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JohnRice

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I finally looked up the CS5 and 5i. I only vaguely remembered it. It's an unusual design, and I get the impression it was one of Thiel's less popular ones. The 3.6 was - by far - their most popular, but the 6 and 7.2 were also popular, just more expensive. As far as driving it, I suspect the XPA-DR2 can do a great job, even if technically the impedance is lower than it's rated for. I just have to say that the 3.6s are revived with that amp. It is so much better than Emotiva's earlier amps and it handles those speakers like it was made for them.

Rob Gillum is probably your best resource for info on Thiel speakers. He's rebuilt, as I recall, three of my drivers. That tweeter in the 5i appears to be the same as in mine. That might be the last Thiel speaker without coincident mid/tweet. If you asked him about amps, I suspect he'd turn his nose up at Emotiva in general. All I can say is the DR amps are something entirely different. In fact, the entire Gen3 line might be, since I suspect the DRs just use two of the Gen3 modules per channel, instead of one. The differential configuration will have some benefits, but I don't know how much. The basic characteristics should be the same.
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Probably just in time for me to see about picking up an AVM-60 for less... :cool:


:cheers:

Meanwhile, I spotted another used pair of Thiel CS3.6s sold pickup-only nearby enough (about an hour and change drive) at a serious (significantly below $1K) bargain that makes me reconsider going for the used 5i's (that may need tweeter restoration) -- couldn't make it this weekend for a 2nd "audition" and test. Also spotted another used pair of Vandy 3A Sigs at hard-to-pass price that's making me reconsider as well -- if I had the space, I'd be very tempted to just buy both (for what the used Thiel 5i's would cost alone before accounting for tweeter restoration costs) and use them in separate configs, ie. Vandys mostly for HT, Thiel CS3.6 for stereo only.

I'm still doing homework w/ some reservations about whether the Emotiva XPA-DR2 will be enough to drive those 5i's well (to yield better results than it driving the CS3.6s). Looking at alternatives like Parasound (new or used) that some Thiel owners apparently use, but they're easily 2-3x as expensive as the XPA-DR2... :huh:

Maybe I could convince my wife to let me buy both those 5i's and bargain priced CS3.6s and compare (using the XPA-DR2) for myself, LOL. It's not so crazy considering I used to do just that w/ violins and violas for our 3 kids (and me), except those don't require nearly as much space as these speakers (and we probably won't have the room ready enough for at least another month)... :lol:

_Man_
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Probably just in time for me to see about picking up an AVM-60 for less... :cool:


:cheers:

Meanwhile, I spotted another used pair of Thiel CS3.6s sold pickup-only nearby enough (about an hour and change drive) at a serious (significantly below $1K) bargain that makes me reconsider going for the used 5i's (that may need tweeter restoration) -- couldn't make it this weekend for a 2nd "audition" and test. Also spotted another used pair of Vandy 3A Sigs at hard-to-pass price that's making me reconsider as well -- if I had the space, I'd be very tempted to just buy both (for what the used Thiel 5i's would cost alone before accounting for tweeter restoration costs) and use them in separate configs, ie. Vandys mostly for HT, Thiel CS3.6 for stereo only.

I'm still doing homework w/ some reservations about whether the Emotiva XPA-DR2 will be enough to drive those 5i's well (to yield better results than it driving the CS3.6s). Looking at alternatives like Parasound (new or used) that some Thiel owners apparently use, but they're easily 2-3x as expensive as the XPA-DR2... :huh:

Maybe I could convince my wife to let me buy both those 5i's and bargain priced CS3.6s and compare (using the XPA-DR2) for myself, LOL. It's not so crazy considering I used to do just that w/ violins and violas for our 3 kids (and me), except those don't require nearly as much space as these speakers (and we probably won't have the room ready enough for at least another month)... :lol:

_Man_
Hmmm... seems a used Parasound HCA-3500 (w/ some basic, recommended mods) may be a possible alternative candidate in the under-$2K range, if the XPA-DR2 doesn't satisfy. Supposedly close though not quite as good as the Halo JC1 monoblocks, but the (used) JC1s would also cost 2-3x as much.

