Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman
A lot of what you listed comes down to personal preference in terms of sonic reproduction (treble frequency emphasis, vocal realism, etc.), not quality per se.
I've never enjoyed the Klipsch horn sound unless you get into their top end gear. Their horn-loaded consumer tweeters are too brittle and vocal reproduction is colored IMHO, especially when pushed. Can they get loud with less power (very high sensitivity)? Yes! But sheer volume output is not everything.
Of any of your alternatives, to me, the JBL Synthesis SCL-4 could be truly worthy of consideration, and quite possibly the Revels. Again - based on what sounds pleasing to me
I have also heard most of the speakers you've mentioned. What I like about the Triad "sound" is that they may not get as ear splittingly loud as some here (except the Platinums and at their price point there definitely are other choices to consider), but they do sound accurate and closer to the source (and quite musical) without getting unrulingly harsh. I have a few go-to audiophile music recordings I play (besides movies) when testing out speakers. The Triad's definitely strike a solid balance between having some oomph when needed, and reproducing what a piano or other stringed instrument sounds like, or a female vocalist or even a male vocalist. Those are very difficult tonal ranges for a man-made speaker to get right, and these Triads can do it at volume levels I, and many other "sane" people, would be comfortable with. Erod did mention he is not planning on pushing reference levels all the time and thank goodness! His hearing would get damaged at those levels in a 3,000 sq foot room.
One thing I've noted is that a lot of these brands listed seem to have a better dealer profit margin. Not that that necessarily plays into the grand scheme of things.
As for the Triad's, I did not end up paying full MSRP for my Gold LCR's. One thing about any
A/V purchase you could consider - NONE of the brands out there are worthy of paying full retail - even
the venerable Trinnov Altitude.
WARNING, LONG RESPONSE... PICS Included!
A lot of stuff to digest here. I'll tackle them one by one. As I said before, I'm an expert on architectural speakers and have owned a business in this industry for 13 years as well as been working in consumer electronics (some in manufacturing) for 19 years. My resume in this field is quite strong....
1: You've heard most of the speakers I mentioned? How? And, in what environment? Are you an A/V professional or dealer? If so, you should disclose that or your recommendations are quite disingenuous. If NOT, you must have a lot of A/V shops you've traveled to to find those in-wall demos. Either way.... tough claim.
2: "Triad sound" & "ear splittingly loud". What's next? "Chocolaty midrange"? I'm (mostly) kidding...
- The "sound" of the Triad Silver you speak of is that of roughly $100 in off the shelf drivers and some MDF in a small box. Because, that's what it is... PERIOD. They do not engineer or manufacture the drivers nor engineer the enclosure (beyond it's dimensions). They have product managers that do the work for most of their models and offerings. In fact, one of them recently went to KLH and in a meeting explained to me - and it made sense - why the $649 Maxwell I mentioned is a far superior speaker to the Triad Silver at 35% under it's cost. Put simply: better tweeter, same size and better woofers, ADD 2 midrange drivers, add an actual engineered enclosure to work with the drivers better = SUPERIOR SPEAKER. For $1,000 MSRP as a starting point, there is MUCH better value out there, as I listed a handful of options.
- "Ear splittingly loud" is a term you're using to disparage one speaker by insinuating it is only being able to be loud and painful - or that my recommendation is putting a premium on loud (it's NOT) - while persuading the reader that the other will not be so. The Silver in-wall LCR with it's passive dual 6 1/2" woofers in it's small, basic enclosure will NOT be adequate in a 3000 cubic foot room at where most people listen to movies at (I am not referring to reference levels). I've used it... that isn't where it is going to do well. That's not to say that all 6 1/2" speakers will struggle, but I would not trust the Silver to do well
- Klipsch speakers are brittle & colored: No.... cheap, best buy Klipsch speakers engineered to hit a price point are bright. The new Reference Premier (in-wall version I linked), RF 7 III, and Ultra 2 equipment is in no way, shape, or form bright. Stereophile, Audioholics, and any other review or use account of those speakers has specifically said : NOT BRIGHT OR HARSH. Again.... I question what you're basing your opinion on here.
You mentioned specifically "consumer Klipsch".... Interesting that you would say one or the other, sir, as a lot of the Klipsch consumer gear I mentioned above uses the same exact drivers as the commercial cinema product, just less of them and in smaller cabinet. The same guys engineered both.
