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**The Official Seaton Sound Speaker Thread** - Page 6

post #151 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

EDIT:
I have heard the catalysts twice at Peter house both 2.1 and 7.1. They are extremely similar in sound. There is not as much difference as you might imagine or the price might reflect.
Sean

I am trying to decide between the catalysts and the sparks for the L/C/R duties at the moment and after that comment it makes me wonder if the extra cost for the catalysts is really worth it.
I'm thinking that both crossed at 80hz with 2 submersives would yield similar results.
I guess the benefit of the catalysts is they can be crossed a bit lower around 60hz but from what others have said the submersives can handle that range (60hz-80hz) pretty well. Also the 12" drivers in the catalysts take the 70hz-200hz duties away from the 8"coax compared to the sparks 8"coax having to handle those frequencies.
I'm waiting on Huddas comparison.
post #152 of 765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

I never said they were bright. I said they were brighter than the X-SLS's and forward in the treble which they are IMO comapred to the speakers I compared them to including the mirage which is not known as a laid back speaker... There is no right or wrong answer here just different preferences...

On the imaging they are good but not as good as the mini's or the mirages. They lack the width and depth of image of the mini's and mirages. They certainly are not a transparent as the mirages or minis which IMO are not as transparent as a good pair of electrostats... In terms of setup Mark himself set them up.... I tweaked em some more afterward but always ended up back where Mark had placed them.... Curious, what speakers are you comparing em too?

Revealing, yes, a little too revealing for my tastes.... again reminds of Watt/Puppies. I would assume most would take that as a compliment. They are certainly popular and widely heralded and cost 5x the price.

Accurate... Thats a tough word to throw around. Consider the following...

I had a chance to hear the Vandersteen 5's at a local dealer last fall. Richard Vandersteen was in town for the event. Vandersteens are as you say well known for being laid back. Someone asked Richard about this and his reply was the following. We design our speakers to be as neutral as possible. We often run blind A/B comparison in our studio of Live performers and then recorded playback of the same performers. On more than one occassion we have received comments from the listening panel that it sounds like the tweeter was broken and the recording lacked detail. The recording they were referring too was in fact the live performance and not the recorded playback!

something to ponder...

Sean


Thanks so much for the extended review Sean. I appreciate your observations and your obvious attempt to be as impartial as possible. That's rare considering most people get so caught up with their own investment in audio that it colors objectivity to a point where it just becomes fanboyism. Good job.

It's important that you stressed the forward treble is something YOU personally don't care for as a rule but that it wasn't fatiguing especially with Audyssey engaged. Personally, I love that quality in the Sparks. My own opinion is that it helps with intelligibility for both HT and music. To each his own. On the other end of the spectrum, when it comes to music in particular, I strive very hard to keep the bass super-clean because I find even a HINT of boominess to be offensive as hell. Can't stand it! Like I said, to each his own...

I'd say your review is very positive on the whole. I'm glad you like your new setup. Question: Do you think some of the issues you had with transparency, big soundstage, or imaging would be "cured" more or less in a different room than what you are using? Maybe with more extensive absorption and diffusion? My understanding is that properly designed, certain room treatments can make even a small space "sound big." Just curious.

Chris
post #153 of 765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

I am trying to decide between the catalysts and the sparks for the L/C/R duties at the moment and after that comment it makes me wonder if the extra cost for the catalysts is really worth it.
I'm thinking that both crossed at 80hz with 2 submersives would yield similar results.
I guess the benefit of the catalysts is they can be crossed a bit lower around 60hz but from what others have said the submersives can handle that range (60hz-80hz) pretty well. Also the 12" drivers in the catalysts take the 70hz-200hz duties away from the 8"coax compared to the sparks 8"coax having to handle those frequencies.
I'm waiting on Huddas comparison.


It'll be a few more weeks before I get my catalysts but I'll be sure to let you know asap. The Sparks are truly excellent and a great value for what you get IMO. I have not heard the cats yet but your point about ~70-200hz is well taken. The mid bass provided by those two 12" woofers should prove to be very impressive indeed. As great as the Sparks are, I'm counting on the catalysts to provide an even more refined sound once everything is dialed in.

Chris
post #154 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

Revealing, yes, a little too revealing for my tastes.... again reminds of Watt/Puppies. I would assume most would take that as a compliment. They are certainly popular and widely heralded and cost 5x the price.

First of all, thanks Sean for your wonderful comparison review of the Sparks.

