I recently moved to a new apartment with a much bigger livingroom.
In my old 25 square meter room I used the following setup:
- Uniti Atom
- Neat Iota
- NAC A5 speaker cables
- BKelec P12-300SB subwoofer
I was very happy with the sound quality. Atom and Iota were a perfect match for the room size, and the subwoofer compensated what the Iota lacked in lower frequencies.
My new living room is much bigger (around 50 square meters!). The Iota are too small to handle a room of that size, even when supported by the sub. The sound isn’t room filling and I need to turn volume up higher than my usual listening level. I began to look for a bigger speaker with higher sensitivity to be easy to drive by the 40w power of the Atom.
I read many threads on Floorstander recommendations for the Atom. At some point I even wanted to buy a PMC 25.24 but realized that it may be too much to handle for the Atom. Finally, I turned back to Neat and decided to make an upgrade to the Iota Xplorer. Now this beauty arrived last week and I made a direct comparison between the Iota and the Iota Xplorer, expecting to be blown away be the difference in every aspect of the sound.
Maybe my hopes were set too high after reading all those enthusiastic reviews about the Xplorer. Maybe I was expecting to feel the same amazement when I first listened to the Atom/Iota combo in the smaller livingroom of my old apartment. Unfortunately that was not the case.
The Xplorer certainly sound more voluminous in comparison to the Iota+subwoofer, but the difference is not that dramatic to justify the 4x higher price imo. Also, the soundstage doesn’t sound much more “three-dimensional”. There is a clear difference in the bass management. The bass feels tighter and much better controlled, but it still lacks the power/volume of the subwoofer. So unlike some reviewers I’m not ready to dismiss the separate subwoofer.
To cut the long story short: I was expecting a bigger difference between the smallest Iota(+subwoofer) and the Xplorer. I think that they can’t play to their full potential for some reason.
I am aware that these speakers will need a 200hour-burn-in period, but will they sound that much better after 200 hours?
Could it be that the Atom is not powerful enough for them? (they have a 88db sensitivity and should be easy to drive with the 40w power of the Atom I thought…)
If lack of amp power should be the case, what options do I have? I think some people use the Atom as a pre-amp connected to a NAP 200. Would that make such a big difference?