Friday, May 30, 2008


Jim Thiel is one of the most innovative speaker designers of all time. He bases all of his designs on common sense and hard science, not marketing. Instead of coming out with a new line of speakers every three years or so, Thiel chooses to wait longer and release speakers that are revolutionary as apposed to evolutionary. The dizzying number of finish options are all well done and allow those who worry about aesthetics to have a large number of choices. They even go as far as to offer custom matching of existing wood work. Does the wife have an 18th centaury armoire that she insists be matched? No problem. Send the nice folks in Lexington Kentucky a sample and in about a week or two they will send back three samples with pricing for each.

Thiel’s newest speakers, the CS3.7 is a masterstroke. For a company whose speakers have always been very seamless owing to their time and phase coherent design the 3.7 takes it to the next level. The vanishing act that these speakers pull off is quite startling. Like all Thiel speakers they do take quite some time to break in. Many believe that the extended break in time required is related to the metal drivers and the solid core wiring used through out the line.

The new 3.7 is significantly more efficient than it’s predecessor, providing twice the output from a given amount of input power. The most technologically innovative aspect of the 3.7 is it’s midrange driver which has response all the way up to 20kHz. The traditional tweeter that lies at the center of the midrange driver is there mostly to improve dispersion. The new midrange driver’s ripples also are unique and add a great amount of structural strength, which reduces distortion. Below is an interview with Jim Thiel conducted by Ken Dawkins. He discusses many of the facets that make his new speaker a technological tour de force. Click on the picture to view the video.

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