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Triton One speaker unveiled at CES

Posted 17th January 2014 at 03:45 AM by abraxalito
Updated 17th January 2014 at 03:57 AM by abraxalito

Just for a change from DACs, here's a speaker which caught my eye.


Now how much of its improved SQ over rivals three or more times the price is going to be down to the active bass section offloading the most PSU-draining signals from the driving poweramp? The comments about the scale of the soundstage do reflect the kinds of improvements I've been getting by reducing LF noise in my DAC, so the reduced LF noise from the poweramp from having a more benign load to drive could indeed be key. 92dB efficiency certainly helps a lot in reducing poweramp PSU stress.

That article says this speaker is 'sure to shake up the industry'. Really? What do you guys think?
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  1. Old Comment
    I would agree with your comments - the amusing part is that the heart of the speakers are the same sort of drivers I've been playing with recently, just a bit larger, hopefully of significantly better quality, paired up to give a bit more sensitivity. The dimensions of the carcase, with solid weighting at the base from the subwoofer setup gives them reasonable stability. Plus, they're driven by Pass amps, fairly honest deliverers of current when needed, I get the impression.

    Overall, solid, intelligent engineering - if one goes through the real requirements to get decent sound then you should end up with something not that different from this. Shaking up the industry? Only from the POV that it shows that other "solutions" are sub-optimal ...

    Posted 17th January 2014 at 05:17 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Hahh! When I was reading the description earlier I was reminded of mep at WBF, and his Definitive Tech speakers. Lo and behold, the same man is behind the "technology", also did Polk ...
    Posted 17th January 2014 at 06:29 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    Couple of interesting posts on this thread - Excerpt from Tim de Paravicini regarding the state of digital - Page 5

    First one is asking if LP's 'air' is an artifact. I'd say quite possibly so - and for me explains why LP lovers prefer DSD to PCM in digital. DSD to my ears has the 'auditory smoke' effect so its no surprise that those who love this sound from LP get off on it when its present in a digital format.

    The second post looks to be an interesting example of speaker blaming for an amp fault. There was upper mid grain from LP which disappeared when a 75Hz high pass was inserted in the chain, killing the LF which was wobbling the bass cones.
    Posted 23rd January 2014 at 01:33 AM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Just reading it now, and this comment, from Al M. hits the nail on the head:

    [QUOTE]Yet recently, with the addition of BorderPatrol external power supplies for my amps, which do not generate the electronic noise that previously was emitted by the amps' internal power supplies and entered the signal pathway, I finally heard resolution from CD that previously was buried in noise. And this resolution includes an airy bloom that I had thought could not be extracted from CD. See my review of the BorderPatrol units:


    And guess what, the airy bloom from CD does strike me as rather similar to what I hear live, thus as quite real and not as an artefact like from vinyl. For me, CD now clearly wins on this point.[/QUOTE]Yes, 'air' on a recording can always be manipulated, the right sort of compression will do it. It's the reason for using very, very dense recordings, highly manipulated, for unearthing the last 'weaknesses' - such recordings in lesser replay situations sound terribly choked, the echo components all intermodulate with each other, and it's impossible to unravel what's going on, aurally - it's quite amazing at times, when the quality is high enough, to hear these recordings suddenly burst into life, they become enormously huge, complex soundscapes, effortlessly easy to hear deep into - now, they are absolutely brimming with 'air', ;).

    The amp was struggling with trying to reproduce the subsonic material, it was sucking the PS dry - take the load off, and the circuitry was able to work properly again ...
    Posted 25th January 2014 at 12:46 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
    Updated 25th January 2014 at 01:12 AM by fas42
  5. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    I've noticed Al M is a voice of reason over there at WBF, he's now got a thread arguing that RBCD is most likely sufficient. WTG!

    <update> He's posted this now which means he's disputing Amir's authority - Is the dynamic range of CD sufficient? - Page 3

    I sense a banning approaching....
    Posted 25th January 2014 at 02:37 PM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
    Updated 26th January 2014 at 12:42 AM by abraxalito
  6. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    Yet another interesting post over there - Why Tube Amps Sound Different (and better) Than SS Amps - Page 2

    He concludes from his experiment of putting the amps in series that the SS Spectral is better than the VTL and that the sound he loved was mere colouration. Such a conclusion results from linear, causal thinking. But system thinking might lead to a different conclusion - bear with me.

