Go to Home Page

Click Here to Go to Index for All Speakers

 

Product Review
 

Triangle Electroacoustique Titus 202 Two-Way Mini-Monitor Speakers

March, 2003

Arvind Kohli

 

Click Photo to See a Larger Version

 

Specifications:


• One 1" Titanium Dome Tweeter,

One 5 1/4" Mid-Bass Driver

• MFR: 60 Hz - 20 kHz ± 3 dB
• Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms

• Sensitivity: 90 dB/W/M

• Power Handling: 120 Watts

• Size: 11.8" H x 7.9" W x 10.9" D

• Weight: 15.4 Pounds Each

• MSRP: $495 - $595/Pair

 

Triangle of America c/o

VMAX Services

 

http://www.vmax-services.com

 

Introduction

When Richard Kohlruss of VMAX Services, the North American distributor for Triangle informed me of a revision to the previously reviewed Triangle Titus XS, I was curious. I absolutely loved the original version, and wondered what changes could they have wanted to do to such a wonderful piece of gear. Partly, I was worried that someone tried to fix what wasn’t broke, and may have messed up that beauty. The revision has also created a bit of a buzz on audio newsgroups, and those were reasons enough for me to do a follow-up review.

The Design

The main technical changes from the original model involve the tweeter. According to Richard , the tweeter is now built with tighter tolerances than before. Also, the old glued-on plastic phase plug has been replaced with a bullet shaped plug made of solid brass and seems to be more steadfastly attached (click the photo at the left for larger version to see the tweeter phase plug). The rear, with its speaker binding posts, is unchanged from the original.

Richard mentioned that if the angle on the old phase plug was altered even a touch, it could change the HF response and directivity. This makes a lot of sense. Occasionally, I would get letters from readers, or see posts on newsgroups of some owners of the XS model who tried hundreds of hours of burn-in and still did not like the sound or found the higher frequencies too hot. On the other hand you had the vast majority of readers/owners who were very pleased with their purchase and swore by it. Perhaps, those with the poor experience had a sample whose phase plug somehow was slightly mis-directed or a tweeter that was manufactured with a large variation from the mean spec.

I would guess that Renaud de Vergnette, the owner and designer pays attention to feedback, and seems to have quickly targeted and corrected the most common if not the only criticism of this outstanding product.

Somewhere between the old and the new model, Triangle decided to upgrade the internal cabling to the same as their own speaker cable. While some of the XS models may have been produced with that upgrade, all of the Titus 202 models are sure to have it.

The woofer, cabinet and crossover (or lack thereof) remain the same between the two models. WHEW, that is what I was most afraid may have changed, and thankfully it was left alone. The one thing that really attracted me to the concept of these speakers is that the woofer has no components in the signal path, and the tweeter only has a capacitor. Sometimes it is the simplest of approaches with excruciating attention to detail that results in an extraordinary product. If you do not believe me, try any ice cream made only with cream, milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla bean. It will make you wonder what you were thinking when you bought that tub of "ChocoMochaRaspberryNutLudicracy”.

The final change is the finish. The standard model is now available in a vinyl cherry with a charcoal front. There is also an upgraded real Anigre wood veneer available for an extra $100. Amazingly enough, even at this price point, they insist on doing it properly, and they actually veneer the inside as well as the outside. This may seem frivolous, and most manufacturers do not bother to take that trouble even at prices that are multiples of the Titus. However, if you ask any serious cabinet maker who builds pieces intended to last a very long time they will confirm this practice. If both sides are treated the same then you do not risk warpage of the cabinet over time.

Renaud de Vergnette of Triangle seems to have a lot in common with Vince Bruzzese of Totem Acoustics. Both are the owner/designer of an acclaimed speaker brand, both believe in cabinets veneered on both sides, both make their cabinets with a minimal combination of bracing and absorptive material, both have in some way used bullet shaped metal cones to help with taming higher frequencies, and both have bucked the trend within their own contexts. They both believe that the cabinet should not be completely deadened, to prevent the speaker from sounding slow and lifeless, inferring that the backwaves should be used and not made to completely disappear. Make of it what you may.

The Sound

I had the original XS version on hand to do a direct and level-matched comparison. I could not discern any significant change in sound between the two models. ‘Happy-Go-Lucky local’ (The Oscar Peterson Trio, "Night Train", Verve, 314 521 440-2) is a track I often use to judge the HF resolution and hotness of a component. The recording of the cymbals and top hat is inherently harsh sounding. On some iterations, I felt that the 202 version sounded a little less harsh, but the difference was too close to call reliable.

To my relief, what stayed unchanged was the beauty of the midrange. I think I might have wept if they had messed with that aspect of Titus. This speaker has a certain combination of speed, naturalness and resolution (especially at low levels) that make you forget about its few weaknesses, namely the lack of bass extension below 60 Hz or ability to play insanely loud levels (if that really is a weakness).

Conclusions

I wish I had some great revelation to impart here, but I do not (refinement is a minor thing, yet important). These are phenomenal speakers, especially for the price. On the plus side, they have perhaps the most delicious midrange I have ever heard, need very little power, image beautifully and have exceptional resolution, especially at low levels.

On the negative side they just do not extend below 60 Hz, and that is noticeable with several musical instruments. A fast, clean subwoofer would be the only real solution, if that is an issue for you. Other than that, this is all I would want in a mini-monitor speaker.



- Arvind Kohli -
 

Associated Equipment:

Speakers: Dynaudio Contour 1.3 Mk II; Triangle Titus XS
Amplifiers: Bryston 4B; NAD 317 (Integrated), Musical Fidelity 3.2 Integrated
Preamps: PS Audio IV
Digital Source: Sony DVPNS755V
Power Conditioner: PS Audio P300
Connectors: Self designed.
 

Related to the article above, we recommend the following:

Primer - Speakers
   

© Copyright 2003 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
Return to Table of Contents for this
Issue.
Go to Home Page

 

About Secrets

Register

Terms and Conditions of Use