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Triad Gold Monitors, MiniMonitors, and 15" Subwoofer

Part II

June, 2007

Piero Gabucci

 

Subwoofer

As I mentioned, an over the top review from Ed Mullen highlights everything
about this pair of subwoofers. Triad's Powersubs are available with built-in
or separate rack mountable amplifiers supplied to me.

The unit is simple, boxy with a front driving 15" woofer. Like all Triad
Gold subs, there is no port. Sitting on self-leveling feet, the Gold
subwoofer is heavy at 74 pounds. Other than a pair of binding posts recessed
into the base, no other connections are present because of the supplied
outboard amplifier.


Triad sent an external rack-mounted 500 watt subwoofer amplifier. Because I had two subs, the amplifiers were daisy-chained. The unit is modest and cleanly designed. An on/off push-button switch is located on the face, and the only indication that the subwoofer is receiving the signal is the green light. Otherwise, a blue light indicates the unit is powered on and ready for a signal.

 


Removing the front panel gives you adjustments for phase control, low pass, and crossover bypass. Removing the panel is not that convenient, so make your best adjustments upfront. The amplifier has both line-level and speaker-level outputs.

This amplifier/subwoofer combination proved to be worth their weight in Gold, sorry. Puns aside, having two on hand made a world of difference in my room, and I was able to get a smooth in-room response, a true luxury.

Setup

I didn't feel my modest listening room(s) would do justice to the breadth and power the Triad Gold offered, but much time was spent with them in my 12 ft wide x 17 ft deep room. And although most of the evaluation was spent in this room, I had the opportunity to set up the package in a new dedicated home theater a friend recently completed. In fact, this review was delayed waiting for the space to be complete as I chomped at the bit to hear the potential of the room and the Gold series.

The three front Monitors were identical, although I placed the center horizontally. The remaining four mini-monitors were placed approximate equal distance to the side and behind me. The subs were placed non-symmetrically, sometimes both on one side and other times one front left, and the other back right.

I listened to the Triads significantly with the powerful equipment from ADA, including their new flagship Cinema Reference Mach III controller, and amplifiers, the MP-502 five-channel, and two-channel 2502. What a sound!

I most certainly will give the ADA equipment driving this package full credit, but evaluating the Triads on their own merit, I plugged the Gold into more modest equipment like the 55 wpc integrated amp from Onix which I've come to love for two-channel splendor.

Listening

Let's face it: simply, the Triad Golds are built for performance. Anything I challenged this package with was thrown back at me in spades. Form delicate piano and strings to driving rock and swinging jazz, to quiet dramas and earth-shattering action movies.

My second immediate and final impressions dispersion, so critical these days with odd rooms, and many people scattered around non-sweet spots. There truly is no bad sitting location, as the Gold has an effortless wide and thorough breath.

Typical of what I've heard from Triad, dynamics top to bottom. Soft voices and subtle wind blowing were as effectively portrayed as explosions. Yet what I've come to enjoy, music in movies, was reproduced with character and distinction. Musically in surround-sound both from DVD-Audio and SACD and live DVD music in DTS or Dolby, Triad's Gold series floored me with incredible dynamics and a fluid range!

Recently, I acquired a demo disk from Mark Waldrep's AIX Records (I've since purchased a couple of DVDs), a company that produces lesser known musicians recorded in high quality High Definition DVD Video/Audio, 96/24/5.1 and Dolby/DTS sound.

Lowen and Navarro's, Carry On Together DVD is an intimate studio performance from AIX. The songwriter's acoustic based music is splendid, and Triad delivered the live performance spatially.

The duo is joined by three other musicians, as each is nicely located and articulated. Their voices compliment each other, yet the Gold allowed the baritone voice of Navarro and the lighter soprano Lowen space and air.

As I mentioned, two-channel evaluating was also auditioned with an integrated amplifier. I felt the high sensitivity of the LCR and the warm, lush tone of the tube amp proved the combination worthy.

The SACD and DSD recording of the unfinished Mozart Requiem from Nikolaus Harnoncourt with the Concentus Musicus Wien, Arnold Schoenberg Chor, is an emotional and soulful recording. Haunting images and powerful presence from the horns to the vocals were revealed with dimension, space, and clarity.

Despite the sheer size of Triad Gold speakers, they never "placed themselves", that is, identified their location and footprint in my space soundstage was wide and deep. Always looking for an excuse to pull out The Two Towers DVD, I was in awe of the magnitude and sheer size of the soundstage. The combination from the ADA/Triad package was impressively dynamic and yet the subtleties absolutely engaging.

Conclusions

The confidence shown by Paul Scarpelli early was solidly based in performance, and I came to admire the way Triad Gold speakers simply executed. Bass was deep, defined, and wonderfully meshed with the monitors. Voices reproduced naturally without intrusion or coloration. Highs were surprisingly sweet and delicate, and never bright or metallic.

This package probably did more to get out of the way than most I've auditioned. Very few speakers can devoid themselves from a sonic signature, warm, cold, bright, dark you get the picture. I could easily see the monitors used in a professional studio. I was impressed with the versatility of these speakers and how they delivered all types of music from demanding symphonies, chamber music, acoustic, vocals, and every single movie I watched.

Lastly, I was impressed with the power handling delivered mercilessly by the ADA equipment - no small feat, yet Gold survived and conquered.

Every reviewer will tell you they hate to see a particular speaker go, and this package left a benchmark for me. It's very likely all other speakers that come along for my review will be measured by the high standard set by the Triad Gold.


- Piero Gabucci -

Copyright 2007 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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