Finally, the BG Radia systems ads power and impact to the scene where we see Japanese soldiers hunkered down in caves, cringing as American artillery shells fall closer and closer to their position. What makes the scene so powerful is that we hear explosions that seem to encircle us, first from afar and then from close range—an effect the system renders with superb surround imaging. Tension builds almost to the breaking point as shells land close enough for the soldiers ( and for us) to hear the fierce, metallic “crack” of detonations almost directly overhead. It’s a scene to make one’s blood run cold, made even more powerful by the BG Radia rig’s ability to remain clear and composed at higher volumes.
It takes just one great jazz recording—namely, The Jimmy Cobb Quartet’s Cobb’s Corner [Chesky, Multichannel SACD]—for you to realize that there is more to this system than monster dynamics or the sturm und drang of battle scenes. Try listening to “My Foolish Heart,” and you’ll be struck by the way the Z-92s captures the sweet yet incisive bite of Roy Hargrove’s solo trumpet, which sounds very realistic both in size and timbre. The speakers convey the sense of notes forming with within the horn’s interior and then bursting forth through its brass bell; it’s a captivating sound. Off to the right side of the stage, you’ll hear Cobb’s deft, sure brushstrokes on drums and cymbals. The system does a great job of capturing their delicate, filigreed sound and of expressing the quiet, masterful intensity of Cobb’s playing. In short, the system retrieves deep layers of musical information that other speakers might underplay or simply leave behind.
BG Radia’s Z-92/Z-62 surround system may not be the slam-dunk “best product” product in its class, but it can certainly compete with the strongest systems I’ve heard in the sub-$7K price bracket, which is saying a mouthful. The system brings distinctive strengths to the table, including superb treble and midrange detailing, a highly nuanced sound, good top-to-bottom driver integration, and the ability to serve up killer dynamics on demand. Dropping close to seven grand on a speaker system might initially seem like an over-the-top luxury, but once you live with the BG Radia system for a few weeks the idea will make perfect sense.
BG Radia Z-92 three-way floorstanding speaker
Driver complement: On 2.5” x 3.5” Neo3PDR planar ribbon tweeter, one 10” x 5” Neo 10 planar magnetic midrange panel, two 6.5” aluminum mid-bass drivers with double-gap motors and Neodymium magnets
Frequency response: 32Hz–25kHz
Impedance: 4 ohms
Dimensions (HxWxD): 44.25” x 7.7” x 14”
Weight: 70 lb./each
Warranty: Lifetime parts and labor