This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ads are displayed below
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Source: Zanden Audio Model 2000P/5000S; Ancient Audio Lektor Prime; AMR CD-77 [on loan]; Raysonic CD168 [on loan]; Raysonic CD128
Preamp/Integrated: ModWright SWL 9.0SE; Wyetech Labs Jade; Melody Hifi I2A3; Supratek Cabernet Dual; ModWright LS-36.5; Red Wine Audio Signature 30.2 [on review]
EQ: Rane PEQ55 active merely below 40Hz; Gallo Acoustics Reference SA amp/xover; WLM Sys V
Amp: 2 x Audiosector Patek SE; Yamamoto A-08S; Bel Canto e.One S300; Eastern Electric M-520; 2 x FirstWatt F4 [on review]
Speakers: Zu Cable Definition Pro in custom lacquer; Mark & Daniel Ruby and Maximus Monitor with Omni Harmonizer; DeVore Fidelity Nines; Rethm Saadhana; WLM Grand Viola Signature with Sys VI active crossover and Duo 12 subwoofer
Cables: Crystal Cable Ultra complete wiring loom; Zanden Audio proprietary I²S cable; Crystal Cable Reference power cords; double cryo'd Acrolink with Furutech UK plug between wall and transformer
Stands: 2 x Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular four-tier
Powerline conditioning: 2 x Walker Audio Velocitor S fed from custom AudioSector 1.5KV Plitron step-down transformer with balanced power output option for 120V lines; Furutech RTP-6 on 240V line
Sundry accessories: GPA Formula Carbon/Kevlar shelf for transport; GPA Apex footers underneath stand, DAC and amp; Walker Audio Extreme SST on all connections; Walker Audio Vivid CD cleaner; Walker Audio Reference HDLs; Furutech RD-2 CD demagnetizer; full-house treatment of Franck Tchang's Acoustic Resonators; IsoTek Full System Enhancer & Rejuvenation Disc
Room size: 16' w x 21' d x 9' h in short-wall setup, with openly adjoining 15' x 35' living room
Review Component Retail: $11,900/pr
Sometimes, things conspire against concluding a review. In this case, I experienced a problem with the speakers I couldn't track or rectify yet the maker couldn't find anything wrong once he had 'em on the bench again. Rather than putting Xavian through additional shipping fees when I considered the likelihood high that I'd encounter the same issues again, it was jointly decided to suspend the review. However, since Xavian had incurred substantial ship charges to Cyprus already; and since what had already been published contains useful information about the company in general - the preview was left as a product introduction. - Ed
|ScanSpeak Revelators. Top quality crossover parts. 1st-order networks. Physical time alignment by sloping baffles. Brilliant wood work. As Meadowlark Audio's sales manager many years ago, I now had visions of seconds. Comings and helpings. Xavian's best, the XN360, recalls the stature and general driver complement of Meadowlark's Heron. Of course Meadowlark has long folded its doors, bird man Pat McGinty not surfaced since
|to write his next chapter. But for listeners fond of McGinty's phase/time-coherent approach, Xavian's Roberto Barletta seems primed to take over the vacated slot. The city's coat of arms below marks the spot: Kladno in the Czech Republic, 25km northwest of Prague, in the central Bohemian region of Středočeský kraj.
Xavian's slogan La vita, in musica is recognizably Italian even to non-speakers. So are model names like Cuore, Evoluzione, Giulietta, Mediterranea. Or the review loaner's spelled-out numerology, Trecentosessanta. Or its special website's second language selection of two where Czech, unlike from the main
|site, is decidedly missing. The subheader of Xavian proper, Roberto Barletta Design, settles it conclusively. Xavian is Italian at heart, by the designer's marriage to a Czech lady based out of Bohemia. Its XN series top model is the 360 (for covering all angles?) whose svelte exterior hides
|seven internal but inter-connected chambers which are lined with bitumen and polyurethane boards. The twin-woofer bass alignment tuned to 25Hz vents out the bottom to ease installation requirements. A magnetically fixed protective MDF mask shows concern both for the speaker when not listened to -- the expensive drivers are out of harm's way from inquisitive fingers and claws -- and when listened to (no grills to obscure sonics). WBT 0730 Platinum Signature bi-wire posts on an aluminum terminal plate with quality jumpers show further concern for quality.
About quality, the driver complement of ScanSpeak's finest should have rung your bells already. From the top down, say hello to the 40kHz extension 38mm Ring Radiator with Madonna bra phase plug; 120mm Revelator paper-cone mid with signature slashes; dual 182mm Revelator woofers, likewise slashed. On-axis frequency response at -3dB is given as 28Hz to 40,000Hz, with minimum impedance at 3 ohms, sensitivity at 90dB and crossover transitions at 350 and 3000Hz.
|For MDF tongue & groove mitered joinery, a picture tells the story best. Maximus glue surface means maximum joint strength for a quiet enclosure. The subdivision braces and lining do the rest.
|A black plinth with adjustable point footers creates a predictable hard and reflective surface for the down-firing port. It thus isn't subject to varying boundary distances or textures as would be the case were the woofers' rear energy variously firing into deep-pile carpet in one room, ceramic tile in another. Floor protectors for the plinth footers are included. Xavian's infrastructure means an in-house wood shop to
|guarantee quality control while enabling quick prototyping. Reliance on OEM cabinet suppliers is one of the greatest usual handicaps for speaker design houses. The transition to in-house cabinet production is an expensive undertaking. It involves specialized machinery, specialized labor and high workman's comp insurance fees. While still a new name to most EU and US audiences, Xavian clearly has its bases covered. This fact rather impressed a visiting Daniel Barnum who signed on as Xavian's new US importer:
"We are very excited to offer Xavian Loudspeakers to North America! The loudspeaker market is exceedingly crowded and represents little value. We have been watching Xavian for several years now and have been impressed with the quality of workmanship that goes into each product. The joints are not simply glued but mitered with tongue and groove joining. During our recent trip to Europe, we visited the Xavian facility and found each speaker to be hand sanded, soldered and assembled. Mr. Barletta [left - Ed.] and his team are true craftsmen. What sets Xavian apart are low distortion ScanSpeak Revelator transducers with SD-1 motors for the midrange and midwoofers, SD-2 motors for the tweeters; open basket slit cones (to break up standing waves on the loudspeaker cone); custom-machined aluminum port tubes; and high tolerance first-order crossovers. As well built as the Xavian loudspeakers are, their true excellence is demonstrated in their sonic presentation. They have a very natural timbre and tonality. Recently, we attended a piano concert and a wind ensemble (it is important for us to listen to live music on a regular basis). Upon returning, we took some time to listen to the Xavian XN125 loudspeakers. With the live music fresh in our ears, we noticed a striking similarity in timbre, tonality and presentation, albeit on a much smaller scale. We are very excited to add Xavian to our lineup and also to offer a product we feel represents high quality at affordable pricing." About which, Halfnote Audio offers the XN360 for $11,900/pr in Cherry, Maple, Walnut and Nero while Bird's Eye Maple commands a 15% surcharge.