Meanwhile, looks like I will go ahead and take the plunge on the used Thiel CS 5i's for $2.4K... and I suppose they deserve a new thread over in the speakers section at some point... though it will probably be a few more months before I actually have the room reno (and whatever acoustic treatments) all done for them and the new HT setup. :lol: I will probably start w/ the XPA-DR2, especially since it can be returned if it doesn't satisfy.

Depending on how sales go for the Anthem AVM-60, I might just run my Oppo 95 straight into the amp at first for stereo playback until the room's ready for HT. I do also still have a cheap, old Yamaha AVR (w/ unprocessed, analog audio mode) as well as old Rotel prepro I could use as preamp in the short term if need be...

_Man_
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Just sent my $500 deposit toward those used Thiel CS 5i's earlier this afternoon. Have a month to complete the sale and take physical ownership of them, ie. get my ground floor space (and most preferably the dedicated HT room) ready enough for them to call home...

Meanwhile, one would be tempted to think eBay knows something since a seller nearly immediately knocked $500 off a used Parasound Halo JC1 (that I was watching), LOL. But it's only 1 JC1... and would still cost ~2x what I'd want to spend at this point -- I'd probably need to be able to get a pair in excellent working condition for circa $3K to give it serious consideration... and that seems highly unlikely to happen...

_Man_
 

John Dirk

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Probably just in time for me to see about picking up an AVM-60 for less... :cool:

I had the same thought although it may be awhile before I can afford to pull the trigger unless the deal is simply that good.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I had the same thought although it may be awhile before I can afford to pull the trigger unless the deal is simply that good.
Most of the better deals will likely end up in the 2ndary market me thinks.

We'll probably see a lot more AVM-60s (used, "like new" and even NiB but w/out guarantee of warranty coverage) entering that market before long, driving the street prices lower while authorized retail might not change that much.

Of course, would be nice if Anthem decide to offer some kinda official instant rebate to clear inventory some (and maybe also effectively lower pricing on open box units that still come w/ full coverage).

Can't imagine too many new buyers would wanna save just $500 (out of $3K-plus) to go w/ a nearly-5-yo prepro instead of a new one that's much more future-proof...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Interesting Anthem apparently already ditched the AVM-60, et al from the main/primary section of their site essentially relegating them to the obsoleted/legacy support section while getting all the newly announced products in place even though their ETA isn't til Dec -- it didn't seem completely clear before they would (immediately) discontinue the 60, but this (along w/ the across-the-board redesign of AVPs and AVRs plus the pricing for the new 70) definitely points that way.

Guess they wanna make sure to get in on this holiday shopping season's push especially since the heated competition is on w/ Marantz/Denon, et al during this pandemic no less...

_Man_
 
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JohnRice

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Emotiva is having one of their rewards sales. You get 20% in rewards on purchases over $100. The reward is good for a future purchase and expires in 90 days.

I have been planning some amp upgrades and now I'm faced with actually doing what I dreamed, or dialing it down a bit. I'm so happy with the XPA-DR2 that I dreamed of adding a XPA-DR1 for the center. Of course, how gross overkill is that, and should I just go with the HC-1, which is $500 less? I'll use the reward toward a second A-300 to power the second pair of upcoming Atmos speakers.

The difference is HC-1 is 300/600 WPC into 8/4 Ohms. My center is 4Ohm. DR1 is fully balanced, as is the rest of my system, with 650/1,000 WPC into 8/4Ohm. Otherwise the specs are essentially the same. I've said before that I suspect the amp modules are the same in both models, just that the DR series has two of them running differential for each channel. That and a bigger power supply for the DR.

My buddy @John Dirk is on a "no compromises" journey, so that would steer me toward the DR1. I've been saving my clams...
 

John Dirk

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Aren't the Emotiva's usually modular designs? Can't you just have them upgrade your current chassis?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Woah
Emotiva is having one of their rewards sales. You get 20% in rewards on purchases over $100. The reward is good for a future purchase and expires in 90 days.
Woah! Guess that seals it for me on an XPA-DR2 order... probably followed by a subsequent XPA-3 Gen 3 to use that reward credit just in time to round out my new HT setup. Wonder how long that promo runs. Hopefully thru the entire holiday shopping season as I'd like to hold off at least til beginning of Dec when I finally take possession of the Thiel 5i's.

