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post #61 of 790 Old 07-20-2009, 11:49 AM
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Anyone on this forum with either the Sparks or Submersive, that is willing to give an audition to someone in the SoCal area? SD / OC / LA?

Mark,
I was also wondering if the Spark can be turned on its side as a center channel because of coincident driver, or will you run into problems? It sounds like the Spark can be used in a fairly large room if you lack the space / budget for the bigger Cats.
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post #62 of 790 Old 07-20-2009, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

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.

Thanks for the info, Mark. One of these days I am going to get a pair of those things and test them for HT and 2.2 channel audio. I just wanted to be sure they'd work with my preamp and receiver, which they will. I look forward to hearing them!

Thank you!


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post #63 of 790 Old 07-20-2009, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

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.

Hey Mark, thanks for dropping by and answering some questions. I'm not quite ready to build my basement H/T yet, but I'm always researching/watching to see what's coming down the pipe, and these products you're now producing intrugue me quite a bit (hence all my questions). I get what you're saying with your design too, and where you are coming from. Most bass is above 50hz anyway (that has any type of tone to it for the most part) so based on your design I'll bet that 50 to 200hz sounds as good if not better than any other full range speaker out there in that area.

Not much for the looks though, not saying they're ugly, and in fact in a strictly home theatre setting (which is where I'd put these) I think they would look great. Don't think my wife would want them in the living room though LOL.

Wondering though if you could answer the amp failure question though. It it an easy swap to replace an amp in case one does go bad, or do you pretty much need to get a new speaker. If the latter, and no one has a crystal ball so I won't hold you to anything, but if your speaker designs change drastically in the me mean time, would you offer some kind of trade up program? Or, maybe you'd keep some old stock around as backup just in case of amp failure. Don't even know if that's possible though - I've never had an amp fail on me (and I have some pretty old amps - I wish they would so I could just chuck it out LOL) and I know next to nothing about D Class amps other than their use in Subwoofers

Also, if someone had 7 speakers, say 3 Catalysts and 4 sparks, would a standard 15 amp circuit be sufficient to power all the speakers or would you need a stronger one (20amp, 30amp?).

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penngray View Post

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.

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.

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.

Nuance/Penngray -thanks for the tip. I actually started a thread on the amp forum specifically wondering about Wyred4Sound vs. Dsonic (wth the Axiom A-1400 thrown in). What caught my attention on the A1400 is the design - it's 1400 watts (hence the number in the name) but those watts are available to any speaker, so if a rear channel is askng for 40 watts, that's all it will get, but during the same scene/music passage, your right front speakers wants 300 watts, that will be available at the same time. In fact, from what I gleaned on my research, the 1400 watts is only limited to the 15 amp power outlet the amp is plugged into. If you plug it in to a 20 amp or even a 30 amp circuit, you'd have a lot more power.

All moot though if you go for these speakers (sorry for the slight derailment here) as I guess where I was going is none of these amps would be required. You just sink you money in a good prepro and (optional) preamp and off to the speakers with their own power (each with it's own amp). Only thing as I also mentioned I'd have to make sure I'd have outlets handy at each speaker to plug them into.



Thanks!

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post #64 of 790 Old 07-20-2009, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Hey Mark, thanks for dropping by and answering some questions. I'm not quite ready to build my basement H/T yet, but I'm always researching/watching to see what's coming down the pipe, and these products you're now producing intrugue me quite a bit (hence all my questions). I get what you're saying with your design too, and where you are coming from. Most bass is above 50hz anyway (that has any type of tone to it for the most part) so based on your design I'll bet that 50 to 200hz sounds as good if not better than any other full range speaker out there in that area.

Not much for the looks though, not saying they're ugly, and in fact in a strictly home theatre setting (which is where I'd put these) I think they would look great. Don't think my wife would want them in the living room though LOL.

Wondering though if you could answer the amp failure question though. It it an easy swap to replace an amp in case one does go bad, or do you pretty much need to get a new speaker. If the latter, and no one has a crystal ball so I won't hold you to anything, but if your speaker designs change drastically in the me mean time, would you offer some kind of trade up program? Or, maybe you'd keep some old stock around as backup just in case of amp failure. Don't even know if that's possible though - I've never had an amp fail on me (and I have some pretty old amps - I wish they would so I could just chuck it out LOL) and I know next to nothing about D Class amps other than their use in Subwoofers

Also, if someone had 7 speakers, say 3 Catalysts and 4 sparks, would a standard 15 amp circuit be sufficient to power all the speakers or would you need a stronger one (20amp, 30amp?).

Thanks!