    Firstly tube amps normally have an output transformer - so the output is going to be isolated. Second data point - I have found that the input stage of an amp can be subject to common-mode currents which reduce soundstage depth (amongst other things).

    So given this, here's my alternative hypothesis. The Spectral amp's input stage is sensitive to common-mode noise. When driven from an isolated input, this CM noise is greatly reduced and it becomes significantly more transparent. I have this effect with my current Xindak amp - when I put transformers between my DAC and it, the transparency increased - I put this down to CM noise sensitivity..

    When he reversed the order of the amps, he said he could insert the Spectral amp and hear no change. But in his own words he does not say this, he says 'you could hear no change'. This part of his writing I don't find so convincing.. Certainly with the Spectral in circuit the VTL is going to sound congested, but I don't know how to explain that the Spectral could be removed and no change was found by him. Except that he's changed voice in writing about this - from first hand experience and description of the sound to what 'you could' hear. This part is more sketchily related so it makes me wonder....

    The starting post on that thread is interesting - mep (Mark) doesn't provide any kind of explanation for why tube amps sound better. Rather he waves his hand in the direction of 'higher voltage watts' sound better than lower voltage ones. Its not an explanation rather its an assertion, like in religion. Sure he's found tube amps to sound better.

    But what he's talking about does rather chime in with what I've said here about dynamics. Tube amps probably have better dynamics because of less current demand from their power supply. They have more energy storage in their caps by virtue of having caps at the much higher voltage. But damping factor and transformer inductance perhaps come into play at lower frequencies to sag-ify the bass. I'd guess that the trafo output also means better PSRR from the output stage.

    Reading down I see Gary Koh seems to have it pretty much nailed - its the power supply, stupid!
    Posted 2nd February 2014 at 11:29 PM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
    Updated 2nd February 2014 at 11:52 PM by abraxalito
  7. Old Comment
    Are you're sure the transformer between the DAC and amp is not simply acting as a LP filter, attentuating some nasty, out of the audio band, material? With tube amps as well, I suspect some of the "better" sound is simply because the output transformer is blocking some of the bad stuff ...

    And, as you say, that voltages are doing the work rather than currents - high levels of the latter cause havoc, all those parasitic impedances everywhere, :)
    Posted 4th February 2014 at 04:13 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  8. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    The plot is thickening further on that thread. Mark is really scratching around - seemingly quite desperately - to get to grips with what esldude posted.

    Did I read it right - that esldude got rid of the VTL (valve) amps in favour of the Spectrals, simply because the Spectrals were more 'accurate' (in a technical sense)? In which case he's an objectivist for sure - he considered that the VTLs sounded 1/3rd better than the Spectrals but ditched them after his experiment? He gave up acoustic happiness for acoustic correctness.

    In his more recent post esldude says 'VTL could not pass on the sound of the Spectral because it wasn't transparent'. But he said that putting the Spectral in and out of the circuit made no difference at all. Here I am rather confused - he got the 'spacey, 3D sound' with the VTL following the Spectral, or he got the Spectral sound? I had assumed he'd got the 'spacey 3D sound' in this configuration. But then its odd that he'd say that the VTL could not pass on the Spectral's sound, because he'd already determined that was no sound at all - all the effects were coming from the VTL. So this rather supports what I was saying earlier - seems to be a datapoint in favour of my hypothesis. He says the Spectral is more accurate - to me that means it can't have a sound - its a straight wire with gain. But for him, accurate is a certain sound, the sound of Spectral. So it seems in his mind the VTL is so coloured and the Spectral so 'accurate' that the VTL is losing all the 'accuracy' which the Spectral is inserting into the sound.

    My notion is that after he'd done his experiment he was so shocked that he got a kind of audio 'conversion' experience. A lightbulb went off in his head - that he'd been listening to colouration all these years in the VTL. This new idea he became so attached to (he'd fallen in love with his 'conclusion') it caused a nocebo effect - the VTL now is to him so coloured he can only now hear 'colouration' when its in circuit.

