**The Official Seaton Sound Speaker Thread** - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for the article, Hudda. I am going to check it out now.

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post #32 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Well, then you were right. Active is definitely the way to go if you can afford it, but I doubt they'll be standard for a while. One can hope, though.

If you sum up all the parts, its not that expensive considering what some people spend on amps already.

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post #33 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Catalyst looks interesting, but I'm very surprised at the spec's, with two 12" woofers the 'recommended' range is 55hz (really??) to 21 khz. It's an interesting speaker design but I guess he's got them tuned so you need to buy his submersive as well, right?

Also, with the built in amps, I guess you don't need any. Just use the balanced cable and plug directly from your source to your speaker. However, you'd need a lot of power outlets for each speaker (not sure I like powered speakers but it is an interesting concept).

Looks good for h/t, not so sure about music though (i.e. if you like tubes, what good is the tube amp going to be when it's eliminated from the setup - or am I missing the point on these). Interesting design though as I said, if you haven't started yet, you can save a lot of money on amp(s), which you probably wouldn't have anyway based on the price of these things (they ain't cheap).

Good point about the Tube amp fans won't be getting these soon but the money is in the HT arena. Mark is a custom HT designer too so it kind of goes with what he does.


Btw, larger pro style woofers do not go deep at all...its a physics thing. I own many 12" pro style drivers and they do not have much Xmax. Its pretty simple to go low you have to have displacement (Xmax and surface area). They are designed with high output, great polar response, low distortion on up past 1KHz so 70Hz is a common F3 point. Heck I have 12" drivers that have a F3 of 120Hz (but it runs perfect up past 1200Hz).

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post #34 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 10:29 PM
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Hey Penn, you ever get your hands on any of those AE drivers yet? I still haven't taken the plunge...

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post #35 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

If you sum up all the parts, its not that expensive considering what some people spend on amps already.


BINGO!

Not to mention what is spent on the passive loudspeakers themselves. Plenty of audiophiles drop more $ on their passives in pretty cabinets than the cost of a Catalyst. I'm actually pretty frugal as a rule and I hate the idea of wasting money. This setup seemed like a no-brainer for me when I did the math. Sure, you are spending a big chunk all at once but most of us do that anyway even if we tell ourselves we won't/can't.

Personally, I really like the industrial look of the Catalysts and Sparks now. It's no-nonsense. I appreciate the fact that they have no pretensions to camp out in my living room. They are for my dedicated HT/critical listening room which suits me just fine. While I'm on a roll, what the hell is rosenut? FYI, there is no such thing in nature. It is industry-speak for clear black walnut (juglans negra) slathered with anniline red stain and varnish. Yuck. /rant.
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post #36 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 11:13 PM
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Well.....

I was up a Fugueness's house in Berkley today again to pick up some more sparks for my HT and talk media servers with him and wilson. Got a chance before I left to listen to them again on cinema.... This time it was just the 3 of us in the room and not 20+ like during the GTG. The Demo was.....

http://www.amazon.com/Knowing-Nicola...8066509&sr=8-1

The airplane crash scene.....

I knew this setup was dynamic but I have never ever heard anything like that. It was shocking at how clear the dialogue was and then how loud the sound effects and explosions got while remaining linear and composed. nothing sound strained or distorted. Just sheer clean impact at ridiculous levels... The house was violently shaking. The most visceral movie scene I have ever experienced.... and that was at -6db peter said. I think the scene was mixxed a little hot but it was something else. Just added to the top of my BD queue at netflix...

Can't wait to get the center spark setup and calibrated....

Sean
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post #37 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

Well.....

I was up a Fugueness's house in Berkley today again to pick up some more sparks for my HT and talk media servers with him and wilson. Got a chance before I left to listen to them again on cinema.... This time it was just the 3 of us in the room and not 20+ like during the GTG. The Demo was.....

http://www.amazon.com/Knowing-Nicola...8066509&sr=8-1

The airplane crash scene.....

I knew this setup was dynamic but I have never ever heard anything like that. It was shocking at how clear the dialogue was and then how loud the sound effects and explosions got while remaining linear and composed. nothing sound strained or distorted. Just sheer clean impact at ridiculous levels... The house was violently shaking. The most visceral movie scene I have ever experienced.... and that was at -6db peter said. I think the scene was mixxed a little hot but it was something else. Just added to the top of my BD queue at netflix...

Can't wait to get the center spark setup and calibrated....

Sean



Great review Sean!!

Looking forward to your impressions of your Spark trio. Mark could use your quote "The house was violently shaking" on his website! That's great.

Chris
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post #38 of 836 Old 07-19-2009, 11:35 PM
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Some Pics of the New HT and the Sparks.... room treatment placement need to be dialed in and treatments hung... The room definetely could use some more area rugs for dapening....


