Originally Posted by Mark Seaton
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?).
Originally Posted by Penngray
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.
Originally Posted by Nuance
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.