I bought the original Celius a few years ago, along with its (then) matching subwoofer, and thought it the best bargain I had ever encountered -- and I have been involved with this hobby (obsession?) since the 1960's. I have owned K-horns, JBL Paragons, KLH 9 electrostatics, Altec A-7's, and, more recently, Mirage M1-si's and Dynaudio Evidence Masters. I sold the Celius when I bought my current favorite, the Triangle Volante 260. I was going to buy the first upgrade to the Celius (reviewed by ST about a year ago), but the dealer convinced me that the Volante was a better speaker. He was right. Everyone has his own definition of "bargain," but the Volante actually sounds better with FAR more music than the $80,000 Dynaudio (which I bought used, for less than a third of its new price)-- this, at a price of about 7 grand (I paid 5 for a demo pair). I have posted a review of the Volante on Audiogon, for anyone who is interested in the details. I haven't heard the new Celius that ST reviewed this month, but the 2nd avatar of the original Celius sounds quite similar to the Volante, except the latter is weightier (strong bass into the mid-30's) and can crank a little more sound into larger rooms. Also, it fills out the rear of the soundstage a bit more, perhaps because of its rear-firing midrange and tweeter set-up, a la the Magellan. I have over 2000 CD's and more LP's than that (about 90% classical, 9% jazz, and the rest pop). I could only play a couple dozen on the Dynaudio pair, because their strong peak in the 4,000 Hz region (my subjective reaction, of course) and their bass (flat to 20 Hz) highlighted too many of the flaws on "normal" and sub-par recordings. I think the Triangles' high sensitivity (all models, really) and strong central midrange performance keep the damage of the garbage at the extremes of normal and bad recordings to a minimum: if you love music as I do, you are drawn to the positive strengths in the midrange of almost ALL recordings and tune out the hash: the Triangles are so true to middle-C that it is very easy to ignore the crap at the extreme highs and extreme lows of bad software. Yet, the Volante (and Celius, as I remember both the originals and the update) still play the state-of-the-art recordings beautifully. The answer to this paradox was suggested, I believe, by Laurence Borden in this month's "beauty vs. truth" piece: in the real world of actually playing software through one's "perfect" system, linear accuracy can shine a spotlight on the flaws in less-than-perfect recordings. Since it is impossible to carry our systems into the concert hall, we rely on memory when we imaginatively compare recorded to live sound. Since the Triangles are SO dynamic and spacious (and detailed...in the "right" way), it is rather easy for me to lose myself in a recorded performance that the "critical" side of me knows is flawed. The Dynaudios simply wouldn't let me do this. So I sold them. And the Triangles capture the silky, spacious, airy sheen on massed violins, even on tipped-up recordings! The Dynaudios would turn them to hard steel. "Truth"?? Who cares!! I own too many cherished recordings to throw more than 95% of them out just for the so-called pride and privilege of owning the "world's best, most expensive" system. Sam's point, all along, is that you don't have to spend more than, say, 10 to 20 grand on a COMPLETE system to get a stunning analog to live sound into your living room. He's right. The Triangles are proof positive that this is a fact. Sam, when are you gonna review some of the Stratos line? True, they're a bit more expensive than their ES series siblings, but still outrageous bargains, in my book.
Since I adore the Dynaudio speakers that I have heard, between you and the thread initiator you guys have me very curious about the sound of these guys.
