|Triad In-Room Silver System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Sunday, 01 May 2005|
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Music and Movies
I let the speakers break in for a week, playing Sirius and XM satellite radio in the background. After a few days the speakers broke in sufficiently for me to hear the sonic difference between the two satellite services. I began my listening with stereo sources before moving to movies and surround music material.
While listening to Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” off of their album Brothers In Arms (Warner Brothers) I noted that the opening riff had good detail and staging. The soundstage was deeper than I expected, going back past the front wall, becoming especially notable when I was listening for the drums. The track “Your Latest Trick” had very good weight to the kick drums, which were tight, accurate and solidly placed. The horns were detailed without any signs of harshness at any volume. The speakers were hard to localize, blending into the deep sound field. This is no doubt at least partially due to the cabinet’s solid construction and anti-resonant design features. I also noted that the blend between the subwoofers and LCRs was very smooth and, with most tracks in the listening session, it was hard to determine the transition point between the speakers.
I then listened to female vocals with Norah Jones’ album Come Away With Me (Blue Note Records). The first track, “Don’t Know Why,” often has some glare on the strings when played back on lesser systems. There was no glare when played back on the Triads. The strings were detailed and clear with good decay. Jones’ vocals were solidly placed, without any chestiness or artifacts. As with the Dire Straits’ album, the soundstage remained deep and the speakers pretty much disappeared. The title track “Come Away With Me” opens with notes that flow from right to left with a smooth pan, without holes in the soundstage. There was a palpable presence with all of the instruments and a solidity to the soundstage, with enough detail to position everything without over-etching.
I next loaded some U2, as I recently had the opportunity to see them live. I listened to the album Best of 1980-1990 (Island). On the track “Where the Streets Have No Name,” it was easy to hear the similarities between the live performance and the Triad’s reproduction of U2 live. The vocals had the amped-up feel that you would expect to hear at the Staples Center, a modern arena known for good sound. Imaging was also better than expected, especially in respect to the relative weight of each instrument and vocal element. In short, the Triads did a remarkable job in coming very close to reproducing the live performance, which is no small feat.
Moving to surround music, I started with Lyle Lovett’s “Church” from the all-time classic album Joshua Judges Ruth (DTS Entertainment). This recording features amazing layers of musical detail through the lead and choral vocals, which were easily discernable through the Triad speaker package. Imaging was solid in a spacious soundstage. The clapping hands had slightly less “pop” to them then they did on the Cantons I recently reviewed, but did not appear to be any less detailed. The next track, “She’s Already Made Up Her Mind,” continues with deep and even more detailed bass notes, which the subwoofer reproduced with great extension and clarity.
Moving on to movies, I recently played “Finding Nemo” for my niece. In the predominantly underwater scenes, the surrounds provided a combination of diffusion and detail that created the proper sound field to envelop the listener. As expected, the bass performed quite well, remaining detailed and uncongested. Only when I played the mine scene at extremely loud volumes was there any sign of dynamic compression, and even then, it was very, very subtle.
Continuing on with the action theme with “Tomorrow Never Dies” (UA/MGM), I watched the back seat driver/motorcycle chase scene. The pans were smooth and uninterrupted as the motorcycle moved about, causing the sound field to shift both sideways and front to back as well. The obligatory James Bond impacts and explosions were solid and detailed, without any congestion at volume levels anywhere near reasonable.
Lastly, I watched one of my new favorite demonstration scenes from “Hero” (Buena Vista Home Video). In the blue room scene, the Japanese swordsman cuts the bindings of the bamboo rolls that make up the walls of the room. While this is happening, there is a flurry of sound from all around the sound field, which was reproduced with good imagery and detail. The scene ends when the walls collapse. There was plenty of detail and extended bass, which were also well portrayed. This scene is different from many popular demonstration scenes, as there is a greater focus on detail than brute strength.