Reviews

Review: Triangle Elara LN05 and Triangle Elara LN01

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The Triangle Elara LN05 floor-standing speakers and Triangle LN01 compact models are at the heart of the French manufacturer’s catalog. These compact speakers boast a very simple design and are destined for hi-fi as well as home cinema use. Two subwoofers (the Triangle Thetis and Triangle Tales) are also available to complement a home cinema configuration installation. All are parts from the Triangle Elara series.

For this double test, we used several hi-fi and home cinema amplifiers, the Denon DRA-100, Nuprime IDA-8, Hegel H80 and Pioneer SC-LX59.

Triangle Elara 05

Triangle Elara LN05: introduction

The LN05 is the small floorstanding model of the range. It is 90 cm high, 16 cm wide and 26 cm deep. It benefits from a solid wooden structure with 19 mm side and back panels and a 21 mm front panel. Internal reinforcements have been integrated to the speaker to make it as sturdy as possible. Triangle used two 5-inch medium-bass drivers and a 1-inch dome tweeter for its speaker. The bass drivers are placed in an air volume provided via bass reflex technology and benefit from a horn loaded front resonator. The speaker displays a frequency response ranging from 47 Hz to 22 kHz (+/- 3 dB) for a sensitivity of 90 dB at 1m / 1 Watt. Its minimal impedance is 4.5 Ohms.

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What should we think of these numbers? First of all, they are honest. Indicating a low frequency whose intensity is four times inferior (-6 dB) to that of the other two ranges is a sign of good practice. This frequency range also complies with the maximum capacity of a 5-inch driver to deliver distortion-free sound. Besides, the internal air volume is perfectly sufficient for a pair of 5-inch drivers. On paper, nothing is wrong.

These drivers feature a treated paper membrane, a fairly classic formula whose advantage is to offer a very colorful sound. The tweeter is a 1-inch coated fabric dome model with a damping ring. Nothing unfamiliar with this Triangle Elara LN05.

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Triangle Elara LN05: a two and a half way speaker?

To create a two and a half way speaker, Triangle chose to filter the two woofers differently. In a standard 2-way configuration, both would be filtered by the exact same components. In practice, the bottom 5-inch driver is “clipped” in the higher bass range or lower medium (around 300 and 500 Hz most of the time), while the top 5-inch driver is “clipped” in the medium range (at around 2 kHz) so that the tweeter can cover the high frequencies. This technique, which is in no way new, often guarantees a more even energy distribution between the medium and low frequency range. It is also used to equalize the driver’s frequency response when it goes too high. The tweeter is filtered the traditional way.

Triangle Elara LN05

Triangle Elara LN05: construction and operation

The LN05 comes with a wooden frame covered with acoustic fabric and a screw-on base. A screwdriver will therefore be necessary to tighten the four supplied screws. This is a simple task to carry out, especially as the speaker is very light. All there is to do is to make sure not to scratch the glossy finish. For our test, we used the Viard Audio Silver HD 12 cable and mainly the Denon DRA-100 amp, a real gem (after breaking-in) for this type of small floor standing speaker and compact model.

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Triangle Elara LN05: listening impressions

The LN05 requires about thirty hours of breaking-in for its drivers to truly express their potential. Yet, the Elara LN05 delivers a very pleasant neutral sound from the very beginning. The medium range frequencies are balanced, the lower medium and medium range are on par. The lower range is generous without ever being excessive. During the breaking-in period, the higher-bass range might sound a little “fatty” but this inconvenience quickly goes away. Despite the announced 47 Hz, the Triangle Elara LN05 seems to do better than a lot of speakers which are said to reach lower frequencies. The tweeter never sounds aggressive nor harsh, on the contrary, it flows really well. When listening to this speaker, it sounds like its energy covers frequencies ranging from about 5 to 10 kHz, which makes for a clearer overall delivery.

The sound stage is stable and offers outstanding sound placement around each speaker. By slightly tilting the LN05 towards each other, we obtain an interesting overall result and very well centered voices (which is a sign of a well mastered phase throughout the medium and high frequency range).

