GoldenEar's Sandy Gross Talks Loudspeakers

The January 2018 issue of Stereophile, which will hit newsstands at the end of this week, features GoldenEar Technology's flagship Triton Reference loudspeaker on its cover, with a review inside from John Atkinson. When GoldenEar's co-founder and president Sandy Gross visited JA last July to set the speakers up in his Brooklyn listening room, John asked Sandy about his loudspeaker design goals, his preferences in sound quality, his tastes in audio, and the state of the high-end audio market.

As the day this video was shot was one of the hottest days in the New York summer and JA's room doesn't have air-conditioning, we left the door to the outside world open. But JA really shouldn't have worn shorts!

Glotz's picture

JA asked the best 'why' questions... and he is one well-spoken dude. Kudos for yet another video.. much appreciated.

Not sure why JA shouldn't have worn shorts though... perhaps I shouldn't ask.

And Sandy seems like such a nice and thoughtful person! He deserves a lot of praise for his accomplishments over the years.

tonykaz's picture

a lot of gear but no signs of vinyl record playing paraphernalia, just like me ( now-a-days ). Two thumbs up !

I especially like the Square D electrical panel Modern Art Piece centrally featured between those speakers, ( I'm going to make one of those with my Wall Safe behind it ) verrrreee clevah.

$8,000 speakers made from the highest quality Chinesiums . hmmmmmm...
Is there about to be a Full Review of these?

Tony in Michigan

ps. a nearly complete Anechoic Chamber can be had on the Roof of that Apartment. ( probably for free )

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
JA has a lot of gear but no signs of vinyl record playing paraphernalia, just like me ( now-a-days ). Two thumbs up !

My turntable is out of shot to Sandy Gross's left.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

tonykaz's picture

I think that I recall you owning an LP12 Linn. I wondered which plinth and which Arm. I sold the various Linn Plinths : Rosewood , Black, Walnut, the various Arm Boards for a wide range of other Arms ( about 20 various Arms ). My Esoteric Audio specialized in Turntables , we sold and imported everything England, USA, Japan made. I loved it ! ( past tense )

I'm noticing the absence of a Wall ( or more ) of Vinyl record collections accompanied by the required Pro level cleaning machines and all the other misc. that is required to be an active Vinyl Household. Not even a Vinyl Record Jacket laying on display, to show which music is being played.

All these things once dominated the Hobby. It seems obvious that you are not a Vinyl Collector with thousands of beautiful vinyl on display.

And you say that you have "a" turntable. I read that as you saying that you have only One and not many turntables.

We all know you're a Recording Engineer, probably a Mixing Engineer and a Mastering Engineer that is Active in the Pro-audio Segment of this Business, don't we? And typical of the Pro-Audio people I know, you have a bundle of misc. interconnects hanging over a "handy" bit of metal, located near the rear of your various gear. Which suggests that you are not a "Wire" Audiophile.

In summary, I have Mr. JA as a pragmatic Music Industry participant ( wearing many hats ) that probably doesn't have the time to 'obsess' over niche things like Cable Trusses or Audiophile Fuses.
I recall a picture of JA listening to various Winter CES gear, using an AK240 as the Source.

My kind of Publication Editor

Tony in Michigan

ps. Arnie Nudel passed a couple of weeks ago, PS Audio will continue the work on the loudspeaker system they were developing.

Anton's picture

Dude, you think about vinyl more than Fremer.

tonykaz's picture

this is the enthusiast's network, we're Educated and have plenty of disposable incomes.

We are Enthusiasts !

I participate in a wide range of activities this Organization Covers with Print.

My parent Corp. regularly Advertises in these pages.

I've loved vinyl since the 1950s, even the little vinyl 45s that replaced 78s in 1949ish. I still admire vinyl but it underperforms compared to Redbook, SD Memory Cards, Streaming, Roon and now MQA.

But, I'm an mediocre enthusiast, i think.

Tony in Michigan

ps.1). obsessed suggests singleness of purpose, I have dozens of irons in the fires of life, I've just taken up Peashooter competition!
The Working people have to be obsessed or they'll get "fired".

ps.2). I know Golf people that are totally Obsessed

ps.3). I know Religious people that are beyond Obsessed ( including my Minister Wife ) Phew on this one!!!!

ps.4). Politics is Obsessed on the Crazy Scales.

Anton's picture

It seems none of those people need to include their obsessions in almost every utterance about any topic.

Obsessed is accurate. If you don't agree, see if you can go 90 days without spewing the same old stuff about vinyl and see if you can do it.

tonykaz's picture
tonykaz's picture

There is new stuff to be talked about coming out of Europe. Tyll is reporting on it.

Otherwise, all this Audio stuff is mostly the same old stuff we've been talking about for decades, even Futtermans and OTL are being reminisced. Can we discuss SET Amplification ?

There is a levitating turntable platter concept discussed in Europe but still not discovered here in USA. hmm. I've seen it.

Some Germans have a Laser phono cartridge launch needing financing, wanna write about it? I'll pass.

Goldmund moved to where the Swiss locate their high-end Watch manufacturing, wanna discuss Goldmund?, I just heard one of their systems in Palm Beach, nice stuff.

Bob Katz is raising hell about our technical specification system, he prefers dbu instead of watts per db. Katz is pointing to a better way.

The Auto industry is migrating to streaming music, still clinging to satellite sourcing. hmm. lots to talk about there.

Stereophile Mag. covers mostly us old geezers and the stuff we traditionally owned. I'd love them to broaden out to cover everything from Phonak Bravo hearing transducers systems to advanced iPhone Audio Systems.

I'm not worried about angry neanderthals clinging to fossil based music storage formats. ( like me, I suppose )

I'm anxious for Stereophile to chart new technology vectors and moderate the 21st. Century debates.

This is an exciting time for Music Formats : much like Cameras that went from Kodachrome to Canon 1D and Music Gear transitioning from Class A amplification to Class D.

Don't wanna talk about the same old thing ? have a look at Hobie Kayaks, Honda's brand new generation of Gold Wings, there is a new generation of ultralight experimental aircrafts, and even a whole new Piper Cub.

Right Now is the best time, ever, to be alive. Lets talk about it!

21st Century Tony

yuvalg9's picture

"I still admire vinyl but it underperforms compared to Redbook"? I think many audiophiles will disagree with you. As for me, I nearly ceased listening to classical music in Redbook. The string instruments are awful (especially the violins). Truth is, I am waiting to see what happens with MQA. As an aside, those of us who listen to classical almost exclusively and have got a SACD player can buy SACD's at a very low price at They have got a great variety of SACD's with plenty of reviews from the major music magazines. And the shipping cost is relatively low.

Yuval from Israel

tonykaz's picture

I agree, Audiophiles disagree. I'm ok with that.


it is not typically true of the rest of the World's population who consume Digital music at staggering rates ( compared to traditional vinyl, which has become a bit of a Cult ).

As far as Digital performance compared to Vinyl's Sound : The Audiophile Industry is conceding an investment-grade equality/superiority of PCM compared to Analog Vinyl.

Traditional Audiophiles ( like myself ) can have vast Vinyl collections to vigorously defend, which skews logical assessments of Vinyl's future in our marketplace. Audiophiles seem willing to spend $50 for a New Acoustic Sounds Vinyl Release of an Album that we may already own. Are these folks "Hard-Core" collectors?

Then, along comes Chord, Meridian, MSB, PS Audio and a wide range of other Designers presenting and establishing their Digital converters to be more than the equal to our treasured Vinyls.

We are now rapidly accelerating into the 21st Century, I suspect that we'll still have Audiophiles in 2040, will they be buying phono cartridges or DACs? I suspect that they won't even know what a phono cartridge is but they may have heard nostalgic stories of how gramps played "records" that we all sat around and listened to. ( those good old days )

There is something wonderful about disagreements: it only happens when everyone is thinking, when two people agree on everything, only one is doing the thinking!

21st Century Tony in Michigan

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
I'm noticing the absence of a Wall (or more) of Vinyl record collections...

I do have a wall of LPs; it's the wall to the left of the speakers. You can see some of it in my interview with KEF's Jack Oclee-Brown at

tonykaz wrote:
Arnie Nudell passed a couple of weeks ago, PS Audio will continue the work on the loudspeaker system they were developing.

My obituary of Arnie Nudell will be published in our February 2018 issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Shangri-La's picture

JA please please include the Reference's quality class info (Class A/B/etc) in the full review. I find this price-no-object classification to be extremely helpful. Cannot wait for the full review as I'm enjoying my brand new GoldenEar Reference!!

ChicagoG's picture

I agree with Sandy G that soundstage is an important part of listening enjoyment. Soundstage is described in reviews of every part of the listening chain (the recording, dac, preamp, amp,and speakers). Which direction should I go in my quest for great soundstage?

jmsent's picture

Siegfried Linkwitz. There is a ton of information here. The speakers themselves are of the DIY variety, but if you're looking for really good soundstage, oh man, these are unbelievably good. For a quick primer in the complexities of loudspeaker design I'd recommend watching his presentation at this year's Burning Amp festival in San Francisco.

Ortofan's picture

... the Dynaudio "Jupiter" room is presently the most sophisticated speaker measurement facility.