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Taga Platinum B-40 v3 Bookshelf Speakers: Review

So, Taga Harmony, a brand with a blend of European and Chinese heritage. We’ll delve into their one of the latest speakers, the Platinum B-40 v3. With a price range of approximately $350 to $400, I am curious how it fare when pitted against competitors from well-established brands.

Design and build quality

The design of these speakers is undeniably intriguing as it combines various solutions used by other brands. Notably, it incorporates a curved cabinet reminiscent of Wharfedales, a partially isolated tweeter housing, and eye-catching waveguides akin to those found in Bowers and Wilkins. Furthermore, all the driver membranes are constructed from metal, similar to what you would expect in the Monitor Audio. This unique approach of combining multiple different technologies deserves at least recognition.

The overall external design is undoubtedly impressive, presenting a nice and distinctive aesthetic. However, upon closer inspection, it falls slightly behind the competition, particularly in terms of finer details. Nowadays, the benchmark for budget speakers, such as the Wharfedale Diamond 12.2, is set quite high.

What does this mean? Well, for instance, considering the presence of a beautiful aluminum tweeter, why is it so thickly covered? Additionally, there are a noticeable number of visible bolts on the front and back that could be easily concealed. Furthermore, the cheap sticker on the back could be replaced with something more appealing. While these aspects may not be critical, my point is that attention to detail is somewhat lacking here.

… but don’t get me wrong, the build quality itself is not bad, with generally respectable fit and finish, aside from a few plastic components that feel somewhat gimmicky in certain areas. In my case, the speakers were equipped with black ash vinyl, and although I can’t elaborate on its appearance, its quality feels decent.

Though, there is room for improvement in terms of cabinet damping, as the sound tends to be noticeably hollow from the sides. Additionally, the quality control raises some concerns, as I discovered minor scratches on the tweeter housings right after unboxing them.

Sound quality

In a nutshell, this speaker delivers a sound that can be described as metallic. But, on a serious note, the sound signature is forward, bright, and airy, albeit in a somewhat flashy and artificial manner, which comes at the expense of some “high-frequency pollution”.

The closest comparison I can draw is with the Monitor Audio Bronze 2, although I imagine there would still be notable differences, particularly refering to Hi-Fi standards.

The Platinum B40’s greatest strength lies in its remarkable dispersion and commendable off-axis performance. This I think can be attributed, at least in part, to the unique tweeter assembly featuring some special waveguide design. Consequently, it brings an airy and spacious quality to the sound, making these speakers particularly advantageous in challenging room setups.

The speakers offer a good level of detail, albeit at the cost of sacrificing neutrality.

The reproduction of high frequencies in these speakers is reminiscent of what one would expect from a low-cost speaker, even cheaper than its actual price suggests. The highs are excessively emphasized, to the extent that I often perceived a presence of pink noise in the background. Interestingly, unlike some other speakers that can sound slightly harsh and irritating, I didn’t recall feeling any discomfort with these. It’s possible that over time, I either became accustomed to the added sparkle in the treble or the boosted frequencies were more judiciously (luckily?) selected and combined in this particular case.

If we examine the measurements I conducted in my room, comparing them to my reference Quadral speakers, you can grasp the essence of what I’ve been discussing. There are indeed several peaks in the higher frequencies, with the main one occurring between 2 and 4 kHz. Additionally, there is a noticeable peak even at 13 kHz. This irregularity may explain why I perceive this presence of pink noise I mentioned earlier.

In regards to the midrange, there appears to be a boost or elevation in the 900 to 1400 Hz range and also at the 1.8 to 2.5 kHz range. To be honest, I could perceive this characteristic almost immediately after just a few minutes of listening. I even positioned my ears closer to the woofer and couldn’t help but notice that it sounded somewhat akin to a larger tweeter. Of course, I am exaggerating but hopefully you get my point. I appreciate the midrange response of this speaker, and I believe this aspect alone is better than in for example the Wharfedale Diamond 12.2s. The midrange is bright, vibrant, and exhibits a metallic quality, which adds a unique and quite appealing characteristic to the speaker. If only the higher frequencies were more controlled to achieve a better overall balance‚Ķ

To my surprise, the bass performance was not as forceful as I anticipated, looking at this rigid metal membrane. Nevertheless, its characteristics were commendable, perhaps even slightly superior when compared to mentioned Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (that is if my memory serves me correctly). That being said, in my opinion, this speaker lacks a bit of weight and punch in the bass department. The quantity of bass is slightly insufficient. I must mention that competitors such as the Elac Debut B6.2 or Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 likely offer a bit more in this aspect.

Thanks to the excellent dispersion capabilities of the tweeter and the subtle coloration present in the midrange, you can anticipate a rather commendable soundstage, at least to a certain extent. Undoubtedly, the scene is filled with liveliness and spaciousness. However, as anticipated, it does fall slightly short in terms of depth and weight (bass).

Conclusion

It’s important to note that perfection cannot be expected at this price point. Speakers within this class will always have areas for improvement, even when compared to more renowned competitors like the Wharfedale Diamond 12.2, which may suffer from harshness and midrange deficiencies, or the Q Acoustics 3030i, which may lack in soundstage.

Taga has demonstrated considerable potential in crafting good speakers. However, with this particular model, the Platinum B40 v3, the lack of control in the upper frequencies places it in a somewhat challenging position. It teeters on the line between Hi-Fi sound and cheap home-theater-like sound.

On one hand, the Platinum B40 offers excellent dispersion and lively midrange. On the other, the bass is somewhat uninspiring, and, more notably, the highs exhibit uneveness and a peculiar kind of pink noise or sibilance in the background. Despite the decent amount of detail, this characteristic slightly detracts from the overall listening experience.

To be honest, if those issue were addressed and improved upon, I would readily recommend this speaker over several of the aforementioned rivals.

Rating
M-Reviewer

Since 2015 I try to deliver honest, to the point reviews. First on YouTube, then here! Currently, I mainly focus on cameras and Hi-Fi!

M-Reviewer

Since 2015 I try to deliver honest, to the point reviews. First on YouTube, then here! Currently, I mainly focus on cameras and Hi-Fi!