Careful Listening Produces Neat Floorstanders

by The Audio Beat | May 13, 2010

ooks can be deceiving with Neat Acoustics' new Motive SE2 (shown right, $2300 per pair) and Ultimatum XL6 ($12,000 per pair) speakers. Both appear to be two-way designs, but only the Motive SE2 is. It has a single 1" EMIT planar/ribbon tweeter and 5 1/4" coated-paper-cone woofer with rubber surround. The cabinet is divided into discrete chambers. The topmost chamber isolates the tweeter from the back wave of the woofer. The Motive SE2's sensitivity is given as 86dB/W/m, while its impedance is 8 ohms, with 6 ohms minimum.

The Ultimatum XL6 is a multi-chamber loudspeaker with six drivers. Those visible are mounted on sub-baffles that are attached to the main enclosure via a polyethylene damping membrane. The baffles are a 1 3/4"-thick sandwich of birch plywood, polyethylene damping membrane and MDF, providing a rigid, non-resonant platform. Two hidden isobarically loaded 6 1/2" Neat woofers are flux optimized and use dustcaps for rigidity. The midrange is a special version of the Neat 6 1/2" driver with an aluminum phase plug that aids dispersion and reduces dynamic compression. The two 1" SEAS main tweeters are contained within a separate subchamber, with a second subchamber housing two 1" EMIT supertweeters, which fire upwards to add a sense of space and realism. The five-element crossover employs first-order slopes. Sensitivity is 87dB/W/m and impedance is given as 8 ohms, with a 5-ohm minimum.

Neat Acoustics is unique in having its own recording studio, and this may help explain the emphasis the company places on listening in the development of new products -- "making small incremental changes to all elements of the design until it is 'just right.'"

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