Triangle Color Floorstander
The French are very progressive. Not only do they want to be first in everything, but they often are. It seems that the concept of usual economy is sometimes limited in this country. If it wasn't true, they probably wouldn't build the famous TGV train or the Millau Viaduct. Travel with ordinary train or a bus would be much cheaper after all, and instead of a giant overpass you could easily build a road leading down and then up the valley. The French definitely can go crazy. From time to time they put aside the standard thinking and do something that others see later in admiration. No wonder that many companies producing hi-fi equipment have built their power in France. Especially speakers manufacturers. Triangle is one of three largest producers of speakers in France. Founded in the early 80's, it first came up with some unusually shaped speakers, but many people criticized the company for a lack of technical innovation in the drivers.
The founder of Triangle - Renaud de Vergnette - insisted that there is no better material for the production of diaphragms than cellulose. Some customers demanded speakers made of carbon fiber, light metals, new varieties of polypropylene and so on. The designer remained deaf to their complaints. According to him, good sound can be retrieved only with paper membranes. History has shown that it was a good choice, because since then Triangle (and many other companies) are still using cellulose cones and they don't intend to declare bankruptcy. Currently its offer consists of four series - Exprit Ex, Color, Signature and Magellan. Speakers you see here are the biggest and most expensive in Color series. We can also buy similar monitors, a center speaker and a 2.1 set. All of them are available in white, red or black lacquer.
Design and functionality
For the review, we chose a red version, which is perhaps the most distinctive. Red lacquer is a nice change and something very fresh in the world of wooden cabinets. At first glance, the speakers look fantastic. Shiny lacquer in combination with black speaker baskets and interior of the resonance tunnel creates a very aggressive, yet elegant combination. The company name is imprinted in large letters at the base of the cabinet - almost like on a trunk of a sports car. The workmanship leaves no room for complaints. Colors look good even at the back. Here we find a single set of speakers terminals in a plastic profile. Nothing special, but cables with bananas, spades or even bare wires can be easily mounted. Enclosures are perfectly rectangular. Small roundings were made only on the sides near the front wall.
Floorstanding Color is a three-way speaker. The two bottom drivers are very similar to those used in the Altea Ex, but the outlet of bass-reflex port is in a completely different place. Companies enthusiasts will appeal to the characteristic suspension of the midrange driver. But wait, what's above it? Simple dome instead of deep tube? Yes, this is probably the biggest difference between Colors and Esprits. Triangle is very frugal when it comes to writing about technical solutions used in these speakers. At first glance you can see that we are dealing with metal dome enclosed with protective mesh with a characteristic needle referring to the company logo.
Honestly? I am happy about this, because horn tweeters in Magellans and speakers from the Signature series give them a distinctive flavor, but in cheaper models they usually begin to annoy me after some time. Perhaps the horn tweeters and high overall efficiency are the main reasons why we tend to think of Triangles as speakers for tube amps. Maybe this new tweeter a clear indication that the Colors are speakers for everything? They surely look good, with or without grilles, because they are magnetically mounted and only cover the drivers, not the whole cabinet. A detail worth mentioning.
If you were afraid that the introduction of a new tweeter will deprive Triangle speakers of their character, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The Colors have everything what we expected - quickness, power, dynamics and direct midrange. Their sound is very lively and vibrant. Triangles seemed to be interested in every music and they enjoyed playing each and every song. No wonder their energy quickly spread among the audience. There is an element of magic in these relatively inexpensive loudspeakers. Something that draws in more and more in the listening process. We can rarely say something like that about floorstanding speakers which cost so little. French engineers have not only managed to build natural sounding speakers, but ones that have something interesting. Colors are able to buy listeners in a few minutes, but even more important is that you don't get bored after two weeks.
