Thiel Owners


Guys-

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!
jafant
jon - you’re in good company. Most engineers align with Dr. Toole in claiming phase coherence doesn’t matter. That opinion is based on observation of double-blind testing. Note that Jim Thiel began his audio journey as one strongly in the camp of empirical / engineering driven mind-sets and choices. The coherence thing wasn’t an accident, but its existence has elements of accident.

Before introducing the 01 in 1976, we experimented with many types of transducers. Among them was a sphere covered with 1/2" tweeters with enough combined surface area to support full range reproduction. The predicted sonic nirvana didn’t happen. Over a period of months, we compared transducer types to determine our eventual platform / approach / solution. To shorten a very long and involved story, we needed a full-range coherent source as a reference - call it an inverse microphone. The Coherent Source concept began as a laboratory standard rather than a product idea.

That rightness or ease or naturalness or grace in the coherent source- was unmistakable. Coherence also unveiled myriad problems previously masked by phase scramble. A book could be written about the psycho neurology involved in interpreting sound, and the priorities and effects of "real" vs "scrambled" sound. People here have asked whether phase coherence is heard directly or part of a system of scrutiny of all factors involved in the transducer. No easy answer, but after experiencing coherence, we never looked back.
Presently I am working with the 02 as an accessible workhorse for testing and comparing various technologies. The 02 is a polarity-correct second order system (as were its successors - the entire SCS sequence.) I am building a first-order XO and adding time alignment for the 02 to address this very aspect of masking of the systems under test. Soon we’ll hear what happens when first order meets second order in the 02.
So, Jon, don’t be chagrined. Jim would have never accepted the coherence thing if he had not experienced it personally. Also, the coherence transperancy led to the need of inventing a better resistor and wire. I spent the summer of ’78 unraveling wire. Cousin Ted (our aerospace physicist) heard what we heard in the 03 prototype and suggested its similarities to low-level distortions in the Pioneer 10 / Jupiter probe communications, for which part of the solution was 6-9s (now CDA101) wire. I followed up his introduction to the project manager at ITT-NASA, and high purity, oxygen-free wire became standard in all our coils and wire from that point forward. That wire solution allowed final progress for the 03, in addition to radically changing how Jim admitted possibilities beyond his physicist / engineer comfort zone. I would call his perspective shift transformative, from quite skeptical to quite receptive. That cluster of events around first order and wire may be the defining elements of what made Thiel Thiel. Believing what we hear is crucial to real progress. Before landing on "For the Love of Music" as our first motto, another contender was "Believe It".
 If I may add to @tomthiel ‘s comments. I think that it’s important to remember that when we read of empirical statistical reports results, we often don’t get the whole picture. The results might suggest that on average most people don’t seem to perceive time and phase coherence or the lack there of. That doesn’t mean that all didn’t. For some reason, some are more sensitive to this than others. And conversely those others might be more sensitive to other aspects of sound. If I learned anything from this hobby is that while we have remarkably similar hearing; we listen quite differently. For example, one of our regular thread contributors @prof has reported his impressions of various loudspeakers here on Audiogon, and I couldn’t possibly agree more with him on every single occasion, His words could be mine; word for word. Yet, when it comes to amplifier preferences, and to a lesser degree on speaker/listener location, we are worlds apart.
 For what ever reason we tend to have very definite even though subtlety different impressions of listening impressions. Which is why I try and present as much objective evidence as I can when posting.
But what about the facts? Although Thiel claims that the phase is within 15 degrees, I have not been able to see that in any of my measurements. Time coherence on the direct sound is fine and at 10 ft measures within milliseconds. But then there is the indirect sound which is of course determined by the room characteristics. The first order xo have less minimal phase changes, but they are still there. Not to mention that the drivers are have their phase changes and they don't cancel each other out. I have worked on digital active cross overs to approach linear phase +- octave around cross over frequencies and was able to improve the phase coherence but did not have the ability to conduct a blind study to determine differences or improvements. I think we can do nowadays better to really establish the facts of time coherence and listening preferences especially with klippel measurement equipment becoming available. But I don't see the willingness to really find out the facts and integrate it with the subjective experiences. 
^It’s not practical to expect Thiel or any other loudspeaker manufacturers to build speakers that come with their own dedicated rooms.
I’ve suggested before that perhaps flat profile coincidental drivers with compensation for flush wall mounting coupled with DSP could be a solution to the dilemma you’ve pointed out. There might be Doppler effect issues that will need to be addressed with the coincidental drivers, Yes, technology moves on, sometimes applicable progress takes time to catch up.
Even though it took me twenty years of listening mostly to Thiels as my primary speakers, I'm amazed I never heard this relaxed/rightness/ease/naturalness/grace so dramatically until after a month of listening to a very good non-coherent speaker.

Why have all the hundreds of 'golden eared' reviewers over the years, I'd like to think many free from industry obligations, and preconceptions of their minimal understanding of engineering acoustics, and who actually DO have good subjective evaluation skills, never (to my awareness) so much as mentioned such a notable difference in musical presentation?? They sure can dissect the individual elements of and between speakers, and over the years Vandersteens and Thiels have certainly been frequently-enough reviewed for *someone* to mention what we notice.

Then again if it took me twenty years of having them in my home without hearing this characteristic as such, perhaps it really is a subliminal subconscious trait, revealed only after years of acclimation?