XAVIAN PERLA ESCLUSIVA SPEAKERS REVIEW


Xavian loudspeakers and Roberto Barletta needs no introduction to Mono and Stereo readers and followers. Over the years we’ve put out quite a few articles and reviews.

Xavian speakers were consistently and distinguishably stylish as well as voiced properly. Recently, I’ve been asked by many of you to write about smaller monitor speakers, that can be a part of the primary or second, smaller system. 


Not everybody has the luxury of a bigger living room/listening space so the Xavian Perla Esclusiva review request nicely aligned to the inquiries. 

MEET THE XAVIAN


For those of you, not familiar with the Xavian here is a bit of the info. Xavian is a small manufacturer that proudly creates speakers in the heart of Europe, in Prague, Czech Republic.

They've been on the market for past 21 years and have developed over the fifty different models and sold more than 15 000 pairs. As the brand is slowly but consistently growing they're focusing to expand their impact worldwide.


Xavian is unique when it comes to the operations. Being a small size company, they've always strived to deliver a reasonable price policy, despite the extensive use of massive wood, the stand out craftsmanship and the implementation of the custom developed and made drivers.

But, that's not all regarding the uniques. Xavian founder, CEO and still-the-head-of-development Roberto Barletta is from Italy and embraces the Mediterranean passion for luxurious looks and feels with the Czech's local carpentry know how.

The founder of Xavian, Roberto Barletta, was born in Turin, Northern Italy in a family with roots in Southern Italy. The family comes from the so called area “Magna Grecia”: these were the places where, among others, Archimédes, Empedokles, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Enrico Caruso, and Gesualdo da Venosa lived.

Roberto Barletta grew up with his grandmother in a family of musicians. His childhood was enriched by the sound of violin, guitar and singing. The childhood deeply influenced the soul of Roberto. In 1984 his interest in music and technology brought him to “play” with loudspeakers and reproduction of music in home environment.

In 1989 Roberto shocked the school exam commission with his project of an audio amplifier in A class. The journey began. This was the first great success, convincing him about the direction of his profession. The same year Roberto started working for an Italian company making loudspeaker systems and power amplifiers. This experience lasted five years and in 1994 Roberto decided to move to Prague. After two years of not simple “acclimatization”, Roberto founded Xavian. The name of the company comes from the Greek mythology “Xavian”: being a sacred place to the Muses and regarded as a source of inspiration. The first Xavian workshop was located in the centre of Prague. The second factory was located in Kladno, near Prague. Since 2013 the company is using an old, large mill in Hostivice very close to Prague.

MEET THE PERLA


“Naturalness in everything is good for all.” Hippocrates
"Perla, our best selling compact loudspeaker, was appreciated by professionals and consumers worldwide since its launch in 2015. After more than 200 pairs manufactured comes its successor – Perla Esclusiva."


It may not appear on first sight that this is a new model, but the important changes are inside. The first major upgrade is the full solid Italian oak chassis. This wood is even more sturdy and lasts longer. Consequently, each speaker gained more than 10% in weight.


Perla Esclusiva was designed from the start to be easily driven two-way loudspeakers with the front bass-reflex port. The latest Perla Esclusiva version is even more rigid and comes with the refreshed crossover that implements top class Mundorf capacitors. These changes allowed Xavian to tune the speakers in a more potent way. The result is a fuller, bigger sound, not really expected for this size and price.

Perla Esclusiva Italian soul reflects through the oak's mosaic oak and artificial-decorative pearl inserted in the rear panel.  The new, massive terminals were taken from the Xavian's more expensive models. 

Xavian Perla Esclusiva was envisioned from the ground up as a room friendly stylish loudspeakers with exceptional serial crossover, that keeps perfect phase and custom AudioBarletta drivers. The harmonic and musical sound was always Xavian's forte and Perla Esclusiva continue the embrace the fascination of the music and listening euphoria.

