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Triad Platinum LCR Speakers, LCR-Center Speaker, Silver Monitor Speakers, and Platinum PowerSub Subwoofer

Part I

July, 2006

Chris Groppi

 

Specifications:

 

LCR

Drivers: One 1" Dome Fabric Tweeter, Two 5.25
    Midrange, Two 10" Woofers
MFR: 60 Hz - 20 kHz
3 dB

Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohms
Power Handling: 500 Watts
Sensitivity: 94.5 dB/W/M
Dimensions: 39.5" H x 12" W x 16" D
Weight: 140 Pounds/Each
MSRP: $12,600/Pair USA

 

LCR Center

Drivers: One 1" Fabric Dome Tweeter, Two 5.25
    Midrange, Two 10" Woofers
MFR: 60 Hz - 20 kHz
3 dB

Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohms
Power Handling: 500 Watts
Sensitivity: 94.5 dB/W/M
Dimensions: 19.5" H x 33.75" W x 13.5" D
Weight: 137 Pounds/Each
MSRP: $6,300/Each USA

 

Silver Monitors

Drivers: One 1" Fabric Dome Tweeter, Two 5.25
    Midrange/Woofers
MFR: 70 Hz - 40 kHz
3 dB

Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohms
Power Handling: 250 Watts
Sensitivity: 94.5 dB/W/M
Dimensions: 16.25" H x 7.6" W x 9" D
Weight: 30 Pounds/Each
MSRP: $4,000/Pair USA

 

PowerSub Subwoofer

Drivers: One 18" Paper Cone with 3" Voice Coil
Amplifier: 1,000 Watts RMS

MFR: 20 Hz - 180 Hz 3 dB
Phase: 00 or 1800
Sensitivity: 94.5 dB/W/M
Dimensions: 20.4" H x 19.6" W x 17.5" D
Weight: 80 Pounds
MSRP: $2,800 USA

 

Triad Speakers

www.triadspeakers.com

Introduction

Every audiophile, and every equipment reviewer, hopes someday to get a chance to have cost-no-object components in their listening room. This review of Triad's top of the line Platinum home theater loudspeakers was my chance.

Triad loudspeakers, based in Portland Oregon, was founded in 1982 to provide custom loudspeaker solutions to home theater installation professionals. The founder of Triad, Larry Pexton, is one of the founding members of CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association), and the company sells its products only though CEDIA member dealers.

The company specifically aims its products at the custom installation market for professionally installed home theater systems.

Many of Triad's design choices and options are particularly aimed at the high end home theater market. The speakers have relatively subdued styling, to blend into high end homes and appeal to home designers and customers. Triad provides 18 veneer finishes, and will also match provided samples for paint color.

Engineering services are available to customize speakers for a particular application (i.e., fitting a loudspeaker into a particular space while maintaining performance, using custom speaker mounting hardware).

Triad also sells an extensive selection of in-wall speakers for concealed installations. Their Platinum series speakers are available only as freestanding models to maximize performance.

Nearly all the loudspeakers are made at their Portland, Oregon facility to order. No speakers are manufactured overseas, nor are speakers stocked, other than three round ceiling models. Triad makes extensive use of computer aided manufacturing to speed delivery time.

The review set of six Platinum loudspeakers, was made specifically for Secrets and was delivered within a few weeks of finalizing the review logistics.

The Platinum series consists of the LCR floor-standing loudspeaker, the LCR Center channel speaker, and the Platinum PowerSub subwoofer.

For my small room, the Silver series monitors were provided as rear channels. In a room appropriate to a speaker system costing as much as the average family sedan, an additional pair of LCRs might be used as rear channel speakers. Depending on the installation, an LCR or LCR center can be used as the center channel.

The Platinum series speakers are far larger, heavier, and more expensive than the Gold loudspeakers, and use the best quality materials and drivers of any Triad products. Lead Designer David Nelson, and the Triad Engineering team have designed the Platinum series as a significant step up from the Gold series. Unlike many cost-no-object high end loudspeakers, the Triad Platinum series has very subtle styling, but the quality of the materials and construction are unmistakable.

This review will primarily address the home theater application for which the loudspeakers were designed. However, I will also cover the use of the LCR loudspeakers in a two-channel audio application. Any loudspeaker in this price class should be able to provide exceptional stereo audio performance in addition to home theater performance.

The Design

The Platinum LCR, LCR Center, Platinum PowerSub, and Silver Monitors all share many of the same engineering, features, and construction techniques. All cabinets are made of high quality MDF, CNC machined to very high accuracy. No seams in the cabinets were visible, and all sculpted features were smoothly finished. The cabinets all seemed to be machined from solid blocks of MDF. Triad uses no screws or other metal fasteners in their cabinets; only machined MDF and adhesives are used to build the enclosures.

The interiors of the enclosures are covered with a proprietary clay damping material to reduce cabinet resonances. All of the sample loudspeakers were finished with the standard black textured paint, and although it was not especially glamorous, was perfectly applied and free of any noticeable blemishes. The finish seems especially thick, adding to the monolithic quality of the construction.

The Silver Monitors use the same construction technique, but without the sculpted front baffle. Very nice gold plated copper knurled five-way binding posts are used on all speakers. The positioning of all the binding posts hides cables, but does make it somewhat difficult to attach and remove them.

Omnimount brass threaded sockets are installed on the bottoms of the LCRs and Silver Monitors to secure the speakers to any pedestals used.

One specification of all the speakers used here deserve special note: the sensitivity. All these Triad speakers offer sensitivities exceeding 92.5 dB/W/m, with the three LCRs at 94.5 dB/W/m. These are very high numbers that result in the ability to produce extremely high SPL with a modest amount of amplifier power.

The Platinum LCR and LCR centers all have carefully shaped cabinet fronts with rounded corners to minimize diffraction. Each loudspeaker's driver compliment consists of a 1" fabric dome tweeter, two 5 1/4" midranges, and two 10" woofers. The tweeter is custom made for this application, while the midrange and woofers are Scan Speak units. The tweeters are horn-loaded with a "Dispersion Control Lens" machined into the front panel. This lens adds some directionality, controlling the tweeter dispersion for use in multi-speaker home theater situations. The lens consists of several stepped sections, making up a horn with a very fast opening angle.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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