By Lam Seng Fatt
As explained in the previous post (Luxman L-550AXII integrated amp offers appealing Class A flavour) I obtained a pair of Xavian Perla Esclusiva Marina finish speakers from AFC Top Hi-Fi as I needed more sensitive speakers to pair with the 20-watt pure Class A Luxman integrated amp.
The Xavian Perla Exclusiva Marina finish speakers are really beautifully made with an Italian oak cabinet and a glossy piano finish. Xavian, from the Czech Republic, uses real wood and not MDF with wood veneers to make their cabinets. When you see them for the first time, you will be reminded of the old Sonus Fabers and Chario speakers.
The Xavian Perla speakers are petite, measuring (HxWxD) 31.5 cm x 19 cm x 23.6 cm and weigh 6.9 kg each.
The Xavian Perla is a two-way bass reflex design featuring a 150 mm bespoke Xavian bass/mid driver using a special polypropylene cone and a soft dome. The tweeter is again a bespoke Xavian soft dome with a 26 mm voice coil and short-circuit copper rings.
The bass reflex port is a front-firing slot at the bottom of the front baffle of the speaker.
Frequency response is rated at 55–20,000 Hz, sensitivity is 88 dB and recommended amplifiers range from 30 to 120 watts. The sensitivity and minimum amplifier power recommendation explain why I chose these speakers to pair with the 20-watter Luxman.
I placed the Xavian Perla bookshelf speakers on my TAOC AST-60HB speaker stands and connected them to the Luxman integrated amp with Siltech Explorer 90L speaker cables. Source was a CEC TL5100Z belt-drive CD player connected to a Wyred4Sound DAC2. A pair of Siltech Explorer 90i interconnects linked the DAC to the Luxman.
Updated July 19 I placed the speakers 7 ft 4 ins apart (measured from the centre of the woofers) and 3 ft 4 ins from the rear wall. Bear in mind these measurements will vary according to the dimensions of the listening room you are in. I listened to the speakers slightly toed in and also placed in an equilateral triangle position with me seated at one corner of the triangle. I found the Xavian Perla to sound better with them slightly toed in with me seated about 10 feet away.
The Xavian Perla speakers projected a quite wide and deep soundstage.
The sonic signature was warm, but not as warm as the early Sonus Faber models. The mids were smooth and natural with no hardness at all while the highs were open and transparent.
For speakers so petite, the sound was big and the bass was lively with an upbeat mid-bass. While the lowest octave was not so apparent, the lively mid-bass created a rhythmic foundation that gave the impression that all was well in the bass department.
Later, I replaced the 20-watter Luxman with the resident 300-watter Bryston 4B SST with the Lamm LL2 Deluxe preamp and found that the Xavian Perla sounded better with the more powerful amplifier. With the big Bryston, the bass became tighter and more controlled, separation improved and there was greater transparency. This transformation was partly due to the fact that the Class A Luxman had a very dense and warm sound signature.
The Xavian Perla speakers are among the rare breed that sounds good and looks good too.
The Xavian Perla Esclusiva Marina finish speakers retail at RM13,980 a pair while the Dark Oak finish costs RM11,480 a pair. They are available at AFC Top Hi-Fi.