Anxiously awaiting the GoldenEar Triton One

CES comes but once a year, and the publicity it generates for new audio products is immense. Manufacturers are very eager to use it to introduce new products, even if they are not ready to ship. That’s why GoldenEar Technology showed advanced prototypes of the Triton One aqt the January 2014 CES, with an estimated ship date in April. They wanted to create a buzz, and they got a roar. If you want to see the earliest reactions check out the links below. If you want a summary of the reactions it is that the Triton One is magnificent and competes with speakers in the $20K to $50K range, but is $5K.

GoldenEar Technology’s flagship Triton One shames some speakers costing ten times as much (YouTube)
GoldenEar Triton One Flagship Tower Speaker Makes Its Public Debut at CES 2014 (Big Picture Big Sound)

After CES I called GoldenEar’s national sales manager, Dave Kakenmaster. Since I am such a fan of the Triton Two my first thought was to ask him how they compare to the Triton One. Essentially he said that the One is superior in every way. Of course there is no way to quantify the differences until the Ones arrive for comparative listening, so I asked how soon I could get mine. He says that a more realistic shipping estimate is probably June. So any serious consideration must wait until then.

I understand that CES is a once-a-year opportunity to show the One to almost everybody in the audio world. Such an opportunity is not to be missed, even if the speakers are not yet available. The timing just had to be this way.

GoldenEar Triton Seven

– Just right, and available right now

Comparing the Triton One and the Seven may seem silly, but let’s do it anyway. Firstly, the Triton Seven is not $5,000; it’s $1400. Many may want the One but there are reasons few will buy them. Mainly that the $5000 price of the One is way above most people’s mental and/or financial limit, but also because the larger size is too much for their speaker size limit. Also the Seven sounds incredibly good – so good that it may satisfy those who do not want the prodigious output of a larger speaker.

Lately I have been listening to the Triton Seven on all my favorite tracks and I came to realize that it has enough deep tight bass for most music, and it has some advantages in the midrange over the Two. It’s voiced a little more forward which gives it a more “live in the room” presence. And the Seven midrange seems subtly more pure. It may not be more pure, but it gives that impression, which leads me to a story about frequency response balance. A customer with a really good high-end system, but whose speakers are little light in the bass, borrowed a subwoofer from me. On its return he told me that it gave him weight in the bass that really made some of his classical music assume its proper scale, but on other classical music it reduced the clarity of the midrange and treble. He had to choose which music he wanted to enjoy more. This seems a strange idea, but I have experienced something similar. When demonstrating the Triton Two I begin with the bass volume set for flat response for neutral sound. During the demonstration I ask for reactions to the sound, and quite often I have to increase the bass volume to make the listeners happy. Yes, I confess to adjusting the bass to taste, and that’s one of the reasons I like the Triton speakers with subwoofer amps – I can turn the bass up or down depending on the music. Maybe I need to try turning the bass of the Two down below flat response to learn if less bass makes me perceive more midrange and treble. I strongly suspect that this is so.

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