Nuance/Penngray -thanks for the tip. I actually started a thread on the amp forum specifically wondering about Wyred4Sound vs. Dsonic (wth the Axiom A-1400 thrown in). What caught my attention on the A1400 is the design - it's 1400 watts (hence the number in the name) but those watts are available to any speaker, so if a rear channel is askng for 40 watts, that's all it will get, but during the same scene/music passage, your right front speakers wants 300 watts, that will be available at the same time. In fact, from what I gleaned on my research, the 1400 watts is only limited to the 15 amp power outlet the amp is plugged into. If you plug it in to a 20 amp or even a 30 amp circuit, you'd have a lot more power.

All moot though if you go for these speakers (sorry for the slight derailment here) as I guess where I was going is none of these amps would be required. You just sink you money in a good prepro and (optional) preamp and off to the speakers with their own power (each with it's own amp). Only thing as I also mentioned I'd have to make sure I'd have outlets handy at each speaker to plug them into.



Thanks!

Marks response to me on his forum: http://www.seaton-sound-forum.com/po...7&postcount=11

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post #65 of 790 Old 07-20-2009, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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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 the film tips Peter. I always enjoy reading your reviews too. Reading the comments in your Catalysts Arrive thread pushed me over the edge. So, in a sense it's all your fault.
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post #66 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

Hey Mark, thanks for dropping by and answering some questions. I'm not quite ready to build my basement H/T yet, but I'm always researching/watching to see what's coming down the pipe, and these products you're now producing intrugue me quite a bit (hence all my questions). I get what you're saying with your design too, and where you are coming from. Most bass is above 50hz anyway (that has any type of tone to it for the most part) so based on your design I'll bet that 50 to 200hz sounds as good if not better than any other full range speaker out there in that area.

Thanks Kpt',

The whole point is that I (and others) design subwoofers which are much better suited to fill a room below 40-80Hz. It becomes wasteful and limiting of the rest of the range to require 20Hz extension from the speakers, while also creating some other hurdles to deal with when you do integrate a subwoofer.

Quote:


Wondering though if you could answer the amp failure question though. Is it an easy swap to replace an amp in case one does go bad, or do you pretty much need to get a new speaker.

In the rare case that an amplifier has to be replaced, it is very simple. The amplifiers are very light weight due to the ICEPower output stage and switch mode power supplies. Even the 3 way amplifier in the Catalyst only weighs 10 lbs. These are easily removed with a screwdriver and disconnected by way of a polarized, locking connector to eliminate the chance of improper connection, and requiring no soldering at all. All of my products are designed for "solderless servicing."

While I have my amplifiers slightly customized for my use, they are readily available if I replacements were needed.

Quote:


Also, if someone had 7 speakers, say 3 Catalysts and 4 sparks, would a standard 15 amp circuit be sufficient to power all the speakers or would you need a stronger one (20amp, 30amp?).

Thanks!

A 15A circuit should get by for 3 Catalysts and 4 Sparks unless you are getting really crazy with the volume, while a 20A breaker is much more comfortable for that task. The case where an additional circuit can be needed is when you start adding subwoofers. Mind you that many plug huge amounts of amplifiers to a home circuit and get away with it as music is much more dynamic power than sustained as it relates to the operation of home breakers, but if you are looking to do things right, it's worth hiring an electrician if you aren't comfortable with electricity. Note the addition of 1 or 2 20A circuits will likely cost less than shipping of the speakers.

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
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post #67 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calentz View Post

Marks response to me on his forum: http://www.seaton-sound-forum.com/po...7&postcount=11

Carl

Thanks Carl.

I look forward to your impressions of your Catalysts next week.


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post #68 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Thanks Kpt',
In the rare case that an amplifier has to be replaced, it is very simple. The amplifiers are very light weight due to the ICEPower output stage and switch mode power supplies. Even the 3 way amplifier in the Catalyst only weighs 10 lbs. These are easily removed with a screwdriver and disconnected by way of a polarized, locking connector to eliminate the chance of improper connection, and requiring no soldering at all. All of my products are designed for "solderless servicing."

While I have my amplifiers slightly customized for my use, they are readily available if I replacements were needed.

Genius!


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post #69 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 09:45 AM
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Hey Mark, have you given any thought to providing an option for the wood grain finishes as an upgrade option to the Catalysts and Sparks (similar to that for the Submersives)?

Not that it is a dealbreaker by any means, but some of us do have to consider the boss (er, wife).
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post #70 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Party View Post

Hey Mark, have you given any thought to providing an option for the wood grain finishes as an upgrade option to the Catalysts and Sparks (similar to that for the Submersives)?

Not that it is a dealbreaker by any means, but some of us do have to consider the boss (er, wife).

