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!
Bonedog, I would be curious about your measurements before and after you installed your new midrange. Did you use rew?
Fitter - that’s a very good question; and it deserves a bigger answer than we can provide here. Let’s start at the end. No, an assembly-line wouldn’t help. Let’s also start with some apology in the philosophical sense - on what do I base my summary assessment. Short answer is experience, longer answer includes lots of work through lots of details, and I suppose we might include that I presented these conclusions at International Woodworking Fairs, a manufacturing convention that alternated between locations in Germany and the USA.
The problem of mass-assembly goes back to the industrial revolution and revolves around the nature of human enterprise and labor. Modern production methods try to simplify and comodify labor with a hope to replace it with a machine operation for lower cost. Such a strategy assumes many things including the wish to treat labor that way, and also the large quantities required or desired to pay back the investments.
Thiel Audio wasn’t made that way. We were a company who sought to provide good livelihoods for good people making good products for good customers. You can substitute the word right for good and land close to the Buddhist concept of right livelihood. Big discussion, little time.
But on to some practicals. Part of your question might include how little seemed to be accomplished in the video. I can assure you that video was made in an empty factory in slo-mo for the sake of clarity. I like the video; I had not seen it before. Rob Gillum made a sneak entry in the finishing room, and I hired him and one of the other guys in the 1980s; they’ve been part of the story for a long time. What a trip. Let’s visualize those production spaces with 20 to 35 busy, skilled people populating them, moving like they know and care about their work. Our productivity factors were world-class.
Now let’s touch on some history of small-unit manufacturing at Thiel. In the beginning Walter Kling and I created a medium batch manufacturing process, limited by physical shop space. The 01 and 02 were made in batches of 40 and the 03 in batches of 20 because the first shop wouldn’t hold any more than that. It looked like a small, crude but effective line in that each person tended to do the same operation to whatever speaker was coming past him. With four standard wood finishes plus a half-dozen optionals, those runs were always a blend of back-orders and speculation for who might want to buy what. You might see a problem brewing here. If we had Walnut available, someone would want Rosewood, etc., and everything unsold had to be stored. When we moved to Nandino Boulevard in 1981, that batch number increased to 100 and then to 200 as space increased. Now add more products and more finishes and dealers who sold to the taste of the customer and there are, let’s underestimate, more than a dozen finishes x 5 or more products. Do the math. So the work of the early nineties became developing an effective and efficient production method with a batch size of one unit or pair. That story is deep, wide and long, and includes Vifa as well as worker skill sets and longevity, and labor and customer payment schemes. It’s a good story for the book. Remember the book?

Tom thanks for the response! I’m glad they filmed it I wish there was more. No doubt alot of care and expertise went in to building them. David