PAIYON P4-2.0 Bookshelf Loudspeaker Audiophile Passive Hi-Fi Audio Speakers Pair

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Speaker Review
Paiyon P4-2.0
High-Fidelity instead of High-End

At the beginning of 2020 I discovered a video on YouTube called
"Review! The Paiyon P4-2.0 Bookshelf Loudspeaker. The Good China-Fi!" from June 12, 2019.
The video was released on the channel "Zero Fidelity", the reviewer is a young American named Sean Fowler. You can still watch the video today, it is professionally made, and Fowler knows his trade and what he is talking about.
After I had looked at the review several times and visited the website of the Chinese supplier, it was clear: that's where I would take action ...
As I had previously purchased speakers directly from China, I ordered a pair of P4-2.0 in Walnut from HiFi-Audio in Guangzhou in early March, the Rosewood version would have dominated my listening room too much visually, and two weeks later the 22 kg package was lying in my stairwell. The Chinese are busy people, and don't let such messes like Covid-19 keep them from doing business.
On the subject of business:

Dollar rate 0.93 €/$ (April 2020)
183,59 $ 170 € Product
132,03 $ 122 € Freight
53,56 € 54 € Customs
Total 346 €
The pair of P4-2.0 comes thus in Germany to 346 €uro.

Even the Chinese cannot do magic. The visible outer surfaces of the case are made of a – well made – plastic veneer. I can say this for sure, because a tiny (!) transport damage let the underground shine through. With a felt-tip pen of suitable colour this blemish was quickly repaired.
The 165 mm (6.5 inch) midrange / bass driver does not have a cast iron basket, but one made of sheet steel. This is not an economy measure: Cast baskets with subsequent machining are the method of choice for smaller series – sheet steel baskets are only worthwhile for larger series because expensive pressing tools are required. An American would probably call the bass driver with its powerful double magnet (for magnetic shielding) "beefy". The 1 inch soft cone tweeter is also equipped with a double magnet and has a small horn attachment.
The rear bass reflex channel is relatively large – we'll come back to this later ...
A pair of recessed terminals are centrally located on the rear wall – bi-wiring is not provided – no shortcoming in my eyes.

In the evening of April 15th, 2020, the speakers were set up in my listening/living room, and were carefully woken up by the cable tuner using BR1 (Bavarian Broadcast).
My living room is 22 square meters large and furnished with curtains, carpets, book and disk shelves. The loudspeakers sit on stable 63-centimetre-high stands, forming a stereo triangle with an edge length of 2.8 metres, more than one metre from the rear wall and angled towards the listening position.
What quickly became apparent: The light but audible bass enhancement, with which BR1 comes from the cable, is not disturbing with the Paiyon.

First try from CD:
Audiophile Pearls Volume 28
The title is meant quite serious: The recordings are discreetly darkened, warm and sonorous, absolutely stress-free, but transparent and precise even at room volume. The Paiyons are already in their element here – still unboxing quality, not at all broken in.
What I hear has little to do with a 345 € loudspeaker, that sounds rather four-digit – I am surprised ...

Jenny Evans At Lloyd's (1995 Bell Records)
The recording/mixing is audibly right-shifted.
I am used to this recording brighter, the Paiyon goes in the direction of sonorous – this is probably due to its neutrality – more about this later. Tonal you can search as long as you want, it's flawless ...

On the subject of lateral shifting:
If you have a somewhat larger CD collection, you will surely have noticed that the acoustic center of gravity of the recordings is not always in the middle between the speakers, but shifted from time to time – mostly to the right, rarely to the left.
For many years I didn't become aware of this, but since I got the Paiyons, there was an acute need for action ...
My listening room is purposefully built symmetrically – even up to the filling of the shelves.
First-class recordings don't show this shift, special test CDs with clap tracks (repeated reverberation-free hand clapping) of course don't show this shift either. If the hand clapping comes directly from the centre between the speakers – ideally from the middle of the room – then the centre shift is due to the respective recording, not to the system or your own hearing.

