GoldenEar Technology TritonCinema Two Page 3

Houston Person’s saxophone on “If I Ruled the World” from You Taught My Heart to Sing sounded so clear and sweet, I could hear the air rushing through the bell of the instrument. It’s incredibly detailed—about as close as I’ve experienced to having the saxophone in the room in front of me. That D’Appolito array with the mid/bass drivers and HVFR tweeter lets Joss Stone’s voice on Jeff Beck’s Performing This Week…Live at Ronnie Scott’s BD come through as powerfully as I’m sure it must have for the folks in the front row. That mondo woofer section won’t let you forget it’s there, either, as you can hear with the very tight and low drumbeats found on “Tribute” from Ross William Perry’s It’ll All Make Sense.

Of course, that’s with two-channel material. For movies, you can take all that sweet goodness and multiply it since there’s a similar HVFR tweeter in the SuperSat 50C and the SuperSat 3s. Shortly after the oft-demoed echo game (“not drums and beans for supper again!”) scene in House of Flying Daggers, during the blind girl’s sword fight with the captain, the protagonists enter a bathing area. It’s filled with acoustic reflections caused by flowing water and swinging beads in the doorways. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a system—and definitely not one at this price—that was so sweet and light at reproducing these high-frequency effects in every direction. It was much the same with Inception during the first dream lesson when everything around the dreamer begins to explode. Nothing seemed forced or strained. It was all as natural as can be. (Well, as natural as it can be when all the buildings and streets around you are exploding.) Speaking of explosions, in U-571 (an oldie but still a goodie on BD), the depth charges were exceptionally moving—literally. They were some of the best I’ve heard or felt. The subs in the Triton Two towers are seemingly unstoppable. They sound both powerful, which is the easier thing to do, and controlled, something that isn’t as easy. Even though the Triton Two isn’t tiny, it borders on the unbelievable that a pair of speakers of this size can produce bass like this. They and the rest of the drivers played about as loudly in my room as I could stand.

If I have a knock at all (and it’s a very soft knock), it’s that I’d like to see GoldenEar make a beefier center channel to match the Triton Two. It’s not that the SuperSat 50C isn’t good—it’s a fantastic center channel and would likely make a great LCR in a system with a subwoofer. But the Triton Two is so damn good that you can find yourself wanting more when you go from two-channel music to multichannel and the voice shifts from a phantom center to a discrete center. There’s just a tad more strength in the lower midbass region of the Triton Twos that gives vocals a bit more heft in two-channel mode. This isn’t surprising considering that the SuperSat 50C is only two-fifths the price of a Triton Two—and maybe one-tenth the overall size. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker for this system, it’s just an area where the system could be even better. Since it’s so minor, you probably won’t notice it with most multichannel musical selections. I only experienced it when I switched directly between two-channel and multichannel on the same source material—something most people will never do. I never found it to be a noticeable issue with movies. If you’re a purist, you probably listen to music in two-channel, anyway. Of course, the best solution would be to use a third Triton Two across the front; then you’d get the best of everything. Still, it’s hard to fit a tower center channel into most rooms. However, at the price point of this system with the SuperSat 50C, it’s almost unfair to even mention it.

Four Will Get You Five
Expectations are an interesting thing. Something good can still be a bit disappointing if your expectations were too high to begin with. Likewise, something pretty lousy might appear to be better than it otherwise would if you had super-low expectations of it from the start. A reviewer must make every attempt to eliminate biased expectations that might cause him to unfairly rate a product (either good or bad), but it’s impossible to totally avoid it. I have to tell you that before the GoldenEar speakers arrived, I struggled hard to keep my expectations in check. But knowing the reputations of Messieurs Gross and Givogue, it was hard for me not to expect something good—really good. I’m happy to say that my expectations were not met. The GoldenEar TritonCinema Two system doesn’t sound good or even really good; it sounds phenomenally good. It’s difficult to build a great speaker, but if you throw enough money at it, you can get there eventually. The thing that makes the GoldenEar system such an astounding achievement is the fact that it sounds like a five-figure system and yet costs less than $3,500. That’s the equivalent of getting a Tesla Roadster for the price of a Toyota Prius.

I don’t like being wrong, and when I am, I like even less to admit it. But in this case, being wrong about the world not needing another speaker line is a blessed thing. Rather than being another set of black boxes fighting for space on a retailer’s shelf, I think the introduction of the GoldenEar speaker line will be like mainlining a pure shot of guarana-and-caffeine-laced energy drink into the jugular vein of the audio industry. The combination of appearance, performance, and price is flat-out spectacular and will set lots of other companies on a chase to close the gap. That kind of competition will be good for everybody.

One of Sandy Gross’ dreams was to build a true high-end speaker that was actually affordable. Someone needs to pinch the man because his dream just became reality.

