Even with a modest amplifier driving them, the quality of bass was rather interesting, as although there is not a great deal of it (always a trade off against efficiency) the roll off was gentle and quite even, so it never seemed to draw attention to itself. More importantly, it was fast and tactile enough to make the best of what is always going to be the weak spot of any small valve amplifier, and it allowed even quite torturous bass lines to remain integrated and tuneful. One of the major strengths of the Coincidents was their ability to produce a real sense of coherence that allowed music to step away from the system and into the room, and I suspect that this is also one of the things that smaller amplifiers do well; its just that often you don’t get the chance to hear it due to the heavy demands of the loudspeaker.
Going to the other extreme, feeding the Triumphs with the comparatively limitless power delivery of a Bryston14B SST suggested that they were not altogether against the idea of being bossed around with some authority. One of the Bryston’s fortés has always been exploring the depths of the bass range in a fashion quite unlike any other amplifier, and this set up was no different, revealing a different side to the Coincidents performance with a sure-footed, tactile quality that was tight yet articulate. Whilst I would probably not trade the intimate and organic delivery in the midrange that I had with the little Eastern Audio valve amp (and also a Radford STA25 that worked rather well) there was no doubt that the Triumphs had the ability to do resolution and precision when required. Balanced against this was a tendency toward a slightly ‘hard’ character evident in the mid range, disguised somewhat by the gentler nature of the tube amps but on occasion with the Bryston (and with certain recordings) it would prove a bit much.
But somehow I don’t think that will be a problem. For all its lack of bells and whistles, the Coincident Triumph somehow bypasses the more technical issues of hi-fi and presents music in a fashion that is thoroughly enjoyable, while the lack of constraint when choosing the partnering amplifier is what makes it such a find. It is one of the few loudspeakers that could (just possibly) change my mind about single ended triodes, and that’s saying something.