Sandy Gross has a pretty good track record with loudspeakers. In the 1970s, he founded Polk Audio with a couple of buddies, then moved on to start up Definitive Technology in 1990. Both companies were (and continue to be) known for offering excellent-sounding speakers at affordable price points. A few years ago, Sandy decided to see if lightning would strike a third time, founding GoldenEar Technology.
Like his previous two efforts, GoldenEar is all about value. But this time, Sandy is reaching a little higher. Can you make a speaker than can satisfy even the pickiest of audiophiles without breaking the bank? Apparently you can. Or at least, Sandy can. GoldenEar's Triton speakers have generated quite the buzz in audiophile circles for sound quality that belies their (relatively) affordable prices.
I've heard some of GoldenEar's speakers in the past (most recently at CEDIA 2013), and have always been impressed. This week in Las Vegas, we were treated to the coming out party of GoldenEar's new reference speaker, the Triton One. It's a 3-way 54-inch tall tower design with integrated powered subwoofers, driven by a 1600 watt DSP-controlled digital amplifier. Upper-bass and midrange are handled by two GoldenEar engineered spider-leg, cast-basket 5-1/4" drivers. But the real magic comes from GoldenEar's signature High Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) tweeter. The tweeter imparts GoldenEar speakers with an open airiness to the sound that you simply can't find on speakers with traditional acoustic drivers.
The Triton One takes the good qualities of the Triton Two - that open airy sound, balanced frequency response and powerful dynamics - and adds a deep resonant foundation in the low end, as well as even more effortless dynamic range. I listened to a sampling of classical and rock (though nothing from after 1975 - hey, Sandy, expand your musical tastes, won't you? Or at least acknowledge that there has been some decent music made in the last 40 years!). The tracks included some cuts from The Doors, and Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Closing my eyes, I was instantly immersed in the music. The bass was powerful without being boomy or overpowering, the vocals effortless and present, and the highs airy and delicate.
I would need to listen to material I'm more familiar with in order to make a definitive judgement, but I will say what I heard sounded extremely promising.
The GoldenEar Triton One is expected to begin shipping in late April, 2014 at a price of $2499.99 each.