This is Part 2 of the GoldenEar TritonCinema Two 5-Channel Surround System, click here to read Part 1.
Starting with first things first, let me observe that the TritonCinema Two system offers exceptionally smooth and neutrally balanced tonal response, with excellent extension at both frequency extremes. Up high, GoldenEar’s HVFR tweeter provides gorgeous treble detailing, sumptuous high-frequency harmonics, and beautifully conveys the sense of “air” surrounding instruments, yet does so without the slightest hint of edginess, stress, or glare. Honestly, the HVFR tweeter will spoil you rotten, as it tends to make many other high-frequency transducers (even some quite good ones) sound slightly edgy, etched, or just plain “stressed out” by comparison.
Down low, the Triton Two’s powered subwoofer provides real live, no jive, no-excuses full-range bass, yet without sounding thick, bloated, or overbearing. After listening to the TritonCinema Two system for a while you may find, as I did, that the system routinely reaches way down low to reproduce deep bass notes or sound effects that somehow seem to elude many other ostensibly full-range systems. The moral of the story is that it is one thing to say your system offers full-range bass, but another to deliver the goods. Happily, the TritonTwo system is the real deal.
Bass-to-midrange integration in the TritonCinema Two system is very, very good, but not quite up to the lofty standards established by some of today’s very best $5k - $10k/pair stereo speakers. There‘s not much missing, though, apart from subtle touches of heightened mid-bass transient speed, textural finesse, and focus—qualities you might find and enjoy in speakers such as the new Magnepan MG3.7 ($5500/pair). But in fairness, note that a pair of Maggies costs thousands more than the whole 5-channel GoldenEar system does, that the TritonCinema Two system offers significantly deeper bass extension than the Maggies, and then note that the GoldenEar rig is easy to drive, whereas the Maggies are famously power hungry (got watts?). My point is that while the GoldenEar system’s bass performance is not perfect, its all-around combination of low-frequency virtues is well balanced and makes plenty of sense.
One of the nicest aspects of the TritonCinema Two rig involves its unexpected levels of midrange purity and refinement—qualities exhibited not only by the Triton Two main speakers, but also by all the other speakers in the system (which, remember, share the exact same tweeters and similar mid-bass/midrange drivers). GoldenEar’s MVPP midrange driver looks conventional enough, but it produces an authentic and very sophisticated sound, complete with excellent transient speed, textural nuances galore, and wonderful qualities of easygoing openness and transparency. But one of the best and most essential aspects of the midrange driver is that it is fast enough to blend seamlessly with the HVFR Heil-type tweeter—something that’s much easier said than done.
If you have much prior experience in listening to speakers equipped with Heil-type tweeters, then you know without my saying so that it can be very, very difficult to get them to blend properly with other drivers. The problem, as a rule, is that Heil-type tweeters sound great in their own right, but tend to make everything else sound sluggish and slow by comparison. Well aware of this problem, both Sandy Gross and Don Givogue pushed the GoldenEar engineering team hard to create a piston-type midrange driver that would be light enough, fast enough, and subtle enough to keep pace, and their efforts have paid off handsomely. I have never, ever heard a piston-type midrange driver blend more perfectly with a Heil-type tweeter than in the GoldenEar system—not even in über-pricey high-end speakers costing many times the price of the entire TritonCinema Two rig. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the uncannily sweet, smooth marriage of GoldenEar’s MVPP midrange driver and HVFR tweeter that’s responsible for much of the sonic magic of which this system is capable. The bottom line is that you hear two drivers speaking as one, which is as things should be.