Even though I own the Catalysts and haven't heard the Sparks yet I would presume your issue with brightness probably lies with your untreated room, and possibly (to some extend) the Onkyo.

The Catalysts, just like the Sparks do have some limitations when compared to dedicated stereo speakers (mainly airiness and sweet spot size I would say), but what they do they do extremely well. This goes for stereo and HT. Even after 5 days of close scrutiny I have yet to fault them with any undesirable treat, apart from size and weight.

Friday evening I had a couple of friends over with a lot of experience in audio and video. Besides an issue with DCR on Shakira's "Oral Fixation Tour" blu-ray everyone was really impressed with the Catalysts (and my "old" JVC HD1).
post #155 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

I am trying to decide between the catalysts and the sparks for the L/C/R duties at the moment and after that comment it makes me wonder if the extra cost for the catalysts is really worth it.
I'm thinking that both crossed at 80hz with 2 submersives would yield similar results.
I guess the benefit of the catalysts is they can be crossed a bit lower around 60hz but from what others have said the submersives can handle that range (60hz-80hz) pretty well. Also the 12" drivers in the catalysts take the 70hz-200hz duties away from the 8"coax compared to the sparks 8"coax having to handle those frequencies.
I'm waiting on Huddas comparison.

Having had the Sparks in the same position in a few rooms now as well as my own, I don't hesitate to say the difference in capabilities are significant. By design the Sparks are meant to sonically match the Catalysts as well as possible.

The most notable differences lie in the subjective scale and weight of the sound, as well as in the effortless dynamics. While careful sub integration with the Sparks can close the gap quite a bit, they aren't quite the same. Of course I hesitate to make that statement, as it is again a matter of comparison. If you don't have Catalysts there for comparison, as Sean's comments echo, they certainly are not lacking in scale and power. In making such comparisons in the same room I've started with Sparks and even myself questioned "How much more can we really use in this room?" with the impressive dynamics of the Sparks, and then the Catalysts just laugh as they move into the realm of the speakers exploring the limits of what your room can comfortably support and what level of excitement/intensity you can handle.

The Catalysts do simply sound larger and more effortless, but at much greater size and cost. That's why I make both. I most often am listening to Sparks and a SubMersive or 2 here, and even I don't much miss the Catalyst's performance, but at the same time when ever I have them in the system again it evokes and evil chuckle and I get all giddy at the thought of "extensive testing." I also tend to get much less work done.
post #156 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudda View Post

Thanks so much for the extended review Sean. I appreciate your observations and your obvious attempt to be as impartial as possible. That's rare considering most people get so caught up with their own investment in audio that it colors objectivity to a point where it just becomes fanboyism. Good job.

It's important that you stressed the forward treble is something YOU personally don't care for as a rule but that it wasn't fatiguing especially with Audyssey engaged. Personally, I love that quality in the Sparks. My own opinion is that it helps with intelligibility for both HT and music. To each his own. On the other end of the spectrum, when it comes to music in particular, I strive very hard to keep the bass super-clean because I find even a HINT of boominess to be offensive as hell. Can't stand it! Like I said, to each his own...

I'd say your review is very positive on the whole. I'm glad you like your new setup. Question: Do you think some of the issues you had with transparency, big soundstage, or imaging would be "cured" more or less in a different room than what you are using? Maybe with more extensive absorption and diffusion? My understanding is that properly designed, certain room treatments can make even a small space "sound big." Just curious.

Chris


I agree and want to thank Sean for his very descriptive and honest thoughts on the Sparks. They were more so conceived for dedicated rooms, and they are quite a departure from the systems Sean typically prefers such as his Mirages, Minis and even the x-statiks he his winter home. While all speakers I can enjoy, that's a different presentation and more flavoring than I prefer myself, but those are certainly more forgiving with music in common living rooms. That their strengths made for as many points of excitement and enjoyment in a fairly difficult and asymmetrical room left me quite pleased with the impressions and results.

While it is easy to want to justify our own purchases and creations as the perfect choice not just for ourselves but for everyone, having worked with a huge range of audio systems and enthusiasts, I have no illusions of one solution optimally pleasing all. What I do hope is that many can appreciate the unique strengths and qualities enabled with the designs I have introduced, making confident decisions with appropriate expectations.

I believe Sean was rather clear that the Sparks excelled in home theater and related use, where the musical use was very much a matter of various tastes in 2ch presentation. Such presentation differences greatly depend on the listening space, placement of speakers within that space and many other related acoustic factors. Throw an "acoustically transparent" screen in the mix and you have yet another variable for consideration.

