this is an edit, as the previous post got away unintended "I don't think DSP is the "most useful feature" when for HT at least, most preamp processors have this built in. This amp is most useful when you need solid power to very low frequencies at high duty cycles."
Originally Posted by Stereodude
Sorry, but I don't exactly see how you can make that statement. The most unique features the OEM SpeakerPower amps have over pretty much any other amp in the DIY space is the tightly integrated DSP.
I believe you're both likely right. Brian doesn't think the most useful aspect is the DSP. Stereodude, I agree that the DSP is the most unique feature.
Ever since I stumbled across these amps a few years ago, I thought the entire on-board DSP concept was ideally suited for the DIY crowd. Not as much for subs, as I thought they'd be ideal for mains. For a sub system, I believe outboad DSP is best. A more global approach, akin to a 2x4, or a 4x8 processor.
I've been an audio enthusiast, and a hifi loud-speaker fanatic ever since the 70's. A few years ago I found myself in a search for new LCR mains. In addition to being a longtime enthusiast, I'm also coming from a FOH pro-audio background, with a bit of studio exposure too. Stereodude's right, availing a high quality, multi-way, programable DSP, high power plate or "torpedo" amp for the DIY crowd would be fantastic. Like everyone, I know that an active design can have inherent advantages over other approaches, and that's the direction I wanted to pursue for my new LCRs, .... and I was considering a DIY project.
Subs, I could do. A simple, yet robust IB system was designed and eventually pulled off. Now I fully regognize that a DIY mains effort is one thing, but properly
measuring, designing, and executing a multi-way active X-over isn't a trivial exercise. So after much experimentation and istening, everything pointed to Seaton's Catalyst, which is the avenue I ultiately took. The big Catalysts are many things, but the essence of what you get is Mark's outstanding design choices, and optimization skill-set and prowess. This, is the ideal execution of the high power/on-board DSP plate amplifier.
Conversely, for subwoofers, I think that the DSP component is optimal as a centralized hub, in a multi-element sub system (ie, multiple discrete processing channels, multiple amplifier channels, multiple subwoofer locations, and lastly multiple locations). Sure, perhaps a single powered sub is best executed with onboard LT'ing, general EQ'ing, limiting, etc. But if I was designing a DIY multi-sub system, the power and contouring would be performed outboard.
Stereodude makes some solid points. The DIY crowd chases cheap power, ... and these days it is plentiful. But back to the specs, and spec'manship stuff and exagerated numbers, real-world power, etc. Nothing seems to be as good as actual empirical, in use measurments. Due to the incredible transient demands that's associated with a great deal of the material we encounter, I think everbody would agree that an ideal amp is one with phenomenal peak capability, in addition to the normal, long term power that is needed for a given platback level.
Good amplifier testing, is such a hard thing to come across these days.