Experiencing Xavian Speakers at AVLounge


Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2008
AV Lounge which is owned by Mr. Venkat, is a showroom for both stereo and home theater enthusiasts in Chennai. It is located in Old No.9, New No.15, 4th Cross Street, Ormes Road, Kilpauk, Chennai 600010. Contact numbers are 2644 3000, 2644 5000 and 94443 69900, email: [email protected]

Some pictures of the listening room:

I had a short phone conversation with Mr. Venkat in February when a friend was looking for some interconnects. He had then invited me to his showroom. But it was only sometime in the beginning of this month that I called him on impulse and invited myself over to his place.

About Mr. Venkat: He came about as a simple, nice and pleasant gentleman. It was evident that the drive behind AVLounge is his passion for music and its reproduction. Venkat has traveled far and wide in search of the holy grail of that perfect music system and has managed to bring to India some uber brands. He has been an audiophile and enthusiast all along and about an year back ventured into his AVLounge entity. Though he also offers comprehensive home theater solutions, his first love is stereo which gelled with me, so we kind of kicked off (so I think so).

I had told him that I had no plans to buy anything as of now, but he just waved his hands and was more than happy to host me.
This is what he had to say.
Anyone with an interest in music or an idea of setting up a 2 channel rig should not miss taking an audition in AVLounge since for us whether a customer buys or not is only secondary, primary is that they come and have a relaxed listening session, evaluate or simply enjoy a nice listening session. There is absolutely no pressure to buy .

About AVLounge: AVLounge deals in a variety of high-end as well as middle-end audio and video products, the details of which can be had on the website www. AV Lounge Your trusted partners in Audio.
Some brands they deal in include Siltech, Xavian, Ayon, Convergent Audio Technology, Aurora Sound, MJ Acoustics, Nagra, Anthem, Oppo to name a few.

The first thing that strikes you is the location. It is in the heart of Chennai at Kilpauk, but still in calm, serene and up market residential locality. A well designed bungalow has been converted into a highly functional showroom. At present there are three dedicated rooms for audio and one for home theater. One more room is slated to be added for audio which will make it 4+1.

None of the listening rooms including the hall are square shaped. In all the rooms, the rear wall (the wall behind the speakers) is deeper in the center half. So the equipment can be placed a little closer to the rear wall and away from the speakers.
There is minimal room treatment in the audio rooms. Plush sofas have been provided in all rooms for comfortable listening.

The Equipment: The moment I entered the hall (the 1st dedicated audio room), I was caught in by the neat but simple arrangement of some real high-end equipment.

A solid wood rack/stand in the center showcased a gorgeous looking Metronome Kalista CD transport, a Siltech SAGA series preamp, a Nagra DAC and their allied accessories. On both sides of the rack, were two very eye catching Siltech SET monoblock amps and in front of all was a Ayon CD player and Ayon integrated tube amp (Venkat said it was an entry level Ayon integrated amp Scorpio). Then there were top of the line Siltech interconnects, speaker cables, power cables, cable risers and heavy duty isolators under all equipment.

Among all these mouth watering and gorgeous looking equipment, there was a pair of inconspicuous looking tower speakers (not too tall either). Though inconspicuous, the finish was top class. They did not call attention to themselves, exactly like you want them to disappear while listening to them. Venkat told me it was Xavian Calliope (the top of the line speaker from Xavian, a company in Czech Republic).

The other main listening room in the first floor had an Ayon S5 music streamer cum DAC, CAT SL1 Legend preamp, monstrous CAT monoblock amps and a pair of Siltech Pantheon speakers (made with 19 inch woofer, a dedicated midrange and an electrostatic tweeter).

The Experience: To start with, I had some months back, gone on a round of few leading AV showrooms in the city to look for some bookshelf speakers, but sadly few had any proper setup for 2-channel audio for me to listen, evaluate and buy.
In that regard, AVLounge will be a pleasant destination for music lovers.

I decided to listen to the Xavian Calliope as it belied the other equipment in the room in its simplicity.

The design of Xavian Calliope:
3-way damped bass-reflex, with 2 rear passive radiators. Xavian I was told oly gets its drivers made by ScanSpeak.
Drivers: Two 175 mm (6.8 inch) midbass drivers, one 175 mm midrange driver and one soft dome tweeter.
As per company specs, the cones of midbass and midrange drivers are integrated paper membrane (which I guess means use of some special resin).
The midrange is categorized as a wideband driver and incorporates a phase plug.
Apart from this there are two 210 mm (8.3 inches) passive radiators in the rear, with the cones facing towards the rear.
Crossover: As per specs, Mundorf components are used with very low tolerance inductors and army-grade resistors and oil capacitors.
Cabinet: Hand-made with Italian 23 mm walnut or maple with walnut inserts, composite bitumen for inner damping.
Connectivity: 2 pairs of gold-plated binding posts for bi-wiring or bi-amping.
Risers: For stability and coupling to the floor, Calliope is equipped with stone basements made of Italian travertino or Czech dark grey granite.
Other Parameters: Nominal impedance: 4 ohms; Response: 33hz to 30khz (-3db fall off); Sensitivity 90db, Crossover points: 350hz/3500hz; Size (inches): 41(h) x 9(w) x 11(d); Weight: 50kgs each.