Yo, Monty -- I really loved the Dynaudios too, or I wouldn't have shelled out 23 grand for some (VERY slightly dinged) used ones. I suspect my main point often gets lost in my prolixity. The Evidence Masters are probably among the very best cost-no-object designs ever put to amplifier. They can sound transcendent, as I noted in my review. They are, however, quite impractical. After spending over 50 grand on amplifiers and source components to drive them, and contributing another 12 grand to customizing the room to their (measured) demands, they just weren't worth the constant fuss, because I couldn't enjoy 95% of my software through them. This is a strange business. While fully realizing I can't get a symphony orchestra into my living room, listening to a few top-quality systems has had me realizing that I COULD come damned close. At least, close to duplicating the excitement and emotional immediacy of the RECALLED EXPERIENCE. As I noted, we work from memory, never having the real thing available for push-button comparisons. I have a set of Szell's Beethoven symphonies -- all nine of them -- on vinyl (Epic, 1960's vintage, with the Cleveland). They are superbly realized but with a damned upper midrange peak that can make them sound somewhat dry and shrill. They sounded like something wild and wounded through my Dynaudios. This is unacceptable. Real violins don't sound like a band saw working on a barbed wire fence. This, with the best VTL tubed amps and $20,000 worth of VPI and Benz-Micro phono playback gear. Last night, with my $3,000 worth of Musical Fidelity amplification (the A-308 preamp and 3.2cr power amp) driving the Volante's, fed by a $1500 Basis/Rega riding an ancient $1200 Benz, the performance was sublime. Yes, I could hear the tipped-up 4kHz peak and a bit of dryness, but could also hear every single inner voice of the orchestra, from PP to FFF. NOTHING was obscured by the screaming mimis. And the violins had that airy, spread-out quality you notice first thing at a live concert, thirty or so individuals massed into a silken cloud of sound. And the speakers disappeared. The woodwinds bit through the fabric from the rear of the soundstage, the horns slightly above and right of the flutes and oboes. Nothing got obscured, yet the sound didn't have the irritating clang and grunt I got from the Dynaudios. I have a vinyl version of Britten conducting "Peter Grimes" and another of him conducting his own "Young Person's Guide." Both of these are unbelievably neutral and dynamic recordings. The best in my collection. They sounded SUPERB through the Dynaudios. Transcendent. THEY ALSO SOUND SUPERB THROUGH MY CHEAP SYSTEM WITH THE TRIANGLES. Transcendent. Different, yes, but just as close to the live experience. JUST AS "GOOD." I could write 50 pages of examples, but these are the best I can choose as representative of the paradox I mentioned originally. Monty, I don't know how this stuff works. I just listen. Superbly recorded Diana Krall crap (my judgment -- sorry if you happen to be a fan) sounded LIVE and lush through the Dynaudios. But THE STUFF I HAVE TO HAVE, the recordings I have collected over 30 years because I've heard it live and been transported -- THIS material sounds FAR better on the cheaper Triangle system. I think M. de Vergnette is a genius who knows how to listen, has gone back and forth between live music and his business space, done the trial-and-error, put in the hours, and has just flat figured out how listeners percieve recorded sound. I think it's in that magical middle-C part of the midrange -- where the K-horns, JBL's, and Altecs were supposed to be so damned good (but were most emphatically NOT -- all could put a needle through your brain)-- it's THERE where the Tiangles cohere. But all I can do is listen and struggle with the words. The Volante's stay. Period. Since I'm an old fart, I may request to be buried with one on each side of my coffin. The ultimate in nearfield listening. I will probably replace the departed Dynaudios with Triangle Magellans, but THIS time I am going to audition longer and more carefully before I decide. I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my post. Happy listening, whatever you choose! Gerald Clifton
Hey Clifton, welcome to the forums.
There are very few things I enjoy more than talking to people who have found the sound they have been searching years for. Like you, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for products that move me closer to that elusive balance of timbral accuracy and resolution without forfeiting the tonal balance that I place at the top of my pecking order.
Isn't it funny how some recordings can completely lose their appeal if not played through the ideal playback combination...which, ironically, may make a substantial chunk of your other music sound wrong?
We search for neutrality in our quest to have a system that will sound equally proper with any music we throw at it, but at some point realize that we actually like a certain sound that requires balancing strengths and weaknesses in component selection to deviate ever so much away from neutrality.
Like Golf, you really have to enjoy this stuff to put up with the tail chasing.
Some details I forgot to mention. The Volante, like the Magellan and Magellan Concerto, has rear-firing drivers -- one midrange and one tweeter -- visually, exactly like the speakers facing the front, but probably a bit down in output. I can't tell, for certain, by listening. The speakers have uncanny soundstage depth and perhaps this is why. Also, there is no curved baffle on any of the Stratos speakers. This gives the enclosure the look of a solid block of wood (it isn't, of course). I cannot detect any compromises in lateral imaging or timing, but of course I don't have the new Celius in my room for comparison. Like my old, original Celius, the Volante pair are completely transparent in effect and "disappear" on all material fed into them. Also, the bottom plate has only 2 screws (on the back corners of the plate), like the Magellan. I am using the Musical Fidelity A-308 Preamplifier (their top of the line, I believe, until they came out with the 10-grand + model), which looks klutzy and boxy, but sounds superb -- more neutral than my McIntosh C-46, which sold for twice the price. I bought it on the advice of my old roomie, Bob Harley, who praised it in the Absolute Sound. I paired it with the 3.2cr power amp you reviewed last year, which sounds better (fuller, harmonically richer) than my old McCormack DNA-1 (with Steve's "A" modification). I believe you will always get "flamed" when you review or mention either of these 2 brands because of your honesty in describing the reviewing "game" a few months back. Tant pis! Incidentally, I recieved a CD with Antony Michaelson playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with each of the MF pieces, and it is better than anything I have heard -- even better than the Szell performance (Robert Marcellus) on a Columbia LP I bought in 1969, which was my old standard
I bought two Velodyne subs when I saw a low price on the web from a dealer who said they were being discontinued. About a half-dozen of my CD's/LP's have genuine music below 40Hz (the Volante is rated down 3db at 35 Hz) -- a couple of MA 11th-13th century collections of Spanish/Andelusian/Morrocan ensemble music and, of course, the Ormandy Berlioz Requiem, with its shuddering bass drum on the Lacrymosa and Sanctus. It took me more than a month, but I finally got them set up so I could hear them only on music slightly beneath the Volante's reach. On these very few recordings, the subs do their job without intruding, and they are inaudible on the other 99% of my collection. Not recommended, unless one can get decent subs for VERY small change (I paid $650 for the two of them) and one misses that last octave on a very few recordings. The Volante bass response is plenty adequate on its own!
