Description

This is a 2-channel system in a multifunction living room. The ceiling of the room slopes from 10 to 17 feet high. All audio components, except the Thiel loudspeakers, are in custom cherry cabinets on the right side of the living room. The back of the cabinets has a ventilated door that allows access from an adjoining room. For critical listening, the coffee table can be removed and the two chairs on the right can be re-positioned to improve symmetry in relation to the sectional sofa on the left side. Cables to the speakers are routed up through the floor from an unfinished section of the basement below. The living room system has gradually become focused on server and streaming based audio, and the turntable has been moved from the living room to a 5.1 home theater system in the basement. A Sonos Connect allows the living room system to be linked with other Sonos components throughout the house for multiroom audio use.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 17’ × 19’  Medium
Ceiling: 10’


Components Toggle details

    • Thiel Audio CS-2.2 Loudspeakers
    • PS Audio M700 Monoblock Amplifiers
    • PS Audio BHK Signature Preamp
    • PS Audio DirectStream DAC
    • Innuos Zen Mk3 Server/Streamer
    • Innuos Phoenix USB
    • Sony X55ES CD Player
    • Thorens TD-160c Turntable
    • Grado Signature MCZ Cartridge
    • Cardas Audio Clear Reflection XLR Cables
    Used between DAC and Preamp and between Preamp and Amps
    • Cardas Audio Parsec Speaker Cables
    • Network Acoustics ENO Ethernet Filter and Streaming Cable
    • Shunyata Research Alpha USB Cable
    From Innuos Zen to Phoenix USB
    • Network Acoustics USB III Cable
    From Phoenix USB to DAC
    • Shunyata Research Delta v2 NR and Venom V12 NR Power Cables

Comments 18

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Owner
@jazzman7  Thanks for your kind feedback on my system! I checked out your virtual system, and it's clear that we both are integrating our audio set-ups into a functioning living room. Not that easy to do, but very rewarding when you get it right. Great to see you posting on the Thiel owners thread as well.

sdl4

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Owner
socalml528,

Thanks for the positive comments!
I use 8-meter (equal) lengths of speaker cable from the equipment rack. The basement area under the speakers is unfinished so I run cables under the floor. Ideally my speaker cables should be shorter, but I want to maintain a clean look in the living room. Eventually, I hope to place my amplifiers in the basement under the speakers so that I can switch to speaker cables that are only 2.5 meters long. However, that will require XLR interconnects that are 5 meters long to run from the rack to the amps. The cost of Cardas Clear Reflection XLRs is high enough that I haven't been in a rush to switch from short XLRs / long speaker cables to long XLRs / short speaker cables. 


sdl4

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Owner
linnie01,

The entertainment center in your system is beautiful. I really like it - it doesn't look like something anybody could buy in a store.

You're lucky your wife is great at making Italian food. We especially like dishes that have a few simple, high-quality ingredients that have to be put together just right. This past year, my wife and I have worked at perfecting the smoothness and texture of Cacio e Pepe. My wife has wanted us to match a great version of the dish that she was served in a restaurant overlooking the Spanish Steps in Rome. The trick is getting the right blend of cheese and cooking water, using mostly Pecorino Romano with just a little Parmigiano-Reggiano added in. We typically serve it on either spaghetti or bucatini. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

sdl4

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Owner
linnie01,

Thanks for your kind comments. It sounds like you're still enjoying your Thiels, as am I. I got my 2.2's in 1992, and I hope they keep going strong for many more years. Although it's not all that obvious from the photo, my speakers are in natural cherry to match some of the other cherry in the room. The coffee table (in cherry and maple) and the cherry cabinets along the right wall were built by local woodworkers from my designs. Neither piece of furniture is officially "audiophile approved" but they work well in the room.

As you suspected, I do have some foodie leanings - especially for really good Italian food. That stems from living in Italy for nearly a year, although that was more than 40 years ago.

In terms of music, I lean toward classic rock, singer-songwriter, folk rock, blues, and a smattering of other genres.

I hope you're enjoying a great holiday season! 

sdl4

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Owner
Jeff,

Thanks for the additional thoughts.

I checked out your system, and your Pass amp is especially interesting. I have a lot of respect for Nelson Pass' work, and I'd consider getting one of his Class AB amps if they were a bit less expensive and a lot lighter in weight for an old guy to lift. I bet your Class A power amp and tube preamp sound great with the Revel speakers.

I've shied away from subwoofers in my 2-channel set-up since my Thiel 2.2's have decent bass and I've been afraid that a sub wouldn't sound as natural on the low end as my current speakers do. I do use a Thiel sub with five Powerpoints in my basement HT system because the Powerpoints alone don't go quite as low as I want in that system.

sdl4

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Owner
@frozentundra
Jeff,

It's great to hear from a past Thiel owner. I agree that they can be tricky to get right, especially in the highs and upper midrange. Cables do seem to make a big difference. Using a preamp that has some tube "sweetness" seems to help a lot, too. 

Like you, I've enjoyed the Cardas Parsec IC in my system. In fact, the Parsec won an XLR shoot-out I did against a Shunyata Venom, a Synergistic Research XLR in a similar price range, and an inexpensive Belden cable. Since then, I've moved up to the Cardas Clear Reflection XLR, which keeps most of the sound signature of the Parsec but adds a better top end, more transparency, better imaging, and tighter bass. The CR has a wonderful midrange, with a bit of warmth but not in excess. It just sounds so smooth, sweet, and real in my system. I would probably switch to CR speaker cables instead of Parsec if I didn't need 8-meter lengths, which pushes the cost pretty high. I've recently tried the Zavfino Fusion XLRs, which are very transparent and clear, but don't quite match the richness and fullness of the Cardas CR XLRs.     

sdl4

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Owner
@thosb, Thanks for the positive comments! I've added a pic of the audio cabinet and a more detailed description of the system. Regarding the PS Audio gear, they do appear to be a good match for the Thiel speakers. 

@tomic601, I'm glad you like the room! It's a very pleasant space to listen to music.  

sdl4