They're here! And they exceed all expectations (which were set very high
Some initial impressions:
Most apparent is how quick and responsive they are -- the active configuration and DSP make a much bigger difference than I had expected. They just feel so fast and snappy compared to anything else I've heard (including $100k+ speakers on $30k amps). With over 5,000 watts on my front soundstage now (for a total of 10,000W including sub and surrounds), the sound is HUGE and completely effortless! The Catalysts are incredibly nimble yet full of unrelenting, crystallized slam when called upon.
I played a few favorite music tracks and the Catalysts handled them with aplomb and dynamism. Acoustics instruments shine -- guitar plucks are crystal clear and cymbals shimmer appropriately.
In fact, that word keeps popping into my head as a descriptor -- CRYSTAL. The sound characteristic is crystalline beauty... at least until 120dB hits and melts your face (even at those levels it is still remarkably clear). I look forward to getting the stands for the Left and Right speakers to get them at an ideal height -- the tweeters are currently only 20" off the ground.
As a filmmaker, the center channel is my baseline. It is the heart of a system. Your HT is only as good as your center channel. In my quest for center channel perfection, I almost had JMLab-Focal build a custom center which was essentially a Grand Utopia BE flipped on its side. How crazy would that have been? Well, now I know that would have been a serious waste of money and space! The Catalyst center channel is my new point of reference. The gauntlet has been thrown. There's a new king of the hill.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was auditioning and seriously considering some of the best audiophile speakers on the planet. Boy am I glad I stumbled across Mark's designs!
Ok, back to work! I'll type out more detailed impressions soon... stay tuned!