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Loudspeakers | Floorstanding


Manufacturer: XAVIAN ELECTRONICS s.r.o.
Price (in Poland): | walnut: 47 990 PLN/pair
| Marina (maple with walnut inserts) 51 990 PLN/pair

Contact: Za Mlýnem 114
253 01 Hostivice – Prague


Provided for test by MOJE AUDIO

he Thrax Audio Ares integrated amplifier we tested last month in both the name of the model and the company's name referred to the ancient world. Such a strategy is designed to anchor the brand and a product in the broadly understood tradition of Mediterranean culture, and thus add to its "weight" and importance. Similarly, one should also read the names and even logotypes of the Gryphon Audio, Sonus faber, Gold Note, and the name of the Polish company Ancient Audio.

In the XAVIAN case this is all the more legitimate, as its owner and chief designer, Mr. Barletta, is an Italian. He chose Prague as a place to live in, and whoever visited the capital of the Czech Republic and Rome would probably confirm that both cities have much in common, especially when it comes to the way of live. Besides, both cities are considered "separate beings" in their own countries, i.e. there is Prague and the rest of the Czech Republic, Rome and the rest of Italy.


Calliope manage to attract attention before they are even unpacked. Well-designed plywood boxes prepared for their transport with logotypes, inscriptions, etc. that were burned out on them are impressive, as well as a complete, detailed unpacking instruction. And the speakers themselves? - When they were brought into my room and set up they immediately attracted attention of all household members. And that's because they look fantastic. Natural, beautifully finished wood, black matte surfaces of the drivers' cast baskets, gold-plated nameplate and, above all, travertine pedestal integrated with speakers, they all combine into an ultimate quality. The speakers are available in two color versions – light one - maple with walnut inserts called Marina, and dark one finished with walnut. The former is placed on an Italian travertine, a type of limestone with an interesting pore system, and the latter on Czech marble.

| Cabinet

The cabinet is made of wooden staves, which immediately sends us back to the Italian culture of carpenters - previously seen in Chario, Diapason and Sonus faber loudspeakers. And it is the latter, at least that's my impression, and more precisely the Franco Serblin and his vision of form and sound, that inspired Mr. Barletta to create the new Epica series.

This series includes Orfeo monitors and weighing 49 kg Calliope floorstanders. Calliope is one of nine mythological muses, endowed with a beautiful voice. She stood highest in their hierarchy and was a patron of epic poetry. She was also the mother of Orpheus (Orfeo). The loudspeakers with this name are large 3-way, 4-driver designs with two additional passive radiators placed on the rear.

As it reads in the company materials, the development of Calliope took Xavian designers a year and a half. In the case of many other products, I would accept knowing that it is probably an exaggeration, but not being able to prove otherwise. The case of Calliope is different, because especially for this series, they worked not only on the loudspeaker as such, but also transducers for it were developed. Yes, after many years of cooperation with the Danish Scan-Speak, Mr. Barletta decided to develop his own drivers. For this purpose he founded another company called AudioBarletta. So in this case a year and a half seems to me a very short time.

| Drivers

The tweeter is a soft dome with a diameter of ø 29 mm, with a hand-coated diaphragm made by Dr. Kurt Müller and a unique way of damping pressure from its back side - in a labyrinth Companies such as Bowers & Wilkins and Vivid Audio use tapered horns for this very purpose, often open at the end, but I have not seen a labyrinth housing for the tweeter dome yet. The magnetic system features copper rings to improve the coil's linearity, a solution known as Faraday's rings.

The midrange and bass woofers have the same, very solid baskets. They are fixed to the cabinets not with four buts much as eight screws, which recalls what is emphasized in the Magico technical materials by Alan Wolf - an importance of a perfect connection between transducers and cabinets. The diaphragm of the midrange driver is made of hand-coated cellulose, and in the middle there is a polymer phase cone. The suspension is almost flat and is made of cloth - exactly the same as in high-sensitivity driver from the first half of the 20th century. The driver is driven by a neodymium magnet with copper rings. The bass woofers were originally developed for the Orfeo. Their membrane is also made of coated cellulose, but has a slightly different surface. The suspension is a double rubber fold.

| Crossover

The Calliope crossover features Mundorf capacitors and uses the "Fase Zero" technology, aimed at phase alignment of the transducers at the crossover point. The custom-made speaker terminals are placed on the rear panel and placed below a large, gold-plated name plate. These are double terminals so manufacturer provides user with gold plated jumpers. One can use single speaker cable, or try bi-wiring, or even drive the speakers with two amplifiers – so called bi-amping.

The loudspeakers premiered during Audio Video Show Prague 2017, and received the High Fidelity „Best Sound” award.

