What struck me most in listening to the One.R initially was its lucidity. Coming off the $855,000 Wilson WAMM Master Chronosonic loudspeaker, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in listening to the One.R, but I was immediately taken by its planar-like qualities. It created a wide and deep soundstage that allowed instruments to pop in and out with a minimum of overhang. Now I’ll grant that a good part of this had to do with the top-notch front-end equipment that was powering the GoldenEar loudspeakers, including Ypsilon Hyperion monoblock amplifiers. But the One.R, by the same standard, was fully capable of revealing the glorious heights that those amps can deliver.
On the nifty CD A Trumpet Celebration by the Masters of Leipzig that features Edward Carroll and organist Edward Brewer, I was very impressed by the One.R’s coherence. Some of my favorite works on this CD include several airs by Georg Philipp Telemann. The Triton One.R vividly conveyed not only Carroll’s total command of the trumpet, but also the multifarious shadings and purity of tone that he achieves in playing baroque music. On a Bach chorale, kettle drum whacks came through with the most satisfying thumps, a testament to the clarity and power of the bass region. But the most captivating aspect here was the sheer airiness of the overall presentation. The One.R had no problem distinguishing between the three drums, bassoon, kettle drums, and organ on this boisterous chorale.
The clarity of the One.R was also shown to good effect on another trumpet recording, an EMI Classics CD of the British virtuoso Alison Balsom. On a transcription of Vivaldi’s violin concerto in A minor, Balsom’s fleet runs up and down the scale were carefully rendered by the One.R. Another enticing aspect that came through in listening to the Balsom CD was how deftly the One.R positioned the height and reproduced the scale of the instruments; I never had the sense that they were oversized or bloated. Instead, the soundstage was deep but also very focused in the appropriate sonic plane. It always felt as though you were facing the orchestra head-on rather than staring up into the distance at it. In my experience, this helps immerse you in the music more—in my book, anything that serves to efface the sense of electronic reproduction is to the good.
A problematic yet winning disc that I like to listen to is a Musical Heritage Society CD featuring Venetian brass music—problematic because it simply can sound a bit glazed; winning because the performances are so darned good. The clarity and coherence of the One.R, coupled with its ability to anchor the soundstage, all contributed to make the Gabrieli canons and sonatas on this album a pleasure to listen to. The One.R neatly separated the various brass choirs and nailed the timbres of the trumpets, trombones, French horns, and tuba. What could have been cacophonous instead emerged as solemnly majestic, even—dare I say it?—a renaissance of sound.
For my money, the greatest strengths of the Triton One.R are its handsome soundstage and airy treble. I tinkered with the controls in the bass region, but you’re not going to get the kind of crunch that much more expensive loudspeakers from Wilson, Magico, Rockport, or other leading high-end manufacturers deliver. Bass, as always, remains the most difficult and expensive region for a loudspeaker manufacturer to control. Physics is physics. The technical wizardry that GoldenEar deploys can take you a long way, but not all the distance that superlative bass requires. This isn’t meant as a knock on the One.R. As I noted at the outset, there is something baffling about the overall performance level of this Triton model considering its price. Whether the source material is solo piano or orchestra, these speakers supply uniformly elegant and suave musical reproduction. If you’ve purchased a high-dollar loudspeaker, I don’t think the Triton will cause you to doubt your choice, but it will certainly take you aback. In selecting the name GoldenEar for his company, Gross has set a high bar. With the Triton One.R he easily clears it.
Specs & Pricing
Type: Floorstanding loudspeaker with powered subwoofer
Driver complement: One neodymium High-Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) tweeter, two 5¼" mid/bass drivers, three 5" x 9" long-throw subwoofers coupled to four 7" x 10" quadratic planar infrasonic radiators
Subwoofer power amplifier: 1600W SuperSub Subwoofer switching amplifier and DSP control
Frequency response: 13Hz–35kHz
Nominal impedance: Compatible with 8 ohms
Dimensions: 8" x 54" x 16 5⁄8"
Weight: 80 lbs.
Price: $2999 each
PO Box 141
Stevenson, MD 21153