Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I just read your reviews of the GoldenEar Technology Triton Three and MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL speakers with great interest. I'm in the market for a pair of two-channel speakers in this price range. Which of these would you buy? Any other speakers in this price range you would prefer? Thanks.

United States

Ken, you've picked two good speakers, but they're rather different. The ESL is -- bear with me here -- a polarizing design. An electrostatic panel can produce some really compelling sound, but it's idiosyncratic in terms of its dispersion. I've found that it's a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing. If you, personally, love it, there isn't really an argument here. Grab the ESLs. If you don't, however, then the GoldenEar is an excellent choice at the $2000/pair price point. Its powered bass section and relatively high efficiency mean that it will be a relatively easy load to drive, even for modest electronics. The High Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) tweeter is a real honey, as it's both smooth and extended in operation, contributing to an overall sound that is broad and expansive. The Triton also gives you the option to dial in the bass as you see fit, which is a nice option to have. As I said in the review, it offers a great deal of performance for the money.

As for other speakers that I might consider? Definitive Technology's BP8060-ST SuperTowers, floorstanding models from Canadian firms Paradigm and PSB, and KEF's R300s and R500s all come to mind. This is hardly exhaustive, but I know each of these is a competent design, and should serve you quite well. . . . Hans Wetzel