Chapter 3 of the Chronicles

Chapter 2 of the Chronicles

Chapter 1 of the Chronicles

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Hello once again from the land of high performance loudspeakers (plug for THIEL, brownie points for Denise. Yes!)

When last I posted, I shared with you that I did not know the future of our celebrity autographed, Gibson finished CS3.7s. Remember? Sure you do. If not, check out Chapter 3, and while you're at it, and for the sake of continuity, fluidity and any other -ity you want to insert, you might as well check Chapters 2 and 1 as well.

For those of you that choose not to review the previous chapters (and I'm okay with that, really), in a nutshell, we have a pair of gorgeous CS3.7s, finished by the artisans of the Gibson Custom Shop in the classic Heritage Dark Burst finish, signed by Jim Thiel, signed by the Les Paul, and signed by a myriad of celebrities, finally back here at THIEL after a quick trip out to the Sundance Film Festival. They are, to say the least, unique, and whether it's the gorgeous Gibson finish or the fact that we allowed celebrities to desecrate that finish and go crazy with a permanent marker, their appearance always gets comments and questions from visitors to the THIEL conference room.

But, as my momma always used to say, "the clothes don't make the man," and one of my personal favorites, "you can dress 'er up, but you can't take 'er nowhere" meaning, of course, that looks don't mean a thing, it's the substance that counts. And now I'm wondering if maybe Momma didn't have a lot of confidence that any of her offspring would win a beauty contest and was hoping she could stuff us full up with substance, just in case. Hmmm.

Robin Gillum
THIEL Production Manager

Thankfully, we have no worries where these Gibson speakers are concerned. Strip off the fancy finish and erase the all the autographs, and what you have is the THIEL CS3.7, built and tested to the same exacting standards that all THIEL speakers must meet, by the same production staff that builds and tests all THIEL floor standing speakers, and under the direct supervision of the biggest obsessive compulsive perfectionist I've ever met, Robin Gillum.

I am not exaggerating. I've witnessed Rob's OCD firsthand on numerous occasions. His arsenal of tools includes cotton tipped swabs and liner paintbrushes, for goodness sake, and he probably knows more about soldering wire than anyone on the planet. Nothing makes him happier than when a long time THIEL owner sends in a cat-scratched, delivery driver dropped pair of circa 1980 THIELs for restoration. Believe you me, when he breaks out the q-tips, you know some miraculous transformation is about to take place.

You know my momma also used to frequently remind us that "pride goeth before the fall." (Apparently she didn't want us to be too proud of our "substance.") I guess Rob's momma didn't teach him about pride, because his cup sure runneth over with it. Even after 21 years of building THIEL speakers, he still gets pumped by the process.

So imagine, if you will, what the Gibson finish 3.7s do for a guy like Rob. It's pretty much like giving crack cocaine to a junkie in rehab. I've never seen anybody so, for lack of a better word, giddy when those 3.7 sides come back from the Gibson custom shop and come together in our shop and through final assembly. Rob's been known to burst into our meetings with a 3.7 in tow saying, "Guys you just gotta see this one!" And, lucky for you, we have an endless supply of photos and footage of Rob's latest obsession. If I had charged day rates for every time he's burst into my office asking me to come take a pic or film an assembly, this story would end abruptly and I would be enjoying some fruity little drink on a warm and sunny beach somewhere, but since I didn't, and I'm still here hard at work, I'll share some of these photos and video with you, so that you can see what really turns Rob's crank.

Rob and Martin assemble the first "burst".
To see more photos from this series, visit our Picasa Web Album.

Notes on the video:

No THIEL employees were harmed in the assembly of this cabinet ... even at this speed.

Ron doesn't smoke. He just walks around in a cowboy hat with an unlit cigar in his mouth. Thinks it makes him look tough.

There is no reason we need to act tough here at THIEL. Everyone is really, really nice. Really.

Martin is getting so used to being filmed and photographed that, if you call his name, he automatically turns around with a smile and a pose. I know this to be true. I do it for fun on slow days.

There are no slow days at THIEL. We are all very, very busy all the time. Work, work, work. Okay, Kathy?


You'll notice some other THIEL people featured in some of these shots. You want to know what is really cool? Every one of us here at THIEL is just as OCD about producing a quality product as Rob is. We're just not all as hyper about it as he, but we're all just as prideful, and if that means we're all headed for a fall as my momma liked to say, well I just hope we land gently ... or bounce. That might be fun.

'til next time ...

Denise "heavy on the substance" Fuson