Sandy Gross is widely acknowledged as an audio legend in large part because he has played a central role in launching three major loudspeaker-manufacturing companies: Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, and most recently GoldenEar Technology. As we have noted in the past one common thread connecting these firms involves a commitment to producing sensibly priced loudspeakers that give their owners a substantial taste of authentic high-end sound quality. At GoldenEar, though, Sandy Gross’ passion has been to raise the performance bar higher still and to push the edges of the performance envelope for affordable loudspeakers—a passion that has now found its highest level of expression in GoldenEar’s flagship Triton Reference floorstanding loudspeaker, priced at £9,500 per pair.
Gross’ set an almost impossibly challenging design brief for the Triton References. First, he specified that the target price for the speaker should fall comfortably below £10,000/pair—a price point that many consumers would admittedly find expensive, but not ‘out-of-reach’ expensive. Second, Gross called for a loudspeaker that could directly challenge the performance of top-tier competitors selling for low to mid five-figure sums. Third, he specified that the Triton Reference should be relatively sensitive and easy to drive—so that amplifiers of modest output could power the speaker effectively. Finally, Gross insisted that the Triton Reference should perform equally well in both music and home theatre systems. In short, Gross wanted to build a dead-serious high-end loudspeaker, but one that was very keenly priced and that could fit easily into real-world systems.
To answer these requirements GoldenEar turned to its time-proven ‘Triton formula’, which calls for a slim, tower-type floorstanding loudspeaker that incorporates an internal, self-powered woofer/subwoofer section (complete with active bass drivers and matching passive radiators), plus a separate midrange-tweeter section whose operation is entirely passive. This formula has been applied successfully in GoldenEar’s earlier Triton Two+ and Triton One speakers, but is taken to an altogether higher level in the Triton Reference.