Coincident Technology Loudspeakers Model Triumph Signature & Mini Subwoofer
Source: Coincident Speaker Technology
Price: $2,795.00 Cdn., $1,995.00 U.S.
This is our third review of Coincident Technology, a Canadian manufacturer which has been around for some time. Founded in 1993 by Israel Blume, Coincident Technology is the result of Blume's discontent with most existing loudspeakers. Blume has audio and music credentials dating back twenty-some years. Disenchanted with the "business", he began working on loudspeaker design by contemplating system layout and addressing the inherent problems with which box-type enclosures are plagued. He decided to take a closer look at synergistic matches of speaker components. He established that all parts a speaker system-the enclosure, the drivers, and the crossover-must be viewed as a whole, with no emphasis on any one component. The Triumph Signatures are the culmination of his research, which pointed him in the direction of resonance management. The same values and technology are employed with the (new) Mini Subwoofer.
Available in black and a selection of veneers, the box-like cabinets resemble other bookshelf loudspeakers-except for the sub-bass enclosures which serve as stands for the Triumphs. The speaker, when stacked on top of the bass enclosures, stands 39 inches high (including the supplied spikes), 9 inches wide and 11 inches deep. On the rear of the enclosures are two solid five-way binding posts. Although there are no distinctive external features, the Triumphs look pleasant and will integrate with almost any decor. Their appearance in no way prepares the casual observer for the important matters...
The enclosures are made from selected hardwood MDF and their size has been determined with the help of computer calculations to minimize resonances and internal reflections. To enhance the system's high-frequency performance, Blume tuned the enclosures to a fundamental resonance of 350Hz. He states that frequency resonance at or below 100Hz muddies and slurs the bottom end by increasing the amplitude of that fundamental and the harmonics above. In addition to this unusual approach, he decided to stay away from all damping materials inside of the cabinets. He states that countless hours of research and auditioning have shown that damping materials can significantly colour the sound. So what we have are enclosures constructed of an inherently minimal resonant substance, tuned to a frequency which allows its amplitude to be low, thereby making it unnecessary to use damping materials. In this design Blume first implemented a few refinements; he beveled the baffle at a 45 degree angle to eliminate diffraction problems; he tightened the tolerances of parts used in the design and, most importantly, he added bass in a passive, separate enclosure.
The Triumph is a two-way system employing a 6.5 inch woofer and a 1 inch dome tweeter-nothing unusual. However, the woofer has been carefully chosen to complement the size of the enclosure and the other components of the system. Mineral-filled polypropylene cone material, a large voice-coil diameter and a T-shaped magnet pole piece assure power handling and low modulation distortion. The tweeter is a silk-dome unit with a flat frequency response to 35kHz. It is ferrofluid damped and can handle over 150 watts. Polypropylene capacitors and air-core conductors are employed in the first-order crossover system and all parts are hard-wired. Internal wiring is accomplished with WireWorld cables and the longest run is less than 15 inches in length. All that and then some, just to alert you to the Coincident Technology's high standards, but proof of the puddin' is...
We tested the Triumph/Mini Sub with a number of amplifiers to establish their personalities and to ascertain how they behave with various electronics. Power amplifiers included a Copeland, a Bryston 8B-ST, a Polyfusion 690, an OCM 300 and the Topaz. A Polyfusion, an OCM88 and Wytech Labs' Opal preamplifiers drove the power amps. The Audio Refinement integrated amplifier, reviewed in this issue, was used in our "budget" auditioning sessions. A Copeland 266, a Polyfusion DA/transport and an Alchemist DA/transport made up our source components. Wiring was completed with speaker cables by Nordost Flatline and interconnects by Straightwire and Nordost.
With every amplifier, the Triumph/Mini Sub system presented high-end sound which revealed the back-up system(s) quality well enough to qualify as a reference with which to audition other components. What this means is that the Coincident system faithfully reproduced the character of the amplifiers, the source components, the cables, etc. Thus the extent of musical quality relies entirely on the caliber of the back-up components. Stunning sound was achieved with all amplifiers we used which is proof of the Triumph/MiniSub's neutrality. The previously reviewed Triumphs (Volume 9 # 2) had about 85% of the current system's neutrality and, while we were quite impressed at that time, the addition of the sub to the upgraded Triumphs delivered much more accuracy and smoothness across the audible frequency range. They still provide remarkably distinct midrange and high-frequency information, but the bass resolution now extends down to an impressive 28Hz (the earlier system's resolving ability stopped at 40Hz). With the Topaz/Opal, we couldn't find any faults. The system delivered sweet highs, blossoming midrange, and authoritative bass-all well balanced with a natural flow of all musical program material. Connected to the Bryston and OCM amplifiers/Opal preamp, the Coincident system introduced a little more severity to the music-an edge here and there, but still maintained the feeling of smoothness, rendering very respectable sound. The Polyfusion amp/preamp made the Triumph/MiniSub combination sound wonderfully rich, but with weakened resolution-it sounded more tube-like and actually very pleasant. Suprisingly great matches were achieved with the Copeland amp and the relatively low priced integrated Audio Refinement amplifier. The loudspeaker's potential is superb and it is left in the hands of the end user to create or recreate the type of sound he/she is comfortable with. Within a well matched system, you can expect a wide and deep sound stage, four feet off the floor, exemplary focus on voices and instruments and the sensation that the loudspeakers aren't there at all; can't ask for better-at any price!
Synopsis & Commentary:
High-end loudspeakers are expected to cover the whole frequency range without severe irregularities. This is as frequently achieved as it is not. Resolution over the entire frequency range is another important parameter in high-end designs-and again, sometimes this isn't achieved, even with the most expensive designs. Definition, focus and imaging in high-end designs are desirable; and a lot of upscale speakers will accomplish these well at various degrees of completion. In other words, high-end or high-priced loudspeakers do not guarantee the height of musical nirvana. Lower priced loudspeakers, as a rule, have more imperfections and may be chosen to accommodate someone's budget and preference. The Coincident Triumph Signature/Mini Subwoofer combination doesn't fit into the high-end price category, but it fits comfortably into the high performance class of loudspeaker design. The Triumph/Mini Sub system's ability to flow musical information effortlessly throughout the entire frequency range allows the end-user a choice of amplifiers. If the amp is great expect great sound. If the amp is poor, expect accordingly. The Coincidents are admirable products, featuring an elevated degree of engineering and sound. Try them in your system, you may be suprised at what you can obtain for under $6,000.
Reprinted With The Permission Of The Inner Ear Report.