Thiel death do we part . . .

OK, stupid title, I know...but so is my question, probably. So in spite of years of owning lots of different gear - speakers (Maggies, B&W), preamps (Bottlehead,AR), amps (C&J, Bryston) and so on, I've never quite got "the magic" I often hear about. I sort of went the path of least resistance and settled on a small setup - Theil(1.6s) & Bryston(B60) with Rega front ends (analog & digital).

The other night, however, I set it up in a near field format for the first time. After playing with speaker placement a bit, everything suddenly snapped into place, and it all sounds amazing. Magic. I found myself digging into my record collection (maybe 4000 deep) for the 1st in years and now there's not enough hours in the day to listen to it all.

One thing I've noticed is that the system is just brutal with poorly recorded media. While well produced material (Patricia Barber, Cowboy Junkies, some Rickie Lee Jones, Stan Getz and so on) can be just stunning, detailed, spacious and even deep, lots of others just aren't pleasant to listen to. Things I used to enjoy can now sound lame and muffled. I understand this may be a Thiel "take no prisoners" issue. So, just as an experiment, I swapped out the Thiels for a pair of old B&W 802s that are passing thru on the way to eBay and was surprised that while good material sounds adequate, bad material doesn't sound too least not embarrassing.

So the question is, without swapping nice speakers for not as nice on a regular basis, is there something that I can do to get the set up to be more "forgiving", at times? I listen mostly to what you might call intimate music, small groups and individual singers, often in live recordings.

Listening area is 12x18 with a low ceiling (open joists) off a corridor.

So maybe alternate cables (Zu Julian now) or a subwoofer or an equalizer? Thanks for your patience.
I dont know Bryston because I have never heard one. I have been a Thiel owner for 16 years, 3.6 and now CS6. The only power amps I have used with them are Classe CA200 and Mcintosh 501 monos. Both high current and more on the forgiving side of neutral. Seems like I have heard Bryston is on the sharper side.

I have also always had tubes in the preamp stage. I can't say bad recordings are a problem (other than being bad) or intolerable with either speaker in my setup. Careful matching is critical with any Thiel, I have always built around them for that reason. Not saying you have made bad choices just sharing mine. Thiels have to run the show in the system, there are classic matches and risky ones!
Equalizer; it's is the only thing that can begin to fix all the different things that can happen on the all too often bad recordings, but good ones don't come cheap. Everything else is hit or miss on fixing the actual problem at hand, and might impose themselves in a manner that might be inappropriate for the specific problem at hand. Caveat; in the wrong hands equalizers can do more harm than good. You could can put it in the tape loop of your pre if you fear it might get in the way of your well recorded recordings.
I don't use one.
Thanks for the suggestions! I do have a tube pre that I can experiment with so I'll try that. Certainly a cost effective solution. I've always been hesitant to try an equalizer, seems so '80s...8:) but if I could easily by pass it on really good recordings, that would be convenient. Can anyone suggest which ones to look at?
Here is one option that I played with in the past. I am not sure if it is the
"best" EQ but it works quite well.

If my source has both optical and coax digital outputs, I would send, say the
coax direct to the DAC and the optical output to my Behringer DEQ2496.

The DEQ2496 has a built in DAC but it also has optical outputs, so I'd hook
the EQ-ed digital signal from the DEQ to another input on the same DAC.

This way you can run both EQd and un-EQd signals to the same DAC and
compare them on the fly.

The DAC then feeds the pre-amp. I eventually took the DEQ out because I
preferred what I heard on the direct non-EQd path.

Another option that I tried was to use dual analog outputs on my DAC (usually
XLR and RCA) which were simultaneously active.

The XLR went out to my preamp directly.

The RCA went to a very warm tube buffer. It was an old Yaqin tube buffer IIRC
which then fed another input on my preamp. This isn't the same type of tubes
as the ARC. It's very warm and IMHO robs the music of dynamics, but by the
same token, also takes away the harshness of badly recorded music. This was
when I was using a SS preamp. Again, I could switch between the XLR and RCA
inputs and compared the sound with and without the tube buffer.

Eventually I took the tube buffer out and got the ARC. It kept the dynamics
and detail but imparted some tube lushness into the system.
This is why I love having a sound card for a front end. I just did this same thing last night. It's all software and in the digital realm. The Software EQ won't damage the signal or sound one bit. To harsh on bad recordings? Just roll off the top ever so slightly. Perfect sound. To much boomy bass in that room, adjust the slider just a tad. Those earlier Thiels that sound amazing except for the suckout in the 8khz range? Turn up the EQ slider at 8khz. Every speakers in any room has something that needs changing. Subwoofer crossovers is also in the digital realm, so no physical crossover needed. And no preamps needed since all volume is software which opened up the music to a new level with the preamp out of the chain. Way more natural sounding.

I'm using the top creative labs card. $200 and I'd put it against anything costing 10 times that. Although yeah there is a $2000 computer around it but we all have those anyway. And it's also a crapshoot on how it's going to sound with your powersupply and motherboards and whatever else in there. But get it right and it's magic.