Thiel CS2.3, MCS1, and SCS3 Speakers Page 3
My favorite combination of these speakers for home theater turned out to be (obviously) the CS2.3 for the front left/right channels, two SCS3s for the surround channels (or four if you have a Surround EX or Logic7 system), and a single MCS1 for the center. The MCS1 is a huge speaker, though (too big to fit atop many TVs), so you could easily substitute an SCS3 for the center.
You could also choose five (or seven) SCS3s and a good subwoofer. This would still be an amazing system, and it'd be more affordable and living-room-friendly. Thiel has a new sub that looks promising, or you could go with, say, one of the top-of-the-line M&Ks. The SCS3 is ideal for use with the industry-standard 80-hertz crossover built into most preamp/ processors. The speaker can easily play down to 80 Hz, but it doesn't go far below that, so you're not wasting money paying for bass capability you won't use.
I guess you could also do three MCS1s up front and two more in the back, if you want. However, given that the MCS1 costs more than the CS2.3 and, in my opinion, doesn't deliver the same magic, I'd go for the tower speaker.
If you listen as much to stereo music as you do to movie soundtracks, you'd be making a big mistake not to check out one of the systems I've described above. Drive it with a couple of good amps and a good pre/pro, and— even if you've heard hundreds of speakers in your time— I guarantee you'll get more than a few unexpected thrills and surprises.
HT Labs Measures: Thiel CS2.3, MCS1, and SCS3
This graph shows the quasi-anechoic (employing close-miking of all woofers) frequency response of the CS2.3 main L/R (top trace), SCS3 center channel (middle trace), and MCS1 surround channel (lower trace). All passive loudspeakers were measured at a distance of 1 meter with a 2.83-volt input and scaled for display purposes.
On-axis response of the CS2.3 L/R measures +1.7/- 3.8 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. Due to the pronounced vertical lobes in the response of this speaker, the measurement axis was chosen to be just above the woofer. Our normal measurement axis would have been 8 inches higher toward the tweeter, but that axis produced a 12-dB dip at 1 kHz. The - 3dB point is at 35 Hz, and the - 6dB point is at 33 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 2.1 ohms at 429 Hz and a phase angle of - 62.6 degrees at 60 Hz. Sensitivity is 86.5 dB from 500 Hz to 2 kHz.
On-axis response of the SCS3 center measures +1.4/- 2.5 dB from 200 Hz to 10 kHz. An average of axial and (+/- 15 degree) horizontal responses measures +1.3/- 2.4 dB from 200 Hz to 10 kHz. The - 3dB point is at 48 Hz, and the - 6dB point is at 43 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 3 ohms at 6 kHz and a phase angle of - 45.4 degrees at 90 Hz. Sensitivity is 87.5 dB from 500 Hz to 2 kHz.
Response of the MCS1 surround measures +2.64/- 2.7 dB from 200 Hz to 20 kHz. The - 3dB point is at 49 Hz, and the - 6dB point is at 45 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 2.9 ohms at 2.1 kHz and a phase angle of - 113.1 degrees at 78 Hz. Sensitivity is 90 dB from 500 Hz to 2 kHz.— AJ
• The CS2.3 is so good, it'll remind you why you got in to this hobby in the first place
• The MCS1 makes a nice center speaker
• The SCS3 is great as a surround or main speaker
• Except for the binding posts, build quality doesn't get any better
CS2.3 Tower Speaker $3,600/pair
MCS1 L/C/R Speaker $4,400/pair
SCS3 Bookshelf Speaker $2,800/pair
Dealer Locator Code THI