Monthly Archives: March 2011
Golden Ears aren’t necessary to enjoy these unassuming, yet amazing budget speakers! The PSB Alpha B1, at $279.00 a pair, is one of Hi-Fi’s greatest speaker bargains. With the ink quite possibly not yet dry on the review I just wrote about our coveted Golden Ear Triton II’s, I must say something right now about our most popular speakers, as I stare at them on the cover of this month’s(April) issue of Stereoophile Magazine that Jason just handed me? How bizarre. This is Stereophile’s Special 500 Recommended Component Issue. And we are once again fortunate to be a dealer for such a great and universally respected line of speakers. Ironically, every single one, of the now eight speaker models, designed by Paul Barton, (of PSB) is currently reviewed by someone, somewhere, as an industry’s “best in class”. What’s even more daunting however is that in this current recommended component issue almost appears to be a catalogue for our store, with no less than half of our current production pairs of speakers, as recommended components in each of their classes! But it doesn’t stop there; Stereophile has gone on to name the bulk of our inventory of electronics as winners in their various classes as well. I mean, Jason and I did “cherry pick” this stuff out from the masses, as we have the pleasure of being able to do for our Hi-Fi shop, but really, this many recommended components sitting on our display room floor is overwhelming. I almost feel that someone has given me one of the bogus magazine’s that the tourist photo shops can make up, complete with bogus articles about how great you are…I mean really, what is going on here!?! …are the editor/reviewers of Stereophile spying on us? Are the rooms here bugged? They’ve named our Revel’s, McIntosh, Marantz Reference, etc, etc, etc,. For instance, I regularly tell customers what a great value our Marantz PM5004 is as an Integrated Amp for its paltry $450.00 price tag, which they have listed right alongside many others at much higher prices! Or I’ll mention how you can actually enjoy a full blown symphony orchestra recording on these little PSB Alpha speakers at their ridiculously CHEAP price of $279.00 a pair, but occasionally I get the feeling that some customers think, “of course you say it’s good Mark – you sell it!!!” But really, if you like the idea that hey, you can build a quality system that will allow you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite recordings. You should really like the idea that you can get away with that for less than a grand these days, including another greatly reviewed IPOD dock or CD player to go with! Come in and give these amazing bookshelf speakers an audition. They won’t disappoint!
Posted: Jason Tavares
I wrote, “Finally, a speaker that does it all” on February 17, 2011, which I had thought, about covered it, on this impressive new speaker technology from Golden Ear. But now it seems, I must write another review, about this same speaker!?!
Please note, “*Important Note”, below, as this is an excerpt from Chris Martens Perfect Vision’s Review of the Triton Cinema Two 5-Channel Surround System, which of course, is fronted by the “Triton II’s”.
*Important note: while this may not be the first review you read of the
Triton Cinema Two system, we believe it may be one of the first to cover the
final production version of the system (just like the ones enthusiasts will
be able to buy). The fact is that early Golden Ear press samples of the Triton
Two’s (including the ones sent to The Perfect Vision) were identical to the
pilot production models first demonstrated at CEDIA 2010. The Perfect
Vision learned, however, that Golden Ear had made small but significant
improvements in the control circuit for the Triton Two subwoofer amplifier
— changes that have been incorporated in all production model Triton Two’s
shipped to Golden Ear dealers. Accordingly, TPV elected to delay its review
until its Triton Two review samples could be retrofitted with final production
version amplifier control boards, which proved to be a good decision. The
change essentially redefines the neutral tonal balance point for the user
adjustable subwoofer amp, giving the production Triton Two’s an even clearer,
better balanced sound than the CEDIA demo units exhibited (plus a more
usable real-world range of amplifier adjustments).
The good news is that I cannot agree more. With the new crossover boards I received and installed at the beginning of the week, the greatly smoother, and more refined top to bottom tonal balance was immediately apparent. I was able to dial in the subs to the room much more accurately, completely relieving the mid base and mid-range of slight, but definitely noticeable, colorations. Now, the balance between very low base, mid base, and midrange is utterly perfect! This allows the Triton’s to really show their true colors, colorlessly, if I can put it that way. It has been a long time, perhaps too long, since I have heard a speaker produce such a detailed, uncolored, open, and true to the original portrayal of the midrange and high treble spectrum. Not to mention, entire audible frequency response. It may be time once again, for me to replace my home speakers. Not that mine aren’t very good ones, as they were $3000.00/pair from another very well respected speaker manufacturer. But alas, I am really enjoying hearing things I simply have not been able to, for a very long time, having previously owned speakers that employed that very special “Heil Air Motion Transformer” to which Chris, and other reviewers, are referring to.
To illustrate my point, take the DCC gold recording of The Doors, with Ray Manzarek’s insane organ notes; which on the Triton II’s seams to not only come to life in erie 3D largeness, but which includes the rarely audible secondary glass tube resonance, from Ray’s tube organ. This is goose bumb material, clearly overlaying the whole sonic image, which on our set up, is about 20 feet deep and wide, and seemed to have front row / front stage like height. Yes, a HUGE sound stage normally reserved for much more expensive speakers! Then with the sickeningly sweet triple lead guitar on-slot from the (Doobie Bros) China-Grove, this ingenius perfected technology based on the Heil Tweeter, coupled with totally unique piston driven mid-base drivers, completely takes over playing this stuff like I have not heard since the 70’s, when I often enjoyed this legendary ensemble LIVE! It’s flippin’ incredable! I feel like I’m being transported back in time right to the experience.
I further must caution you however, as stated by Chris Martens, that the Golden Ears will spoil you! This is the very problem I’ve been having since we put them on our floor. As I am responsible for doing all of the equipment testing here at The Sweet Spot@ADKAV, I’ve found I cannot listen to the Golden Ears prior to testing other speakers! Because what happens is, exactly as Chris says, the other speakers then sound mechanical, strained, or otherwise flawed. It’s a very discerning issue indeed!
Please see Reviews http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/audio/2011/01/test-report-goldenear-technology-triton-two-tower-speakers
Posted: Jason Tavares
I’ve just returned from Binghamton NY, home of America’s very own Stereo Electronics Manufacturer, McIntosh Labs. What a wonderful experience. Not only are the folks at McIntosh some of the most down to Earth, friendly people you want to meet, but they are like my neighbors. One of my neighbors works for Bard, assembling catheters for the Hospital Industry, and another works for Scott Paper, the source of my home paper product. On the factory tour, I met people who hand craft the circuit boards, glass faceplates, and even hand wind the power transformers. Many of these people have worked there for decades. Not only has McIntosh has been in business since 1949, but in the same building. One woman is a grandmother, who taught her trade to her daughter, and granddaughter, who now work their craft side by side with her. McIntosh “really is” a family business. I was thrilled and amazed to see how these dedicated crafts people work their trade, making each and every component for McIntosh Amplifiers, Tuners, CD Players, Music Servers, DAC’s, and Speakers. You know, there are some fine U.S. companies left, but very few, who still do all their own manufacturing right here in the U.S. of A. I try to do my little part, especially when making long term purchases, like my American made Harley Davidson, and my “mostly” U.S. made Dodge Charger, but now I can also truly appreciate owning not only the world’s finest sounding stereo electronics, but really appreciate knowing it was hand made by some great neighbors, in Binghamton, another – home town USA!
See link for a look into McIntosh: http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/inside/1073.asp
Posted: Jason Tavares