Ken brought the first Surround Sound system into Home Cinema back in the mid 90s when Dolby first brought us DD as it was then AC3 5.1 which was conceived using Kreisel speakers, it was only in its early infancy and DTS was not even a consideration but Ken was way ahead of the game when it came to speaker technology and his Sat/Sub systems were the perfect partners for what every Home Cinema enthusiast dreamed about, he also brought the first THX certified system to the masses with the stunning S150THX system which also included the much talked about Tripole technology that Ken pioneered, this is the very first true surround speaker to grace our Home Cinema and one of the finest too, the S150 Tripole made the THX system perfect as it gave you that complete wrap around affect that we are all chasing and Ken had nailed it, he made other versions too for the rest of his speaker ranges which were all now to feature a Tripole speaker for the surround duties.
This set the benchmark standard very high for others to try and compete with and follow, as there were dipole versions but none could match the Tripole technology as it was just so good.This leads me on nicely to today and his latest benchmark and that is the TriFX Quattro speaker, which is part of his Reference Quattro range of speakers and is partnered perfectly with the Q125LCR speaker, I have already reviewed these amazing speakers and so have many other reviewers and they have won awards on both sides of the Atlantic and Asia too, so far and wide, his message of GOOD SOUND is still with us and he is certainly making sure of that by presenting to us such incredible products!
The Build quality on the TriFX is exceptional and from the 3 box packaging to the neat smelt black bag that holds the TriFX in, it all leads up to a top quality and reference grade product, even the weight of each speaker gives you satisfaction that you know there is some serious magnetic structures held within the beautiful black gloss exterior.So why am I reviewing these speakers now and what have I been using up until now?
Well, I have been using another one of Kens incredible innovations in surround sound technologies and that is the Column Surround, or in my case the M&K CS29 which have been with me for over 10 years and still going strong and have been my favourite surround speaker not just for sound but also for looks as they are so easy to hide, Ken has made some suggestions that there will be new versions of these speakers coming in his up and coming range of new speakers, which I will be no doubt in awe when I even catch a glimpse of such an updated CS speaker!
So my scene is now set and I am ready to listen to these beauties and match them with there proper partners, the Q125s and a DUO of DXD808s so a real KEN KREISEL feast for sure and my system is already reference grade as far as sound is concerned so I have high expectations.
On to my review material and for this I am keeping it nice and simple and using the Reference quality AVS Bluray disc 2 which has some brilliant movie clips and also some music in there too, but with my main focus on the surround material which it has and some good ones!
The first film clip is taken from Prometheus which has a tremendous score, with its audio mix being dark and very atmospheric and some excellent use of the surround speakers to give a good sense of scale and also tension and build up to the climax of the scene where the Alien space craft is shot down, now I rated my system as reference for this sitting but by adding the TriFX to the rears it is as if more layers have been pealed away and you can hear more from the recording, the CS29s are very very good indeed but the TriFX takes the surround experience to another level completely it is so convincing with the 4 tweeter array wringing every last detail out of the mix, where the ship crashes to earth you feel and hear the ground crunching all around you but with pin sharp detail, it certainly is the best I have heard this scene so I move on to the next.
The next film clip is from Disneys John Carter, it is the scene where Carter steals one of small space/air ships from one of the floating ships in the sky, and as soon as the ship dives down the soundtrack reminds me of a Star wars battle ship scenes with the ships whizzing around the back of you and from side to side but with such a sound that defines its character, once again hearing the recording through the TriFX made the surround experience more convincing and more so as I really could pick out more layers than from previous sessions, its like a whip rushing past your ear the sound is so precise that you can easily get startled from the clarity.Getting quite carried away now and really starting to enjoy this session of demos, the next one is an animated film clip Rango from the Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies partners and it is a great part of the film and funny too, Running from the Hawk is the segment and it is the scene where the chameleon (Rango) tries to out run the Hawk, set in a western out back the soundtrack has a brilliant musical score and is depicted beautifully by the Quattros and the TriFX just sit so well in this set up they really do, and sound excellent with the movies music giving it some real shine quality to the set up, more so than my Column Surrounds did to it, every swipe and little detail is picked out by the TriFX they are outstanding surround speakers and really do deserve to be partnered with the Q125s as they just are so seamless together!
My final film clip is from SkyFall the James Bond movie which is one of the best yet made and both film and audio is used to full affect, with the surround speakers getting a lot of the action in this movie and so do my DUO of DXD808s which really get quite a good work out too, and left me wondering should this clip also have been put into the Reference BASS section, as it was that good, but back to the TriFX and immediately from the beginning of the Westminster Subway scene the rears come into full use, immersing you into the London Underground scene where James is just boarding the train unconventionally while it is moving from the outside, once boarded you pick up the detail and definition from the screeching of the train on the tracks to the tense music that surrounds you, but again it is the seamless integration between the front and rears that is just so good and the BASS that tracks all round the room to the finale where the train crashes through into the sewer where James makes a dash for it, before getting slammed by the train, it really is a great mix and shows what can be acheived when you have the right system/speakers in place, and the Quattros with the TriFX are just a stunning combination!
I thought for the last piece of the review I would use some music from the demo disc to see how the TriFX fair and for this I am listening to a brilliant bit of music but also some wonderful animation, it is named ANIMUSIC HD / Pipe Dream, it uses small ball bearings which are fired out of pipes blowing air onto strings and to drums, you start to get the picture? Well it bounces a long at a fair rate with the beginning being near silent and you can hear the air coming out of the pipes, and the clarity from the rears is astonishing but when it gets going it is a joy to hear and it is one of my favourite clips on the disc, I can watch it over and over it is so catchy and clever, but what I will tell you is that the TriFX are superb with music, for anyone who is keen on 5.1 music audio, these are the best I have heard at reproducing exactly what they should, but cleverly as well they diffuse the sound too which gives it more space around the speakers, they are just the perfect match for the Q125s and I am going to seriously be tempted to purchase a pair now as they just sound too good to go back to my columns :-(To finish off I thought it would be of interest to take a look at the rear of the speakers and see how the connections are made as there is obviously a couple of ways of connecting these up, but for most you will just use them in the setting that I have them in now and that is in positions 1 & 2 with the jumper across positions 3&4.If you want to use them in Dipole configuration then you just remove the jumper!Conclusions
These are as you can guess the perfect partner and match for the Q125s but I could see them being used in anyones Home Cinema even if you cannot afford to go the full stretch just yet and match them with the fronts but if you do you get a wonderful seamless integration that just has to be heard and the Quattro array of tweeters extract every last bit of detail from any recording, they truly are reference grade speakers.I would also like to thank L Sound for the TriFX speakers which I have used for the review, so a massive thanks to them!
The only negative point that I could make on these is the looks compared to my Column Surrounds but it is something that I could surely live with, I used to think that a set of 4 x S150 Tripoles was the reference but that has certainly changed now that Ken has introduced the Quattro TriFX!