Which brings us back to the Paiyon P4-2.0 This speaker mercilessly demonstrates such errors. At the beginning of a test, the speakers are placed in a 2.8 m triangle as explained above and angled towards the listening position – so were the Paiyons. Since the described shifting effect was sometimes disturbing, I used a trick that I had to resort to several times: LRX placement.
There are certainly some readers who don't need to be told, but LRX is so useful that everyone should know it. The position of the speakers in the room remains the same, only the angle changes: the speakers (including the stands!) are turned so far inwards that the edges of the cabinet or the axis of the tweeter point into the opposite corners of the room.
LRX means Left-Right-Crossing: the speaker axes cross in front of the listener's face.
In the case of the Paiyons this also resulted in such a significant reduction of the lateral shift that the subject was de facto settled. Please note: the positioning of the speakers is still symmetrical in the room, only our hearing is not as sensitive to the deviation anymore. The fact that LRX also increases the so-called sweet spot should only be mentioned here for the sake of completeness.

Harman Kardon – "A musical experience" (1984)
is an audiophile sampler across the repertoire with first-class recordings from the early days of the CD era. Some of them are brute – a nemesis for small speakers. The Paiyon-P4, however, with 23 liters gross volume and 9 kg per side is no longer a small loudspeaker – what limits here is the listener, not the transducer.

Abracadabra – "Listen to the Picture" (CD Baby.Com/Indys 2010)
is an insider tip that you should research – it could help you secure your retirement pension ...
If you already have the corresponding DVD (, you can watch the recording live.
Bert Kaempfert In London – Live 1974 (Polydor 2003)
The dynamics especially in the high frequency range (brass instruments) are explosive. The bass (drum) is bone dry!
The Paiyon is very continental European, very un-English. Also the appearance would have been called scandinavian in the past. As I've often mentioned before, I love speakers bright and fast – I never thought that I would ever come across a speaker that is almost too hefty even for me ...

Dani Klein & Sal la Rocca – Dani Sings Billie (2015 Boogie Productions 8073151)
After the Kaempfert recording, the loudspeaker is as if transformed: It's as if it has no inherent sound...
Klein's voice could certainly use a little more contour, there's too much soft focus in it – quite unnecessarily. The guitar is delicate.
A 165 mm bass diameter is probably optimal for my 22m².

Robbie Williams – Swing When You're Winning (EMI Chrysalis 2001)
Here you get the full range of voices – the Paiyon-P4 makes me speechless.

Pierre Boussaguet & Carles GR: Reflects / Reflejos (Swit, 2012)
Double bass and guitar – here too the change in character is perfect. The loudspeaker reproduces the CD the way the two soloists thought: soft and sonorous, but anything but boring.

Phil Collins Big Band live! (Wea Int. Warner 1999)
This recording is spectacular. Of course, the band leader's drums got the most attention – but all the rest leaves nothing to be desired: This is solid big band jazz in the succession of Count Basie and Buddy Rich. The fact that most of the numbers are written by Collins doesn't bother me – the arrangements are top-class.

If I had to sell these speakers, that would be my demo: Big Band at its best! Everything is recorded in a very transparent and detailed way and takes off like a bat out of hell ...
You never really forget that Collins is a rocker and not a jazzman, but he really drives the croud forward – that's what counts.

Beethoven symphonies – The Hannover Band on original instruments
(Nimbus, Naxos Germany)
I never really relished these recordings – the sun rises with the Paiyons.
This loudspeaker has that quantum of more radiance, assertiveness and lightness that I have always missed in my various speakers ...
Small – even very good – loudspeakers can't do that.
These recordings from two London cathedrals always seemed to me too sedate – Beethoven in English, for English people. Now the cathedral flies! The old saying that a new, better loudspeaker means a new record collection has once again proved true. I have already hinted above that this can also backfire: What used to be acceptable, is so suddenly no longer...

