For those of you familiar with the THIEL name, the SCS4 speakers are a departure from many of the company's signature features. A compact (8.4 x 11.7 x 17.6 inches, 25 pounds) bookshelf-type speaker, the SCS4 does not have the familiar sloped "time aligned" baffle up front. Also gone is the made-in-Kentucky cabinetry and components -- to hit the $990 per speaker price point, manufcaturing was moved to China, with the design and components made especially to THIEL's specifications. Before shipping out to your hot hands, each speaker goes through full testing and quality review at THIEL HQ in Lexington, Kentucky.
Ok, that "Made in China" label may force you to give up some of your audiophile bragging rights, but what do you get in return? You get a very high-quality speaker -- a nicely finished, sturdy (1-inch thick) cabinet with lots of cross-bracing that's front-ported through an aluminum baffle, a single set of really nice binding posts around back and a magnetically attached perforated metal grille. All said, it's a compact speaker that looks modern, clean and techy while still classic and not too "audio den." THIEL certainly didn't skimp when it came to the drivers, either -- set into the aluminum baffle is a coincident array pairing a 6.5-inch metal cone mid-bass with a 1-inch metal dome tweeter that borrows some tech from tweeter on the top-of-the-line CS3.7 model (the moving bits are the same, the motor is different) from the top-of-the-line CS3.7 model. When it comes to first impressions, the SCS4 may be made overseas, but it's definitely designed and held to THIEL's very high standards. Your pride in ownership won't suffer a bit on initial unboxing or years down the road.