Friday, September 18, 2009

Please share your memories of Jim Thiel with us here

Hi All,

I suppose most people have now heard that we lost our dear friend and leader yesterday. So many of you have been so kind and have shared your thoughts and memories with us by phone and e-mail. Will you please continue to do so as a comment below? We at THIEL will share our memories soon. Thanks so much.


Anonymous Bob said...

I want to express to the family, friends and staff at Thiel Audio my

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Jim Thiel. I am very fortunate to
have met him once at a demo of the CS3.7 in Boston. I remember him to be
a very gracious, soft spoken and talented man. He has enhanced my love of
music through his work. I feel very fortunate to be a beneficiary of his

I've been a fan of Jim and his work since I purchased a pair of 2.3's. I
now own a pair of 3.7's. I wouldn't trade those speakers for anything.

I will miss him.

Warmest Regards,

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Irv said...

To All of my Friends at Thiel,

My heart goes out to you as you mourn the loss of Jim Thiel.

His presence and energy created a wonderful body of work that brought the power of music into the homes of thousands of people. I was fortunate to first meet Jim briefly at CES many years ago. I went to work at Soundings in Denver largely so I could sell Thiel speakers. That move allowed me to have a career in high-end audio.

The next time I have the privilege of listening to Thiel loudspeakers, I will think of the man behind the company and my good fortune for having met this kind and talented gentleman.

While our industry has lost an icon and a pioneer, it is so much richer because of him.

With love and sorrow,

Irv Gross

10:46 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

Hello Gary,

I'm hoping you remember me from the recent CEDIA show in Atlanta; I stopped by your booth and we spoke briefly about Thiel Audio, about my 3.6s and about how much I've enjoyed my Thiel speakers over the last 25+ years. I originally owned 03a's for many years and subsequently sold them to a friend (who still owns them) to upgrade to my current 3.6s, which I've had about 12 years now. At the show, I was admiring the special edition 3.7s that you pointed out to me when they were displayed at the booth; they are amazingly beautiful speakers.

The point of this email is to acknowledge that I read earlier today with great sadness of the passing of Jim Thiel. While I unfortunately met and spoke to Jim on only a few occassions, I feel he was somehow a part of my life for the last 25+ years. I briefly "met" Jim - and Kathy - for the first time over 25 years ago at a seminar at Audio Visions, in Long Island, NY. I had talked to Jim on and off over the years at various trade shows and he always took the time to speak with me and seemed to get genuine pleasure when I told him of my enjoyment with my Thiel speakers. He referred to me as the "guy at Consumer Reports that loves Thiel speakers."

I was surprised at how strong a reaction I had when reading of the passing of a person that I had only met and spoken to a few times, but I found myself feeling very much saddened by his passing; it was as if I was experiencing the loss of a long-time friend.

Over the years, I would always try to stop at your booth at the various trade shows. After finishing my work, I always allowed myself a little time for enjoyment, and the best part for me was always stopping at the Thiel booth. I heard Jim's varioius new speaker designs over the years, met or spoke with Kathy, Ken and Walter whenever I could, and made a point of annually talking to Dave Cubine when he was still at Thiel; he became my annual "Thiel friend." I genuinely enjoyed my visits to the Thiel booths over the years, and my chances at conversations with Thiel staffers.

So I guess it's this history with Thiel that explains my strong feelings over the passing of Jim Thiel. I feel I've lost someone who has been part of my life for many years.

It is with sincere sadness that I express my regrets to the Thiel family. l am confident that there are many thousands of people all over the world in whom Jim will live on - every time they enjoy his speakers -- which is what I will do right now -- into the wee hours of the morning.

Best Regards,

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Vance said...

I just heard about Jim today. I am so very sorry for your loss. Please pass my sympathies on to everyone there in Kentucky. This is truly a sad day for anyone who was touched by Jim's genius and dedication to the art.


Vance Hiner

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Dear folks-

I just received the very disturbing news of Jim's passing. I must admit that this was of an utmost shock to me both on a personal and business level. My personal condolences go out to all of you and to Jim's entire family.

I recall my dealings with Jim to be very favorable and I highly enjoyed interfacing with him. He was a true enthusiast and a gentleman.

I will always remember him in my heart and every time I sit down and listen to my CS3.7's.

He was an icon in our industry and he will now have eternity to sit back, relax, and enjoy "perfect" sound with all the true enthusiasts in Heaven.

Warmest regards, Dave Costa/Future Sound

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing, yet at the same time I feel blessed to have gotten to spend a little bit of time with him. I can remember back when I was a “kid” in the early 80s reading The Absolute Sound and frequently seeing a Thiel product show up in their “A” recommended list……..and then 20+ years later to be sitting in THIEL HQ and talking to Jim Thiel seemed almost surreal to me. Those 3 hours that afternoon that he spent “training” Dave and I on our visit to your HQ is a fond memory of my time in this business. And the fact that he made the trip to our HQ to train our staff only further proves what a special man he was; didn’t take himself too seriously, but definitely took his work seriously. It was all good.

Please accept my sincere condolences, and know that there are many of us who are grieving with you. I hope the pain of your grief will subside over time and you will be left with only joyful memories.

My best regards,

Tim Freeman

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Marc said...

I am deeply saddened to learn of your loss. It is a privilege to know Jim as well as consider all of you my friends.

My condolences,

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

The audio industry has lost a lot with the passing of your leading man,
Jim Thiel. May the Lord be with you and your coworkers in this time of sadness,
Ben Shaffer

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I am truly sorry for your loss. I met him on a few occasions at shows and he was always a very warm and kind. A true gentleman.


Chris Mercurio

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Ron said...


Please accept my most sincere condolensces regarding Jim.

I regret that I did not meet him, but am very very proud to be associated with the company which bears his name.

As a far away bystander I cannot help but think that a life dedicated to enabling others to enjoy music at it's finest is simply beautiful. I hope that thought brings comfot in what certainly is a difficult time.

Ronald K. Buffington

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Andres said...

Jim was like a great long-time band, touring and still providing great music that you never want to end, though someday you know it will". I told him that while Jim is now gone, the music will continue!

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Todd Walldorf said...

I have many great memories of Jim from the CS6 speakers I owned to having had the pleasure of talking to him at various audiophile trade shows throughout the years.

Bottom line is that Jim helped make this industry fun, and I will miss seeing him.

My deepest sympathies to Kathy and the Thiel team.

Todd Walldorf

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Greg said...

I was introduced to Thiel loudspeakers by my grandfather who purhcased a pair of 03's a long time ago. I had the pleasure to meet Jim on a couple of occasions and just wanted to send along my condolences.

11:42 AM  
Blogger phil said...

I always had a strong passion for Thiel speakers over the last 30 years and was sorry to hear of Jim's untimely death. While I'm just one of his many small customers, I will remember him for developing wonderful products that brought great sound at affordable prices.
Phil Baker
Tech columnist, San Diego Transcript
Author, From Concept to Consumer

11:53 AM  
Blogger Chancedog said...

My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Jim Thiel.
A highlight of any trade show was the Thiel press conference. Jim would talk with great knowledge and in layman's terms so the entire crowd---and there was always a huge crowd of press---could understand.

I was first introduced to the Thiel magic back at WCES Vegas in 1991. In a suite, high above the lights of the city, I listened to classical music on a pair of Thiel speakers and was overcome with emotion.

My heart goes out to Dear Kathy and the entire Thiel Team.

Maureen Jenson
CustomRetailer, E-Gear and CEDIA's Electronic Lifestyles Publications and Online

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Eyal Kattan said...

My heart goes out to the extended Thiel family.

We have just recently joined this wonderful family as new dealers for Thiel Audio and I was hoping to meet this legend in person one day. I now will only be able to dream what it would have been like and envy the people who did have the privillege to know him in person.

Rest in peace Jim. I know you are in a better place now.

Eyal Kattan

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Brad O'Toole said...

To my friends at Thiel Audio,

It is strange how you miss someone you have only talked to briefly over the years. My first meeting with Jim was at the Sahara years ago at CES. I worked with a competitor at the time, and thought I would be thrown out of the room. Just the opposite occurred. Jim took the time to enthusiastically (in his soft spoken way) describe the latest product and why it was unique.
Further meetings at shows were always backed by a smile and a friendly hello.

It is always difficult to lose someone, but even more so when they were genuine and passionate towards others and life. My condolences to family and friends.

Brad O'Toole / Transparent Audio

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I have never sold nor owned Thiel speakers, I have always respected Jim's designs. I am sadded that the audio community has lost such a fine man so early too.

My repsects to the family and friends, Anthony Rago

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Thiel was one of the founding fathers of American high-end audio. He had a consuming passion for loudspeaker design coupled with an amazingly inventive mind that devised innovative solutions to engineering challenges. He never stopped at “good enough,” always striving to push the boundaries of what was possible. Underlying his lifelong dedication to his art was a deep commitment to delivering the best possible musical experience for his customers. Jim was also a great human being who had tremendous integrity and a total lack of hubris despite his enormous talents. High-end audio has lost one of its greatest voices. —Robert Harley, Editor-in-Chief, The Absolute Sound

12:50 PM  
Blogger James said...

After I purchased my first pair of Thiel loudspeakers in 1986, I wrote a letter to Thiel the company to compliment their wonderful musicality. I really did not expect a reply, because none was needed; but a week or two later I received a letter from Jim Thiel, who warmly thanked me for being a customer and wished me a wonderful time with my music. He took the time to care, even for a customer who purchased his lowest price product. My condolences to all at Thiel loudspeakers, and my best wishes for your future success.


1:17 PM  
Anonymous Ed Foster said...

I first met Jim and Kathy at a Winter CES on a cold day in Chicago. They had just launched the company and I was a reviewer for the now-defunct STEREO QUARTERLY. Then, as now, I carried my own music sources because I have heard more trumped up demos than there are defunct audio magazines. Working under Ben Bauer in the Acoustics & Magnetics Department of CBS Laboratories for a number of years, I knew something about loudspeaker design and acoustics (as well as electronics and recording, my first loves), and when I left the labs to launch DSL, was head of the Electromechanical Research Branch, a title which belied what I really did. I also knew something about trumped up demos! What I heard that dark afternoon literally blew me away and I have been a fan of Jim’s loudspeakers ever since. For many years, I never failed to stop in Jim’s suite at CES conventions to sit down, listen to some fine music (his and mine), relax for a few minutes and discuss his newest ideas. It was a highlight of every show. No BS … just good technical talk and good music. We didn’t agree on every detail (who does?) but I never heard a Thiel speaker I didn’t like or felt was phony in any way. Nor have I ever met a kinder, more gentle, more honest engineer than Jim. Although I haven’t seen him in years (gettin’ kinda old), I considered him my friend and I mourn his loss. The industry has lost a giant.

Ed Foster
Diversified Science Laboratories
Reviewer (at one time or another and under one pseudonym or another) for STEREO QUARTERLY, HIGH FIDELITY, AUDIO, HI-FI STEREO BUYER’S GUIDE, C.A.R.S., PRO AUDIO REVIEW and more.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous CSM said...

