Opinions of GoldenEar Triton 1


I'm moving to a larger house and want some new speakers.  In spite of the cheesy name the GoldenEar Triton 1 looks like an interesting candidate. It's been a long time since I listened to a ribbon tweeter but I remember liking them.  Will some of you who have experience with these speakers please comment on what you did and did not like about them?  Also, what other choices in that price range stand out as being a "bargain"?  
Thanks for your comments.
danoroo
I'll bite.
Like a broken record, I stand with my recommendation of Vandersteen speakers.
Ribbon tweeters never worked for me, but 'horses for courses'.-And, I have listened to the Golden Ear. 
They are nice, but just not my 'cuppa'.
Are you buying new or used?
Bob

I’m afraid I haven’t spent much time with the T1 but I love the Triton line and have chosen its slightly smaller, less expensive sibling, the Triton 2+ as our next speaker. That said, I think all the Tritons are all terrific values.

The Ones have rave reviews (as you probably already know) - full range, natural sounding, coherent, outstanding sound staging - but I didn’t really audition them at the dealers since they were out of our reach $$. When we auditioned others in the line, we found them to be easy to drive and relatively unfussy about placement and I would expect the 1s to share these virtues.

I like ribbon tweets, and I think the Triton drivers are very well integrated with the mids and bass modules so that’s a big plus for us. I hate a tipped up treble (awful on massed strings) but the 2+ ribbon tweet sounded open and airy to me. My impression is that the Ones just have more of everything than the speakers in line below them, I don’t really want to know since I can’t afford them. My room’s not that big anyway.

We auditioned a fair few speakers before settling on the 2+, In another life I had Maggies, Alon IVs and Alon Circes, all more expensive than the T2+. We listen to mostly classical - large scale orchestral and opera - plus rock and jazz (the stepson is in My Morning Jacket). We play music from very loud to very soft, so I love the fact that the 2s sound great on all kinds of music, The timbral accuracy is quite good on the 2+, but better (as I remember ) on the T1.

The only way to know if you like the T1 is to find a dealer and audition a pair. I dismissed Goldenear speakers for a long time, much to my regret. My only caveat when you go to listen to them is to be sure they’re hooked up to electronics worthy of them and not HT gear. They will sing with good front end and reasonable amp (even tubes).
Haven’t listened to the One, but when I was auditioning close to 20 speakers six months ago, I listened to the GE Triton 2+, Focal Aria 936, and Paradigm Prestige (whatever the $3.5-4K model is) in one sitting playing thru Rotel gear. 

For me the Goldenear was a distant third. Just sounded a lot less refined, less exciting, less musical than the other two in my opinion. 

But they get great reviews views and everyone hears differently, but didn’t work for me that day. Ymmv. 
Danoo, unless you are looking at a deal, the Triton 1 are not the same speakers as the new Triton 1R is a different story. 

We have been fascinated with Golden Ear for years, the concept of having a built in and adjustable subwoofer system especially for a Home Theater is a very appealing concept.

So for years we wanted to sell the brand but not for music listening mostly for our Home Theater clients.

We heard the original Triton 1s at a few dealers and despite the fantastic press, we always found the speakers to have a few issues, the bass tended to over power the midrange, which sounded distinctly recessed also the high end never seemed to integrate.

On a few demos the top end was too much on others the top end was a bit too rolled sounding.

Fast forward to the Tritron Reference which we heard at the New York Audio show, here with an inexpensive Peach Tree intergrated was a speaker that sounded was better than the other Tritons.

Then at the recent Axpona show we heard the Triton 1R with a simple system of a Prima Luma intergrated amplifier and a CD player and it was a shocker.

The speakers for the first time that we heard them totally disapeared, the bass was integrated, the top end was cohesive and the midrange was fully integrate neither too warm or too bright totally natural.

No matter what music Sandy was demoing the speakers sounded fantastic, in fact after walking the entire show for three days, one of the demos that stood out was how remarkable the Triton 1R were even compared to way more expensive demo rooms.

