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THIEL SCS4

Single bookshelf speaker (Dark cherry)

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  • THIEL SCS4

    Dark Cherry

  • THIEL SCS4

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Item #: 684SCS4DC
 

Review Summary

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Your price $1,149.99 each
 
 
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Our take on the THIEL SCS4

by Chris Egner
Thiel

Why choose bookshelf speakers?

Bookshelf speakers may be small in size, but they can deliver surprisingly big sound. Some ultra-compact models even fit on a desktop. Most are right at home in tight spaces like shelves, so they're usually good choices for your home theater's rear channels. For the best performance, try placing bookshelf speakers on solid speaker stands to help the sound really "open up." If you want full bass impact, add a powered subwoofer and enjoy punchy sound that's as deeply satisfying as that of floor-standing speakers.

Audiophile sound quality from a compact bookshelf speaker

The THIEL SCS4 provides a great introduction to high-end sound. It may be THIEL's most affordable speaker, but it borrows technologies found in their higher-end models to deliver outstanding performance in both stereo and home theater setups. Place this slender speaker on a stand for use as a front or surround speaker, or place it horizontally for use as a matching center channel.


High-tech speaker drivers

Precise highs from a high-output tweeter

The SCS4's incredibly lifelike sound starts with a high-output tweeter coaxially mounted inside the woofer. This ingenious design maintains the proper time alignment for the high and low frequencies, creating unparalleled accuracy and realism. And it ensures that every listener in the room hears the sound from both drivers at exactly the same time — regardless of where you place them, or whether they're mounted horizontally or vertically.

An advanced woofer design for full, rich sound

A 6-1/2" aluminum woofer provides mids and lows. A motor structure consisting of a short voice coil sitting inside a large magnet effortlessly drives the woofer. Unlike the voice coils found in most speakers that extend outside the magnet, the deliberately short voice coil always "sees" the optimum magnetic field as it travels back and forth. This eliminates distortion caused by variances in magnetic strength. Bass is full, rich, and musical, perfectly complementing the treble without being overbearing.

THIEL SCS4 crossover

The advanced crossover ensures that your music is faithful to the original signal.

Read more

State-of-the-art crossover

The "unsung hero" of any speaker is the crossover — it directs the right frequencies to the right drivers so you don't have a tweeter trying to reproduce bass and a woofer trying to reproduce highs. THIEL meticulously engineered their first-order crossover to achieve tonal neutrality. The advanced crossover ensures that musical information such as amplitude, phase, and time remain faithful to the original signal, for sound that's pure and uncolored.

THIELSCS4 cabinet detail

A finely crafted cabinet

The super-strong one-inch-thick MDF cabinet features internal bracings to enhance rigidity and minimize sound-muddying internal resonance. A die-cast aluminum front baffle provides a rigid mounting surface for the drivers and reduces unwanted vibrations, for crystal-clear sonic performance.

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Highlights:

  • bass-reflex (ported) design
  • recommended power 30-200 watts
  • frequency response 48-20,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • 4-ohm impedance — suited for high-current amplifiers
  • sensitivity 88 dB
  • 1" aluminum dome tweeter
  • 6-1/2" aluminum cone woofer
  • coaxially mounted woofer and tweeter for proper time coherence
  • cast aluminum front baffle
  • short coil/long gap driver design eliminates distortion caused by variances in magnetic strength
  • binding post connectors
  • 8-1/2"W x 17-1/2"H x 11"D
  • warranty: 10 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • sold individually

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded Yes
Tweeter Type Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) ---
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Composition Aluminum
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 30-200
Sensitivity 88 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 4
Frequency Response 48-20k Hz
Connector Type Binding posts
Bi-amp Inputs No
Height (inches) 17-1/2
Width (inches) 8-1/2
Depth (inches) 11
Weight (pounds) 25
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) N/A
Parts Warranty 10 Years
Labor Warranty 10 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Dark Cherry bookshelf loudspeaker
  • Detachable metal grille (installed)
  • Owner's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Overview: The THIEL SCS4 is a 2-way loudspeaker that performs equally well as an excellent full-range stereo pair, surround-sound, or center-channel speaker. It's coaxially-mounted drivers and aluminum baffle contribute to the SCS4's outstanding fidelity, making it as comfortable in demanding music systems as it is playing movie soundtracks or background music.