My heartfelt condolences to Jim's family, friends and co-workers. As many have commented, I have had the pleasure of meeting Jim once (when he was doing the rounds introducing the 3.7s at a local audio store) and found him to be a true gentleman and passionate about his speaker designs. I am very saddened by his passing and shall remember my brief encounter with him every time I listen to my 2.4s. While high end audio has lost one of its luminaries, his work is appreciated by thousands of customers who celebrate his life's work of bringing joy to those who listen to music reproduced as it only can be through his speaker designs and by all of your hard work in bringing those designs to life. RIP Jim.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Condolences to Jim's family, friends and employees.

I met Jim once. I'm an enthusiast and really appreciated him taking the time to talk to be about my Thiels.

I'll continue to enjoy my Thiels for a long time to come. Thanks Jim!

1:46 PM  
Blogger Waugust said...

As I think back over my 31 years in the CE industry, I see it as a "noisy" place, not just for the music and video played on the equipment we sold, but as well for the clamorous sounds we all made attempting to be heard.

Amid all that noise stood the quiet, dignified Jim Thiel, saying more by what he did than so many of us could with all our words.

My condolences to everyone at Thiel and all Jim's family and friends.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Maxsunset said...

My condolences to everyone at Thiel. What depressing news.. The audio industry has lost a true legend. In my eyes, Jim was one of the most innovative and impressive designers in audio. :(

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Alan Jones said...

The staff at Audio Alternative in Atlanta was deeply sadenned by the sudden loss of Jim. I have a picture in my office that is of all of us, Jim and the Thiel staff which were all so gracious to us on our visit and plant tour. This was during the design of the 3.7's which I have never seen a designer so happy about. I thought I was an enthusiast but Jim has been there for more years then I am alive. I am honored to have had the time to spend with Jim and love selling his products. Jim you will live with us forever as your enthusiasm was truly contagious. Thanks for that.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Richard Schram said...

The audio industry and America lost a great man yesterday. My heart goes out to Kathy, Dawn and the employees of Thiel Audio.

Jim was a man whose genius was matched by his integrity and steadfast dedication to excellence in both his products and the company he and Kathy built. Jim was an independent-minded and intrepid businessman who epitomized the American spirit: He achieved success by perservering and never lowering his sights.

I'm honored to work in an industry that is so much better for Jim Thiel's many contributions.

Farewell, friend and colleague.

Richard Schram

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Sandy Gross said...

My heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Kathy and all Jim's family and friends. When I received the news yesterday all I could do was cry. As we all know, Jim was a wonderful, talented, creative person and an icon in our industry. His presence will be sorely missed. I remember meeting Jim and Kathy at their first CES Show. We have grown up together in our industry. It's hard to believe how many years it has been. My mind jumps to images of happier times: bumping into Jim and Kathy at the Pollock show at MOMA, marching down Bourbon Street together (slightly inebriated)at the CEA Board of Directors retreat in New Orleans and sharing a glass of wine with Jim and Kathy last January at the Sound and Vision Awards in Las Vegas. I suppose the powers that be in heaven felt that it was time for better sound up there and needed Jim to join with Saul to help provide it. Sandy Gross

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Chris Carter said...

This blog is tricky. You have to open a previous comment then you can post something? Strange.

I'm writing to offer my condolences to Kathy and the extended Thiel family. I spoke to Jim many times over the years but never got to meet him thinking one of these days I will make the trip from California to meet the man I admired so face to face. I missed that chance.

I was a speaker designer and builder just starting up in 1976. For lack of funding, marriage, kids, etc my dream failed to succeed. I think I lived my dream vicariously through Jim's. I always respected his honesty and steadfast dedication to his dream and his standards. I was just another voice on the phone but he still gave me that direct no nonsense brand of respect.

Throughout the years I could never afford the latest Thiel product but I have scrounged what ever Thiels I could afford sometimes old and in need of repair but when brought back to life they are glorious again. I've learned that no matter the age or generation they are all part of Jim's evolutionary process. I go listen to the latest and just when I think he has done the ultimate, somehow he tops himself! Yet when I sit down in front of my lowly restored 2.0's the core honesty is still there. Nothing missing, nothing added just pure.

I feel like I lost a good friend and the industry lost an original who changed his world for the better.

Thank you Jim. I'll miss you.

Chris Carter

5:57 PM

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Gabi van der Kley said...

Our heartfelt condolences to Kathy, the family and the entire Thiel team.

Gabi and Edwin van der Kley
Crystal Cable - Siltech
The Netherlands

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Michael Mercer said...

I am so sad to hear about Mr. Thiel's passing. He and Cathy were ALWAYS good to me. YEARS ago (it seems like) when I started working for Harry Pearson at The Absolute Sound - I was only 20 yrs old (1994) and most people in the bizness would not take me seriously! They thought, because I was young, that I couldn't possibly know about stereo set-ups. Jim actually talked me through proper room set-up, taught me about room nodes and wave propagation. He was one of the few designers always willing to take my calls - and Cathy too!! LONG time no speak Cathy. Well - I plan to write something for Positive Feedback, if somebody hasn't already. Happy forever Listening Mr. Thiel, and thanks for teaching me things I took to my job at Atlantic Records, and beyond! You helped me along + I will NEVER forget it.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Roger Kanno said...

Words cannot express my sadness in hearing the news of Jim’s passing. I have great respect for Thiel, the company, its loudspeakers and most importantly for Jim Thiel, the person. His lucid explanations of technical matters in easily understandable terms were always a highlight of our meetings.

My condolences to Kathy, all of Jim’s family and friends and everyone at Thiel Audio.

Roger Kanno

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Laura Chancellor said...

We were amazed and saddened to learn of Jim's death. We were lucky to have had a wonderful friendship over many years that spanned both our public life in the audio industry and a private connection that felt, and will always feel, like family. We were so fortunate to be touched by Jim's passion, genius, warmth, persistence, and love.

Kathy, Dawn, and everyone in the Thiel family, I send you our sympathy and love. You are very much in our thoughts and hearts.


6:11 PM  
Anonymous Lionel Goodfield said...

We are deeply saddened by Jim's passing. He was a true icon in our industry. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.

Jim built a company that is a model of true professionalism and designed many exceptional products that have brought countless people closer to the music.

I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Kathy, Dawn and everyone at Thiel Audio.

Lionel Goodfield,
Simaudio Ltd.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Priya said...

My deeper sympathies to Thiel family and everyone at associated with the company. Theil 2 2 was the first speaker that did full justice to the kind of music I enjoy. Later I upgraded to 3.6s and I still enjoy them. This is a very sad day for me and for many other Theil fans. His designs were unique and once you hear, there is no going back.

May you Rest in Peace

Priya Werahera
Aurora, Colorado

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Lenny said...

I met Jim at a Cedia or CES show a couple of years ago. He will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences to his co-workers, friends and family. RIP Jim. Lenny Hess, Hesstronics, Inc.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Sam Park said...

I am currently in Singapore and just got terribly sad news. can't believe this. I really want to tell him how much I proud of him. My sincere condolence from the bottom of my heart. Please let me know how I can attend the funeral. Jim was not only super perfect designer but also warm hearted man we all remember.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Ric Parker said...

I knew of Jim Thiel, and his speakers, for decades, in fact for my whole working life in this crazy industry. I’ll be the first one to admit however, that for most of that time the “house sound” of Thiel Audio didn’t quite speak to me, even though I could appreciate Jim’s goals and the resolution he was able to coax out of his designs. Then three years ago I finally went to one of the dealer trainings that Thiel Audio was so renowned for, and got to spend time with Jim and his crew both in and outside the factory grounds. Everything about company reflected Jim’s thoughtfulness, care, glacial slowness (I’ve often imagined Kathy’s exasperation as Jim would tell her he was “almost done” when his time had been devoted to just one model for years in a row), and intense pursuit and application of knowledge. As just sort of a side note to the actual training Jim showed us the midrange driver for the 3.7 that he had been so deeply challenged by and everything he said about his labors, methods, and designs to conquer that weird piece of metal made total sense to me, and I knew that what he was really working on were my future speakers.

It’s funny, but I’ve just literally had an epiphany – of all the people I’ve met and known in this industry, it seems like the speaker designers have always stood out as the most affable, interesting and genuine group. I have no idea why that is so, but it seems worth pondering. Can you really imagine any other discipline that can count among its ranks the likes of Peter Snell, Richard Vandersteen, Michael Kelly, Vince Bruzzese, and especially Jim Thiel?

11:24 PM  
Anonymous John Loranger said...

I am very sad to hear of Jim Thiel's passing away. He was a person who lived an amazing life and absolutely left the world a better place. What I remember most about Jim is his striking combination of brilliance and down to Earth graciousness. "A true gentleman" is the thought that always came to mind when I spoke with him. Meeting him was always a yearly highlight at CES because he was such an inspiration as a person.

I also loved his speakers. Wonderful sounding, well made, and an absolute labor of love.

I will miss you Mr. Thiel.

John Loranger
Pearl Audio Video
Portland Oregon

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

I am very sad to hear of Jim Thiel's passing away.
I've been a fan of Jim and his work since I heard the Thiel CS3.6 and purchased a pair in 1998. I
now own a pair of 3.7's and consider them as one of the best speakers I ever heard.
I never met Jim in person but I feel great sympathy for him and his work, I enjoy his fantastic work every day in my listening room.

My condolences to Kathy, all of Jim’s family and friends and everyone at Thiel Audio.

Paul Geerlings,
The Netherlands

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jim.

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Gary Boackle said...

I was initially introduced to Jim when we were honored by Kathy, Ken and Jim to represent the Thiel line. I remember like it was yesterday sitting with him in his lab feeling his passion and love for his designs. The company as a whole is exceptional and that always starts at the top. Jim and Kathy were a fantastic combination and everyone we met who called Thiel Audio home shared the same kindness as Jim himself.
Just yesterday I was teaching that the essence of Thiel is accurate sound reproduction. It is easy to be excited about Jim and his speakers because they and he are worth getting excited about. He will be missed by anyone and everyone who has met him or invested in him by owning a piece of Jim's life.
My life as a dealer would not be the same had I not met Jim personally. Thank you Jim for sharing with us. I strive everyday to bring the same passion to my clients as you brought to yours.
Gary Boackle
Clear Solutions, Inc.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Rich Harris said...

I'll remember Jim from my visit to the Thiel factory several years ago. He was the quintessential thinker and tinkerer, spending his hours in his labs and workshops at the factory seeking perfection in audio reproduction. He barely knew me yet talked with me as if I were an old friend, sharing the details of his current experiments and demonstrating his speakers with the obvious pride and love he had for his craft. I remember the sign posted at the entrance to the production floor 'Perfection is our goal, but excellence is acceptable'. I don't know if Jim wrote that but it pretty much sums up how I'll remember him.

Rich Harris

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Ken Fritz said...

it saddens me to hear that Jim is no longer with us.

I had the pleasure and good fortune of meeting, and working with, Jim and Tom Thiel and Kathy back when the CS5 was under development. Doing the tooling for the cast polymer baffle showed me just how precise Jim was regarding every detail and the results he obtained. He always had time for a chat at the CES meetings he was so involved in. It will take some getting use to not seeing him there.

