The first time I ever heard of Radian was many years ago; the company was well known in professional circles for manufacturing high-quality replacement components for manufacturers such as JBL, among others. It was later that it began manufacturing its own cones and compression drivers, and today Radian manufactures finished speakers and monitors like the 1200XD stage monitor from its Apex Neo Series.
Radian’s Apex Neo 1200XD is an ultra-low-profile monitor in a nice, tight little package, capable of pumping out some serious SPL. The two-way Neo 1200XD monitor houses a Neodymium 12-inch/2-inch coaxial driver assembly. Its woofer portion has a 4-inch voice coil, while the compression driver portion boasts a 3-inch voice coil with a 2-inch exit at the throat of the horn, all loaded into an aluminum frame. Low to Mid crossover frequency is 1,250 Hz and dispersion is about 90 degrees all around, with the speaker package emanating at about a 15-degree angle above the floor.
The Neo 1200XD has a manufacturer-rated capability of handling 700 watts continuous power. The provided manual was not clear about the separate ratings of the components of Low/High when in biamped mode, but referred to the 635W number in passive mode at 8 Ohms. Individually, Lows are 8 Ohms and Highs are 16 Ohms, so use your knowledge of system design and build your racks appropriately. (I personally recommend 1.5W of amp power per every Watt of speaker rating.)
The component drivers are nestled into an attractive cabinet with a proprietary waterproof, non-skid, non-reflective finish. The cabinet itself rises to a height of only 13 inches, a width of 14 inches and an overall clearance depth of about 21 inches, taking into account the swept teardrop shape of the cabinet. Connectors are dual parallel Neutrik NL4 receptacles.
After initially examining the Neo 1200XD, I was really looking forward to taking this wedge out to a gig with two main goals in mind: I wanted to find out if it offered the clarity I thought it would, and I wanted to know if it could truly rock. I had my opportunity to find out both, as my next gigs provided full production — audio, lighting, stage and roof — for ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll icon Johnny Rivers (who still has “it”!) at a large car show for an audience of approximately 10,000 people.
First, regarding the Neo 1200XD’s clarity: it most notably offers very smooth frequency response from 60 Hz to 16 kHz. Radian notes 50 Hz as the Neo 1200XD’s bottom frequency, and I would say the wedge handled bass guitar very well, but with kick drum, you need a little something additional (a subwoofer, as do all 12-inch wedges). Vocal clarity was superb, as were the rest of drum sounds, guitars and keyboards. Johnny’s vocals were crystal-clear, and he even remarked so. The Neo 1200XD attained very nice SPL levels, with abundant headroom. We were employing our own monitor racks, which contain Yorkville AP4040 for lows (about 750W @ 8 ohms) and Yorkville AP800 for highs (about 250W @ 16 ohms). I never saw a clip on the amps, and I never heard audible edginess from the wedge: The Neo 1200XD maintained very nicely.
But can it rock? Most definitely. We were attaining stage levels of 105-106 dB at about 5 feet (ear distance) without pushing anything hard. The opening group — the Stars of Beatlemania — actually required a little more SPL than Johnny; they had a little more stage volume than Johnny in terms of a monitor needing to “cut through.” Keep in mind that lots of bands need more than 106 dB out of a wedge, but think about what we had here — a 12/2 coax. It offered amazing performance for such a low-profile wedge.
My oldest son JJ was the monitor engineer for the event, employing an Allen & Heath iLive T112 (also recently reviewed for PAR). At one point, we actually switched out the wedge with a player during a costume change so that JJ could try out the Neo 1200XD as a cue wedge, thus really giving it some torture. JJ mixes FOH for hip-hop bands, so I knew he would really give this monitor a ride. His official report: “This wedge rocks.”
I never cease to be amazed at the increasing quality that can come from progressively smaller packages. This Radian wedge is just that kind of product, significantly raising the bar for a low-profile coaxial stage monitor. Following the usage described above, we employed the Neo 1200XD at several more gigs and I am quite enthusiastic about declaring that I would proudly own a fleet of them. And I am giving that purchase some serious thought, as I was already considering expanding our monitor armada.
Price: $2,080 list
Contact: Radian Audio Engineering | radianaudio.com
Will James, owner and chief owner of Atlantis Audio and Lighting, is a longstanding PAR contributor.