Founded in 1981, Triad manufactures and markets high-end custom speaker
solutions primarily for the CEDIA dealer network (CEDIA is an organization
for custom installers). Nearly all Triad products
are designed and manufactured in their 33,000 ft2 facility in Portland,
Triad offers a very broad range of high-end custom speaker solutions, with
over fifty speaker products, and many more accessories and options. Finish
options include twenty stock veneers, and custom veneer or paint matching
available with a supplied sample.
Adopting a “lean manufacturing” concept; orders for Triad products are
typically built and shipped within three days (two weeks for custom veneer or
custom paint). Lean manufacturing also allows for easy matriculation of
custom orders or enclosure sizes.
Triad products are sold mostly through CEDIA dealers who
are experts in all aspects of custom audio/video installation. Triad
products are not
available through Internet sales, or at mass merchant retail locations.
Shipping is done via FedEx 3-day air, to ensure fast arrival and minimal
Triad's Customer Service department is staffed with employees who
understand the product and are familiar with installations and set-up. And
Triad products are protected with a 10-year limited warranty (3 years for
electronics), backed up by prompt repair turnaround.
General Product Description
Triad offers 10”, 12”, 15”, and 18” conventional subwoofer models, as well
as several variations of in-wall subwoofers. On-board amplifiers are
standard, with an optional outboard rack-mounted amplifier. The subject of
this review is the Triad InRoom Gold PowerSub (hereafter referred to as the
Gold PowerSub) with the standard black paint finish and the on-board
Considering it houses a 15” woofer, the Gold PowerSub is actually quite
modest in size, measuring about 17” inches along each dimension. The cabinet geometry is
conventional, with all corners rounded and all edges smoothed. The plate amp
is flush mounted and nicely fitted, with an exposed heat sink. Fit and
finish on the review unit were very good, but I discovered the wrinkle finish enamel paint can
be scratched, so be careful not to bump the Gold PowerSub against sharp
edges when moving it into position.
are four plastic self-leveling (spring loaded) feet on the bottom of the
cabinet. This floor interface solution will work well for any kind of
mounting surface, and the Gold PowerSub never vibrated or wandered on my
hard laminate flooring.
The woofer is deeply inset into the cabinet, allowing for a very thin grille.
The press-fit grille is constructed of a lightweight composite fiberboard,
with black knit fabric tightly stretched over the frame. Trim work was
excellent, with neat adhesive work and no loose threads. There is no
nameplate on the grille.
The interior of the cabinet is extraordinarily well braced, with two
vertical and three horizontal interlaced braces that also extend along the
entire depth of the cabinet. High quality open cell foam is used to line the
interior of the cabinet between the braces.
Gold PowerSub is an acoustic suspension design, with a front-firing 15”
woofer. This woofer features a die-cast aluminum basket, a 7.5 pound magnet
structure, a 3” voice coil, and a coated paper cone with a rubber surround.
According to Triad representative Paul Scarpelli, Triad deliberately avoided
using a long throw, high-output woofer. The woofer selected for the Gold
PowerSub exhibited the most desirable cone control and transient
characteristics in their tests, albeit at the expense of high output
The enclosure is deliberately undersized for a 15” driver, and this
increases the natural resonant frequency of the subwoofer to about 60 Hz.
This means that without any equalization, the Gold PowerSub would roll-off
at 12 dB/octave below 60 Hz. Custom equalization (see details in Amplifier
Description section) is therefore applied to achieve the desired extension
- Class AB 250 watts continuous into 4 ohms
- Off/On (two-way rocker, red/green indicator light, no auto-on)
- Low Level L/R RCA Inputs (20 Hz extension)
- Low Level Mono RCA Input (35 Hz extension, fixed maximum gain)
- Parallel Low Pass Filters (low level inputs, 35 Hz - 250 Hz, continuously
variable, 2nd order)
- Low Level L/R RCA Outputs (fixed 100 Hz high pass filter, 2nd order)
- Gain/Volume (affects 20 Hz inputs only)
- Phase Control (0-180 degrees continuously variable)
- Soft Clipping, Thermal, and Electrical Short Protection
- Attached Power Cord (2 prong)
The amplifier control layout is a vertical array, and all rotary controls have labels
explaining the function. The rotary controls are small in diameter, but are
ridged to provide decent grip, and there is also a screwdriver slot at the
tip for more precise adjustment. The rotary knobs move smoothly and have a
many enthusiasts these days are opting for digital bass management, Triad
does offer a hook-up option for pre/pros that lack this feature. The speaker
outputs on the Gold PowerSub amp have a fixed 100 Hz 2nd order high pass
filter. These outputs prevent deep bass from being sent to the loudspeakers,
an especially useful feature for smaller two-way bookshelf monitors. When
operating the Gold PowerSub in this manner, a 100 Hz setting on the low pass
filters would be appropriate.
The 35 Hz limit input is suitable for applications where maximum output is needed
in the 35 Hz - 80 Hz region. This input filters extremely deep bass from the
signal, thus lessening the woofer excursion requirements and increasing
The 20 Hz extension inputs are suitable for applications where maximum deep extension
is needed. These inputs do not filter any deep bass from the signal, and
also use additional equalization to flatten and extend the response. This
increases woofer excursion requirements, but reduces available headroom.
Triad indicates its customers overwhelmingly prefer deeper extension over
maximum output, so the 20 Hz inputs were used for the objective testing and
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