Thiel CS2 Floorstanding Speakers

CS2

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
Steve   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 21, 2017]

Purchased Thiel CS2 in 1986 for $1500 the pair. The audition took place in a well dampened listening room. The sound stage was impressive. I could stand within two feet of the front of the speaker and hear the sound stage in between the speakers not in front of them.

They seem to faithfully reproduce program material. I agree they are revealing and profit from room dampening and placement tuning. Otherwise I have no criticism. As an audio enthusiast only I cannot give a spec by spec critique.

I originally ran them with a 50W Bryston amp. I think the amp's low power was at fault for them sounding a bit bright and lacking in bass.Years later I purchased a Hafler 9180 rated at 105W. The whole sound range improved dramatically.

Love 'em! I see Thiel has altered it's product line quite a bit. Gone is the sloped front construction. The model line is greatly reduced. Too bad for those at my budget point. In the 80's Thiel had a line with price points for all, the only way I could afford a pair. Now their target is the audiophile it seems. Too bad.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David   AudioPhile [Apr 23, 2016]

Upon auditioning these speakers, I heard a very serious tone out of them (on axis of course). Their bass is quite exceptional and is flat, their rollon to the midrange is very clean as well.

For a new audio person let me say this since there is no image of them. They scared the crap out of me everytime I looked at them in the night walking to my kitchen to get a glass of water. I mean, I traded mine in for some scarier CS 3.6's (which are tall enough to ride any rollercoaster). And those things don't scare me as much, but expect some nightmares if you haven't owned "audiophile speakers" before.

They also have the worst off axis response ever, their bass goes away and all center imaging leaves if you stand up. They also don't require a lot of power either, but I recommend experimenting with amp choice if you find a pair.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Joliet Jim   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 11, 2009]

I bought these in 1982 at Audio Consultants in Evanston. I use them to drive a 1964 Fisher 500-C tube receiver, and the combination astonishes friends who come over for a listen.

We auditioned the Thiels against quite a few speakers costing more, and my lady friend, the oboe player, made the choice. In 1982, these speakers cost $1400, and that was not cheap then.

I suppose if I had many thousands of dollars to spend, I would upgrade to the Thiel's latest top-of -the line.

But these old speakers are in perfect condition and display a fabulous presence: clear, clean and very dynamic, and I am so happy with them, I think I'd actually use inherited money to buy something else. Maybe, maybe a subwoofer. But the bass is pretty good just the way these speakers came from the factory.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
rickywallace   AudioPhile [Feb 01, 2008]
Strength:

Ruthlessly revealiing, neutral, and accurate throughout its range. You must get used to no coloration-perfect neutrality.

Weakness:

None!

Dear Thiel fans,

I am still using my Thiel CS2s. I purchased them in 1988, for about $1600 and had only one problem: replacing a driver. They have been marvelous. My system consists of mostly budget audiophile components: Adcom 555 amp, PS Audio 4.6 preamp, Thorens 146 turntable, cheap Sony cd player, Arcam tuner, Arcici turntable stand. That's about it except for the wires and interconnects.

The Thiels are some of the greatest speakers that I've ever heard. I am thinking about buying the 2.4s in the Crutchfield cataolog. I think they cost about $2400.
Also, I'm thinking about buying the NAD 515 BEE cd player to soften my system. If you can afford Thiels, buy them. Crutchfield's price ifor the 2.4s is very reasonable!

Customer Service

Thiel sent me a driver when one needed to be replace. The warranty is incredible: ten years!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 11, 2007]
Strength:

-Incredibly detailed, smooth highs (not bright as I have often heard them to be reviewed)

- Midrange was smooth, and nearly perfect, only paling in comparison to magnepans that I've heard.

- Phenomenal build quality with real wood veneers and reasonably attractive grilles.

- Incredible price-performance ratio. I found these to be superior to the B&W XT4, which retails for 2500$ a pair, in comparison to the 500$ I paid for my CS2s.

Weakness:

- Bass, while well defined was not nearly as firm and extended as it could have ideally been. I will be adding a subwoofer fairly soon in order to rectify this, but usable tones cut out around 33 hz, and it trails off sharply after 38-39 hz or so.

