Triangle Celius 202

Category: Speakers

I figured that even though this speaker has been around for a while I would do a review. Other than 2 very special listening sessions I have had in my life the Celius is the best sound I have heard for anywhere near the money and pretty close to best overall. (The 2 special sessions are - anytime I hear mbl's - but look at the price tag - and the time I heard ProAc Response 3's in a very heavily treated room - I mean Sonex everywhere. The imaging and clarity was awesome).
Set up and the room interaction is very important to me. I treat all first order reflections, side walls, ceiling and behind me. Additionally I use an RTA to get the set up right. (I should be using some sort of traps for the bass however given the odd shape of the room and one side completly open I have put that off. So I use a Behringer DSP to tame the 3 big nodes.) In my room - which is actually 2 rooms split by an open archway - is 23X15X9 - with one long side opening to the entry way. Since the 202's have front side ports I found they sounded best - especially in the bass - with them closer to the rear wall. As such They are 8' from the rear wall (heavily treated) and only 2.5' from the side walls (again heavily treated. I use the Roger Water's Q sound CD Amused to Death for this part of the set up. With an open side to one side and heavy treatement on the other I still get images very far left and right using that CD. This set up affords me a 9' soundstage which I like. Images are still tight and focused). As the 202's are tipped up a but in the treble - even with a tube amp (I can see it on the RTA) I toe them is slightly - just until the center image is locked. In this set up they are actually flat to 35hz and only 3db down at 30hz. (What this experiance has told me -as well as owning the other speakers especially the bass heavy Mirage's-is that unless you have a huge room it is silly to buy speakers flat below 40 or 45hz- 43hz for the 202. Below that the room will fill in the rest if the system is set up right. When I had the 202's on the front side of the room where most of the other speakers worked I had no bass. So little in fact I was afraid I bought the wrong speakers. I believe the difference is the front port).
So what do I hear?
Absolutely nothing sticks out. I have compared them side by side, with mono material, against the Mirage, Paradigm Export and Magnepan MMG speakers. In the Mirage I noticed bass. In the Magnepan I noticed the midrange and in the Paradigm the fact that there were two drivers - a lack of midrange. The Triangle's seem to not call attention to themselves anywhere. (When doing this mono test only the Triangle was in it's sweet spot. However I listened from only a couple feet away and had the speakers facing in to the center of the room to eliminate the side wall effect. As such I think the test was fair). If a speaker can't get the midrange right or has some frequency area call attention to itself when listening to a mono recording then there is no way they sound much better in a stereo pair. I suggest doing the same when auditioning speakers in a store or at audio shows. (By the way I evaluate tweaks this way. Unless I hear a change for the better in mono I usually toss the tweak. Having said that I do perform stereo tests as well and have noticed differences I liked. However those do not involve tonal accuuracy but things like separation and depth). The 202's also image extremely well. Images are defined and tight. They float free of the speaker. The only speakers I have heard better imaging from where the mbl's - which have a 3D realness factor I'm not sure any speaker could match and the ProAc demo I mentioned with all the room treatment. As for dynamics - they are very fast and very revealing. I assume this is a result of light paper cones and high sensativity (92db). So what's the down side? Well I haven't heard all of the speakers out there. And the ones that I did were probably not set up right. Other than the two experiences I mentioned these have been the best. I don't notice a downside audibly or on the RTA.

AMC CVT-3030 int tube amp (30w)with socket upgrade, JJ tubes, AuriCaps in the signal path and upgrade supply caps (excellent mod done by Retrodaze)
Systemdek IIX tweaked TT with Goldring 1012GX
Denon CD 1520 playing in to Audio Alchemy DTI/DITB
Cat-5 twisted pair speaker cables
Behringer FBQ-2496
Dakiom R103 between DSP and amp
SoundQuest Isol-Pads

Speakers I have owned
ProAc monitors (forget which)
NHT Super Zero
Paradigm Export (still have)
Paradigm Titan (have)
Paradigm sub w/NHT sub amp (have)
Mirage M3si
Magnepan 1.4
Magnepan MMG (have)
Yo, Imispgh -- you already know my high opinion of these speakers. I didn't know you had owned the M3-si's (I had the M1-si's). You are absolutely correct about the bass. If the midrange is integrated properly by the designer, and the bass is fairly flat to 40-45 Hz, that's all you need. Incidentally, I am selling the 2 subs I was using for the Volante 260's -- I turned them off last week and moved the speakers 6" further from the rear walls and 2" closer to the sides (can you imagine? 6 and 2 lousy inches!). It sounds like I picked up another octave, and the Velodynes just screwed it up when I plugged them back into the system. The Celius 202 is a truly unique product among ALL high-end loudspeakers, all time. They have a unique presence. And the right price. They generate excitement, which is what music is all about. Great review. Cheers, Clifton.