GoldenEar Technology
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EWL5's picture

I gave these speakers a listen in a high end store connected to high end equipment. I was not impressed at all by these speakers as the mid-bass to bass crossover was very pronounced. Mr. Gross has some work to do but I believe he will eventually get it right. I think most expert reviews so far have given in to the hype and are still riding the coattails of Mr. Gross' legacy.

zimm25's picture

I spent about 6 hours over the past two days trying to fall in love with these speakers after all the rave reviews. After the first 5 minutes, one of the repair techs in the showroom asked what I thought and I said, "loved it on the first piece, couldn't find the singer on the second."

I then spent another few hours listening that day and came back with different recordings the next. After all that time, I can say that for string music (guitar or orchestral strings), I LOVED the Towers. Percussion instruments in any genre are particularly exciting too. Cymbals and high-dynamic hits are present, but aren't pronounced like so many bright speakers.

So here's the problem. Vocals were muddy in choral music (relative to other speakers in the showroom costing less, the same, more and MUCH more), and solo vocals were poorly imaged. Great speakers can make you think you have a center channel where none exits. That makes solo piano a particular challenge for speakers that don't image well. These speakers created a massive soundstage and almost made the walls of the room disappear, but regardless of the source material (Chesky to local bands demo CDs), solo performers on any instrument that could be easily placed in the middle of the soundstage on 3 or 4 other speakers were just not centered on the Towers. Leaning left and right totally altered the sound of the system.

We towed them in more, less, moved them around the room, I moved myself around the room. . . I tried everything to hear what the reviewers call $2500 speakers that sound like $10k - $25k. Side by side with a $10-$25 B&W system in the room, I can attest to the fact that for my ears, they aren't anywhere near that price point.

I also think that people forget that they have 2 powered subs in them. To say that this is two channel music but a 2.1 system is blasphemy is true audiophile ridiculousness. Comparing these to any system without 8-10 inch woofers seems dumb to me. They can't compare in the low end at that point. Adding a high quality matching sub to a nice pair of main speakers will open the soundstage, it will give more depth to the tubas, cellos, string and electric basses, etc. All that said, if you don't have the money for a sub or don't already own one, then these might be a huge financial win for you.

For the right listener, they're probably worth $5k, but for people who don't have all year to work on placement or anyone with a widely diverse collection, I'd highly recommend a demo. Do not buy these without hearing them compared to other speakers in the same room. I would have been sold after the first song, but am thankful I listened to a second, third and fourth!

We all have different ears, so I just wanted to say that for my ears as a huge music enthusiast, but non-audiophile, they were great speakers, but only 50% of the time. Go and listen yourself.

eaverse's picture

I think the reviews accurately describe what these speakers are capable of. I don't think there are any speaker brands out there right now(that i know of) that can compete with the sound or build quality of the Tritons in the same price range. I purchased the Aon 3's a few weeks ago and am elated with how well they've handled every form of content I've thrown at them. Everything from classical music to Terminator 2 on Bluray. Wish I had the room for the Tritons. Mr.Gross did his homework as far as I'm concerned.

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DefTechFan's picture

Darryl, I really enjoyed reading your review. I don't understand the GoldenEar's logic on this system - you have some monster tower speakers paired with a center channel designed for wall mounting. You said the gripe was a small one but I completely agree with you in wanting a "beefier" center. Have you heard or read of any plans for the company to come out with a true match for the critically acclaimed Triton towers?

DefTechFan's picture

I ended up calling GoldenEar directly. It was explained to me that if the center is setup correctly, with the HPF set at 120 HZ and set to "small", then the SuperSat 50c will keep up with the towers just fine. Keeping the crossover at this point will create a "phantom" sub for the center channel which makes sense. I look forward to giving these a shot!

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ponjenku's picture

Thanks. I ended up calling GoldenEar directly. It was explained to me that if the center is setup correctly, with the HPF set at 120 HZ and set to "small", then the SuperSat 50c will keep up with the towers just fine. Keeping the crossover at this point will create a "phantom" sub for the center channel which makes sense. Cari Uang Lewat I look forward to giving these a shot!

rhett's picture

Any one around $1000

addman27's picture

After all the glowing reviews I called Golden Ear with some questions and spoke with Mr. Gross himself. After specifying I wanted a speaker for two channel music he recommended I listen to the Triton 5's and 2's. My local dealer had both to sample so I decided to head over.

When first listening to the 5's I was wowed. The 5's seemingly had everything going for them and the clarity from the ribbon tweeters was amazing. Unfortunately the salesman failed to realize at first that he had a powered a sub on and then turned it off. Immediately all the bass disappeared and I was shocked at how hollow and lean the five sounded. There was virtually no bottom end. I then tried the Triton 2's and the bass and soundstage was full and impressive, but two things were deal breakers for me. First, the vocals sounded a bit recessed and weren't as forward as I would of liked them to be. Second, the highs on the 2's seemed a bit recessed when compared to the sweeter sounding 5 model. I even called back Mr. Gross who verified that the 2 and 5 were 'voiced differently.'

While I found Golden Ear to make some really good speakers that do some things exceptionally well, I personally didn't find them amazing or comparable to other more expensive speakers that many give a better overall presentation.