Looking for amp to go with Triangle Borea Br08

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Bodd

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Dec 20, 2021
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I'm sure they'll differ. The powernode is class D and the Audiolab is AB. I had the Audiolab for a bit and didn't like it. And as I've just said here I recently bought the Node 2021 and I stand by what I said above. I don't think the extra detail on offer makes up for what I feel is a rather anaemic sound, especially with vocals. And then if you use the Node as a streamer transport and connect it to another DAC you're getting into quite a lot of money and a growing box count.
I'm not saying that the ifi Zen blue is the last word in sound quality. What I am saying is that this is a product that is superbly well conceived and designed, and with a good amplifier, interconnects and well-chosen speakers can deliver a performance which is going to satisfy many with a discerning ear but who are not willing to just throw money at the latest and greatest. Yes, it's only bluetooth... you're not getting proper uncompromised hi-res... blah, blah.
I think I have pretty good ears and listening to the Zen blue side by side against the Node on another input I can hear slightly more detail, but as soon as you put on the Zen blue and relax into its warming envelope of sound, which in no way makes you stop and check yourself and say "but where's the high hat, and those chimes I love so much at 1 minute and 34 seconds?", you cease to care.
I would say hold off from listening to those who say you've got to spend X and Y thousand to get the sound that you are after.
Thanks Rob, in the end it's all about having fun with the sound, so if cheaper components give a more fun sound then i'm all for it ofcourse. We'll see.

I tested the node and will put a small review in a new post right after this one.
 

RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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Thanks Rob, in the end it's all about having fun with the sound, so if cheaper components give a more fun sound then i'm all for it ofcourse. We'll see.

I tested the node and will put a small review in a new post right after this one.
Give your ears (and ... to a lesser degree, the amplifier) a little time to 'acclimatise'. Use it for a week or so and see how you feel then and what's amiss (or not).
 
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Bodd

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Dec 20, 2021
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So, just connected the node, which was a pain because the banana plugs didn't go in well, the black ones didn't go in at all so they are not in the hole, just against the copper and tightly screwed lol. Don't know how to fix this, guess i need bare wire or something.

I only got the chance to listen for about 30 minutes. Me and my wife and her son all thought the same things about this amp:

This node sounds quite a bit BIGGER, more bass and the bass sounds more fun. It's not boomy, just "full". I missed that a bit with the other amp.
All around so far the node fills the room better, and most bad recordings (that sounded like a glorified kitchen radio on the other amp) actually sound pretty good now, both in BT and via wifi.

It feels like i have a different set of speakers now tbh. Bigger better more fun sound on this amp. The Audiolab, like i said, lacked "courage". It's stale with these speakers(minus some very good recordings). I almost feel like the audiolabs were underpowered? Is that possible? The sound sounded restrained compared to the node, like it only took a small % out of the speakers ability.

So far, node is the much better amp for these speakers. I'm not exaggerating at all, it's quite some difference.

I'll have the entire day tommorow to test and compare both the audiolab and the node.
 
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Bodd

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Dec 20, 2021
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IMG_20220122_185257.jpg

Here they both are. Only quickly tested so that's why it's messy.

This is the problem with the cables/plugs:

IMG_20220122_185547.jpg
 
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robdmarsh

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That does look pretty uncomfortable and not a very satisfactory way to plug your speakers in. I'm glad that you're liking the sound more. Of course, the node in the powernode will be a big upgrade in your digital source over what was it before, streaming through your TV?
I would love to hear what you think of the Denon pma 800ne through your speakers though! But as they say here give it a week, 10 days.
 

Bodd

Well-known member
Dec 20, 2021
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That does look pretty uncomfortable and not a very satisfactory way to plug your speakers in. I'm glad that you're liking the sound more. Of course, the node in the powernode will be a big upgrade in your digital source over what was it before, streaming through your TV?
I would love to hear what you think of the Denon pma 800ne through your speakers though! But as they say here give it a week, 10 days.
Yes first through tv via optical cable and then switched to bluetooth aptx (which sounded better).

Somehow i also don't have the treble problem anymore. At the beginning i couldn't listen for long periods without rest because of ear pain/pressure. Maybe my ears got used to the sound or maybe because of speaker break in. The triangles actually cause no ear fatigue anymore. Can listen all day easily now.

Alright, next up the 800ne with that device that you recommended. I'll keep you updated. Will probably order them somewhere in the coming week.

I'm curious to see how they go against the other 2 more expensive ones. I'll give them their break in time.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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View attachment 3146

Here they both are. Only quickly tested so that's why it's messy.

