“High Fidelity Services was showing the multidriver, ribbon/cone $31,195 Neat Acoustics Ultimatum XL10 floor stander, powered by Audio Flight electronics and sourced by a VPI Classic 4 turntable with JMW 10.5” tonearm and Lyra Kelos cartridge. On my tricky recording of George Crumb’s Four Nocturnes, the XL10 showed very high resolution and superb transient response, with just a little suck-out in the upper bass and power range thinning color somewhat. Nonetheless, this was a good presentation with outstanding definition and surprising deep bass.”
Jonathan Valin, Absolute Sound
USA Debut of the Audia Flight Strumento Series
“Neat Acoustics of England makes some great sounding loudspeakers, but the company has had a low profile in the U.S. because of on again/off again distribution. Now the company has a new distributor, High Fidelity Services, and a new generation of the popular Motive line of speakers, priced from $1795 to $2995 per pair. The Motive SX series benefits from an entirely new tweeter based on an anodized aluminum dome. The ultra-minimalist crossovers feature expensive Mundorf capacitors— [which are expensive in their own right, and thus] surprising at this price point. In addition, cabinet bracing has been improved, and the tweeter now resides its own sub-enclosure.
The Motive SX line comprises three models; the SX3 ($1795) is a two-way stand mount, the diminutive floor standing SX2 ($2395), and the larger floor standing, three driver 2 1/2 way SX1 at $2995 per pair. Each model is available in one of four finishes, walnut, black oak, natural oak, and satin white. I was greatly impressed by the SX2; the sound was smooth, natural, and engaging. The bass extension and dynamics were surprising from a speaker of this size and price. But it was another Neat speaker that absolutely blew me away—the $995 per pair Iota. This tiny monitor, designed to be positioned near a rear wall, features a 4” mid/woofer coupled to a 2” planar magnetc tweeter. The sound was big, robust, and went far lower in the bass than the cabinet dimensions or woofer size would suggest. But beyond that, the Iota had a sweetness in the midrange and treble that was in sharp contrast with the hardness and glare endemic in this genre. Moreover, the Iota threw a wonderfully developed soundstage. The Iota gets my vote for greatest bargain at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Watch for a review. Incidentally, Neat doesn’t just make entry level speakers. The company offers eleven models, with the flagship Ultimatum XL10 topping out at $31,195 per pair.”
Robert Harley, Absolute Sound
“The UK’s Neat Acoustics is distributed in the US by High Fidelity Services in Braintree, Massachusetts. Here we see the company’s Motive SX2, in sassy pink ($2395/pair), driven by a Sonneteer Orton integrated amplifier ($3795). The digital source was Sonneteer’s Byron CD player ($2795), while vinyl was being spun on a VPI Scout 2 ($2400) with a Dynavector 202 XL cartridge ($850). The attractive rack is the Custom Design Ikon 750 Reference ($1475). Neat, indeed.”
Steve Mejias, Stereophile