ATC 11s v Neat Motive SX1s with Uniti Star

Good morning all
This is my first post on this forum, so apologies if there have been previous discussions on this topic and please forgive my ignorance of Naim and possibly stupid questions I ask generally !
Basically, due to home downsizing, I’ve decided (after some 40 years) to move away from Meridian (apologies for swearing ! ) - and move to Naim, probably a Uniti Star, or Nova as the system heart.
My man-cave (bedroom 2) is about 12 feet x 12 feet x 9 feet high.
After much research, I narrowed down my speakers to either ATC 7s or 11s and yesterday, I got to hear both with the Star.
The 11 were much better to my ears, but then a spanner was thrown into the works, as I also then heard a pair of Neat Motive SX1s with the Star and was very impressed indeed.
Also, I have to say, that the Neat Motives looked much nicer and easy on the eye than the ATCs which with the best will in the world, to my eyes, look slight ‘industrial’, no doubt being based on their Pro beginnings.
Both speakers sounded great and I could live with the sound of either, but I do have to consider looks as I’ll be facing them for many hours/years to come, in a fairly small room, plus if SWMBO likes them, it’s a bonus !
However, sound is first and foremost, so I would really appreciate the thoughts and experiences of existing Naim Star/Nova, ATC 11, Neat Motive SX1 owners, or those who have heard these combinations and would value your comments.
Many thanks

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Very different beasts! Small infinite baffle monitor vs ported floor stander - bass integration with your room will be the deciding factor. Ive used scm 11 in a slightly larger room and they are easy to place, accurate and astonishing most of the time. They do need a little vol to present a decent sound stage tho. Not heard the sx1 but i use sx3 in place of the scm11 and whilst they are not as revealing as the atc, thye are an easier listen and work better at low vols and the bass is deeper. I think your only answer is home demo…

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Thank you for your response and info - I think you are absolutely right, this will need a home dem to make a decision, especially as I’ve not owned ‘passive’ speakers for many years now and clearly the technology has moved on exponentially.
Thanks again

I used to have Neat Motive 2’s with a Nait 2 and loved them in my old flat . They never really worked in the house I’m in now and I went down the PMC and ATC route . The Neats seemed much more room dependant . I am a Neat fan and think the Iota’s are incredible.
Incidentally I spoke to Richard Newman from ATC at a show about the best ATC’s to pair with a Uniti Atom , he said both 7’s and 11’s would be fine but the 11’s were easier to drive which was surprising .

I wouldn’t assume that speaker tech has moved on much at all. Many speakers from the 80s are still very hard to beat. Do make sure you get to borrow well run in pairs from your dealer and use them for as long as the dealer will allow. I once tried the Motive 1, predecessor to the SX1 and it was a total bass monster, so beware. I’d also try some PMCs if you can, such as the twenty25.21, and also the ProAc Tablette 10. The latter will go hard against the wall, which may appeal. The Nova with any of these speakers should be very good indeed.

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Thanks Pete

Appreciate your input.

Thank you & good point about “well run in” speakers, as the ATC 11s I heard, were fresh into the store that morning, so far from run in !
I’ll look into the other suggested speakers too now.
Much appreciated.

The reason I emphasise this is that some speakers really change as they play. I bought some ex demos once, thinking they were run in. Nice tight bass and really good overall. But… as they run in the bass grew, and grew, and grew, and the speakers loosened up, but not in a good way. So they were sold at a loss and I learned my lesson.


Thanks - it is a really good point and one I hadn’t even thought about.

I very much suspect that in a room of your size the SX1s would produce far too much bass. I home demoed them a few yoars ago and there was too much bass output for my 12x16 room albeit with lower ceilings.

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If you like the Neat sound the SX2s or 3s maybe better.


Many thanks

In my experience the SX1 need good space around them because of the down-firing port. In the dealer’s demo room they sounded great, but at home they had a rather flabby bass… If they work in your room, great speakers!

I have the SX1’s they are 26cm from the wall and the bass is tight and fast, perhaps even a little lightweight. The downward firing port allows them to be placed close to the wall. The SX1’s have a great midrange and treble, they convey the music with feeling, for me they are difficult to beat in this price range. But It really is room dependent and speakers need a home demo, as can be seen from the different opinions here.

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Thank you

If I was in your position I would go ahead and home demo both speakers. At that stage don’t think about their looks but see which one makes you want to rediscover your music collection, makes you feel excited and happy to look forward to hearing them. Once you reached that stage, their ‘looks’ would probably be quickly demoted to second opinion.

I think that’s great advice & will do so !
Thank you

Sorry, but can I add another speaker that someone (not on this forum) suggested is worth investigating as another option - the Spendor A2 - which I’ve never seen or heard, but does anyone have any experience of it or thoughts etc ?

Fwiw, we recently sold our demo/display pair of curved SCM11’s, first production pair which we had since August 2013. Heavily used over seven years and i didn’t notice a change in their presentation.

Having owned the 7s and 11s I have to say I preferred the sound of the 7s. As another forum member (Cory?) put it the 11s sound more “correct” but the 7s for some reason are more enjoyable to my ears.

Now I own the wall mount 7s. I think they sound better than the stand mount 7s. They also look more discreet. Mine are white with the cloth grills. The 11s also come in a wall mounted version fwiw.

I would second the recommendation to consider Tab 10s. They have a lot of detail similar to ATCs but with more prat. They also look very tidy.