GoldenEar Triton Seven tower speaker Page 3

Bottom Line

The sans-subs Sevens were able to handily deliver the low-end punch, broad soundstage, and overall consistent clarity I require in a stereo set of speakers. As I was listening to a pair of primo Steely Dan albums on the Sevens for pure pleasure, a telling line in Gaucho’s “Time Out of Mind” jumped out at me more than once: “It’s perfection and grace.” And there you have it: If you’re chasing the ever-elusive sound-quality dragon, audio silver will turn to gold with a pair of GoldenEar Technology Triton Sevens. They’ll put a smile on your face. Not only that, they’ll likely become your next reference speakers, just as they’ve become mine.

Measurements

Frequency response
• 34 Hz to 20 kHz ±3.0 dB avg. 0°-30°, ±3.3 dB on-axis

Sensitivity (SPL at 1 meter/1 watt, average 300 Hz to 10 kHz)
• 87.8 dB

Impedance (minimum/nominal)
• 3.7/7 ohms

Bass output (CEA-2010A standard)
• Ultra-low bass (20-31.5 Hz) average: 86.4 dB
20 Hz  NA
25 Hz  86.2 dB
31.5 Hz  91.9 dB
• Low bass (40-63 Hz) average: 111.6 dB
40 Hz  106.7 dB
50 Hz  112.2 dB
63 Hz  113.9 dB

To measure the frequency response of the Triton Seven, I used quasi-anechoic technique, which removes the effects of reflections from nearby objects. I placed the speaker directly atop my measurement turntable, with the microphone placed at a distance of 2 meters, and 18 inches of fiberglass insulation placed between the speaker and mike to absorb reflections from the ground. Because the front baffle is slightly angled, I experimented with vertical positioning of the microphone to get the flattest response; I ended up with the mike positioned slightly above the tweeter’s height. The curves you see in the chart represent the average responses at 0°, ±10°, ±20°, and ±30°. Quasi-anechoic measurements were smoothed to 1/12th octave. Bass response of the speakers was measured by close-miking the response of one of the midranges and one of the passive radiators, scaling and summing these responses, then splicing the resulting curve to the quasi-anechoic measurements at 280 Hz. All frequency response measurements were made with a Clio FW audio analyzer (in MLS mode for quasi-anechoic and log chirp mode for close-miking) then imported into a LinearX LMS analyzer for post-processing.

The Triton Seven measures essentially flat, except for a sharp dip at 4.4 kHz, surrounded by a broad, shallow dip between about 2.5 and 7 kHz. What’s that mean to you? The speaker should sound neutral, with just a slight reduction of energy in the lower treble. (Some speaker manufacturers feel a dip in this region yields a flatter perceived in-room response.) You can see a peak at 14.5 kHz; that peak is a broad boost at 0°, and it narrows as you move off-axis. Otherwise, off-axis response is very consistent out to ±60°, with just a gradually increasing downward tilt at 800 Hz and higher as you move further off-axis. And yep, it’s actually slightly flatter averaged across the ±30° window than it is on-axis. Incidentally, just to make sure I had the woofers and passive radiators summed correctly, I confirmed the 34 Hz bass response figure with an average of six in-room measurements.

Minimum impedance is 3.7 ohms at 200 Hz/+3°, with a 7-ohm average impedance; not too tough a load for even a fairly cheap receiver. Sensitivity (measured on-axis outdoors, average output from 300 Hz to 10 kHz at 1 meter with a 2.83-volt RMS signal) is very good at 87.8 dB. You’ll likely get another +3 dB or so in-room, which you should be able to hit 100 dB with just 8 watts.

CEA-2010A output measurements for the Triton Seven (driven by my 200-watt Outlaw Audio M2200 amp) were taken at 3 meters and scaled up to 1-meter equivalents, per CEA-2010A reporting requirements, by adding +9.5 dB. Averages are calculated in pascals; the ultra-low bass average was computed by subtracting -18 dB to get the 20 Hz number, per CEA-2010 procedure. Averaged output is about what I expected, in the range of a typical 8-inch powered sub. Remember, this is for just one speaker. The pair of speakers would deliver about +6 dB more bass output, depending on your room acoustics and the headroom of your amplifier’s power supply.—Brent Butterworth

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