We signed up with Golden Ear right after the show. After living with the Triton 1R’s for a few months they are one of our favorite speakers and are a screaming buy for the sound quality, and understand we sell some of the best loudspeaker brands out there, Kef, Dali, Legacy, Paradigm, ATC, Quad.

So the question if you can trade in your speakers and only have to add $2,500.00 is there any better upgrade, after living with the Trition 1R we would say no.

Although on the surface the speakers seem similar the parts are totally different and were designed for the Reference versions.

The Trition 1R are a fantastic loudspeaker and are probably the deal of the century for the amazing sound quality they produce.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Golden Ear dealers

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I own BOTH the Triton Ones and the Triton References.  The Triton Ones are connected to a McIntosh MA6600 200wpc Integrated, a Sony HAPZ1ES Music Server and a McIntosh FM tuner.  I use a Furutech power conditioner.  The sound is to die for!!!  I listen to this system at least 5 hours daily as it is in my office with my computer.  You won't be disappointed.  There are a lot of guys here who dislike the GE Tritons for whatever reason but the amount of technology that you get and the quality of the sound for the money is a great deal.  I think the Triton Ones will be discontinued soon as the Triton One R is only a grand more.
Stereo5 you are so right. The Tritron 1R are just awesome you never hear that kind of tight visceral bass from most $20k loudspeakers, heck if the Triton Reference were just a bit cleaner in the midrange you just wouldn't be able to sell a more expensive loudspeaker.

We sell some of the best loudspekers out there:Kef, Quad, ATC, Legacy, Paradigm, Dali, PSB, and the Golden Ear Triton 1R get our hightest recommendation for a speaker in that price range.

They play loud, throw a big soundstage, have good detail, ridiculous bass respones, are electrically efficient. Just a bargain for the money.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Golden Ear dealers
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The Triton is not a ribbon. It is an AMT.

Having said that, I love good AMTs and can't listen to GE for more than 30 seconds without feeling ear pain.

When auditioning them I strongly recommend you listen to horns for an extended period. :)


Best,
E
Erik many horns have a shouty quality that many people find annoying.

Most of the current show demos with the Triton 1r the speakers sound very smooth in the top end.

The reference version sounds way better than the non ref versions. 

For this reason on multiple show reports have praised the Ref 1r as being  one of the best sounds at Axpona and a bargain for the price. 

We agree with Stereo5 these speakers are spectacular and sound musical.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Golden Ear Dealers
@audiotroy ...............

I think you you may be confused, I own the 9K Triton References, not the 6K Triton 1R. I also own the original 5K Triton 1. 
No Stereo5 the Triton 1r are nearly identical sonically to the larger Reference version other than sounding even bigger with even more low end.
It's always nice when a dealer recommends products.  
Rbach according to protocall, a dealer is supposed to announce they are dealers to frame the conversation.

Also Rbach if you have such an issue with our posts just don’t read them no one here is asking you to police the forums.

Also we have one of the larges collections of equipment on the East Coast so we have a ton of experience with many brands of loudspeakers, amplifiers etc.

So how many stores do you know that sell: Kef, Rethem, Dali, Quad, Elac, ATC, Cabasse, Paradigm, PSB, Legacy, Golden Ear as our principle lines?

We are one of the few Paradigm Persona 9H dealers, Kef Blade dealers and Legacy Aeris dealers.

Why do you think a dealer supports a line of products? Could it be that that dealer has tested many other lines? In the past we have had Usher, Tannoy, Esoteric, Gershman, Polymer Audio,System Audio, Elac, Jantzen, Von Schweikert,and a large number of others.

That is not to mention brands like Kharma that we auditioned in the shop.

One of the things that a dealer brings to the table is having experience by having different things demonstrable at the same time in the same place.

That is what dealers bring to the table.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Most of the current show demos with the Triton 1r the speakers sound very smooth in the top end
.

