GoldenEar Triton One at CES 2014 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 171 Old 01-14-2014, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Sandy Gross has quite a reputation as a speaker designer. His new flagship model, the Triton One, cements that reputation with a speaker that is sure to shake up the industry, especially when you consider the price point: $5000/pair.

 

Sandy Gross with the Triton One

 

For a flagship product of this capability, $2500/speaker is quite a bargain. A common refrain in the world of speakers is "it sounds like a speaker that costs three times as much." However, with the Triton One a comment like that is totally justified, if not an understatement. The only speakers at the show that I auditioned which sounded substantially better all cost over $20,000. Furthermore, the Triton One sounded better than some speakers that cost ten times more (that I also auditioned).

 

The One is a tall speaker, but it won’t take over a living room because it is slender, and compared to many audiophile speaker, not overly deep. The secret sauce in the Triton series is the inclusion of integrated self-powered subs in the speaker cabinets. Bass integration is seamless, and for many listeners there will never be a need for a separate subwoofer, thanks to the generous power and displacement of the Triton One's built-in capabilities—three 7.5-inch x 9-inch drivers—coupled to passive radiators—and 1600 Watts of power per speaker. The result is a rated frequency response of 14Hz-35Hz.

 

When listening to the Triton ones, the most striking aspect of their performance was an ability to replicate a soundstage with a proper sense of scale. Sounds have a size as well as a position. A Tringle is a pin-prick, but a harp is a larger, more enveloping sound—pianos are even larger. When elements of a composition are presented at a proper scale, each instrument occupies the proper amount of space and that boosts the believability of the illusion that the performance is taking place in the space before you. The Triton one performed this trick flawlessly, and that's why it deserves the sort of praise typically reserved for speakers that cost far more. As a bonus, the new flagship Tritons are 8-ohm speakers and sport 92dB efficiency and 650-Watt power handling—enough power handling and efficiency to get them well past reference level in a moderate-sized home theater.

 

The Triton One is Truly a Towering Achievement

 

Here are the full specs:

 

Dimensions: Speaker: 5-3/4" W (front) x 8" W (rear) x 16-1/2" D x 54" H (with base)

Base: 12-1/4" W x 19-3/4" D.

Frequency Response: 14 Hz – 35 kHz.

Efficiency: 92 dB.

Nominal Impedance: Compatible with 8 ohms.

Built-In Subwoofer Power Amplifier: 1600-Watt ForceField digital/DSP amplifier

Driver Complement: Three 5" x 9" long-throw quadratic sub-bass drivers coupled to

Four 7" x 10" planar infrasonic radiators

Two 5-1/4" high-definition cast-basket MVPP mid/bass drivers

One High-Velocity Folded Ribbon (HFVR™) Tweeter.

Rec. Amp: 20 – 650 Watt/channel.

 

The price of entry to the top tier of audiophile speaker performance just dropped dramatically. If I upgrade my own speakers, it would be hard to ignore the value offered by the Triton One. What do you think?

 

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post #2 of 171 Old 01-14-2014, 11:41 PM
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I can't wait until my local store has these guys in so I can check them out. I was impressed with the other Tritons!

Thanks for sharing.

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post #3 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 02:56 PM
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I wish there were passive. I just don't have any more electrical outlets available in my listening room and adding more would stress the circuit that runs there. frown.gif (And, yes, I have considered adding a circuit, but, in an old lath and plaster house, it's both tough to find someone to do it at all and to pay for it.)
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post #4 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Rubin View Post

I wish there were passive. I just don't have any more electrical outlets available in my listening room and adding more would stress the circuit that runs there. frown.gif (And, yes, I have considered adding a circuit, but, in an old lath and plaster house, it's both tough to find someone to do it at all and to pay for it.)

You might consider the Triton Seven. It's a completely passive design that some people like better than the former GoldenEar flagship model, the Triton Two. I have both. I like the Seven a little better for music, and the Two for home theater. I have the call in to be among the first to audition the One when it ships. I've recently replaced most of my speakers with GoldenEars.

