B&W PM1 or Neat Iota Xplorer

Hi everyone,
I am currently using B&W PM1s with my Naim 112X/150X. They look quite good but I have never been 100% satisfied with the sound. I am considering switching these for the Neat Iota Explorer. Does anyone have experience of these speakers with a Naim system? I really like the look but am wondering as to how they perform.
Thanks everyone

Naim and Neat - marriage made in heaven

I have heard the explorers with a supernait 3 - sensational

Go for it I reckon you will be happy



That was quick! I full well suspect that I will.
Many thanks

Neat anyday of the week
Not sure a 112X/150X is the perfect partner.

The Explorer is an expensive speaker and I suspect a 112x/150 is insufficient amplification to get the best from them. A Supernait 3 would be a much better proposition.

You don’t mention your source, which would be helpful. With good speakers like the Explorer, you need a very good source. In the Naim range, a CDX2 or NDX2 would be about right.

Thanks and apologies of course as I should have mentioned the source! Currently I am using a CD5X and I am about to purchase a REGA Planar 8 with a view to the vast majority of my listening being vinyl. I’d love also to get the SN3 but will need to consider that a little into the future.

That’s good. A P8 would be fine with speakers like the Explorer. I think the 112/150 would be an issue though. Have you thought of getting a SN3 now, before the speakers? The PM1 needs power and I suspect SN3 with PM1 will be better than 112/150 and Explorers. If you were to get the SN3 you could fit an MM cartridge to the P8 and avoid the need for a phono stage.

You really need to try a few speakers, as they can sound very different in your home. Things that look great in reviews may be a disaster in your room.

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Thanks. That’s good advice and it is much more sensible to wait and see how the PM1s sound with a better amp first.

Have you considered a Flatcap 2X power supply ?
This will power up both your 112x preamp & CD5’x and will improve things overall quite a bit.
The weakest link is the 112x, at least the consensus in here, but I would just try those Explorers if you have this home-demo option ?

A P8 will be excellent and comes with either Exact or Ania Pro bundled at extra.
Whatever cartridge you decide for, a SN3 phono is MM only.

A SN2 is another option if you don’t mind buying s/h, it doesn’t have on-board phono, perhaps makes life easier with choice of dedicated external phonostage, SN2 will power up a Prefix or Stageline

If you’re looking for a new pair of Xplorers get your skates on, the price is going up to £4k. In fact you may already be too late.

Neat iota alphas are very nice too but PM1’s can give much more with better amplification and source.

It depends also on the positioning in your room. Iotas work relatively good close to a back wall and the PM1’s like some distance to the wall.

Thanks. I have to say that, when I bought the PM1s I was very impressed so maybe a bit more experimentation is required! I suspect that, despite mine being a little distance from the wall, it might be worthwhile me trying them a little further away to see what improvements there are. I’m certainly going to look into the SN3 and a MM cartridge on the RP8. That feels quite balanced - although I’m no expert.
Best wishes

I’d say try to find a dealer where you can borrow an amp for a week and do a bit experimenting with loudspeaker positioning.

When I got my current house 5 years ago I needed new hifi since my old set was not capable of filling the room. I bought s/h B&W CM1’s (basically the cheap version of your PM1’s having many similar characteristics) hoping that that was the solution. It clearly wasn’t but many great things in live start with an error.

I found a Naim dealer and he sold me a SuperNait 1. A very good match. The CM1’s completely opened up and gave me a good time. Plenty of dynamics.

Then the hifi journey took of and I bought stuff for my TV and for my home office which allowed me to experiment a bit. I got CM5’s for my TV (still there, good for av) and a Nait 5. The Nait 5 is similar what you have now regarding amplification. When I used the Nait 5 to drive the insensitive CM1’s - they sounded grey / dull. The Nait 5 simply did not have the power to drive them. The Nait 5 was and is excellent using other loudspeakers.

Anyhow. Enjoy the journey.

Thank you very sincerely for taking the time to compose and share such a helpful account of your own experience. I do remember that when I auditioned the PM1s I was very impressed (and I listened to quite a few speakers). It’s fair to say that a change of amplification is well worth a try (especially if I can get a home demo) in enabling me to fall back in love with the PM1s. They certainly look great! I will be calling around this afternoon and tomorrow to see what I can sort out.
Very best wishes

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I’ve not heard the Neats, or TBH, any other speakers recently, but I have had a pair of PM1s for about 8 years or so. Together with a REL sub they’ve worked really well for me as I’ve gone from SN2, to SN2/Hicap, to 282/SN2/Hicap. I’ve just got a 250DR though and that’s less clear, they seem a little bright which I never noticed before; I certainly need the sub which wasn’t so much the case with the SN2. When lockdown eases I hope to listen to some others, but for now very happy with them. Hope that helps.

That really helps. Thanks. I’ve also got a REL (stampede I think) that is in storage. I’m going to try and retrieve it and give it a spin. I’m still keen to also look into the SN3 as I’m really thinking it’ll partner really well with the PM1s. I’ve had my speakers for about 8 years as well and they look great. It’d be good if I can get a sound out of them that I find a bit more ‘satisfying’. I don’t feel as if I need a massive sound as we have a 1 bed flat (thankfully concrete so no issues with vibration) so the PM1s should be lovely.
Will let you know how it goes.
Thank you of course - appreciated.

I thought the general rule of thumb more recently was to get the best speakers you could afford and then upgrade from there. I’d have thought you’d be fine with the neats for a while?! I use neats, motive se2 with a nait xs and hicap. Lovely sound. But I’m ready to take a speaker jump too and plan spendor d7.2 or proacs in view to upgrade the amp soon after. Aways wise to demo at home first though. Good luck.

I started my Naim journey 8 years ago with a NaitXS, CD5si, and B&W PM1s. That was a great sounding combo that gave me years of joy.

When I decided to upgrade to NAC N272, XPSdr and 300 DR, I kept the PM1s for a few months to allow me to replenish my wallet until the speakers upgrade. The PM1s sounded even better, and really punched way beyond their weight.

I would advice you to think twice before ditching the PM1s. They’re extremely capable speakers with the right amplification. And yes they look gorgeous!

Thank you for taking the time to message. I really appreciate your advice and, in view of this, and the fact I think (as you mention) they look great, I will tackle the amp first. I’ve been looking into the SN3 recently so will almost certainly go in that direction.
Best wishes

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