This is the problem with the cables/plugs:

View attachment 3147
You are putting the banana plugs where the wire should go. They should go into the END of the speaker terminals! If there are little plastic pieces in there (EU rules...) just carefully prise them out. Banana plugs are 4mm and should fit in nicely....👍
 
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Bodd

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Dec 20, 2021
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You are putting the banana plugs where the wire should go. They should go into the END of the speaker terminals! If there are little plastic pieces in there (EU rules...) just carefully prise them out. Banana plugs are 4mm and should fit in nicely....👍
Ah! That's what i thought, that i was doing something wrong. I was looking for an entry to put them into the end of the speaker terminals, but there was, indeed, plastic there. Seemed like there was only 1 way to put them in.

Cheers! That problem should be fixed now.
 
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Tinman1952

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Ah! That's what i thought, that i was doing something wrong. I was looking for an entry to put them into the end of the speaker terminals, but there was, indeed, plastic there. Seemed like there was only 1 way to put them in.

Cheers! That problem should be fixed now.
Don't worry you are not the first....! 🙂 The EU decided several years ago that without those little plastic bits we would all electrocute ourselves! 🙄 lol.....
 
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Bodd

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Dec 20, 2021
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I need to put something straight, because i just read back my earlier review and i feel my opinion has changed after testing and comparing the two amps for a long time and i feel it needs to be adjusted for possible other people who might read these posts and are looking for advice/info. As i don't want to possibly put people on the wrong foot:

The Audiolab actually sounds better with slower/laid back type music. For example: Jazz, blues, slower classic rock, rasta. It sounds more refined to our ears. More pleasant to listen to. I did not test much of these types of music in the first 30 minutes or so of testing before the initial review so that's why my opinion changed.

The powernode though, sounds more lively with pretty much everything that has some kick to it. Harder type rock, trance, pop, reggae, r&b, metal, heavier orchestra and almost everything with a decent beat/bass period. For example, if you listen to trance, most of the time in the song there is a build-up, and then at some point it "explodes" into an adrenalin rush. With the node you really feel that intense feeling, but with the Audiolab you don't. It sounds flat, sterile. It's missing emotion.
Another example, i listened to some latin (club style) reggae songs, and on the node i felt like making a party right there and then, while on the audiolab i didn't. Plus If you like bass, the node is a no brainer over the Audiolab.

But if you like blues, jazz and other slow laid back music (which is not meant to give you a rush), buy the Audiolab for these speakers. They sounds better for that.

It's funny, the playlist that i made for/with the Audiolab doesn't sound that good on the Node (i don't even listen to that list anymore on the node), while the playlist that i made consisting of songs that sound great on the node, sound (in comparison) boring on the Audiolab.

So, these two amps are just different. Audiolab costed me about 650 euro's, Powernode 1000. If you like more relaxed music then go for the cheaper audiolab. It sounds more "high class" with that kind of music. I've never liked or listened to blues/jazz much, but the Audiolab made me like those genres on it, lol.

I've send the Audiolab back. The node is better for our music tastes in general. Is it worth €350 extra? Yes. We think so. It's also much smaller which is a + and it looks better imo.

These speakers (+amp) really grew on me over time and i'm listening to them a lot now. Am already thinking of selling them and buying better ones within 8-12 months time. Not because these sound bad, but it's the concept of: "the starter at the restaurant tastes great, and now you can't wait for the main meal".
Maybe a higher tier Triangle set.

The person who said this is a costly hobby, you are very correct. This is going to be a moneysink over the years Lol.

Unfortunately i have to delay the denon for a while, we're a bit tight with finances atm due to new bills(munincipal bills come in januari here and are high in €€), kind of forgot about that before. So for now it's not a good idea. Will still buy the amp, but might take a week or few weeks longer. If the denon is good though, i'll keep both the Denon and the Powernode, as my wife's son is building a sound system too (i "infected" him, lol) and he said he'd buy one of the two from me if it was good enough for his liking. That way we can swap them every now and then, for variation.

Hope this was helpfull for possible people looking for info.

Robdmarsh i'll pm you once i tested the Denon, and will let you know how they are/compare, as i don't want to make this a "i'll just review endless amps for the Triangle speakers" thread lol ;)).

I've found 1 amp that's a match with the Triangles thanks to the help/tips i got here, so if you want to close the thread, go ahead (And if you don't, then don't, hehe). Thank you.

Ps. I'm a firm believer of break in now! ;)
 
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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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Interesting results. And particularly interesting that you find each of these two amplifiers being strong with 50% of your music choice and weak(er) with the other 50%.

This is definitely not the case with my amp and if it was, I would not be happy with the situation. I certainly want an amplifier that is a good all round performer, especially if you have wide-ranging music tastes. Ok, I don't listen to much (none) heavy metal or thrash, so maybe my amp would not be great with those genres but I would say it does a pretty good job across the board. Where it is weakest is probably with large scale classical music, but I think this is an ultimate test of any amplifier as the dynamic range is so wide.

