GoldenEar Technology Triton One vs. KEF Blade Two

To Doug Schneider,

I’m a happy owner of GoldenEar Triton One loudspeakers, but I have recently listened to KEF Blade Twos at a dealer. This audition made me interested, but, unfortunately, chances for a home demonstration are not great. I love the Triton Ones’ ability to give a “live” feeling, their full-range sound, and their soundstage. However, the Blade Twos to me had at little more weight and were a little less “hot” in the treble region.

Can you describe the most prominent differences between the two speakers? That would be of great interest to me. My other gear comprises a Gryphon Diablo 300 amp and PS Audio DirectStream DAC and Memory Player.

Thanks for any help.

A very satisfied reader.

Lars Jørgensen

Besides their appearances, by far the biggest difference between the Triton One and the KEF Blade Two is the price. In the United States, the GoldenEar Triton One costs about $5000/pair, the KEF Blade Two about $25,000/pair. The newest GoldenEar, the Triton One.R, which I just reviewed, is around $6000/pair. Even GoldenEar’s most expensive speaker, the Triton Reference, at about $9500/pair, doesn’t come close to what a pair of Blade Twos cost.

Sonically, Blade Twos don’t go deeper in the bass than the Ones, but they do sound more powerful down there, as you’ve found -- they pounded the bass home like there’s no tomorrow in my room. I’d also say that the Blade Twos sounded slightly clearer across the audioband, whether played at low or high volume levels. Finally, although the Blade Twos couldn’t create wider or deeper soundstages in my room than the Triton Ones, References, or One.Rs, the Blade Twos’ images on the stages were a little more focused. I think this is because of the Uni-Q driver array, which pins the tweeter right into the throat of the midrange and makes for a truer point source. I could go on with some other sonic differences, but those are the big ones that pop to mind.

As to the high frequencies, I haven’t found any GoldenEar models to sound “hot” like you mentioned -- certainly no hotter than the Blade Two or other KEF speakers I’ve reviewed. That might have something to do with the way we set the speakers up. I’m not sure.

In sum, let me give you this advice: If spending much more money is not a problem, then a jump to a pair of Blade Twos could really be interesting. Personally, I’d love to own a pair of Blade Twos, though I really think you still must audition them to know if you’d be happy -- don’t take my word for it alone. I know you said auditioning at home would be difficult, but, really, for a purchase this expensive, you have to do this in order to know for sure if it is the right move for you. If you’re not sure about the leap, I’d suggest another course of action -- audition the GoldenEar Triton One.Rs and Triton References. I can confidently say that both are better than the Ones you own now and aren’t nearly as expensive as the KEFs. . . . Doug Schneider