I believe the last time I wrote you, gold was at around $375, the trade-weighted $USD at around 85, and the 10-year Treasury yielding around 4 and a quarter. Gold is now at $555, but I THINK in a corrective phase (Spring to Summer is a seasonally weak time for gold -- trade stuff like book squaring, mine deliveries, and commercials wanting to take advantage of seasonal strength in the $USD). If gold were to drop to its long-term moving averages/trend line, I would feel safe in recommending it (around $450) -- it is, however, ESSENTIAL that one buy only on EXTREME negative sentiment -- a 14-day RSI of under 40 and the MACD histogram in negative territory. Ditto silver (which I bought in 1993 at $3.65); it has recently exploded to over $10, but could pull back into the mid-to-high $8 range. NOTHING is going to derail this bull until the monetary authorities get religion, the Congress stops spending more than they get from taxes, and Mr. Bush stops invading Middle Eastern countries (these forays tend to be quite expensive, as you know). I fear it's too late with Iran, as they have already said the magic words: "Israel should be wiped off the map," or some such.
The Dynaudios didn't work out, as I have posted, not through any fault of theirs, but rather because I stubbornly insist on being able to play ALL of my collection without wincing. $100,000 systems suck. I can now back these words with the weight of experience. Too fussy. Period. Bad psychology, karma, or whatever circumambient gas you want to invoke, but just no fun. You knew this, I am sure. If you get flamed for recommending reasonably priced gear that sounds as close to live as you're going to get at home, then just consider the sources. Best wishes, Clifton
I am little curious about something. After the glowing review you gave the Celius ESW and the stated improvements in its sonic characteristics, I was surprised to see that it remained in Class B. I was expecting that it would move up to Class A restricted lf. Can you shed any light on what led to it remaining in the same category as before?
(I bought these along with some bel canto pre amp and amps!)
Hi, Partha. I guess Sam's probably galavanting around France or Italy somewhere, drinking some poor audio manufacturer's wine, or he would have answered you by now. I hope you don't mind if I butt in, since I have been a Stereophile subscriber for the better part of two decades and have encountered situations like you describe many times. First, since a LOT of really, REALLY great equipment started coming into the marketplace the last ten years or so, there just isn't much difference between Class "A" and Class "B" ranked components any more. It truly becomes more a question of system synergy than rankings. I suspect the original Celius was so unique, and so cheap, that it got into the top bracket just to get everyone's attention. And even though the new Es model is a great improvement (I finally got to hear it -- it sounds a LOT like my Volante 260), Triangle is now being taken somewhat for granted as a high-quality, great value company, and their top 2 models (the Magellan and Magellan Concerto, at 36 and 20 grand), get the reserved spots in Class "A." Remember, the Magellans weren't around when the original Celius got reviewed. From my own personal experience with cost-no-object designs (I am now considering the Magellan for my larger place), splitting hairs between Class "B" and Class "A" is a somewhat futile excercise: I KNOW my modest Triangle/Musical Fidelity system here in this apartment will outshine systems costing in 6 figures WITH 90% OF MY SOFTWARE because I have done the comparison personally, with a megabucks Dynaudio-based system in my other residence. And I hear live concert music at least twice a month. I'll bet your system achieves similar results. With such a HUGE variation among different CD's and LP's, you can only get so close to concert-hall sound...and then just spending more money to close the gap further becomes futile and frustrating. As I said, I know NOW from experience. I'm sure you could spend 100 grand +, as I did, and you won't like a wide sampling of your software any better...and you just might judge it to sound worse. Bel Canto is super-sounding gear, and with that great Triangle efficiency/sensitivity, you won't even come close to straining the amplifier's capabilities. I don't know how long you've had the speakers, but if you have less than 300-500 hours on 'em, they're just gonna get better and better. Happy tunes, Clifton.
