Thinking of an Atom with Neat Iotas

I use our smallest (approx 3m x 2.6m) bedroom as a study and am spending more time in it at the moment, so contemplating a second system there. I currently have a Muso QB but would like something with higher SQ and proper stereo. My desk runs round a right-angled corner of the room and I thought an Atom into Neat Iotas might suit. The intention would be to wall-mount the speakers, one on each wall and just higher than the computer screens. Here’s a picture


So, I have a few questions.

  1. The Neats are not particularly sensitive and the Atom is only 40W but the room is very small. So I am assuming that would be OK. Would anyone who runs this combo like to comment on its pros and (if any) cons.

  2. Last year, a number of folk seemed to have problems with the screen freezing. Have the recent firmware updates solved this?

  3. Neat recommend B-Tech BT33 brackets but these seem to have been discontinued. Has anyone tried different (available in the UK) brackets and did they fit the speakers well?

  4. One for me really, but should I wait till I can audition (my usual practice but could be a long time and I might not still be around) or take a punt on mail order (from a proper dealer, of course)?

Any other constructive comments welcome, with thanks.

Roger

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One for @hungryhalibut

Atom and Iotas is a winning formula, but also worth considering the UQ2 with the Neats (planning on picking up a pair of Iotas to go with my surplus UQ2 in the snug). Either should be a significant improvement on the QB.

It’s the BT 332 that you want. The 2 simply means that it’s a pair of BT 33. They come in black or white.

I swapped from a Qb to a UQ2 and Iotas and it’s a massive difference. The Qute has less power than the Atom but in a small room it’s fine. I spoke to Neat before getting the speakers and they told me that the UQ2/Iotas is what they have in the lobby of the factory. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

I bought my Iotas on EBay. They were sold as used but were absolutely mint and only cost £400. Mount them at ear level if it’s possible. I couldn’t recommend this setup more highly. The speakers take a while to run in, but once there are just great. They really are amazing for something so tiny, and weigh more than you’d think. They are like bricks.

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My bedroom system was originally, a couple of years ago, a UQ2 with Iotas. Lovely sounding system, but slightly underpowered for my room (approx 12’ x 18’). I swapped out the UQ for an Atom over a year ago, and wouldn’t consider anything else now. The Atom is definitely a step up in terms of both power and SQ. The Iotas are tremendous speakers. As you can see from the photo mine sit on a tiled shelf, they sound open with beautifully controlled bass.

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Thanks, Nigel. Very helpful as always, particularly on the mounting brackets.

What pushes me towards the Atom is the new streaming platform, particularly fuss-free Qobuz streaming and I do think it looks good. Nice to have next to me on th desk. Shallow, I know but …

Roger

If you want Qobuz then of course the Atom makes complete sense. The volume control on top would be perfect on the desk. Go for it!

As far as cabling is concerned, I would recommend a demo before deciding. I tried both NAC A5 and Chord Odyssey, and the Chord took it by a margin. Add to that ease of handling and very little price difference, it wasn’t a difficult choice. Your ears may tell you different, but worth comparing first (there are other competitors around today that may be worth a trial). You certainly won’t regret choice of Atom or speakers!

I got my parents an Atom with Neat Iota’s last year, it’s a brilliant little system and IMO a no brainier . They also use the B Tech bracket which work a treat as mentioned. They initially bought some ATC HTS7 on the wall speakers which were brilliant but my Mum who’s in charge of aesthetics couldn’t live with ATC’s looks because of their see through grills . She said they looked like a Woman sat on the loo …?? :joy:. I thought they looked and sounded lovely!
They already had a pair of Iota’s with a Unitiqute so after a quick listen we ordered another pair and they are very happy now .

The offending ATC’s , my best friend has them now with a Unitilite .

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This is where the Iota’s ended up , the angles on the brackets have changed but they work very well .

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I already have some lengths of NACA5, terminated with bananas, sitting around unused, so I’d planned to start with those. The aim is to swap them out eventually for something more flexible and less awkward to handle. But I think it makes sense to wait until the restrictions are eased a bit and the gear has run in before playing with cables.

Roger

Thanks Pete. I did wonder about the HTS7s or 11s from ATC. I have active ATC40s in my main system and love them, but did wonder if an Atom was really up to driving the 7s and 11s. And Naim/Neat seems to have good synergy. As HH said above Neat have Naim-driven Iotas in the lobby of their factory.

Roger

Would you be able to angle them towards your sitting position? I’m not sure what having them at 90degrees to each other would bring in terms of sound / interference.

I use Chord Sarsen on mine, with the Ohmic plugs. I bought it because it is really thin and isn’t really noticeable against the wall. It seems perfectly ok to me.

The Atom drove the ATC’s no problem at all but for what you’re looking for the Neat’s will be perfect. They are wonderful little speakers .

Pete, you have a beautiful mezzanine which combines original features with the contemporary in a stunning fashion. In addition, the exposure of natural light really accentuates the character of the building. In kindness, DA

Thanks , it was a derelict barn adjoining the house and was an amazing project. Apologies @PeakMan for thread diversion.

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You have my admiration for a breathtakingly stunning conversion. The quality of finish is second to none.

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That’s what I’m hoping. It’ll depend on the brackets. Lots of experimenting ahead.

Roger