    Finally esldude objects to Myles 'just don't present it as superior, rather than your preference'. This is the age-old objectivist false dichotomy which WBF's objectivists are full of. 'Superior' to an objectivist means 'more accurate' and to a subjectivist means 'I like it better'. But there is a third way 'this is a quality product, just one that doesn't suit my particular tastes'. I have noticed this with wines I've tried in the past. Quality most certainly is distinct from preference - I've tasted Oz Shiraz wines which I easily recognize the quality of, just don't suit my taste. Whereas I have loved French Syrah. Oobjectivists locate quality in one place and project onto subjectivists that quality for them is merely, totally a matter of preference. In this picture they're keen to deny any kind of inter-personal aspect of quality - quality is totally subjective.

    Slowly catching up with all the earlier posts on that thread I'd missed - he adds more info. He thinks he was using a Meridian DAC - that could be one of their integrated DAC/CD players with volume control. Otherwise there's no mention of preamp or volume, and he'd need volume control even with only a digital source.

    Then later on 'I think known measurable differences are enough explanation' - but no explanation offered at all for how all those VTL qualities he formerly loved (3D effects etc.) but now despises as mere colourations could be generated by simply adding some 2nd harmonic distortion. How does it work? I can buy that some spaciousness is an effect because DSD has this, even when reproduced by my Ozone NOS DAC. So adding a certain kind of noise functions as audiophile 'smoke' to enhance the perception of depth.

    This guy is really ticking all the interesting philosophical boxes for me - how's this one: Audiophiles often have this notion they know better accuracy as better sound quality.

    I don't know that audiophiles do have this notion of 'accuracy' - certainly not the way that objectivists think. I'm not an audiophile so my viewpoint isn't relevant to this claim about audiophiles, but I am doubtful. Most audiophiles aren't classical music lovers, the music they love isn't recorded acoustically at a live performance, its a construct from which there's no 'original' sound for it to be a reproduction of. Its purely a production, not a reproduction. Only classical music recorded live comes close to having a 'real world' reference and even then there's normally more than a single crossed pair of mics. Decca for example used their 'mic tree' so an element of production is most certainly present. The engineers certainly do gain riding during the performance - production. Perhaps there are some audiophile labels which manage with a single pair of mics and never do any kind of post-processing?

    That they will prefer what is more accurate. I'm the other way around - I hope that what I prefer is more accurate, but if not then the preference - enjoyment - overrides the notion of 'accuracy'. I rather suspect that 'accuracy' is what esldude is looking for, but then what exactly is it? To me his 'accuracy' is a metaphysical construct. He's already done his experiment when he can't hear the Spectral being inserted into the chain - that's a subjectivist way of determining accuracy though, by listening. He says the Spectral is 'subjectively transparent' but its rather an odd way of testing transparency don't you think? I mean if we want to test the transparency (subjectively) of a window, would anyone put a piece of coloured glass behind that window under test? He's already determined that the VTL is a piece of coloured glass.

    More clarifications up now, so he didn't sell the VTL, rather he sold the Spectral. He's not such a dyed-in-the-wool objectivist as I had at first imagined. Which just goes to make his postings all the more interesting. He's identified 'accuracy' and got rid of it, preferring enjoyment. He does though hang on to this notion of 'better' see he says:

    The accurate amp is better. Tubes might be preferred, just remember they aren't better in a technical sense.

    Looks to me like a rationalization of remaining an objectivist. I'm a heretic but I'll still recite the Creed

    I have seen so much conjecture, discussion, ink spilled etc. about how tube amps measure worse and are superior.

    I haven't heard audiophiles say tube amps are superior in any objective sense. Just that they sound better. In other words, audiophiles listen first and then conclude 'because it sounds better, it is better'.. Which to me is reasonable.

    The idea we are measuring the wrong stuff because we don't measure what makes tubes superior etc. etc.

    This is quite true though. We haven't got standardized measurements yet which correlate with amp SQ.
    Posted 5th February 2014 at 01:34 AM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
    Updated 5th February 2014 at 03:02 AM by abraxalito
  9. Old Comment
    The dilemma for many with 'transparency', is that as it increases by changing components, or improving them by mod'ing, is that more pernicious, unpleasant distortions are now revealed - the 'sugaring' of the overall sound has masked those issues up to now. The now greater 'correctness' is making the remaining lines and wrinkles stand out too much ... and "I don't like it!!" is the reaction.

