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LOUDSPEAKERS ⸜ floor-standing


Manufacturer: XAVIAN ELECTRONICS s.r.o.
Price (in Poland): 22 990 PLN/pair

Contact: Za Mlýnem 114
253 01 Hostivice – Prague


Provided for test by: AUDIO ATELIER


Translation: Marek Dyba
Images: Xavian | Wojciech Pacuła

No 210

November 1, 2021

XAVIAN is a company specializing in the development and manufacturing of loudspeakers. It was founded by ROBERTO BARLETTA, an Italian, in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1994. Its name comes from Greek mythology - "Xavian" is a sacred place for muses, considered a source of inspiration.

OBERTO BARLETTA, THE OWNER OF XAVIAN, was born in Turin, Northern Italy. Even without this information, one could sense something, just by looking at his speakers - they are unequivocally "Italian". I am talking about a stereotype obviously, but it is well entrenched in our industry and quite often true.

Especially for lovers of this type of design, Xavian has prepared a whole series, called Nature. And, as the name suggests, its cabinets and their finish refer to that part of us that longs for nature. The series includes several models. In addition to the basic ones, this series includes stand-mount models called PERLA, CORALLO , AMBRA and PREMIO as well as the floor-standing MADRE PERLA and - crowning it - the tested STELLA. Initially the bookshelf versions were proposed in several finishes, and later also their "exclusive" versions were introduced, featuring better components, etc. Now the latter dominate the offer.


THE STELLA ESCLUSIVA loudspeakers are no different. These are medium-sized floor-standing loudspeakers in cabinets made of thick wooden elements. The loudspeakers are a bit chunky, they get their power from the Earth, not from the air. The manufacturer says about them:

We have set a bold standard for the new generation of the Stella - to offer the best of materials, components, aesthetics and especially sound qualities that can be bought in this price. Stella Esclusiva thus builds on its predecessors with elegant shapes and proportions that will be suitable for ordinary listening spaces, but with its technical qualities it significantly exceeds its predecessors.; accessed: 5.10.2021.

⸜ DESIGN Their design is quite special because it differs from the vast majority of speakers available on the market featuring bass-reflex cabinets. Supporting the bass speaker with the BR port allows you to add bass energy just beyond the frequency range. The downside of this solution is that, apart from the resonant frequency of the port, the bandwidth drops sharply, so the loudspeakers do not go as low in the bass range as designs with a closed enclosure, the second type available on the market. These cannot boast such a good signal rise and dynamics. At least most of them, because it's just a general rule, not an iron rule.

The design of the tested loudspeakers is also different - apart from the classic mid-woofer, they also feature a passive diaphragm. This solution, known for years, combines the advantages of bass-reflex and closed cabinets, but at the same time it does not allow to obtain some of the advantages of any of them. As always, it all depends on what we expect.

| Passive radiator

PASSIVE DRIVER (passive radiator, auxiliary bass radiator) looks like an ordinary driver from the outside, but differs from it in that it has no magnetic system and no voice coil, only a diaphragm. It is moved by the pressure generated on the back side of a cone of a classic woofer. Technically, this solution is related to bass-reflex designs, although they are not identical. It allows you to extended the bass response, although the frequency range drops slightly faster with it than with a BR.

The advantage of a passive diaphragm is that it does not exhibit parasitic resonances, as in the bass-reflex tunnel, and there is no problem with flow noise, which most designers struggle with. It also facilitates the design of speakers where the BR tunnel would have to be very long. In general, the area of the passive diaphragm should not be smaller than that of the driver, although there is consensus that it is even better if it is 50 to 100% larger.

The tested loudspeakers use exactly the same basket and the same diaphragm (along with the suspension) as the mid-woofer placed above, but instead of a stationary phase cone, which is not needed here, there is a classic dust cap.

⸜ DRIVERS The Xavian Stella Esclusiva loudspeakers feature three drivers - two classic ones and one passive radiator, all manufactured in Italy by AudioBarletta, also owned by Roberto Barletta. Treble reproduction is entrusted to a soft, ø 29 mm dome with a small wave-guide, helping to obtain the desired directional properties. At the back, it is loaded with a damping box, which allows to lower the resonant frequency, the front is cast from a rigid alloy.

The mid and low tones are processed by a 175 mm driver with a paper, coated diaphragm, stationary phase cone and a double fold of the suspension, replacing a single but larger one. The driver’s basket is made of the same alloy as the front of the tweeter and looks very solid. It also features narrow, streamlined ribs that don't trap too much air on the back side of the diaphragm. The upper suspension is a double one - unusual for modern drivers. And there is also a 175 mm passive diaphragm, which we have already talked about.