Theater from the Left....



Room is pretty lively... wont be able to tame it like the old dedicated HT in Raleigh, NC.





From the Rear.....


Front View of the Spark...


Farther Back....


Sparks up close from behind.... I bought some cable attachments today to tidy up the cables...






Submersive, Traps, and Rocket 450


View from the front looking back... Rocket 450 Surround and 2 GIK Corner traps + 4" open back panels in the corner. Overall the room has 4 corner traps, 4 x 2'x4'x4" panels and about 10 x 2'x4'x2" panels and 6 2'x'2x2" panels.... Its still way to live. IMO


Final Shot from the very Rear



I'll be posting more thoughts as I dial in more and do more listening but so far I am enjoying the sparks... I have yet to watch more than 1 movie but I have been listening to a lot of music and enjoying them a lot.... The make a lot of sound for such a small package....

Sean
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post #39 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:27 AM
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Hey Sean, nice to meet you at Peter's. What stands are you using for the Sparks?
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post #40 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:36 AM
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Trandeco TD32S Glass Stands... 32" glass base and top. brushed main tube....

http://www.racksandstands.com/Transd...tml#additional

and in gloss black too....

http://www.racksandstands.com/Transd...B-TDI1047.html

They are not setup for running the cables through the shaft or filling with lead shot. They could fairly easily be modified to do 1 of those 2 but it would be hard to do both.... There is a 26" size also.

If the sparks stay then I will modify them for lead shot and attach the cables to the back of the column with some adhesive clips....

Question: What do all you californians do about earth quake proofing speaker setups.... seems like a real problem....

Sean
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post #41 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

http://www.amazon.com/Knowing-Nicola...8066509&sr=8-1

The airplane crash scene.....

I knew this setup was dynamic but I have never ever heard anything like that. It was shocking at how clear the dialogue was and then how loud the sound effects and explosions got while remaining linear and composed. nothing sound strained or distorted. Just sheer clean impact at ridiculous levels... The house was violently shaking. The most visceral movie scene I have ever experienced.... and that was at -6db peter said. I think the scene was mixxed a little hot but it was something else. Just added to the top of my BD queue at netflix...

-6.5dB actually! I didn't want to spoil the movie for you guys so I didn't play the other two, EVEN MORE visceral scenes. Maybe next time... Or better yet, get another Submersive or two before you watch it

Watching "Knowing" took the movie experience to a new level of immersion for me, and I chalk it up largely to the Catalysts + Submersives + Mark's expert setup.

The mix isn't hot, it's simply mixed with HUGE dynamic range. These dynamics add an intense and emotional impact. EMOTIONAL IMPACT. It bears repeating. A friend who watched "Knowing" in a commercial theater when it was first released remarked that it was like watching an entirely different film. You know the old saying, sound is at least 50% of a movie? Seaton Sound gets you very close.

The opening scene of Valkyrie is also mind-blowing. WOW!
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post #42 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

The house was violently shaking. The most visceral movie scene I have ever experienced....

Here's Wilson's comments:

that "Knowing" scene is spectacular.....
the whole room felt like it was gonna fall apart. hahaa
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post #43 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugueness View Post

-6.5dB actually! I didn't want to spoil the movie for you guys so I didn't play the other two, EVEN MORE visceral scenes. Maybe next time... Or better yet, get another Submersive or two before you watch it

Watching "Knowing" took the movie experience to a new level of immersion for me, and I chalk it up largely to the Catalysts + Submersives + Mark's expert setup.

The mix isn't hot, it's simply mixed with HUGE dynamic range. These dynamics add an intense and emotional impact. EMOTIONAL IMPACT. It bears repeating. A friend who watched "Knowing" in a commercial theater when it was first released remarked that it was like watching an entirely different film. You know the old saying, sound is at least 50% of a movie? Seaton Sound gets you very close.

The opening scene of Valkyrie is also mind-blowing. WOW!

Thanks for letting me in at your house again , the 3rd time in a wk..

Maybe i should just move in and i will rent all the movies.
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post #44 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugueness View Post

Here's Wilson's comments:

that "Knowing" scene is spectacular.....
the whole room felt like it was gonna fall apart. hahaa



Is that why your furniture is falling apart too?

Sean can attest to that!!!!!
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post #45 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Good point about the Tube amp fans won't be getting these soon but the money is in the HT arena. Mark is a custom HT designer too so it kind of goes with what he does.


Btw, larger pro style woofers do not go deep at all...its a physics thing. I own many 12" pro style drivers and they do not have much Xmax. Its pretty simple to go low you have to have displacement (Xmax and surface area). They are designed with high output, great polar response, low distortion on up past 1KHz so 70Hz is a common F3 point. Heck I have 12" drivers that have a F3 of 120Hz (but it runs perfect up past 1200Hz).

