about the driver replacement and was wondering the cost of the upgrade? But at this point the sound is quite natural yet detailed so I would mose likely hold off on the speaker replacement. The Thiels require careful matching which could be expensive to try to get the sound right butr it can be done.
Gjrad is right. Don't ever expect Thiel speakers to sound lush and romantic. The 2.3 will always be a struggle for you unless you like a clean, slightly "whitened", slightly lean sound - but teaming the 2.3 with Krell is not likely to work well, and will more likely tip, what I have described above, over into brightness. Perhaps a 50W tube integrated, or a change of speakers will be best in the long run. If your budget isn't ready for that for a while then experiment with some MIT cables by all means, but I feel you will have to deal with amp or speakers eventually.
I do agree all the above comments on the Thiel speakers. If you are looking for lush or warmer speakers, then please check with something else. Speakers sould be the center of your systems, but maybe tube pre and power amps could do the job too. Tim
I have Thiel 3.6's - they aren't bright in the least but I've got lots of ss power and warm tube amp (classe ca200 and cj pre). I've also got meridian digital which isn't in your face at all, very unfatiguing. They are the most tonally correct speakers I've ever had in my room, also the most open presentation for a dynamic speaker. The Krell might not be the right match, I've never heard that combo though. Classe is an excellent match, I've heard Aragon is also, a tube preamp IMO is a necessity. Before you spend lots of money on cables I would try to audition a different amp if possible. One thing for sure even on my system a crappy CD sounds like crap! Thiels don't lie! Good luck.
Hi Pops. I have Thiel 3.6 driven by the latest Plinius SA250 in one of my systems and they do sound great (and not at all bright - as you say. But the 2.3 is not in the same ball-park and tonally leaner IMO. I feel the Plinius is better than either the Classe or Aragon, but with the 2.3 I would tend to use a tube power amp.
Follow up response to "Pops" my son has an Aragon 8008st and had for a short time a pair Thiel 2.3s, same problem as with the Krell, too bright. It wasn't a good match. With Thiel 2.2s his current speaker the Aragon works much better but the 2.2a are a different speaker. Be careful when matching a tube amp with the Thiels especially one with only 50 WPC if you want any kind of a bottom end. The mids and highs will be ok but you will have very weak bass and the whole speaker will sound lean. My Jolida 502a did not work as well as a SS. If you go tubes look at AR or VTL etc but at least 100 WPC.
They need a lot of break-in; they do warm up a little. They sound lean unless they get a lot of power. They sound lean if you mate them with lean sounding solid state (I suspect that Krell amp). I found Cardas cabling to be incredible match to make they sound more musical. MIT might work as someone above suggests. Tube preamp is just about a requirement, IMO. And did I mention - break-in?! Art
I had a simular experience with the 2.3. I would not call them bright per say. It was more like the upper mids were very forward and in your face. I made a felt ring and put it around the mid/tweeter which helped smooth out the sound somewhat. Has anyone else had trouble with these drivers failing? I had terrible luck with them. I had 2 pair come appart within 6 weeks! The surround came loose where the voice coil couples to the midrange. It was horrrible --the tweeter was still working just floating there and would buzz when it struck the midrange. BEWARE these speakers and not meant to handle a lot of power. Thiel did replace them under warranty. After I got them replaced the second time I sold them and bought B&W Nautilus 804's. I have had them for about a year and am really happy with them. The Thiels bottom end may be better but IMHO the 804's sound so much more musical better balanced and effortless that it was no contest. Sad to say as I have always had respect for Thiel products and I feel that their early designs were way ahead of the competition.
I have a pair of Thiel 2.3's with the new upgrade, they sound better with the upgrade. I auditioned your same setup. Did not like at all. I also auditioned pass labs x-150 and x-2. Loved it - bought em. I never really liked the rega. Try the adcom gcd 750(budget), Wadia, Sony SCD, much better choices.
If you haven't sold your Thiels by now, try changing your speaker cable first. I cannot tell you how important speaker cable matching is to your speaker. If you want to audition cables, I recommend the Cable Company. They will send you burned in cables to audition for very reasonable rates which can be applied against a future purchase. Dial 1-800-FAT-WYRE. Just for your info - a close friend had Theil 2.2s for many years and used Purist Audio Design cables to great advantage which yielded a smooth non-glare sound with terrific imaging. Of course, he also had Audio Research tubed preamp and a SS Audio Research amp.
I do not know the specs of the Krell KAV 300i nor have I heard it connected to the 2.3s. That being said, Thiel 2.3s require a high current amp. I have heard these driven with a Forte amp and preamp (class A electronics; 50 WPC!!! but high current)and they did not sound bright or harsh at all. Classe, integrated amps included, is also a good choice. Also heard these with Krell separates (I don't recall the models) and they didn't sound as good as the previous mentions. Cables may be a good first choice before you change your entire system. MIT cables may work. Hope this helps. Good luck. Dave
I think the problem is in your amp. My experience with a Thiel/Krell combination has not been good. I felt the sound was too harsh. I currently have a Thiel/Classe/Cardas combination which does not at all have any harshness to it. The Cardas Golden Cross cable are an excellent match for Thiel speakers. If you can afford them, The Cross model works well also. I have also heard McIntosh amps with the Thiel and think they have an outstanding sound.
I also upgraded my CS2.3 coaxial drivers. The new drivers are definitely not as bright. They are more laid back in the upper midrange and highs. Has anyone else upgraded? What did you think? Do you think the coaxial driver has overall design flaws?
I have to agree that Cardas cables are a good match for Thiels. I have a pair of 3.6's and auditioned several cables before deciding on Cardas. I've also found that my Thiels are very placement sensitive. Moving them even very slightly produces noticable changes in their sound. Mine took quite a bit of patience to get them positioned right. Having said all that, I've never been happy with their sound when listening to poorly recorded material. They seem to be very unforgiving in that respect.