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post #5 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 03:08 PM
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Nice! I love my Triton 2s but it may be time for an upgrade...

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post #6 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 03:19 PM
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You might consider the Triton Seven. It's a completely passive design that some people like better than the former GoldenEar flagship model, the Triton Two. I have both. I like the Seven a little better for music, and the Two for home theater. I have the call in to be among the first to audition the One when it ships. I've recently replaced most of my speakers with GoldenEars.

Thanks I was aware of the Sevens, but haven't yet heard them. They probably belong on a short list, though, when it's time for me to upgrade.
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post #7 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 03:47 PM
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Make sure you hear Sevens that are broken in. The passive radiators take some time to loosen up, and they mellow out dramatically. I like the Sevens more and more.

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post #8 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 06:44 PM
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I would think that if you choose, you can drive them with your amplifiers. Def Tech designs of this type let you do that; they have powered subs built-in but you can drive them full-range using your own amps. I haven't seen full specs or a manual, but I would hope that's the case with the Triton Ones. Surely they realize some will want to do this. I would much rather have my amps drive whatever speaker is on the other end of them.
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post #9 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 06:49 PM
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I'm sure you'll be able to do that. I run my Triton Twos full range for home theater and music. I prefer that to running them as small and letting the sub handle the mains' frequencies under 60-80hz.

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post #10 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 06:59 PM
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I was dissappointed with the GoldenEar line after hearing all the hype. They sounded boxy and vague compared to a lot of other speakers at the show.
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post #11 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 07:00 PM
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I use my Triton 2s for music only and have them crossed at 60hz to stereo svs pb12 pluses through an aseq1 and they sound fantastic.

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post #12 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonys10 View Post

I was dissappointed with the GoldenEar line after hearing all the hype. They sounded boxy and vague compared to a lot of other speakers at the show.
that's interesting as I have gone through a lot of speakers over the decades and these are the best I have had yet in my humble subjective opinion.
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I was expecting something wonderful but it just wasn't happening. The MBL line is incredible but very expensive. I was very impressed with the butt-ugly ESS speakers, closer to the pricepoint of GoldenEar but still sounded really nice.
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post #14 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tonys10 View Post

I was dissappointed with the GoldenEar line after hearing all the hype. They sounded boxy and vague compared to a lot of other speakers at the show.

I saw the room where the Triton Ones were being demoed, and it looked really small. The space could have played a part in what you heard. That said, most of the tech reviewers were comparing the Ones to MUCH more expensive speakers. As usual with GE, they gushed about them. biggrin.gif My Twos and Sevens are anything but boxy or vague. They're open and airy and they image beautifully. They play as "outside the box" as any speaker I've heard. It's hard to imagine that the Ones won't sound even better. The Ones are based on the same mid/bass driver technology as the Sevens, and they invested even more in the crossovers. IMHO, the crossover technology is just as impressive in the GEs as that sweet tweeter.
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post #15 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 07:23 PM
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I try and listen to female vocals singing in the lower octave when evaluating speakers that's where I heard the boxiness
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post #16 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 07:24 PM
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T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach is better than what they had in Vegas, I will definitely give them another listen if they are there.
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post #17 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 07:43 PM
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I try and listen to female vocals singing in the lower octave when evaluating speakers that's where I heard the boxiness

Now I know I'm going to have to hear Cassandra Wilson sing Another Country on the Ones. smile.gif It'll be a good test, because it's a transcendent experience on the Sevens. While she sings clearly front and center, the instruments soar outside the boundaries of the speakers. It's a far cry from boxy on the Sevens.

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post #18 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 07:49 PM
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I am not commenting on the imaging, I am referring to the tonal quality.
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post #19 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 08:04 PM
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I understand. You should listen to the Sevens, too. Hope you find a better space to audition them.

