Magazine article Gramophone

Neat Little Speakers Are Eye-Catching but Unobtrusive: NEAT Acoustics' New Compact Floorstanding Speakers Deliver a Big, Captivating Sound

Magazine article Gramophone

Neat Little Speakers Are Eye-Catching but Unobtrusive: NEAT Acoustics' New Compact Floorstanding Speakers Deliver a Big, Captivating Sound

Article excerpt

Looks can be deceptive: the newest speakers from British company NEAT Acoustics may be a two and-a-half-way design, with a downward-venting bass port, and may also be the largest model in the new Motive SX range, yet when you unbox them and set them up they're actually pretty small. They stand just 92.5cm tall and have a 22x26cm footprint--in other words, no bigger than a pair of conventional small 'bookshelf speakers on stands.

They're part of a revised line-up of one of NEAT's most popular ranges, the Motive: the SX versions--like all NEAT speakers handbuilt in Teesdale, Co Durham--have a new tweeter arrangement, upgraded crossover components and redesigned cabinets with better bracing, separate compartments to reduce driver crosstalk and that downward-venting port in the two floorstanding models. Single-wire speaker terminals are fitted: biwiring is available as an option but suggested only when the user intends to biamplify the speakers.

There are three models in the new range, each using a combination of that 25mm inverted-dome tweeter and 13.5cm bass unit: in the bookshelf Motive SX3 and standmount SX2 there's one of each driver, covering treble and mid/bass, while the SX1 we have here adds a second woofer as a sub-bass unit. Available in a range of high-quality finishes, the Motive SX1 sells for 1885 [pounds sterling]/pr.

PERFORMANCE

The compact size of the NEATs, plus that downward-venting bass port, makes them easy to accommodate. I placed them well away from the rear wall and corners, with a very slight toe-in towards the listening position, and no further fettling or fiddling was required. That done, the Motive SX1s were readily able to demonstrate the kind of qualities previously apparent in the old Motive range--speed, weight, drama and conviction--but with an added edge of sparkle and vitality, plus even better power in the bass. …

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