GoldenEar Triton One.R Loudspeaker

hfnoutstandingBreathed on with the spirit of the company's flagship model, these speakers are nothing less than spectacular

From the sheer performance and value of the flagship Triton Reference [HFN Jun '19], down to the bargain that is the Triton Five [HFN Mar '19], we've been very much taken with the sound of the GoldenEar range. And this despite the 'but it shouldn't work' cost-effective engineering employed by the company, including its liberal use of plastics in the cabinets' construction.

So, bringing us bang up to date, this is the third pair of Tritons to grace our listening room. The £6600 Triton One.R takes the design of the junior models in the company's range, notably the £5750 'standard' Triton One, and breathes on it the pixie dust of the flagship reference. Hence the One.R has an active (1600W Class D) subwoofer built into each speaker, complete with three dedicated sub-bass drivers and a quartet of side-firing auxiliary bass radiators. The speaker can either be used with conventional loudspeaker cables, in which case the internal crossover will split the signal between the passive main section and the active bass or, as would be the case with an AV receiver, with a line-level signal to the dedicated LFE RCA input.

On The Level
In the latter mode, you'll need to use the receiver's sub filtering to split up the signal, setting the receiver so that it passes bass frequencies to its LFE output. However, you should still leave the main front/left speaker output set to 'large' – after all, this is a full-range speaker design with the addition of a subwoofer section, not one with passive treble and mid and an active bass.

However you use the loudspeakers, a subwoofer level control on the rear panel can be adjusted to suit your taste or the foibles of your listening room. It has a central detent for 'normal' setting, but allows the low frequency output to be reduced or boosted as required. In editor PM's listening room I found a bit of LF level reduction was of use when the speakers were too close to the side wall, but that turning the low-end up beyond the 'normal' setting could make things a bit too lush and bloomy, slowing the music a little.


Squeeze Box
Fitted into this slender column, just over 1.37m tall but only 8.3cm wide, are no fewer than six drivers (plus those four ABRs, or 'quadratic planar infrasonic radiators', as GoldenEar describes them). The treble unit is a high-velocity folded ribbon driver, powered by a neodymium magnet system and operating in concertina fashion, shifting air by squeezing rather than pushing. Straddling this in a classic D'Appolito arrangement is a pair of 13.5cm mid/bass drivers of in-house design, combining what the manufacturer calls 'focused field magnet structures' with an unusual finned 'multi-vented phase plug'. This whole section of the speaker has its own sub-enclosure within the tower, with the tweeter further isolated, thus enabling the subwoofer section to make use of a substantial part of the speaker's internal volume.

Talking of the subwoofer, to which the main section crosses over at 100Hz, its Class D amp drives a trio of 12.5x23cm oval-shaped woofers – or 'quadratic reference sub-bass drivers' – clearly chosen to allow GoldenEar to cram the maximum radiating area into that slender column. The drivers are of a long-throw design, and use a glassfibre/Nomex cone driven by a larger version of the substantial magnet assembly found in the mid/bass drivers.

Finally those 'quadratic planar infrasonic radiators' are mounted in opposed pairs, and have a surface area of just under 18x26cm, GoldenEar saying they perform 'like a well-tuned transmission line but with superior transient performance and control'. They have significant output, which can mean some care is needed with the positioning of the speakers – get the One.R too close to a side wall and some boom can be apparent, while too severe a toe-in may expose the ear to excessive direct sound from the side-mounted radiators.

Fortunately the excellent dispersion characteristics of that ribbon tweeter in particular means serious toe-in isn't needed in order to make the speakers image. After some experiments in positioning, notwithstanding the 36kg weight of each speaker, I settled on placing them with just the slightest of toe-in, giving merely a glimpse of the outer side-panel of each speaker from the central listening position.

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