Good, then I'm sure an extended listening session with them will do nothing but gain the listener's accolades as well.

Heard the Reference at the NY Audio show last year. I can only give them the benefit of the doubt that something was wrong or broken because they were atrociously dull and flat. 
Noromance, they were showing them in a small room, with a $1,500.00 Peachtree audio amplifier over usb from a Laptop.

Also Noromance almost everything sucked at that show the entire show was a joke, the Magico A3 were horrifying only the Mura Audio speakers sounded good. 

They sounded pretty good agreeed they didn't sound fantastic with that setup.

Compare that sound to Axpona where critics were hailing the new Triton 1R as one of the greatest bang for the buck speakers ever made.

The Triton References will sound good to great depending on setup, in our room 18 by 14 10ft celings on good electronics and cabling Wire World Silver Eclipse and using Isoacoustics footers the sound comming from the Triton 1R is very competitive with more expensive speakers. 

Perfect no, if  you value bass clarity and tightness they are untouchable compared to some of our other speaker lines the midrange stil shows a bit of coloration but they soundstage really well and the treble is clean and clear without harshness.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I listened to the one quite a bit- did not care for it.  driver incoherence, image shifting and some detectable harshness at volume.  
The one/R sounded much better, the bass was phenomenal but the midrange was colored, flat and unnatural.  they sounded like speakers and not music.  
unfortunately speakers in this price range all tend to have flaws- you need to decide which ones you can live with.  
Look at the Spendor D7 if you want a more natural, transparent yet dynamic presentation.  

Avanti our 1r sound very dimensional and are anything other than flat. 

Now they do have some coloration in the midrange but overall their strengths far out weigh their weaknesses.

When you heard them what gear was being used with them?

Since opinions were asked for...

I've heard a couple GE Triton speakers but only at shows.

I'm not a fan of ribbon tweeters and the demos didn't convince me otherwise.

What I did hear, though, was quite a "lot of sound" for a lower price than many other manufacturers are asking.  Faint praise, it seems.  But I found them competent sounding, big, fairly spacious, without obvious defects.   But I found them tonally boring in a way that I could never live with personally.   But that's really subjective and I wouldn't propose my impression as a guide to anyone else, of course.
Continuing to list all of the products you sell is very helpful to all of us.  Thank you.
Sure Rbach would you want the entire list? It is rather lengthy.

Perhaps you can find someone else to bother, we don't think you have that many people who find your comments relevant.

As a dealer we can freely post, and as mentioned we are supposed to list that we are dealers..


As a dealer we can freely post, and as mentioned we are supposed to list that we are dealers.
But, you do it with an eye for making a sale. Or, at least, that is how it comes across...
B
gdnrbob, sure and why not, we have a ton of experience with many of the high end brands that you guys see in the magazines.

And for the record we don’t get all that many people who purchase from us, even after taking our advice.

So why is this an issue, all dealers are always trying to make sales, in that we we stay in business.

Many people here decry there are no brick and mortar dealers left yet they purchase directly from the company or Amazon instead of realizing that a B&M dealer will be greatly appreciative of their sale.

As per the Golden Ear the new Triton 1R are fantastic. Gndrbob, you are in the area, why you should stop by and hear a set for your self.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ 




I've owned the Triton 2+ for close to a year. When I first got them, after they had burned in for a few hundred hours, I was fairly happy with the purchase. They have an excellent three dimensional sound stage, excellent bass performance and good slam.

As I've become more familiar with them, I find myself perusing the forums looking for my next speaker purchase. I know this is part of our hobby, but I've owned other speakers that I've been happy with for many years. 

So where do they fall short?

There is a bit of hardness in the upper midrange that I find annoying. This is particularly noticeable on certain types of music with sax, horns, harmonica, etc. 

Their presentation is on the dark side. I'm sure my high-frequency hearing isn't what it used to be, but other speakers I've owned have had a lot detail in the harmonics of strings, snare drums, piano, etc. Vocals, particularly female vocals, lack some of the naturalness I'm looking for. 