My buddy @John Dirk is on a "no compromises" journey, so that would steer me toward the DR1. I've been saving my clams...
Niiice...

These Thiels (and your reverse psyching :lol:) are pushing me much further toward that realm than I ever thought I'd consider... and I don't even have them in the house yet, LOL.

I'm actually actively looking for/at used Parasound JC1s to see if I can round up a pair that I can maybe stretch bigly for... :lol:

_Man_
 
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JohnRice

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Aren't the Emotiva's usually modular designs? Can't you just have them upgrade your current chassis?
Yes, but there are power supply issues, especially when driving low impedance speakers, and it's unlikely I will have higher impedance speakers. For example, my DR2 can be modified to a DR3 (the maximum configuration) but the 4 Ohm output to all three channels will be 600 WPC vs. 1,000 on the DR1. Of course, that's less than 3dB difference, but still. I know I'm not the only one here on a mission of gratuitous overkill. That takes me to the option of the HC-1 for the center, which probably isn't that much more than an upgrade would cost. The effortlessness of the DR2 really has me impressed.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I have no idea what you're referring to. Who would ever want to own Thiels? You'd have to be crazy.
Well, there's also my former coworker buddy -- one half of an old Odd Couple -- from 25 years ago haha... I should finally get in touch w/ him again and see where he's at w/ his wine-sipping and all that... as I'm still occasionally in touch w/ his curmudgeony buddy, who'd probably get a kick out of this... :laugh:

He did also introduce me to plenty good music in the process back then... though it's taken me forever to finally warm to some Mahler (after opera and Bartok string quartets over the years... though still not quite there w/ Shostakovich quartets that have been collecting dust for 20+ years)... and probably just in time for these Thiels and surrounding upgrades, haha...


And... these things seem kinda like domino effect...

Just took the plunge on a used Anthem AVM-60 off eBay after a little NYC(hinese)-vs-Texan style haggling, LOL. Had previously been barely outbid on a couple other auctions. Definitely enjoyed the bits of banter for this one... especially as he cried, "you're stretching me thin" as they apparently say in Texas... :laugh: Seems a very responsive, straight-shootin' fellow. And he's even been using it w/ Emotiva amps (though he also confessed he doesn't hear a real diff via the XLR connections, but then, he's not using a DR model and probably aren't driving Thiels or the like), hehheh...

Now, I can at least return the disappointing Cable Matters HDMI matrix switcher I bought from Amazon to handle 4K (and not need to shop for another interim solution) even though I won't have the new HT done for some time yet. Actually tried 2 diff units, and both caused significant, consistent banding in 4K HDR10 BT2020 content (whether from disc player or Roku) mostly in dusky, light blue skies and some off-white areas like walls indoors. The Roku's AppleTV app also didn't play nice w/ the switcher (at start of each stream)... though I eventually figured out how to work around the issue, but it's still very annoying nonetheless -- might be Apple's fault more than the switcher though as that's the only app that had significant trouble. Otherwise, it seems a pretty decent switcher at a reasonable price (the complete throwaway remote notwithstanding)...

:cheers:

_Man_
 

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Class A/B amps ...

I started out like many as a stereo person so after many amps ended up with one that I was happy with. It was an 185W Class A/B design by Tim de Paravicini. I managed to get a hold of a second one and was blown away when bi-amping. So moving on, I eventually decided to go Home Theatre, so decided to just get a 3rd and a few more speakers. So I now have 3x Class A(B) big solid state amps.

I love the headroom that they have. They effortlessly go and go and go. Great slam and very revealing. And that is also part of their downside. Unless it is playing something quite modern and well made then it doesnt sound very good. But then when I listened to a friends AV receiver set up I was happy to go back home and switch mine on. I cant use it for every day easy listening. I have to manually switch (all 3) on before listening, let them warm up for an hour and then switch them all off again after my session ends, so not the easiest to live with. They use gallons of electricity and fill a small room with heat.

Not easy to go to 7.1 as would need to find another power amp.

If you want an easy life then I would suggest a good AV Receiver that you like the sound of. If you like to play then go the separates route.

Oh, and why do AV Processors cost way more than AV receivers? Separates cost a lot.
 
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JohnRice

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Class A/B amps ...