Interesting - hopefully I'll get a chance to hear one of these some day. Will be tough though.

Now, what about this class "D" stuff. I've read on all kinds of other threads how Class D amplification outside of the lower octaves is not as desirable as Class A or Class A/B. It's fine for home theater, but not something you'd hang your hat for music.

Also, what if an amp in a speaker goes, can it (the amp) be replaced, or do you need to buy a brand new speaker? If so, that scares me more, as it was stated here that Mr. Seaton is constantly changing his design. So, if you have these speakers for say two years, and one of them blows an amp, and you need to replace the speaker, what if you can't? I.E.- Mark isn't making your model anymore?

"it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it"
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post #46 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Interesting - hopefully I'll get a chance to hear one of these some day. Will be tough though.

Now, what about this class "D" stuff. I've read on all kinds of other threads how Class D amplification outside of the lower octaves is not as desirable as Class A or Class A/B. It's fine for home theater, but not something you'd hang your hat for music.

Also, what if an amp in a speaker goes, can it (the amp) be replaced, or do you need to buy a brand new speaker? If so, that scares me more, as it was stated here that Mr. Seaton is constantly changing his design. So, if you have these speakers for say two years, and one of them blows an amp, and you need to replace the speaker, what if you can't? I.E.- Mark isn't making your model anymore?

keep a few extra speakers in the closet

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post #47 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

I was up a Fugueness's house in Berkley today again to pick up some more sparks for my HT and talk media servers with him and wilson.

Are you lending those or is Fugueness considering different surrounds?
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post #48 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 04:04 AM
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Heard so much good things about the the Sparks & the Catalyst. But active speakers are a completely new animal to me, should I worry about the potential failure of the amp modules say 4 to 5 years down the road?

Dealing with 1 unit of multi-channel power amp is much easier then sending potentially 5 speakers back to the US for repairs since I am located in SE Asia.
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post #49 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 07:57 AM
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Can the Sparks be placed up against a wall?

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post #50 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 08:00 AM
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How would hook up the sparks if you do not have a preamp with speakon or XLR connections? Just use an adapter?

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post #51 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Interesting - hopefully I'll get a chance to hear one of these some day. Will be tough though.

Now, what about this class "D" stuff. I've read on all kinds of other threads how Class D amplification outside of the lower octaves is not as desirable as Class A or Class A/B. It's fine for home theater, but not something you'd hang your hat for music.

Also, what if an amp in a speaker goes, can it (the amp) be replaced, or do you need to buy a brand new speaker? If so, that scares me more, as it was stated here that Mr. Seaton is constantly changing his design. So, if you have these speakers for say two years, and one of them blows an amp, and you need to replace the speaker, what if you can't? I.E.- Mark isn't making your model anymore?

The whole class "D" vs Class A/B debate is classic audiophile stuff...heavy on subjectivity, lean on measurements and science. All I know is that owners of Mark Seaton's products are very happy and I pretty sure many love music throught them. Thats subjective in itself but the only Measurements I have seen on the Class D is the drop off @ 20Hz....I do not hear that high anyways so its meaningless to me.

Your question about warranties is something Im curious about too and maybe it should be asked on the Seaton forums (I probably has been asked already?)

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post #52 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

The whole class "D" vs Class A/B debate is classic audiophile stuff...heavy on subjectivity, lean on measurements and science. All I know is that owners of Mark Seaton's products are very happy and I pretty sure many love music throught them. Thats subjective in itself but the only Measurements I have seen on the Class D is the drop off @ 20Hz....I do not hear that high anyways so its meaningless to me.

Your question about warranties is something Im curious about too and maybe it should be asked on the Seaton forums (I probably has been asked already?)

I was looking at a class D amp from Axiom (expensive little sucker) when I was reading about that (inferior to Class A & A/B). Would have to do a compar but I still like the design of that amp. Haven't heard much about it though.

Will have to see how these active speakers do - will keep following the thread though I don't think (at this time) active speakers are for me. Never know about the future though!

"it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it"
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post #53 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

I was looking at a class D amp from Axiom (expensive little sucker) when I was reading about that (inferior to Class A & A/B). Would have to do a compar but I still like the design of that amp. Haven't heard much about it though.

Will have to see how these active speakers do - will keep following the thread though I don't think (at this time) active speakers are for me. Never know about the future though!

Sonic D has a good reputation, you should maybe search the amp thread for a discussion on Class D amps. I believe there is a good discussion thread on those amps wrt ratings ( ie. the 1000Watt ratings are peaks not continous power), measurements, etc.

