Product: Triangle Celius 202 loudspeakers
Manufacturer: Triangle - France
Approx. price: 1.900 Euro/$ (pair)
Reviewer: Stefano Monteferri - TNT Italy
Reviewed: October, 2002
What I heard here came as something of a surprise to me. While not wishing to generalise, my previous experiences with French speakers from Triangle which I had the opportunity to listen to, whether at various audio shows or in the listening test of the bookshelf Comete 202, had persuaded me that the "philosophical" choices made by the manufacturer were musically orientated towards an implementation that is basically open and exuberant in the mid-high frequencies.
This characteristic, though not strictly significant in a qualitative context, does suggest a certain amount of care should be taken in matching the speakers with the other components of the system - otherwise there is the risk that the total effect may be slightly unbalanced.
But on the contrary, the Celius 202's (pleasingly) not meeting my expectations, put out a rather neutral and mature sound - without relinquishing the emotional aspects such as involvement and spectacle where necessary ...
The top model in the "Espace" series, the Celius 202's are floor-standing columns whose major dimensions are: 1130 x 220 x 297 (h w d). They consist of bass reflex enclosures with four drives - each cabinet houses two woofers. Bi-wiring/bi-amping is provided for.
The manufacturer specifies power handling up to 120W RMS, with peaks of up to 240W. The load appears to be an easy one for any amplifier worthy of the name - the minimum on the impedance curve touches 5 Ohms while the nominal impedance is 8 Ohms.
The pair of 16 cm woofers (Triangle T16 DR110C) assure an extended response from 45 Hz to about 400 Hz. A paper coned driver with a doped membrane suspension and of rather generous size (Triangle T16 PP122o) takes care of the range from the woofers' limit up to 4 kHz, beyond which a classic tweeter takes over - the Triangle TZ202 - common to the whole "Espace" series.
Predictably, knowing the products of this French manufacturer, the system's efficiency is fairly high, shown to be 92 dB(1m/1W) - an advantage when partnered with low-powered amplifiers (but as we shall see, of high quality).
They are simple to accommodate within one's living space thanks to: the forward facing port, being deeper than they are wide, and their looks, which while not being pretentious, are comparatively sober but not without a certain elegance.
As already stated, the first impression was of a pair of decidedly balanced speakers - so that you forget entirely the "threatening" potential of the number of woofers used and the potential aggressiveness of metallic tweeters.
In fact, the timbre of the system is rather warm and relaxed, with a bass that while ample and full-bodied, always maintains proper control and composure (amplifier permitting). It's a bass range that, while not wanting to give the impression that it extends to the lowest audible frequencies, comes through as solid and well-balanced, optimally blending into the mid-bass that in turn slides fluidly into the mid-range without even hinting at the use of a crossover network. The mid-high range is composed and never aggressive, and passes sweetly to the top-range of the audio spectrum - never offensive and with a fine airiness.
Don't think, however, that the system's analytic capabilities have in some way been sacrificed to its musical performance. In fact, the representation of detail is optimal and they express their transparency with naturalness and speed.
That's right, speed ... The Celius 202's cannot be criticised in this department. They manage to convey a sense of rhythm with vivacity and emotional involvement. An emotional involvement that is amply supported by the system's significant dynamic qualities which are able to confer the necessary impact and a much-appreciated physicality to the more explosive genres of music.
There is nothing to complain of regarding their ability to create a virtual image. The Celius 202's have proved to be rather sensitive to the quality of the components to which they are connected in the system. However, with adequate partnering equipment they are able to reproduce a wide and deep soundstage - airy and easily perceived, with stable and focussed elements, suitably contrasted and never confused.
The Triangle Celius 202 cannot be considered as difficult to accommodate. The easy impedance load, the advantageous efficiency, and the balanced timbre are elements that assure synergy with the rest of the components of the set-up. The only thing that I feel I must recommend is the use of amplifiers with good control in the bass range. Avoid those that are excessively soft and/or "easy going", lacking rigor, which might degrade an otherwise certainly satisfying performance, by creating confusion.
With all their fine qualities, these speakers are recommended for use with components that are not inferior to themselves. Well, just use them and you won't regret it ...
A mature product for audiophiles who, while desiring a complete sound, whether in terms of quality or of quantity, do not wish to spend a fortune in getting it. A balanced source and an integrated amp of 50 watts or so, but possessing plenty of energy so as not to waste the significant dynamic gifts of this system, will allow you to obtain optimum results even in rather ample listening spaces.
And now to turn to Triangle to whom goes my appreciation for the great work they are doing, and thanks to B&B Audio whose kind co-operation made this review possible.
© Copyright 2002-2003 Stefano Monteferri - http://www.tnt-audio.com
Translation: Peter Janssen