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Best of Show: Multi-Channel Performance

by January 09, 2004
Filed under: Editorials

BOS-thiel.jpg This year, our first providing a Best-Of-Show, the award for best Multi-Channel performance goes to Thiel Audio. CES 2004 was Audioholics very first in depth exposure to Thiel Audio's products, and at least for me, it was the first time we've not only seen them, but heard them in a demonstration. When we arrived at their display in Alexis Park, we were pleased to see the semi-informal presentation in their theater. There was plenty of seating available that over looked a large screen, and there seemed to be no real time-crunching, must follow, strict agenda. Instead, they were playing tracks from a DVD titled Animusic which alone was very intriguing. The tacks included creative computer animations set to new-age style synthesized music all of which provided exceptional video and sound quality. Employees of Thiel could be seen patiently waiting around the room ready to answer questions from those who wondered in for a look and listen.

Throughout the demonstration, the sound which arose from the theater was exceptional. The music seemed to come to life with deep, rich bass, accented highs, and colorful mid-range. Not only did the speakers perform well, but the set-up was equally as good. The sound seemed very balanced and not harsh as we've heard during other product demonstrations, including our not not so best of show.

When we finished our audition, we perused their display which proudly revealed drivers, the internal cabinet bracing, and other assorted informational material. We recognized that the front surface of the cabinets were comprised of three layers of MDF for extra rigidity, and the bracing appeared to be substantial and well designed. In addition, Theil baffles their tweeter with a sound tube to help reduce resonance and improve performance. The external cabinet quality was equally as impressive with appealing shape, and finishes.

Upon glancing through Thiel's website when returning home, we also noticed that they publish white papers and technical papers on most of their products. We haven't found too many other speaker manufacturers that are as willing to provide such in depth information for their speakers. The fact that Thiel does, indicates to us that they are serious about what they design and build.

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As for Thiel's setup at the CES show, here is a list which covers the electronics and speakers, along with the titles and tracks of the DVD's.

Speakers:
- 7 THIEL aluminum PowerPoint 1.2s (Prototypes. Available late Spring '04)
- 2 THIEL SW2 Subwoofers (Prototypes. Available late Spring '04)
- THIEL SmartSub Integrator

Electronics:
- Theta David II transport
- Theta Compli universal transport/player
- Theta Casablanca II processor
- 5 Theta Enterprise Mono amplifiers
- 1 Theta Theta Dreadnaught II 2-channel amplifier (for the side channels)
- All cables provided by KimberKable.

Video:
- DPI (DLP) projector
- Stewart Screen

Demo DVDs
- Disney's Fantasia 2000, Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite

- Animusic (multi-channel pre-release) - For more information, e-mail [email protected]
- Chicago
We are waiting in anticipation for Thiel speakers for our chance to do a detailed product review. After hearing them at CES 2004, I'm sure we will be equally as impressed when they are installed on our Reference Systems.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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