Epos Vs. Neat

I am on the verge of picking up new speakers after about a year of being without (I've posted relatively recently about this)...

...I had pretty much settled on Epos M12.2's. I like their speed, accuracy in the midrange (vocals are beautiful) and punchy sound (will be used in a relatively small room).

The other day, however, I passed by the shop where I plan to make the purchase and there was a guy there auditioning the Neat Mystiques and Ruark speakers (don't know the model - i think Sabre IIIs or something)...

The Neats really caught my attention. They have excellent clarity, are very fast, punchy and musical ... best of all, they play music. There is just something about the way the put the music together that makes you want to groove no matter WHAT you're listening to. The Epos do this as well, but to a lesser extent.

The thing is, the Neats are a tad costly for me (twice the price of the Epos) and I'd still have to make cable switches etc. to get them to sound right at home (I'll have to do the same with the Epos, but they're a lot cheaper so adding cost of cables is not such a big deal).

I wonder if i could get some opinions from any of you... Should I purchase the Epos and stay within my current budget? Should I hold off for a few more months and get the Neats? Further, which would likely work better with my associated equipment (listed below)?

Anyone have experience with both of these speakers? with either of these speakers?

any comments and/or suggestions would be very much appreciated.


A poor man with an expensive addiction.

assoc. equip:

Unison Research Unico (stock)
Rotel 971 cd
Link Dac III, half nelson with upsampling.
cables: up in the air
I am like you..poor and addicted, if you are wondering about purchase lesser of the two now or hold off and buy I would have to ask if you get the lesser, would you be already behind the 8 ball and wanting to upgrade? maybe now that you have heard what really gets your feet tappin you should try to hold off and buy the better speakers, unless your an up-grade freak then throw all my ramble out the door lol...just my 2 cents, there is always gonna be better, but if you buy "point A" and really want to be at "point B"....does that make sense? either way have fun!
There are several things to consider other than simply choosing speaker A or B. What equipment were driving the Epos and Neats? Were they similar to your setup? The Neats may sound great with a hi-end Naim system, but vastly different with yours. A home demo would be ideal.

Also, I would think an audition of the M15.2 would be in order to make an accurate apples to apples comparison.

Finally, how small is your room? While the Neats are designed for cozy English dens, they do like some distance between them.

your post made me laugh my ass off (cuz it's soooo true!). I've gone through gear like a freak of nature. Started when I was 13 or 14 ...and just EXPLODED. Went through the l'il 'good ghetto blaster' to Energy ESM4's with Nad gear...then off to Adcom then Counterpoint... Speakers went to a variety of speakers (mostly NHT)...

but i think what the next poster said is the route I should follow too...(if you read his, you'll know what i mean)..

gotta try em at home first...That's a LOT of money for me to shell out on speakers... (as sad as that is). He's also right in comparing M15.2 to the Mystiques as that's only fair...

you're absolutely right... I SHOULD compare the 15.2 to the Neat Myst...for some reason, though, i've always had a dislike for the 15...(not that i know it that well - only had one or two listens to the M15)

and I forgot to mention my room size is 14x11.5, speakers on long wall...(quite a short distance to listening position, which sucks-but it's better than the other way - TRUST ME)

maybe that will make the Neats too cramped

Decisions, decisions...
Either way .......AINT UPGRADIN' JUST TOO DAMN COOL?!!!!!
Hi Loose:

The rear port on the EPOS 12.2 needs space to breathe, otherwise its magic is lost. They also need to be on stands at a proper height. The EPOS 12.2 are fine for nearfield listening.

I owned a pair of EPOS 11 that never sounded as wonderful as they did in the showroom, mostly because I had them placed inside a bookcase on a shelf inches with the rear port maybe 6 inches from the rear wall. They need to be out in the room.

On a final note, the sound of the EPOS are moderately dependent on the equipment that they are paired with. You should be in good shape with the Unico hybrid and the Rotel/Link.

Regards, Rich
I'll just add that I was really impressed with the 12.2's. They are a great bang-for-the-buck speaker that I would recommend to anyone going shopping in the $800 new range.
I have owned the Neat Mystiques and Epos M12(not 12.2) at the time to compare. The Neats were much more transparent and involvinig to me. The really conveyed the musical message as far as tempo and had just a magical midrange that fills out the space between the speakers much better than the M12 did. The highs were also more open and airy. They sounded quite different yet both are well recommended with Naim gear specifically. Both sets of speakers were listened to in my home on the same gear Naim (Nait 5/FC2/CD5). I haven't heard the M12.2.


RE:"...maybe that will make the Neats too cramped"

I current use MF7's and Critiques, formerly owned Elites & Elite SE's and have used Mystiques,Vitos, and MF9's in show exhibits.
Generally, I've found that Neats tend prefer close spacing and placement relatively near to the rear wall to give of their best- typically 5 ft to 6-1/2 ft apart and from 12" to 20" from the rear wall,dependant on the particular model, in both long and short wall setups in medium and smaller sized rooms.

Ken Lyon

what speakers / equip are you using at the moment?

Yes, i've heard the EPOS need space to breathe. I won't be putting them in a bookcase, though...I'll be using their proper stands. They will be placed 12" to 15" from the rear wall, with about 3 to 4.5 feet to the side walls.

