September 15, 2011

French Kiss. Triangle Gene'se Trio Loudspeakers.

I asked Maxx Loh, boss of Maxx Audio "How much does these pair of Triangle Gene'se Trio cost?" He replied, "RM$12k plus, with the dedicated stands". I was thinking to my self, "heck I could nearly get a pair of Audio Physics Tempo 6 for the money". When I told Odiosleuth about the Gene'se Trio and the price, his response was "I could get a pair of Sonus Faber Liuto with some top up!"

What's the moral of the story, you asked? I am just trying to bring up a relevant point that people tend to remember with fondness about the brands they know best. You'll see that as a previously satisfied owner of the Audio Physic Spark V pair of speakers, I immediately compared the Triangle Gene'se Trio to the Audio Physic Tempo 6 which retails for a similar price. Ditto for Odiosleuth, as a former satisfied owner of a pair Sonus Faber Concerto back then. No such loyalty for the Triangle brand unfortunately, just because of the very fact that it just stepped in to the Malaysian high end scene. The Triangle Megallan Cello demo-ed by Maxx during the recent KLIAV show certainly raised more than a few eye brows, or some inner ear hair! Maxx is bent on building that example of brand loyalty from scratch.    

Triangle Gene'se Trio in my room. Noticed the slight down ward tilt the stands bring?

The Gene'se Trio is a 2 way stand mount, sits pretty in the middle of Triangle's offering, just a series below the top flight Megallan range. As I un-packed the speakers and scrutinised it's rather well made quality, with an industrial like grade of red shade vinyl, semi gloss finished side panels which are of the currently fashionable lute shape. In contrast, the front baffle is painted smooth, piano gloss black. Then I moved on to assemble the dedicated matching triangular looking stands, finished in semi gloss black. I must advise that who ever is buying a pair of these babies, to seriously not stinge on the stands and go for generic ones, because the Triangle originals not only stylistically match the speakers, but the also contribute to the sound dispersion pattern by slightly tilting the baffle at an down ward angle, making sure the tweeter fire towards ear level, when one is seated in the sofa throne. Well, at least in MY sofa throne, it made perfect sense.

The floor spikes on both back ends of the stand. The front single large spike comwes with it's own attached coaster. These stands allows for sand or lead shot filling.
The stand's top panel is lined with rubber like pad. Also note the screw in holes for one to attach up ward pointing spikes for speaker to stand isolation tweak. I used the common blue tack interface instead, as I did want to dmamge the speaker's finishing. 

I started setting up the Triangle speakers in my man cave at the usual spot where my pair of PMC Fact 8 sits, which is 42 inches from the back wall and 19 inches from the side walls. I found the bass response to be on the light side, and hence I moved the speakers around and eventually settled with the final position of 40 inches from the back wall and still 19 inches from the side wall, which gave the best compromise between weighty bass response and good sound staging width/depth perception, which all the sonic properties on this review is based upon. I thought the Gene'se Trio to be one of least fussy speakers to set up, which is certainly helpful.

The back panel and speaker cable terminal allows for bi-wiring and bi-amping should one chooses to do so.

A closer look at the horn loaded tweeter with phase plug.

This is the first time I had a speaker of French origin in my place. Is my first ever French kiss unforgettable?  Read on! From the very first tune, while sounding rather seamless in frequency response, I've realised that this speaker is not exactly the most neutral. No doubt, the Frenchness(softly recessed mid range) of sound character has been reduced to a very minimal degree. Another area of concern, a ghost of the past actually, is that ear piercing high frequency reproduction emanating from a horn loaded tweeter is nearly always evident with such designs, as a result of the horn colouration. There's also no mid range "honkiness" heard during the Gene'se Trio's time spent in my system.

The highs as smooth as the best of dome tweeters, though not the most elegant sounding. There's ample "air" quality to the presentation, with cymbals and high hats sounding a little shinier than usual. The mid range is open, smooth and often make vocals sound more pleasure able than usual. Female voices like Katie Melua's are sweetened with a certain degree of sultriness, and male voices like Don William's sound buff, and throaty, due to a slight highlighting of the presence range in the frequency response. It is also this very reason that the harpsichord, an instrument with lots of string harmonics and texture, sounds so wonderfully real. The bass extends to no more than 50Hz or so in my room(I've a funny suspicion that the bass response will go lower if the stands had been filled), but what ever was available, came with a finely textured, and punchy quality. Kick drums still has enough kick to still sound convincing. It is only when asked to re-play instruments like the double bass or the piano which made me realised clearly, that this is still a stand mount speaker, which will certainly make a great candidate for sub woofer augmentation.
I like this The Katie Melua Collection CD a lot, she's got a non diva, girl next door kinda voice. She cleverly stays within her vocal range and never push things too much, but her lyrics are at once poetic and honest. Pop sensitivities adorn this otherwise well recorded "Best Of" album. She does a pretty mean John Mayall And The Blues Breakers remake here too, Slow Train Crawling Up A Hill. Get it if you're a sucker female vocals. 

By the benchmark of today's modern speaker designs, this pair of Triangle is fairly transparent and low in noise floor, which I would have expected other wise, due to it's horn loaded tweeter design. Kudos to Triangle for banishing most of the horn's nasty characteristics! This pair of speakers also surprised me with it's sense of scale, which is larger then most stand mounts and even some junior floor standers. Like most stand mounts, this pair of Triangles sonically disappears in to the room, throwing a rather wide and deep sound stage, however I did found some of the layers within the depth somewhat compressed.

If there's an area that leaves this speaker sounding dynamically challenged is when playing hard charging rock/metal music, where playing loudly is essential, for me at least(and it's mighty loud!) to connect with the musical flow of the genre. There's also a take no prisoner approach when it comes to bad or poor recordings, this Gene'se Trio will certainly make one regret feeding it with such. I suspect again, this is the double edge sword arising from the highlighting of the presence range by design.

Very suitable partners, Pass Labs Aleph 0 and Triangle Gene'se Trio.

I would sum up that this pair of speakers is made for people would play mostly acoustic music, like girl/guitar or girl/piano genre. It's right at home playing small ensembles and jazz trio or quartet performances too. It certainly loves audiophile quality recordings and sounds like it too! In other words, look else where if most of your musical diet is centered around pop or rock/metal recordings, especially those from the 70's which most are poorly recorded.

However, should some one ask me again today, that very same question I asked Maxx earlier on in the opening of this article, and if I would still reply with the Audio Physic Tempo 6 without at hint of hesitance? Well....., I am not so sure anymore. Ha! Ha!

Triangle loudspeakers is sold by Maxx Audio, contact Maxx Loh at 017-6778820.

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