Should everything in high-end audio be subordinate to the trend of of crazy pricing to enjoy.?There are two extremes being on the plate with past few year orientation of our market. Either upper echelon gear or entry level point. These two extremes seems to penetrate with the biggest impact and there is a huge competition on both levels. Luckily for the end user there are quite few products/systems at the reasonable price level that translate instantly into some real musical enjoyment.
I’ve spotted Taga Harmony at the Poland High-End Audio show in Warsaw last year and their product range was really extensive. You can enter the world of Taga Harmony with really affordable gear and ladder up to if your budget allows to.
I’ve exchanged few words and business card with Director of the European sales - Przemek Kokocinski and short after the show he contacted me with the proposition to audition their system. We set for HTA-700B SE v.2 Hybrid Amplifier and Platinum B-40 bookshelf speakers combo as Mr. Kokocinski seen this two as great representer of brand and value, as well as good orientation about the company sound performance.
HTA-700B v.2 SE INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER
HTA-700B v.2 SE comes as midi sized integrated amplifier with wide array of features and stand out powerful sound for its size. Taga Harmony design goal was to create a hybrid amplifier, that can retain the richness of tube sound and adding the needed power of solid state.
There are few ways to connect your sources with HTA-700B v.2 SE. Either by USB standard port, Bluetooth® wireless connection or via standard RCA stereo input.
Digital hearth - DAC implements Cmedia CM6631A + Cirrus Logic CS4344 and offers full 24bit/192kHz reproduction.
But features doesn’t stop. Incoming audio is connected to the "pre-out" output with the variable volume level allowing you to connect an external power amplifier, subwoofer/speakers, and dedicated headphone output on the front panel adds on the possibility for intimate listening.
Despite its size HTA-700B v.2 SE acts easily as feature packed digital and music hub ready to serve multiple needs of audiophiles and music lovers
As I’ve received the lasted upgraded version there were few updates already installed. Power output was increased to 45W per channel at 4 Ohm, new redesigned and bigger power supply was added for ensuring better voltage stability and decreased AC ripple current, new audiophile grade volume potentiometer was introduced for lower noise floor and better channels crosstalk and HTA-700B v.2 comes with extended frequency response up to 28kHz, that by words of Taga Harmony ensures better linearity.
HTA-700B v.2 SE was also updated with more fresh and aesthetically pleasing design making much more pleasant addition to the living surroundings.
PLATINUM B-40 SPEAKERS
Taga Harmony Platinum B-40 speakers are part of the flagship loudspeaker line. Contemporary and stylish cabinets embraces the curve cabinet form, consisting of thick MDF board. B-40 speakers are a two way book shelf speakers with crossover point at 2.5kHz. 1” tweeter covers the duties of the higher frequency spectrum and 6.5” midrange/bass drivers reproduce the mid and bass range.
These are not exactly small monitors by any means with their 42 cm height and 27 cm depth. They actually render much bigger sound projection then one expects.
I’ve managed to get a glimpse of the Taga Harmony sound approach at the Poland High-End Audio Show, but it was really to little to quickly to give a fair assumptions. So this was a good time t go more in depth with both integrated and speakers.
In the era, where market and consumers’ view of high-end audio gear financial value was dramatically shifted, people expect much more even from the affordable products and it’s really not easy to bring the balance with interesting pricing and some real musical potency.
HTA-700B SE v.2 integrated amplifier and Platinum B-40 speakers comes at very interesting price point, that might interest a wider audio crowd. At current extent of products in the market combining two product of similar value and performance is really not an easy task. Especially if you want to create a workable and balanced audio system. You can spent countless hours on the internet exploring all the matching possibilities and narrow them down to the possible synergy. What will happen in reality is completely different story as well the real world opportunity to try chosen products in person. Taga Harmony team clear goal was to create a matching products, that puts away the burden of endless unknown choices and offer instantly compatible products that can resolve in instantly enjoyable audio system.
I’ve tried this combination in three different settings; typical audiophile setup, living room lifestyle music system and even more direct “in your face” computer based audiophile desktop audio system.
HTA-700B SE v.2 integrated amplifier and Platinum B-40 speakers managed to perform very nicely in all given situations by brining involving and lush-full sound experience.
With system like this I would always go first for the captivating ability and simplicity of operation. As our time is getting more and more precious, hands on operation and instant locking with the beloved musical material comes as mandatory.
HTA-700B SE v.2 and Platinum B-40 potency comes exactly with such powerful strike. You can connect to it by either your turntable (via additional phono preamp), wireless via you phone, tablet or notebook and what is now established digital standard through the USB computer connection. All easy and without complexity and complications.
This particular Taga Harmony system comes with warm, powerful and involving sound reproduction, that is able to bring enjoying sonics in a really affordable package. It was great to hear what its possible nowadays at this price point and how company that is willing to invest a bit more dedication and carefully selected parts in the service of better sound can bring products with more then promising sound.
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!
