He 'Speaks!

New (old) loudspeakers on their way soon for a head-to-head with the Royd RR3s. The Royds are special, so I'm not wholly optimistic for the newcomers. However they do major on soundstage, occasionally sharp treble and fast, articulate bass, so I expect broad similarities based on reputation. They are much more efficient than the Royds, which is a big consideration as I drive my system across the room, so I don't get a lot of room coupling and re-enforcement. Whether they will work in the positions I have available remains to be seen.

However, if Colin can make those Spendors sound half decent, then I should be in with a shout!

They are French, more details later...


  • Ooo. Alan goes rogue...

    Makes me feel a bit less of a maverick. :-)
  • Yep but I have Somerset Pixie hidden in box.

  • Ben, I'm Maverick; you're Goose. Gottit?

    Col, my speakers have a message for your pixie: "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of Elderberries!"
  • Triangles or squares
  • 'Tree-ongles', I think you'll find!!

  • Ooooo! Tell us more!
  • Le chat est sorti du sac...

    Triangle Antal ESw, they are about 10 years old. I know no more than this until I collect them next week. Oddly, they currently live about 50 metres from my first flat!
  • Sacre bleu!!!
  • edited July 2014
    Ben, I'm Maverick; you're Goose. Gottit?
  • edited July 2014
    You don't want a whipping with my towel, do you? Just gaze into my intense eyes and say you don't...

    I expect Dave will turn up in his US navy dress uniform next.
  • edited July 2014
    They are here, wired in and ready to impress (I hope). They are a lot bigger than I expected, about 40cm taller than the Royds on their stands, deep too.

    They have about 91-92dB sensitivity, so they are subjectively way more dynamic - shockingly so. Huge scale is presented, with vast, deep imaging - could we have a large 'Royd' here? They certainly have similar levels of HF energy, but it is far, far smoother, thanks to the horn loaded compression tweeter.

    They are 3.5 way, and they look great. Everyone at home thinks they look beautiful, if a little on the large side - very much like me in fact. Srsly.

    I positioned them once, which was a royal pain due to their size and the five spikes on each speaker. I then repositioned them on my wife's request, but they look worse. I shall put them back where I thought at first, which should also sound better. I'm getting quite practiced at this now, so it should take no more than 25 minutes.

    They haven't yet had any music played through them in anger, I'm just getting used to them on AV duties with the TQ Atom amplifier. Voices are a good way to get a handle on what speakers are doing. The Triangles do appear to have a good deal more mid-range detail and warmth than the RR3s, so I'm interested to see how that plays out in a proper listening session with Col's monster Class A amps.

    A proper listening session probably won't happen until Wednesday now, so I'll leave that hanging to annoy you!
  • Careful Alan, you may get drummed out of the Royds Club.

    You don't want to go Nomad. ;-)
  • Sounds like you like 'em Al. :-)
    Five spikes...? The bastards.
  • Sounds like you like 'em Al. :-)
    Five spikes...? The bastards.

    Yes, I believe I do like them. More like the Royds than unlike, with some very definate advantages. Some small trade offs as well, but I have to wait and see if they are actually trade offs, of simply differences. Big speakers these, but they move like small ones.

    I think they may be keepers.
  • Nice one Alan
  • My goal has been to find speakers that are just like my Royd RR3. These small standmounts have bass so deep you would not believe, stupendous speed, an incredible ability to image and 'disappear', and impeccable presentation of detail. They are perhaps best compared to really good headphones in their presentation. I am in no way dissatisfied with them, I just want, well, more of the same.

    Triangle Electroacousique seem to have a similar reputation for being fast, occasionally excessively 'bright' and being great with soundstage & imaging. Sounds promising, sounds rather... Royd-ish to me. I was especially heartened to read a review of the Altea by Noel Keywood in which he sings the praises of Triangle's phase coherence and thus ability to image. The boxes of my Antal esW have Paul Messenger's address on them, so it looks as if mine were once reviewed too (though I haven't been able to find it - circa 2006).