Further, I HAVE tried the M12.2's with my amp, but not my cd player as source (it was a cyrus 8, I believe, which is better than my source - not that my source is a slouch)... The amp and speakers seem to mate quite well. Still haven't tried it at home, though.

Thanks again, people. I always appreciate your comments.

I ended up going to Neat Elites then scaled back to make some home improvements. I then tried the Naim Nait 5i but wanted to try separates again (likely story). What I have found in the interm is a combination I am trying to decide on. I have three preamps, a Plinius CD LAD, Muse Model 3 and Adcom GFP 750. The amps I have are a PS Audio HCA-2 and Bryston 2BLP. You'd think the Plinius/PS Audio combo would be the ticket but I really like the little Bryston also, even paired with the Adcom GFP-750 it just outperforms any integrated I have owned. Still deciding since the HCA-2 is new/breaking in. Yes it has strenghts over the 2BLP but the Bryston has a superbly musical midrange. Source is a Rotel 1072, a superb player for the $. Speakers are Monitor Audio GR10s now after buying and being quite impressed by the S1 for my theater system. They give the Neats a good run for their money IMO. They have great imaging and a very nuetral mid-range, sweet top end (a bit more so than the Mystique). I will be keeping the speakers. I am not looking for hi-fi in the extreme but do want great tone and musicality.
Well guys, I just got a wicked deal on a pair of Neat Mystiques...can't refuse it! I'm soooooo excited! picking them up tomorrow!!! wooo hoooo!!!!!

(sorry... just wanted to tell SOMEONE how excited I am...whenever I talk to any of my friends about audio equipment, their eyes just glaze over...)
congrats. Where did you end up getting them?
I'm just on my way now to pick them up. I've purchased from a dealer here in Toronto (store's called Hi Fi Fo Fum). The guy who owns the shop (Steve) is a very stand up, up-front and knowledgeable guy. He sure as hell knows a lot about system synergy - the setups in his store always get my feet tapping.

He's also very patient - i've been kicking tires in his store for about a year and a half and he's been patient with me the entire time! (something I can't say for MOST high-end dealers)

now that i've had the Neats Mystiques at home for a couple of days (They're already broken in - demo models), I have to say, they are very, very good in many ways, but they are not a good match for my room. They are too much of a speaker for my room - the bass overwhelms everything, despite trying all sorts of positions. I would still have to play around with cables, but in my mind, no cable will be able to correct the bass problem. I'm disappointed b/c they sounded excellent in the showroom (as i described earlier), but the bass just drowns out everything here... It doesn't help that my room's acoustics make the place inherently boomy and that boominess is also compounded my the Unico's 'somewhat round' bass. Further, because the Neats are on the long wall in an 11x14 room, they can only be pulled out a max of 18 or 20 inches - STILL not enough to correct the bass problem in this room.

I'm soooo sad b/c i REALLY wanted to like them (and Steve, teh dealer, gave me a great deal on them - he's a really good guy who knows his stuff)...

*sigh*... I'm going to have to give him a call this week to hopefully work something out
ok...placed them about 2" closer together... didn't think it would make much of a difference. Boy was I wrong. Sharper image, tighter bass, better midrange clarity - better all-around (I can't believe that such small increments make such a HUGE difference).

Still going to play with cables. The system sounds great, even at low volume (which is great considering I live in an apt.)

Next stop - cable town!
I assume Steve had your Mystiques driven by a Naim amp?
A friend of mine had a simliar problem when I sold him my Mystiques. He heard them when I was using a Nait 5 and loved them. When he brought them home and hooked them up to his CJpre/ VTLMB125 amp,his reactions were similiar to yours. It wasnt until he purchased a Nait 5i that he began to enjoy them.
Worth a shot unless you really dont want to replace the Unico.
Actually, he had them driven at different times by various amps. I believe I first heard them with Naim (as per your assumption). But most recently, I heard them with what Steve calls 'one of the best integrated amps you can possibly get' - an LFD (Mistral) amp.

Don't get me wrong - my setup sounds nice. I just know that it's capable of more.

Of course, I'm always open to suggestion with respect to equipment...although I really do like the Unico (it's so beautifully built). Steve sent me an email telling me that he had a similar issue at his own place and assured me he can correct the bass problem. I have faith in his ability to do so.

I'll see what we can come up with and if system switches are in order, I just may have some equipment up for sale.
Well HOT-a-DAMN ~! Steve let me try out some Ecosse cables at home and HOLY CRAP! what a night and day difference from my Audioquest Type 4 ~! Faster, tigher, airier - you name it- this cable improved the entire spectrum.


just as i was hooking up the new cables, i decided to clean all contacts. I took everything apart and cleaned it all up again and lo' and behold - my MSB Link DAC stopped working (for the SECOND TIME)

i'm sooooo upset... last time it broke, it took over 2 months to get it back - AND WHEN I GOT IT BACK, IT WASN'T EVEN MINE!!! They LOST mine and gave me the wrong one. Then they couldn't find mine at all, so they gave me a different one. And now this second one is busted too!! MSB - NEVER, EVER again

This makes it impossible for me to really discern what differences the cables made EXACTLY.


...electronics... it's a love-hate thing with me
Hang in there pal, it will get better (I know shut the fuck up Chad!) ok ok gotta go