Hard choice, Thiel CS3.6 vs PSB Stratus GOLDi ????

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by JohMabe, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. JohMabe

    JohMabe Stunt Coordinator

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    Dear audiophiles,

    I'm considering upgrading my pair of Dynaudio Audience 120 speakers to mammoth tower speakers, and the two options I'm currently considering, after so much research, are the PSB Stratus GOLDi and the Thiel CS3.6. The PSB is new, the Thiel, much obviously, is used.

    Anyway, one more info I should add is that the Thiel received an upgrade by the former owner, with crossovers supplied by Thiel itself, and it's supposed to have improved the speakers by $3000 worth, some say.

    I'm looking for deep and extended bass extention, and an at least average midrange. What would be the choice to make?

    My current equipment is Mccormack TLC-1, Mccormack DNA-0.5, Adcom GCD-750 and the Dynaudios. I was planning to acquire a Rel subwoofer, but I decided to upgrade to towers, so I eliminated the subwoofer off my list.

    Thanks to those who help and read.
     
  2. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    The Gold i is a full range (almost) with a rather mellow, inviting sound. The Thiel is brighter and more revealing. The choice to make is: do you prefer a mellow or more revealing sound. As you can imagine, only you can answer that question.
     
  3. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    my father owns the PSB Gold I's and i have to say they are not "almost" full range, they ARE! he feeds them with a citation 7.1 amp that gives them around 300 watts per side or so. they sing and slam you into the corner...
     
  4. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Almost full range as in they're not gonna hit 20hz with power. Only a much larger speaker will do that. But point well taken.
     
  5. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    yeah, they arent a subwoofer, they are a speaker, but i am a bass freak and if i owned the speaker i wouldnt have to have a sub with them. (that says a LOT). they arent bass shy with enough power. in fact, they embrace it [​IMG]

    but i understand what you are saying too...
     
  6. Stephen M

    Stephen M Stunt Coordinator

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    Boy, it has been a long time since I heard the PBS Golds, but I have significant experience with the Thiels and IMO they sound MUCH better than PBS on imaging, definition and high end extension. You need excellent equipment up stream and a high current amp, but there is no comparison on sound quality if you have the right ancilaries. (PS; I owned the Golds about four years ago. I assume they have undergone upgrades, but my former Thiel 1.5s mopped the floor with them other than the bottom 20 hz so I bought the Thiels and a sub. YMMV)[​IMG]
     
  7. Dave.Zeb

    Dave.Zeb Extra

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    Hmm, just curious. I have no experience with Theil, but from all I have read and from experience listening to, the very thing that most folk seem to regard as PSB's strongest point is it's incredible imaging quality. Currently I own the silveri's. I'm overwhelmed with their soundstage, as are many of the most discerning audio reviewers out there these days. It's what made me move in their direction overall. Never heard a speaker fill a room the way they do(in this price range).

    Not saying that what you are saying is incorrect, and I plan on finding some Theil speakers to audition just to hear what you are referring to, but to say a speaker blows away the Goldi's imaging is really taking the bar up high. Again, curious, but what price range are we speaking of with the Theil CS3.6? Are they in the same class?
     
  8. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    PSB Stratus Golds are known for their excellent midrange.
    I am an unabashedly enthusiastic owner of Stratus Golds.

    I find it somewhat unusual that you have narrowed your choices down to these two models. They are, in my opinion, very different sounding speakers. When I was auditioning replacements for my trusty ADS's, I found Thiels too analytical sounding; cold to my ears. Reviewers often say that this enables them to better evaluate other equipment in their listening chain.

    As someone stated ealier, the PSB's are a more laid back speaker; more forgiving of lesser recordings and equipment.
    And to my ears, they sound great.

    One factor that you will want to consider is how loud you like to play your equipment and how narrow a 'sweet spot' you want or need... Thiel's first order crossovers probably give them the edge in imaging ability, but this comes at the expense of both loudness capability and how good the speaker sounds off-axis. PSB uses 3rd or 4th order crossovers; these increase a speaker's dynamic capability and broaden its off-axis listenability. Read up on crossovers and you'll see why. This part of my response is fact, not opinion.

    In short, if you like it loud, and don't want to sit with your head in a vise to listen to music, I feel that the Golds have the edge.
     
  9. Kevin Magee

    Kevin Magee Agent

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    I owned the PSB Stratus GOLD(i) for three years. Great speakers but I'd consider the Thiel a cleaner sounding speaker and that's what I would pick.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Not an owner, but I love the sound of the Theils.
     

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