Feel free to butt in!! I have learned a great deal from these forums and Stereophile over the years -- I have only subscribed to it for 5 years or so and Stereo Review for about 4 years before that.
I just got the speakers and amps over the past few weeks. I like the French sound -- if money were no object I would probably go for the some JMlab Electras or Utopias (considered some Focal Pro Studio monitors for a bit). So far I am pretty thrilled with the Celius's even though they are not broken in.
I went a little crazy-overkill getting Ref 1000 500 watt monoblocks for 2 channel (for a small room). Overall with very limited listening, I am happy and also tend to agree with your statement. Part of the problem these days is the software -- so many of the rock'n'roll/pop cds I love are absolute crap recordings (I was comparing a Beatle's recording to a Queen recording and it was unbelieveable how bad the former was).
Its hard to judge sometimes the magazines metrics for judging. The interesting thing is that relatively low priced stuff like NHT get into the A category so its either subjectivity or certain speakers like the NHTs (especially the NHT Xds if you consider the fact that the amps are built in) are significant outliers.
Overall, I think the biggest difference would be better recording since it seems once you get to a certain level of equipment that this would make the biggest difference. Its both gratifying that great sound is afforadable with a little research yet disappointing that most recordings are horrifyingly poor!
Thanks for your help -- your earlier posts were part of the reason I listened (and eventually bought) to the Triangles in the first place.
Yo, Partha -- it's probably not overkill. Bel Canto amps, whatever the specific model and power capability, put out QUALITY watts, and you liked the ones you bought or you wouldn't have bought 'em! The nice thing about the sensitive Triangles is that all options are open. If you hear a 20-watter later that you really like, you can use it with your speakers. I'm interested in hearing you go through the break-in process. I got very impatient with the original Celius and thought, "what's the fuss?" until one day they just transformed. Everything got more spacious, coherent, and balanced. The Volante lacked focus and low bass, but this time around I knew what to expect, so I actually enjoyed the changes that occurred during the process. Again, the low bass came on quite suddenly..."Hmmm, never heard THAT before -- they must be breaking in." It will take awhile, especially if you are playing them only during listening sessions. If you have a tuner, leave the music on (at reasonable levels, of course) when you go to work or run errands. I used the "brown noise" track on the Ayre burn-in CD, on continuous play, to accelerate the break-in process, and it seemed to speed things up. Happy tunes! Clifton.
I will definitely have to see what effect the break in has. Overall, I found the bass tight but not impactful on lower notes. This tended to vary by recording. The Beatles recordings are very poor. Queen and Peter Gabriel were much better overall. The was tight but not impactful. I will have to see what 100 - 200 hours of break-in has. I was little worried about leaving it on for a week straight to get it broken in so its sitting 'quietly' at home now ...
A lot of recordings out of Abbey Road are fine musically and really pretty poor sonically. Obviously, a lot of rock is also heavily processed. You might get a better reading on the progress of your break-in with some accoustic stuff. Have you any good jazz or orchestral recordings you might use to get readings on those fine speakers?
About long playing periods unattended: what kind of amp heat output are you dealing with over an extended listening period? Is that your concern?
Jazz and Orchestral stuff are not my first choice in listening. Die hard rock and pop fan. I have some Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi floating around. Any suggestions you have I would be opne to however.
I am driving the the speakers with Bel Canto Ref 1000 digital amps which are 500w into 8ohms. Overall I don't think I have anything to be worried about so I would be open to any suggestions and at what volum level I should leave these on at to break them in. Thanks again for your suggestions and advice guys.
Some people will reverse polarity on (1) speaker, face them toward each other and break them in that way. This will still give them a good work-out without producing too much in the way of decibels.
I'm lazy, I just leave my tuner on while I'm away and at a very modest level.
Hmm, what exactly does that do, facing each other, reversing one speaker so it's out of phase, what is then happening, that thtis "breaks in" the speaker, as opposed to say, just use them? Facing each other does what? Why change the wire? Would it matter which speaker is reversed?
