When small can be great
You may recall that I reported on a kitchen system I built my wife using Gallo A’Diva SE speakers and a Marantz MCR603 AM/FM/CD network receiver.
The MCR603 has been replaced by a new model, the MCR610 that supports more digital functions. It has already earned its own 5-Star review in What Hi*FI? that can be read at this link.
They summarize thusly:
- Excellent connectivity
- Easy to use
- Big, clean sound
- Could be accused of being a little too refined
- Could do with more bite
Its main features are:
- AM/FM tuner
- CD player
- Four 30 watt digital amplifiers to power 2 pair of speakers (yes, true bi-amping) is possible
- AirPlay Music Streaming for iTunes
- Built-in Wi-Fi with Diversity Antenna; Ethernet Port
- Digitally Transmitted Playback for iPhone iPod charging function via either of the available USB ports
- Spotify built in and wifi
- Plays FLAC 24 bit 192kHz filesS
- Supports gapless on any non AirPlay content.
Photos and more explanation of the features may be found by clicking on this link.
The retail price is $699.
Gallo’s new speakers
The new Micro SE and A’Diva SE speakers are in stock and I can attest to excellent sound as full range speakers, though obviously lacking in bass, so to hve full range system you need a subwoofer. That’s what I have decided to add to my wife’s kitchen system. As much as I love GoldennEar, their smallest subwoofer is too large for our kitchen, so I turned to another supplier, SNAPAV, which specializes in home installation products. They have some fun products, including subwoofers finished in gloss white in 10″, 8′, and 6″ versions. I am ordering the 6″ version which, with dimensions of 8″ x 8″ x 9″, will replace a few cookbooks on a shelf under the microwave.
See how tiny it is? There is more info at http://www.snapav.com/p-
Here’s a follow-up on the GoldenEar Triton Seven
In response to my recent comments about the relative merits of the Triton Two versus the Triton Seven I got an email from an audio/videophile who has a pair of Triton Two and a pair of Triton Seven in his home theater, and also a pair of Triton Seven in a bedroom two-channel system. As he is a very discerning listener, has a good writing style, and I agree with his comments I am passing them on to you below:
I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the Triton Seven, Wylie. I just bought 5 more albums from HDTracks – all female vocals. I’m listening to them on the Sevens as I type, and they sound wonderful! There is something magical about the midrange. One of these days I might put the two Sevens from my bedroom system in my main home theater, just as an experiment to find out how it would sound with 4 Sevens and a SCXL across the front. I love the Twos as mains in that room, because they have more impact for home theater, but the Sevens are something special.
The next day I received this email:
After listening to female vocals on the Sevens all day yesterday, I couldn’t wait to try my experiment. I moved the two Sevens from my bedroom system into the main home theater room and pulled the Twos out. For the next few days I’m going to be running the 4 Sevens in that room for music and home theater. For certain kinds of music, I already know I prefer the Sevens. Whether that holds up for “slam, bam, thank you ma’am” action movies – well, I’ll find out. 🙂
A week later I received a third email:
I’m fairly certain I’m going to keep the 4 Triton Sevens in my main home theater room, instead of 2 Sevens and 2 Twos. The 4 Sevens and the SCXL present a smooth, clean and unified front sound stage. They give up some separation and a bit of spaciousness, but I love the sound of instruments and sound FX both with the 4 Sevens.
Bear in mind that his home theater system has an SVS subwoofer so the bass capability is immense. The significance that I draw from these reports is that the Triton even, though smaller than the Two is voiced to have a sound that is competitive with the renowned TritonTwo as a stereo speaker, so long as the listener does not want the higher SPL capability in the bass. I visited his home theater and was treated to some select scenes from BluRay DVDs, including one from Transformers. Terrible film, but spectacular surround effects. The “slam, bam, thank you ma’am” power was all there, and smooth as silk.
Later, while visiting a GoldenEar forum I read a post by the same person that seemed to summarize it all.
For acoustic music and intimate female and male vocals, I love the sound of the Sevens, but they don’t have the low end impact of the larger Tritons. Not that they’re weak in the low end (quite the contrary), but they won’t shake the house the way the Tritons can if you crank the subs up. I have a friend who owns 4 Martin Logan electrostatics. He was quite impressed with the Triton Sevens and felt they were similar in some ways to his MLs. I think the Sevens are one of the most revealing speakers I’ve heard. Of course, audio is a very subjective area.
So the Seven is more than it would seem, in that it is a match for the Two in sound quality and sometimes sounds better so long as you accept that it will not have the extreme dynamics of the powered subs in the Two. As I listen to compare the GoldenEar speakers to each other I hear exactly what I expect from a well-desgned family. The midrange and highs are very similar and as the models go up the line the bass gets a little deeper with each step and the ability to play louder and with more dynamics. While more bass sounds preferable the confusing aspect is that sometimes music sounds better when there is less bass because that seems to make the midrange stand out more prominently. One internet forum post declard that a husband and wife liked their music better when they turned down the Triton Two bass amp volume. All this is just anther reminder that no matter how scientific audio seems to be the big variable in this experiment in pleasure is the human element.