The phrase,"One Man One Vision" personified Jim in every way as I'm sure his coworkers will realize as time goes on.
Ken Fritz

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Bill Leebens said...

I barely knew Jim, but always respected him as a designer, an engineer, a businessman, and most importantly, as a gentleman. It is rare that one is as respected for character, as for accomplishments-- but that is certainly true of Jim.

The world and the industry are both lessened by Jim's passing. My heart goes out to Kathy, Dawn, and the entire Thiel family.

A toast in Kentucky bourbon to you, Jim.

Bill Leebens

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of Jim Thiel, a true pioneer in the world of audio. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Mr. Thiel once at Thiel's CES show booth several years ago.

I first became a believer in his designs upon getting my first pair of CS22s. I could hear the difference right away. I still benefit every day I hear the beautiful sound coming out of my CS3.6s and I hope that this everyday thing would serve as part of his large legacy and constant reminder of his vision.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Julie Jacobson said...

I know little about audio. I just know that Jim was the nicest guy. And I know he adored Kathy Gornik and the rest of his colleagues who helped him realize his dreams. My deepest sympathies. - Julie Jacobson

9:52 AM  
Blogger memoria said...

How sad, how terribly sad that we have lost this wonderful man and true pioneer. I am privileged to own a wide variety of Jim Thiel's creations, from in-wall and Runco specific television speakers, to his worldbeating subwoofer and astonishing SE upgrade of the 2.4CS. The utter truthfulness of music played through Jim Thiel speaker designs will be his eternal professional legacy. Condolences are offered to his family, friends and colleagues.
michael dubrow
sedona, az

9:53 AM  
Blogger christopher.redmond said...

I never met Jim but his reputation was second to none in the audio industry, and I never heard a bad word said against him.

Condolances to his family. Far too early for him to pass away, but it must come as a great consolation that he spent his life doing a job he obviously loved and had great enthusiasm for, and that the result of his work brought, and still brings, enjoyment and pleasure to thousands of enthusiasts the World over.

Yours Sincerely,
Chris Redmond.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Karen Richardson said...

Dear friends at Thiel -

I was so sad to hear the news of Jim's passing. He was a true gentleman and a wonderful engineer. His designs set the standard for an entire industry. Jim's intellectual honestly and integrity are known to anyone who met him. I can only offer my sincere condolences to his family and everyone at Thiel.

Kind regards,

10:22 AM  
Blogger luca said...


10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was with profound sadness that I heard of the passing of Jim Thiel, a pioneer scientist, engineer and artist. Jim not only took the level of speaker technology to new frontiers but enveloped them in artistically appreciative enclosures. I never met Jim but have met and enjoyed his creation the CS5i's that I so dearly cherish and have possessed for the last 12 years. Jim's work introduced me to the joy of high end audio and helped to ignite the love of music in my children.
The world of audio will miss Jim dearly and we will miss his innovations.
I pray to the lord to give his family strength and peace in his loss and all the employees at Thiel the courage to go forward and continue this precious work that was so dear to Jim.
Please accept my sincere condolences,
In Christ,
Raghu Ghuge,
Tyler, Texas

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to express my sincere condolences to Kathy, Dawn, Jim's family and everyone at Thiel Audio. I had the pleasure to meet Jim a few times at trade shows, at the Thiel factory and in our store, as he made several trips up over the years. I loved his personality, his gentleness and just the way he explained speaker designs. I've always loved his work and his products. He will be missed.

Jim Kosch
Stuart's Audio
Westfield, N.J.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Roberta Lewis said...

Dear Kathy, Dawn and the entire Thiel family.

I extend my heartfelt sympathy for your loss. You are very much in my thoughts and prayers. May God's love comfort you today and always.

Your friend, Roberta Lewis

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Larry Staples said...

I am so sad that only tears will come.
Having the distinct honor and priviledge to work for Jim and Kathy after knowing them for 15 years, I came to realize that Jim was a truly gentle soul, a vastly intelligent person and a remarkably kind person. He wa one of the few people we meet in life who are, once we know them, greater than we could even have imagined. I think of him often, and always with fond and respectful memories. He was a Giant among designers, thinkers, and just men.
The world is lessened by his passing, but richer for his having been among us.
God Bless Jim, Kathy, Dawn and Tom.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous John Kramer said...

Jim taught me to appreciate . . . to really appreciate music. He was not only a craftsman at his work, but he was one of the finest men I've met, always working to improve the lives and lot of those around him. Kathy and Dawn, hang in there as best you can.


1:05 PM  
Blogger audioexplorer said...

Most of my fondest memories of Jim Thiel come from a factory tour in 2001. During the first night at dinner Jim, Kathy, and the higher ranking people were in a discussion about finish options, price points, shipping time, and other business matters while Ken Dawkins and myself were making non-audio small talk. Finally Ken asked me, "So what kind of receiver are you using with your speakers?" My response was, "Well, I'm actually using a Parasound P/HP850 preamp and an Adcom GFA5802 amp with Audioquest cables." Jim, who happened to be sitting next to me was obviously bored by the business talk and turned to me and said, "That's a pretty nice system." Jim spent the next 45 minutes or so having an in depth conversation with the least important person at the table, a kid in his early 20's that few people in the industry took seriously. It wasn't a one sided conversation either, he was interested in my thoughts and opinions as well.

The next day in the Thiel listening room Ken asked us to listen to the PowerPoints which our company had repeatedly declined to put on display. In fact myself and my co-workers were under strict and explicit orders to not listen to the PowerPoint speakers under ANY circumstances. The higher ups in our company had never heard the speakers but had decided based on size that they couldn't possibly be worth the money. At the time the first Thiel sub was still in prototype form, but nearly finished. I shocked my co-workers by saying, "I'll be glad to hear the PowerPoints, but only if we can hear them with the Thiel Sub." Well, one of the Thiel sales guys quickly said that it was Thiel policy to not demo prototypes. No sooner had he said that then Jim said, "deal." Needless to say on my return to the store myself and my co-work told everyone that would listen that we NEEDED the PowerPoints on display. We kept on the decision makers until they listened to them and in a couple of months we had them.

On the same trip I was struck by a sign near the door to the workshop that said something to the effect of, "Perfection is our goal, excellence will be tolerated." I told Walter that it was a great sign. His response was, "That sign isn't accurate, when it comes to Jim is would read "excellence will be grudgingly tolerated.""

A couple of years later while demoing a pair of Thiel CS2.4's for a customer I accidentally hooked them up to the 8ohm taps of a McIntosh MC402 instead of the 4 ohm taps. The sound was remarkably better and I called down to Lexington to find out why, Sherry said she didn't know but would ask Jim about it and get back to me. A couple of hours later I received a 3 page email from Jim explaining that while he did not have direct experience with the amp in question that my findings did not shock him. He then went on to lay out an extremely involved scientific theory on why I heard what I heard.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

My condolences to Jim's family, his company and all people who love Jim......

I can still remember more than two decades ago, I first heard the music from a pair CS1.2 in the dealer showroom, it sound so musical and wonderful......I spoke to myself, I must own a pair of Thiel speaker someday!!

I finally have my first pair Thiel speaker after a decade.....a pair of CS1.5, although it is just a entry model, it is so revealing, musical and smooth, just bring the music to live at my home. It also inspired me why "coherence" is so important to the audio system and music.

The pass away of Jim is not just a lost of his family, company and his friends. It certainly a lost of a legendary leader and pioneer of the Audio industry.

Alex from Hong Kong

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim's passing. My condolences especially to Kathy and Dawn, and to family, friends and staff in the loss of a very creative and gentle man. I had the good fortune of knowing him, if ever so slightly, and I asked him once about the tradeoffs necessary in speaker design, anticipating an articulate scientific response. Instead, he told me that there should be no compromises in a properly designed speaker -- a principle that I believe captured the essence of Jim Thiel.

I admired Jim's work for many years before finally, this summer, I got a set of Thiel speakers. They are, well, perfect. Jim will live on every time I listen to them.

- Kaki

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Dave Collopy said...

To: Kathy, Dawn, Tom and the entire Thiel family (of both the speakers and the man),

Please accept my condolences on the passing of Jim. My brother, Fred, called me earlier today to report the sad news. I know that Fred will miss Jim's friendship beyond my ability to put that loss into words. And though I knew Jim more casually I was always impressed by his ability to build a life around a product that made so many people happy. I hope the outpouring of emotions and respect found in the comments here somehow help soften the blow of the pain I'm sure you all are feeling.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hooked when the 2.3 was introduced and eventually purchased 2.4's after several wonderful conversations with Kathy. I love these speakers ! May God comfort you and the Theil family and give you the strength to carry on in Jim's absence.

God bless: Tom D. (Indpls,IN)

5:15 PM  
Anonymous hussain said...

I've just come across this very sad news while listening at home to Jim's brilliant 7.2 speakers. I've long wished I might one day get to meet Jim and thank him for the immense pleasure his work has brought me. That won't happen now, but I do want to send his friends and family my very sincere condolences.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

I got the news today and it was such a blow. My interactions with Jim showed him to be the model of a rational person, a scientist, and a gentleman. I am not an audio engineer (or even a serious audiophile), so my interactions were of a different nature from many who are offering their condolences here. At the Cato University and other seminars at which we met over the years he was always thoughtful and open-minded, without being a relativist or abdicating the obligation to think about important moral and political issues and to try to come to the best conclusions. He was a model thinker who managed to combine a sharp intellect with kindness and gentleness.

My thoughts are with Jim's family and friends, in the narrower and the wider senses of those terms, for I know he has family and friends the world over.

Tom G. Palmer

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard do believe it has been 25 years since I first met Jim. It was quickly apparent that he was a thoughtful, curious, concerned and very nice person. But in 1995(?) I found something unexpected about him.

For the summer CES in Chicago Jim was going to be interviewed on TV by the rather acerbic Bob Sirott. Jim had done a number of seminars for our customers over the years and I had seen him become more comfortable(if not truly comfortable) with public speaking, but I was really worried about how he would handle this.

As the interview came to a close Bob pointed to a CS7 and said something like "Those are really big. Is that necessary? I mean, is bigger really better?" Jim replied quickly and as calmly as if he were just saying hello, "No, but better is almost always bigger"

Among all those other great qualities Jim was also a wit. Who knew?

Now we will never hear him say anything witty again. What a shame.

Scott Soloway

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very few of use are fortunate enough to enrich other peoples lives with our life’s work. Mr. James Thiel I thank you sincerely for enriching mine.

James Tanner

7:58 PM  
Anonymous mitchell hughes said...

legends never die, we will hear him always

11:27 PM  
Anonymous June Arunga said...

Can't believe Jim Thiel is gone! This is a big loss to the freedom loving world, to the engineering and science fraternity, the audiophile world, to his family and friends. Fidelity of Sound, Fidelity of Conscience and Fidelity to Self were his hallmarks. He will be missed dearly, but leaves behind his science and technology for us to enjoy. I am honored to call him a friend.