SIDE NOTE: Since you mentioned loudness, lets also discuss the low end of the volume scale.... Due to their engineering and properties of their horn loading, Klipsch speakers do outstanding - as well as anyone - at being articulate and providing information at low volumes.
3: The Revels vs the Silver: Same $999 MSRP only you get much better drivers and in a 3 way configuration, one of them being a 9" woofer. You lose the cabinet, but they are going in-wall and, because the wall cavity is bigger than the Triad Silver box, the Revel will play lower AND louder/cleaner without getting harsh or breaking up. The Silver will run out of room far before the revel will.
You bring up full range and musicality.... and said the Triad is better? Huh?!
The Silver in wall plays down to only 75hz... What kind of musicality are you getting from that?
^ I understand you have the Golds, sir, but this isn't about you justifying your personal speaker purchase to me or anyone else. You have them and love them, AWESOME!!!! This isn't about you or your choice with your wallet by making stuff up about other speakers. I'm not trying to insult you here, but.... Dan.... come on, man.
- How are you determining "sound accurate & closer to the source"? These are just superlatives you're throwing out there. You have no ability to actually compare or prove "closer to the source". Your entire 4th paragraph is conjecture filled and not based on honest (and at the very most - limited) experience. Reviewing stuff and your opinion is valuable. Your breadth of real world experience and honesty is as well.
4: Profit margin: YOU injected this into the conversation, so lets be real about it. BEFORE PROGRAM DISCOUNTS FOR VOLUME INCENTIVES OR REBATES: The Triad and the JBL Synth in-walls have the exact same margin %. Revel, Klipsch, KEF have about 10% more. A good dealer buys well AND offers great pricing to pass along to their client base. If there is more in a brand, then a discount should be better, right? It should all even out or better in the customer's favor. Economy if scale helps here as well. Triad cuts the MDF to order instead of ordering finished product in volume. That doesn't make the speaker sound better, but it can make it more expensive to produce. That cost is passed on.
- One of Triad's main selling points to dealers is that they PROTECT dealer margin among their dealer network. Kind of like a cartel. "Sell Triad, you can get full margin for it or close" is something said to me all the time. You know how many times a Triad factory rep (when they had them) said to me "Triad is better than James Loudspeaker" (or revel, JBL, etc.)? ZERO, buddy. They talked to me about holding margins and not being found on the internet. They send me a new R series plastic in-ceiling round once. It is built well and has high margin (much more than Silver, Gold, Bronze, etc)... sounds ok. Not worth the MSRP, IMO. I love the painted grills, though. THAT is a unique feature.
^ HEY! want proof of the pudding? I am actually AT one of my former projects today installing an upgraded control system piece. I actually used the speakers I am speaking of in a $2,000,000 garage a client built to party in. These speakers are OKAY sounding, but the client valued the painted grill more than sound quality. The pics are of THIS speaker: https://www.triadspeakers.com/produc...o/ic_r26_open/
REVEL, KEF QR, & Klipsch new Reference Premier in-ceilings all CRUSH these. I've heard and used them all many many many times. See attached pics of my client's GARAGE kitchen system. BTW, I have the 8" models R28 upstairs in the huge gym the guy has on the 2nd floor. Still, just ok. My point is that just because it says Triad on it, doesn't make it some amazing speaker.
The above is not actually meant to just crap on Triad. I look at speakers as a tool to complete my projects and designs. The Bronze and Silver's, to me, are not a great value for the money. The Gold's are competitive, but why build the wall differently when the JBL Synth stuff is right there? Not worth it, IMO. Triad is a strong partner in some of my projects. The client who owns the space I took those pics of valued the factory painted grills (we paint grills for clients all the time, but he wanted factory to do it) over higher sound quality. They still sound fine. However, I never think of them for distributed audio/music in the same realm as the Revels, for example. They cannot compete. Anyway, my client's thrilled and that's my job. On the internet, however, I have some anonymity and want to be 100% honest when I give advice on the business side of A/V, thus, my screen handle.... NOT the name of my company, BTW. That's the name of the old stereo shop, long since gone, where my dad bought me my first pair of speakers.