I started out like many as a stereo person so after many amps ended up with one that I was happy with. It was an 185W Class A/B design by Tim de Paravicini. I managed to get a hold of a second one and was blown away when bi-amping. So moving on, I eventually decided to go Home Theatre, so decided to just get a 3rd and a few more speakers. So I now have 3x Class A(B) big solid state amps.

I love the headroom that they have. They effortlessly go and go and go. Great slam and very revealing. And that is also part of their downside. Unless it is playing something quite modern and well made then it doesnt sound very good. But then when I listened to a friends AV receiver set up I was happy to go back home and switch mine on. I cant use it for every day easy listening. I have to manually switch (all 3) on before listening, let them warm up for an hour and then switch them all off again after my session ends, so not the easiest to live with. They use gallons of electricity and fill a small room with heat.

Not easy to go to 7.1 as would need to find another power amp.

If you want an easy life then I would suggest a good AV Receiver that you like the sound of. If you like to play then go the separates route.

Oh, and why do AV Processors cost way more than AV receivers? Separates cost a lot.
Which amp(s) specifically do you have? In another thread you said they were pure Class A, but you seem to be saying they are A/B here, though I'm not sure.

Class D amps have also come a long way, though good ones are still quite expensive. They do have some inherent benefits... and drawbacks. One of the owners here has been encouraging a couple of us to try Class D.

I did get a new amp for my mains this year. It's a class H, which is a variation on A/B. It's actually the best sounding amp I've ever had with my sp[eakers.
 

aard

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Which amp(s) specifically do you have? In another thread you said they were pure Class A, but you seem to be saying they are A/B here, though I'm not sure.

Class D amps have also come a long way, though good ones are still quite expensive. They do have some inherent benefits... and drawbacks. One of the owners here has been encouraging a couple of us to try Class D.

I did get a new amp for my mains this year. It's a class H, which is a variation on A/B. It's actually the best sounding amp I've ever had with my sp[eakers.
Hi. Sorry for the confusion. In my other thread I said that they were biased into Class A. It is a rare bread of amp to be pure class A. They are Musical Fidelity A370 amps that have been fully rebuilt by an ex MF engineer. They are different models of the A370 but have been rebuilt to be identical internally (with some modern upgrades for stability)
 

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Class H

I was just reading up on class-H amplifiers and they look very interesting.
 

JohnRice

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Hi. Sorry for the confusion. In my other thread I said that they were biased into Class A. It is a rare bread of amp to be pure class A. They are Musical Fidelity A370 amps that have been fully rebuilt by an ex MF engineer. They are different models of the A370 but have been rebuilt to be identical internally (with some modern upgrades for stability)
I've used a couple Class A amps. A big Threshold and a lower power Forté I think it was. I didn't own them, just sampled them for a while. For a long time I used an amp designed by Dan D'Agostino (Krell) who designed a lot of Class A amps. That was the legendary Aragon 4004, which wasn't Class A but was biased extremely high to 50 watts with 200 watt maximum. It eventually just burned out.

The new Class H amp I got is an Emotiva XPA-DR2. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. It really is an excellent amp. Maybe not as airy as Class A, but has noticeably tighter impact and controls my Thiels better than anything else I've tried in the roughly 28 years I've had them. It's kind of surprising how good it sounds. Being Class H, it's efficient and not terribly heavy. It's not Class D efficient, but more efficient than a traditional A/B design.
 

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I've used a couple Class A amps. A big Threshold and a lower power Forté I think it was. I didn't own them, just sampled them for a while. For a long time I used an amp designed by Dan D'Agostino (Krell) who designed a lot of Class A amps. That was the legendary Aragon 4004, which wasn't Class A but was biased extremely high to 50 watts with 200 watt maximum. It eventually just burned out.

The new Class H amp I got is an Emotiva XPA-DR2. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. It really is an excellent amp. Maybe not as airy as Class A, but has noticeably tighter impact and controls my Thiels better than anything else I've tried in the roughly 28 years I've had them. It's kind of surprising how good it sounds. Being Class H, it's efficient and not terribly heavy. It's not Class D efficient, but more efficient than a traditional A/B design.
I havnt heard some of these as isnt always easy to get a hold of them. Thiels have always looked interesting. Have heard a few big monobloc Krells with Wilson Audio Maxx speakers in a demo and the combination was unforgettable.
 

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