Radian Audio is a Southern California based company, specializing in high-end speakers, monitors and raw frame components.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound, installation
Key Features: passive/biamped, 12-inch woofer; coaxial components
Contact: Radian Audio Engineering at 714-288-8900, Web Site.
+ Low profile/small footprint on stage
+ Pack nicely in any truck/case application
+ Sound quality
+ Good connector and handle arrangement
– Narrow vertical HF dispersion.
The Score: Great little monitor package on all fronts.
I had no previous experience with Radian Audio, but I had seen numerous print ads through the years, and its product looked interesting. Upon opening the shipping boxes, the first impression of the Radian Micro Wedge ($1,995) was its size, or rather lack of size. It appeared to be a little more than one foot square. In reality, it is 16 inches wide, 22 inches deep and stands 13 inches tall, and weighs only 60 lbs. The Micro Wedge is a very smart looking little package, finished with the patented “Duradian” nonscratch finish.
The Radian Micro Wedge is a coaxial monitor, that is to say the woofer and the driver share a common center. The woofer is a 12-inch, 500-watt RMS woofer that is a proprietary component, developed and manufactured entirely by Radian, as is the 2-inch, 70-watt RMS high-frequency driver. By placing the two components in a coaxial arrangement, not only is the size considerably smaller than conventional monitors, but also the frequencies emanate from identical points in space. This eliminates time/phase irregularities, while offering a full 90-degree horizontal dispersion.
The Micro Wedge may be operated as a passive, internally crossed-over monitor, or as a biamped, externally, actively crossed-over monitor. In either case, operation is determined by the position of a conveniently located switch. Radian provides the following information: an efficiency of 96 dB (1 kHz @ 1 watt/1 meter), with a maximum SPL of 123 dB continuous.
The actual cabinet is constructed of the high-quality 3/4-inch Baltic birch and has an unusual arrangement of handle and connectors. The handle is located on the front (performer side) of the Micro Wedge, and the dual Neutrik NL4 speaker connectors are located within the recess of the handle. This feature eliminates messy wire configurations by hiding the wire from the audience.
I took the Radian Micro Wedges for several outings – in both indoor and outdoor monitor applications. Radian sent me a matched pair of the monitors, so the first thing I did was set them out for the lead vocal position (center stage). But unlike conventional wedges that you would place two or three feet apart, the Radians are designed to be arrayed in groups, typically of two, but for the more deaf performer, possible in arrays of three or four. With their trapezoidal shape, they array quite nicely and have a very low profile for the most dressy of occasions (TV and other high-end applications). The arrangement of the NL4 connectors provided for an extremely clean wiring configuration, and multiple arraying wire configurations were exceedingly clean, thanks to the opposing connectors.
First use of the Radian monitors was at a concert featuring 80s British vocalist Morrissey. Prior to his arrival, we set up the monitors by plugging into a biamped configuration. I had no idea what to expect from the Radians, but during the process of ringing them out, I was most surprised by the smooth lower frequencies, and the friendliness and cut-through of the upper frequencies. They were extremely stable at a fairly high SPL, with only six frequencies cut no more than 6 dB. At lower SPL, they required very little EQ, and at extremely high SPL, required only 10 of 31 frequencies cut, with no boost required at all.
At shows where I was monitor engineer, I employed the Radian monitors as cue wedges. I found the Micro Wedge to be very good in full-range applications such as voice, guitar, piano, keys, sax and flute. With inputs like kick drum, bass guitar and synthesizer bass, the lower frequencies actually responded quite well. I was reasonably impressed with the full response of the monitors, and they exhibited a friendly response at frequencies of 100 Hz and above, but rolled off somewhat in the octave below that (down to 50 Hz). The upper frequencies were crisp and succinct and the HF driver handled high SPL vocals exceedingly well. I noticed the HF dispersion factor to be good, close to the 90-degree manufacturer claim, but I had to stand almost right on top of them to experience the vertical dispersion factor. This is due to the slightly lower baffle angle design aimed at vocalist optimization.
The Radian Micro Wedges were exposed to many hours of torture and test, and they never faltered. In fact, I found them to be highly useful monitors in a multitude of applications. They have all the “huevos” to handle any rock’n roll situation, but also the dexterity to mingle with the most delicate of orchestra sounds. The Radian Micro Wedge will be a strong and viable complement to any professional monitor system. It has earned my full recommendation.
Soundcraft SM20, 48 x 20 monitor console; dbx 2231, Klark Teknik DN360 stereo 1/3 octave graphic EQs; BSS MiniDrive speaker management processor; Yorkville TX2P monitor management processor. Yorkville AP4040 LF, Yorkville AP800 HF power amps; Audix OM6, D6, D4, Micro-D microphones; Shure ULXP with Beta 87, wireless microphone; Sennheiser 604 microphone.