Both larger drivers look very good - the bigger one features an aluminum phase plug, a cast basket and - as the manufacturer says - a low-distortion magnetic system. In turn, the tweeter’s coil was wound with a flat aluminum wire, and the magnetic system was equipped with a copper ring to reduce distortions, as well as a great-looking, large ceramic magnet.

The signal is delivered to the loudspeakers with gold-plated terminals (single), custom made for Xavian. They are placed atypically, because at the height of the mid-woofer, i.e. high above the floor level. On the one hand, you have to use longer cables if you do not want them to hang, but on the other hand, you shorten the signal path, replacing the - usually lower-class - internal wiring with your loudspeaker cable.

The new crossover is also worth mentioning, mounted on a printed circuit board using high-class passive components, such as air coils and Mundorf series "Evo" Aluminum capacitors, as well as Jantzen capacitors; The crossover features a system that Xavian calls "Zero Phase", which is about minimizing phase shifts.

⸜ CABINETS The cabinets of the Xavian speakers we are testing are handcrafted from solid oak. Its corners are rounded, which makes the speakers look like a piece of furniture from the 1950s. The manufacturer says that such organic shapes "emphasize the elegance of natural materials". And I agree.

Despite the thick walls, the speakers are additionally reinforced inside with a horizontal rim and a sloping shelf, which reduces the internal volume and separates a large chamber at the bottom. And this one is filled with sand, which significantly improves stability and improves the absorption of vibrations. Thick side baffles, reinforcements and sand make the loudspeakers surprisingly heavy for their size. The interior was damped in several places with the use of several layers of "complementary" materials. These are: bitumen sheets, fabric and a foam layer.

There are several color versions of the cabinets, both with a natural wood texture and in varnish: oak, dark oak, "cognac" oak, white or black varnish. Each of these versions costs PLN 22,990 per pair. For an additional fee, you can order versions in high gloss varnish - white or black; this option is more expensive and you have to pay PLN 27,490 for it, also for a pair.

The whole rests on black plinths that are wider than speakers. The feet or spikes can be easily adjusted by unscrewing them from the top with an Allen key. The set includes magnetically mounted black grilles.


⸤ HOW WE LISTENED The loudspeakers were tested in the HIGH FIDELITY reference system and were driven by the Soulution 710 solid-state amplifier, but for some time I also listened to them with the Leben CS600X tube amplifier. They worked very well with both, but in larger rooms I would choose amps with high output. They were connected with the Soulution using the Siltech Triple Crown cable, and with the Leben with NOS by Western Electric.

The loudspeakers were placed exactly in the same spots as the Harbeth M40.1, at a distance of 220 cm from each other and 210 cm from the listening position. The distance from the back wall, counting from the back baffle, was 90 cm. They were aimed directly at the listening position.

Recordings used for the test | a selection

⸜ JOHN COLTRANE, Giant Steps, „Deluxe Edition 60 Years”, Atlantic/Warner Music Japan WPCR-18311/2, SD 1311, 2 x SHM-CD (1960/2008).
⸜ DOMINIC MILLER & NEIL STACEY, New Dawn, Naim naimcd066, CD (2002).
⸜ TOMASZ PAUSZEK,20 Years Live, Audio Cave AA-011-19-LP, Master CD-R (2019).
⸜ LEONARD COHEN, Thanks for the dance, Sony Music | Legacy | Columbia 19075978661, CD (2019).


XAVIAN STELLA ESCLUSIVA SPEAKERS reveal their secrets slowly, even with some reluctance. In a quick comparison, in an acoustically unprepared room, they will be “overshadowed” with an exciting, ear-catching sound of other designs. Maybe even just as good, just as interesting, and yet somehow more exhibitionistic and "creative" ones. If you like such vivid, expressive sound - and there is nothing wrong with that - the tested Xavians will bore you.

The thing is that these are loudspeakers with incredibly focused and controlled presentation. It seems to me that the cabinets with such a low inertia, so well damped, but not "dead" at all, allow them to play without vibrations, not only on the sounds themselves, but also on how they relate to each other and to the acoustics. Because the tested designs create a different acoustic space in our room, as opposed to models that transfer performers to our space.

No wonder that the musicians from JOHN COLTRANE's Giant Steps album, in the edition prepared by the Atlantic label on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its debut ("Deluxe Edition 60 Years"), sounded close to me. With reach of my fingertips. They displayed such a good "placement" in space that they did not impose themselves, they were simply shown in the slightly muffled acoustics of Atlantic Studios. Let me add that this is a unique album for this musician's career - it was his first title which included only his own compositions. In 2004 it was added to the National Recording Preservation Board's National Recording Registry Library of Congress.