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I want impressed with them either, and I thought they were ugly. reminded me of def tech too much. I actually liked the aon 3 better. I ended up going with Martin Logan Electromotion ESL's, blew the tritons out of the water.
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Well, that's the beauty of audio. We're all different. biggrin.gif I have a good friend who's a Martin Logan guy - had some good listening sessions at his place. Another friend has two Bozac Concert Grands (in his 5 different audio listening spaces). They're probably still my favorite all-around speakers. I don't even have room in my home theater for the speakers they have. biggrin.gif Fortunately, I've found GoldenEar and for me it's a perfect fit. I know I'm guilty of gushing too much about them, but to me they're a perfect blend of fantastic sound and great value.
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post #22 of 171 Old 01-16-2014, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rubin View Post

I wish there were passive. I just don't have any more electrical outlets available in my listening room and adding more would stress the circuit that runs there. frown.gif (And, yes, I have considered adding a circuit, but, in an old lath and plaster house, it's both tough to find someone to do it at all and to pay for it.)

A few things:

1) Active speakers shouldn't really draw much more power than passives, assuming the amps are reasonably efficient in both them and your receiver.
2) Have you checked how much power you actually draw? A 15A circuit can supply 1800W of power.
3) Can you get a homeowner permit and do the work yourself? If you can follow directions you can add a new circuit relatively easily. That way you just pay for materials.
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A few things:

1) Active speakers shouldn't really draw much more power than passives, assuming the amps are reasonably efficient in both them and your receiver.
2) Have you checked how much power you actually draw? A 15A circuit can supply 1800W of power.
3) Can you get a homeowner permit and do the work yourself? If you can follow directions you can add a new circuit relatively easily. That way you just pay for materials.

Thanks, Chris. I have spoken over the years with a handful of electricians, but, in my house, it's not easy to run a circuit, especially with my wife's cosmetic demands. It is what it is around here.

I had active speakers for about five years, i.e., Infinity Intermezzo 2.6's with the sub. I also had continuous power surges that routinely would blow capacitors, since my 1925 house is ungrounded (making most power surge protectors useless). The electricians with whom I spoke suggested that I not try to ground the circuitry, since San Francisco, where I live, is for the most part ungrounded. Some audiophiles also suggested that I stay ungrounded for sound reasons. (There's an ancient and very extensive thread at Audio Asylum about my electrical troubles.) Anyway, my speakers were in the shop more often than at home, given how quickly capacitors blew. I went back to passive speakers and am happy to stay there, if only to save the cost of two more very long power cords.

At present, I have one socket with two outlets on the electronics side of my living room, into which I have an Ultimate Outlet and a PS Quintet plugged. Into the Ultimate Outlet, I have plugged a PS Audio Duet and a PS Audio regenerator with twelve outlets. Into the Duet, I have two external hard drives, a wireless bridge, and an Airport Express connected. Into the regenerator, I have a turntable, an integrated amp, two music servers, a Squeezebox Touch, and a DAC. Into the Quintet in the other socket, I have plugged a TV cabinet with a power lift, a television set, a DVD player, and a portable device recharger. While I probably have a couple of spare outlets on the Quintet that could accommodate powered speakers, I already feel that I am stretching the electrical power in this particular part of the house. So, for that reason, passive remains my preference.

You raise an interesting question, though. How do I test the current draw over that outlet, with its two sockets and more than a dozen connected devices? If the power draw is below 1800w, is it safe not to worry about the load? I appreciate any insights you could offer.
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I would think that if you choose, you can drive them with your amplifiers. Def Tech designs of this type let you do that; they have powered subs built-in but you can drive them full-range using your own amps. I haven't seen full specs or a manual, but I would hope that's the case with the Triton Ones. Surely they realize some will want to do this. I would much rather have my amps drive whatever speaker is on the other end of them.