But probably the biggest issue is that they just aren't emotionally involving enough. I get bored listening to them after a while. Occasionally, I'll listen to a song where these speakers really shine. This is generally jazz with cello and bass, drum music, electronic, etc. In other words, music that really leverages the bass performance and dynamics of the bass and lower midrange. But a lot of the music I listen to is vocals and they just fall short here.

When I first got the speakers, I was using a Krell FPB-300 amp, but unfortunately, the amp crapped out and I couldn't justify the expense of fixing it (for a third time) since it was over 20 years old. So I found someone who was willing to take it in trade to use for parts. 

I ended up getting Nord NC500 Mk II monoblocks.  I wanted something that didn't require me to run the air conditioning all the time (partially because the compressor is right outside the wall where the system is located). These have taken a LONG time to break in, and seem to exacerbate the Triton's shortcomings. 

Other components include a Bryston BDP-2 streamer feeding an Yggrasil DAC via AES/EBU. Parasound JC-2. Balanced connections. All DH Labs cables. PS Audio Power Plant 3 for all source components. Amps and speakers plugged into dedicated circuits. 

Other speakers I own include Revel F30, Revel F50, Totem Mani-2. Previously owned Magnepan MG-1, Tympani IV, 3.6R, Duntech Sovereign, Revel Gems, Studios. 

The Triton 2+ isn't exactly the same as the Triton 1, but I think the tweeter, midrange drivers, and crossovers are very similar if not the same. From what I understand, the Triton 1R is a significant upgrade - closer to the Reference. I've heard the Reference briefly in a store setting, but I didn't spend enough time with them to come to any conclusions. 

My two cents...
@gdnrbob2 
I'm not opposed to purchasing used speakers.  
@rackon

I plan on driving to Austin Saturday to listen to the Triton 1R.
Houston is an audio wasteland.  
Would the  Revel F228Be compare favorably to the Triton 1?  
What else stands out in the 5k range?
jaytor,
Your user impressions match my show-listener impressions.I found the Tritons to sound a touch "dark" and boring myself.Just didn't do anything to make me want to stick around and listen.
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It is quite normal in these forums for the haters to diss Golden Ear.
I really like the whole line.I just wished they had wider dispersion. They have  A very narrow Sweet spot...
Actually Jimimac they have a much bigger sound stage if you set them up correctly, 

If you set them up correctly, which tends to mean far apart with a very sharp turn in the face of the speakers.  they sound quite big, if you send us pictures of your room we can advise you.

Prof, the earlier Triton did sound dark and  where a bit boring. 


Having an 11.2 Golden Ear HT system in my home. I was intrigued by the GE Tritons for my stereo listening .  It wasn't until I met Sandy G at AXPONA this year that I was able to hear the Triton 1R's using the Prima Luna system to drive them.  In that hotel setting , they sounded wonderful without any sound bats or room treatments.   ( I am used to my B&W 802s ).
 
When I got back to St Louis , months passed and my fav dealer let me come to his home to listen to his Triton Reference ( using all top line Bel Canto equipment to drive them ) which were not set up the best IMO , but I was quite impressed with what I heard from the first note. 

I noticed he had a new set of Triton 1R's sitting in his home office and he allowed me to take them home later that week.  I demo'd them in my home for a week and never gave them back !!!  ( Yes I paid for them ). They DO sound better than the Trition Reference and at a lower price. The dealer was happy I wanted them, but not HIS as the 1R's are on back order for those that may want them and now he's waiting !   ( But I'm a good long time customer so he'll get over it . ) 

For me and my discerning ears, these are exceptional floorstanding speakers and I cannot believe how pleased I am with their sound playing all genres of music and all variations of input,  TT, CD, and Streamer and at varying listening levels.  They just disappear when the music begins and my smile appears.  

