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The twins in the bassment parallel the mid/woofer up to 80Hz. The latter runs without high-pass to technically turn the design into a 2.5-way + super tweeter according to Mr. Surgeoner. Filter slopes are a shallow 6dB/octave except for the soft dome. That sees a 2nd-order filter. Woofers and mid/woofer are in-house designs and built by Neat. Details are scarce though. Diaphragms are coated paper, the surrounds are neoprene and development goes back some 20 years to put plenty of iterative fine-tuning under their spiders. The EMIT super tweeters are outsourced and the 26mm soft dome is Seas issue but modified to Neat’s requirements. There are foam liners surrounding all HF units to minimize reflections and interference. The same is true for the chassis contours at tweeter height which suppress edge turbulence.

Post inspection the very first thing on my agenda was bass. Here Laurie Anderson’s 1994 Bright Red is always suitable for its bass drum kicks and synthetic infrasonics. I dialled in proper righteousness on the volume control—loud is good and should be handled by such a speaker without complaints—and cued up "The Puppet Motel". It became decidedly impressive how the drum at stage center attacked me not merely audibly but physically with small beats against the chest. Clearly isobaric praise hadn’t been sung just for show. That lame monitor review phrase 'surprisingly bass capable considering size' finally suited even though here it applied to a mature tower speaker. Down low the Ultimatum XL6 is fabulously complete. And this includes loudness straight into neighbourly stress and fluster, albeit without distortion or ugly antics (from the speakers mind you).

While the Ascendo F I roped in for comparison dug just a tad deeper still and did so with more might and substance, you’ll also have to dig deeper into your wallet by about 30%. And as stated earlier, physical stature goes up by 70% plus. In real-world living rooms rather than audiophile nutter caves like mine this should be relevant indeed. Relative to actual size I’m hard-pressed to propose another floorstander which puts out the bass SPL and extension of the Neat. If you hanker after physically tacit LF but want to or must do without monkey coffins, the Ultimatum XL6 begs very serious investigation.

Obviously audiophile sophisticates insist on quantity as well as quality and Neat complies there too. Its bass is dry, fast and coiled. These traits extend upward well into the midrange which is more wiry/quick than opulent/languid. Bass transients feel like edgy volleys at least compared to the Ascendo whose bandpass loading renders bass drum kicks somewhat rounder. This tuffness of the Neat is very immediate and live-like despite the latter term’s general questionability in hifi. Simply put with the Neat bass drum fetishists and rhythm fanatics trip the light fantastic. Accurately tracked upright workouts delight in fat-free woodiness and even electrified sub bass assaults and 7-meter long organ pipes appear as well more than just hinted at. For a passive speaker of this size I was truly at a loss.

It’s important to stress that this bass behavior wasn’t segregated but moved seamlessly into the vocal range which itself continued unbroken into treble then super tweeter reaches to make for a well-integrated spread without major emphasis or gaps. How about minor tendencies or nuances though?

Joan As Police Women’s The Deep Field spun next. "The Magic" is especially catchy and explains why it’s been issued as a single too. But it's clearly not at the zenith of mastering quality. While I get that the voice was supposed to be indie breathy and all distorted cool, I simply find it too spiky, shredded, plastic and overly present - at least above a specific volume as heard over the Ascendo. It’s possible of course that in monitor fashion my usual reference speaker simply rubbed salt into an open wound which I usually admire as honesty but which here became a bit unfriendly. By contrast the Neat didn't play it overtly nonchalant but Joan’s voice was a tad more relaxed without seeming to abscond with any important detail. My theory was that this admirably extended but slightly softened reading was accomplished with a minor depression in the upper mid/lower treble range plus an extra shot of air at the very top.

Four super tweeters really are interesting. Under signal and with my ear pressed against one of 'em I barely made out a thing. Perhaps this should have been predictable given its 13kHz high-pass where on SPL very little happens indeed. But it dig beg the question why Neat bothered. Conveniently the orientation of their drivers meant I could cover them up easily to find out. Particularly in the vocal range 'without' was somehow more present but also accompanied by a slightly artificial roughness and porosity. In a photo one would miss pixels. At first glance instrumental and vocal outlines seem sharply drawn but looking closer one quickly discerns saw-tooth edging and coarser color transitions.