In a nutshell, the Triton Two offers:
· Extremely “fast” and detailed treble response, but without so much as hint of roughness, edginess, glare, or overshoot. I put this down, first and foremost, to the excellent job that GoldenEar has done with its new Heil-type tweeter, but also to the expert way in which the tweeter’s output is blended with GoldenEar’s dual, piston-type midrange drivers.
· Open, effortless midrange response, offering the best blend between piston-type midrange drivers and Heil-type tweeters that I’ve yet heard. Bluntly, the trouble with using Heil-type tweeters is that they generally sound almost too good for their own good, so that—to one degree or another—you can usually pick out textural discontinuities between the hyper-responsive Heil tweeter and the not-quite-so-responsive piston-type midrange drivers next door. The GoldenEar team, however, went to extraordinary lengths to tackle this problem, coming up with an unusually light, fast midrange driver that offers, I am told, frequency response that remains almost perfectly flat clear on up to around 20kHz (!). Of course, the midrange driver doesn’t have to go that high, but the point is that it is light and fast enough to do so, so that lower in its operating range it offers the kind of transient speed that really “clicks” with Heil-type tweeter in an astonishingly seamless way. See what I mean about God being in the details?
· Killer imaging and soundstaging. One of the very first things I noticed about the Triton Two was that it immediately produced an enormously wide and deep soundstage in my room, yet was also capable of very tightly focused imaging. If you buy these speakers, expect to be wowed by their spatial characteristics, but also plan on spending a fair amount of time dialing-in their position in your room to get a just-right combination of stage width and depth vis-à-vis image specificity and focus. Depending on where/how you place the Triton Twos, I found that it was possible to get more of one quality (stage size) at the expense of the other (image specificity), so that it is important to take your time and to find an optimally realistic compromise. One further note is that the Triton Two tends, for whatever reason, to cast an image that floats at or even a bit above the tops of the towers, which I found very realistic (true, it’s not quite the same as the floor-to-ceiling image presentation that you get with Magnepans, but it’s not too far off from that standard).
· Resolution to rival the big boys. The Triton Two offer plenty of detail and resolution, though in a casual, naturalistic, and almost “offhand” way—this in contrast to, say, MartinLogan speakers, where details tend in a sense to draw attention to themselves (albeit in a breathtakingly pure and focused way).
· Real live, no jive, full-range bass. The Triton Two goes very, very low, and with real authority. This is, however, something of a double-edged sword, in that not all rooms can deal with speakers that can provide significant bass output below 30Hz.
· Very good woofer-to-midrange driver integration. The Triton Two does a much better than average job of handling the tricky region where output from the woofers and the midrange drivers must blend. GoldenEar’s DSP-controlled woofer amp section really helps out here, I think. Even so, great two-way speakers (e.g., the YG Carmels) can in my opinion handle the transition from upper bass to lower midrange frequencies even more coherently than the Triton Twos do.
· Terrific flexibility and ease of use. Unlike most other speakers capable of such high overall levels of sound quality, the Triton Twos are capable of playing quite loudly, yet are ridiculously easy to drive. This is true in large part because the entire woofer section of the speaker is self-powered. Thus, your amp never really has to drive the woofers; instead, it has only to drive the input section of the subwoofer amp. What does this buy you? Well, for starters it means you can use pretty much any type of amp you wish, yet get consistently good results. You could, for example, quite reasonably choose to drive the Triton Twos with a small, low output tube amp , yet without sacrificing serious bass performance (something you could never, ever do with, say, the Magnepan MG1.7’s). While the Triton Two’s sound fine when driven by high-powered amps, they in no way require them, which is an important distinction to grasp. But here’s a further observation: the Triton Two is one of the very few true audiophile-grade speakers that would also be perfectly at home in a high-end home theater context—where, please note, the Triton Two would absolutely not require separate subwoofers (because the subwoofers are already built in—cool, no?).