Much Love,
June Arunga

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Yuh-Herng Chen said...

I am from Taiwan and I heard this sad news from another Taiwanese audiophile (also a Thiel user).

I have enjoy my pair of CS3.6 since 1997. It is of great pleasure to own such an excellent product designed and produced from you. Thanks, Jim and other great guys in Thiel Audio. The legend will continue.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim was a gentlemen and a gentle man. He will be missed.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was fortunate to meet many of my audio heroes at CES over the years-Saul Marantz, John Bowers, Roy Allison, Jim Winey (still with us!) and Jim Thiel. I was very saddened to hear of Jim Thiel's passing. He was a classy person and made a quality and classy product-no black square boxes for him, he gave us the choice of beautiful wood finishes and many sizes and models of speakers to satisfy a music-lover's desire. Yes he was an extremely talented engineer but it was all about the music. When I owned my Thiels I would listen in the dark, the speakers would disappear and you would tune in to that glorious sound. My Thiels at any price sounded better than many high-priced speakers I owned later, I plan to revisit you again.
I sold Thiel speakers since 1982 at Custom Electronics in Omaha. When Larry our store owner said "I have a great new line of speakers to try out" I was excited to hear them, and Wow was I impressed! I was always so proud to demo and install Thiel speakers in client's homes. At summer CES one year Kathy and Jim took us to dinner, I remember what a nice guy he was. To Jim's family and to Kathy Gornik and the Thiel Audio family may I share your sorrow but share your joy in knowing such a wonderful man.
Denny Thompson
Des Moines, Iowa

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shock to read this unexpected and very sad news! My first thought was: this is the end of an era. My condolences to anyone involved in any way.
Bas Otten, The Netherlands.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I offer my condolences to the family. Thanks for providing so many people with so much musical joy:)

J.Kerry/ San Diego,Ca

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember feeling a great sense of sadness when I heard the news. Jim was a gifted person, and his approach to engineering is a benchmark for others to follow. My condolences to his family, and to his colleagues and coworkers.

Christopher Reidy
Corvallis, Or

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Claude Whiting said...

Having just visited Thiel Audio for a tour just a few weeks back, this really comes as a complete shock. Gary Dayton gave a terrific tour and which culminated in the listening room with the 3.7's. This was a dream and a real treat for my good friend Steve Floyd and myself. My condolences and prayers go out to Jim Thiel's immediate family as well as his Thiel Audio family who I know he was close to. I especially think of Kathy Gornik. I met Jim once before at a Stereophile show in NYC and you could tell that he was very passionate about his speakers. I can only hope that Thiel Audio will continue to produce such wonderful products that make so many people happy into the future.

He will be truly missed.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Rick Milam said...

I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jim, Kathy, Dawn and the rest of the group at Thiel over the last ten years. I'm not terribly original; it has been mentioned that Jim was brilliant and he certainly was. It has been mentioned that he was both a gentleman and a gentle man several times, also true to a striking degree. Perhaps I can add that, although he took his passion and science very seriously he did not extend that to himself. I have a great memory of a CES evening dinner when Jim insisted in riding in the rear luggage area of the SUV I was driving and him laughing as he went rolling every time I took a corner. I am grateful to have known him and the company that he and Kathy built. Integrity personified. Condolences to all

Rick Milam

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Kuo said...

The factory tour of Thiel in 2005 for Taiwan distributor and Audio Press was impressive and full of memory. Audio industry would always owe Jim on the solid theory of speaker design. If I learn more on time and phase correction in my audio review, most of them were inspired by Jim. And Jim's passion devoted to music and audio would encourage more and more people to follow......

Jerry, Han Cheng, Kuo
Editor-in-Chief of

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Tommy Chow said...

My condolences to the family, specially to Kathy and Dawn, I am always a big fans of Jim a true gentleman.

Tommy Chow
Hong kong

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Jim's family, both at home and at Thiel. Had the pleasure to work with all of the fine folks at Thiel many moons ago at the start of my career in A/V. Very rare to find a sincere and genuine group of people to work with, and I've always believed that a company's business ethic and success is a reflection of its leadership.

RIP Mr. Thiel.

Ana Perez-Lepore
Formerly of Innovative Audio
Currently with AVAD

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Robert Heiblim said...

Dear Kathy, Dawn and friends at Thiel, I have been at a loss since I heard this news. I first met Jim over what was actually a disagreement over some technical specifications our committee was discussing. I was struck by how persuasive, passionate and caring the man was. I had rarely found such open-mindedness and gracious discussion. I wish all disagreements could be handled this way. Jim was obviously a genius in his field, but more than that he was a good man. He made a difference in his industry and passion, but he made a difference in the life of each person he met. What a pleasure to know him, what a tragedy to hear this news of his passing. Like all the other posters or those who met him, we are better for that opportunity. To all of you at Thiel, I know his passion and caring imbue your daily work and mission. I know you will keep both his technical achievement and his humanity alive. My heart, my thoughts and best wishes to Jim and to all of you.

Robert Heiblim

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Craig Weide: I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a friend from the earliest days of Thiel Audio in the 70's. At the time, I owned Paragon Sound, one of the very first Thiel dealers, and a dedicated dealer for twenty years thereafter, until I sold the business in the late 90's. To Kathy Gornik and Tom Thiel, my deepest sympathies on such a great loss. May the good Lord be with you at this most difficult time. May memories of laughter and joy lighten your burden. I offer this one story from CES in Chicago many long years ago. Jim, Kathy, Tom and I were riding in a cab back to the hotel after a wonderful dinner, when Kathy began to mention that the cab drivers in Chicago were pretty wild drivers, recounting an experience she had earlier in the day. As she told the story, the cab driver began to drive faster and faster, becoming more reckless as Kathy's story unfolded. By the time we reached the front of the downtown hotel, the cabbie had to lock up the brakes to get the car stopped. I'll never forget how hard we were laughing as we entered the lobby, with heads turning to see what the commotion was all about. This is one of many memorable occasions sharing ideas, experiences and stories with my dear friends at Thiel. Keep smiling and remember the honest, friendly, warm, real genius of Jim Thiel.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike Dunbar said...

I am so sorry to hear of Jim's paaaing. It immediately brought back a very old memory of meeting Jim & Kathy back in the early 80's at their location to introduce me to the top-of-the-line speakers. Not knowing anything of the technology or what audio should sound like, Jim gave me a tutorial on why Thiel was the best. I was wondering why someone had referred Thiel to be one of my first members in my new Barter Exchange-Continential Trade Exchange, and left realizing I had a great opportuntity to introduce a great product in the field of audio like no other. I sincerely hope that the advertising and articles and the introduction of Thiel to new markets at the time proved to be of value, but I will never forget the time,patience,and hospitality that Jim,Kathy and the team always provided every time we and our members had questions about Thiel.
Jim and Kathy proves that good things happen when you have faith and believe in your calling. I feel blessed to have had the experience. God Bless Kathy and the family. Thanks Jim.

Mike Dunbar

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A sad day.

As quality a human being as I have ever known. You're in my prayers Jim, Kathy and the entire family. Raf

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Paul DiComo said...

At times like these I am always at a loss for words. Nothing we can say can truly console the loved ones left behind. But Kathy and the rest of Jim's family and friends maybe in time you can look back at the kind words about Jim written on this page and find solace in them. His was a life well lived. Jim made a difference in people's lives. He will long be remebered and honored.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Dave Kakenmaster said...

The audio industry has lost another true icon, but the world has lost a wonderful, kind-hearted soul whose work brought so much joy to so many people. To everyone at Thiel, please know how you've touched so many people and find solace in others' happiness from your work. I know I'll continue to smile whenever I hear the great sound of Thiels and know Jim's legacy is alive and well.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Scott Decker said...

As I stumbled across the news I was as shocked and saddened by this as much as by anyone's passing whom I never personally knew. As an engineer, I own 2.3s and 2.4s as much because of my respect for Jim's design priorities and the company profile as the sonics that suited my system and tastes. My condolences to his family and to all those at Thiel Audio. He's had a positive effect on thousands, and that is a nice legacy to leave this world with. My best wishes for his company's future and those who knew him well.

- Scott Decker

9:49 AM  
Anonymous vince bruzzese said...

To the complete Thiel Family
It is with enormous regret that we learned of the passing away of Jim Thiel. Fantastic individuals such as Jim are an extreme rarity in this universe and his life accomplishments speak for themselves. He was and is an inspiration to everyone in this industry and will remain present at all times in our thoughts.
Sincere condolences from myself and everyone here at Totem Acoustic.
Vince Bruzzese

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Joe Riggi said...

Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss.

I was shocked to learn this. I met Jim several times at trade shows, he was a kind and gentle person that I had a world of respect for, as an individual, his accomplishments and what he stood for in our market.

My thought and prayers are with you and the family.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sincere condolences to all of Jim's family, friends, and co-workers.

I was fortunate enough to sell Thiel speakers while I worked in high-end audio. Even more fortunate, I owned several pairs and still have one.

As good as Thiel speakers are, Jim was a better man even than the products he designed. I met him a few times and I was truck by the fact that he much preferred a one-on-one converation to an audience and that when he got into that! Very passionate about music and his craft.

We are better for having known him and poorer for his passing.

Chris Pickering

12:24 PM  
Blogger Ric Manning said...

A few years ago, I spent most of a day touring the Thiel shop and talking with Jim, Kathy and company employees. I learned a lot that day, including why the people around Jim were so passionate about their work and about working with him. I know he will be missed at Thiel, in Kentucky and in the industry to which he contributed so much.

Ric Manning
The Courier-Journal

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Tim Todd said...

I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Jim Thiel. I had a chance to briefly meet him personally at an audio store demonstration and he was friendly and listened to my comments about my CS 3.6 speakers. I know he was being sincere because every time I've dealt with the Thiel company over the years I've always been treated with courtesy and respect. That is a true testament to Mr. Thiel.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Larry Archibald said...

I am struck down by the news of Jim Thiel’s passing. Jim represented the best of the high end – idealistic, enthusiastic, committed, talented, and devoted to his customers. He was also unusually willing to share his insights and discoveries with the journalistic world, at press conferences, over dinner, or on the phone – and what he gave you, and your readers by proxy, was the real deal. When compromises had been made, as they always are in the world of loudspeakers, he would tell you what they were and why he had made them. When he had found some new and better way to do something, he was equally glad to tell you that.

What a genuine and wonderful guy! I will miss him so much, as will the entire high end world, as will his colleagues and partners at THIEL. It is just so sad.

Larry Archibald
Former Publisher of Stereophile, Who Counts Himself Lucky to Have Been a Friend of Jim Thiel

1:13 PM  
Blogger oscar said...

I became aware of Jim Thiel when I took over Sheffield Lab. Kept hearing of his great speakers and finally reached out to Jim to find him to be a lover of music, technology and a gem of a person. I produced 4 albums using his speakers and heard details that motivated me to request certain instruments and sonic experiences of our artists. These albums became our best sellers. The industry has lost a giant but I know he leaves behind a sonic legacy that can be marketed for generations to come.
Oscar Ciornei

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Mario said...