This material was recorded in a manner typical for those times, i.e. according to the scheme - left-center-right, with clearly separated zones. Their distribution into the left and right channel was really clear during the listening session and this effect was not blurred. This happens when the loudspeakers cannot focus the sound in one place, when the edges of the instruments are smoothed and unstable. Here the stability of the phantom images was excellent.

So we have a tight, well-controlled, dense sound with high internal energy. Part of this performance, an extremely important part, is the way the bass is presented. Taking into account the dimensions of the loudspeakers, also knowing that a large part of the cabinet is occupied by a chamber filled with sand, one would not expect them to extend the bass so deeply. The Xavians sound in a very authoritative, strong way thanks to the great low bass.

It is obvious that it is does not extend as low as from the reference loudspeakers, but - to be honest - its density and mass are so high that the transition from the Harbeths to the Xavians did not disturb the way the sound was reproduced in my case. It also did not change the fact that the guitars on the DOMINIC MILLER and NEIL STACEY’s New Dawn reached so deep and sounded in such a saturated, internally rich way, or that the double bass of LARS DANIELSSON from the Pasodoble had such an amazing attack and was so fast.

It's not that every solution is always useful, nor that it always works. It is no different with the passive diaphragm, one of the techniques on which the tested model of the Czech manufacturer's loudspeakers is based. Indeed, it allows you to fill the bass, usually in its mid-range, just like a bass-reflex, but without the latter's problems, especially concentration on one selected frequency. But also designs of this type have a slightly slower impulse at the bottom of the band, and the bass is simply rounded. This time I didn't notice anything like that, and even if something could be found, it didn't matter to me.

Interestingly, when listening to DIANA KRALL's This Dream Of You, I heard not only a pretty focused vocal, but also that it was not precisely positioned on the axis, but a bit diffused, that is, without the exact "center", or rather, with a less accurate presentation in a larger space. It is a really rare occasion to notice it, because a most of the loudspeakers are based on energy transmission, sacrificing precision to achieve it. Here, the sound is very precise and focused, thanks to which the recordings were well differentiated, and elements related to the recording, such as the one in question, were not similar to each other.

And now a twist - although these are extremely precise loudspeakers, they sound warm and rather dark. Or at least this is how they will be perceived by those of you who are used to the clear and open sound of a different types of design. And there is nothing wrong with that, it is one of the possible choices, but for me the way in which the tested Xavians present the musical world is closer to what I consider to be a "good", "right" sound.


STARTING FROM THE FIRST, mentioned at the beginning of the review, Coltrane's album, through the following discs, to which I would also add the Thanks for the dance, the last album released during LEONARD COHEN's lifetime, as well as an excellent live recording, TOMEK PAUSZEK celebrated the 20th anniversary of his presence on stage in 2019 with, in each of these cases the sound with the tested loudspeakers had the right proportions without as much as even a hint of aggression. And yet its dynamics and energy are very, very high. The bass is rounded at the very bottom, but it is so low that it shouldn't matter much.

The loudspeakers can perfectly show the properties of a given recording and a given release, but they are not malicious, they do not try to bring out the problems of the albums, but rather their advantages, their beauty. They complete the midrange with a soft, natural-sounding bass with great focus, and although they show a lot of treble, they are more like tube amplifiers - that is, with a lot of energy, and without a sharp attack. They show a very deep and stable sound stage, which, however, does not extend widely to the sides. At the same time, they seem not particularly sensitive to placement in the room - I assume that this is due to the passive diaphragm.

Because the XAVIAN STELLA ESCLUSIVA are very good designs with well-organized sound with its calm inner peace. They require a fairly powerful amplifier, that is, one with good current efficiency, and a quality source. Don't expect fireworks from them, because they are usually fireworks of vanity, not quality. Here we have quality, truth and exceptional workmanship. They are truly worth your interest!

Technical specifications (acc. to the manufacturer)

Design: 2-way, closed cabinet with passive radiator
Drivers: 29 mm AudioBarletta + 175 mm AudioBarletta + 175 mm AudioBarletta
Frequency range (-3 dB, on axis): 42-20000 Hz
Nominal impedance: 8 Ω
Crossover frequency 2500 Hz
Sensitivity (2.83 V / 1 m): 89 dB
Recommended amplification: 30-150 W
Dimensions (H x W x D): 990 x 230 x 276 mm
Weight: 30 kg/pc.


Reference system 2021

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

  • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|


Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC