Coincident Speaker Technology
Triumph Signature Loudspeaker
Update: The Triumph Signatures ($999/pair)
The Triumph Signatures are, in essence, upgraded versions of the Triumphs. The Signatures are based around the same design as the Triumphs, and look virtually identical to them. But they include (according to Coincident) superior silk-dome tweeters, improved crossovers, and higher-quality binding posts. (In these brief comments, "Triumphs" will refer to the original, $800/pair Triumphs.)
The sonic character of the Signatures is very much like that of the Triumphs. Yet there are small differences which add up to a substantial improvement in musical enjoyment. In brief, the advantages of the Triumphs are present in full measure in the Signatures, while the Triumphs' disadvantages are significantly reduced in degree.
The sense of warmth and the physical depth produced by the Signatures are equal to those produced by the Triumphs. The children's chorus in the Mendelssohn Fairy Song was placed far back, as it should be. The Schumann Piano Quintet was portrayed warmly, with a strong dose of lower midrange ambience. In all respects in which I enjoyed the Triumphs, I enjoyed the Signatures equally (though not more). The Signatures share the Triumphs' high sensitivity and easy impedance curve, so they will also work well with low-powered amplifiers.
My greatest complaint about the original Triumphs was their bright and somewhat grainy treble. Considered in absolute terms, the treble of the Signatures does not sound all that different. Yet it reaches one more degree of smoothness, a degree which erased my sense that the treble was an obstacle to musical enjoyment. On the Fairy Song, I continued to find the treble basically bright when Kathleen Battle hit high notes, but I did not feel that it stood out unduly or grated on my ears. The overly brightly recorded West Side Story was still overly bright on the Signatures, but it was more tolerable than it was on the Triumphs. The Signatures' treble ambience is not exceptional, but it is not poor either. In any case, the Signatures rely more on the midrange and bass for ambience, as do the Triumphs.
The other area in which the Signatures best the Triumphs is in the tightness and speed of the lower midrange and bass. Even on the Fairy Song, hardly an exemplar of pulse-pounding, thumping bass, the Triumphs' lack of rhythm had led to the sense that the lower frequencies were lagging slightly behind the higher. This had restricted the Triumphs' ability to produce a sense of great musical scope. The Signatures' faster bass brought the lows and highs into focus and thereby restored a sense of scale to the recording.
"Losing My Religion" was improved on the Signatures to an even greater degree. Rather than slogging along, the drums and guitar walked along at a cleanly defined pace, restoring some snappiness to the beat. Although the Signatures feature cleaner bass than the Triumphs, they are still no match for the JosephAudio RM7Si Signatures, which present bass that is razor-sharp and almost perfectly defined as deep as it goes. Yet the Signatures improved on the Triumphs enough so that buyers put off by the Triumphs' slowness will be less bothered by the Signatures.
The Signatures retail in the United States for $999/pair, $200 more than the regular Triumphs. I recommend that any buyer considering the Triumphs consider the Signatures instead, unless she simply cannot afford the extra $200. The Signatures sound very close to the Triumphs, but the small ways in which they sound different are concentrated in the most advantageous areas. The Triumphs are not a bad deal, but it is the Triumph Signatures which will be included on GoodSound's list of recommended speakers.