Hi, Partha -- I have had the best luck using a wide variety of material. The best I have found for leaving the system on while you're away (at medium volumes) is the Ayre CD, "Irrational But Efficacious!"...if you can stand the title. It has various white, pink, and brown noise tracks for specific testing and burn-in situations. Track 6 is out-of-phase brown noise, which contains the entire frequency band and really works the woofer surrounds (which helps speed up the process of bringing on the bass). When you play it, you won't HEAR a lot of the deepest bass, but you'll SEE the drivers pumpin' like crazy. You should go loud as possible, to give the drivers a maximum-excursion workout, but medium volume helps the process too. Ayre recommends you put track 6 on continuous play, which is what I used to do... I would put it on and go to work, or play golf ... the easiest way to put a lot of hours on the speakers and keep your own sanity. Of course, you wouldn't want to leave your system on to the max while you were out of the house. For DUP, if you put the speakers facing each other as close as possible (without the drivers actually touching each other), and hook them up out of phase, a LOT of the sound waves cancel each other, thus allowing you to play loud and still remain sane. It takes some of the sting out of listening to, say, FM white noise or the brown noise track I mentioned above. You stay sane, and your neighbor has less reason to want to kill you. Cheers, Clifton.
Partha, being a die hard rock and pop fan if you have some old Sade or Basia they will give the woofers a good workout. Clifton probably has the best suggestion with the Ayre CD as otherwise the break-in is a long painful process. I have 300 plus hours on my Celius ESW, and if they have "kick ass" bass as ST claims, it hasn't "kicked in" yet. I'll agree they have excellent bass, in that there is no midbass or low end fatness or bloat, and this may be what Sam is referring to. I hope it will be enough for you, however being a diehard rock and pop fan, a good fast subwoofer may be in your future. I find my Celius unlistenable without one. Crossed over at 60 hz, they have the low end heft and authority I thought Sam was refering to when he exclaimed "kick ass bass". I switch back to full range operation every week to check on them but as i said, to date, it just hasn't happened, at least to my liking.
I believe Clifton mentioned he too runs a subwoofer or two if memory serves me well.
For me, the jury is still out on their upper end performance. Clifton is correct IMHO, on classical they shine, but I mostly listen to jazz, female vocalists and some rock. Recording quality seems to have the most influence on top end. I will soon be upgrading my digital
front end but was actually waiting till I felt the speakers had reached their max capabilties. Didn't want to have too much going on as far as new equipment at one time.
Hi, Rigbran -- Yes, I did use the Triangle subwoofer with the original Celius, only I put the cutoff at around 50. It helped with recordings that have real (i.e., musical) bass that is strong below 60 Hz (bass drums, organ, the deepest brass, harp, and bass viols). The problem with many recordings is they are boosted in the 70-100 Hz range, giving the impression of "bass," but no real grunt. In my experience, many TRULY "audiophile" speakers (that is, no sarcasm intended, but quite fine-sounding designs) also build in a little hump in that range. So you get a kind of double whammy on poor-to-average recordings, an emphasis that I personally hate. All the Triangle models are very flat in that 70-100 Hz region, and some recordings may sound a bit thin for that reason. ESPECIALLY if the upper-bass-hyped recording has little or no bass below 60 Hz. Even my Volante's, which are quite flat down to 40 Hz and have usable response into the low 30's, need some supplementing in the 28-45 range. I saw some discontinued (new) Velodynes and bought two of them for about half-price (about $800 total). It took me forever to eliminate the blobbiness on poor recordings (especially some rumble on ADD CD's and some LP's), but having one for each channel really helped, so I didn't get a channel-sum effect from having only one sub with a Y-connector. Now, I use the Velodynes set on their lowest cutoff point (40 Hz), and I moved them out of the corners and away from the side walls. The setup is now optimal, even on bad recordings, since I hear the subs only on truly deep bass (the lights that flash on, when the automatic turn-on is activated by a signal, are only on about half the time). In my 26' X 14' room, I have the 2 Volante's 80" (front baffle to rear wall) out from the rear and each is about 39" (measured from the center of the tweeter) from its side wall boundary. Each sub is located symmetrically relative to the front Triangles, but behind and in toward the center, to avoid wall-boundary reinforcement of the bass. Each sub is thus 45" (front baffle to the rear wall --the subs are about 18" deep, which puts their rear-ends a good 2.5 feet from the rear wall) from the rear wall and a good 6' from each side wall (which puts the 2 subs only about 4' apart). As I said elsewhere, the system now sounds better overall, with more recordings, than the megabucks system I had with the Dynaudios, RELATIVE TO WHAT I REMEMBER FROM LIVE CONCERTS, which I attend regularly. This last point is important, and I am going to run a thread on it: many listeners are so used to recorded material, as opposed to live acoustic concerts, that they tend to compare electronics-to-electronics when auditioning equipment, instead of electronics-to-MEMORY-of-live (obviously, you can't set up a dealer showroom inside the concert hall, for real-time comparisons). There is nothing "wrong" with this, and each individual has to chase his/her own ideal, but my own standard is what I remember hearing at last night's concert. I am coming to believe that, even with full-range monster systems, subs help because you can then move the main 2 speakers as far as you want from wall boundary interference, and tweak the subs to reinforce ONLY those very few low notes that contain musical information. Triangle now makes a better sub than the one I had with the original Celius, but 2 of them would run you $2,000 - $4,000, and that's a BIG increase in system expense. I really think you can use cheap subs to good advantage, as long as they are adjustable, you get 2 of them, and you don't ask them to work that hard. Cheers, Clifton.
