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Saturday Audio Exchange, GoldenEar Technology, PrimaLuna, Mytek, McIntosh Labs | AXPONA 2019











AXPONA 2019 GoldenEar

AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by Core Power Technologies

CHICAGO (PTA) — Sandy Gross — the iconic founder of most brands we love, including GoldenEar Technology — has done it again. And again, and again. This time with the new Triton One.R loudspeaker. Kevin Deal of PrimaLuna launches their new EVO Series of tube based electronics at AXPONA 2019. Everyone is happy.

AXPONA 2019 GoldenEar

The Story

Sandy Gross, one year later, in the same room, on the same day (Sunday), posted up in the same seat. This time showing the new Triton One.R loudspeaker, and once again leaving jaws dropped. Sandy Gross has been “debuting speakers” for probably 50 years now, and has much changed in how they are received? No. So why would the story be any different with the Triton One.R? Don’t worry, it’s not. It was just last year where all of this deja-vu took place, in the same room, on the same day, with Sandy posted up in the same seat — read HERE.

Last year it was the absolutely amazing Triton Reference loudspeakers soaking up all of the show-going drool. Amazing in their sound, but also in their price as a pair would only fetch a sub-$9k bill. Then, having no problem competing with many of the $60K speakers on display at the show. The Triton One.R seeks to repeat that overwhelming display of sonic authority and value.

The Triton One.R is a smaller version of the flagship Triton Reference. Meaning it’s still a flagship performing speaker, but now just smaller. Not less, just smaller. Syling, voicing, and cabinet construction of the new Triton One.R is borrowed from the Triton Reference, but now at around 2/3rd of the cost. The Triton One.R speakers were being powered by a shelf-full of new PrimaLuna EVO Series electronics.

Kevin Deal — PrimaLuna’s master of ceremonies — took us on a thrilling ride through the jungles of tube based electronics. On the other side, we find ourselves face to face with the new EVO Series from PrimaLuna. A preamp, a tube dac, two integrateds, and a stereo amplifier make up the new line. Here at the show however, it was two of the stereo amplifiers configured in mono, that were pushing the new Triton One.R loudspeakers to new heights. It wasn’t a necessity to have the new GoldenEar speakers wired up this way, as they are rather efficient and have powered sub-woofers sections built-in. Axpona was just a chance to flex large, and PrimaLuna took advantage of that fact.

The new EVO Series includes two model levels the 100 and 400 line-up. All feature new transformers, internal component upgrades, and a cosmetic overhaul. From what I know, it’s been a decade solid since PrimaLuna has done something as drastic, so it was due time for a makeover, and to be honest, she’s even prettier today than she was yesterday.

New for the integrateds are the inclusion of headphone amplifiers and true-balanced, transformer-coupled XLR inputs and outputs on upper-end models. But standing unchanged for PrimaLuna is the point-to-point wiring, build quality, and Adaptive Auto-Bias circuitry (which has put more tube amplifiers into the hands of the timid than many are willing to admit.)

AXPONA 2019 GoldenEar

The Sound

It’s been a year since I heard the Triton Reference, but I’ll be damned if I do remember it sounding almost identical to what I heard from the new Triton One.R tower this year. Obviously smaller, but don’t tell the room that. With 1,600 watts of powered subs built-in to each tower, and ten years of research on display in the new PrimaLuna electronics, things are looking and sounding good at the Saturday Audio Exchange room.

AXPONA 2019 GoldenEar

The System

GoldenEar

– Triton One.R Loudspeakers – $5,998 pr USD

PrimaLuna

– EVO 400 Preamplifier – $4,499 USD

– EVO 400 Integrated Amplifier – $4,999 USD

– EVO 400 Stereo Power Amplifier – $4,699 USD

– EVO 100 Tube DAC – $2,899 USD

– EVO 100 Integrated Amplifier – $2,299 USD

Mytek

– Brooklyn DAC+ – $2,195 USD

McIntosh

– MCT500 – $5,000 USD

AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage brought to you by the LSA Group