XTZ 99.36: A Review: UK First!

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
It would power them - Adam's price equivalent Onkyo 875 worked surprisingly well, but a receiver won't really tax the 99.36s on quality grounds. That's true of most decent speakers though, so it's not really an issue in that regard, but be warned about AV receivers ability to control the bottom end sufficiently well.

I'd consider the standmounts and a better amp as an alternative, assuming you're treating a subwoofer as a separate issue, that is.

Russell
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Just for you Adam - a bit tidier than the first photo you might have seen -

systemwires-march-2008.jpg


Thanks for a splendid write-up Russell. There's very little I can add or contradict, save perhaps to note that the cost of the Naim system we put the 99.36s on the end of was slightly less than double your estimate; a fact best concealed from Mrs T for my continued wellbeing...

With this in mind, the 99.26s put on a highly creditable show and we were all hugely impressed with their abilities and surprised with how different they sounded after a thorough warm-up - a completely different speaker after lunch, and it wasn't just the wine! (and thanks for the excellent bottle of Barbera Russell. It was hot in the house and regrettably it swiftly evaporated)

Despite my attempts to avoid comparison with my Active SL2s, nevertheless for those of us used to active speakers, passives inevitably sound rather slow and less nimble. Although this was also true of the 99.26s they managed to exhibit a lively character, rather bright to my ears, adequate bass but slightly one-note.

We drove them a bit fiercely I suppose, but although the sound hardened up a bit and they started to smell slightly hot they never sounded distressed, even at high sound levels.

My very minor criticisms apart, which need to be viewed in context, these speakers are very good indeed and excellent value for money. They are very well put together, and look nice, so good WAF.

Highly recommended!:smashin:


I missed this post earlier Tony, frankly I am shocked at the neatness of the cables and can only assume you visited an audiophile neighbor to take the offending shot. :D

So sorry I couldn't join the fun and games but perhaps we can find something else of interest for you to listen to, as an excuse for me to elbow my way in and sample this fine hospitality I have heard so much about. ;)

Adam
 

tony @ suffolk

Active Member
I missed this post earlier Tony, frankly I am shocked at the neatness of the cables and can only assume you visited an audiophile neighbor to take the offending shot. :D

So sorry I couldn't join the fun and games but perhaps we can find something else of interest for you to listen to, as an excuse for me to elbow my way in and sample this fine hospitality I have heard so much about. ;)

Adam

OK, it's a fair cop...;)

You'd be very welcome to come over Adam: drop me an E-mail to arrange.

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post; because we needed to position the 99.36s in free space it wasn't practical to use my existing speaker cables so we popped over to "Signals" in Ipswich, my long-suffering Naim dealer, & pinched a couple of lengths of NACA5 cable, so many thanks to Alastair & Andy for helping us out! :thumbsup:
 

henrik-t

Active Member
Im going to reviwe this tread from sleeping a few days....:)

I just got the 99.36 Matt Blacks + 99.26 Center

The 99.26 havent got play time yet , cause it eas 3 day in transit, so i got the 9..36 saturdays and the 99.26 today.

Im qurrently trying to let them play the 30-40 hours before i turn on the Extra heat (905 lol). But first impresions is good, i had my kef ´s running a side them, and they pretty much stacked up close, at the level of db i gave them... only -30/25db on the Onkyo.

i saw The mummy yesterday and is was a good expirence , still the volume was that low... about -35db, and my Kef center did a good job timbre machting the 99.36 , but i ll write more when i turn op the Heat and see if the Kef still sounds like a unity whit the 99.36s

My Kef ace 9000 Fronts did play louder at the same volume, but that is just what russ said in the review.
 

ab1385

Active Member
The one thing that really gets me is the comment on the XTZ website about the 99.25s being better than the B&W 805S.

I'm really interested in this as, in my next house which we may be buying shortly, there will probably be a separate cinema and lounge. I currently have a pair of 805S, but what I'm trying to decide is 805S as a stereo pair in the sitting room and a separate XTZ cinema room, or to have a cinema room based around the 805S with the HTM4s and DS8S and not bother with the music in the lounge.

If the XTZs could come close to holding their own against the 805S then it may well make more sense to get the XTZs - as 3 99.25s for the front 3 would cost about the same as an HTM4s, and so may make sense if they can keep up.

Has anyone who is familiar with the 805S heard the XTZ?
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
The one thing that really gets me is the comment on the XTZ website about the 99.25s being better than the B&W 805S.
I don't get that either and everybody seems to gloss over the KEF XQ20s actually being judged as the best on that particular test, not the XTZs. Take the XTZs out of the equation and I wouldnt have bet much on the outcome that remains.

I've heard the 805s on a couple of occasions and whilst I accept there's a certain amount of personal preference and room/system integration involved, I think that's stretching things a bit far to say the XTZs are a better speaker.

For instance, were the XTZs producing better bass, or was the 60w Sugden amp struggling to provide enough grunt and grip to do the bottom end of the B&Ws justice? At 60w @ 8ohm, but only 80w @ 4ohm, it's certainly no grunt meister. The reviewer also points out that the particular strength of the speakers lies in small scale acoustic and classical music, but seems to base the outcome of the review on anything but.

To my mind and ears, the XTZs have some exceptional strengths for a speaker of their price, but there is a good reason why speakers can be more expensive.

Russell
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Ricard,

I am vaguely considering running my front three channels (99.36 & 99.26) bridged giving approx 750w per channel @ 8 ohms.

Will I set fire to the speakers? :D

Thanks,

Adam
 

Member 281695

Active Member
Ouch....I think you may cross the line here actually, but if you are careful you should be able to hear when the drivers are close to their maximum power handling capacity. They will start to sound "different". This is something I wouldn´t rely on too much, so I would say there is a obvious risk of blowing something up.