    So to the first question: are they as good as the Royd RR3? Are they as detailed? Yes, and no.

    No in that some of the really small textural detail the Royds are so good at is lost through the triangles, but only when played loudly. The presence of the whole soundstage rather swamps some of the really fine detail, just as it does in real life really (which is why I compare the Royds to headphones). Played at moderate volume though, it's easy to forget which speaker is playing.

    Yes in that the Triangles are able to present a perspective on a piece which the Royds can't manage. These speakers are much closer to full-range and have multiple drivers for various frequencies, rather than asking a single mid-bass to do almost everything. Again, the headphone analogy works here, the 2-way Royds are almost point source, the Triangles are 3.5 way and 1.4m tall. They are giving many “what was that?” moments on music I thought I knew well. They also present scale – they really move some air, but with such control, which is what I really wanted.

    Imaging – this is frankly obscene. The Royds image better than anything else I have heard, until now. The Triangles are ludicrously good at this, again with much more scale than I'm accustomed to. They are everything the Royds are, and more, even at levels which the Royds can't dream of. At very loud levels the image remains stable, wide and deep. I said above that at moderate volume it's difficult to split the Triangles and the Royds and this is true. Played very quietly it's clear the Triangles are on due to their efficiency, which manifests itself in dynamics and stereo imaging being intact at whisper levels.

    These speakers are fast – playing Beethoven Concerto no 5 (Kovacevich) there is free abandon to the piece, a feeling the brakes have really been let off as one's heartrate fluctuates with the piece's ebb and flow. The dynamics are truly whiplash fast, allowing an intimate experience with the music as it soars. This is a really front row presentation, causing occasional blinks and jumps,. They capture the warmth of ensemble violins wonderfully, but I think on solo violin the Royds may have a slight edge. Just a slight one and this really is nit-picking.

    They are just rude on horns and anything brass, I think they may just excel here. Raspy, rorty, warm, fruity, reedy.

    Bass – electric and acoustic – is fabulous. These speakers are ported but they are thoroughly convincing. They don't go a whole lot lower than the Royds (I told you that would be hard to believe) but there is a whole heap more of it. Going on memory, these have the best controlled and presented bass I have heard, both in terms of textural detail and image placement (rock solid centre on the floor for the most part). My recently sold Goodmans Magisters had 15” sealed bass units and couldn't manage this trick. Listening to Moby's 'Play' and it's hard to sit still, they boogie like Minstrels.

    The midrange is enveloping with warmth, yet detailed and full of tone and texture. It really shows here the benefit of a dedicated midrange unit over an almost fullrange mid-bass driver. To be honest, there is marginally more warmth here than I feel is natural, but I can't say if this is down to the Triangles or the SECA amplification. Either way, it's rather luxurious, a nice coloration. It certainly doesn't detract from or mask anything.

    The horn loaded compression driver tweeter is more than a little bit special. It is extended and smooth, with bite but not harshness. It integrates so well with the midrange it feels like a single driver. Very Royd-esque, but honestly a lot better, the Royds were all capable of a little harshness at times. Guitar strings just sing and stand out in stark detail as they are picked, strummed, plucked or slid. Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings beautiful work on 'Revival' is simply breathtaking today, reaffirming this as one of my favorites.

    Rhythmically, the Triangles are above reproach in every way. Percussive impacts, polyrhythms, feel and flow are superb and full of boogy. In general, these speakers have a huge sense of fun, and they communicate on an emotional level really nicely. I am just loving Fairport Convention's 'Matty Groves' as I type, it feels like a riot during the instrumental fade out after the purposeful, slightly dark feel of the main song. It's just irresistible.

