Short review of Triangle Esprit Esw

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by symphara, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. symphara

    symphara
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    I recently bought a 5.1 set of Triangle speakers, and I'm writing this (very short) set of impressions really, review is too much said, for the benefit of people who might be interested in auditioning Triangle, since there are nearly no reviews to be found on the net.

    I have to say in my defense that I'm not a professional reviewer in any way, just a guy who really likes music :)

    The system consists in

    a pair of Celius Esw fronts http://www.triangle-fr.com/uk/esprit-esw.php?modele=celiusesw
    Noxa Major Es center http://www.triangle-fr.com/uk/esprit-esw.php?modele=noxa major
    a pair of Titus Es bookshelfs used as surrounds http://www.triangle-fr.com/uk/esprit-esw.php?modele=titus
    a Meteor 0.1.5 subwoofer http://www.triangle-fr.com/uk/meteor.php?modele=0.1.5

    The speakers are covered in a beautiful mahogany red veneer (what Triangle calls "bordeaux"), with the exception of the subwoofer, which is completely black except for the rather large and golden front metal part, which hosts the brand name and a blue LED that lights up when it's on. Worth noting - the sub's upper part is exactly like a piano finish and looks quite striking.

    To finish with the looks - they certainly look the part. The photos on the website don't really do them justice as you can't really see the middle front leg and coin thing properly.

    Sound wise:

    First, I have a rather modest in terms of power Rotel RSX-1056. I like neutral sound, I listen to a lot of classical and natural, precise sound is a plus for me. Adding a dedicated stereo amp for the fronts was something I was prepared to do, if a little unwilling (more expense!). I also use a Denon 2900 CD/SACD/DVD-A player, and I'm very happy with the quality, I think it's a really good player, try its successor 3910 if you're in the market for this type of player.

    I didn't listen to as many speakers as I wanted to, but I got around to see an eclectic mix including B&W 600-800 series, Kef, Quad, Mission, JBL, Magnat, Cerwin Vega, Canton, even McIntosh and a few others. Not all where in my budget - actually, a lot were not - but I listened anyway to form a reference.

    Major to note were Quad (too expensive), McIntosh (crazy stuff), B&W 800 (really liked these, a bit over my budget but I really liked the 804 floorstands) and Magnat (couldn't tell you the model, very precise if a bit harsh). Listening is good, Kef iQ and B&W 600/700 were taken off the list quickly, and I had rather preconceived notions of liking them and being suited for my purpose.

    Initially I had decided and ordered B&W804s with the cheapest 800 series center and 7 series dipole surrounds, that's as much as I could afford. So it happened, they took quite long to arrive and meanwhile someone who knows a few things about speakers recommended I listen to Triangle. And that's what I did, I visited the dealer, we got chatting and he showed me the Triangle system. Which I liked a lot, in fact enough to replace the B&Ws.

    My listening room is about 250 sq feet. I positioned them progressively close to the wall (saves space) - was a bit worried about that - but fortunately the bass is spot on, not excessive, they seem quite tolerant. They are very sensitive (official figures say 92dB) so my little Rotel has no problem producing absolutely massive sound (not that I'm that insensitive to my neighbours :)).

    How do they sound: seriously precise. Where I thought that B&W 804s had a rich sound with a beautiful soundstage and very nice bass, the Triangles manage most of that with a transparency which is really interesting. In fact, sometimes it can be a little unnerving because you can hear what you don't want to. For example, Freddy Kempf's Beethoven's Sonatas SACD reveals the tiny *clop* sound fingers make when striking the keys. This can drive you a little crazy. Otherwise, the detail is just amazing, it made me re-listen everything I had.

    In terms of amplification, I'm very happy they seem to mate well with the Rotel. I tried CA and a more expensive Mark Lewinson, and still liked the Rotel well enough.

    Soundstage is fine, but they can't be too far apart - I'd say no more than 2m. Surround music sound stage is exceptionally good, they managed speaker integration very well. Individual instrument tests revealed that strings really shine, human voice also very good (Peter Cincotti sounds amazing), sax is also amazing. Piano was a little bit of a let down, I thought, although I can't really explain why, all the sounds were there but it was like they mangled the harmonics timing a tiny bit. All electronic stuff sounds exceptionally good. Bass is also top notch, plenty and really well defined.

    Movies - can't go wrong with these. If anything, they're overkill and if you're not careful with the volume the dynamic range might knock the paint down, or get the police to your door. Speaking of volume, they sound all right at low volume (night time listening). However they do open up when driven louder, and unfortunately it's a major temptation to do so.

    Listening fatigue - happy to report I experienced none with these ones, and I listened for extended periods of time (as in 4-5 hours) quite a lot.

    Overall - if you're looking for speakers and have the chance to listen to Triangle, try them, you never know. Even the Titus bookshelves sound really good by themselves, it's a bit of a shame I'm using them as surrounds. I am very happy with the choice and recommend them especially for music. Celius are really too much to buy just for movies, unless you have a very large room.

    The sub is purely optional, I wouldn't have bothered for the fact that it looks really good and I got a very good deal for the whole system. Otherwise there's plenty of bass in the Celius, but then again I'm not much of a bass maniac.

    I hope prospective listeners found this useful - and as always, remember there's no substitute to listening for yourself, and if possible, try the speaker/amp combination that you'll end up with.
     
  2. peskywinnets

    peskywinnets
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    Just a quick comment about Magnat speakers (not well known in this country). They seem astonishing value for the spec. I've seen them for as low as £275 pair (plus delivery), for a speaker as tall, slim (14cm wide) & sleek as this...

    http://imgbox.de/?img=a12300k54.jpg

    (they make them in a silver finish too).

    1.16m high ...go down as low as 20HZ! (yeah right)

    with (on paper) a reasonable spec!

    Worth investigating for anyone tight on space/money.
     

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