I’ve visited France many times since being a child and always admired it’s wide open spaces, beautiful countryside, fine wines andOUTSTANDING PRODUCTboxred food and especially the weather in the south. The north’s weather is just like the UK often wet and dull so I feel it no surprise that like the British the French put their minds to innovation when wiling away the dreary winter months and have come up with some rather fine designs over the centuries.

One such company to do this is Triangle which was started in 1980 and has now risen to become a highly regarded manufacturer competing with several other notable brands renowned worldwide. Based in Soissons (Picardy) north of Paris they now have research facilities in Bordeaux, wishing to further develop their expertise in new designs. This is not unlike many UK speaker manufacturers like KEF , B&W etc. Triangle like to keep control on everything ,so even the drive units are made in house, a tradition shared by any company passionate about quality. Although some products are made in China now for cost reasons , the quality control is strictly maintained and I have seen many manufacturers products made in China finished to superb standards and quality. Made in France or UK would be nice but when manufacturing costs become prohibitive I have no truck with foreign manufacture.TRI5

The model under review is the Titus EZ ,the smallest in this range and the only stand mount. Beautifully formed it comes in either walnut as standard or at extra cost in piano white or black. All the finishes are excellent and the speaker has nice touches with a magnetic grille , so no ugly plastic pegs or holes on show making for a clean fascia. The superb in house designed and made terminal posts are on a metal back plate (one pair so no bi -wiring here). They come boxed in excellent packaging and are completed by two pairs of stick on rubber pads if you wish to isolate them on a shelf or stand.

The tweeter is a horn loaded titanium design whilst the mid bass unit is made of natural cellulose . The tweeter is striking in appearance and one of the reasons this speaker sounds so big and exciting. The bass unit is finished in white so when the grilles are left off the Titus cannot go unnoticed by such a driver pairing. Like all speakers from new the Titus require a decent run in period , so I gave them a couple of weeks to settle down before serious listening began.

Once run in they offer a very exciting out of the box sound stage which cannot be ignored for its involvement and vivacity. I don’t mean bright or exaggerated , just not laid back or lush. The top end in particular was notable for its clarity and percussion instruments sounded superb being so clearly defined . Mid range was open and rich , whilst the bass was well defined and tight not being over blown or giving the impression of struggling.

I tried a live recording first , being Marillion ‘ Made Again’ live in the 90’s during their European tour and I was impressed how easy it was to hear the acoustics of each stadium and what a fine job the sound engineers had done trying to get the best out of each venue, not always an easy thing even with state of the art equipment unless you know what you are doing. The vocals of Steve Hogarth were very clear and I can vouch for the life like sound as I recently heard him live in an intimate setting and the slight gruffness in his distinctive vocals was admirably captured. The instruments were all clearly renditioned and the Titus were extremely good at portraying the acoustics and separating out each element of the sound.TRi3

Next I listened to a favourite recording of mine Michael Ruff ‘Speaking in Melodies’ a Sheffield Labs recording from the nineties. This was recorded live onto a two track master tape and the mastering done by Doug Sax , a legend in his profession . The sound and dynamics on this recording are superb and whether you like the music or not( I love it), it is a real treat on any good system. The detail on the Titus was marvellous , especially all the little background noises one gets on a live recording with the breathing of the backing singers and instrumental touches. The dynamics are thrilling and when the band is in full swing you can’t help but get captured up in the session and wish you had been there.

For classical I tried Henry Gorecki ‘Symphony number 3’with Dawn Upshaw as the soprano , the London Sinfonietta and David Zinman conducting. A beautiful piece of choral music where the Titus conveyed real emotion and made for a thoroughly enjoyable listen .I have little to say other than I enjoyed the music so much that I just got lost in the pleasure of the performance , rather like being at a live concert wrapped up in the emotion of it all.

Another favourite performers of mine is James Taylor and his ‘Hourglass’ album was placed in the cd player next. You can’t help but admire what a sublime voice and guitar style James Taylor has and when he is surrounded by top session musicians and guest artists the results are rarely less than fabulous. His recordings have always been very good even from the 70’s and on this album the bass weight and drums at times catch you out by the sudden change in volume level and depth .A great test for any system and a real joy on a good one . The Titus conveyed his lilting American drawl wonderfully and again the background details of the singers and musicians shone through to really make this a magical sound .TRi4

Jazz is always a good leveller and groups like The Crusaders , Foreplay or artists such as Bob James and Lee Ritenour are always superbly recorded and so well played you can’t help but tap your foot along and be impressed by the quality of musicianship and the way the individual musicians combine so brilliantly as a cohesive group of players really enjoying their craft . Clarity is a major feature of the Titus EZ and they lap up this type of music. Some people just don’t get smooth jazz and say it is elevator music. Well let me tell you it grooves sublimley .Jazz is not everyone’s cup of tea and I don’t like all jazz myself ,but put a great set of musicians together and you generally have a recipe for success. I didn’t have time to listen to every type of music and band I like , but what I did listen to was highly entertaining.

The Titus like all good small speakers do an admirable job of disappearing into the background and imaging rather well. I placed them on 700mm high good quality wooden stands filled with sand and blutacked on the top plate. This height was just right for listening placing the tweeter at ear height. They were slightly toed in about 50 cm from the back wall.