With the very high consistency and turn around time from the company supplying the veneered SubMersive cabinets, I hope to slowly add them as a supplier to all of my designs, but that will take some time, and it's easier to first work through first-run details on one product like the SubMersive than multiple products at once. The Catalyst will most likely get a veneer treatment next. The Spark is one I want to do in veneer, but might take a little longer due to the added details of working around the ports with their production capabilities. It's not a matter of if, just exactly how and when.

The black oak finish is something they have done for years and is well proven, so that will probably roll out on products first.

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post #71 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 09:55 AM
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I really want to demo the sparks now!!

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post #72 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I really want to demo the sparks now!!

I've been fortunate enough to hear the Sparks at two HT meets. At the first meet they were set up as a L/C/R with a Submersive. They absolutely ROCK! They are worth every dollar! Heck! All of Mark's products are worth their weight in gold when you compare their outstanding performance to their cost. Kudos to Mark for keeping the prices affordable!!
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post #73 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluedevilfan View Post

I've been fortunate enough to hear the Sparks at two HT meets. At the first meet they were set up as a L/C/R with a Submersive. They absolutely ROCK! They are worth every dollar! Heck! All of Mark's products are worth their weight in gold when you compare their outstanding performance to their cost. Kudos to Mark for keeping the prices affordable!!


Do the Sparks come with grilles? All photos I've seen show no grilles.

And, the poster above heard this in one system, but I'm assuming it is perfectly acceptable to use a Spark as a center channel?
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post #74 of 790 Old 07-21-2009, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bambam View Post

Do the Sparks come with grilles? All photos I've seen show no grilles.

And, the poster above heard this in one system, but I'm assuming it is perfectly acceptable to use a Spark as a center channel?



No, the Sparks do not have grilles. It makes a fine center channel. Sean is using them as LCR as a matter of fact.

BTW Sean, nice setup in the new house!

Chris
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post #75 of 790 Old 07-22-2009, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post

Anyone on this forum with either the Sparks or Submersive, that is willing to give an audition to someone in the SoCal area? SD / OC / LA?

Mark,
I was also wondering if the Spark can be turned on its side as a center channel because of coincident driver, or will you run into problems? It sounds like the Spark can be used in a fairly large room if you lack the space / budget for the bigger Cats.

Quote:
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No, the Sparks do not have grilles. It makes a fine center channel. Sean is using them as LCR as a matter of fact.

BTW Sean, nice setup in the new house!

Chris

Hi guys,

The Sparks will have grills, and there are magnets in the face of all of the Sparks shipped thus far. I have to sort out a few small details still, but they will have a thin profile grill which sits just inside the ports where it will cover the driver and leave the ports clear.

There is no problem at all in setting the Spark on its side, as that was one of the intended uses for both center channels or as surrounds pulled tight to the ceiling for a lower height profile or in the front edge of a soffit. Being a coax there is no significant difference having the speaker horizontal or vertical. I've used the Spark on its side for 2 demonstrations as well as here at home.

As mentioned above, the Spark is intended to really startle enthusiasts with what we can do in a manageable size package complimented with some quality bass like a SubMersive or 2. Especially in larger rooms, a set of LCR Sparks can easily compliment a pair of SubMersives.

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post #76 of 790 Old 07-22-2009, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Hi guys,

The Sparks will have grills, and there are magnets in the face of all of the Sparks shipped thus far. I have to sort out a few small details still, but they will have a thin profile grill which sits just inside the ports where it will cover the driver and leave the ports clear.

There is no problem at all in setting the Spark on its side, as that was one of the intended uses for both center channels or as surrounds pulled tight to the ceiling for a lower height profile or in the front edge of a soffit. Being a coax there is no significant difference having the speaker horizontal or vertical. I've used the Spark on its side for 2 demonstrations as well as here at home.

As mentioned above, the Spark is intended to really startle enthusiasts with what we can do in a manageable size package complimented with some quality bass like a SubMersive or 2. Especially in larger rooms, a set of LCR Sparks can easily compliment a pair of SubMersives.

So can I get a demo pair?

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I really want to demo the sparks now!! [IMG]http://www.**********************/file.php[/IMG]

Same this forum makes me want a lot of stuff...
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So can I get a demo pair?

+1


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So would a trio of Sparks for L/C/R along with two Submersive subs outperform a set of Klipsch THX Ultra 2 KL-650's for L/C/R and a pair of Klipsch THX Ultra 2 subs with amp?
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post #80 of 790 Old 07-22-2009, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bambam View Post

So would a trio of Sparks for L/C/R along with two Submersive subs outperform a set of Klipsch THX Ultra 2 KL-650's for L/C/R and a pair of Klipsch THX Ultra 2 subs with amp?