When the Twos first came out, I sent an email to Golden Ear asking if they could be driven just by the amp without powering the subs. In response, I was told -- forcefully as I recall -- that that is not possible, but that I should watch for passive speakers in the future. It sounds, though, that some of you do drive the Twos full-range. Have you compared the sound of them full-range to powering the subs? If so, is there a disadvantage to letting the main amp do all the work?
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Since I'm in one of those homes with a media 'niche', the side passive radiators make me pause. My speakers have to work well next to a side wall, it's just the way it is. I'm not sure these would work well, even with the radiators pointed towards the center, would they? The niche is about 8' wide and there's a big Sony 65" xbr 850a 4k TV panel centered in the niche. Hmmmm…maybe an in-home audition is in order. cool.gif

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Rubin View Post

When the Twos first came out, I sent an email to Golden Ear asking if they could be driven just by the amp without powering the subs. In response, I was told -- forcefully as I recall -- that that is not possible, but that I should watch for passive speakers in the future. It sounds, though, that some of you do drive the Twos full-range. Have you compared the sound of them full-range to powering the subs? If so, is there a disadvantage to letting the main amp do all the work?

Interesting. According to the Triton Two manual, you can drive them with just speaker wire. I'm not in the market for speakers, but I'd really like to consider the Triton One as a potential replacement should the need arise. We'll see.

I've never heard any Golden Ear speakers, but reviews of a similar design suggested there is a slight improvement using the on-board subs (in that case anyway), though both ways sounded good.
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Interesting. According to the Triton Two manual, you can drive them with just speaker wire. I'm not in the market for speakers, but I'd really like to consider the Triton One as a potential replacement should the need arise. We'll see.

I've never heard any Golden Ear speakers, but reviews of a similar design suggested there is a slight improvement using the on-board subs (in that case anyway), though both ways sounded good.
I did not know that you could power them fully with an amp. I have a Bryston 4bsst2 powering them which is obviously not working very hard due to the built in subs. I find the boxiness comment ironic because the reason I kept them is that they defy all boxiness to me. The 2s replaced a pair of Philharmonics which also had some boxiness to them (amongst other issues). I have floorstanding Focal Electras next to them (10k retail) and they sound awful next to the GE 2s. Shrill and boxy so now they are only used for Home Theatre.

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post #28 of 171 Old 01-17-2014, 08:17 AM
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... I also had continuous power surges that routinely would blow capacitors, since my 1925 house is ungrounded (making most power surge protectors useless). The electricians with whom I spoke suggested that I not try to ground the circuitry, since San Francisco, where I live, is for the most part ungrounded.

...snip...

You raise an interesting question, though. How do I test the current draw over that outlet, with its two sockets and more than a dozen connected devices? If the power draw is below 1800w, is it safe not to worry about the load? I appreciate any insights you could offer.

Wow, you've got some issues. smile.gif

Personally I'd want to ground the whole house and run new grounded circuits for the home theater gear...but I'm picky that way. (Engineer by training.)

As for testing the current draw...you can buy a device called a "Kill-A-Watt" that plugs into an outlet and you plug your equipment into it. It'll then show the power draw of whatever is plugged in. Useful little tool, costs about $20.

If the power draw for the whole circuit (all the outlets on the same breaker/fuse) is under 1800W then you don't need to worry about the load no matter how many devices are plugged in.
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post #29 of 171 Old 01-17-2014, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I would think that if you choose, you can drive them with your amplifiers. Def Tech designs of this type let you do that; they have powered subs built-in but you can drive them full-range using your own amps. I haven't seen full specs or a manual, but I would hope that's the case with the Triton Ones. Surely they realize some will want to do this. I would much rather have my amps drive whatever speaker is on the other end of them.

I misunderstood this comment - must have been out of it last night. I've never tried to drive the Twos without their built in subs. Sorry if my response caused any confusion.

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post #30 of 171 Old 01-17-2014, 09:11 AM
 
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That's not a fair comparison, as the twos have subs. I have heard time believing with a sub, those focals aren't as good or better.
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