Thiel Owners


I just scored a sweet pair of CS 2.4SE loudspeakers. Anyone else currently or previously owned this model?
Owners of the CS 2.4 or CS 2.7 are free to chime in as well. Thiel are excellent w/ both tubed or solid-state gear!

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Barry - to your question, each model (3) keeps its overall character and intent. The differences are in refinement of execution of that intent.
I just wanted to circle back and add this, as I noticed a few folks are connecting their Classe amps to switched power conditioners, either for convenience, or because it may sound better to do so.

In my opinion (so keep it in context), putting any legacy Classe, or any high current SS amp for that matter, through a conditioner, power regenerator, or isolation transformer almost always shaves a little off the dynamics.  IMO, it is a huge mistake to do so.  And it is also possibly accelerating the demise of some filtering elements.

When the transformer primary demands more current in these, they want it right NOW.  Otherwise, you are counting more and more on the filter banks to carry the draw until the tranny can catch up.  And you are only working those filters harder.  And now they are already over 20 years old in some cases.   

Many power conditioners incorporate devices in series, and the current has to fight its way through those elements before reaching your amp.  What you gain in perceived quiet (and most passive conditioner schemes do not filter much below 10 mhz anyway), you give up in reduced dynamics.  While they may work to isolate digital and switching supply noise from surrounding components, they are ultimately no friend to higher current amplifiers.

Unless you are prepared to spend enormous sums on full wave regeneration, and put up with the resulting conversion heat loads, no conditioner can provide current as quickly -- or in the quantity -- that a direct-to-mains connection can. 

But these instruments do need some transient protection, for reasons I will point out.  So you have to balance those two considerations: mains current delivery and protection.

When I set up mine, I made it a point to go straight to the mains, with only some local transient protection (I also have cascading protection through to the meter, all of it in parallel).  The biggest reason these should have at least some local protection is . . . surprise, surprise . . . that all the CA series use op amps in their front ends.  In the case of the x01 Series, the BB OPA2134.  It is a very nice, warm sounding op amp, with its own separate, independent, supply.  I can't speak to the original CA series or earilier DR series, as I have yet to break one down.  But I am told that the original and x01 CAs share nearly identical topology.   And there are numerous other IC chips across the lower control board on these for circuit monitoring, fault protection and power up sequencing.  While the big Motorola outputs are pretty hardy, none of these IC components should be forced to suffer heavy, or too many, transients. 

Way back when, when I was first setting this one up, there was one high current cord option that satisfied both concerns, and that was the Tice Infinite Speed.  I opted for the Tice cord because at that time, it was the only cord rated for up to 20 amps continuous delivery (not including the connectors which are UL-limited) including protection, and because George Tice was including parallel transient protection in the cord, so it was still a straight wire direct-to-mains implementation.  And parallel protection is the key here.  And it was after the clock debacle, so I was able to grab one for peanuts.

I'm not a disciple of exotic power cord geometry, other than that it needs to provide a high maximum sustained current.  If you feel differently, no problem.  But every Classe legacy amp advertised at 100 watts nominal or greater should have at least a 12 awg power cord connection direct-to-mains, with nothing imposed in series.  Whether that is a $20 home brew romex cord, or a $5,000 high end exoticord, is up to you.

But besides that direct to mains power connection, paralleled transient protection and noise conditioning is all you need.  Because there were no other serious parallel conditioning products available when the CA series was around, I ran with just the Tice cord.  And it sounded great, with unrestrained dynamics.  That was a long time ago, so the entire issue of general mains noise existed, but was much less profound than it is today.  

Fast forward to today, and there is far more noise and interference on the mains.  High amplitude wideband noise from a sea of digital devices and supplies everywhere that never existed in the 1980s or 90s.  And general mains quality outside at the grid has declined as well.  But now there are new products that we only dreamed about that can deal with it.

Using today's line conditioning technology, I recently added the iFi AC Purifier.  It delivered an instant and shockingly good sound improvement that everyone noticed, and added some additional transient protection, all parallel to the Classe mains supply.  There are higher grade competitors, but the iFi product uses proven wideband out-of-phase active noise reduction (like noise cancelling headphones for your mains), for only $99.  I have found this little plastic can to be better than any passive conditioner box I've used in a very long time (some of which cost four figures).  And most importantly, all of its activity takes place IN PARALLEL, which does not restrict mains current delivery by one electron.  I cannot recommend this new product technology, and its competitors, enough.  Again, the key with any of them is IN PARALLEL.  With one, there is no need for any further conditioning of the amp's mains supply.  

As I mentioned above, I use a dedicated circuit 20A hospital duplex outlet for my legacy Classe.  The AC purifier sits in the top outlet, the Tice cord in the bottom one.  And that is all you really need to get the very best out of a legacy Classe amp.  Full dynamics, ample protection, and very quiet.  No conditioners in series around here, ever.

Thank You for posting such a concise and well-written follow up on the advantages of a dedicated line , AC purifier and their advantages with Classe' amplifiers. I concur with your assessment on newer technologies and the devices that utilize an incredible amount of high amplitude bandwidth/wideband noise that did not exist in a pre-internet age.
It would be interesting to learn more on the next generation of digital pioneers that will address and tackle this issue head-on. Equally important,  will said pioneers build and implement the next great grid?
What can the general public expect from such a development?
What will it look like in presentation? Interaction? Stability?

Happy Listening!