Triangle Elara LN05

Hotel California, Eagles, DSD64 (via Denon DRA-100)
The guitars are delivered with a lot of depth without being overwhelming and never dominates the other instruments. The bass line is well cut out. During the chorus, the singer’s voice cleanly mixes with the backing vocals. The drum sound is convincing, especially when the volume is turned up. An experience full of life and well balanced.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Can’t hold us, FLAC 16/44 (via Denon DRA-100)
A very demanding track for the amplifier and speakers. The electronic snare is constant and is mixed with wood percussions which are usually difficult to hear. The Triangle LN05 were  constantly in control. The synth does not sound harsh after 3 min 15 and the sound is truly spellbinding until the end of the song.

David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, DSD64 (via Denon DRA-100)
Always a good track to test the balance of the bass range and the accuracy of the mediums, as the recording lacks high frequencies there is no possibility to cover shortcomings in the other frequency ranges. The stereo effect is clear, Bowie’s voice is well centered and clear.  Job done.

Isaac Hayes, Walk on By (long version), DSD64 (via Denon DRA-100)
A bewildering sound take and mix for this legendary track (which should be present in every good vinyl collection). The artist’s presence is outstanding and all the details are here. The impressive dynamic range is delivered with a lot of energy (without ever overdoing it). The high-medium range is rather prominent in the mix, meaning this track is a difficult test to pass for a tweeter lacking accuracy. Once again, the task is carried out and the listener can fully enjoy the music.

Chet Baker, Alone together, FLAC 24/88 (via Denon DRA-100)
The saxophone is magnificently delivered, the stand up bass resonates beautifully, the wind section is very well placed and the cymbals are nice and dry. Difficult to find any flaw in the way such a small speaker delivers the track. The soundstage is very wide.

Adele, Hello, FLAC 16/44 (via Denon DRA-100)
The piano during the intro opens up cleanly. The balance between the voice’s presence and the added reverb is well respected. Despite a sound take which is at the border of distortion (a choice which doesn’t really showcase the artist’s vocal talent), the Triangle Elara LN05, with the help of the Denon DRA-100, manages to alternate powerful delivery and pianissimo passages in a very convincing way.

The Walking Dead, 607, AC3 5.1 -> PCM 16/48 (via Denon DRA-100)
The sound immersion is efficient, the voices are well articulated, the sound effects are convincing (broken glass and wood, triggers, explosions).

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Triangle Elara LN01: introduction and listening impressions

The Triangle Elara LN01 is a compact 2-way speaker which features the same drivers as the LN05. It is therefore made up of a 5-inch diameter driver and of a 1-inch dome tweeter. The air load is also delivered via a bass reflex port. Due to the lower air volume, the bass frequencies are limited to 56 Hz. Logically, sensitivity loses a decibel, at 89 dB / 1m / 1W. The announced low impedance is 4.5 Ohms. The Elara LN01 sound signature is similar to that of the Elara LN05 floor standing speakers minus the extension and width of the bass range. Nevertheless, it is clear that this small compact speaker is very well balanced.

Triangle Elara LN01 and LN05: conclusions

The Triangle Elara LN05 is a “super small tower speaker”, intelligently balanced and indisputably musical. It is important not to shy away from silver coated cables or thick section copper cables as the added definition provided by a quality cable will not result in a caustic sound but in a much more analytic result. It is perfectly adapted for a 20 m² room. Beyond this size it will probably be necessary to consider its big sister, the Triangle LN07. The small Triangle LN01 is cut from the same cloth, neutral but fast, capable to deliver a convincing soundstage. Nevertheless, a subwoofer (such as the Triangle Tales, for example) is necessary to fully enjoy the performance of the LN05. We recommend a digital amplifier of about 30 Watts (the Denon DRA-100 is a great match) or a Class A or AB ranging from 50 to 100 W (Cambridge CXA60 , Rotel RA-12 , NAD D3020 for example). Not finding the right amplifier for these speakers seems difficult to us.

Triangle Elara LN03

This post is also available in: French

About the author

Tristan Jacquel

Tristan est rédacteur chez Son-Vidéo.com. Passionné de musique, d'acoustique et de high-tech, il réalise notamment les tests matériels pour notre blog.

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