Charlie Haden – Nocturne (Verve 2000)
That sounds much more like a four-digit price tag than 346 € ...
This music can't take a bit too much or a bit too little – everything here has to be just right. I've heard this record many times before, but it was all compromising. Actually, I heard it for the first time properly. Not every music, not every recording can take any approach – either everything or nothing ...
The insidious thing is that you can only find the confirmation in your own four (six?) walls, in my case after an hour of shifting and twisting.
LRX (left-right-crossing) is clearly the best solution for the Paiyon in my very symmetrical and damped listening room. The speakers are placed next to well filled bookshelves, they have to be twisted into the room to avoid losing too much to the books.

Salamander Pie – Mike Renzi, Jay Leonhart (DMP in-Acoustics 1991)
If you expect an "audiophile" loudspeaker to reproduce even energetic strokes on the grand piano "beautifully soft", you're certainly better off with a BBC monitor – a hard struck grand piano is not for "pipe and slipper" listeners. When I sit in front of my stereo, I want to experience something, not chill out – the Paiyons and I understand each other perfectly well.
As far as the lower frequency limit is concerned, the company's specification of 50 Hz refers to the tuning frequency of the bass reflex system – the speaker can convincingly and easily represent the 41 Hz of a double bass in my listening room.

Zuzana Ferjencíková – Franz Liszt, Complete Organ Works Vol.1
(Dabringhaus and Grimm, Naxos Germany, 2020)
The Prelude and Fugue S 529 on the Aloys Looser organ in the Saint-Nicolas in Fribourg have been fantastically recorded – on 22 m² there is nothing missing: a wonderful sound and a whole-body experience ...

The main characteristic of these loudspeakers is their neutrality: You put on another record and everything changes – you are hardly sure you are still sitting in the same room ...
A loudspeaker as a pure medium – that was actually the ideal of High Fidelity. Nowadays, everyone who's anybody builds sound converters with a distinctive character – the fascination of variety should actually come from the music, not from the speakers ...

In Tune – The Oscar Peterson Trio & The Singers Unlimited
MPS quality in ADD from the year 1973 – that says it all ...
As I have got used to speakers with small mid-bass units over the last few years, I am impressed by the ease of reproduction. The bass goes down easily to the empty E-string (41 Hz) without ever pressing – the radiating area is simply much larger, the bass reflex system is skilfully designed with restraint: Nothing blows, you hardly feel a breeze when you put your hand in front of the tunnel.
The hard impulses of the grand piano come with a verve that will be too much for some people – this loudspeaker does not spare itself or its listeners.

My summary: Paiyon has resisted the temptation to develop a "high-end" loudspeaker that has a character all of its own and always remains recognisable. The P4-2.0 is a high-fidelity device that is completely subservient to the program offered and impresses with a neutrality that I haven't heard for a long time. The Chinese have virtually taken us on a journey through time here, taking us back to an era when "analytical" was not yet a swear word, and neutrality was not synonymous with boredom. And this loudspeaker is truly not boring: It has a long missed charm to listen to a recording as it is recorded on the data carrier – and this reliably every time the Paiyon is connected to the power amplifier or the integrated amplifier. The manufacturer recommends 20–120 Watt amplifier power – with a sensitivity of 90 dB/W it is therefore a fat prey for almost all amplifiers, producing about 110 dB at 120 W. Since my normal listening level is in the region of 80 dB(C) (measured), I can delete the word "maximum level" from my vocabulary. This will probably become a long friendship ...

Bookshelf Speaker
Paiyon P4-2.0

Type: 2-Way Compact Loudspeaker, Bass Reflex
Sensitivity: 90 dB/2V/1m
Nominal impedance: 4 Ω
Finish: Rosewood or Walnut foiled
Dimensions (W/H/D): 20/37.3/31/ cm
Gross volume: 23 litres
Weight : 9 kg
Price per pair: 346 € (incl. transport and customs)
Date Added: 05/28/2020 by Ra**h Netz**r