Angel City Audio Trinity L/R & Center Listening Tests
CD: Yes - The Ladder
I started listening to The Ladder from the beginning of the CD with Homeworld. The first thing I noticed was, again, the punchy and present bass. I played this CD at a relatively high volume to experience the pace and rhythm quality. The first five songs get me very involved in the music. The Trinity’s didn’t quite pull me in as I expected. Jon Anderson’s voice wasn’t as forward as I am used to hearing. The clarity of the speakers was very good, but the detail was lacking at the high volume. In other words, I could hear everything clearly but it was blended together. As I lowered the volume I could hear that separation much better.
CD: Annie Lennox – Lord of the Rings
Another song that conveys involvement is “Into the West” by Annie Lennox. Her vocals were nice and smooth without any edge. The song as a whole was fairly captivating which is why I use it for testing.
CD: Enya - Shepard Moons
I always listen to a couple of tracks from this CD, “Caribbean Blue” and “Marble Halls.” With all of the layers of Enya’s voice in this track it creates a light wispy airiness that should make the speakers become completely transparent. Also, the detail of the main vocals should stand out. The sibilance should be heard clearly with every S, but not to be confused with an overabundance of sibilance or hissing sound. Every breath is apparent in this recording. The music and vocals blend together to create a unique sound. Most of Enya’s songs have the same qualities but this one tends to stand out. The Trinity’s did a decent job of portraying these qualities. I could also hear the good sibilance and again, authoritative bass.
CD: Terence Blanchard – Jazz Suite
“Malcolm Makes Hajj” exemplifies the sound stage and imaging. The track first starts with a sax solo just to the right of the center, it then goes into a drum solo to the back of the stage. After the drum solo finishes the trumpet player starts his solo playing to the front left of the stage and finally the track finishes with a piano solo just behind the trumpet player. Good reproduction places these instruments properly from side to side and front to back. The Sound stage should be high enough so that the trumpet and sax players can be pictured standing on stage. The tonality is even across the frequency spectrum and the instruments should sound natural and real. The trumpet and sax should have a slight edge at high volumes but should never sound grainy. The drums should be crisp without any ringing or poor damping. In the Trinity’s the imaging just wasn’t quite right. The sax and trumpet were too close to the center. Then the drums and piano were right on top of the sax and trumpet, there was no depth to the stage. As described above the instruments sounded smooth and clean but they didn’t sound natural, they lacked realism. Just to be sure I even recalibrated the speaker levels to make sure they were playing balanced. The instrument sounds themselves were just a bit dull.
CD: Flim and the BB’s – Big Notes
Detail and dynamics go hand in hand. When the playing levels of the recording are soft the same details should be heard as when the playing levels are loud. The Heart Throb track does a good job of dynamics and detail. Every instrument which isn’t a lot should sound natural from its softest notes to its loudest notes. Paying close attention to the different saxophones used here I should be able to hear every note at every playing level along with all of the detail in the percussion. The same goes for the keyboards. When the volume was increased the Trinity’s again sounded too blended. Once I lowered the volume to a moderate level all of the detail was there. I realized at this point that the Trinity’s didn’t perform as well at high volume as they did at low to moderate volume The Funhouse track is one of my favorite test songs; it is completely synthesized on some kind of IBM. There is so much detail programmed into this song everything should sound crystal clear from its deep bass up to its high crisp bell sounds. One other thing that I like about this track is what I call pseudo imaging. All of the “instruments” have their position on the stage but of course there are no instruments. Over years of listening to this track I know where that should be. At a moderate volume the Trinity’s had good detail and clarity and they were very good at the pseudo imaging.
CD: Patrick O’Hearn – Trust
Trust is a great track for testing bass because it goes deep and plays long. Although the Trinity’s did not play very deep, the bass had a lot of authority and it was tight. I think it’s more important to play bass with authority and tightness than to try to reach that lower octave which is quite common among high end speakers of this design. Along with the bass, the highs were balanced and proportional, so the speakers didn’t sound boomy. I placed my hands on the cabinets for a quick check of the build quality and felt no vibrations from the cabinet.
CD: Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing
Next I played “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega. The midrange area of her voice was excellent and it sounded appropriately forward. The sibilance was nice and the quiet passages remained quiet.
CD: Rickie Lee Jones – Pop Pop
I only play one song from this CD which I have recently
added to my testing repertoire. I
learned of this song during my HAA acoustics training. It is a very hard song
to clearly reproduce. Besides Rickie Lee’s voice this CD has a standup bass and
the sound stage is also good. I kept the volume at a moderate level and the
Trinity’s did a pretty good job. It really didn’t matter too much on the type
of music, the Trinity’s performed the same: great clarity, good dynamics and
lacking in the sound stage.
SACD: Matt Bianco - Matt’s Mood
For this SACD I started with “La Luna” in two channel mode. Basia’s voice was nicely forward, centered and the instrumental detail was good.
SACD: Tchaikovsky - Overture of 1812
This SACD is probably the best recording I own. Although I’m a bit more used to the 5-channel recording of this SACD it still sounds excellent in 2-channel. Again the bass was very authoritative through the passages with the canons. If the listener truly wants the full effect of the canons the Trinity’s should be supplemented with a good deep playing subwoofer. Except for some loud crescendos, the detail was very good. All of the instruments were crisp and clear while playing at a moderate volume.
DVD: Return of the King – Scene 4, The Voice of Saruman
The Voice of Saruman from Return of the King extended version has so many different audio aspects it is very good for movie listening tests. One of the most important characteristics in L/RC speakers is tonal consistency, meaning that the center channel should have the same timbre as the left/right speakers. When the sound pans across the screen/speakers it should sound the same. This scene starts with Treebeard in the right channel and then it pans to the center. The Trinity’s did an excellent job in this respect. The scene also has a lot of dialog and special effect sounds. I heard the entire dialog very clearly and the special effects were clear and undistorted.
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