During the first listening session you will find out that these speakers are a little bit different. There is something special about them. But what about the neutrality? Well, this is probably the biggest advantage over other similarly priced Triangles which I've listened to so far. I always appreciated their nature, but also warned readers about it. Low series models can play harshly with inadequate electronics. Here the risk is much smaller. The Colors have a completely correct tonal balance and natural sound temperature. The designers have managed to preserve the unique character of paper speakers, while pushing towards greater neutrality and universality at the same time. The proportions between the different parts of the frequency range are almost perfect. Maybe these red boxes like to add something in treble sometimes, but the purpose of this is rather to pay attention to some subtleties in music, not to drive us crazy about the quality of the recording. What I mean is that you will hear all the details, but after several weeks there will be no need to search for the most dark sounding cables on the market. Here we get the speakers that are in fact well-manered, and yet have a very happy attitude.
What I didn't mention so far is the punchy bass and the wide soundstage. Low tones were thick and deep, but not hollow. The Colors are not only affordable, but also in terms of size they should fit the needs and capabilities of many music lovers. Soundstage was very wide, with appropriate focus and precision of stereo imaging. Triangle prefer to deliver the sound rather towards the listeners, but without exaggeration. In a sense, it is consistent with the other features of the sound. I haven't heard such joyous speakers for this kind of money, which in addition I can listen to for hours without tiredness.
Build quality and technical parameters
French company doesn't share lots of technical details about the internal structure of the speakers, so we had to unscrew them and see what's what. The view was indeed interesting. The first surprise is the paintwork - the interior of the enclosure was also coated with lacquer. It hasn't been polished there (it would have been rather suspicious), but it is good to know that elegant finish goes deeper than just the front wall. The other interesting thing is the horizontal bracing positioned exactly between the midrange driver and the woofer. Yes, I expected to see a piece of MDF, but rather a solid and full one. Meanwhile, the designers used a kind of a frame with cutouts which direct the air flow freely from one chamber to another.
Of course, if we can talk about any chambers in this case. In addition, both parts have been damped with different material. The walls near the midrange driver are covered with white mineral wool, while that of the lower part is black and a little bit harder. Both drivers received big, unshielded magnets and soft foam rings on the back side of each basket, possibly in order to reduce vibrations and seal the whole structure. Tweeter has a neodymium magnet, probably with some kind of heat sink - all I can say on the basis of palpation of the back side through the hole in the midrange speaker. The French also used a very decent wiring, but the wires are connected with pins, not welded. On the back, at the height of the woofer there was a crossover, or at least part of it. It's difficult to say without cutting the whole cabinet in half.
Drivers are made in-house by Triangle. The two lower speakers have 19-cm baskets and their membranes are about 12 cm in diameter. Cones are made of cellulose coated with some hardener. At first glance, it looks like the material used by Focal, but here the diaphragms are less rough. The bullet in the center of the midrange driver is not a phase plug, but a dust cap moving along with the membrane. The tweeter dome appears to be made of metal, and it probably has a standard diameter of 25 mm. It is difficult to say for sure, because the speaker is located behind the protective mesh, which can not be removed. The Color Floorstander are the three-way speakers, in which the crossover frequencies are set at 400 Hz and 3 kHz. Their nominal impedance is 6 ohms, but the manufacturer also gives us the minimum impedance of 3.9 ohms. So if you plan to connect the Colors with a tube amp, you probably should choose a set of terminals for 4-ohm speakers. By the way, the use of a tube amp might be a good idea because the Colors have a pretty high efficiency of 90 dB.
Naim CD5 XS, Audiolab 8200A, Naim NAC 152 XS, Naim NAP 155 XS, Sevenrods ROD4, Albedo Geo, Enerr Tablette 6S, Gigawatt LC-2 mkII, Audioquest NRG-2, Ostoja T1.
At first glance it may seem that Colors were designed to just look nice, but it's not true. During our review they proved to be totally audiophile speakers, which also seem to have lots of fun while delivering music to the listeners. I started to like them in a matter of minutes. Then it was even better, because it turned out that their dynamic and direct sound wasn't built on cheap tricks. In my opinion they are also one of the most mature and versatile designs of the French company. In short, hi-fi and hi-fun, all in one.
Speaker type: floorstanding, dynamic
Sensitivity: 90 dB
Impedance: 6 ohms
Dimensions: (H/W/D) 96.5/18.8/27.5 cm
Weight: 15.5 kg/piece