Every audiophile, and every equipment reviewer, hopes someday to get a
chance to have cost-no-object components in their listening room. This
review of Triad's top of the line Platinum home theater loudspeakers was my
Triad loudspeakers, based in Portland Oregon, was founded in 1982 to
provide custom loudspeaker solutions to home theater installation
professionals. The founder of Triad, Larry Pexton, is one of the founding
members of CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association),
and the company sells its products only though CEDIA member dealers.
The company specifically aims its products at the custom installation
market for professionally installed home theater systems.
Many of Triad's design choices and options are particularly aimed at the
high end home theater market. The speakers have relatively subdued styling,
to blend into high end homes and appeal to home designers and customers.
Triad provides 18 veneer finishes, and will also match provided samples for
Engineering services are available to customize speakers for a particular
application (i.e., fitting a loudspeaker into a particular space while
maintaining performance, using custom speaker mounting hardware).
Triad also sells an extensive selection of in-wall speakers for concealed
installations. Their Platinum series speakers are available only
as freestanding models to maximize performance.
Nearly all the loudspeakers are made at their Portland, Oregon facility
to order. No speakers are manufactured overseas, nor are speakers stocked,
other than three round ceiling models. Triad makes extensive use of computer
aided manufacturing to speed delivery time.
The review set of six Platinum loudspeakers, was made specifically for
Secrets and was delivered within a few weeks of finalizing the review
The Platinum series consists of the LCR floor-standing loudspeaker, the LCR
Center channel speaker, and the Platinum PowerSub subwoofer.
For my small
room, the Silver series monitors were provided as rear channels. In a room
appropriate to a speaker system costing as much as the average family sedan,
an additional pair of LCRs might be used as rear channel speakers. Depending
on the installation, an LCR or LCR center can be used as the center channel.
The Platinum series speakers are far larger, heavier, and more expensive
than the Gold loudspeakers, and use the best quality materials and drivers
of any Triad products. Lead Designer David Nelson, and the Triad Engineering
team have designed the Platinum series as a significant step up from the
Gold series. Unlike many cost-no-object high end loudspeakers, the Triad
Platinum series has very subtle styling, but the quality of the materials
and construction are unmistakable.
This review will primarily address the
home theater application for which the loudspeakers were designed. However, I
will also cover the use of the LCR loudspeakers in a two-channel audio
application. Any loudspeaker in this price class should be able to provide
exceptional stereo audio performance in addition to home theater
The Platinum LCR, LCR Center, Platinum PowerSub, and Silver Monitors all
share many of the same engineering, features, and construction techniques.
All cabinets are made of high quality MDF, CNC machined to very high
accuracy. No seams in the cabinets were visible, and all sculpted features
were smoothly finished. The cabinets all seemed to be machined from solid
blocks of MDF. Triad uses no screws or other metal fasteners in their
cabinets; only machined MDF and adhesives are used to build the enclosures.
The interiors of the enclosures are covered with a proprietary clay
damping material to reduce cabinet resonances. All of the sample
loudspeakers were finished with the standard black textured paint, and
although it was not especially glamorous, was perfectly applied and free of any
noticeable blemishes. The finish seems especially thick, adding to the
monolithic quality of the construction.
The Silver Monitors use the same construction technique, but without the
sculpted front baffle. Very nice gold plated copper knurled five-way binding
posts are used on all speakers. The positioning of all the binding posts
hides cables, but does make it somewhat difficult to attach and remove them.
Omnimount brass threaded sockets are installed on the bottoms of the LCRs
and Silver Monitors to secure the speakers to any pedestals used.
specification of all the speakers used here deserve special note: the
sensitivity. All these Triad speakers offer sensitivities exceeding 92.5
dB/W/m, with the three LCRs at 94.5 dB/W/m. These are very high numbers that
result in the ability to produce extremely high SPL with a modest amount of
The Platinum LCR and LCR centers all have carefully shaped cabinet fronts
with rounded corners to minimize diffraction. Each loudspeaker's driver
compliment consists of a 1" fabric dome tweeter, two 5 1/4" midranges, and
two 10" woofers. The tweeter is custom made for this application, while the
midrange and woofers are Scan Speak units. The tweeters are horn-loaded with
a "Dispersion Control Lens" machined into the front panel. This lens adds
some directionality, controlling the tweeter dispersion for use in
multi-speaker home theater situations. The lens consists of several stepped
sections, making up a horn with a very fast opening angle.
Click Here to Go to Part II.