THE PERLA ESCLUSIVA DESIGN IMPERATIVES


- The Xavian aim is to provide a) as rigid and sonically inert body as possible and b) corpus that feels luxurious and shows the connection to nature at the same time

- that´s why Xavian chose solid walnut for the first generation of Perla and now solid oak for the Perla Esclusiva generation 

- Solid wood is very rigid, it looks great and it lasts (and also with the same thickness now Esclusivas weight about 10% more than first Perlas)

- Xavian feels it´s important to provide an excellent finish for the speakers. "It´s a thing you live with every day and in long-term, the natural shapes and finishes tend to be more acceptable for the eye. This is also why we introduced the „marina“ finish


- inside of the cabinet there´s a lot of damping on the walls and also the bass-reflex slot is reinforced, so there´s basically no coloration and no loss of the power

- Xavian uses front slot bass reflex as it seemed to simply provide better behavior than classic round rear port – a) the installation in the room is easier with front reflex and b) there´s faster, tighter bass response

- Xavian design and build our own driver units. "We felt that at this price point the usual brands (which we used, in the beginning, years ago) tend not to provide everything that´s possible."

- the driver units are designed in Prague by Xavian technicians and manufactured in Italy

- Xavian uses bigger and more powerful magnet than the usual standards 

- The same membrane supplier as for example Scan Speak

- A strong focus on the rigidity and geometry of the basket and the front plate. In this case, form follows the function

- The great care more about the natural timbre than detail. "We don´t say detail isn´t important – but detail and resolution without proper colors will never bring you the natural lifelike feeling."



- Xavian feel that for the midbass the polypropylene seems to offer a great combination of damping and accuracy, so the speakers are not complicated to drive and are tonally accurate

- classic soft dome tweeter with the bigger-than-usual magnet (a big 2,6 cm in diameter voice coil)

- simple crossover with very good components and thoughtful design, that combines measuring and listening tests "tuning by ear is nice, but won´t work for everybody, tuning in a computer only will tend to not feel natural as mentioned above"

- focus on the importance of the phase in a crossover design (the wrong phase can be auctioned instantly)

- implementation of the classic circuit board  of decent quality, that is reliable and with very good conductivity ( top models uses point-to-point soldering).

THE MUSIC


With the stand-mount monitor speakers like Xavian Perla Esclusiva one would typically first rush to assess the vocal’s transcription. There are many excellent reference class recordings and among yours truly the Harry Belafonte ‎– Belafonte Sings The Blues (RCA Victor ‎– LSP-1972) is definitely among personal favorites. 

The audio capturing and mixing was much simpler back in time, yet the recording expertise of the era deliver the timeless reference class vocal rendition. People take the significance of the vocal reproduction to lightly. There are so many tiniest fractions of sonic anchor points required to be displayed accurately to carry out the authentic, human-like voice. If that falls, everything disintegrates. Some renowned speaker manufactures even voice and analyzes their speakers solely with the vocal music and recording. This might be a bit too far yield, but I can understand the given preference. 

Xavian Perla Esclusiva speakers were no shy with the delivery of the Harry Belafonte’s iconic album. The presence, the flow and most importantly the objective, human-like formation of the vocal was presented invitingly. 

A solid, harmonically and tonally correct reproduction was further verified with another non-conventional, but beautiful album; Anne Bisson - Blue Mind. The song September In Montreal takes the speaker potency challenge to the different stage. This particular song is multi-layered and very nicely display highlights and drawbacks of any loudspeakers. When music slowly builds up the complete frequency spectrum occurs. On top of this, musical arrangement offers sort of holographic aural atmosphere, that forms many challenging attributes.  

Perla Esclusivas didn’t imitate to be a floor standing speakers. Then again, they also didn’t reflect an ordinary-small sized monitor behavior. It was really curious to hear Perlas expanding the sound way beyond their physical size. It’s never exactly simple to illustrate the grand illusions of acoustical space, yet the Xavian’s monitors were producing highly dense relief like aural structure not foreseen at this size and price. 

What about the rhythm, pace, and drive!? Well, you’ll gain quite a portion of these too, as confirmed with Blue Jean Blues by ZZ Top from the album Fandangol. The locking drive was there as well as tonal density. 

John Scofield’s You Bet further defined Xavian Perla Esclusiva’s mojo. It’s not the biggest ego, but it’s a healthy and non faked one. This discloses a lot about the speakers. I’ll always prefer the speakers that are performing genuinely, rather the ones that are struggling to push unachievable. Perla Esclusiva loudspeakers were following the Scofield’s timing without losing the grip and warmly espousing the one of the kind guitar tone passionately. At this price point, what else is to be aspired for!? 

