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It was surprising just how well the Xavian handled all kinds of music. Stand-mount speakers of course do not reproduce the full dynamics and power of Rock or electronica like big floorstanders. We always account for certain compromises. Here those are simply less apparent. Spinning Tool’s 10,000 or the downloaded William Orbit’s My Oracles Lives Uptown files issued recently by Linn Records in Studio Master quality 24/44.1 WMA was a pleasure. The KEF completely missed it because there it was all about a big fleshy midrange. The Xavians don’t boost the upper bass/lower midrange. This benefits much improved micro-dynamics and cleaner timbres in that range. Of course we miss the low bass passages and their foundation weight which larger speakers guarantee but still the sound was very good. The same held true for Diorama’s Child of Entertainment single (I already have their new Cubed album but need more time to get fully acquainted). The voice was in its place and the electronic bits in the mix properly accounted for. This was a well-balanced result.

As mentioned earlier, these are very linear speakers. But they avoid dryness which, figuratively speaking, would suck out their soul. They’re simply balanced. It should come as no surprise then that they handled Jazz as well as Rock and electronica. On smaller ensembles, the Czechs could do splendid microdynamic differentiation of musical structures and hall sound – very special and worthy of notice. The Blu-Spec CD sampler was properly saturated and vivid. The treble was not as resolved and full as the iQ30’s but better integrated.

The Primissima manages to almost sound like a single driver. The midrange around Davis’ trumpet and guitars was potent and material. Although it didn’t bloom, it was properly augmented by fast uncolored bass. The latter is quite typical for sealed enclosures. When switching from bass-reflex designs, it seems flatter and more damped. That mandates switching listening habits. Listen to the Xavian for a bit longer and there’s a good chance that any bass-reflex box will sound unnatural thereafter.

Finally there is soundstaging. Monitors often handle this better than equivalently priced floorstanders at least in the sub zl 10.000/pr range. The Czech here goes farther than the monitor average in its price class. Because there are no audible errors of timbre, the soundstage is very detail but not ‘carved out’. Transients are slightly softened. That’s an asset here which makes for a holistic reproduction of instruments in space and a coherent window on the sound between the speakers.

Living through the listener maturation period to acclimate, we arrive at fully appreciating the Xavian Primissima for what it really is – a beautifully crafted, expertly balanced design that will sound good with many different amplifiers. With warm valve amps, it’ll be warm and place the first plane more upfront. With more linear amps, the slightly reserved upper treble won’t brighten up, the first plane will begin a step behind the speaker and the stage proper reach far behind. One simply needs to listen to these for a bit longer and not expect to be blown away at the first encounter.

: The Primissima is Xavian’s entry-level model and part of the Suona mini series which also includes the floorstanding Gran Colonna. The Primissima is a sealed two-way bookshelf monitor with quality drivers. The tweeter is a 25mm Peerless DX25TG09-04 with a soft dome and two folds. The mid/woofer is a 180mm uncoated paper affair with a stamped basket, rubber suspension and 38mm voice coil. Xavian reports that this driver with the oversized magnet is specially made for them, hence doesn’t show any markings.  Both drive units are spaced as closely together as possible, with the mid/woofer’s basket rim overlapping the tweeter mount plate. The cabinet runs 22mm MDF panels covered in natural wood veneer.

Due to budget considerations, the bottom lacks veneer and is simply varnished. The inside is minimally damped with a single spongy strip covering the bottom, back and top. The crossover mounts on a single small PCB bolted to the back panel. The tweeter filters through a small polypropylene capacitor and air coil, the mid/woofer sees an electrolytic capacitor. The resistors are very high quality. On the back is a single pair of Xavian binding posts. Grills are included.

Technical data (according to manufacturer):
Frequency response: 59Hz - 40kHz
Nominal impedance: 8Ω
Crossover frequency: 1900Hz
Efficiency (2.83V/1m): 88dB
Recommended amplifier power: 30 - 120W
Dimensions (HxWxD): 335 x 180 x 234mm
Weight: 8kg/ea.

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