Test Bench: Radian Audio Engineering 950PB and 760NEOPB Compression Drivers
This was the first time Test Bench featured a product from the highly respected Radian Audio Engineering. Radian Audio Engineering was founded in 1988 by Dr. Richard Kontrimas. Radian’s initial offerings were replacement compression driver diaphragms. However, the diaphragms were so popular that soon the company was making compression drivers. Several major loudspeaker manufacturers quickly identified Radian as an important source for their compression driver needs and became OEM customers. Then, Radian introduced coaxial loudspeakers, followed by woofers, and finally, complete loudspeaker systems. Today, Radian, based in California, is well known in the OEM loudspeaker component business, the sound contractor/fixed installation market, and the portable/touring sound industry.
Radian sent the 950PB and the 760NEOPB, two of the company’s flagship compression drivers, for this Test Bench review. I chose these two mostly because these Radian transducers have a reputation among recording and touring experts as having a high degree of musicality. The 950PB and the 760NEOPB share several features. They are both 2” exit compression drivers, with a useful response above 10 kHz. The 950PB and the 760NEOPB use neodymium motor structures and pure aluminum diaphragms with a proprietary mylar suspension that greatly reduces second- and third-order harmonic distortion. The two transducers mainly differ with regard to their voice coil diameters. The 760NEOPB has a 3” voice coil diameter with a three-slit phase plug. The 950PB has a 4” diameter voice coil with a four-slit phase plug, which translates into higher power handling. The 950PB is rated at 125 W AES (Audio Engineering Society standard). The 760NEOPB is rated at 105 W AES.
This article was originally published in Voice Coil, November 2014.