29 Triangle aLoving French loudspeakers and not speaking French has introduced a degree of embarrassment into my life. I have always called Focal loudspeakers, from France, by their English pronunciation, as in focal length. This has caused various PR people, importers, salespeople and French speakers to smile patronisingly and say “It’s actually pronounced focahle.” A tsk-tsk usually precedes this.

And now here I am listening to some French loudspeakers wearing a badge that says Triangle and I suspect I am about to make a boofhead of myself again. In an attempt to head the posse from the Académie française off at the pass I seek the help of an ex-girlfriend who now teaches French, as I deeply suspect the French have their own particular way of pronouncing triangle as well. ‘Could it be tree-onglay?’ I ask her both phonetically and hopefully.

She smiles patronisingly. “Le tree-ong,” she replies both phonetically and triumphantly. She continues: “Haut parleur is French for loudspeaker – a masculine noun. That is, le haut parleur. It’s one of those words that does not permit one to elide the e in le.”

I’m so glad to know that. I resolve to continue pronouncing them as in equilateral triangle and simply wear Kevlar when in France.

29 Triangle cTriangle was pretty much unknown in Australia until a couple of years ago but now there’s a four-model range with a choice of bookshelves, floorstanders and centre-channels in each model. The test units are Comete EZ, the most expensive bookshelves among the Esprit offerings. Beautifully finished in piano black, they’re two-way speakers that cost $2199 a pair. They’re also available in piano white, walnut and black ash.

They’re something of a signature speaker for Triangle and certainly one of its most popular offerings internationally, and Australians are proving just as enthusiastic about them as the folk in other parts. With a power handling capacity of up to 80 watts RMS they’re not fussy to drive and are recommended for rooms of between 15 and 30 square metres.

You’ll notice the top end right away, with definition and clarity that makes your music exciting and new. You won’t hear things for the first time but you’ll certainly hear things differently with the change of emphasis they bring. An interesting looking 2.5 cm titanium dome tweeter is responsible for this and adds a pleasant airiness to the whole equation. Mix in a wide soundstage and you’re getting a result that’s the equal of a lot of fully sized floorstanding speakers costing significantly more.

29 Triangle bBut the real surprise is just how much low range these have for their reasonably modest dimensions – 20 x 40 x 32 cm (WxHxD). I suspect this is largely a result of the 14 cm mid/bass having two bass reflex ports rather than one, both of them facing forward at the base of the cabinet. They give the Cometes solid presence and depth.

If you want to hear how well, and just how hard, these speakers work listen to some serious John Adams; any of the Shaker Loops, maybe Lollapalooza or The Chairman Dances. I tried them with television as well and the strong high end makes them good with voices.

There’s just one problem. It can be quite challenging finding Triangles. Dealers handling them are pretty thin on the ground.

By the way, according to monsieur Google, comete is French for comet. How do you pronounce it? Don’t know. Don’t care.

First published on smh.com.au July 2018

 

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