CES 2013: Manley Labs and Neat

I am man enough to admit it. I have a little crush on Manley Labs. The gear. Well, yes, I squeal like a little girl whenever I happen to catch a glimpse of EveAnna Manley, but thinking about those big blue-grey face-plates and chunky knobs gives me a happy, warm feeling in my heart.

Here at CES, the Manley crew was showing the Jumbo Shrimp preamp ($3,660), the Chinook phonopreamp ($2,250), and a pair of Snapper monoblocks ($7,250). New in the rack was a preview of the Turbot ($TBD), their newest we’re-not-talking-about-it-yet DAC. When I have more details, I’ll update.

Neat Acoustics was showing off their $8,100/pair Ultimatum XLS. Very clever design on these jobs; with their upward-firing pair of super-tweeters, the room should get a whole lot more action — think “ambiance”, in pretty much the same way that omnis provide a sense of space. Neat is an interesting UK brand that doesn’t seem to get a lot of play on this side of the water, so hopefully their presence here at CES means that us red-headed step children will finally get to get our groove on to these love speakers.

For those keeping track, the gear was “between sessions” while I was doing my photo tour.


  1. Manley has some neat gear … get it? Neat … gear … ahem. I heard the larger Neat speaker @ rmaf and I thought it quite nice! I’d like to hear these against something like the Morrison speakers, model 17 or 19’s. Whoever does the visual design aspect of their product line (Manley) has quite the imagination. Eye catching indeed. Tubes rule!? IDK. Mostly.

  2. I have the Mahi Mahis.. and they are the most awesomest tube amps driving my Merlin VSM MX to near perfection! I think a lot of people have a crush on the Manley!

  3. I really love Manley gear. I have the Shrimp preamp (wish it was a Jumbo) And also a pair of the little Mahi’s. And their customer service is amazing, even toward someone like me Who bought their stuff on the secondhand market. Great company, great products!

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