CONCLUSION


Not only Perla Esclusiva, but all of the Xavian loudspeakers share the same-instantaneous-recognizable aura. There is no doubt, that the pure Italian DNA is infused into all of the Roberto Barletta's stylish creations. 


Xavian Perla Esclusiva is a small, but potent two way stand mount monitor, that will delight even non-audiophile eye, heart from the distance. 
  
And the sound scores the same. Roberto Barletta has put in a lot of time for voicing and fine-tuning the Esclusiva. The review was appointed even earlier, but I was ensured by Daniel from the Xavian marketing department how there has been an interesting twist during the assembling of my Perla Esculisva review sample...


As they were assembling the testing pair and ran out of few parts for crossover, they’ve decided to take capacitors from the more upscale models. “The improvement was so audite, that we decided to stop the production of current Perla and create a Perla Esclusiva, the evolution of the model.” So, the same cabinet and drivers, but the enhanced, better parts in crossover and also few further details like better terminals from the bigger models and as a cherry on top of the cake the miniature, decoration pearl marking the exclusive presence.

And what is the sum up of this particular upgrade? Well, I didn’t have a chance to audition the original Perla, but if among many, I would have to highlight one specific stand out attribute of the Esclusiva, the flow is the amongst the first that comes to mind. 

All of the Xavian’s speakers I’ve auditioned intimately at my listening premises or at the high-end audio shows shared the same-hard-coded-warmness, that is very firmly related with the real music’s vibrancy. In the era, where the multitudes of artificial sonic attributes are being introduced, imposed and masked in the disguise of transparency Roberto Barletta is following his pathway of music’s correctness as the first and foremost value.


The intense daily pace and many various factors consequently result in the placement of the beloved speakers into the living chambers. This is not completely a contemporary tendency, but for a decade or two a lot of energy and efforts were fixated on the dedicated listening spaces. Nowadays the audio system is in most cases the part of the central family surroundings. In this scenario and on positive side all of the family members are being exposed not merely to different kind of music they’re usually listening to, but they can constantly in touch with the major aural quality shift. 
  

Xavian Perla Esclusiva speakers are the appropriate fit for an ordinary and moderately sized room. As you can notice from the images, I’ve even tried them in my larger reference room. While (reasonably) they couldn’t have supplied the full energy in the grander space like floor standers, they’ve still produced a substantial presentation, without dropping the essential assets.

It was great to again spend some more intimate time with Xavian speakers. They’re all embodying Roberto Barletta's lifelong passion and love for music’s reproduction and Perla Esclusiva is a proof of that continuing heritage. 

While Tahitian pearls can cost you more than $25,000, a tenth of the price you can have to Xavian Perlas that will render a hefty amount o captivating aesthetics, but even more importantly years of satisfying daily music intake.

Summing everything together; the sound, the price, solid wood construction, custom-made drivers etc. its hard not to be enthusiastic about these Roberto Barletta' speakers. I'm happily acknowledging the Xavian Perla Esclusiva's uniqueness and potency with Mono and Stereo Highly Recommended Product Award.

For what 

Matej Isak

PRICE


1 990 EURO / pair (or 2 450 EURO / pair in case of "marina" finish - maple with walnut inserts that comes from our top models)

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS


Mid Bass Frequency Unit

- 150 mm AudioBarletta – special polypropylene membrane – soft dome – die-cast chassis

High Frequency Unit

- AudioBarletta – 26 mm voice coil, soft dome, short-circuit copper rings

System

- two-way damped bassreflex, front firing slot bassreflex

Corpus

- massive “mosaic” italian oak, no use of MDF or DTD, rests for 3 weeks before use

Frequency Response

- ( -3dB on reference axis): 53 – 20000 Hz

Connection

- 1 pair of single mounted massive Xavian terminals

Impedance

- 8 ohm

Crossover Frequency

- 3000 Hz

Sensitivity ( 2,83V / 1m )

- 88 dB

Recommended Amplification

- 30 – 120 W

Dimensions (HxWxD)

- 315 x 190 x 236 mm

Weight

- 7,7 kg

CONTACT


XAVIAN ELECTRONICS s.r.o.
Za Mlýnem 114
253 01 Hostivice – Prague
Czech republic

Tel: +420 734 528 189