Surely a versatile amplifier should be adept at reproducing excitement and drama when required and sounding relaxing and soothing when the music has these characteristics.

What do you others and the OP think? Is it not possible to have your cake and it, so to speak, with one amplifier?
 

Bodd

Well-known member
Dec 20, 2021
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Interesting results. And particularly interesting that you find each of these two amplifiers being strong with 50% of your music choice and weak(er) with the other 50%.

This is definitely not the case with my amp and if it was, I would not be happy with the situation. I certainly want an amplifier that is a good all round performer, especially if you have wide-ranging music tastes. Ok, I don't listen to much (none) heavy metal or thrash, so maybe my amp would not be great with those genres but I would say it does a pretty good job across the board. Where it is weakest is probably with large scale classical music, but I think this is an ultimate test of any amplifier as the dynamic range is so wide.

Surely a versatile amplifier should be adept at reproducing excitement and drama when required and sounding relaxing and soothing when the music has these characteristics.

What do you others and the OP think? Is it not possible to have your cake and it, so to speak, with one amplifier?
Absolutely! I'd love an amp which was good with (almost) everything, as i DO miss the Audiolab for the slower types of music. I don't listen those songs anymore on the node... well, i do sometimes, but not much.
It's not that they sound very bad, it's just not like on the Audiolab...

Can't wait to see what the Denon brings to the table! Maybe i'll try more amps once finances permit, as i can just sell the ones i like less. I don't mind a small loss for the fun it gives me.
Everyone seems to be talking about Naim. The inner child in me says "i want one".

We'll see. As before, i'll keep you posted.
 

robdmarsh

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
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So many things about this hobby (hate that word) are about trial and error. With Naim and the like you're talking about much bigger investments. All I know is that with the Denon amp (which is lower mid range old school) and my Titus EZ speakers I found a sound, after various attempts, that just suits me right down to the ground and sounds bloody good with 90%+ of what I enjoy listening to.

Apart from little tweaks here and there, I don't see myself getting the itch to buy new gear, and definitely not get into vinyl (I grew up with the stuff, and once is enough!). Another thing nowadays is I pretty quickly know what I'm going to like and what I'm not going to like, and the Bluesound Node (new version) fell into the latter category. I just didn't like the higher frequencies and their distinct glare, despite the detail. These Chord Clearway X speaker cables likewise, much though the retailer wants me to try them for 200 hours so I get "accustomed" to the sound or the return window runs out, more likely :unsure:
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Interesting results. And particularly interesting that you find each of these two amplifiers being strong with 50% of your music choice and weak(er) with the other 50%.

This is definitely not the case with my amp and if it was, I would not be happy with the situation. I certainly want an amplifier that is a good all round performer, especially if you have wide-ranging music tastes. Ok, I don't listen to much (none) heavy metal or thrash, so maybe my amp would not be great with those genres but I would say it does a pretty good job across the board. Where it is weakest is probably with large scale classical music, but I think this is an ultimate test of any amplifier as the dynamic range is so wide.

Surely a versatile amplifier should be adept at reproducing excitement and drama when required and sounding relaxing and soothing when the music has these characteristics.

What do you others and the OP think? Is it not possible to have your cake and it, so to speak, with one amplifier?
I agree an amplifier should sound good with all types of music...after all it doesn't know what kind of music is being played! It should just be a 'straight wire with gain'. If you hear a 'shortcoming' with a particular type of music then that is revealing a weakness in that amp in my opinion....🙂
 
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RoA

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Absolutely! I'd love an amp which was good with (almost) everything, as i DO miss the Audiolab for the slower types of music. I don't listen those songs anymore on the node... well, i do sometimes, but not much.
It's not that they sound very bad, it's just not like on the Audiolab...

Can't wait to see what the Denon brings to the table! Maybe i'll try more amps once finances permit, as i can just sell the ones i like less. I don't mind a small loss for the fun it gives me.
Everyone seems to be talking about Naim. The inner child in me says "i want one".

We'll see. As before, i'll keep you posted.
Without trying to be condescending it seems you are going through your first initial part of discovery with Hifi. Much to be heard yet and you'll find 'your sound'.

Just keep in mind that taste and preferences change throughout one's journey.
:)

It's a bit like stuff you didn't eat as a kid but like now

If I have one piece of advise it's that anything with overt character will likely grate after a while. You can't go far wrong with neutral even if it doesn't impress on first listen.
 
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Bruzli

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Feb 8, 2022
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Just had a long test with BR09 in my space, that is 60 sqm open living with 2.8m height. First time listening Triangle, love their organic, natural sound. Tested with Yamaha Rn803d and Denon pma 600ne. Go for a decent Yamaha, starting As501, I am not saying it's ideal bu can't be wrong. With good sources it was impressive.
No Denon pma 600ne for these.
 

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