Another compelling movement is “Night Music II”, which is noteworthy both for the sheer beauty and complexity of the timbres on display and for the remarkable dynamic “mood swings” presented. As “Night Music II” opens, the instrumental voices evoke a dark, mysterious, and initially tranquil nighttime scene, with flutes and higher wind instruments softly carrying the melody as the faint, evanescent sound of a high-hat supplies delicate rhythm accents. But before too long, violent percussion and horn outbursts shatter the mood, with loud low percussion instruments being struck, and with low brass and woodwind sections presenting aggressive back-and-forth exchanges with their higher-pitched brass and woodwind counterparts. It’s thoroughly bracing material that poses a stiff dynamic test for any speaker system—a test the TritonCinema Two system passes with flying colors.
Several aspects of the system’s performance captured my attention. First, I was wowed by the system’s ability to maintain timbral purity and, for want of a better word, authenticity in the face of the movement’s radical melodic and dynamic shifts. Throughout “Night Music II”, instruments sounded purely like themselves and remained easy to distinguish from one another. Second, I was struck by the system’s ability to turn on a dime in a dynamic sense, sounding delicate and almost heartbreakingly hushed in one moment, and then brash, violent, and powerful the next—all without losing composure or context. Finally, and this is the really impressive part, I was floored by the system’s ability to continually present stunning, holographic imaging as the movement unfolded. The soundstage produced by the GoldenEar system was huge and three-dimensional, perfectly capturing the dimensions and acoustics of the recording venue. Moderately priced surround systems just aren’t supposed to sound this good, but apparently GoldenEar didn’t get the memo, and thank goodness for that.
Whatever you do, then, please don’t make the mistake of dismissing the TritonCinema Two package as “just another home-theater system.” In truth, this is a music-first system that would do most any audiophile proud.
GoldenEar’s TritonCinema Two system qualifies as a true benchmark product as it establishes new high-water marks in terms of performance per dollar, while also exhibiting certain performance characteristics (such as almost eerily-good 3D imaging and soundstaging) that are tough to beat at any price.
First off, the system gets all of the big things right, offering smooth and neutral tonal balance, good sensitivity, full-throated dynamics (within reasonable limits), and, again, absolutely killer surround-sound imaging. But it also provides many of the small but significant performance touches that differentiate great speaker systems from merely good ones—elements such as transient quickness, textural subtlety and finesse, and superb resolution of low-level sonic details. This is one of those rare systems that can convey a desirable and elusive quality of sonic effortlessness.
Listeners who care passionately about music and movies yet are not made of cubic money may well find this system represents the point of diminishing returns (meaning that to do significantly better, you’d potentially need to spend eye-popping sums of money). Once again, Sandy Gross and Don Givogue have provided a solution that places the truly good stuff within reach for the rest of us.
GoldenEar Technology Triton Two floorstanding speaker
Type: 3-way, five-driver, dual passive radiator-equipped, floorstander with built-in powered subwoofer
• One High-Velocity Folded Ribbon (Heil-type) tweeter,
• Two 4 ½-inch mid-bass drivers,
• Two 5-inch x 9-inch quadratic subwoofers,
• Two 7-inch x 10-inch planar passive radiators.
Built-In Amplifier: 1200-watt subwoofer digital/DSP-controlled amplifier
Frequency response: 16Hz – 35kHz
Sensitivity: 91 dB
Impedance: Compatible with 8 Ohms
• Speaker: 48” x 7.5” x 15” (height includes mounting base, without spikes)
• Mounting Base: 11.5” W x 18” D (mounting base)
Weight: 60 lbs.
Warranty: 5 years (drivers and cabinet), 3 years (subwoofer amplifier)