Neat Ministra and ATC SCM11 on a Supernait 3

I’ve been the proud owner of the Neat Ministra speakers on my Naim system for a year now and recently I bought the ATC SCM11.

Here are my findings;

The Neat Ministra is a very delicate little speaker. If pushed too hard it falls apart. I listen to mostly 80s, funk, dance, current. I tend to listen at moderate volumes as I live in a detached. At moderate and low volumes the Ministra is a very technical speaker and sounds amazing. I didn’t think I would get on with their tweeter as I tend to lean towards soft domes. Once my brain reset after ditching my previous Q Acoustics speakers I soon clicked with the ribbon tweeter on the Ministra. It is not shill nor harsh and it still manages to sparkle - I’m not sure what the secret is here but this tweeter is quite remarkable, even at higher volumes. I also note that poor recordings are somewhat forgiven with the Ministra.

At higher volumes the Ministra falls off a cliff. Port chuff and the main drivers just can’t cope with what you are asking from them.

Of course a cabinet of this size also can’t dig very deep which resulted in me buying a REL T5x subwoofer just to add some missing lower frequencies. I got it all blended in nicely. Like I said, at low and moderate volumes to me it did sound very good indeed.

I’ve now swapped over to the ATC SCM11s and can conclude;

This speakers is a very different to that of the Ministra. In every way. Physically huge in comparison (I’ve got a small doubt that maybe I should have gone for the ATC SCM7). Much larger sound, much more in front of you instead of the disappearing act that the Ministras employ.

The bass on the ATC SCM11 is huge. So much so that I am unable to hear my subwoofer on the settings I was running with the Ministras. I didn’t honestly think for a minute any sealed bookshelf could do this. Its a very different speaker with an entirely different presentation so it will take me a good few months to get the Ministras out of my head.

The tweeter on the SCM11 to me sounds, erm…more focused towards me, it wants my attention and therefore can sometimes sound a bit shouty without the soft sparkle that the Ministras gave. Of course I can push the SCM11 to levels in a different league to the Ministra. This huge driver is a big greasy Italian tank and will take the Supernait 3 in its stride.

The ATC SCM11 seems much easier to drive. I am finding my knob is at a lower level now for the same listening volume.

If I was to close my eyes I’d describe the following;

The Neat Ministras are in a very soft room full of fluffy cushions. The room feels warm and relaxing.

The ATC SCM11s are in a coliseum, full of Gladiators getting ready for battle.

Which one will I keep? No idea at this point.


That’s a very nice description of the two speakers and the differences between them. I once tried some 11s here, and they are certainly chunky.

With the excellent Supernait 3 and the very revealing ATCs, you are very much into mullet territory with just a Node as a source. Have you considered getting an NDX2? You’ll find plenty around at a good price, as people move to the New Classics. It would give you a very fine and well balanced system.


Sorry, I forgot to update my system specs on my profile. I have the ND5 XS 2. The NODE went a long time ago.


Can you still try this? Personally I’m a fan of small and more inefficient loudspeakers driven by a SuperNait. It requires you to turn up the volume more and I somehow like the SuperNait more if the volume knob is around 10 rather than 8 or 9.


I have Neat Ministra on the end of a Nait50.
No subwoofer.
No falling apart at higher volumes.

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That’s much better then. But in my efforts to get you to spend money, have you considered an nDac? They raise the level of the ND5XS2, and cost well under £1,000. nDac or no, it’s a nice system. Two sets speakers on the house at once would certainly get me confused!


Yes, I have considered many times on the nDAC. I’m having a look now.

Congratulation on the SCM 11 speakers, they are certainly a lovely speaker.

FWIW, I had a pair of SMC 7 speakers with my NAC 282 > NAP 250 DR system for several months and they were outstanding! They are great value for the money spent for them. If you get a chance to demo with your ND5XS 2 > SN 3 you will be pleasantly surprised.


