Triangle Zerius speakers -- Any input? Amp recommendations?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by portisphish, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I am ready to pull the trigger on a pair of Triangle Zerius 202 speakers.

    I found a nice pair on Craigslist for what I think is a very fair price.

    Anyone own these or another model of Triangle speakers?

    I know they are supposed to be a little bright, but I'm hoping that matched with the right amp, they will sound very nice. I was thinking about mating them with a vintage Eico HF-81.

    Any other Tube amplification recommendations?

    Any other thoughts on "warm" sounding solid state amplification that might be a good match for the Triangle's?

    Thanks all.
  2. What is the sensitivity rating of the 202s? Should have this info before recommending an amp......

    HG
  3. vinyl anachronist

    vinyl anachronist Well-Known Member

    Most Triangles have a 90 or 91 dB efficiency.
  4. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    92 dB

    The 202 series are supposed to be a perfect match for tubes....even more so than the later Triangle's.
  5. As I recall, the Eico HF-81 is rated at 14 watts rms. If I were trying to match an amp to speakers rated a 92 dB, I would want at least 50 watts rms. This assumes a normal listening distance of 3 meters, the desire to crank the volume up to 85 dB occasionally, and, sufficient head room to insure that you will always be able to realize the full dynamic range of all recordings without any clipping or distortion.

    I'm sure many will disagree, but keep in mind that when most amps reach 50-60% of their rated power, distortion starts to creep in. My existing homebrews have a sensitivity rating of 95 dB and I find that they are just about perfect for my HK Citation II @ 60 watts rms....no clipping, and no distortion even at volume levels at, or above 85 dB.

    Good luck!

    HG :cool:
  6. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I am a little disappointed to read this. Part of the appeal in getting the triangle's was to be able to power them with some lower powered amps.
  7. jt1stcav

    jt1stcav Say It With Single-Ended Triodes

    I will not disagree with HG's recommendations, and I am also a Triangle owner. For a few years I powered my 4 ohm, 91dB efficient Triangle Zephyr 2-way towers with my 8 WPC 300B SET stereo amplifier to very good results. My listening room is quite small (12 x 13.5), so I guess I could get away with driving the Zephyrs with a low powered tube amp at moderate levels...at least with jazz and most classic rock music up to 85dB or more without audible clipping. I would blast 'em to 95dB at times with classical pipe organ music and they would indeed clip during peaks, but not severely IMO (and I didn't make a habit of always doing that)! Plus I have two powered subs for low bass duties (about 45Hz down to the lowest octave), so my 300B amp wasn't taxed with trying to produce low frequencies all that much.

    I'm currently using a pair of Klipsch RB-75 horn monitors that are 97dB efficient and are a better match for such a low powered amp. Had I more power (like a 40 watt PP 6550/KT88 tube amp), I wouldn't have retired the Triangles they sound that good (I have no intentions on selling them).

    Attached Files:

  8. Rick58

    Rick58 Active Member

    Location:
    Stockton, CA, USA
    I say go for it! If you like moderate volumes, in somewhat of a near-field arrangement.

    I use ~90dB (I think they are actually 87dB @ 4 ohms) Titus 202's (and an augmenting NHT Sub <50Hz), with 8Wpc Bottlehead Paramount 300B amps. The Tituses are on stands about 6' from my seat, and 7' from the rear wall. Room is 23 x 13 x 10.

    These give me all the volume I desire, and I like some pretty hard rock sometimes, but at moderate volumes (85 - 90dB average level). The Zeriuses are maybe 2dB more sensitive and your amp has a little (but not significantly) more power than I am using.

    I personally think the Zeriuses, listened to moderately closely, would give very good results with 14Wpc. "Sam Tellig" liked them very much, and used low-powered amps with them. (Stereophile Vol.25 No.3, March 2002). I just found this issue on my shelf; I can make a PDF of the review if you like.

    Actually, he used a 30W OTL amp (which worked great, apparently) and said his 'mighty' 3.5Wpc SET amp drove them "reasonably well".

    This setup will not crank hard rock at 100dB+ average levels, but I get the feeling that is not what you are about ...

    I also recommend (if you're into DIY) rebuilding the tweeter hi-pass filter on these (they probably have a very similar filter to that in my Tituses). I substituted $50 worth of parts into the filter & got smoother, more detailed treble. I don't find these bright at all (I think they are just right), but maybe I am not as sensitive to this (but I CAN hear extended treble very well, I think, for my age (49)).

