I’m aware of the general admiration for Neat speakers here, but I’ve been struggling to find feedback on the Neat XS5I’s. There’s a pair locally (including the optional base) that have caught my attention and I’m curious if anyone has experience with them that they’d be willing to share.
My system is up to date in my profile (XS2, Flatcap XS, nDAC, Planar 6, Ania Pro, Stageline S, Bluesound Node) but I plan to update the XS2 to a Supernait 2 or 3 at some point in the near future. I’d be moving from a set of Focal Chorus 726’s.
I listened to this group of 5 a year ago; sx5i and Ekstra in the middle. Neither neat speaker revealed themselves as a contender. I was moving up from motive sx2.
In isolation they both might have been fine, but in comparison with other speakers; not for me. Both easily bettered by the proacs.
You need to listen to them and form your own opinion. Don’t buy them just because they are new old stock (having been discontinued in May 2020) and thus discounted. Neat speakers have all gone up in £. There’s no way I would buy even the sx2 now for its current rrp of £2155, and the Ekstra are now £4k; the rrp of the sx5i before being axed from the lineup was £4250 and then dropped by £1k.
I suspect the Neats are a bit too much for your system and would be happier with better sources and amplifier. Whether they make sense depends on both whether you like them and whether you plan some electronics upgrades in future. I’d be inclined to keep your speakers and upgrade the P6 to a P8 and the Node for an ND5XS2. A Rega Aria would be really nice too.
Thanks HH. I agree with your thoughts on the Node, it’s rarely used and will also see an upgrade some day. When you say “too much” are you referring to the amps ability to drive the speakers or them being unbalanced with the system (i.e. putting it into mullet territory)? FWIW, one of the main reasons I’m considering them is that they’re being offered at approximately 1/3 of their original MSRP and are within budget.
A bit of both. They really need more welly than the XS can provide. A speaker like that would normally be paired with a Supernait at minimum, more likely a 282/250. And then there are your sources, where a Rega 8 or 10 would be a much better match.
It’s a classic mistake to buy some illustrious speakers and then need to spend lots in order to rebalance the system. Getting everything nicely matched is just so important. Something cheap is only a bargain if you actually like it and it meets your needs. I’m sure we’ve all bought clothes in the sales because they are cheap, and never worn them.
If further upgrades are on the agenda then by all means give the Momentums a try, but be sure to have a good home dem for a few days. The whole room/speaker interaction is so important.
Momentums are certainly better than Motives as price should indicate.
More natural reproduction of tonality and timbres. deeper bas and thrilling mids.
Everything well within a coherence well known from Neat species.
They have “that” ability to disappear letting music speak.
Very few speakers does this, but not every audiophile acknowledge it.
I notice Neat prices has been hit by inflation too.
Regarding budget, I’ve been hoping to find something on the used market for around $3-3.5K CAD (£1,850-2,160). This is keeping in mind that I do plan to buy a Supernait 2 or 3 (more likely a 2) when opportunity strikes. I’ve had my eye out for PMC twenty5.23’s or similar as those have been recommended to me many times, and should fit the budget, but they’re very hard to find on the Canadian used market.
For reference, when looking at new equipment the PMC twenty2.23i’s are $7,500 CAD (£4,630) and the advertised original price of the Neat SX5I’s was $9,000 CAD (£5,560). The Neat SX5I’s I’m looking at are an open box that were demo’d in a customers house for one day and are listed for $3,000 CAD (£1,850), including the optional feet upgrade kit.
Given they fit the budget and I’ve heard positive things about Neat speakers on the forum I thought I would see if I could solicit some input.
Thanks HH. I would agree that the Neat’s are not balanced with my system on paper at least, and I wouldn’t be considering them if the price wasn’t in budget. These Neat’s check a number of boxes for me in terms of frequency response, physical size, asthetics, and condition (like new). Also, I’ve noted that in generally Neat’s have received positive feedback on these forums although I wasn’t able to find much on this specific model.
I do plan on moving to a Supernait when I find one at the right time and price. These just seemed like something that maybe I should jump on while the oppertunity presented itself.
I got a response yesterday (Stephen O) which was very helpful! The summary is that the SX5I’s would likely sound “decent” not be optimal and that a speaker such as the SX1 would be better suited for my system. It’s consistent with many of the other thoughts on this forum and enough for me to keep me looking for something else.
Thanks again for the suggestion Christoper and to everyone that commented. I’m always very grateful for the thoughtful input I get from this community. I’m also very impressed by Neat’s service and that alone has pushed them way up the list for me.