You really know your Triangles. You really know what I'm going thru here.
I was going to mention my unfavorable impressions of my Celius is from time to time "thin and threadbare" but thought that a non typical description. Thanks for confirming what I think I'm hearing. At this stage I am still unsure of my impressions due to the knowledge they take a very long time to settle in, and thus the reason I have not mentioned my new acquisition.
I have been unsure if it's the speakers, recording, front end, ect. Your explanation is very logical and comforting at this point of uncertianty. I am just getting to the point of believing it's the recording and as you stated, the fact that there is no midbass warmth or bloat, (as I have been accustomed to in the past).
The bass at present may not be kick ass in my book, but because it is so flat, I am getting a wonderful seamless blend with my subwoofer without there being overbloat from the combination of the two. I don't push my sub very hard at all, finding it only takes a little to make the Celius sound as if they go down to 25-30Hz. I will also experiment a little more with crossover frequency.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for a very informative post which offered to me some encouragement to continue to be patient for a little while longer, experiment with placement a little more, and that I'm NOT GOING BONKERS!
Yes, there have been numerous... WOW moments.
Thanks for the nice note, RG. Yeah, the software is always the gorilla in the room. I think we all tend to get a little psychotic after spending 5, 10, 20 grand on significant system changes. We get euphoric when we put on software that seems to "fit" the system, then frown when that other CD or LP we SO much looked forward to hearing on the new rig sounds disappointing. Then we go back and throw on the "Turk Tool and the Turdmashers" CD, the one that sounded soooo good. "Whew...everything's back to okay, now...boy, am I glad I got these new speakers after all!!" Thus begins a new audiophile manic depressive cycle. Because the memory of good ol' Turk fades every time you throw in ANYTHING that sounds less than perfect. You become fixated on the stuff that isn't flattered by the new gear, and either start tweaking or push the panic button and start listening to new gear. Sooner or later, you'll walk into a show or dealer, the BAD sounding CD in hand, and the Megafecies 4 Grande Merde sounds fantastic! And it's only 12,000 bucks!! You get it home, taking a 60% haircut on trade-in. OH,NO! Now it's poor ol' Turk that sounds lousy. And so it goes. RG, every single system change I have made over the past 40 years has been prompted by that gnawing memory of poorly recorded software. Dammit, I LIKE that stuff musically, and I gotta hear it! I almost bought the Quad 989's, because I LOVE that neutral, coherent, spacious sound. But I can't REALLY crank 'em LOUD (can you say, "Berlioz," or "Ginastera"?). The Triangles were as close as I could come to the Quad's virtues, and I can REALLY bang 'em on the heavy orchestral climaxes. With just about any amp that'll put out 10 or more watts. The subs are a lifesaver, because on a few recordings, there's that last bit of bass I can fill in. With the original Celius, I had to go a bit higher on the crossover, because they did sound a bit thin 'way out in the room, where they soundstage the best. But even THAT can be somewhat of a curse, because there are always a few recordings (damn!) that have too much bass, even of the good kind. Then you get up and go fiddle with the volume and crossover. Back in the '60's and 70's I tried different equalizers. Same deal. Too much fiddling, too many different interactions with different recordings. I got so excited about the Triangles because all the minor dissatisfactions remain minor. Nothing has triggered the manic/depressive psychosis. The midrange clarity, smooth highs, and wide, deep soundstage make all the bad stuff recede into the trivial background, loud OR soft, on all recordings. Some folks solve the problem by just playing those recordings that sound perfect. They won't let a flawed CD within 100 yards of the house. "Don't you DARE put that crap into my system! -- get your scuzzy ass out o' my room, you fiend from hell!" You ever get that at a store?? I have. They try to be diplomatic, sometimes -- "sorry, but I'm afraid the ultrasonics will fry my tweeters," or some such. I had that experience when I was almost ready to buy the Revel Salons. I got halfway through the 1st movement of an old Columbia (Ormandy) Tchaikovsky 5th, and the violins started sounding like banshees shrieking for blood. Shrieking at 110 db. The salesman rushes in, reaches for level control and glares, "are you CRAZY?? This is 20 grand worth of speaker!!" I apologized on the way out. So it goes. RG, I hope you have lots of good sessions with your system. Remember not to blame the messenger! Clifton
I might get the Ayre CD (trying to justify something for a one time use but its prolly worth it).
