I have a pair of 22 year old Thiel 1.5s that have served in various systems over the years. Right now they are in my apartment bedroom, being powered by a Nova. The bedroom is roughly 10x14 feet, and I rarely shake the rafters - the neighbors would not be happy.
I’m thinking about replacing them with less analytical speakers for my 72 year old ears. Space is constricted. They cannot (including stands if relevant) exceed the size of the Thiels (H32"xW8"xD10"). They will be near, but not up against, a back wall but not in corners.
Budget is $5,000 or under.
I listen primarily to classical, secondarily to acoustic jazz and some classic rock. As should be obvious from above, I’m a Yankee - in fact a New Yorker. The good news is that I can hear quite a few brands. The bad news is that a lot of the brands I see described on this forum are unfamiliar to me (although I haven’t been speaker shopping in more than a decade).
Please try hearing a pair of Neat Iota Alphas.
You’ll want a few inches free behind them and no shag pile carpet under them, but they are great little speakers with a lot of boogie and more foot-tapping inducement than you expect from something that size, and they are pretty good at the more cerebral/ analytical aspects too. They also work really well with a Nova.
A quick internet search suggests many dealers in NYC. You may even find one prepared to do a home demo….
Falcon LS3/5As would suit, I think.
I have no idea whether they have dealers in New York, but that could be a good excuse for a trip to the UK.
Just back from the UK two weeks ago. But I wasn’t audio shopping.
However, it seems that Falcon is distributed in the U.S. Or is that “was”? Almost everything seems sold out.
The few inches they can have. But my bedroom is carpeted. Not shag (God forbid) but somewhat thick.
If you like how they sound at a dealer, you chooses to rest the speakers on a couple of wooden chopping boards or slates.
The really hardcore approach would be to get a set of Neat feet or Isoacoustic Gaias or similar and spike through the carpet…
The Thiels are on spikes (one pointing down and one pointing up ).
Note - I may not play it very loud, but I do like the odd Mahler symphony every so often.
I had a look at the Falcon website. They show a dealer in NYC - High Water Sound, at 274 Water Street, tel (212) 608 8841.
Just sent the company a message asking if/when the L3/5s will be in stock. I’ll call the store tomorrow. I don’t know it.
Incidentally, I have my Falcon LS3/5As in a little system powered by a Nait50, so I imagine that a Nova would match perfectly.
Perhaps buying local is an option, Compass or Super Elf speakers from Shahinian Acoustics in Bohemia NY 11716 (Long Island?), highly rated on the forum by those who’ve heard them.
Funny you should say that…
With a bit more space and or budget, I would have been recommending Shahinian speakers. I still have Compasses in my bedroom and I have yet to hear any speakers from them that I didn’t immediately like.
I have a pair of Thiel 1.5s married to early CB gear. They are as you say old but friends and new comers are always commenting on how good they sound. I recently moved them from my livingroom to my dinning room with their backs facing the kitchen. The sound changed due to acoustics and they sound better that ever. Good luck in your search.
They didn’t return my call. And they don’t list Falcon as a brand they carry. The distributor said they had two pairs of B Stock remaining.
They don’t make the Compass anymore, but they have a new speaker - the Lark. I’d have to go out to Long Island to hear it. I should have asked about price.
The Neat distributor is in New Hampshire but offered to send a pair out with the right to return them.
I don’t know. I listened to the Thiels again last night, and they sounded pretty good. I may sit on this a while longer.
That Neat distributor sounds unusually helpful. What have you got to lose?! Apart from the money of course.
Mind you, if your current speakers are still pleasing you, perhaps it is best simply to enjoy the music and not hear what you could be hearing…
That is often a sensible strategy when in doubt.
Difficult to let go of classic speakers. Having them restored to their former glory may also be an option. It is what I had done and it’s a revelation. As electro-mechanical devices with a cabinet there is plenty of degradation after 15+ years to be reversed and perhaps even improved upon.
The Neat home demo offering is indeed elegant. They now also have feet / a base available for the Iota Alphas that add to the price but are a great upgrade (and help with carpet and suspended floors alike).
For the record, I looked it up and retail price of the Larcs is $3500, a demo pair sold on your audio market for less than $2000 only last month, and other model used Shahinians may pop up there.
As a European I cannot resist also pointing you to the Piega Ace series from Switzerland as they stylishly take up little room, sound neutral with Naim, and have a distributor in Chicago.
Good luck with finding your way forward!
Larcs are absolutely tiny. Great speakers for their size, and maybe worth considering if you want something you can stick in a corner out of the way without compromising performance too much.
The Compass is slim but still quite tall. Arcs are shorter, but wider. Good if you want decent bass extension without the visual impact that you get with most modern loudspeaker cabinets.
Someone suggested restoring the OP’s speakers. Thiel is long out of business. I too had the same Thiel speakers years ago. If the OP is also using the bedroom as a bedroom, I can’t see how Thiel speakers perform optimally in a bedroom. They need 8-10 feet apart and also need to be far from the walls and well away from the wall behind. One could get sound out of anything but the Thiels are not designed for a bedroom. Speakers designed for an office might be better. My comments depend on whether the OP is also using the bedroom as a bedroom.
@daddycool Thiel used drivers they designed and maybe even manufactured IIRC. My queston is does the OP want to restore them to “Thiel Functionality “? They also made a much smaller model which might have been there office speaker.
My problem with the Thiel 1.5 speakers was the width of my room. If I placed them the requisite 8 feet apart, the imaging beyond the speakers crawled up the walls. They not only needed room between them but lots of room to the side walls as well.
I gave up. However Thiel’s senior staff were willing to spend lots of time with me. Their efforts were much appreciated.