Infinite baffle loudspeakers seem to be a bit like buses, you wait literally years and then two come along at once. First the cast iron Jern11 and now the aesthetically more conventional Xavian Corallo Esclusivo. This is a new name to me yet the company has been making loudspeakers since the 1990s, which goes to show just how crowded the market place is. What differentiates Xavian is that it manufactures in the Czech Republic, a part of eastern Europe that has little in the way of track record when it comes to audio equipment, and that the brand was founded by an Italian called Roberto Barletta.
The construction of the Corallo Esclusivo certainly has some Italian pedigree, it’s made out of oak staves in the same fashion as models from Chario and Diapason (albeit those companies use walnut) and the fit and finish are to a very high standard. I particularly like badge on the back of the cabinet. According to the literature this model was created to fit into smaller spaces and situations where close to wall placement is necessary, which probably describes the scenario that many music lovers find themselves in and thus would seem to be a rather good idea. Xavian makes three ranges of loudspeakers and glancing through them I found two other infinite baffle designs alongside the Corallo Esclusivo, which is the latest addition to the line. Xavian is in a select group of speaker designers in using both loading approaches, the only other members of this club that come to mind are ATC and Harbeth, but there are probably a few more.
The Corallo Esclusivo cabinet is a solid beastie that stands 33.5cm (13inches) high with post-formed edges all round to minimise diffraction, it weighs a respectable 10 kilos and is fitted with a single pair of high quality binding posts with deep gold plating. The tweeter is an AudioBarletta, which means that it is manufactured in Italy to Barletta’s specification. The features include a large 29mm voice coil made of flat aluminium wire, a thick copper ring on the ‘motor’ which consists of an “extreme ceramic magnet”, and the whole thing is supported on a die-cast chassis shaped for controlled dispersion. Oh, and it’s a soft dome. The large size of this dome means it can be used down to 2.5kHz where it hands over to another AudioBarletta driver, a 175mm chassis containing an impregnated paper cone with an aluminium phase plug, cast basket and “low distortion magnet structure”. What the brochure doesn’t mention is the pleated surround on the mid/bass unit which is quite a rare feature on two-way designs. Xavian included one of its crossovers in the box with the speakers so that I could see the quality of construction and parts, I was duly impressed by the Mundorf capacitors and substantial air-core Jantzen inductors that the company uses in what it calls a Fase Zero topology. The system is specified to offer 87dB sensitivity with an 8 Ohm impedance making it just about bang on average, however the infinite baffle element will probably make it a tougher load than a reflex design with the same figures.
Xavian have also considered the fact that pretty well any bookshelf design needs a stand, albeit sealed examples are the most well suited to actually sitting on shelf, with or without books. They make a stand in the same solid wood as the speaker itself, or in some of its finish options at least. There are six finishes available for the speaker but I couldn’t see as many for the stands. The speaker comes in three shades of oak, a striped Marina option and both gloss white and gloss black.