My full set up is the following:
Triangle Celius ESW L/R
Tringle Leo Minor Center
Tringle Comete Back L/R
UFW10 Sub from AV123
Bel Canto Pre3 Preamp for 2 channel
Bel Canto Ref1000 500watt monobocks for 2 channel
Denon 2910 DVD Player (modified with better clock, op amps, capcitors)
Denon AVR-3806 for movies/multi-channel
I am using XM radio set to a Jazz station from Directv to break in the speakers while I contemplate whether or not to get the Ayre CD. I am not sure I want to mix in the sub for 2 channel -- if I do -- I need to figure out how to do it. I think I would have to use the AV receiver which would defeat the use of the nice Bel Canto preamp.
Don't get me wrong, I am very happy the bass is not bloated. It just does not quite seem to have the impact (tight bass but not air moving) on some rock recordings I would expect. However, without the use of the AV receiver I can't mix in the separate sub I think.
You are a HOOT! Funny stuff.
Yes I have had many experiences at audio stores where volume level is always an issue. So many in fact, I had concluded most audiophiles were a bunch of old classical music lovers who prefer (to use STs
If you wanna borrow my Ayre CD for a couple of months, send me your mailing address by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll mail it to you. You can mail it back to me when you feel your speakers are no longer changing. I bought mine at Acoustic Sounds, if you want your own copy to keep. Art Dudley, in one of the recent issues, said the de-magnetizing tracks (tracks #1 and #7) made his system sound worse. I use 'em every 2 months or so, and they seem to HELP my system. So it goes, in the wacky world of audio. It sounds like you have an outstanding system. I just have stereo. Later, if you feel you need it, you can add a sub (or subs) to just the stereo part of your setup. Cheers, and good luck!! Clifton
Demagnetizing tracks? How do this work?
Running barefoot and backwards down the demagnetizing tracks degausses the feets. Clifton
Thanks for the generous offer. I am tempted to get it myself experiment with what you said. Right now I left if on for the week while I travel for work on a XM Jazz station that will drive all 5 speakers.
I am curious though -- since I the Bel Canto is only a 2 channel preamp, I assume to mix in a sub (in my case at least) you would have to use a multi-channel receiver to set the speakers to Small and use a crossover that fits your preference.
Actually, come to think of it the the Denon 2910 has a speaker set up for 2-channel -- however, I am not sure how would get a cable out to the sub without a multi-channel preamp.
Correct my muddled thinking if I am wrong.
By the way, I really like the Bel Canto electronics and they seem pretty cheap for Class A/B stuff much like the Triangles.
If you can find a sub with speaker level inputs, you can cable the sub via your amp's speaker outputs. The sub would then pass the selected frequencies above the crossover point to your speakers through the sub's speaker level ouputs.
Depending on where you locate the sub, this could entail a fair amount of speaker cable.
The hookup Monty mentions would work with my cheap Velodynes -- the instruction manual outlines 3 different hookups in detail, and this is one of them. I think there are many subs on the market with this option, cheap and expensive. Since I don't have a multi-channel setup, I just run a pair of RCA's (cheap Monster subwoofer cable) from my second preamp output (the first, obviously, goes to my power amp), the left to my left sub and the right to my right sub. This setup uses the crossover/volume controls on the amps built into the subs to fine-tune the sound. You could do this with the second output from your preamp IF it has a second output -- some don't -- but this would make your sub(s) available for stereo use only. Monty's suggestion would integrate the sub(s) into your entire system. I, too, am often muddled by these extra setup tasks. Luckily, I haven't yet plugged the juice blender into an auxiliary input.