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Connections
Mounting Options
Warranty Information & Break-In Period

Driver Technology

Coaxial/Coplanar Driver: The THIEL SCS4 utilizes Coaxial/coplanar driver mounting for correct time response delivers full-range performance with vertical, horizontal, shelf, or stand placement. The SCS4 uses a very low distortion, high output, metal diaphragm 6.5-inch woofer that is coaxially mounted with a 1-inch, high output metal dome tweeter, the same high performance tweeter that is used in THIEL's flagship model CS3.7. The woofer's short coil/long gap, copper stabilized motor system greatly reduces distortion, and its reinforced metal diaphragm is specially shaped to reduce diffraction of the tweeter's energy. In addition, the SCS4's unusual coaxial driver mounting allows great placement flexibility by ensuring that every listener hears the sound from both drivers at exactly the same time, regardless of where and in what orientation the speakers are placed.

Crossover Network: The SCS4 delivers complete phase coherence for exceptional clarity, transparency, and three-dimensional imaging thanks to its crossover network. The SCS4's crossover is a true first order acoustic type that provides the utmost in spatial and depth imaging performance as well as overall realism. This is the only type of crossover that provides complete accuracy of amplitude, phase, time, and energy, and therefore the only type that does not distort the musical waveform. Proper application of this gradual-transition type of crossover requires the use of more expensive drivers with wider frequency ranges than are required for use with common quick-transition crossovers but the benefits also include improved uniformity of the speaker's output in all directions. The SCS4's crossover is meticulously engineered to achieve extreme tonal neutrality and is constructed with extensive use of polypropylene and custom polystyrene capacitors.

Time and Phase Coherent: As with all THIEL loudspeakers, the SCS4 is completely time and phase coherent for much greater sonic realism. THIEL's Coherent Source technology achieves the elimination of both time and phase distortions that cause alterations in the reproduced musical waveforms of most loudspeakers. Eliminating these distortions results in enhanced realism, clarity, transparency and immediacy as well as improved imaging and soundstaging in both the lateral and depth perspectives. Phase coherence in the SCS4is achieved by utilizing a sophisticated first-order electrical crossover system in conjunction with unusually wide bandwidth drivers. Time coherence is achieved by placement of its Coaxial/Coplanar driver on its baffle that is sloped at the correct angle to cause the sound energy from each to reach the listener at the same time.

Enclosure Design

Compact Bass Reflex Cabinet: The SCS4 utilizes an aluminum baffle, doubly-laminated 1-inch cabinet walls, and thick bracing to create an extremely rigid cabinet to eliminate unwanted resonances. The cabinet plays an enormously important role in the quality of music reproduction and so the engineering of the SCS4's cabinet incorporates several innovations that contribute to the speaker's stunning clarity, its utter tonal neutrality and its exceptionally realistic imaging. The SCS4's new cabinet design uses a die-cast aluminum baffle for much greater rigidity in driver mounting and elimination of cabinet resonances. Combined with doubly-laminated 1-inch cabinet walls, unified and reinforced with thick bracing, this robust cabinet construction, usually only found on much more expensive speakers, greatly improves detail, clarity, and spatial information. The SCS4 is available in real wood Natural Cherry and Black Ash finishes

Note: THIEL wood cabinets possess a high quality lacquer finish that is both beautiful and durable. However, any wood finish can be damaged by excessive moisture, dryness, or direct sunlight. When cleaning your speakers, avoid using oils, waxes, or polishes that contain silicone.

Grilles: The SCS4's steel grille frame is designed to not produce diffraction so there is no sonic reason to remove it. If you do need to remove the grille, pull the grille frame away from the speaker while gripping both sides (long) of the grille frame.

Connections

Connections: The SCS4's input terminals are located on the rear of the speaker cabinet. The SCS4 uses binding posts that accept several types of wire connections (will not accept dual banana plug connectors but single banana plugs can be used). The input terminals are designed to be easily tightened by hand or a 1/2 inch nut driver can be used. The speaker's input terminals are color coded to facilitate that both speakers in a stereo system are wired in the same polarity for maximum speaker performance. The speakers should be connected to the amplifier with high quality cable to ensure minimal loss of power and proper control by the amplifier.

