Danny Richie of GR-Research has three new speaker system kits that go into Parts Express cabinets. This one, the NEO-2X, uses the B&G NEO 3 PDR planar-magnetic ribbon transducer ("The construction of these new drivers is very unique. A push-pull symmetrical magnet system is used to control an etched Aluminum/Kaladex laminate diaphragm. All of these drivers have really low distortion, high dynamic ranges, high power handling, excellent sound quality, extended low frequency range, and high sensitivity. These drivers also have a much faster cumulative spectral decay than any conventional tweeter.") and the GR-Research M165X 6.5" mid-woofer ("This woofer has incredibly smooth midrange and very good low bass extension. -3db down point in a 1.2 cubic foot ported enclosure is 37.5Hz. The XBL2 Motor structure lowers low frequency distortion by keeping a linear BL even at high output levels. X-max is significantly increased as well.")
The Parts Express cabinet is good looking and completely adequate construction. The front baffle needs the cut outs made for the drivers. The standard kit includes excellent Erse Pulse-X capacitors, Erse XQ air-core inductor coils, and Mills resistors. Optional upgrades include Sonicap capacitors, Sonicap Gen-II bypass capacitors, JPS Labs Alumiloy wire, and No-Rez damping material that both damps cabinet resonance and damps reflected sound waves off the cabinet sides. Alpha Core foil inductors may be available subject to availability from the factory.
This new (2008) kit went together well. I have the Sonicap capacitors with bypass caps and the No Rez damping for upgrades, and the price above includes the kit, these upgrades, the cabinets, and shipping. The front baffle speaker cutouts are usually cut with a router and circle jig, and many amateur and pro woodworkers can do this. The crossover networks must be assembled on a board and the connections soldered, and this takes minor skill.
I like the sound. I gave the overall rating four stars because the speakers are what they are...really excellent monitors with limited bass. The bass is limited by physics, not by the design. Any 6.5" woofer in a sealed 0.5 cubic foot cabinet is doing great with clean bass down to (F3) 77 Hz, and this is very clean, accurate bass. The highs and mid-range are sweet and accurate. The bass is very good as low as it goes. A violin sounds like a true violin. A piano sounds like a true piano at both ends of the keyboard. Cymbals and the triangle are crisp and clear. Voices are great. I can hear the vibrato of the strings player and the singer. Blues and jazz have the drive I like. Snare drums are snappy. Imaging is good. The string basses sound like they're located behind the violas and cellos--which they are.
More info on the NEO-2X
The Parts Express cabinets can be improved:
Similar speakers ported with bass (F3) to 55 Hz, but maybe not quite the sound quality--NEO-1X.
Note that the cloth grille fits this NEO-1X and does not fit the NEO-2X.