I have always liked Bel Canto gear. It doesn't sound "solid state" -- it is grainless and neutral. And it is an excellent value per dollar spent. Good luck and good music! Clifton.
I'm new to the group - so I hope this post works.
I own Celius 202 speakers. When I first hooked them up - in the same end of the room I had Maggies, Mirages and Paradigms - they sounded very thin. So I searched for the right placement. It turns out they sounded excellent - bass flat to 35hz - when they were at the opposite side of the room. Instead of listening nearfield with the speakes 5 or so feet from the back wall I switched it all around and now they are about 8ft from the wall behind me. I think this works because unlike the other speakers these are ported to the front. (Due to the room layout I listen to them firing down the narrow part of the room. The speakers are 8ft apart and about 2ft from the side walls. I use room treatment on all first order reflection points including side and rear walls as well as the ceiling.)
Welcome to the forum. When I first bought my Celius 202's, I had the Mirage M1-si's as my main speakers. I found the Triangles thin, too, but was intrigued by their dynamic immediacey and incredible sounstaging. I liked their "blattiness," their sass. A lot of the "thin" impression went away with break-in, but still a sense of it remained. I didn't find them "peaky" in the highs, but, as you so well put, thin and in need of some lower bass reinforcement. My Mirage speakers were very enjoyable, with TREMENDOUS bass, but were reticent (very inefficient), and I was becoming increasingly annoyed with a certain "splashiness" in the upper midrange, around 4 to 5 kHz. By contrast, the Celius was very solid in this range and much more dynamic and open. So I gradually came over to the idea of selling the Mirages and working with the Celius. I then bought a Triangle subwoofer (it matched the Celius in finish and sonics). This really did the trick. My room is 14' wide and 26' long, with further space as the kitchen opens up to my right (as I face the speakers) about where I sit (12-15 feet from the front of the speakers). This puts the rear wall about 3-5 feet behind my back. I had the Celius 80" from the rear wall and, like you, had them firing down the long dimension. I had them about 7 feet apart, about 30" or so from the side walls. I loved this system. The speakers just disappeared, leaving only music, with a tremendous sense of width and depth. I used a McCormack DNA-1 "A" Mod amp (WAY more power than the speakers needed, of course, but still a great sonic match) and was having a ball screwing around with a pair of 50-watt tube monoblocks (EL-34's). One night I would prefer the tubes, while the next I would crave the McCormack. I eventually (reluctantly) sold the Celius when I moved on to the Volante 260, a design by Triangle you MUST hear. I saw a pair on Audiogon for $3500 3 days ago -- if these are in good shape, they would be a steal at that price. Your setup sounds novel and interesting -- I never would have thought of this kind of arrangement. You bring back old and pleasant memories...thanks for the post. Cheers, Clifton
Thanks for responding
Believe me I didn't come to that arrangement easlily. When they were in the "normal" side of the room (back wall side) they were so thin I thought I made a huge mistake buying them. I broke out the RadioShack meter and different types of tones and varified they were dead below 60hz (the room kills 50hz everywhere). I moved them close to the rear wall, close together - far apart etc. Nada. Then I noticed the front port. When I moved them within 10ft of the wall behind me the bass came back. I wonder if all front ported speakers are like this? Using my PC with audio SW I can see they are flat in my room to 35hz. After setting them up the hest I could I then utilized a DSP for the room issues - 46hz had a huge bump - bump at 92hz and a couple nulls. (The nulls I only add 3db to). Adding 3db to 30hz made them flat to that point. Noticed they were a bit tipped up in the treble even with a tube amp. So I only toe them in a bit. I figure the tip up is OK with my 40 year old ears.
If I had my drothers I think I would own ProAc Rsponse 3's. I heard them in NEw jersey - Savant Audio - 8 years or so ago. It was by far the most amazing thing I have heard (with MBL's second). The images were everywhere - nothing coming from the speaker. Now - he did have Sonex everywhere so maybe that was it? (I treat my room prettly heavily especially first order reflections and can't get it to sound like Savant had. Now he did use a lot more material and he had a couple feet more side space than I do (Specifically my left speaker. The right side opens to a hallway - no wall) Heck - maybe I would like the Triangles more than the ProAcs if they were in that room?
On the Volante. I am sure you are right. However I'm budget concious. I bought the 202's for $1200 - shipped. To be honest if I knew what I know now I would have gone for the Antal in my room and saved a couple hundred.