Based on what I’ve found with my room and speaker placement the SCM7 would probably be the better choice. I don’t think I am far-field enough to fully understand the SCM11. Either they are very authoritative compared to other speakers I’ve heard such as Neat, KEF, Dynaudio, Gurus or my room just isn’t big enough.

Dermot Kennedy on the SCM11 is a nice match as is Warren G. I need to learn to lower the volume knob. It feels very strange to see it in a completely different position, much much lower. Love the bass on Warren G, sealed cabinets, wow. Whatever happens I’ve just decided I need to have sealed cabinets.

So the million dollar question; Something with the top end of the Ministra with the sealed bass/mids of the SCM7/11? Does it exist.


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The PMC twenty5.21i isn’t sealed, but it’s a transmission line, rather than ported, so there is no chuffing. They have very fast and tight bass, like a sealed box, but with very good extension for their size. They may be worth a look.


I also now wonder what the upgrade Danny at GR Research brings to the table. I can see why he improved the top end on the crossover. I’d feel the same too. It might be worth a punt.

My advice would be to ignore all that. It’s like pimping your car. What is key is the room / speaker matching and to a lesser extend the amplification.

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Fugees also sounds very good on the SCM11s. It’s clear the SCM11 smashes the Ministra out of the park on higher quality recordings with good dynamic range where the music has an energy focused presentation. The nice thing with the SCM11 is when listening to poorer recordings you can back the volume off further and it improves the sound without losing its tight grip around you.

I can’t get over the bass quality with those huge drivers. These things are a real steal. The grills are the most obscene thing I’ve ever seen.

I also need the speakers to blend in with my OFL furniture, which the SCMs certainly do.

I know people will recommend the speakers that they have but I’ve tried my Neat Iota Alphas on my SN3 (usually they are on the Nova) and they sounded fantastic.

I just bought some ex-demo Neat Petite Classics at the weekend to go with my Nait 50.

I heard them on the end of an SN3 with ND5XS2 as source and they sounded awesome. They certainly don’t fall apart at higher volume.

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I keep going back and forth between both speakers using one of my favourite tracks; Joan Armatrading - Love and Affection.

The Ministras are so smooth listening at the same ~77dB level as the SCM11. The tweeter sounds so good. On the SCM11 Joan is sat too close to me and she comes across as a bit shouty in parts of the track.

I’ve had a short blast with the SCM11s but they let down some of my favourite ever tracks which I just couldn’t cope with long-term.

If I upgrade my Ministras then maybe I just have to admit that I’ve already found the brand that works best for me. I’d just love my Ministras to play a bit louder and a bit punchier. Like a sealed version or maybe the next step up from the Ministras.

Whatever it is, it has to be bookshelf, in a oak/walnut premium finish (black fronts like the Ministras is fine). Preferably sealed with the same top and middle-end presentation as the Ministras.

For anyone looking for fast punchy speakers that play loud and get the party started, the SCM11 is crazy good. But they, to me, aren’t smooth enough when playing laid back tracks with micro-details. Too shouty at certain points which makes it sound off balance.

The Ministras never lose any balance up to a certain volume. Which I guess is true of any speaker.

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Personally, I’ve never found that a particularly helpful way of doing comparisons. For one thing it depends very heavily on the track chosen, for another as a listener I find myself focusing on particular details of the sound rather than getting immersed in the music as a whole. What works better for me is to live with a component for a few weeks, listening to a wide variety of music, and then take it out of the system and see how much I miss it. We’re lucky in the U.K. to have a network of dealers who support that approach.


I’m with you on that. Quick A/B comparisons confuse me.

I agree with you - I was not expecting such night and day differences so it was very quick and easy to conclude which sound I am drawn towards. As you describe, I have a fair few reference tracks that I am very familiar with on the Neats. It was these tracks that helped me deicide to keep the Neats for now.

Had a good chat with the shop where I bought the preloved SCM11s from. He would of course like me to try the Neat Mijestras. Lets see what deal they can come up with as a trade-in for my Ministras and SCM11s.

If the two speakers were similar then I would have spent much longer on the SCM11s.