THIEL Audio TM3 Bookshelf Speaker Previewed

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by admin, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

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    The TM3 represents a fresh start for industry veteran Thiel Audio. The first loudspeaker from what is expected to be a full lineup, the TM3 is the brainchild of Thiel's new director of product development, Mark Mason. With a projected MSRP of $2,999, the TM3 has a high bar to meet, both in terms of available competition and for exceeding the legacy of Jim Thiel. Suffice it to say, we have high expectations.

    [​IMG]

    Read our THIEL Audio TM3 Bookshelf Speaker Preview
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  2. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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    I think this looks very suspicious if you ask me, I relly hope that I'm wrong....

    Every single Thiel speaker from the forst one to the last that came out from Jim Thiel's hands were absolutely true to the time/phase domain as they were fully time/phase coherent. This is one of the base foundations on which Jim Thiel made all his speakers and this is at the core of the company principles. Thiel management via Kathy Gornik were very clear after Mr. Thiel passed away that there would be no question as to whether the company would follow the principles of lathe Mr. Thiel.

    All the speakers lately as far as I know also employed only aluminum cones, everywhere

    1. Looking at this speaker it's clear that tweeter and woofer cannot be along the same vertical plane, which means it's impossible for the speaker to be phase coherent
    2. Obviously there's no aluminum cones

    I don't want to initiate a discussion about whether phase coherence matters, it's just a 100% fact that late Mr. Thiel always was 100% true to the phase/time domain in his designs, without exception, as he believed this to be important, very strongly!

    With all due respect.... This is my personal belief but I'm questioning if late Mr. Thiel would be happy about this design.

    Then again, I hope that I'm wrong about the above stated.

    Look at the below picture....
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  3. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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  4. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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    I find these new Thiel products to be an utter disgrace to the legacy and life-work of Jim Thiel


    Late Jim Thiel spend a lifetime doing research and bulding a product line based on some very specific principles, some people disagreed with him, but these core principles were at the heart of every product ever released.


    This is what mark masen states about the upcoming TT3 tower:
    Why not stick with first-order crossovers? Because unless impeccably executed, they tend to produce tweeter distortion and poor vertical dispersion. Thiel devoted his life to fixing these problems, and while it's generally accepted that he succeeded, Mason felt that he could build better speakers by going beyond the first-order crossover.


    So withinh just a few monthx Mark Mason just ignores and throws away a lifetime of research made by one of the legends in the audio industry.


    These products and the upcoming products by Mark Mason doesn't deserve to carry the Thiel brand
  5. anamorphic96 Audioholic General

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    Why does this not surprise me. This is surely the beginning of the end. Gotta love how as soon as Jim dies they wanna change everything with a fresh new approach for the future. What a load of sh%t. Why don't they just p$ss on his grave while at it. What an absolute disgrace.
  6. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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  7. AudioFreakazoid Audiophyte

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    Thiel is no longer Thiel.

    I was at CES 2014 and spoke with the new owners of Thiel and asked a lot of questions regarding speaker design, speaker models, and what the future holds for the company, and I must say I'm very disappointed from what I heard.

    First off, the new TM series is NOTHING like any Thiel speaker you've ever seen. They had the T3 monitor on demo and the T1 on static display. Neither one uses aluminum diaphragms, a coaxial driver, short coil long gap motors, a sloped baffle, or first order crossovers... most of what have been part of Thiel almost since the beginning, and certainly what had made Thiel the great speaker company it had been up until Jim Thiel's passing. All of that is gone and will not be included in any speaker the company will be releasing this year.

    Also gone is Gary (who is now with Bryston) who was essentially Jim's apprentice and who continued with his work & philosophy in speakers like the new CS2.7 and CS1.7. Other speaker models that he had been working on with others like the CS7.3 and MCS.2 (the MCS.2 was shown on static display at CES 2011) are no longer in development and will not come to market. Instead the new TM1 will be the new flagship and other models that will be released this year will include a new center channel, new in-walls, and a new line of sub-woofers.

    I also asked if they will continue with the current models (CS3.7, CS2.7, etc...) since they are going with a completely new design philosophy and different speaker models and the new owners told me that "We will continue the sell those models as long as there is a demand", which tells me that they may not be around very long.