:)
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
:rotfl:

I'll probably give that a miss then ;)

Adam
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
Hmm, thats an interesting review. Echoes some of the sentiments of the first post. I wander if my room is too small for these then (5.2 x 3.4), especially with the big sub already.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Hmm, thats an interesting review. Echoes some of the sentiments of the first post. I wander if my room is too small for these then (5.2 x 3.4), especially with the big sub already.

Possibly, although I finally tamed them in my 4.5 x 5m room by moving them out of the Inglenook, things are a lot more balanced now. :smashin:

I borrowed Maarten's Dynaudios whilst he had the XTZs and although they are as taxing to drive, I didn't find them producing as much bass as the 99.36s (measured on the SMS-1) in my room.

The size of the room is a factor but probably of more importance is how far from the walls you can place them.

Adam
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
Given my sub and the reviews, my initial thoughts have been that I would run them plugged to reduce the bass to just right levels. Perhaps unplugging the mid as per TNT. They would be fairly close to the walls at the rear, although there is some scope for space at the sides just not a lot.

This is a hard decision given no demo and some apparent issues with some rooms. I wander if how the Ultra responds to my room is any sort of guide as to how the bass from the bottom driver of these will react. If so it could prove favourable, any thoughts?
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
TNT have posted a (mixed) review of the 99.36 The XTZ 99.36 Loudspeaker - Review [English]
I am very familiar with that review as it was I who loaned Maarten the speakers (plus I read it before he posted it!) and have recently spent an evening listening in that very room. Everything he says is absolutely fair in the context of that room. It's not a room that Maarten is very happy with. Maarten has an excellent ear and his listening preferences are very broad (I raid his Zappa collection) but generally he demos with jazz and smaller scale acoustic and classical stuff.

Listening volumes are restricted to what I would call very low due to the proximity of neighbours and a young family, so speakers never get close to being what I would term as warmed up, never mind stressed. If you want an idea, we're taking about Dolby reference minus 20 to 25dB.

The room is about 10ft wide and tall and about 12ft long with glass doors immediately behind the listening position and the seating distance is about 9ft. It has a very obvious bass hump in the mid 40s to 50Hz region not helped by sitting against the rear wall. The Aurousal VS floorstanders which I heard round his exhibited exactly the same bass emphasis, sounding a bit loose and fluffy only not to quite the same degree due to significantly less bass output.

His Dynaudio Contour 1.8MkIIs work much better in there, but are actually a much smaller speaker and he doesn't tend to forgive anything that doesn't sound as good as them. They had an RRP of £1800.

Context is everything.

Russell
 

j0hn

Banned
wow Russell that is really eye opening. The guy writes like he really tested those speakers. Its a shame he doesnt put everything into context as without further information provided by you I would pass over those speakers based on that review.. and if I was the manufacturer I would be just a little ..... annoyed
 

Member 281695

Active Member
Judging from the room dimensions it´s obvious there has to be some major room modes that may very well cause boomy bass. But just as a tip (for anybody that experience excessive bass from the 99.36s), the lower terminal can be either disconnected to disable the lower driver, or as mentioned by a couple of customers, connected with a series resistor to lower the output from the woofer. We haven´t tried this ourselves, but is should work given that the resistor is large enough to handle the heat dissipation, say 20 watts or more. The ideal value has to be experimented with from room to room, but let´s say 4-5 ohms would be a good start. This way the woofer level could be tuned perfectly for the room, besides in a very cheap way!

:)
 

Stuart

Distinguished Member
I'm close to ordering these and would like some opinions if they are going to be suitable for me.

By the time you've paid for the stands for the 99.26 I thought I may as well pay a wee bit extra and go for a pair of the 99.36s with a 99.26 centre. I will be going for the walnut finish and also thought the 99.36 would look better than a walnut 99.26 on top of a black stand.

90% of use will be for Film and my room is 6m x 3m. They will be in the middle of the long wall ie facing across the 3m width, so seating position approx. 2.5m from them and they will be only 4" max from the wall.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
At a guess I would say you should be ok. I have had issues in my room (different dimensions, similar volume) but these are mostly down to the inglenook the were in which really amplifies the bass.

Sometimes when mucking about with the kids we sit on the floor very close to the speakers and despite them being very wide apart in my room, they still sound good as they have a very wide soundfield. I think your 2.5m listening distance would be fine.

I think with an 80hz or so crossover, all the bungs in and a good toe-in you should be ok. Obviously you will have to take some risk but like you I thought the 99.36 the better looking option than the 99.26 on stands.

If you do decide to go ahead, make sure you post some piccies. :thumbsup:

Adam
 

roosterx

Standard Member
As i've mentioned in the 99.25 thread i have now gotten my speakers, 2x99.36 and 3x99.26 all matte black, played them as much as possible since then, but still have many hours left on that.

My first impression after unpacking was of what fine build quality they had, now the first impression is very important so lets hope they continue to improve in the sound quality. For now i have a feeling they are underpowered a bit(the 99.36) on my AVR-4310 some day when i have had them playing some more i will try to bi-amp them.

[Edit 6/8-09] I've been running these bi-amped for some days now, and i must say that it did improve the bass a lot! The bass power, precision and clarity went up a notch or three ;)

What amazes me the most is how much different these speakers sound when you have used them for some (50+) hours, it's really like night and day in comparison, i don't quite understand why these speakers change their sound so much compared to other brands.

Rikard/XTZ you should really have them pre-played for 50 hours before you sell them, set the price up by 1000sek~85 GBP(to cover the cost?!) and i believe you will get even more customers..

For now i am satisfied, though i am still trying to learn the avr-4310 and it's a lot more settings than my old Pro logic Pioneer had in 1996 :S
 

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