How do you top a speaker that was anointed by many audio pundits as Product of the Year? If you’re GoldenEar Technology and you’re looking to up the ante vis a vis the well-deserved accolades garnered by their infamous Triton One, you a) reach for the stars, b) design a new flagship speaker, and c) rightly dub it the Triton Reference.
U.S. SRP for the Triton Reference is $4,249 each, with delivery expected in Spring 2017. Official CES 2017 attendees can audition the Reference, at the Venetian in Suite 30-120.
GoldenEar’s Sandy Gross provided the details behind the Triton Reference’s design philosophy. “Clearly, we knew that the One would be a very hard act to follow,” Gross admitted. “There was a spirited discussion within our product development group about an all-out assault on the ultimate state of the art, producing a six-figure loudspeaker to do battle with the most esoteric and expensive loudspeakers on the planet. However, after much soul-searching, rational minds won out, and the decision was made to create a new GoldenEar flagship that would joust with the best, but would still stick to our trademarked slogan, ‘We Make High-End Affordable.’
“We are pleased and proud to introduce the new Triton Reference, a loudspeaker destined to raise the bar and set a completely new performance standard for reasonably priced, affordable loudspeakers,” continued Gross. “The Reference has already begun gathering its own collection of honors, having just won the prestigious and coveted CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award!”
According to Gross, all of the components in the Reference — the active sub-bass drivers, upper-bass/midrange drivers, and high-velocity folded ribbon tweeter — are new, and have been specifically developed for use in the Reference. The fully balanced crossover is also specially engineered for the Reference, and the powerful subwoofer amplifier and 56-bit DSP control unit are an evolution of those used in the company’s Triton One and SuperSub models.
The new 6-inch upper/bass/midrange drivers are cast-basket units that incorporate a low-mass voice coil and a newly developed cone with unique low-mass bonding to the butyl rubber surround for improved transient response. In addition, they have a large, newly designed, specially engineered “Focused Field” magnet structure, which better directs the magnet flux to the voicecoil gap.
The newly engineered 6 x 10-inch active low-frequency drivers for the built-in powered subwoofers have 40% more surface area than the active drivers used in the Triton One, along with a larger diameter voicecoil and an even more massive magnet structure which also utilizes “Focused Field” technology. The new Reference High-Velocity Folded-Ribbon tweeter incorporates 50% more rare-earth neodymium magnet material than do GoldenEar’s other HVFR tweeters, for improved transient response and higher efficiency. The four inertially balanced 10.5 x 9.5-inch side-mounted (two on each side), planar, infrasonic radiators are similar to those used in the SuperSub X, but have been retooled to allow for even greater excursion.
Other upgrades and refinements include new internal wiring with a specially developed twist, further development of the company’s signature balanced crossover including film capacitors bridged across the high-pass section on the upper-bass/midrange drivers, a unique proprietary mix of long-fiber lamb’s wool and Dacron for more effective internal damping, intensive work with a high-resolution accelerometer to determine the most effective implementation of complex internal bracing, a 3/32-inch-thick steel plate built into the medite base to further stiffen it for increased stability (which results in higher resolution of subtle details), and new stainless steel floor spikes and cups.
Sonically, the Reference has been engineered to perform with three-dimensional imaging that stretches from wall to wall and beyond, and depth that makes the wall behind them seem to vanish. The bass is rock-solid with low-frequency performance that is tight, quick, impactful, and musical with extension flat to 20 Hz and below.
Another GoldenEar signature is a high end that extends to 35 kHz with a lifelike sheen but no trace of hardness, sibilance, or stridency said to be common with lesser tweeters. The Reference is said to offer 93.25 dB sensitivity, which gives the speakers tremendous dynamic range and allows use with almost any high-quality amplifier, including many SET tube amps.
Here’s a breakdown of the Triton Reference specs:
Speaker Dimensions: 6-3/4-inch W (front) x 9-1/4-inch W (rear) x 18-3/4-inch D x 58-inch H (with base)
Base Dimensions: 13-1/2-inch W x 22-1/4-inch D
Frequency Response: 12 Hz to 35 kHz
Efficiency: 93.25 dB; Rec. Amp: 20-750 watts/channel
Nominal Impedance: Compatible with 8 ohms
Built-In Subwoofer Power Amplifier: 1,800-watt ForceField digital/DSP amplifier
Three 6 x 10-inch long-throw quadratic sub-bass drivers coupled to
Four Inertially Balanced 10-1/4 x 9-1/2-inch planar infrasonic radiators
Two 6-inch high-definition cast-basket MVPP mid/bass drivers
One High-Gauss Neodymium High-Velocity Folded Ribbon (HFVR) Tweeter
For more information about GoldenEar Technology, go to www.goldenear.com.