I’ve sincerely appreciated having the opportunity to discuss music reproduction with Jim in his lab. His explanations were logical, accessible, down to earth and confidently delivered without any traces of arrogance often associated with designers.

Knowing that he was able to communicate his knowledge and findings with such ease and clarity, I have no worries about the future of the company that bear his name.

Sincere condolences to Jim’s family and Thiel’s employees.

Mario Leroux
SF Marketing, Canada

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Steve H. - Charlotte said...

Jim thanks or the 2's so may years ago...they were my first (and last) true love when it came to speakers. RIP!

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Glenn said...

I have been an audiophile for just over 50 years now and it is so sad to see another great leader in the industry pass. God bless Jim and I am sure he is enjoying the company of all the great pioneers of high fidelity playing great music in heaven.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Tom Thiel said...


7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Thiel, one of a kind. A wonderful genius of a man, whom I will miss dearly. My condolences, prayers, and sincere thoughts to the entire Thiel family, and company.A special place in Heaven has been prepared for you Jim. Thank you, for your beautiful gifts to audio and us all. db.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

I came to know Jim through Dawn as she and I became the best of friends in college. As with Dawn and Kathy, Jim became a part of my extended family. The kind of family that you actively choose for yourself and that becomes an important part of you. And even though I may not have seen you all of the time, I still knew that you were out there, a kind of mental home base if you will. And while I'm ever so sad that Jim is no longer with us I'm very glad to have been able to know him and have him as a part of my life. I love you guys very much and am thinking of you.

Love, Megan

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Leon Pereira said...

My first and only time having met Jim was more than 15 years ago when I interviewed him for an AV magazine in Singapore. He struck me as an honest, open, extremely gifted engineer who rationalized every design aspect of his speakers in order to make them sound so great. Although I have never owned a pair of Thiel's, I make it a point to recommend it as much possible. Jim was a true consummate professional who embodies the beauty of the audio engineering craft to no end. He will be greatly missed by all.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were a great person Jim, we will miss you

4:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sincere condolences to Jim's Family and Thiel's employess.I am an ardent fan of Thiel speakers and also a proud owner of the CS3.7 Thiel speakers.


Mohamed Sarraj(Singapore)

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Kerry Moyer said...

During a visit to the factory, I remember Jim telling me that distortion in loudspeakers was the final hurdle and his quest was to minimize, if not eliminate, that distortion. Jim was passionate about great sound and that passion motivated him in his quest to build the perfect loudspeaker. A soft-spoken man who was kind enough to listen and gentle in providing encouragement with a good word. My heart-felt condolence goes out to the extended Thiel family.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only this year did I become a convert to Jim Thiel's magic, when I broke down and purchased a pair of 2.4SE's. Such engineering genius...and such a loss to a great hobby. Sincerest condolences to Jim's family and friends (which surely include Thiel Audio's employees). May Kathy continue helming the tradition!

Jon Cardon

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never owned a Theil loudspeaker, but always did liked how they looked with their unique appearance. And I'm sure they are great sounding speakers, I would love to hear, or even own a little Theil speaker of my own one day.

Hope Theil goes on with a strong mind.

All the best



10:30 AM  
Anonymous John E. Johnson, Jr. - Editor said...

The A/V community has lost a giant. I knew Jim and considered him a friend and a genius. He knew how to combine art with science and the results were a legendary series of speakers that thousands of consumers had the pleasure of enjoying in their homes. We, at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, give our heartfelt condolences to the Thiel family.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

To all at Thiel, with particular condolences to Kathy,

I was utterly shocked by the passing of Jim. My limited time with him at conventions showed me a man of integrity, passion for his field, and human kindness. He will be sorely missed by all.

Dave Reich,
Theta Digital/ATI

11:12 AM  
Anonymous John E. Johnson, Jr. said...

I just remembered that we have a video interview with Jim that we recorded at the 2004 CES. It was published in our Meet the Industry Professionals pages.

Here is a link to the video:

11:22 AM  
Blogger Sirayliu said...

I own CS2.4 and when I first time listen to CS3.7, I know I am going to own it someday. I love Thiel speaker and hope someone of you will continue to make coherence source Thiel speaker. This is his passion. This is why I love Thiel speaker and the best way (to me) to remember him.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many who've posted here are fortunate enough to have known Jim longer than I. During the years I've knew him Jim was incredibly generous with both his time and his knowledge, and every conversation we ever had was an education for me. Jim is indeed one of the men who built high-end audio, and of course the home theater segment of our industry got its start there as well. We all owe Jim a debt. Thanks Jim!

Shane Buettner- Home Theater Magazine

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The industry and his many friends, associates and family have lost an outstanding innovator and a fine gentleman. May his memory always be remembered as a blessing.

Benie Appel-Appel Associates

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Herman said...

I know Jim only from saying "hi" during Las Vegas CES Shows and will always remember the smile on his face and the glance in his eyes. I was shocked to read he passed away. May he rest in peace.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Ron Skarvan said...

Jim Thiel was an exceptional engineer. I am reminded of this every time I listen to my Thiel 3.6's.

My heart-felt condolences to his family and close friends. Jim Thiel really did make a difference. May he rest in peace.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it comes to the best of the best, there was and is no one more gifted and accomplished in the art of loudspeaker design than Jim Thiel. Thank you so much for all of the contributions that you made to the world of hi-fi and specifically, acoustics! For many years, I've watched and tried to emulate you and your example. You were truly a legend to me. You were an innovator, a scientist, a perfectionist, and a gentlemen. Your presence at the trade shows and hi-fi events will be deeply missed. I never told you this personally, but you were one of my heros!

Every loudspeaker you produced was perfectly executed. Every demo I ever heard was flawless. As a product development engineer, I even had the honor and duty to dig into and document your work (some would call it reverse engineering). Jim, you were brilliant!

Jim Thiel, you will be sorely missed.

We express our heart-felt condolences to your family and friends.

Eric Alexander
Tekton Design, LLC

11:01 PM  
Anonymous theo wubbolts said...

In rememberance of great meetings at CES for several years, Jim Thiel shared perfectionism in audio-performance and great musicality. It's hard to find a person in our industry who can be compared with Jim and his legacy.
Theo Wubbolts
editor in chief Hifi Video Test

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Bryce Palmer said...

Jim's passing is another example of why I shouldn't put off doing those things that are most interesting to me, like visiting the Thiel factory. I'm very disappointed I missed the opportunity to meet Jim. My company also recently lost a longtime friend and colleague, and it is a reminder to make the most of the time you have.

My condolences to all the good people at Thiel.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Davis said...

My deepest sympathies to Jim's family and the Thiel staff for the loss of such a great man.
Lisa Davis
One Alliance Communications

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Steve Faber said...

I, like countless others, was extremely saddened to hear of Jim's passing. There are a few rare people on this planet who possess so many of the admirable qualities every human should have. Jim was definitely definitely one of those unique individuals. His passion was only exceeded by his brilliance and his genuine humanity. There are few among us who would selflessly give so much of their time to edify others. Again, Jim was one of those.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jim only a few times, one of which was at the Theil factory in Lexington, where I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours with him discussing the finer points of music, loudspeaker design, and a few other subjects.

He was a man of principle and integrity. The company he and Kathy founded reflected this in a big way. I made a point of relating this to many customers and others in the industry whom I crossed paths with throughout the years, because values like this are far too rare.

My deepest condolences to Kathy, Dawn, everyone at Thiel, and everyone else who was lucky enough to have known Jim throughout his (too short) life with us.

Steve Faber
Digital Cinema Design

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Tony Mccarthy said...

RIP Jim. best wishes to the family and all those at THIEL .

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was shocked and saddened to hear the news. What is most important to remember is Jim the man not Jim the genius. Kathy and Dawn my thoughts are with you. If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know. My time with Thiel was brief but you all were so good to me that I feel like you are almost family.
chuck proctor

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just a lover of great sounding music. Nothing more. Not a designer or technical guy. When I discovered Thiel products 12 years ago, I knew I could live with them forever. Thanks to you Jim for making something that has brought me so much joy. That's quite an epitaph--bringing joy to people's lives. Few have ever accomplished it as well as Jim Thiel.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Gene Perciavalle said...

It was a cold snowy day back in 1980, when the pair of stalwart newly minted audio salon owners of "AUDIOVISIONS" of W.BABYLON, N.Y. drove up to my home with a pair of Thiels' lastest model the 03a's. This was for a home listening session. Steve Komins and Nick Martino offered to let me audition them right in my living room before a purchase commitment.

A life long relationship was built that day with not only these knowledgeable retailers but, the Thiel business group and the worldwide family of Thiel dealers and owners.

As good fortune would have it, I became intimately involved with the store and for the next 28 years grew to understand what Jim Thiel, Kathy Gornick and the entire crew at Thiel where trying to successfully achieve.
Nick Martino passed away some years back. Steve continued to be a Thiel supporter and we repaired older models and sold untold pairs of the current models. The clients came from far and wide. Until the store closed last year.

I went on to own the 3.5's, 2.3's, the 3.6's and currently have a pair of 3.7's in my home in Colorado.

Thanks to the technical efforts of engineers like Jim and his staff, my system grew from "OK" to as good as can be assembled given the limitation of financial resources.

While associated with Audio Visions, when Kathy and Jim were in town to meet with Steve and Nick, I joined them for dinner a few times. Always the Kentucky gentleman, and always charming and erudite. Kathy moving up the ladder to manage the "business" side of the company brought a fresh impetus and direction.

A great one has passed, though his legacy lives in my home for the foreseeable future.

My condolences to the Thiel family and members of the Thiel business team.

Godspeed Jim...

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Costa Koulisakis - Simaudio Ltd said...

When I received the news that Jim's passing, I immediately felt the incredible loss not only to our industry, but the equal impact to all those who were fortunate enough to know him, including myself.

His product echoes his grace, gentleness and talent that enveloped not only those around him, but also the great company that bears his name.

I will miss him.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Tom Myers said...

I had the distinct pleasure of spending some quality time with Jim in his lab a few months ago, while attending a THIEL training seminar. I was impressed by what an intelligent,thoughtful,and gentle man he was.
Jim's legacy as one of the great loudspeaker designers of our time will live on. His innovative contributions to the advancement of loudspeaker technology paved the way for himself and others in their attempts to create the most accurate and highest fidelity speakers in the world. Meeting Jim was the highlight of my trip to the THIEL factory in Lexington, and he left an
indelible impression on all of us in the group.
To all of the great people at THIEL, please accept my sincerest condolences.


Tom Myers

11:42 AM  
Anonymous David Wexler The Little Guys said...

Simply a one of a kind human being. Treated everyone and their opinions with respect. Made everyone who had the chance to talk with him a better person by sharing his knowledge and love for speaker design and the ultimate quest for great sound.
It was an honor and a pleasure to have spent time with him and to have him bestow a little of his knowledge on me and our entire company.
David Wexler
The Little Guys

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Lois Lee said...

I just heard about Jim today. I wanted to express to the family, friends and staff at Thiel Audio my condolences from the Staff of Cobham Technical Services - Vector Fields Software

Lois Lee, Director of Business Administration

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Andy Rappaport said...