XAVIAN in „High Fidelity”
  • TEST: Xavian PERLA | loudspeakers
  • TEST: Xavian XN250 EVO | loudspeakers
  • TEST: Xavian PRIMISSIMA | loudspeakers
  • TEST: Xavian XN 125 EVOLUZIONE | loudspeakers
  • TEST: Xavian XC SERIES DUETTO | loudspeakers
  • TEST: Xavian XN 125 + XN 185 Mk II | loudspeakers
  • TEST: Xavian MIA | loudspeakers
  • TEST: Xavian GIULIA | loudspeakers.

  • Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion):

    • Andrzej Kurylewicz Quintet, Go Right, Polskie Nagrania „Muza”/Warner Music Poland 4648809, „Polish Jazz | vol. 0”, Master CD-R (1963/2016);
    • Brian Flanagan, Where Dreams Are Made, Stockfisch Records 357.4091.2, SACD/CD (2017)
    • Ed Sheeran, Divide, Asylum 5859002, „DeLuxe Edition”, CD (2017)
    • Fisz Emade Tworzywo, Drony, Art2 Music 26824180, CD + SP CD (2016); 1"
    • Kortez, Mój dom, Jazzboy Records JB 034 2 CD, 2 x CD (2017)
    • Talk Talk, Asides Besides, EMI Records 8548072, 2 x CD (1998/2013)
    • The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Time Out, Columbia Records | Sony Music Entertainment/SME Records SRGS-4535, SACD (1959/2000)

    Japanese issues available at

    Calliope are speakers that shorten the distance - the distance between the music and the listener. In a very natural way, they create a network of connections between these two points, on the one hand drawing us, the audience, into the world they create, and on the other entering our world with "their" music. This action is similar to what I know from the Harbeth M40.1, from the Spendor A and D series, from the older Sonus faber models, JBL from the Monitor series, etc. Particularly strong features of this performance are natural timbre, high dynamics and flawlessly filled, dense space.

    It is not a coincidence that I recalled, at the very beginning, the classic "BBC" sound, because it is - in my opinion - the “correct” sound. It can be achieved using various techniques, because even metal cabinets and membranes, as in YG Acoustics Carmel 2 lead to similar results. In the case of hi-tech loudspeakers, however, this is the last stage, the resolution, dynamic differentiation and detail are improved earlier. Naturalness is in their case is what distinguishes very good speakers of this type from remarkable ones.

    With Xavians, just like with the whole group I mentioned before, it's different, because we get it right away. In their case, design and tuning work are aimed at improving the resolution that we get only from the best products. Listen to Calliope for a moment and you will know that they belong to this noble line that communicates with you through music.

    And it is not because they hide something and show the world of recordings in a more beautiful way than they really are. That's how Spendor A2 sounded like - inexpensive, phenomenal speakers, but not able to match the performance of more expensive models of this brand and to combine such type of sound with differentiation at an equally high level.

    Mr. Barletta's speakers are cut from the same cloth as the best Spendor and Harbeth designs. There is no artificiality or pretense in them. They sound incredibly naturally, but delivering also a very resolving performance. Let's listen to a few tracks from the remastered version of Andrzej Kurylewicz Trio Go Right, especially the opening tune, and we will hear excellent tonal differentiation. Because the trumpet with a silencer and a saxophone are not always so clearly differentiated, and the flute that comes in later does not often fit so well between these two.

    But that's because Calliope are a design oriented on coherence and naturalness of presentation. This is a fleshy sound in which the upper treble is so silky that it could serve as an example to follow in this respect for many other producers. It is not as resolving driver as the one in Sonus Faber Electa Amator, or the metal dome of the above mentioned YG Acoustics. On the other hand though, while maintaining the tonal richness and fluidity of the Harbeth M40.1 dome, it adds a better insight into the recording and sounds more open, without even as much as a hint of harshness.

    Because it is not an aggressive sound at all. Acoustic jazz music gains the most, as well as the classical. But music from Kortez and Ed Sheeran will be shown in a way that many performers can only dream about. To achieve that the presentation will be slightly warmed up and softened. Both of these features are positive here, or should I even say indispensable. I am convinced that this is exactly the sound the designers wanted to achieve.

    On the other hand, recordings produced to deliver a warm sound, such as the latest, released by Stockfisch, Brian Flanagan's album, will not be warmed up at all. This is a typical recording for this label, i.e. with a soft bass and underlined low midrange. And the most important element is, of course, the voice. Calliope speakers played it without further emphasizing the above mentioned elements, I would even say that they played it in a more natural and orderly way than many more open and attack-oriented loudspeakers.

    The sound is big, these are big speakers after all with full, rich sound. But this is also a well-balanced presentation, because everything seems right and on the spot. This is, of course, something that is created in listener's head that changes “reality” of each recording forever. The Xavians do not pretend to present “reality”, but rather create a whole new world that is as natural as the one experienced at a concert, although both have some very different features.

