Triangle Art Strikes Gold

It was a joy to cross paths again with Tom Vu, lead designer of Anaheim-based Triangle Art, at T.H.E. Show. As my laugh-out-loud listen confirmed, there's far more than glitter behind his "Artisan Crafted Analogue" gold components.

Vu blew my mind by cueing up "Hernando's Hideaway" from Provocative Percussion Vol.2, a Command Records classic from 1960 by Enoch Light and the Light Brigade. I know this recording. At least I thought I knew it. Soon after I was declared a "man" at the tender age of 13, my mother designed a cabinet for our first "stereo." Consisting of two far too widely spaced Bozak coaxial speakers covered by canvas, a Pioneer or some such receiver, and a Garrard turntable with an arm heavy enough to carve platters into bits, our stereo provided what we thought was a perfect showcase for Light's magic tricks.

"Look dahlink," Mom exclaimed. "First, it's on the left speaker; then, it's on the right speaker. It's STEREO!"

Need I say that revisiting "Hernando's Hideaway" on the Triangle Art system was a revelation? Not only did I hear a lot more color and detail than I did in 1960, but I also discovered genuine air and soundstaging. Nor was all the sound confined to two speakers. Stereo is not as left/right-polarized as our antiquated sound system made it seem. Who knew?

Vu began our session with Dave Brubeck's "Far More Drums." I'd describe the sound as "tight excellence with a warm cast." I was hooked.

"I always wanted to design and make a piece of equipment that would be very accurate and lively but would also be a work of art," Vu told me at session's end.

Everything in the system was by Triangle Art. I'm not sure which turntable was in use when—I heard at least two—but the three shown were the Ultimate SE ($130,000, above), Anubis ($18,000), and Maestro ($9000, below). Tonearms were either the Osiris Mk2 Diamond 12" ($9000) or Horus 12" ($4400), and MC cartridges either the Apollo ($9000) or Zeus ($4800.) Electronics consisted of the P200 phono stage ($18,000), L200 MK2 dual-mono preamplifier ($25,000), and M100 monoblock amplifier ($25,000/pair). Speakers were the Metis ($60,000/pair), power management by the RA Ultimate ($12,000), and cabling a mix of Rhea Ultimate and Rhea Reference.