GoldenEar Technology Triton Two loudspeaker Measurements
The GoldenEar Triton Two's B-weighted sensitivity on its tweeter axis was 91dB/2.83V/m, which both agrees with the specified figure and is significantly higher than the norm. The electrical impedance (fig.1) drops below 4 ohms in the midrange and above the audioband. Though there is a combination of 4.2 ohms magnitude and 45° electrical phase angle at 150Hz, due to the high-pass filter in the feed to the midrange units, the speaker will not be too difficult for the partnering amplifier to drive.
Although the traces in fig.1 are free from the small discontinuities that would imply the existence of cabinet resonances, there is a small peak of unknown origin in the magnitude trace between 500 and 600Hz. Investigating the vibrational behavior of the enclosure walls with a simple plastic-tape accelerometer, I found a strong resonant mode at 664Hz on both the rear panel and on the side panels of the speaker level with the midrange units (fig.2). I would have thought this mode too high in frequency and of too high a Quality factor (Q) to have audible consequences. In addition, taking this measurement required removing the cloth "sock," which will provide some damping for higher-frequency cabinet vibrations. However, RD did comment on some occasional coloration in the midrange at high playback levels that might be the result of this behavior.
Fig.3 separately plots the acoustic outputs of the Triton Two's passive section (black trace) and its powered woofer section. The blue trace in the left of fig.3 is the nearfield output of the woofers; it peaks between 50 and 90Hz, and rolls off sharply above 125Hz. There is a vestigial notch in the woofer output at 32Hz that I assume coincides with the tuning frequency of the mass-loaded passive radiators on the Triton Two's sides; indeed, the radiators' output (green trace) does peak at this frequency, but it also has significant output in the octave above that frequency. Both the woofers and the passive radiators roll off quickly below the latters' tuning frequency. The complex sum of the powered section's nearfield outputs (red trace) basically covers the two octaves between 25 and 100Hz.
The response of the Triton Two's midrange units (fig.3, black trace) rolls off rapidly below 150Hz with what appears to be a fourth-order slope. The upper-frequency balance is fairly uniform, but with slight lacks of energy in the midrange and mid-treble. The ripples in the Triton Two's high-frequency output will be due to reflections from the perforated cage in front of the drive-units. They will not be audible. I repeated this measurement without the speaker's cloth covering. The difference (not shown) was a slight increase in the tweeter's output.
While fig.3 suggests that even with the cloth cover in place, the tweeter's output is a bit hot in the top octave, this will add a little air to the sound rather than sounding tipped up. However, the Triton Two's lateral dispersion (fig.4) suggests that, in a typical room, this slight excess will also be offset by the fact that the tweeter becomes more directional in the same region, the result being a neutrally balanced treble, as RD found in his auditioning. Overall, this speaker's off-axis behavior is smooth and even. In the vertical plane (fig.5), suckouts develop in the mid-treble for extreme off-axis angles, but the Triton Two maintains its balance over quite a wide window centered on the tweeter axis, which is 39" from the floor.
In the time domain, the GoldenEar's step response on the tweeter axis (fig.6) suggests that the tweeter and the two midrange units are all connected in positive acoustic polarity, and that the decay of the tweeter's step blends smoothly into the start of the midrange units' step. This indicates optimal crossover design. Although it can't be seen in this graph, the powered woofer is also connected in positive polarity. The cumulative spectral-decay plot (fig.7) is commendably clean, though the reflections from the grille give a rather hashy-looking picture in the top octave.
Its measured performance indicates that GoldenEar's Triton Two is a well-engineered loudspeaker with a neutral balance and extended low frequencies. I will be holding on to the review samples so that I can write a Follow-Up review on how they sound in my own listening room.John Atkinson