Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Value = $ / (Sound Quality Units)

I get an e-mail about 2 or 3 times a month that goes like this:

When I was a young chap, I bought a pair of [choose your classic THIEL], but on my wedding night, my lovely new bride helped put it and my Mark Levinson stuff in the closet she chose just for my stuff. She's so thoughtful! A closet just for me.

Anyway, now that my kids are in college, my wife felt it was an appropriate time to send me packing. She did give me everything that was in my special closet (now I know why it was there to begin with) which includes my THIELs!

Since only my cash earnings hidden from divorce court are resisting my ex-wife's call for alimony, I'm a bit strapped. My [THIEL model above] doesn't sound quite right after being drop kicked out the door, and I fear the worst. Do you think it's worth me trying to fix these old dogs or should I just buy new speakers?

Singh Glatlast

The answer is almost ALWAYS that the speakers should be repaired. In terms of dollars spent per units of sound quality, it is practically impossible to expect that the same several hundred dollars spent on restoring CS2s for example could get even nearly equivalent sound when spent on new speakers. Seriously, it's really hard to make audiophile speakers for $600 per pair. Even if a few hundred bucks doesn't buy you glossy new cabinets for your old THIELs, it will probably get them sounding like new.

So, if the above sounds like you (sans satire), I strongly encourage you to get your old THIELs back up and running. with few exceptions, your system will sound far better because of it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

SCS4s can do that

A while back I wrote a brief history of the SCS lineage. I'm particularly smitten with this lineup due in large part to it's excellent use of coaxial / coincident drivers. The time and phase coherent nature of our speaker brand, and the fact that these are 2-way systems using said coax drivers makes them special, maybe unique. Place them anywhere (high to low, left to right, whatever) and they remain time and phase coherent to you, dear listener.

There is a company wide love affair with the SCS4 though, that I dare say has no precedent among previous SCSs. We think about it all the time. It's an affliction. I caught Denise blushing walking out of the music room the other day. Kathy called them cute. I digress.

We think about them all the time because we use them for everything.
◆ When zöet was a mere opportunity (long before even THIELnet), we decided we needed to launch with only 1 speaker, but it had to be something that could play many parts - SCS4

◆ Ken and I wanted to do EHX with zöet since it's kind of a big deal, but it wasn't ready. So, we did 7 SCS4s (with 7 SS1s, no less). Worked well I'd say - We won 3 awards for the performance.

◆ Since I am really into music recording, I've been begging Jim for a powered monitor. Modded SCS4s ought to do well enough for that. Though it's a back-burner project, it's working under the title CSP-1.

◆ There's a new mystery project in the works that's tapping the ubiquitous SCS4. Shhh...

In addition to the SCS4 being very very flexible for us, dear listeners and fans such as yourself are putting them to good use in the abode.

◆ I, for one, gave up floorstanders for so that my darling daughter could have a bit more square footage about which she could run ragged. SCS4s are filling in nicely until she learns to drive.

◆ Countless single SCS4s are living comfortably between floorstanders as center channels.

◆ Countless SCS4s shack up 3, 5, or even 7 at a time in surround - even dedicated music surround systems.

◆ More than any other SCS, except perhaps the original, SCS4s are mated in pairs for dedicated 2 channel listening.

◆ Though most installations I know of find them on shelves, we've had many requests for stands, and we use them on stands at THIEL.

I am most pleased by how well SCS4s remain flexible but still sound SO good. Most audiophile bookshelf speakers are only ever used like floorstanders. I know of no other that has inspired the creativity of use that the SCS4 has. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.