Note: The SCS4 is a very high quality sound reproducer and will benefit from use with the best associated equipment. Since it is extremely accurate, it will reveal sources of distortion generated elsewhere in the system. For example, distortion resulting from poor recordings or inferior electronics will be reproduced accurately. Also, the quality of the interconnect cables and speaker cables will significantly effect the performance of the system

Power Requirements: It is important to have enough power to play at the level you desire without distortion. If high sound levels are desired, the SCS41's are designed to be used with amplifiers rated up to 200 watts per channel (into 8 ohms). Since the SCS4 provides a 4 ohm load to the amplifier, it is important that the amplifier be rated to deliver at least 50 percent more power into a 4 ohm load than it does into an 8 ohm load. The SCS4 is of average efficiency (88dB) and therefore can achieve average output levels with an average amount of power.

Mounting Options

Speaker Placement: The SCS4 is specifically designed to give a high level of performance from a variety of room locations and positions. They can be placed on bookshelves or on stands, and oriented horizontally or vertically while still providing a degree of realism not usually obtainable under unusual or difficult placement conditions. Because the SCS4 is magnetically shielded, it can be placed on or near video displays without causing picture distortion.

Warranty Information & Break-In Period

Break-In Period: The SCS4's, like most speakers, require a period of playing before they perform optimally. The amount of time depends on how loudly the speakers are played; more time is required if played softly, less if played loudly. At least 50 hours at moderately loud levels are required before the speaker is performing near optimum. You should notice even more improvement after 100 hours of playing.

10 Year Warranty: THIEL warrants every THIEL model SCS4 loudspeaker against defects in materials and workmanship to the original owner for a period of ten years from the date of purchase. THIEL will, at no charge, replace any defective part and make any repairs necessary to ensure its proper performance when the defective unit is returned to us postpaid. This warranty does not cover damage due to accident or abuse and is void if the unit has been tampered with. This warranty is automatic and no registration is required.

 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

THIEL's SCS4 bookshelf speakers can really sing

THIEL's SCS4 bookshelf speakers can really sing

by Dave Bar
 
THIEL's SCS4 bookshelf speakers can really sing

I was over at Steve’s place the other day and sweet smokin’ sassafras, his system was sounding better than ever! As you may or may not know, Steve is Crutchfield’s long-time TV...

 
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THIEL SCS4 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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1 out of 5

A big waste of money

Written By DavidL, VA on Sunday, March 16, 2014
 
I finally decided to upgrade my speakers and chose the THIEL SCS4 based on the good reviews (since there are no retail establishments where you can actually listen to anything anymore). Crutchfield, with its superior service, as always, recommended that I pair the speakers with a Peachtree amp, which is great. After breaking in the speakers, they sounded great. Good clarity and range. After a little less than a year, the foam surrounding the woofer just disintegrated. These speakers are in my weekend home and were only played 5 or 6 hours a week, in a smallish room, and were never overdriven. I thought all would be well since Thiel has a 10-year warranty, but . . No. After looking at pictures, they refused to replace the speaker because they said the damage was indicative of the speaker being overdriven. Something that just never happened. Needless to say, after spending a good sum on these speakers, I'm very disappointed and cannot recommend them in any way.
Pros:
Great clarity and sound before it fell apart
Cons:
Good luck getting them to stand behind their supposed warranty
22 out of 23 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Big sound, compact speaker.

Written By John W., Lubbock TX on Sunday, April 01, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These speakers are listed in the product description as being suitable for front, center, or rear surround speakers and believe me they can handle all these duties well. Paired with an older B&O head unit (Beomaster 8000, pure power) these guys have taken over the front right and left positions. When I was younger bigger is better was certainly standard practice,and after trying for many years to see how many watts can be tolerated I found that Quality can beat out highly distorted wattage for big sound. Thiel speakers have been tested and reviewed next to the highest of the high end speakers for years and have beaten most of them out for much less money. Don't get sticker shock, these speakers will allow you to enjoy your favorite music for decades (my oldest of three sets is 24 years old, still sound great), and if you ever do have a problem they carry a 10 year warranty. Thiel is located (not based) in Lexington, Kentucky USA and the PERSON that you talk to will be happy you called. So make the right decision and buy the best set of speakers you've ever owned (unless you already have Thiels or can afford 2.4 or 3.7s)
Pros:
Big sound out of a smaller unit, these use the same driver as the top of the line. Listen to your favorite music and hear elements you have never heard before.
Cons:
They will never have a 2 for 1 sale.
14 out of 18 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

Where is the SCS4 made? [ Crutch  Apr 03, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • This speaker is assembled in the USA. [ Jeff Staff  Apr 07, 2014 ]

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