    I'm struggling to put this all into words (as you can tell), and I haven't spoken of timbre at all (it's more than fine) but I can say I'm loving the Triangle Antals. They don't quite get out of the music like the Royds do, yet they allow more of the music in. Much more. There are some very slight areas where the Royds remain king, but by just a cat's whisker. Colin's SECAs make the Royds sound like a big speaker. They make these big Triangles sound like the front row of a concert hall. These Triangles do things the Royds just can't, but if Joe Ackroyd had made bigger speakers I think they would have sounded like this. The fact triangle care enough to continue manufacturing their own drive units shows a similarity of thought with Royd.

    Most of this review is hopelessly colored by the fact this is my system, my room, and my opinion. I use some unusual gear and I listen nearfield, that is across a long room rather than down it. If you got this far, well done!
  • Nice, have you got some pictures?

  • Alan...

    ...likes Triangle Electroacousique!
  • Seriously Alan, they sound the business.
    May i second Sov's request for piccies!
  • Pictures!!!!!
  • Some low light cameraphone snaps:


  • Very handsome. :-)
    Thanks Alan.
    (Is that a rejected Royd speaker sulking behind the fireplace in the first 2 photos?)
  • edited July 2014
    I think they're just having a break Ben, they have done well. They may be keeping a respectful distance.

    The Triangles are bigger than I expected, to be fair!
  • They look it!
    Appearance-wise they put me in mind of my old Dynaudio Audience 82s...
  • edited August 2014
    Apparently certain loudspeakers are designed to minimise phase distortion, equally apparent is the fact I seem to prefer such speakers.

    I know of few manufacturers of loudspeakers that make this a major stated design priority, can anyone else think of any?

    Royd (original)
    Ruark (original)
    Green Mountain Audio
    SD Acoustics

  • Funny you should mention sd acoustics Alan i just bought a pair of sd1's paid a bit to much really but have fancied some since they came out any way i digress, but maybe Colins' amps just work well with this type of thinking , will let you know. Triangles look smart chap.
  • Chris, are those SD Acoustics SD1s...?
  • Yes, those are the ones
  • I have an acquaintance in Nuneaton (?) that has / had a pair. Very nice! :-)
  • I was almost buying those last week (if they're the ebay ones). Col has spoken highly of Steen Doessing before so I think you'll be on a winner.
  • Unfortunately not a winner,turned up today and not in particular good shape ,never mind back to the drawing board.
  • El bastardo.
  • Unfortunately not a winner,turned up today and not in particular good shape ,never mind back to the drawing board.
    As in not working?
  • No functioned fine, some issues i prefer not to go into on a forum. I'd say very promising if you were prepared to do a bit of work on them which i don't have currently.. Back to Alan's speaker list how about Vandersteen.
  • Good luck with the hunt!
  • No functioned fine, some issues i prefer not to go into on a forum.
    Very good form. Pleasing to read that. Levels of appropriateness from you Chris that are rare on forums.
    I'm hoping you'll get things resolved.

  • Back to Alan's speaker list how about Vandersteen.
    Hope you get some satisfaction Chris!

    Certainly some of the early Vandersteen models had the right sort of reputation for a phase coherent speaker.

    I think Thiel do as well, though they're not too well known.
  • edited August 2014
    Loving my French speakers - here are some others which ought to be worth a go!


  • You've gone all Francophile.

    You haven't been talking to @Stupinder have you?
  • Nope, but I think he likes Cabasse and Treeongley also.
  • I believe he does, but he's a pale and weak vegetarian :-)
  • How very dare you!

    If I had the strength I'd throw a can of lentils at you.
  • How very dare you!

    If I had the strength I'd throw a can of lentils at you.
    Alan, don't overreach yourself too soon. Start with a tin of chickpeas. Although there is no standardisation across brands, chickpea tins tend to weigh not more than 410g, whereas a tin of lentils is likely to be more like 425g.
    Know your limits.
  • Here is a review of the Cabasse Sloop 500 from 1999. They look right up my, er, rue!

    TNT review

    These exact speakers are under £400 on the 'Wam, and far too good to be left languishing there!
  • They sound interesting, but I'm sticking with the RR3s for the moment. I have the Green God to corrall some funds for ;-)
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