    Thiel is no longer Thiel, and if Jim was still alive I'm not sure if he'd be happy with where his speaker company is now going. With as many changes there have been since the new owners came in, they might as well just change the name of the company to something else cause everything that made Thiel, and everything that defined Thiel is now gone.
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  8. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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    The Thiel CS 3.7 was so good that it immedately obsoleted all the upscale models CS 6 and CS 7.2, making them impossible to sell because the CS 3.7 basically swept the floor with them.... I can only imagine what the CS 7.3 would do :p

    This is even worse than what I thought.....
  9. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

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    That hurts my soul. I've heard and drooled over many of their speakers for years.
  10. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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    Think about Kathy Gornik that was president and CEO of Thiel Audio from January 1976 to September 2012, that's 36 years and 11 months to make a world class speaker company, almost 37 years to make the Thiel Audio that we saw......

    Kathy was one of three funding partners in 1977. They built the company from the ground up, developed new products, manufacturing, marketing, sales and overall business skills. As the company grew, Kathy handled all sales and marketing, and was primarily responsible for the strategic vision of the company.

    As far as I know it took Jim Thiel 10 years to develop the coincident mid/tweeter he employed in the CS 3.7, he had a vision of a driver like this for ages and this was the one major technology breakthrough that only was possible through 35+ years of passion for speaker building. The mid driver in the cs 3.7 is more linear in the upper frequencies than most modern tweeters today, only by such incredible response and technology could he meet his perfection.... that he was looking for.....

    This driver they just throw away with the bathwater too.....
    I Drooled over the CS 3.7 and CS 2.4 ....... but probably the engineering that goes into the products that go out of the factory now is at the same level as their shitty business ethics....

    I can't imagine what's going through Kathy's head now to see what took her whole professional life to build...... now these guys break this in just a few months.......

    I have no words anymore now to describe what I think of this........
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
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  11. class a Audioholic Intern

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    The dealer I go to had carried Thiel for 25 years. Had Jim Thiel at his store when he toured w/the 3.7. He dropped them because he did not like the direction they were going in. In the future look for the eventual end of the restoration department and the large parts inventory. The dealer had talked to some of his friends at Thiel and they are not replacing some of the wood making machinery either. Look for cabinet making to move off site. Maybe China. The COO is big on overseas Asian production. They are pointing toward a lifestyle speaker line that will attract more women.
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  12. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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    Well waddayouknow.......

    As far as I know Gary Dayton is a very capable speaker designer and he was a long term apprentice to Jim Thiel, the CS 2.7 and CS 1.7 came out of Gary's hands and I believe these are extremely well performing designs.

    Now that Gary is with Bryston, maybe there can be a surprise move from that side, I wish so .... :cool:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  13. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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  14. class a Audioholic Intern

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  15. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

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    I don't even care if these sound better than previous Thiel bookshelf speakers, I will not buy them. This is so much worse than when Miller & Kriesel closed.

    Jim Thiel's company grew to such a point that they no longer had to rely on outside suppliers to produce a full speaker. To my knowledge every component that went into Jim Thiel's later designs were built completely within the company all on US soil. Very few speaker companies do this; some because they can't, and some just because they won't in order to maintain their margins. Thiel used to need outside suppliers like most new or budding boutique speaker manufacturers. Hundreds of these speaker companies rose and fell over the years, but not Thiel. Thiel expanded and established themselves as one of the premier US speaker manufacturers. For that 35 years they where something to be proud of. While I have no problem with a company taking a new approach to survive I can't say I feel that way about Thiel. Thiel wasn't a struggling company. Maybe Jim was too much of a loss for them as a company, but I believe breaking his tradition in not just speaker design, but how they do business is pitiful. I seem to recall that Thiel even produced their own wood for cabinet making and veneers (could be wrong). If I am not wrong about that, chances are that will change if it hasn't already.

    Maybe it's a little bit of audio snobbery to be saying all this, perhaps a bit of patriot extremism, but the fact remains that this company is about to betray all that Jim Thiel believed in. While this has no profound effect on the world as a whole, I feel a deep bit of sorrow that the legacy of Thiel is coming to a close in such a way. The new owners are going to tarnish that legacy.

    I don't think I'd be alone if I said it would be better if they continued to produce Jim Thiel's approved designs until profitability subsides and close their doors with dignity and let it go gracefully.

    It's over...
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  16. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

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    Just realized it's not 2014 anymore. Way for me to be up on current affairs.
  17. GIEGAR Full Audioholic

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    Not at all, I'm glad you brought it back up Seth. I didn't know anything about this.

    It's interesting, but mostly saddening to read of the apparent decline of an iconic American speaker brand.
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  18. class a Audioholic Intern

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    Any feedback from the 2015 CES on the new Thiel models????
  19. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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    Thiel Audio TT1 vs Thiel CS 3.7: the death of a legacy.

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