- Published on 19 January 2009
Further Notes on THIEL's CS3.7 Floor-standing Speakers - February 18, 2011
by John E. Johnson, Jr.
Following on Chris Groppi's review of the THIEL CS3.7 speakers in January, 2009, Micah Sheveloff, who represents THIEL, asked me if I would like to listen to them myself, and I readily accepted. I set them up and burned them in for several hundred hours with pink noise at about 85 dB as per Micah's recommendations. Apparently, the 3.7's take quite a while to reach their optimum performance, probably because of all the metal cones (actually they are flat, rippled discs).
After the burn-in period, I sat down for many hours of listening, mostly to classical music, but also some big band and small group jazz.
I was really quite surprised. The THIEL CS3.7's are some of the most neutral speakers I have ever heard. In fact, I didn't hear the speakers at all. What I did hear were trombones, drums, clarinets, violins, saxophones, and all the other instruments in recorded music. The speakers themselves disappeared.
It is difficult to say how THIEL has managed to design a speaker that does this, but all you need to do is take a look at the speaker with the grille removed, and you can get an idea of how unique they are. The tweeter dome and upper midrange are concentric which gives more of a point-source effect.
I performed an impulse response test in my listening room, at 3 meters, on-axis. The graph is shown below. The impulse response itself is in the upper graph, and the calculated quasi-anechoic frequency response is in the lower graph.
My conclusion is that THIEL has moved speaker technology to a new level with this very unusual, and very effective design. What a fabulous legacy for Jim Thiel.