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!

About the CS2.4 serial numbers . . . I’ve been piecing together the history puzzle. What seems clear is that the transition to Asian inputs such as CS2.4 crossover manufacture was far from smooth or steady. Even though Rob says Lex 2.4 XO manufacture ceased around #220-230, that’s only part of the story. We have evidence from participants on this forum that later XOs were Lexington-built and that some later Asian XOs were decidedly inferior to some earlier ones. One key is that FST, the "best" supplier wasn’t the first supplier and that the road was pretty rocky to arriving at well-made units with top grade parts.

The Lexington XO department was not disabled until New Thiel moved to Nashville. While it was operational, runs of "old Thiel" crossovers could be and were made in Lexington with classic Thiel parts to fill in until acceptable units arrived from Asia.

With the records gone it seems the most reliable test is whether a board is built on masonite or not. If yes, then it is from Lexington with classic Thiel parts and QC - which means very tight performance assurance. If fiberglas, then more is unknown. Some Asian boards that I’ve seen are quite poor and some quite good.

Another potentially confusing element is the SE designation. The Signature Edition had a special cabinet with red Birdseye Maple veneer, SS bolts and outriggers, and larger, signed back plate. The only electronic upgrade was the ClarityCap SAs in the coax feed replacing the standard Solen caps. I think that run had its own serial numbers (1-300?) However many regular 2.4s have had the SE cap upgrade or better and some designated (red BE, etc.) SEs use Asian boards with SA caps. So, there are more variants of the 2.4 than might be assumed. I now have a pair on loan from a collaborator (#3729-30), in mature-Asian form with clean coils, polyester (MPT) caps and PP 1uF bypass caps, rather than classic polypropylene caps and tin-styrene bypasses. This is a de-spec iteration which I predict would sound inferior to a classic Thiel build. But it does sound delightful. Despite its somewhat shady history, what a wonderful product!

My CS2.4 serial number 384X, the last digit faded out unreadable, this is xover photo taken 5 years ago before modding.

Thiel 2.4 SN 384x orginal xover




My Thiel CS 2.4s are serial# 2951 and 2952. Purchased pre-owned from Audio Consultants. Speakers were approximately 5 years old at time of puchase in April of 2011, with 5 years remaining on the warranty.  So presumably manufactured some time in 2006.  So with respect to the boards and parts, where does that leave me?

Additional factoid: On my Thiel Warranty Registration, date of sale to original owner is listed as July 6, 2006.

The pictured XO looks just like mine. If 2951-2 look like that, they're from the same era. Those black caps are polyester-mylar (one down from polypropylene), the coils are well-made from CDA-102 wire, which is high-end regulation wire, one step down from Thiel CDA-101, which is the best available. I tested these resistors and found them to be the non-inductive resistors that Jim had designed and made by ERSE. Although they look like normal sand-cast, but are better. Note that these PCBs are actually point to point layouts with no traces that can cause troubles. This wire has Thiel signature teflon insulation. All in, I would be happy with these boards, unlike some we have seen with obviously poorly wound coils and unknown insulation.

That said, if you're DIY-inclined, you could elevate the sonics by upgrading all resistors to Mills MRA-12s and all film caps to CSAs with the 100uF electrolytics to some upgrade recommended on this forum. I have eliminated all electrolytics and have developed an affordable CSA-type 100uF cap that works well. Not ready yet. 

I don't want to open Pandora's Box regarding product iterations and quality levels. I'm told that all 2.4s were assembled in Lexington, approved by Jim and tested to the historical standards. I have expressed my personal disappointment that some particulars of parts quality eroded after my watch. But, compared to competitive products in design and execution, I suspect Thiel stayed way up on the value charts.