    Actually, if you are interested in smooth SS amps, I will probably be selling my "2002 vintage" Audio Analogue Puccini SE integrated (currently I'm using it as a preamp only) in a few months ... that certainly would drive the Zeriuses nicely as well.

    HTH - Rick.
  9. Rick58

    Rick58 Active Member

    Location:
    Stockton, CA, USA
    I was going to add, if the Eicos are 'strappable' to mono, you can add another one later, OR, get a 30Wpc amp now ...

    I must admit, one of my future upgrades will probably be some ~96dB-efficient speakers (looking at Omega Super Bipoles) so I can try the 2A3s in the Bottlehead amps ...
  10. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it. I think I found that Tellig review somewhere on the net, but I can't seem to find it again. Don't bother to make a pdf, but thanks for the offer. I will be picking the speakers up this week. I have time to find an amp that will be a good match. I'm 95% sure I'll be mating them with a tube integrated. I guess I'll look for as much power as I can afford. Budget for the amp will be ~$500 used. Thanks again.
  11. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
  12. Xico

    Xico Active Member

    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    I have a pair, which I used with a Rega Brio integrated (solid-state) amplifier. The sound was fast, good image, very detailed. Unfortunately, I always missed more bass.

    Some time ago I bought a pair of Infinity Primus 360 loudspeakers. They were not as detailed and fast as the Zerius, but they had much more bass, and sounded more flat. After some time with both - one day I would connect the Zerius, the other day the Primus - I eventually let the Primus in the system, and took the Zerius to my mother's house.

    I could not sell the Zerius, because they are indeed good sounding speakers, but I would like to listen to them matched with other amplifiers - perhaps tubes, like you are thinking.
  13. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    First impressions....Damn! I really like these speakers. I played some Oingo Boingo, some Bruce Cockburn, and some Umphrey's Mcgee...all on vinyl and I thought they sounded excellent. Fast, tight, punchy, detailed, and alive are words I would use to describe their sound. They are a little bright, but nowhere near what I was expecting, and this is through a Denon AVR-3600 surround receiver's direct mode and improper placement. I found the bass was adequate, and don't feel the need to use a sub at this point. Actually, they went pretty low. My digital meter is in Chicago so I can't measure them for a while. Overall I'm very pleased. A great way to spend $400. I can't wait until I decide on an amp to go with them. Thanks all.
  14. fjhuerta

    fjhuerta New Member

    Location:
    México City
    A friend of mine has a set of Triangles (I don't know which - tower speakers with 2 7" woofers and 1 7" mid, IIRC), and powers them with... 3.5 SET Watts. :) They sound great!
  15. jt1stcav

    jt1stcav Say It With Single-Ended Triodes

    I've read on forums where Triangle's older titanium tweeters were somewhat bright...I've never experienced that with my Zephyr's domes driven by my 8 WPC SET amp or with my brother's Aragon 2004 MK2 dual mono power amp (200 WPC @ 4 ohms). The newer tweeters are reported to be smoother, but I'm quite content with tweeters on my Zephyrs!:righton:

    Attached Files:

  16. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Maybe bright isn't the right word because I really am not finding them bright. The tweeters sound detailed and natural. Really nice. I might call the speakers a little thin sounding if I had to find a fault, but I'm really enjoying the sound.
  17. jt1stcav

    jt1stcav Say It With Single-Ended Triodes

    I totally agree, the Zephyr's tweeters are also detailed and natural to my ears. These entry-level Triangles from the late '90s don't seem thin at all on my system...actually, they're probably one of the best sounding loudspeakers I've ever owned! Just wish they were more efficient like my Klipsch...if they were, I'd still be enjoying 'em today with my 300B amp! Someday when I can afford to build a second audio system for another room, I'll build that system around these Triangles!

    Guess the French are good for something afterall...:D
  18. portisphish

    portisphish Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Regarding the brightness issues that some of the xs owners had, and I believe the Zephyr's were from this line, I found the following explanation:





    "The main technical changes from the original model involve the tweeter. According to Richard , the tweeter is now built with tighter tolerances than before. Also, the old glued-on plastic phase plug has been replaced with a bullet shaped plug made of solid brass and seems to be more steadfastly attached (click the photo at the left for larger version to see the tweeter phase plug). The rear, with its speaker binding posts, is unchanged from the original.