Tempo, profound sense of articulation and love for music prevails across complete album with any second guessing. This legendary studio album recorded in 1961 is another steady reference in my arsenal. Ella Fitzgerald joined with a jazz quartet under a Lou Levy baton sways from song to song with light feathered easiness and emotional sonic aura that always lingers on after each listening.
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! covers what could be the essential portion that gives a proper challenge and represent a healthy stress for any amplifier and speakers. HTA-700B SE v.2 amplifier and Platinum B-40 speakers managed to convey much needed tension and music as forte with enough positive attributes to engage one into the prolonged listening. Ella Fitzgerald vocals are not the easiest to render and to project a proper dynamic scale. Taga Harmony affordable match encapsulated the spirit and locked to the music with much more impact that one would dare to expect at this pricing. There was enough depth, sense of space and following of the tempi to let music take its own course!
Zia Mohiuddin Dagar - RAGA MANGEYABUSHAN
Even something as “simple” and complex as Zia Mohiuddin Dagar came to life with these particular Taga Harmony system under the review.
With Urdu Veena, a whole perplexed universe of harmonics and notes appears before listener unconditionally when system is of proper balance. For many this might be simply to much of an exotic sonic ride. My, myself and I enjoy this album thoroughly and tremendously. Expertly captured by by Georges Kisselhoff and released on the French label Alvares, RAGA MANGEYABUSHAN takes no prisoners in a chase for subtlety, harmonic richness tone and tension.
HTA-700B SE v.2 and Platinum B-40 layered insightful and believable scale and sense of space or Rudra Veena. You can demand only as much from smaller, monitor speakers. Still, the essence was captured without falling into the to often pronounced wow factor cliché. Taga Harmony amplifier and speakers acted more on the artful side, with touch of warm and with playful vibe intrinsic to the music.
Across the rest of musical material HTA-700B SE v.2 and Platinum B-40 kept their DNA as recognized above. Nor light headed, nor overwhelming, but following music rather then technical and analytic path.
Digging the head into the sand or mud about the 21st century progression surely won’t help a lot in order to hear and understand what’s going around in audio.
Yes, there are old idioms in play and hard settled minds to be softened. What matters is what’ve gained along the way the past decade. Things have evidently changed under globalization momentum. Affording factor of electronics and loudspeakers is finally pushed over to the the scale where one can enjoy music with no sky high investments. Taga Harmony found their clear spot in the market and they’re cleverly penetrating the market with their focus and vision.
At these price point its always about the choices. One really needs to find proper balance and know where to act wisely and not cut the corners where it matters the most - avid music reproduction.
Taga Harmony HTA-700B SE v.2 and Platinum B-40 tandem comes as potent partnering. Its a great start up doing more then just brief lurking into the high-end audio. It provides a continuum adventure for even more demanding aural voyeur.
Here is another proof for those in need. Yes, I can happily digest and enjoy well executed affordable audio gear. Taga Harmony HTA-700B SE v.2 and Platinum B-40 combination brings heck a lot of fun and music at down to earth pricing. Well done and well deserved Best Buy Award...
Exploring the entry level of Taga Harmony and by experiencing what it can bring surely opens up more questions about their upper ranges. If entry level manages to embarks so much I’m more then sure that the brand’s bigger products surely open ups the new doors to sonic exploration and satisfaction.
Text: Matej Isak
HTA-700B SE v.2 (amplifier) ; SRP incl. VAT 449.-€ / pc
Platinum B-40 (bookshelf speakers) SRP incl. VAT from 350.-€ / pair (depending on the finish)
HTA-700B SE v.2
2x45W RMS @ 4Ohm
2x35W RMS @ 6Ohm
2x26W RMS @ 8Ohm
Vacuum Tubes: 2 x 12AX7B
THD: Less or equal 0.1% (at rated power)
Signal/Noise ratio: =>88dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 28kHz
Inputs: RCA stereo CD, USB (for computer)
Outputs: Stereo RCA with variable volume control
Connectivity Wireless: Bluetooth® v4.0, aptX®
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile A2DP
Headphone Impedance: 32-320Ω
Headphone Output Power: 1W 160Ω
USB Supported Data: Asynchronous 24bit / 192kHz
Cirrus Logic CM6631A+CS4344 chip
Included Accessories: Bluetooth® antenna, USB cable,
Removable IEC Power cord
AC Power, Power Consumption: 230V 50Hz, 100 W
Dimensions (H x W x D): 14 x 17.7 x 27 cm
Weight (net): 4.2 kg / pc.
Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG., Inc.
Platinum B-40 speakers
2-way, 2 drivers, bookshelf speakers,
Bi-wiring, TLIE Enclosure,
crossover point 2.5kHz
High-Frequency Driver: 25mm (1”), TPTTD, TWG faceplate, TTP
Bass / Midrange Driver: 165mm (6.5"), TPACD
Recommended Amplifier Power: 20-150W
Frequency Response: 38Hz-40kHz
Impedance: 6 ohm
Dimensions (H x W x D): 41 x 25 x 27.2 cm
Weight (net): 15.5kg pair
Polpak Poland Limited
Al. Jerozolimskie 333A
05-816 Reguly / Warsaw
Phone / Fax : +48-22-353-14-14