Speaker placement is either nothing special or crucial. The loudspeakers work well in the basic configuration with little attention paid to fine tuning (aside from a bit of toe-in), but the Borea BR08 has the potential to shine brightly with some more careful set-up. Pay close attention to toe-in, side wall reflection and especially getting the loudspeakers level pays dividends, even to the point where if it’s a choice between the optimum position resulting in a less locked down speaker or a slightly less ideal position that is rigidly locked in place, go with the former option. This might be a testament to that DVAS concept, as there doesn’t seem to be much energy lost if the loudspeaker cabinet isn’t rigidly anchored to the floor. Once again, old school Linnines will be fuming at this given their absolute passion for immobile, tightened to the point of destruction speaker set-ups.
The Borea BR08 benefits from a weekend of stern corrective measures. A sound thrashing for a few days will shake loose the drivers and make for a significantly better sound than first heard out of the box at the outset. For once, however, the ‘first fit’ concept doesn’t seem so important; set the speaker up where it sounds good out of the box, as subsequent hours of run-in open up the mid and top more than the bass.
So let’s get the negatives out of the way first. That tweeter is at once exciting and can be excitable. The sound is always crisp and extended, but the merest sign of grain or brashness elsewhere in the system and the BR08’s tweeter will highlight that quickly and with great focus. That also applies to musical content, especially as a lot of new material emphasises this ‘toppiness’. That being said, I’m sure a lot of people might see this as a positive, in that the treble is vivid, present, exciting and extended. And, in fairness to Triangle, this was more noticeable with good recordings of female vocals; Joyce DiDonato singing ‘Tu sola, o mia Giulietta’ from Act 2 of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi [Stella di Napoli, Erato], for example.
The rest of the performance of the Triangle Borea BR08 is where the whole ‘sweary’ part kicks in. As said before, in a good way. In the made for TV version, this is a “bloody hell, I didn’t know you could do that from a thousand-pound loudspeaker?” It’s an impassioned sounding loudspeaker, with the sort of speed that few other loudspeakers can muster right across the board. The bass is excellent, in terms of depth, speed and accuracy. The midrange is invisible and open with outstanding soundstaging and the treble is - criticism notwithstanding – detailed, direct, and exciting.
What’s more, this is one of those loudspeakers that – beyond all the audiophile sensibilities – is fun to play with. Music is entertaining and enjoyable as much as it is detailed and accurate. Often these elements of sound seem mutually exclusive. In most cases at this price point (and beyond) you are in trade-offs; it’s an either/or; ‘either’ the speaker sounds fun, ‘or’ it sounds accurate. You’ll notice this in the early stages of listening to the loudspeaker, in that you’ll naturally gravitate toward your ‘fun’ recordings; for many – myself included – that means ZZ Top’s ‘La Grange’ [Tres Hombres, London]. But when you’ve unplugged your air guitar and put away your air beard, this is a loudspeaker that has enough charm, refinement and detail to shine on more sensitive material. So, when you flip from here to ‘The African Queen’ from The Cape Verdean Blues by the Horace Silver Quintet [Blue Note], the BR08 sounds just as fine and like it was made to play jazz like a native.
Moving away from musical genres and discussing the aspects of performance in abstract, the loudspeaker has a really good soundstage, both in terms of width and depth... and even some height (which is rare until you get to far more demanding designs). It’s also effortlessly dynamic, taking almost a back seat in the dynamic shading of a system and instead letting the electronics take the driving seat. This is both the right way of things and does imply a loudspeaker that has a lot of dynamic range in reserve. Vocal articulation is exceptionally good for a loudspeaker in this class, with a sound that is both easy to understand and projects slightly into the room. The rest of the band times nicely too, with a pace and energy that puts it almost on a par with the sealed box masters of rhythm. And finally, there’s a sense of coherence to the sound that makes a piece of music hang together well.