Leading French company Triangle (pronounced Tree-ongle) has been through some major changes recently. The company's founder and guiding light, Renaud de Vergnette recently sold a majority shareholding in the operation to Olivier Decelle, a one time hi-fi dealer who first met Renaud when Triangle was making its debut. Olivier's business success actually came in frozen foods, but his love for music and hi-fi has brought him back as a major investor in Triangle's future expansion, allowing Renaud to focus on product development.
After a successful track record with its vinyl-covered budget Esprit models, Triangle expanded its upmarket Magellan series and has now filled the gap by introducing a brand new mid-market Genese range, which replaces the previous Stratos series.
This £1,895 per pair Quartet is the middle of the three Genese models introduced at the time of writing. It's a three-way with twin bass drivers and, as such, it shares the same configuration as the cheaper Celius Esw and the more costly Magellan Cello. And although it shares a similar pricetag with the former, physically, it more closely resembles the latter.
Though expensive, the Quartet is certainly a whole lot of speaker for the money, with a selection of ingredients that put some of its rivals in the shade. The tall floorstanding enclosure is elegantly finished in mahogany- stained real wood veneer and has curved sides for extra strength and superior internal standing wave and reflection control.
The three-way line-up combines twin 160mm bass units with fibreglass/carbon fibre cones and high excursion rubber roll surround, a 160mm paper cone, pleated surround midrange driver, and a horn-loaded titanium dome tweeter mounted high up and half-out of the enclosure, thanks to a semicircular bulge in the top surface.
Each driver has its own separate sub-enclosure, the two bass units loaded by a clever Siamesed double-port arrangement, and the whole thing sits on a steel plinth which ensures fine stability.
Intended to be kept clear of walls, the Quartet was noteworthy for the sense of true authority that it brought to the party. The sheer height of the speaker was partly responsible, with the midrange and the tweeter comfortably seated above head height. The other key factor is fine dynamic expression, which further contributes to the vividness and realism of its musical performance.
The bass end is clean, dry and even, if not perhaps quite as weighty as the size of the speakers might suggest. While it shows decent speed and freedom from overhang, the tonality seemed a trifle detached from the whole. Voices are very communicative, but the midband also suffers from a degree of boxy coloration. Likewise the top end is clean, incisive and detailed, but not particularly sweet or smooth. Imaging and coherence are both thoroughly competent, but fall a little short of the best.
The Quartet delivers a fully competitive all round sound quality, but in one notable respect is streets ahead of the pack. Provided the partnering amplifier has good current capability, this speaker has a substantial advantage in loudness. Not only through its higher sensitivity, but also the substantial power handling advantage of its three-way multi-driver array.