Bag End TA5000-C Portable PA Speaker

The Bag End TA5000-C ($1,040 each) is a medium-size, two-way loudspeaker for portable PA and DJ systems, houses of worship, auditoriums, nightclubs, electronic drums and keyboards. It covers most of the audio range and features Time-Aligned drivers.
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The Bag End TA5000-C ($1,040 each) is a medium-size, two-way loudspeaker for portable PA and DJ systems, houses of worship, auditoriums, nightclubs, electronic drums and keyboards. It covers most of the audio range and features Time-Aligned drivers.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound

Key Features: Two-way, 15-inch woofer, 1.25-inch titanium tweeter, horn-loaded, Time-Aligned design.

Price: $990 each

Contact: Bag End Loudspeakers, 847-382-4550, Web Site

Plus

+ Extremely efficient

+ Uniform dispersion

+ Time-Aligned drivers

Minus

- Weak deep bass

- Slight MF and HF emphasis

The Score:A full-range system that can play loud with lots of articulation.
Features

I was impressed with the unit's road-tough construction, featuring a 3/4-inch, seven-ply poplar plywood cabinet covered with black carpet and fitted with plastic corner protectors.

On the front, the grille is 16-gauge perforated steel, coated with black vinyl. The vented cabinet has an internal volume of 3.4 cubic feet and measures 28 inches (H) x 22.5 inches (W) x 18.5 inches (D). Each side is tapered 8 degrees to form a trapezoid. Built into the cabinet is a 35mm stand adapter and two recessed handles. Since the unit weighs 70 pounds, two people may be needed to place it on a stand.

Drivers include a 15-inch cone woofer with a 2.5-inch voice coil and 80-ounce magnet, and a 1-inch exit-compression high-frequency driver with a 1.25-inch titanium diaphragm and 24-ounce magnet. The HF driver is loaded with an exponential horn. Crossover is at 1.7 kHz using a passive Time-Align equalizer type.

Because of the speaker's Time-Align design, sound from the woofer and tweeter arrive at the listener simultaneously through the crossover region - within ±25 microseconds. The claimed result is improved transient response.

Bag End thoughtfully provided several ways to hook up the system. Two Neutrik Speakon connectors wired in parallel, two phone jacks in parallel, and a single pair of dual-banana jacks are located on the back.

Claimed specs are impressive: frequency response is 50 Hz - 19 kHz ± 3 dB in full space, sensitivity is 101 dB 1W/1m, and impedance is 8 ohms. Dispersion is said to be 90 degrees horizontal x 40 degrees vertical (6 dB down points). Power handling is 200W continuous sine wave and 800W instantaneous peak.

Bag End offers the TA5000-C with a generous six-year warranty - the longest professional loudspeaker warranty in the industry.

In Use

I listened to a pair of TA5000-C speakers that were freestanding in a large room. Program material included several CDs, myself speaking into a microphone and other PA uses. Here is how the TA5000-C reproduced various instruments:

•Bass: Tight or well defined in time. Not muddy or boomy. A little thin; deep notes are weak, not weighty, but this is a typical tradeoff for efficiency.

•Drums: Natural; good impact. Sharp attacks. Kick drum lacks weight and power.

•Cymbals: Crisp; extended highs on axis and up to 45 degrees either side. (This is normal for a 90-degree horn.)

•Percussion: Sweet and crisp. A bit aggressive on some CDs.

•Piano: A little thin in the bass and slightly hard in the mids, but clear.

•Acoustic guitar: Natural.

•Strings: Smooth.

•Voice: Mostly natural; slightly bright.

•Electric guitar: Plenty of aggressive edge or bite. Weak in the "body" range or fundamentals.

This is one loud, clear speaker system! Overall, the TA5000-C sounded clean, bright and clear. It has lots of highs all the way out to its coverage angle of ±45 degrees. It is pretty much uncolored on music, except for a little upper midrange and high-frequency emphasis, and diminished deep bass. These anomalies can be tamed with graphic EQ if desired.

This speaker complemented the sound of the SM-58 extremely well, giving a full, clean and natural sound with that microphone. Like all stage vocal mics, the SM-58 has some up-close bass boost (proximity effect), which the TA5000-C keeps under control. The speaker also adds some "air" or upper highs to the microphone. If you like the SM-58, you will love how it sounds through the TA5000-C.

Summary

The TA5000-C plays very loud and clear. It is built well and sounds especially good on and off-axis. I recommended it for people who want a full-range system that can play loud with lots of articulation.

REVIEW SETUP

Sony PCMR300 DAT recorder; Crown D75, Crown PL4 power amplifiers; Shure SM-58, Crown CM-200A microphones; Alesis Monitor One loudspeaker; Goldline TEF-20 sound analyzer; Crown CM-150 measurement microphone.