GoldenEar Triton Five Loudspeaker Page 2

Set-up is simple, the speakers coming with both spikes for hard or carpeted floors and rubber feet for more delicate surfaces. And company founder Gross has some simple tips on how to get the best from the Fives: 'I like the Tritons (all of them) spaced quite far apart if possible, at least as far apart as you are from each, or even further. This is not absolutely necessary, but they will sound their best. I find that any good speaker, not just the Tritons, if they have good centre-fill sound best like this. I also like them toed in right at the listener.'

sqnote Champion Contender
Auditioned in editor PM's listening room, on the end of the usual Melco/dCS Vivaldi One/Constellation Taurus reference system, I found quite a severe toe-in gave the best results – not quite 45°, but getting there – and that a good space between the speakers and the side and rear walls avoided the ABRs over-exciting the room. Thus set up, with the side-panels clearly visible from the seating position, and having run the speakers hard for a while to get them loosened up and warmed through, I was ready to start listening.

I was less ready, however, for just how impressive the Triton Fives sound, despite having read rave reviews of other models in the range. Quite simply, these are speakers that just sound 'right' as soon as you listen, creating a soundstage picture completely free from those slim towers, unearthing startling detail in the midrange and the treble, and with bass to make some much larger – and much more expensive – loudspeakers sound just plain silly.

If you've ever read one of those reviews in which the writer seems to suggest a process of toiling at the coalface to get under the skin of a product – get real, it's only listening and writing – then you'll enjoy the fact that the Triton Fives are not just ridiculously good for the money, but also remarkably easy to enjoy. After the first track I played – the Trondheim Soloists' recording of Tchaikovsky's 'Serenade', from the Souvenir set [2L 2L-090, 192kHz/24-bit] – I was already hooked by the wide-open sound, the weight and power of the bass and the way they seem completely invisible in acoustic terms, leaving the listener with nothing more than the music floating in the room. It's a magical effect, like almost no other speakers I've heard at this level, and entirely addictive – I could hardly load music fast enough to hear how the Triton Fives would handle it!


With Gregory Porter's 'When Love Was King' from Liquid Spirit [Blue Note 0602537410538; 96kHz/24-bit], the speakers open up with a beautifully nuanced view of the depth, richness and slightly recessed quality of the singer's voice. Then, when the jazz trio accompaniment kicks in, it's delivered with the bass focused and well-extended, the percussion nicely delineated, and the piano naturally weighted. It's an exciting sound, and presented with total ease by the Triton Fives.

Perfect Balance
With a different accompanied voice – in Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings [Linn CKD 478; 192kHz/24-bit] – the Triton Fives display the same attributes: offering up the voice and brass in perfect balance with the orchestra in the resonant Snape Maltings acoustic for a brilliantly atmospheric sound. They also manage to be fast and crisp without ever sounding brash or overbright, as is clear from Iiro Rantala's driving take on 'Caravan' on his My History Of Jazz album [ACT 9531-2]. Here the piano and violin charge on, while the percussion is clean and oh so tight.

But then that's what the sound here is all about, and these very magical speakers present it whatever you play. Rounding off listening with ZZ Top's 'La Grange' [from Tres Hombres; Warner Bros 8122-78966-2] shows that these speakers really can boogie, with fabulous snarl to the guitar, thundering bass and a heart-thudding drum figure just before the solo howls out.

By any standards these are simply wonderfully well-balanced speakers, and a delight to review.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
Superb speakers for sensible money? Yes – and then some! The Triton Fives live up to their ethos by putting the engineering budget where it counts – into the sound. The open, focused soundstaging, powerful, punchy bass and remarkable handling of voices and acoustic instruments all contribute to the very special sound on offer, making these slender black columns remarkable value and a must-listen.

GoldenEar Technology
Stevenson, MD, USA
Supplied by: Karma-AV Ltd, York
01423 358846