For such a small speaker rated at 60 watts ( 90dB efficiency) and bass limited to 55Hz I confess to no feeling of lack of bass .I used a Meridian 556 amp rated at 170 watts RMS and this drove them with aplomb. The Titus revelled in having plenty of current on reserve and I never felt they were struggling even when listening at loud levels. I would strongly recommend as good a source and amp as you can afford to get the best out of these little boxes as they will not disappoint.

CONCLUSION

As you can see I rather like the Titus EZ. Having listened to and owned many speakers over my life as an enthusiast and when I was in retail I have heard everything from stupidly expensive systems to real budget products , but I have learnt money is not always the answer .Spending a lot of money on equipment is no guarantee of quality or enjoyment. Yes ,superb build and finish with excellent quality components gives pride of ownership but not necessarily enjoyment of sound. A good system whether budget or high end should convey emotion and allow the listener to just sit back and enjoy. Ask yourself this question, “could I live with that?” If the answer is no don’t buy it. I go to many shows and nine times out of ten I walk into a room and think how uninteresting the sound is . If a product is well set up and designed properly it has a chance of impressing . Many manufacturers seem to ignore this rule but I am glad to say Triangle haven’t .Even their budget speaker excites and higher up the range the dearer models do as well.
Build Quality – 9/10OUTSTANDING PRODUCTboxred
Sound Quality – 9/10
Value For Money – 9/10
Overall – 9/10

At £600 I can’t recommend these speakers enough and feel they are one of the best small stand mounts under a £1000 at this current time. As they say in France “Très bien ”

Ian Ringstead

Ian Ringstead reviewed the Triangle Titus loudspeakers some time ago, concluding that “At £600 I can’t recommend these speakers enough and feel they are one of the best small stand mounts under a £1000 at this current time “ and gave them an overall score of 9/10 meaning that they warranted a second review to see if they would get the coveted Hifi Pig Outstanding Product Award.

Stuart Smith takes up the reins for this second review. 

I do like Triangle loudspeakers but the reaction they illicit when any French audiophiles come to the house is mixed. Some will say they are a great brand whilst others bemoan that they’ve lost their way in the last few years. I find this interesting and I’m sure the latter camp’s prejudices are born out of a sort of snobbery that dictates that any “mass market” (I hate that term) product is inherently bad build and bad sound.
Let’s get the first of these misconceptions out of the way first shall we? The little Titus (our sample was in brilliant white) had a very good, if not exceptional, build and the fixtures and fittings were good too. The single set of binding posts’ plate sits snugly and slightly recessed into the back panel of the speakers as does the bass reflex port, though it should be added that this tube is only about an inch or so deep with the rest of the “port” being made out of the cab material. There are no screws to be seen on the front panel and of course the horn tweeter on top stands the design out from the more conventional looking competition.

SOUND

I’ve got a soft spot for smallish standmounts and these were no exception. From the opening bars of Deep Dish’s Yoshiesque 2 the first thing that struck me was the really great stage that was being thrown by these little speakers. There is depth and there is height and a pretty convincing 3D image too.

Bass was never going to be trouser flapping (and it isn’t) but what is there is tight and taut making for a foot tapping listen.

The top-end is clean and airy with plenty of space around the instrumznts and whilst some may criticise the upper frequencies, it has been said Triangles can be a bit screechy, I have never found this. Yes the treble feels extended but to me this just adds air and detail to the listen in the same way a good pair of super-tweeters do.

On vocals the Titus’ do a pretty good job and Gregory Porter’s “No Love Dying” has a silky quality to the vocal track that is really very enjoyable. Lovers of female vocals (and the likes of Mr Porter) will really enjoy these speakers and for the audiophile type music that gets played at a lot of the shows and dems these speakers will show a clean pair of heals to many at this pricepoint.

Of course you are never going to get a fully “balanced” or full range sound with a pair of speakers this size, but they represent a good overall compromise. There is good mid-band, great treble and a nice tight bass.

CONCLUSION

With a speaker of this size there are inevitable compromises, but accept this and with the Titus’ you have a damned fine speaker for the six hundred quid asking price.

Lovers of a laidback yet open sound will enjoy them immensely I reckon and they have that “Sunday morning” vibe to them if you get my drift…nice, not in your face and dead easy to listen to.

As mentioned, bass is a bit compromised but you can play with positioning and put them nearer the back wall to reinforce the lower end. Personally I’d rather have them a good deal out into the room and experience that lovely soundstage and space that these speakers afford – it becomes a little closed in and constrained when moved too close to the back wall. The long and short of this is drum and bass heads may want to look at getting a much larger speaker but that’s always going to be the case.
For the money these are certainly a speaker to add to your audition list if you are looking for a very detailed speaker with the ability to let you get on with enjoying the tunes without wanting to over analyse it all the time. These are definitely a speaker I could live with long term and even on the end of some seriously pricey electronics they didn’t embarrass themselves one little bit.

Build Quality: 9/10OUTSTANDING PRODUCTboxred

Sound Quality: 8.75/10

Value For Money:  9.25/10

Overall: 9/10

I have no hesitation in awarding these a second set of outstanding scores and have great pleasure in giving them the Hifi Pig Outstanding Award.

 

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