I highly recommend these to those of you who don't have deep pockets and want to listen to great musical reproduction that is clear and precise easily meeting or exceeding speakers costing thousands more. 

Happy Listening ! 

SHAD 
I have the GoldenEar Triton 3+ speakers and McIntosh MA252 amplifier.  Contrary to what others have written here, I don't find the speakers flat, dull, boring or harsh.  I listen to music mostly at 60 to 80 dB.  I don't know what they sound like at 90 dB or above because I don't want to suffer from hearing damage.
I have the built in subwoofers set at about 12:50 on the dial on the back of the Tritons.  They sounded a little thin at 12 o'clock.  My speakers are a foot from the front wall.  I like that these sealed speakers can be placed so close to the wall without causing problems.

My amp has a sub out, and so I added a PSB 450 sub.  I am running the Tritons full range.  I am not using a receiver or room correction.  The sub adds some heft to bass below 60 hertz.

I find this combination to be very detailed with an extended treble.  There is good accuracy with cymbals, bass, and throughout the frequency range.  There is plenty of air, dynamics, and attack.  I am listening to Miles Davis and the brass does not sound subdued at all, but it is smooth and not harsh or hard.  Bass is full and powerful without being excessive, boomy or bloated.  Vocals are very pleasing, and acoustic guitar has a gorgeous tone.  I have the speakers 11 feet apart, and the soundstage is exciting and fun to listen to.  I can listen for many hours without fatigue.

I am wondering what is causing all of the criticism.  Is it that people made their minds up before they listened that nothing made in China can be worthwhile, or is it that people are so passionately loyal to their current brand that they have closed their minds, or is it that some lucky folks have uber expensive systems that are better in some ways than most other speakers such as the Tritons from GoldenEar?  Or something else? 

Maybe it is just that we all hear differently.  I auditioned the Triton 3+ speakers at a dealer with the McIntosh MA252 amp and they sounded good, and in my home they sound fantastic.
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I'd like to follow up on my previous comments. Even though I am not completely satisfied with my Triton 2+ speakers, I will say that they are the best sounding speakers I've owned in this price range and have truly amazing bass performance for their price and size. They also image quite well, particularly in the sweet spot - very wide and deep without making instruments sound too big.

Part of my dissatisfaction is likely due to my room. I've had to use a fair amount of acoustic treatment to tame the room modes since the room is almost perfectly square, and this has probably resulted in a "duller" sound than they might otherwise be capable of. 

The speakers are also more attractive than I was expecting based on photos. The thin angled profile combined with the glossy top and plinth really works quite well. It doesn't look like gorgeous furniture like some of the Sonus Faber speakers, but I'd rather have the production cost focused on sound instead of fancy woodwork.

I'm planning to relocate my listening room to a larger room in my house in the near future, and perhaps the Triton 2+s will work better there. 

I don't have anything against Goldenear, and I would seriously consider their higher-end products (1R and Reference) once I relocate my listening room if my current speakers still aren't working for me.
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The day we auditioned the 3+ and 2+, we played around with positioning quite a bit. I thought both models were very forgiving of room placement (they  do want to be toed in, but they don't need to be very far from the back wall) and both models had quite a wide sweet spot - an absolute must for us as my spouse and I usually listen to music together.  I HATE narrow sweet spots and would never consider speakers with that limitation.

With the Goldenears fed by a Saturn R, we both found the timbres realistic on acoustic instruments and vocals, much more so than anything else we auditioned in a comparable price range, and they were not at all dull (dealer began our day by pushing Focals and Paradigms BTW). None of the other speakers really passed the "massed strings" test.  My husband is a retired symphony bassoonist and clarinetist, and he is extremely picky about natural sounding music reproduction, as am I, a mere former singer. 

As for dealer comments, I welcome them, as long as they declare their status. Dealers are NOT the enemy - they are a resource. I;ve learned a lot from audio pros over the years, Ultimately, it's my ears that will decide any purchase.