    Richard mentioned that if the angle on the old phase plug was altered even a touch, it could change the HF response and directivity. This makes a lot of sense. Occasionally, I would get letters from readers, or see posts on newsgroups of some owners of the XS model who tried hundreds of hours of burn-in and still did not like the sound or found the higher frequencies too hot. On the other hand you had the vast majority of readers/owners who were very pleased with their purchase and swore by it. Perhaps, those with the poor experience had a sample whose phase plug somehow was slightly mis-directed or a tweeter that was manufactured with a large variation from the mean spec.

    I would guess that Renaud de Vergnette, the owner and designer pays attention to feedback, and seems to have quickly targeted and corrected the most common if not the only criticism of this outstanding product.

    The main technical changes from the original model involve the tweeter. According to Richard , the tweeter is now built with tighter tolerances than before. Also, the old glued-on plastic phase plug has been replaced with a bullet shaped plug made of solid brass and seems to be more steadfastly attached (click the photo at the left for larger version to see the tweeter phase plug). The rear, with its speaker binding posts, is unchanged from the original.

    Richard mentioned that if the angle on the old phase plug was altered even a touch, it could change the HF response and directivity. This makes a lot of sense. Occasionally, I would get letters from readers, or see posts on newsgroups of some owners of the XS model who tried hundreds of hours of burn-in and still did not like the sound or found the higher frequencies too hot. On the other hand you had the vast majority of readers/owners who were very pleased with their purchase and swore by it. Perhaps, those with the poor experience had a sample whose phase plug somehow was slightly mis-directed or a tweeter that was manufactured with a large variation from the mean spec.

    I would guess that Renaud de Vergnette, the owner and designer pays attention to feedback, and seems to have quickly targeted and corrected the most common if not the only criticism of this outstanding product.

    Somewhere between the old and the new model, Triangle decided to upgrade the internal cabling to the same as their own speaker cable. While some of the XS models may have been produced with that upgrade, all of the Titus 202 models are sure to have it."





    That quote was taken from a review of the titus 202 from the following web page, and I'm assuming the other products in the line were changed in the same fashion. ... http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_10_1/titus-speakers-3-2003.html
  19. I own a pair of Titus 202's and a Sub Espace 202. and a Sextan 202 for my center channel. They sound exceptionally good with my conrad-johnson CAV-50 (an EL-34 design), and the Sextan sounds great with my Sonic Impact T-amp. They also sounded great with my Jolida SJ-502A (a 6550 design). The Triangles are not bright in my system at all. They are a very neutral sounding speaker, with incredible imaging, and a fast, tight sound. This sounds like a cliche, but they are great for live music. They are very sensitive and can play loud with little power. Then again, at low volumes, they can sound warm and sweet with the right material.

    As far as solid state amplification, a lot of people recommend Cairn products. They are built in a factory right down the street from Triangle.

    As I noted above, they sound great with the T-amp! At $29.00, the T-amp is ridiculously good, sounding about 20 times better than the price (i.e, sounds as good as many $600 amps I have heard, but with far less power).

    Rega amps should match up well, too.

    Here's a great deal on the Cairn 5808, priced at $989--a $700 savings. That's over a 30% discount off MSRP!

    http://www.audioshopper.com/AudioWaves/Cairn.htm
  20. Rick58

    Rick58 Active Member

    Location:
    Stockton, CA, USA
    Hey, thanks for the link - it brought back some good memories. I bought the Titus 202's after reading Mr. Kohli's (and Sam Tellig's) reviews of the XS models.

    I like them well enough to have kept them thru several component upgrades, with more to come ...
  21. Don't be disappointed, you should be fine with a low-powered amp. The Titus 202's sound great with my CAV-50 configured for triode mode, which produces 26 wpc, and the Sextan 202 sounds great with my T-amp, which produces something like 9 wpc.
  22. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    Location:
    Connecticut
    I bought a pair of Titus 202's about 6 years ago to replace my Celestion Ditton 250's. I'm powering them with a 50w ss McIntosh amp, which is plenty of power for them. Even though I use a Velodyne sub at minimal volume, they stand on there own on the low end. They sound great with all kinds of music, especially live Grateful Dead! They image like a MF. Gotta love those French, ne pas?
  23. jt1stcav

    jt1stcav Say It With Single-Ended Triodes

    I'd love to audition a pair of new Triangles with the redesigned (horn-like) tweeters...I can only imagine how great they sound (since I think their old design like my Zephyrs sound superb)! Unfortunantly, there's no dealer in FL that I know of...

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