We had joint winners in this category - two pairs of speakers very close in price, both excelling in performance, but so different in approach that our judges wouldn’t consider dropping either of them to Highly Commended status.
So here we recognise the extraordinary talents of GoldenEar’s Triton Two+, RRP $6995. We’ve used the ‘cutaway’ image for the left speaker here to simplify the explanation of the seven drivers used in each Triton Two+ tower - which are otherwise almost completely covered by the black cloth that has long characterised Sandy Gross’ innovative speaker designs.
Each speaker has five drivers on the front baffle. The high frequency unit is called a ‘High Velocity Folded Ribbon’ driver by GoldenEar, though it is not what most people would regard as being a ribbon, owing more to the Oskar Heil ‘air motion transformer’ concept of a pleated membrane diaphragm, like the moving part of a piano accordion. Flanking this are two 114mm midrange drivers made specifically for GoldenEar with Multi Vane Phase Plugs, and below those are two oval-shaped ‘Quadratic Sub-Bass’ drivers around 130mm wide and 200mm long.
But that’s not the end of the story. Those passive drivers are supported by an active low-frequency pair of drivers, in effect a built-in subwoofer driven by the Triton Two+’s own internal amplifier, which requires that the speakers be connected to 240V mains power.
The result of this combination is an awe-inspiringly realistic bass performance with a body and presence that digs deep (really deep) and powers through like a freight train… you feel as much as hear the thumps of a kick drum. And there’s fine work crossing between the different drivers, as the bass flows seamlessly into an effortless and clean midrange, which again offers a perfect acoustic blend with the tweeter, ‘airy’ and sweet, and we think gaining an edge in stereo imaging over the previous version of this speaker. Which is saying something, as we thought the original was pretty awesome. The Triton Two+ towers make truly superb front-left and front-right speakers.
Full Awards listing: www.avhub.com.au/awards