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post #54 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 09:59 AM
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Wyred4Sound also has a good rep, though from what I read they are intentionally colored amps. Dunno if that's true, but either way they get great reviews.

Class A/B have been around for a while, so the technology is at it's peak. The same cannot be said for class D, so best to wait a few more years and see how they progress before calling them inferior or superior.

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post #55 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugueness View Post

-6.5dB actually! I didn't want to spoil the movie for you guys so I didn't play the other two, EVEN MORE visceral scenes. Maybe next time... Or better yet, get another Submersive or two before you watch it

Watching "Knowing" took the movie experience to a new level of immersion for me, and I chalk it up largely to the Catalysts + Submersives + Mark's expert setup.

The mix isn't hot, it's simply mixed with HUGE dynamic range. These dynamics add an intense and emotional impact. EMOTIONAL IMPACT. It bears repeating. A friend who watched "Knowing" in a commercial theater when it was first released remarked that it was like watching an entirely different film. You know the old saying, sound is at least 50% of a movie? Seaton Sound gets you very close.

The opening scene of Valkyrie is also mind-blowing. WOW!

Two of my favorite demo movies for the same reasons.

HToM

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post #56 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Wyred4Sound also has a good rep, though from what I read they are intentionally colored amps. Dunno if that's true, but either way they get great reviews.

Colored in what way? Curious, as all of these ICE module amps are supposed to sound similar, but the specific implementations differ slightly. Own a Bel Canto amp myself.
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post #57 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Catalyst looks interesting, but I'm very surprised at the spec's, with two 12" woofers the 'recommended' range is 55hz (really??) to 21 khz. It's an interesting speaker design but I guess he's got them tuned so you need to buy his submersive as well, right?

Also, with the built in amps, I guess you don't need any. Just use the balanced cable and plug directly from your source to your speaker. However, you'd need a lot of power outlets for each speaker (not sure I like powered speakers but it is an interesting concept).

Hi Kpt_K',

The Catalysts and Sparks are designed for multi-channel systems where subwoofer use is expected for proper function, and this is assumed in the design. The Catalysts greatly extend the flexibility you have in the crossover choice which ends up being dictated by the room acoustics and speaker/subwoofer placement/interaction.

The detail possibly missed is that physics dictates that for a given size speaker and a given alignment (specific response shape of sealed, ported, etc), there is a maximum efficiency which is directly related to low frequency extension. Translation: A sealed speaker of some maximum size which extends to 30Hz will be much less efficient than the same size sealed speaker which only has to extend to 60Hz (if I do my job right, close to 9dB difference).

The sealed design and very low distortion woofers used in the Catalyst with 1000W of power are capable of some impressive low frequency output, but the purpose here is big, clean, uncompressed dynamics above 50-80Hz. Some day I might play with a big full range speaker, but right now there are few rooms which would see any benefit over Catalysts and some effort in subwoofer placement and integration. The few cases are dedicated 2ch systems with extensive room treatment which more commonly use full-range speakers and no subwoofers. I very much enjoy and use the Sparks or Catalysts I have set up at home with SubMersives for 2ch listening, but I need to flesh out the current efforts and resources a bit before I dabble in that even smaller niche market.

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood..." Daniel H. Burnham
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post #58 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 10:44 AM
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How would hook up the sparks if you do not have a preamp with speakon or XLR connections? Just use an adapter?

Yea. You can just get an XLR to RCA adapter. Mark may even include one with the sub.

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post #59 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 10:50 AM
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Here's Wilson's comments:

that "Knowing" scene is spectacular.....
the whole room felt like it was gonna fall apart. hahaa

Peter, I remember sitting on your deck at the meet, talking with Sean and enjoying a snack, while you guys were inside doing another demo, and I can attest to the fact that your whole house was in fact shaking. I remember thinking to myself: I wonder what Peter's neighbors think Peter's doing inside of his home to make his whole home shake like that!
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post #60 of 836 Old 07-20-2009, 12:07 PM
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How would hook up the sparks if you do not have a preamp with speakon or XLR connections? Just use an adapter?

Hi Nuance,

I've set up the Sparks a few times now with my Denon 3808ci using simple XLR-RCA cables from Markertek (TecNec Premium Canare are the ones I use). RCA connection opens the occasional potential for hum or buzz if you have grounding issues, but these are easily sorted out with a little hunting, and are a non-issue with balanced connections to any of the current crop of pre-amps with XLR outputs. Sparks added to a nice receiver to power some surrounds is a great way to assemble or upgrade to a compact, cost effective, and very powerful system. All you need is a receiver with pre-amp outputs and appropriate adapters.

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood..." Daniel H. Burnham
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