- Written by Piero Gabucci
- Published on 03 December 2013
The THIEL CS2.7 Floor-standing Speakers In Use
This is not a relaxed or laid-back speaker, at all. Mellow is not the name of the game here. In fact the more you push, the better the results. Warm is not a characteristic I'd use either for the CS2.7 which doesn't suggest a lack of smooth delivery but rather an overall sound that is accurate in detail and transparent. The CS2.7 is hardly bright, or in excess of sibilance either and I never fatigued listening to them. Having said that however, I still found my preference was with a tube amplifier, what you may give up in bottom end you get back in richness.
The Thiel CS2.7 can play big or spacious, yet has such finesse from delicate highs to fuller mid-range cleanliness and bass that is taut and controlled. Control being the key word there, the entire frequency spectrum is so well-represented, I couldn't find fault in any range. At no time did I sense anything more than a balanced presentation. In fact the CS2.7's reproduced the full dynamics of any recording I threw at them. The tonal quality of instruments is superb, pianos sound full-bodied, acoustic guitars warm, plucky, and electric guitars sharp and clean.
I couldn't help but play Alison Krauss + Union Station's Live recording which highlight the bands Bluegrass roots. (Totally irrelevant is that it reminds me of listening to Bluegrass music in high school at my girlfriend's house as her mother would play her son's bluegrass band's music on cassette for me, new to the genre, it all sounded the same to me, yet her mother would clap her hands and as each new track played, she repeated, "oh this is my favorite"). The recording is top notch, Alison's voice is sweet, her breathing revealing and transparent, while the fiddle, guitars and banjo playing is remarkably rendered.
Voices sound as good as I've heard in my house, from sultry female voices like Linda Ronstadt and Nora Jones, to deep rich male voices like Johnny Hartman.
A vinyl re-issued 1963 recording from Johnny Hartman, I Just Dropped By To Say Hello emphasizes this baritone's velvety and revealing voice on the CS2.7's. He can reach down deep and bellow his voice and switch subtle octaves. The Thiel reproduces that transition so eloquently and his duets with the tenor sax and the accompanying piano reach sublime levels even for a studio recording.
I was so impressed by the absolutely clean bass that I forgot I was listening for it. The CS2.7 is so seamless from driver to woofer that I needed to replay the same track because I wanted to be more clinical in my audition; I wanted to hear the transition. It's almost too easy and cliché to say bass is full, extended and tight but oh so very accurate. Never did the Thiel's emphasize bass where it became bloated and fat.
Listen to Verdi's Requiem, Dies irae or God's wrath comes down hard at the beginning, the full orchestra combines with the heavy forceful bass drums. The CS2.7 renders the bass with tight attack transient with full control and gusto.
I couldn't help but listen to a Blu-Ray with just the pair of CS2.7's playing. Nicely recorded is Chris Isaak, Live in Concert has both a DTS-HD Master Audio version in 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround. The concert through the CS2.7 is so well articulated and engaging, from the accordion off stage left to the sweet guitar at stage right. The performance is well balanced and the "soundstage" is wide and deep with the band placed across the stage. The engineering places you square in the middle and a few rows back. Isaak's voice and as his backup singers is precise, warm and clean.
Likewise with Chris Botti at Symphony Hall in Boston, running the PCM Stereo version (48 kHz/24bit) I found myself immersed in the stage performance by all his artist guests. I especially enjoyed John Mayer's rendition of Glad to be Unhappy made popular by Frank Sinatra. The CS2.7 emphasizes his raspy voice with a distinct character and richness. On other tracks, Botti plays the spectrum of musical styles from classical to rock and his aged trumpet sounds brassy and texturally "right" on the Thiel's. More so, the musical image of his playing on stage and the room acoustics so prevalent, the CS2.7's disappear. It only becomes the musician, the stage and the room.