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XTZ Divine 100.49 Tower Loudspeaker Listening Tests

By Tarunvir Bains

My Crown XLS2000 amplifier was the amp most fit for the towers, and my Marantz SR6003 AV Receiver handled the pre-amplification and digital-to-analog conversion. All sources were HDMI-based, and all speaker cables were 12AWG. All listening was done in “Pure Direct” mode.

As mentioned earlier, with the tweeter set by default to +3 dB, the Divine Towers were an initial disappointment with something “off” about the upper midrange. At first listening I enjoyed the bass, but my friend felt it was a bit loosey-goosey, so I took out a single port plug and used it. This tightened things up immediately.  I didn't think the second port plug was necessary in my room, but it might have helped in a smaller room.

We threw on Lupe Fiasco's Tetsuo and Youth. On the track Deliver, the rolling bass line was reproduced tightly with power and punch. Simply put, this song sounded fun. Additionally, the studio effect of silence in the acoustic space appeared to translate very well into my listening room. On Adoration of the Magi, I found the sax to be pretty seductive with a good bite, which I would say the tweeter on these things is best described as very soothing. The soundstage produced extended well wide of the physical location of the speakers, although I wouldn't go as far as to say it went beyond the confines of my room. The bass was not only present, but powerful enough to shake the room.

 XTZDivineTowers001.jpg

XTZ Divine Walnut Veneer

I switched it up with Eau de Vie from the Shiki soundtrack, which the Divines rendered atmospherically and with very aggressive left-right stereo imaging. I did feel there wasn't the greatest perception of depth in the stage, which is probably a consequence of the width. The sustain on some of the lower notes was the high point of the experience, and made me think that even more than the Accuton mid, it was the dual seas woofers that were the star of the show. This is no doubt a partial result of the high-end cabinet construction.

Next up was Nostalgia ft Kedrick Lamar by Pusha T. The soundstage rode very high, the beat sounded great, and vocals were perfectly centered. Yep, these classy, exquisite looking European speakers must be tailor-made for urban music.

My friend wanted to hear something everyone's innately familiar with, so we threw on some Celine Dion as a juxtaposition to the rap. This is where things got a bit dicey, as while the width and height were fine, both of us had a bit of a feeling that even playing around with the tweeter, mid, and bass controls, Celine's voice always felt a bit unfamiliar. Perhaps that's her real voice though, and I've never heard it just like that. It certainly did sound different from how I've been accustomed to hearing it on the vast majority of speakers in the past, including my own personal reference speakers.

The Divines produced razor sharp imaging and punch bass.

After my buddy was gone, I put on that track I seem to throw on any time I listen to awesome new speakers – the Legend of Zelda Main Theme Medley! The most profound impact was in the percussion, which stood front-and-center and was very well defined in my room. My gut told me that the midrange seemed a bit too smooth as the brass section didn't have quite the bite and snarl I've grown to expect over the years. I also did feel the highs lacked a certain perfection to them, and the sound-stage was not the deepest I have heard. However these are mostly minor concerns that are only highlighted under extended scrutiny and intense familiarity with the track itself.

I then listened to Swan Lake as performed by Belgrad Philharmonic. It was a rather positive experience as there was great instrument separation, leading to a decently layered presentation possessing an excellent sense of height. I would best describe it as engrossing.

I never experienced listening fatigue with these speakers.

Next, I threw on Going Out Fighting by Minutes Til Midnight. The Divines produced what's best described as a tactile guitar with an entrancing sustain, guided by razor sharp imaging and punchy bass. One thing that consistently stood out about these speakers was no matter what content I fed them, the vocals didn't have any edge - sibilants were always very relaxed and smooth. No listening fatigue was noted during any of my extended listening sessions which is something I can't say about some other speakers I've had in my room.

Finally, I chilled out to Don't be stupid - Shania Twain Live. What came to mind is that while these speakers aren't perfect, they're very fun and with the live source material produced a “you are there” presentation. The hi-hats were best described as “relaxing”; and the kick-drum was genuinely tactile. They made Shania's vocals very pleasant.

Overall, the sound of the XTZ Divines wasn't what I would call cut-throat accurate, but their voicing always erred on the sins of omission rather than the sins of commission, which I commend.  Keep in mind, that if you know someone who knows how to set up active crossovers, you can get these speakers sounding cut-throat accurate as the drivers are implemented very well.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

awdio posts on August 25, 2019 15:09
The amplification used in this review leaves a lot to be desired.
Thunder240 posts on April 26, 2016 08:53
Any Divine (either floorstander or stand mount) owners within driving distance of DC who'd be willing to offer a prospective buyer an audition? These beasts weigh enough that I'd prefer not to sign up for an in-home audition, though I do appreciate XTZ's policy.


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AcuDefTechGuy posts on June 29, 2015 00:59
Chu Gai, post: 1087881, member: 40600
I get that those here take GranteedEV's review as largely favorable. Later, when I have more time and finish licking the rib sauce of my fingers, I'll give you another take. Mind you, I did follow the deleted thread which if you didn't gives me a different perspective.

Sounds juicy - both the ribs and the deleted thread.
Chu Gai posts on June 28, 2015 17:59
AcuDefTechGuy, post: 1087855, member: 26997
I don't consider it a cover.

I've owned and heard a lot of speakers in the same room & setup. I would have a difficult time reviewing them all and trying to come up with many different adjectives.

The simple truth is that there are a lot of great sounding speakers. I like a lot of them. So when I say that, I mean it unequivocally, not as a cover or trying to be PC.

I am sure GranteedEV and many reviewers feel the same.
Certainly and these may fall into that class of decent speakers. Over at Stereophile, the reviewers are generally the ones who pick what they want to review. They may have had prior experience, some familiarity that goes beyond catching them at a show, or there's something truly unique that bears further critical examination. In the case of other reviewers, they're assigned speakers to review. Big difference but some similarities in that both camps look to put somewhat positive spins on things, emphasizing this while down playing that, finessing their perceptions with a subtle use of phrases such as not to offend. Politically correct. So you have to read between the lines. Determine if the vendor is generally inept. But if one runs their review past the vendor first, are they serving the public or themselves and the vendor?

I get that those here take GranteedEV's review as largely favorable. Later, when I have more time and finish licking the rib sauce of my fingers, I'll give you another take. Mind you, I did follow the deleted thread which if you didn't gives me a different perspective.
AcuDefTechGuy posts on June 28, 2015 14:09
Chu Gai, post: 1087832, member: 40600
Sure one can say we all hear differently and have different priorities. A position like that also provide cover and be looked at as a politically correct view that seeks to offend no one.

I don't consider it a cover.

I've owned and heard a lot of speakers in the same room & setup. I would have a difficult time reviewing them all and trying to come up with many different adjectives.

The simple truth is that there are a lot of great sounding speakers. I like a lot of them. So when I say that, I mean it unequivocally, not as a cover or trying to be PC.

I am sure GranteedEV and many reviewers feel the same.
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