Good question. I want to know this too.
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post #81 of 790 Old 07-22-2009, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bambam View Post

So would a trio of Sparks for L/C/R along with two Submersive subs outperform a set of Klipsch THX Ultra 2 KL-650's for L/C/R and a pair of Klipsch THX Ultra 2 subs with amp?

Quote:
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Good question. I want to know this too.

I wouldn't hesitate to make that comparison. The SubMersives will most certainly go deeper and louder. The KL-650s may get a bit closer with a big amplifier (>300W), but again, I'm pretty confident the Sparks will still have more to offer in sound quality and output above 70-80Hz being a bit more efficient and bi-amplified (remember the specs on the KL-650s are a bit generous). The physically larger KL-650s will extend a bit lower, but that limited output below 70Hz is also what makes the Spark so dynamic and free of compression in the rest of the range it is intended to be used for. Having the HF amplifier directly powering the very efficient compression tweeter helps further with dynamics and plenty of headroom.

Of course the above is simple capability matters which are only part of the end listening experience. Matters of axis response and crossover integration are a big part of what makes up the sound of the Spark/Catalyst designs.

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post #82 of 790 Old 07-22-2009, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

I wouldn't hesitate to make that comparison. The SubMersives will most certainly go deeper and louder. The KL-650s may get a bit closer with a big amplifier (>300W), but again, I'm pretty confident the Sparks will still have more to offer in sound quality and output above 70-80Hz being a bit more efficient and bi-amplified (remember the specs on the KL-650s are a bit generous). The physically larger KL-650s will extend a bit lower, but that limited output below 70Hz is also what makes the Spark so dynamic and free of compression in the rest of the range it is intended to be used for. Having the HF amplifier directly powering the very efficient compression tweeter helps further with dynamics and plenty of headroom.

Of course the above is simple capability matters which are only part of the end listening experience. Matters of axis response and crossover integration are a big part of what makes up the sound of the Spark/Catalyst designs.

So if both the Sparks and the KL-650's were crossed over at 80Hz in the same theater, using their respective subs, the nod goes to the.....Sparks?
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post #83 of 790 Old 07-22-2009, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Hi guys,

The Sparks will have grills, and there are magnets in the face of all of the Sparks shipped thus far. I have to sort out a few small details still, but they will have a thin profile grill which sits just inside the ports where it will cover the driver and leave the ports clear.

There is no problem at all in setting the Spark on its side, as that was one of the intended uses for both center channels or as surrounds pulled tight to the ceiling for a lower height profile or in the front edge of a soffit. Being a coax there is no significant difference having the speaker horizontal or vertical. I've used the Spark on its side for 2 demonstrations as well as here at home.

As mentioned above, the Spark is intended to really startle enthusiasts with what we can do in a manageable size package complimented with some quality bass like a SubMersive or 2. Especially in larger rooms, a set of LCR Sparks can easily compliment a pair of SubMersives.



Well, that's a nice surprise Mark. I did not know you designed the Spark with built-in magnets on the face for grilles. Cool.

Chris
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post #84 of 790 Old 07-23-2009, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Hudda View Post

Well, that's a nice surprise Mark. I did not know you designed the Spark with built-in magnets on the face for grilles. Cool.

Chris

I have to leave a few surprises in there.

Soon enough we'll get to hear your comparison of the Sparks to the Catalysts.

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post #85 of 790 Old 07-23-2009, 08:30 AM
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Mark, what coaxial driver do you use in the sparks?

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post #86 of 790 Old 07-23-2009, 09:00 AM
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Mark, what coaxial driver do you use in the sparks?

The same Italian coax as used in the Catalysts.

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post #87 of 790 Old 07-23-2009, 09:17 AM
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The same Italian coax as used in the Catalysts.

lol, I figured that was the answer

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post #88 of 790 Old 07-23-2009, 10:04 AM
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Looking for someone to make comparisons from the catalysts to my setup. Right now for my front soundstage i have def tech 7002's with a clr2002 center. I am running a submersive crossed over at 50hz on my pio sc05. Anyone heard these speakers and the catalysts that can make a comparison? Someday plan to hear them myself, i have the perfect spot for them.
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post #89 of 790 Old 07-23-2009, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

I have to leave a few surprises in there.

Soon enough we'll get to hear your comparison of the Sparks to the Catalysts.


Yes, you certainly will! Can't wait.

I was once again startled by the clarity of the Sparks last night. My God, they are so realistic! I really cannot get over it. Voices and sound effects are amazingly intelligible. Those Italian drivers are something special.

FYI, for anyone looking to pick up some Sparks, the sale ends one week from now. I can't recommend them highly enough. If you're on the fence I say go for it!
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post #90 of 790 Old 07-28-2009, 03:01 AM
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Anyone had the pleasure of owning any Seaton products outside of the US or Canada yet?
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