    This is a Calliope's own way of presenting music, that does not pretend to be any other, including live performance. This is a great performance that is able to improve many recording's problems. Even some lower quality recordings will play in a pleasant way, because these speakers do not allow music to sound bright, they will not allow any annoying harshness. At the same time, however, I felt relaxed when I returned to a material with low compression - because Calliope is particularly sensitive to it. Talk Talk from the double album Asides Besides, the fantastic duet Fish/Emade duo from the Drones, i.e. intelligent, good music will sound very well. But once we play some material with little compression, acoustic instruments it will be clear that these loudspeakers were created to play this type of music in particular.

    | The bass

    Looking at the vibrating surface of membranes that reproduce low tones, Calliope might seem to be a combination of speakers and a subwoofer. Those who dream about subsonic, thunderous bass, might be disappointed. Calliope are not that. Low, dense bass they do reproduce is used to create volume of the sound, not for slam. It has a soft and natural character, building a dense and slightly warm sound in which the contour is not the most important element. At the same time, it delivers a perfect balance and an extremely fast delivery of impulses.

    I can not hear any compression in this presentation – one on hand these loudspeakers react somewhat nervously to the compression in the recordings, raising the tonal balance, on the other they appear really fast by themselves, properly reacting to every change in the signal. A part of this is the character of the lower end. On one hand, it is slightly soft, like in good bass reflex models, and on the other hand it is as fast as in the case of closed-cabinet speakers. Having said that, I must add that this is not a short and contoured bass, as for example with the PMC, where the woofer diaphragm is loaded with a transmission line.

    | Summary

    What's beautiful about audio is that everyone can find something for themselves. There is no single and only valid sound pattern, because a reproduced sound is an artificial one, that's something that can't be changed. Calliope is clearly intended for those who listen to acoustic music, classics, jazz, folk, etc. They are as natural with these genres as it gets, as it is possible when trying to recreate a construct invented in a recording studio. They do it the best possible way, that is, they impose their own character on it, merging all elements into a completely new, unique performance, in which they remind me, in a really puzzling way, my Harbeth M40.1. And this is, I believe, quite a significant change compared to this brand's speakers based on Scan-Speak drivers.

    It's a warm, dense, soft, fast and resolving sound, with the emphasis on the first three. We get a big soundstage, but without a clear depth - we have intimate contact with the performers and the foreground is the most important layer. On the other hand, the stage is spread wide, the sound is not squeezed into narrow space in front of us, it breaths and is unrestricted. They can work with any amplifier, although - I in my opinion – they should perform better when provided with more power. Their motto is: naturalness, naturalness and one more time naturalness. If this product came from some exotic Japanese manufacturer, it would cost twice as much, or more.

    Calliope are floor-standing loudspeakers that belong to the Epica series. They are quite tall and do not have a narrow front wall, yet they look perfect. Going by one feels urged to touch them, move one's fingers along the top - it's really addictive. This is a three-way, four-driver design. The back side of the woofers is not loaded with a classic bass-reflex, but with its variant, i.e. two passive radiators.

    All transducers, I already mentioned that, were made by AudioBarletta. The tweeter features a 29mm diaphragm, and a midrange and bass woofers are 175 mm units; passive radiators have a diameter of 210 mm each. The midrange driver is equipped with a neodymium magnet and the rest with classic ceramic magnets. All magnets have copper rings linearizing their operation. The coils were wound with a flat aluminum wire - those in woofers have a diameter of 50 mm.

    Loudspeaker features double speaker terminals, i.e. it is adapted for bi-wire and bi-amping connection. The terminals were placed in a recess in the rear wall together with a gold-plated name plate; they are custom-made for Xavian. However, it would be nice to place them two or three centimeters higher, because they are too close to the bottom edge of the cavity, which makes it impossible to install spades from the bottom. The terminals feature thick pins, so not all spades will fit in.

    Cabinets were made of real wood – it is glued together from 23 mm thick maple boards with walnut inserts. Inside it is damped with bituminous sheets.

    These loudspeakers look astonishing.

    Technical specification (according to manufacturer)

    Frequency range: 33 – 30 000 Hz (-3dB on reference axis)
    Terminals: 2 pair of gold-plated Xavian binding posts: bi-wiring, bi-amping
    Nominal impedance: 4 Ω
    Crossover points: 350 – 3500 Hz
    Sensitivity (2.83 V/1 m): 90 dB
    Recommended power amplifier: 50 – 400 W
    Dimensions (H x W x D): 1050 x 236 x 282 mm
    Weight: 49 kg/pc.



    - Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
    - Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
    - Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

    - Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE

    - Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
    - Power amplifier: Soulution 710
    - Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

    - Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
    - Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
    - Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
    - Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
    - Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
    - Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
    - Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

    - Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
    - USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
    - LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
    - Router: Liksys WAG320N
    - NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
    System I
    - Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
    System II
    - Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

    System I
    - Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
    - Power Line: power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m); wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
    System II
    - Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
    - Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
    - Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
    - Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
    - Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
    - Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

    - FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One