I just learned about Jim’s death and want to offer everyone in the extended Thiel family my deepest condolences. Although we haven’t seen each other in many years, I have carried with me many indelible and fond memories of my association and mutual escapades with Jim, Kathy, and Tom back in the 70s when we were all just starting out in the audio business and, more generally, in our adult lives. I left the business long ago, but the impact of my friendship with Jim never left me.

I have had enormous respect for what Jim has done with his business and for the industry and his customers and have cherished the fact that I knew him and the rest of the crew way back when. My memories of Jim are of one of a very few true class acts in an industry of characters – I have thought much of him over the years, have missed him and our friendship, and have rooted for him, albeit at a distance. I will certainly miss Jim now, and I know the industry will miss him. But I won't stop rooting for him.

Please accept my best and very heartfelt wishes to the entire Thiel family.

Andy Rappaport

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Eduardo & Rosana said...

Dear Thiel family,

It is with sincere sadness that we express our regrets to the Thiel family. We know Jim will live forever through the people who enjoy his speakers.

Eduardo & Rosana
Avantgarde Audio

1:00 PM  
Blogger Luke said...

Dear Thiel Family,

You have been an inspiration to young entrepreneurs. Thank you for making the possibilty of making your dreams come true a reality. Your inspirational example will continue to affect not only the audio world but other industries as well.

Brian, Luke, & the startups at Awesome Inc.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Paul McGowan said...

Jim Thiel was a great person and through all the years I have known him he was never less than the perfect gentleman. Jim made a positive impact on all who knew him and our hearts go out to Kathy and family.

Both Terri and I are quite saddened by this loss.

Paul and Terri McGowan
PS Audio

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Will Farnham said...

I'm so glad that I had the chance to visit Thiel in December of 2007 as part of Thiel's Dealer training. As a person of strong mechanical background I appreciated Jim's gentle and humble manner of teaching his principles and methods in speaker design. As product owner I will always covet the product quality and longevity.

Will Farnham,
Fred's sound of music

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Bob McConnell said...

It is with deep sadness that I read of Jim's passing. At a time when I was searching for a path in my life, meeting Jim and Kathy made it clear to me that this industry, and the pursuit of excellence within it, could be a satisfying and noble profession. Jim was always warm and generous with his time, whenever we met at trade shows and other industry events. I will miss his warm smile, keen intellect and caring manner.

Our industry has lost one of it's finest, but we're all better for his legacy.

To Kathy, Dawn and all of my friends at Thiel Audio, my heartfelt condolences in your time of grieving.

Robert McConnell-Regional Manager
Paradigm Electronics

6:55 PM  
Blogger Dan Cole said...

To Kathy, Dawn and the Thiel family: I was deeply saddened to hear of Jim's passing. Knowing how difficult of a time this is for Thiel family, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Dan Cole

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Howard Blumenthal said...

Maybe 15 years ago, I wrote a pair of articles for Stereophile magazine. My quest: to find wonderful loudspeakers and an equally wonderful sound system. In fact, the speaker part of the quest ended very quickly: the Thiel 3.6 speakers were miraculous then, and, as I listen today, I know that I made the right decision. I've got to say: Jim helped. He was so generous with his knowledge, and so very, very knowledgeable, he really made a difference in the way that I listen to music. And we all know--and maybe Jim knew best--how important listening to music ought to be.

Warmest condolences to Jim's family, friends, associates, and admirers.

Howard Blumenthal

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Barry Pope said...

Kathy, Dawn, and the Thiel team. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours as you go through a very difficult time. Jim was an incredible talent and a super nice guy. I truly loved all my experiences with him and the emotions he evoked in me through the design in his loudspeakers. The industry has truly lost an icon. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

Barry Pope

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Laurie Kulikosky said...

To Kathy, Dawn, the folks at Thiel Audio and Jim's family, I never had the pleasure of meeting Jim personally, but the impact he had as a friend, mentor and innovator is clear from those who have been touched by him as a person and influenced by his work. My thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.

Laurie Kulikosky
Consumer Electronics Association

8:15 PM  
Anonymous joseph,j said...

.....Never owned a pair of Thiel speakers but I am very familiar with the brand name, to me it tops with founders such as Matthew Polk, B&O and I can't leave out Legacy to name a few...well being a Home Theatre Owner and buff myself. Thiel Speakers? What other name could you ask for....Rest In Peace Jim Thiel, and God strength to Kathy Dawn and thanks for all the wonderful Audio Technology.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Alan Sircom said...

I only met Jim Thiel a couple of times, but each time I was struck by the depth of his knowledge, his passion and enthusiasm, his warmth and his humility. He had a disarming and rare talent for explaining his ethos that could make even the most technophobic think like a speaker designer for a while.

Our industry is diminished by the passing of this true gentleman of science.

My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.

Alan Sircom
Editor, Hi-Fi Plus magazine
London, UK

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condoleances to the family and friends.

Just ordered 2 pair of cs3.7 speakers from audiosalon UK a few weeks ago. Sorry to hear this sad news. I love the disign and sound of this speaker. He will be missed in the world of hi end audio.

with regards,
Marius from holland

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My warmest thoughts are with Kathy, the Thiel family and team. When I entered the CE industry almost ten years ago Jim got me excited about the nuances of speaker technology and design. When going into a Thiel press conference you knew ahead of time that you were going to learn about EVERY engineering and design detail that went into each of his speakers – and that was GREAT. He spoke to those of us who were learning as well as audiophiles with equal respect and I appreciated that. Jim impassioned others by just being Jim. I will miss him.

Cindy Davis

8:57 AM  
Blogger Sodapop said...

I only met Jim on about 5 occassions at the CES Shows over the years. It was apparent what type of man he was within the first 5 minutes of conversation. I have always held a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for Jim. This amazing person will be missed by all of us in the audiophile community.

Daryl Sansevero

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Bill Condon said...

I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the entire Thiel family. We have all lost a truly wonderful man who happened to posess, in my opinion, a pair of the best ears in our business. I consider it an honor and a privelege to have met and spent a little time with Jim in his workshop.
We are fortunate that he has left us all his body of work in the form of his loudspeaker designs to remember him by.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of this amazing man.

Bill Condon
Innovative Home Theaters
Orlando, Florida

10:30 AM  
Anonymous trevthetrainsUK said...

I've only recently come across the magic of Thiel loudspeakers. Condolences to family and friends. Thank you for the music.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Ken Lui said...

I was shocked and saddened by Jim Thiel's passing. I have been a fan of Thiel speakers for years. I owned CS2, CS3.6, and now I have the CS7.2. I will miss his great design that offers high quality performance at real world price. The CS2 taught me what soundstage was. It was so good sounding that it also inspired two of my friends to become audiophiles. One of them also owns a pair of CS6.

My condolences to Jim's family and the team at Thiel. Please continue Jim's legendary work. He will be greatly missed by everyone, especially audiophiles, who knows him and/or uses the speakers he designed.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Richard Hardesty said...

Jim Thiel was my friend for more than 30 years. His passing has shocked and saddened me. He was a brilliant designer of course, but more importantly he was a nice man.

Jim taught me a lot over the years. He was always gracious with his time and more than willing to offer information. He told me exactly what he was doing and why. He was proud of his designs but always humble and free of inflated ego. I never heard him utter a disparaging word about his competitors or their products.

Jim was a unique individual that I’ll never forget. I miss him!

Richard Hardesty

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was shocked and saddened by Jim Thiel's passing. I have been a fan of Thiel speakers for years. I owned CS2, CS3.6, CS7.2 and now I have the CS3.7. I will miss his great design that offers high quality performance at real world price.

My condolences to Jim's family and the team at Thiel. Please continue Jim's legendary work.

This is truly a sad for anyone who was touched by Jim's genius and dedication to the art.

Kassim (Singapore)

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened by the news of Jim Thiel's passing. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and his team at Thiel.
I first listened to Jim's speakers ,at a store here in Louisville,some time ago. From that moment they were immediately at the top of my list. I am fortunate to have a pair of CS3.5's,that I fully expect will stay with me, as I know Jim's presence will remain with all of you who knew and loved him.

May God Bless you all in this difficult time.
With Deepest Regards,
Scott Cooksey

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Mark Fisher said...

Where does one begin? it has taken me a little while to digest the news over here in Europe and to me its still feels surreal that Jim is no longer with us. I have so many anecdotes of meeting Jim and Kathy that fortunately even though I will not have the pleasure of seeing Jim again, his smile and warmth and total sincerity will be with me always. I was fortunate to know Jim and Kathy for over 20 years from the first time I experienced the CS. 7 at Larry Archibald's house in 1986,to WCES in January this year. the passion, and enthusiasm he generated each time you met him, for me never wavered, which is why he will always remain one our greatest icons of the Audio Industry. Jim you will be missed on so many levels, but for me you will be most missed because you were a true gentleman, a true friend, and most of all an all around genuine soul. To Kathy, Dawn, Tom and the rest of the Thile extended family, please accept my deepest condolences....

Mark Fisher
(ex) Hi Fi News, Stereophile, And The Absolute Sound

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is with great sadness that I send my personal condolances to the Thiel Family, their employees and Friends. Jim was an Icon in the CE Industry and although we never met personally, I feel the loss of a passionate Industry Pioneer within the CE industry. Jim and Thiel Audio has been an inspiration for small business owners. My belief's tell me that Jim is in a much better place. My heart however is saddened for those lives he has touched personally and those he has impacted through his wonderful business accomplishments doing his lifes work. Jim will be greatly missed by all of us who have been associated with CEA and the CEA Small Business Council. Chris Fabian,EHF - Professional Service Solutions, LLC

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all,

I am saddened to hear about Jim's passing. I have never owned Thiel speakers yet I am the President of an audiophile club in the NYC area. Two members have Thiel speakers and i demoed a pair at a former high end salon whose doors are closed. Sorry that Jim has passed.

10:25 PM  
Blogger paolippe said...

Hello everyone,

I never knew Jim, but however I'm very saddened by his passing. I have to thank him and Roy Cizek because I think that they have built the best speakers ever produced. Today They have both passed, but their work for music reproduction will remain immortal... for us and future generations.

Ciao Jim

Paolo Lippe, Fano, Italy

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a big shock

As I see it... Jim Thiel was one of a very few extremely big names in the area of loudspeaker theory and design. He had a very clear image of how a speaker should be, and for each iteration of a product he got closer and closer to his perfection. He always stick to his principles and never deviated from the base of phase coherence and impulse perfection. The latest CS3.7 must be a great example of this, being so good it obsoleted several of his upstream products.

Although, I never owned any Thiel speakers I very often ended up on his website to read about the theory and design properties behind his products. And always good reads around there!

A great master is gone, I hope his legacy will continue and products improve even further.

RIP Mr. Thiel

Harald N

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Dick Diamond said...

The news took my breath away. My deep felt condolances go out to Jim's family and the whole Thiel gang (who I know were also his family). The industry has lost an incredible visionary and for us industry types - a champion of the high end arena that we love. Jim's contributions are numerous. And you know what? We will all continue to be blessed by his accomplishments. Jim may be apart from us now but his influence will continue to be felt. Everytime I look at my own Thiel speakers I'll think of him and the technologies he embraced.

I owe a bunch of hugs to the Thiel gang. Hope to see you soon.

Dick Diamond
YG Acoustics

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only knew your work, but I think the person who thought it was wonderful.
Robegano, Italia

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heartfelt condolences to the whole Thiel family. Never met the man but some of those close and inspired by him. I have always shared with all of you everyone of Thiels' achievements and also your sorrows. My heart is with you Kathy and Dawn et all.

Shlomo Angel Mesonero-Boston/Spain

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Spiro Vganges said...

After years of dreaming that one day I will own a pair of Thiel speakers, I have been enjoying my 2.4's for 4 years now. As a young adult, I had always been captivated by his creations. I wish I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Thiel for just 5 min while he was here with us. There is one thing that I know for certain, the people that work with/for Mr. Thiel must really love him because it shows. Theil has one of the best customer support teams throughout all of high end audio. That is one part of Mr. Thiel's legacy that he leaves behind for us to benefit from as consumers. Hopefully it will never disappear. Bless Mr. Thiel, his family, and his amazing staff. Keep up the good work everyone.

Spiro Vganges

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences for Kathy and Jim's family. Jim was one of the most respected loudspeaker designers in the industry. Among the high end society his classic design CS5i has gained cult status. Now with the 3.7 I feel Jim was returning to the "classic" Thiel sound. I wonder what the next speaker would sound like. I hope you will be able to continue Jim's work.

Chris Hie (The Netherlands)

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only say that the world has lost the greatest loudspeaker designer. I have been using Thiel loudspeakers for the last 15 years not having found anything like them anywhere else. I only hope that You can carry on with the outstanding work that Jim have done so far.

My deepest condolences,

Mattias Forslund (Sweden)

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Russ and Joan said...

Our hearts and thoughts are with those who loved Jim, and all who were close to him. We've made a contribution to Dr. Rosenberg's work; it's a small gesture but it is, at least, something we can do to honor Jim's life and his work.

We're thinking at this moment especially of Kathy and the folks at Thiel, but also of our friends in the audio industry and audiophile community who have been touched by Jim's life, and who are the better for it.

With care,
Russ and Joan Goddard

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Media House said...

Скорбью отозвалось в нашем сердце известие о кончине одного из основателей компании THIEL, Джима Тила.
Джим, на протяжении многих лет служил музыке, не словом, но самим делом.
Его труды в области конструирования и производства акустического оборудования, получили признание и уважение не только среди аудиофилов на своей Родине, но и в других странах у ценителей музыки.
Джим немало сил и времени уделял совершенствованию выпускаемой продукции, акцентировал внимание на вопросы экологии. На протяжении многих лет он щедро делился накопленными знаниями в области аудио инженерии.
Выражаем соболезнование всем близким, всем насельникам компании THIEL и всем, кто лично знал Джима.

Koньkoв Миxаил (Россия )

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jim, RIP

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have owned a pair of CS3.6's for almost 15 years. Every change I have made to my system since I got them has been immediately audible, which shows their high resolution. I have had much musical enjoyment from them, and I look forward to appreciating their transparent, open sound for many more years. Thank you, Jim. You will be missed.
Alan Hayman

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Jacques Riendeau said...

Losing a loved one represents a moment of intense and unbearable pain and sadness. My heart goes to Jim's familly and to all of you at Thiel Audio.

When I close my eyes I see this smiling and charming men. We only met during audio shows ... but I have been to shows for over 25 years ... ! I remember the smile I had in my face when I was walking towards the Thiel room because I was going to meet Jim ... and Kathy ... :)

I will miss you my friend !

I do not need to tell how great a designer you were your achievements speak for themselves and will be there forever ... but I will remember how much of a good human being you were ... You and Kathy helped me become a better person by being who you were ...

There are things I will never get used to ... losing a friend is one of them.

Good by Jim !

Jacques Riendeau
Oracle Audio Technologies

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Jim Siu said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
We are sorry for of the lost a intelligent, and passionate innovator for the audio industry.


Jim S.
FST Speakers

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our hearts and thoughts are with those who loved Jim, and all who were close to him. HES has made a contribution to Dr. Rosenberg's work in Jim's memory.

We're thinking at this moment especially of Kathy and the folks at Thiel, and everyone who has been touched by Jim's life, and who are the better for it.

The HES Team

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Pedro Luciano said...

My deepest condolences to Kathy, Dawn and the rest of the THIEL guys. It has been very difficult to come up with the right words to properly describe the impact in our hearts here in Puerto Rico. Back in 1995 i was a lab equipment salesman who had been in love "high end" audio. At the time i had lost touch with the different publications, so, to my surprise, in a conversation with one of my clients, Mr. Jose Baco the name THIEL comes up. It was very exciting to know Mr. Baco had a pair of 2 2's and i got my "high-end" mojo back up after, subsequently, listening to them several times. I once again suscribed to some magazines to get acquainted with the "high end world. It was on October of 1997 or 96,(i think),that a Stereophile Recomended Components issue handed to me by Mr. Baco, with a picture of a Thiel on the coverpage caused an impression that lasts to this day, and right there I knew what i wanted to do with my life, i was going to open a "high end" audio shop. 12 years later im very proud to say that i have been and will always be the Thiel dealer in Puerto Rico. Im deeply saddened by the loss. Many thanks to Dawn,Kathy for the oportunity to be a part of the best the world of audio has ever offered. And many thanks to the very best, Jim Thiel. You can count on me.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The day I saw that Jim Thiel had passed, I felt tears come to my eyes, and at the same time felt strange that I could have this much emotion over someone I had never met, but certainly had enjoyed their products. From buying my first pair of Thiel loudspeakers back in 1992 and progressing through several later models, I was always astounded at how much value and integrity Jim designed into his products! He certainly always over-delivered in value and performance in every new product that he brought to market.

The really sad thing is that Jim was only 61, and I am sure still had years to go, if his health would have held out. I can only imagine the ingenious designs he would have come up, and the obstacles he would have overcome in dynamic loudspeaker design. I know I felt a connection to Jim from listening to his loudspeakers for nearly 20 years, and dealing with the fine folks at Thiel!

No one will ever replace Jim, and I doubt we will see the likes of him again.

I never met him, but now wish I would have.

David Sims

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Patrick Laughlin said...

The only time I meet Jim Thiel was about ten years ago when he was giving a talk at Audioport in Overland Park, KS. Before his talk I ducked outside to have a smoke and there was a gentleman already outside doing the same. I introduced myself and was surprised to learn I was speaking with Jim Thiel. The conversation turned to subwoofers, and how I found them disappointing when reproducing music, and integrating with bookshelf speakers. He mentioned the design challenges he was having overcoming those and other problems and how it had delayed the introduction of Thiel’s sub. I’m not an engineer or a speaker designer and I’m positive Jim knew that, but Jim treated me with respect and was genuinely interested in what I had to say.

Jim Thiel was a great speaker designer and a better human being. He will be greatly missed.

My condolences to Jim’s family, friends, and associates at Thiel Audio.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Patrick Laughlin said...

The only time I meet Jim Thiel was about ten years ago when he was giving a talk at Audioport in Overland Park, KS. Before his talk I ducked outside to have a smoke and there was a gentleman already outside doing the same. I introduced myself and was surprised to learn I was speaking with Jim Thiel. The conversation turned to subwoofers, and how I found them disappointing when reproducing music, and integrating with bookshelf speakers. He mentioned the design challenges he was having overcoming those and other problems and how it had delayed the introduction of Thiel’s sub. I’m not an engineer or a speaker designer and I’m positive Jim knew that, but Jim treated me with respect and was genuinely interested in what I had to say.

Jim Thiel was a great speaker designer and a better human being. He will be greatly missed.

My condolences to Jim’s family, friends, and associates at Thiel Audio.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Rodgers said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Jim during a training session at Thiel a couple of years ago. For me it was like meeting a famous sports hero. I sat as close to the front of the class as possible so that I wouldn't miss a word he said. It amazed me that this legendary speaker designer was so down to earth and he explained the technical details of his speakers in a way that made complete sense without talking over our heads. He was a gentleman and will truly be missed.

My condolences to his family, friends and coworkers at Thiel.

Jeff Rodgers
Metropolitan Music & Cinema

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Thiel was a great man, brilliant engineer and a perfect business partner. Undoubtably he was a real icon of hi-fi industry. It's a great loss for all of us, but memory of Jim Thiel and his work stays with us in all Thiel products forever

A&T Trade stuff,
Thiel Russian distributor

4:22 AM  
Anonymous Henk van der Mijn said...

I have just met Jim once, some nine years ago and instantly knew he was a very fine person, besides of course a great loudspeakerdesigner.
The Hifi-brand has lost a respectable leading person.
I would like to express my condolences to his family, his friends and his staff/coworkers.

Henk van der Mijn
Mijn Hifi, the Netherlands

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was shocked by these sad news. Message from A&T Trade above covers my thoughts. Close to 20 years ago I worked at a danish supplier of co-Jim Thiel-developed drivers, and had close contact with Jim for more than 5 years. An experience so positive, much above standard business co-operations, and I have never ever worked with anybody who had the qualifications and characteristics as Jim had. I think the development of the company's products shows that as an engineer Jim and his team thought deeply in every detail all the way through from theoretical idea to production possibilities in such an extend, that I believe the world has lost its most competent loudspeaker engineer. He was years ahead of the others. The Thiel company has a strong fundament. He will be very much missed by all those who had the previlege to have known him. My special thoughts to Kathy.
Steen Sloth
Former President of Scan-Speak A/S, Denmark

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is sad news indeed. Kathy, Dawn and Tom you have my condolences. Working on the first prototypes of the CS1.5 and CS7 was a tremendous honor but not nearly as much as having worked with a luminary and visionary like Jim. His keen intellect, attentive nature and modest approach were endearing. I'll never forget the mischievous gleam in his eyes when he was describing a new concept or emphasizing a key point. He was a great teacher who was always curious how you came by your way of thinking.

Jim was one of only two people I have known who I considered to be a true genius. Jim also gave me one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. I promise I'll continue to try and live up to those words Jim.

Eric Desch

9:27 AM  
Anonymous marco antonio mora said...

Mi mas sentidas condolencias a la familia de Mr jim y a su gran equipo de colaboradores, por la gran perdida de tan agraciado y talentoso personaje del audio mundial, descanse en paz, aca en mexico los productos thiel son referencia.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been out of the audio world for a long while, I've just found out about jim, and I'm very saddened by this loss. Talking to Jim was one of the very few beautiful things to do at a CES show. He'll be missed.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous B.A.H. McMinn, Toronto said...

Please pass along my sympathies to Mr. Thiel's family. He was a brilliant engineer, and I still get tremendous enjoyment from my CS1.5s. His product exemplified what America is capable of- best-in-class engineering and construction. Mr. Thiel certainly left an enduring legacy.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences. I had the pleasure of visiting the Lexington, KY production area, very impressive. May he rest in peace.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I never met him, I have enjoyed every day with my 3.6 speakers since I purchased them over ten years ago. His legacy of brilliant design will endure.

Los Angeles, CA

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Steven Teachout said...

With the passing of Jim Thiel, the audio industry has lost a huge talent but even more so, a great person. I'm sure the company bearing his name will continue in the same tradition of innovation and quality that Jim was renowned for.

Steven Teachout

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Jim Willcox said...

Coming to this board so late, I find it somewhat amazing to see that in this polarized world one person could be so uniformly described and cherished: whip smart, passionate, kind and self-effacing. When I first started reviewing audio gear, Jim was patient with my uninformed questions, sensing, I imagine, both my insecurity about getting things right and a genuine passion about music and its accurate reproduction. Getting to hear the newest Thiel speakers, and listening to Jim talk about their development, was always one of the great bonuses of attending a trade show.

If a life well lived is the most we can hope for here, then Jim can count one more success among his many achievements. My best regards to all his family and friends.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Lars Goller said...

Loosing Jim is a gigantic loss to all of the audio industry, but even more so to his family and near friends. My deepest condolences to all dear and near to Jim.
I have admired Jim for so many years for his products and especially for his personal qualities. He was great inspiration to me at vifa & scan-speak and in my work since then. I trust that any person involved in audio and having had the privilege to talk to Jim will feel that way.
1 year ago I was asked by the Taiwan importer to assist in tuning the setup of the CS3.7 at the Taiwan high end audio show, and as always it was a pleasure to work with one of Jims creations. I asked the importer to Tell Jim I would charge him a bottle of wine next time I met him... at least it was a good excuse to go see Jim which unfortunately never happened.. I hope Jim managed to do all the things he wanted for himself and his near ones. Let us all remember to do so.
I wish all the best to all at Thiel and hope Jim's inspiration will get you all through this difficult time.
Best regards Lars

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own a pair of 1.5's, which I've always enjoyed. To know that this product which enriches my life was made through the efforts of Jim and others in his company has always made me happy to own a Thiel.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous John said...


This is John. I drove down to get my CS 1.2's repaired in 2006 (Gary wrote about my visit in your Tues, Oct 03, 2006 Weblog) and met your whole gang. Dogs most definately included. I loved the tour, meeting your big, extended family that works at THIEL, and being handed the keys to the listening room (Gary's got guts! :) ). I sent pics of the gear in that room to friends of mine with the subject line "Nerdvana!".

I didn't talk to Jim but he wandered by holding a sheet of spec's on the new "phallic looking" speakers he seemed *real* happy with. It seems he changed the "pie pan" looking drivers and the numbers were better than he expected.

After that visit I wrote a letter to Jim praising his staff that I'd bet hung in your break room for a while. I was that impressed with your customer service for someone who's warrenty had to have been expired by decades.

All I know about the man is that he built a pair of speakers I was so happy with I gladly shelled out far more money for than I ever thought I would. I still think they were worth every penny. That he built a great American company, employing Americans to this day. That he led a company of dedicated people with a passion for their products and customer service beyond compare.

I'm sorry to hear of Jim's death. I wish THIEL Audio continued growth and good fortune.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never owned Jim's speakers - but have always held them as a benchmark, they doing so many things 'right.' I'm just writing to give my thanks for him being the man he was [reported to be]. I've never owned Paul's speakers either, but share the same grief of loss, and happiness for the inspiration knowing that [Klipsch and] Thiel lived to make this world better by doing so.

To Mr. Thiel's family my sincere condolences.

John Walton

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Tom Haleas said...

My very first "high-end" audio experience was listrening to a pair of Thiel CS1.1 loudspeakers at Auidio Consultants in Hinsdale, IL. I was so smitten by their clarity, the quality of construction and by their perfect proportions (not too big, not too small)that I purchased a pair on the spot. I have been a happy Thiel customer ever since and now own the 2.4 model. I always admired the singular focus Thiel had as a company - creating more natural sound by developing time and phase coherent loudspeakers. That focus truly is a testament to the mind of the designer, Jim Thiel. May God bless him and his family.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shocked to hear of Mr.Thiel's passing. I own a pair of CS1.5 for many years and here in Toronto Canada,they are hard to come by. But everytime I play music through them, their outstanding sound always garnered praises. Plan to upgrade soon and I hope Thiel's legacy will continue in the future. He will be missed.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Brett DeMaria said...

We were as shocked as everyone to hear of Jim's passing. As the next generation of speaker designers I've always looked up to Jim and the other pioneers of modern speakers technology (but probably Jim the most). I remember the first time we met (I'm sure most of the people at Thiel remember), CES '00. Already a huge fan, I stopped by to see all the hot new speakers. After a little aural-grazing, Shari Graham came up to me and was so nice. Got me one of those Thiel Audio canvas bags we all love so much. A little more listening and I turn and realize that the man who had been listening right along with me was in fact Jim Thiel himself! Being a fresh, young speaker-geek, I was of course just like a 14-yo girl at an N'Sync concert.... who could blame me?? Not my most composed moment, but understood by those present (and I'm sure those reading now).

Over the years I have bought Thiel Audio speakers for my wife who loves the look/sound of them. I have done field mods on older models. I have always admired and respected the love for audio that is present in every design. Jim's designs have always been innovative. Maybe I'm just spoiled because I've been able to delve into the speakers and cut them up to see how they work. The ones I have taken apart have always seemed carefully engineered by someone who really wanted the warm emotion he had for music to be expressed through cold unfeeling electronic parts. If you plug a pair in I think you'll agree: Mission Accomplished.

Our hearts are with Kathy and Dawn and the rest of the Thiel Family (i.e. everyone who got the privilege of seeing him all the time). We are going to miss him very, very much.

Brett DeMaria
Iguana LoudSpeakers

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Mr. Thiel's work for many years. My thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Tsai said...

I was shocked by the Jim's left from presidnet Kathy's email. I was also fortunate to meet Jim & Kathy in around 1996 business visiting in Taiwan, Taipei our office then 1999 in CES show. As the supplier work with Thiel audio for more than a decade, Jim was the spiritual essential person no doubt for the audio contribution. We will be the best partner for a long term relationship with Thiel in the future.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Mike Klaene said...

I am saddened to hear of Jim's passing. We had gone to high school together in northern KY and I had spent many hours in the basement of his parent's home recording the sounds from Jim as he played and sang with his brother and my then girlfriend. I have many good memories of those times.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the good fortune to meet Jim at a CES show in Chicago approximately 15 years ago. I have always though of him as a gentle giant and audio genius. His contributions to the world of esoteric audio are akin in my opinion to the late Peter Walker. Jim, you will be missed by many.

8:28 AM  
Blogger MOTILAC said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:12 PM  
Blogger MOTILAC said...

About 8 years ago, I worked for a Home Theater company that was a Thiel dealer, in Cleveland, Ohio. We packed up in a car and went to training there in KY. I really enjoyed my time in Kentucky with the whole team (family) at Thiel, and seeing Jim demonstrate each component of speaker technology was awesome. Jim spent plenty of time with us, as did Dawn, Kathy, and Ken. I rode with Jim on the way to dinner in his BMW 7(45?), and we talked cars for a bit.
Time has passed, I've moved to 2 different cities in California, and now reside in Calgary, Canada. Unfortunately, I haven't been with a dealer of Thiel since Cleveland. But of all the speaker companies I've dealt with and seen, Thiel remains my favorite and most cherished. I log onto your website every blue moon to see what's new and to smile at my favorite speaker company. Needless to say, I'm saddened and suprised to read of Jim's passing. One of a kind man, for sure.
My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone at Thiel.

Tom L

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Alex S said...

Hello, being kind of out of the loop these days I only just learned of Jim's death with yesterday's arrival of the December issue of Stereophile, and it goes without saying how the news surprised and saddened me. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

I've been a Thiel fan ever since a customer brought a pair of the original SCS model bookshelf speakers in to the store I was working at in the early 90's (for a comparitive audition against the reknowned B&W Silver Signatures, which to my ears the Thiels beat decisively at a fraction of the price). In '97 I bought my pair of CS2.2's, which went on to serve me well for 10 years.

On the couple of occasions I journeyed to the Lexington factory I only briefly met Jim in passing, so although he was certainly gracious (Jim: Hi, can I help you? I'm Jim Thiel. Me: Yes, I know!), I can't say I really made his acquaintance. But considering how wonderful everyone else I did deal with more extensively there always was, I have no doubt the Thiel philosophy concerning customer service began at the top and was/is an accurate reflection of the man.

I can't think of another audio designer who has been more influential on my own thoughts about audio -- not to mention about what constitutes class and integrity in audio marketing -- as Jim Thiel was. (This despite my gleening, upon perusing the walls in the Thiel offices, that he and I quite undoubtedly disagreed politically!) It is a loss to the audio community to be deprived of Jim's further evolutions, but we can imagine.

Thank you Mr. Thiel for accomplishing all you did, and my best for the future to the Thiel Audio company and everyone there as they continue ahead in the tradition of their founding light.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was saddened by the news of Mr. Thiel's death. I'm a KY native and lived in Lexington, KY in the 1980's. While attending college, I used to DJ and build my own speakers. While working on a 2.1 speaker project, I was trying to find something to affix the grills to those speakers properly, and couldn't find fasteners to suit the application. As a last result, I called Thiel just to see if I could just get some idea where to buy them. I didn't know I would be talking to Jim himself! He simply asked how many I needed and where I lived. I told him and found out he personally delivered them to my home!! I called him and thanked him. He didn't think it was such a big deal. I couldn't believe it! When I tell people the story, they don't believe it either. None the less, I just wanted to share this with the Thiel family and loyal fans to add some personal insight to a what Jim was all about. To tell the truth, I kept the extra fasteners he gave me, and still have them.

Rest in peace Jim. My speakers turned out great thanks to you!

Kurk Johnson- Marietta, GA

8:19 AM  
Blogger michael said...

Wow, it's November 17 and I just heard about Jim's passing which truly saddens me.

I bought my CS2's in 1988 and will enjoy them for the duration of my life.

Thanks Jim for building great products and a great company with outstanding customer service.

You will definitely be missed!

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caro Jim,

grazie per aver dedicato la tua vita all'elettroacustica.
Mi hai fatto conoscere la vera alta fedeltà nel 1992, quando in un negozio di Budrio (BO) Italia, ascoltai per la prima volta le tue "Creature".... nel 1997 dopo tanti sforzi, sono riuscito a comprare un paio di CS 2.2 usate, che ancora oggi mi accompagnano in gratificanti sedute d'ascolto.
Grazie ancora Jim,

Grazie di Cuore.



9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a shock to hear of this news! It seems like yesterday that Jim gave me the Audio Technology by Jim Thiel 101 class!

God bless you all at Thiel, may Jim's passing bring new fortunes.

Tony Abou Jawad

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never met Jim - only a pair of his 2.4s. Through them, Jim taught me that good audio is about how you feel after the music stops.

Thank you Jim. Rest in peace.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,

May you make beautiful music in Heaven. You are missed. A loyal audiophile.

11:48 PM  

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