- Still not as dynamic and agressive as other auditioned speakers (this could be argued to be a pro)

- Power is required for proper use. Lots of power. 150 wpc works just fine for me.

Incredibly detailed, transparent speaker with an immense soundstage and airy highs.
Awesome value, (I picked them up for 500$ in a teak finish).

I'm running them off an elderly reciever from the late 70s (150 wpc), and I'm quite satisfied. A sub will be added for that extra response in the bass, but otherwise quite wonderful. Of the speakers I auditioned, I found these to be superior to all but the Magnepan 1.6QR (and obviously it's larger siblings), but with a difference of 1000$, the choice was easy.

Similar Products Used: B&W DM602s3
Paradigm S2
Magnepan 1.6QR
B&W XT4
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
MarioM   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 12, 2006]
Strength:

Analog sound, precise imaging, can listen long time with no fatigue. A can ear all detail at low level

Weakness:

none at this price

This is the first version of the cs2 that i have. The spec is : bw 42Hz-22KHz +/- 3 db, very flat amplitude response 43hz-20KHz +/- 2 db, phase response min +/- 10 degrees, sensitivity 87 dB ([at] 1 watt-meter, impedance 6 ohms, rec power 40-250 watts, size 31x31x100 cm, weight 62 lbs each. I have buy the speaker first and i have buy all the others components of my audio system after for matching with this speaker. I have noticed that with wrong component these speaker can sound bright. I chose my component for having a soft and warm sound whithout loosing on openness and precison. my associated equipment is : Jolida jd1501rc hybrid integrated amp, Van den Hul cs-122 speaker cables, the brand new Rega Apollo cd player (it is fantastic with the Thiel). The interconnect for the cd is a audioquest anaconda that give a extra openness and clarity. My mitsubishi da-f20 tuner match also very well with this setup. the result is unbelivable for a old speaker. This speaker are a bargain.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
analogmaster   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2005]
Strength:

Silky mids and highs,so real you can touch them, tremendous bass, they disappear totally leaving soundstage only.

Weakness:

Once you listen to these, you will get hooked and would not settle for anything else.

In the past, I have had bookshelf speakers with me, I did have an oppertunity to try out floorstanders, but the three or four different models I tried, did not work for me, cuz I was always aware of their presence, they did not disappear leaving with a soundstage only like their bookshelf couterparts. I have had some really great souding booKshelf speakers such as Totem Mite, Dynaudio Audience 42, Mission M60i, Linn Tukan, Mission 771e, Energy C2, and out of all these speakers, Energy C2s were in my system for over 5 years, all others spent 6 months to a year. I just happen to go to this Brack Electronics which is in Thornhill, a subarb of Toronto. They had some really high quality gear there, such as Mark Levinson, Classe, Dynaudio and other great gear which is out of reach for most of us. And just on my way out, I saw a pair of used Thiels. I asked if I can audition them, sales person said that I am welcome to audition them, and set them up and connected them with a Rotel integrated amp, and Classe CD player, I had my own cd with me, Eagles "The Long Run" album. The first thing I noticed that these Thiels, which were about 40 inches tall, totally disappeared and all remained was music only, it sounded so good, you could almost "Touch it", I was sold within a minute. These are used, there are some minor nicks but overall they are in really good condition, three way, that was the first time that I bought/heard a three way speaker system. Once I got them home, they are very heavy, about 62lbs each, my wife liked them alot for their looks, when I played Patrick O'Hearn's "So Flows the Current" cd, my wife and I, both of use were floored, for the first time in my life, I heard that re-produced music can be re-produced just like a live show, guys and girls, you really have to be here with me, these speakers sound so real, it is beyond beliefe. From now on, I will not even consider a two-way design, you are not going to get tremendous bass out of a 6 inch woofer and a tweeter, you have to have bigger drivers and it should be three-way, just like these Thiels, it has 8 inch woofer, 4.5inch mid and 1inch tweeter. Everything else sounded great hifi, with these Thiels in the chain, it sounds live, but remember, you have to use a half decent recording, you cannot put on a crapy recording and expect these to produce phenominal sound, they would not, you would hear exactly what is on the recording. In other words, there is no coloration of any kind here, some speakers, including floor standers, they emphasis in one area but lacking somewhere else. These Thiels CS2, which were manufactured between 1988 to 1992, are totally honest and have unclored sound, and for the price I paid, which is in Cnd funds, they are a steal. If you can find these used, buy them, you will stop looking for speakers, I guarantee it.