Songs tested: Since I had not carried any music with me, Venkat played from his CD collection.
Initially he played some jazz collection for the system to warm up.
Then we listened to
Pink Floyd (DSOM) Speak to me feeding into On the Run and then the intro into Time.
Michael Jackson: Billie Jean and couple more songs
Chesky Records: Spanish Harlem, Grandmas Hands, I love Paris, a double bass track and Westminister Choir
Dil Se: Jiya Jale and Del Se Re
Taal: Almost the entire album
And some more interludes of jazz and country in between with some Tamil numbers

The Listening Experience:
We initially heard with the Ayon Scorpio integrated amp.
The speakers were drawn by about 3 feet from the side wall and about 5 feet from the rear walls. They were spaced out by about 10 feet and the listening distance was about the same.
The speakers were toed into the listening spot and I got then toed out to my liking.
I will not go too much into song by song details as I did not make notes, but the limited songs that I selected was enough to get an overall idea.

I am strong candidate for driver break-in (both new and those that have not been used for quite a while).
(In my experience, I have noticed changes in the highs and mids within a short period of run in and the lower mids and lows changing over a longer duration of run in).
Venkat told me that the speakers had hardly done 5/10 hours, so they were still fresh and raw.

The first thing that struck me about these speakers is the cogency; they almost sounded like point source.
There was good overall balance to the sound.
Excellent depth; width that goes well beyond the speakers and spot on imaging.

The lows With 2 powered midbass drivers crossed under 350hz and two passive radiators in a not too big an enclosure, I expected exaggerated bass due to the overall large cone surface area.
But the lower octaves were surprisingly taut and controlled with no exaggeration. They dug real deep and even at lesser volume, there was good presence in the lows. The double bass in the Chesky album was well presented without being bloated.
At around the crossover point, I heard a mild domination by midbass over the midrange (especially a very small halo around the male vocals). This I expect to smoothen as the drivers burn in.
Though design spec of crossover is not available, I am suspecting that of the two dedicated midbass drivers, the midbass physically closer to the midrange is crossed at a lower slope than the other midbass in a possible 1.5 way design (probably to give more body to the music).
The body (density and weight) is there in good measure, may not be chest hitting but the weight draws you in.

The Mids The most critical, the midrange was delivered with aplomb (except for that mild intrusion by midbass in the lower midrange region).
This 6.5 inch midrange driver handles the wide bandwidth from 350 to 3.5 khz where most of the music lies with great ease.
Some speakers get congested in the midrange as you pick up the volume or when there are too many layers in the music, but not the Calliope, it holds up and maintains composure even as we up the decibels on the remote. (Could be due to the better dispersion due to the phase plug, but then again there are two school of thoughts here, one for and one against the benefit of phase plugs in 3-way designs).

The Highs: I have a little rolled off ears for highs due to age, but the tweeters sounded smooth, detailed and airy to my ears.

Venkat told me that these speakers are not amplifier shy and do not need critical pairing

The overall sound:
The Taal album has some really complex mix that was rendered brilliantly by the Calliope.
In Jiya Jale, Lata Mangeshkars vocals were mellifluous even at high volumes.
In Spanish Harlem, Rebeccas voice has very good presence and the shakers were clear and distinct.
The intro of Time was breathtaking with a very wide stage, crystal clear chimes and the unmistakable heartbeat.
In Grandmas Hands there is good body to Taylors voice with good realism to the finger snaps.
The stage was very wide and room filling with a good sense of height in Westminister Choir and the massive transients were very well handled.

I heard quite a few songs in both Ayon integrated amp and then in the Siltech SET monoblocks.
With the SET, the improvement was dramatic in terms of more distinct layering in the music. Most importantly the stage was much wider and there was a very good sense of height with the mono blocks. Guess dual mono chains have their own benefit.
Though Ayon sounded a bit more dynamic, the SETs were a class apart and more tuned to the way I like music presentation. Venkat also told me that in his long audio journey, he finds the Siltech SAGA preamp to be one of he best he has listened to and was at the heart of this setup in fluidity and layering.

But again the SETs cost 30 times more than the Ayon, the Ayons in that regard were great value for money. But again monoblocks have a huge advantage over stereo amps in music presentation which has to be tiled in.

Overall it was a great experience to listen to the Xavian Calliope and there was hardly anything I could complain about it.
For anyone looking at a speaker in the Rs. 10 lakh range, do give Xavian Calliope a listen.
It is absolutely unobtrusive and simple in design, space saving, highly functional and most importantly very musical.
For those with budget under 1.5 lakhs, do check out its lesser sibling Xavian Delizia with which also I spent about 2 hours and came away smiling.

And most importantly a big thanks to Venkat for his patience and hospitality and I wish him the very best.

Pictures in order: Listening room, Xavian Calliope and Xavian Delizia


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Yes Myself and one of my other forum friend had a demo few weeks back at AV lounge.Mr.Venkat was kind enough and customer friendly . The demo of Xavian calliope with Siltech monoblock amp was fantastic . Wide soundstage and the depth of sound was incredible. You can feel the singer is singing in front of you with orchestra. The ambience is very good .To be honest Im a newbie to these type of higher end setup. But if you are an audiophile and in hunt of new system or speakers ,definitely it's worth to have an audition at audio lounge . The other system Ayon audio and Xavian delizia bookshelves speaker is also an excellent performer. This being a small bookshelf speaker is handmade timber and its performance is like a Floorstander.This system audition is a must for the people who were looking for an upgradation. While coming to HT setup Anthem receivers with MJ acoustics speakers ,we were blown away by its performance for movies.Especially the MJ acoustics subwoofer. It's costlier setup compared to the normal HT setups.But it's a definite look for people those who expects greater performance.

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AVLounge definitely has some spectacular options. I went in late last year looking to buying a full HT set up and auditioned his MJ Acoustics + Anthem combination. Loved it so much that I ended up getting the exact setup for my home. He even came to my place and set everything up properly.

A+ establishment.
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