    Most will fall back to the masking of the problems, as indicated here; it takes a "greater knowledge" to understand that a major barrier has yet to be overcome: tracking down and resolving the more subtle SQ issues that were revealed by the 'transparent' setup - a Ferrari with a single wheel out of balance will be far nastier to drive than a family saloon with the same problem ...
    Posted 6th February 2014 at 12:35 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  10. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    One problem is with the thinking style - transparency is an attribute of systems, not components. The system includes the listener of course.

    Incidentally I liked your comment recently about listening while not listening, distract yourself. This arises because our brain is one large interpolation engine. I see Demian has just posted about brains 'filling in the missing pieces' but in reality the whole jigsaw puzzle is a construct of the brain, not just the 'missing' bits.
    Posted 6th February 2014 at 02:43 AM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Yes, an easy technique is to wait til the music starts, then start talking, seriously, to the person next to you. The brain no longer has the room to do the "interpolation" properly, and if the sound has problems it will immediately start to irritate you, because you no longer have the room to 'process' it properly, to filter out the "bad" bits ...
    Posted 6th February 2014 at 03:40 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  12. Old Comment
    And looking at later posts in the thread, this one by Atmasphere nails it:

    "If you don't understand human hearing rules, you will not be able to build a decent sounding amp. You will only be able to build one that looks good on paper, which, it turns out, is not that important. Humans use higher ordered and particularly odd ordered harmonics to sort out how loud sounds are. Because of this, trace amounts of distortion that solid state amps have that tube amps don't cause transistor amps to sound brighter and harsher than the actual signal really is. This distortion issue is why two amps can measure the same on the bench, but one will be bright and the other will not. Its *all* about distortion, and tipping points in the brain."
    Posted 6th February 2014 at 04:02 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  13. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    It starts out well but perpetuates the myth that its all about harmonics. Higher order harmonics are a marker for excessive IMD - its IMD, not THD which results in the 'brightness'. Some prefer brightness and complain about missing 'detail' if its not there. When I first encountered a TDA1543 DAC, that was my initial reaction - where's all the detail gone? Took me a while to wean myself off 'detail' and then class it as an artifact....
    Posted 6th February 2014 at 04:44 AM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
  14. Old Comment
    There's audio 'brightness', and then there's natural sparkle - real instruments can be very "bright", and will do this with great intensity - stand next to a set of drums while the player works the cymbals hard, and call the effect an artifact ... ;)

    The easy way to pick whether a system is doing it correctly, is to listen to a recording which has a mix of sounds, some which are naturally "bright", and the other sounds which are not trebly at all. A good combination is the male pop vocalist singing, and drum kit: the voice should be mellow and smooth, natural in tone, human sounding - but the drums should be a complete tonal contrast, with plenty of 'shimmer'.
    Posted 6th February 2014 at 07:42 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  15. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    Courtesy of caesar over at WBF, this amp review is interesting - particularly for the subjective comments about the experience of 'thereness' the amp achieves :

    Symphonic Line Kraft 400 monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com

    Of note 'the Kraft400 is all power supply'. To my way of thinking its still not power supply enough (400,000uF for a 250W amp, gimme a break!) but its significantly more power supply than 99.9% of amps out there. Coupled with having a compact layout to get the HF supply impedance down, the designer is really on to something.

    These beasts cost $25,000 a pair back in 1995 - not available now but presumably would be touching six figures if they were just from inflation.
    Posted 24th February 2014 at 04:54 AM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
  16. Old Comment
    Bloody hell ....!!! ... Purely by coincidence, just 10 minutes ago I went to WBF, first time in a couple of weeks, clicked on just one thread to look at before returning here - which happened to have a post mentioning a Symphonic ... interesting, I thought, something to look at later ... okay, now, anything new in the diyAudio blogs ... ?

    What do they say about great minds ... ? :D, ;)
    Posted 24th February 2014 at 09:06 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline
  17. Old Comment
    Just read the review - yes, making all the right noises about the sound, I note the measurements guy complained that it was over-engineered - haaahh !!

    Bizarrely enough, in some ways it resembles my chip amp, visually and in many of the concepts - only this is done on an industrial level ...

    I would suggest a key factor, apart from the compactness of the main board, is the tremendous thermal capacity of the heatsink - the comment is that after running at 1/3 power they were barely warm to the touch - the key components were working in a very stable, non-stressful, thermal environment.
    Posted 24th February 2014 at 10:57 AM by fas42 fas42 is offline

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