Similar Products Used: The other floorstanders I had were Signet, Mission 773e, Studio Labs.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
agrave02   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 28, 2004]
Strength:

Very detailed, transparent. Good lows, silky highs, warm middle. A good deal of head room.

Weakness:

HEAVY. You need two stout men and a mule to get them home...I picked them up, but can't imagine how much shipping would cost on these! Binding posts are tucked away on the underside - use spades or similar as the post holes are very undersized.

I was also looking to upgrade from a pair of PSB 500's I was using on a 2-channel AMC 3030. They had the used Thiel CS2 at a good price and, given Thiel's reputation, I wanted to give them a listen. After hooking them up...a two-man job as the binding posts are inconvieniently located on the bottom of the speaker...I gave them a listen with a recording that was on hand. I didn't bring in any of my own music as it was purely an opportunistic/impulse listen. So, I put in a live recording of Miles Davis. I don't know why they had this one in the shop as it was a very bad recording - hollow/tinny. So, I grabbed another CD off the table - I think it was something like Information Society...a lot of re-mixed electronica, but it was a track with David Byrne singing whose voice I am familiar with (who isn't really?). The highs and lows sounded excellent. Clear and tight bass, detailed highs, but the mids sounded veiled and muddy. I was very dissapointed given Thiel's reputation. When the salesperson asked me what I thought of them and I told him about the mids. He even took a new pair of B&O's that were handy and checked them...same problem. He then grabbed a much better recording of some piano and string instruments. All I can say is "wow". After two minutes I was sold. These speakers are very transparent. A bad recording will show all its flaws. A good recording will amaze. After bringing them home and hooking them to the AMC, I was again a little disappointed. The clarity was there, but again the mids were a little strained. And they sounded overly harsh and bright. I tried various recordings and even started looking at my amp a little sideways as I just had the tubes replaced. I dragged them into the living room to check their performance on the NAD. I hooked up my Mirage 890i's for a side by side. Finally I ran a check of the connections. It's always the simple things, isn't it? My speaker wire hadn't made a good connection - a result of the wimpy binding posts and their annoying position - so with some patience and not a small amount of luck I was able to secure a good connection. A world of difference...there was the speaker I fell in love with at the shop.

Similar Products Used: Mirage, PSB Running them through an AMC 3030 NAD 512 CD
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
John McMillen   AudioPhile [Apr 07, 2003]
Strength:

Clean, pure sonics and excellent soundstage

Weakness:

None

I bought the CS2s in 1989 and have had them ever since. They have a great soudstage and are extremely revealing. Because of their accuracy, they can be a little bright, but often this is because they are bringing out everything in a recording and many recordings tend to be recorded with a lot of treble. The build quality of Thiels are excellent and mine have withstood almost 15 years of use. I finally blew out the tweeters two years ago and Thiel reconditioned the inner workings and refinished the exterior for a modest price. I highly recommend this for anyone with CS2s who would like to "modernize" them. The sound has always been exceptional and they should sound great for years to come. I play them with Acurus Act 3 pre-processor, Acurus A100X3 amplifier, Sony S9000ES SACD/CD/DVD player and Analysis Plus Oval 9 cables.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Dave   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 03, 2000]
Strength:

Coherence, Dynamics, Timbre, Soundstage

Weakness:

slightly soft highs

These are 1988 models, I believe. I recently bought them used after selling them some 7 years ago because they were bright. The new pair was intended for a 2nd system so my expectations were not very high. But when I fired them up I was taken aback by their quality - better than I remember from before. Surprisingly, they are more coherent and have a better midrange than my newer Vandersteen 2CEs (though the Vandies go lower and have more "air" on top). I was not prepared for this level of quality from a 15 year old design. By today's standards these things are still incredibly smooth and natural sounding. They only lack a bit of crispness on top compared with newer designs with metal dome tweeters, which are probably hyped anyway (I know lots of folks who don't like them). Used with good amps I'd say these speakers can still compete with anything under $2500 today if you can accept their soft highs.

Similar Products Used: Vandersteen, PSB
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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