Hopefully the above helps clear up more than further clouding the waters.
post #157 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudda View Post

Thanks so much for the extended review Sean. I appreciate your observations and your obvious attempt to be as impartial as possible. That's rare considering most people get so caught up with their own investment in audio that it colors objectivity to a point where it just becomes fanboyism. Good job.

It's important that you stressed the forward treble is something YOU personally don't care for as a rule but that it wasn't fatiguing especially with Audyssey engaged. Personally, I love that quality in the Sparks. My own opinion is that it helps with intelligibility for both HT and music. To each his own. On the other end of the spectrum, when it comes to music in particular, I strive very hard to keep the bass super-clean because I find even a HINT of boominess to be offensive as hell. Can't stand it! Like I said, to each his own...

I'd say your review is very positive on the whole. I'm glad you like your new setup. Question: Do you think some of the issues you had with transparency, big soundstage, or imaging would be "cured" more or less in a different room than what you are using? Maybe with more extensive absorption and diffusion? My understanding is that properly designed, certain room treatments can make even a small space "sound big." Just curious.

Chris

Hi All,

My room certainly could benefit from more absorbtion. Right now we only have 4 tri traps, 4 x 2'x'4x4" panels, and 8 2'x4' 2" panels and 4 x 2'x2' x2" panels..... Room acoustics play a big part in how any speaker sounds...

That said I have had the mirages in 4 different rooms. I have had the other speakers in 3 out of 4 of those rooms. And in even in the room in Los Altos when Mark was here we rotated the setup orientation 90 degress to that the plasma is on the long wall and not the short wall (for WAF reasons).

regardless of the characteristics of the room I have had them in the mirages always beat the others in image spaciousness. Its one of their design goals. So the overall sound of the speakers I have has changed dramatically from room to room but the pecking order never changed. Its not like one speaker like a room the others didn't. They all dealt with the issues room in a similar way and their absolute performance changed accordingly. Just rotating the room by 90 degress had a pretty big effect on the way the mirages sound. They sounded better the other way for sure.... They sounded even much better in the heavily treated theater in raleigh.

I can ruin the minis and make then sound crappy by simply moving them 1.5 feet closer to the wall behind. Totally flattens the 3-d sound stage they create... I did this yesterday afternoon to see for WAF reasons how close the wall I could get them and still find the sound acceptable. The answer was 39".

So IMO we can improve the room but I dont think it would ever make the sparks outclass the mini's or mirages in imaging. Those speakers were designed to do that very well and they met their design goals... No one speaker will probably ever do it all at least in my price range . The sparks are tremendously impressive as they are....

regarding the forward treble being caused by my untreated room and my onkyo. Its not, these speakers are just more forward in the treble than the others I compare it too.... Just because its not my preference does not mean its bad. They are just different. I am very condifent you can put the mini's and sparks in any room with any electronics and the mini's will be the more laid back of the two.

That said I want to add a further comment. I was playing around yesterday with ref100 as a center channel compared to the spark. What a difference....., The ref 100 is far from laid back but the overall difference SQ was amazing. The spark has a tremendous advantage over the Ref 100 as a center. I would not have expected such a difference but compared to the spark it sounds grainy and lifeless.

Mark, please correct me if anything you think I said is incorrect.... I certainly dont have the breadth of experience or knowledge you have....

and BTW: your last 2 posts re-kindled my catalyst envy....
post #158 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Having had the Sparks in the same position in a few rooms now as well as my own, I don't hesitate to say the difference in capabilities are significant. By design the Sparks are meant to sonically match the Catalysts as well as possible.

The most notable differences lie in the subjective scale and weight of the sound, as well as in the effortless dynamics. While careful sub integration with the Sparks can close the gap quite a bit, they aren't quite the same. Of course I hesitate to make that statement, as it is again a matter of comparison. If you don't have Catalysts there for comparison, as Sean's comments echo, they certainly are not lacking in scale and power. In making such comparisons in the same room I've started with Sparks and even myself questioned "How much more can we really use in this room?" with the impressive dynamics of the Sparks, and then the Catalysts just laugh as they move into the realm of the speakers exploring the limits of what your room can comfortably support and what level of excitement/intensity you can handle.

The Catalysts do simply sound larger and more effortless, but at much greater size and cost. That's why I make both. I most often am listening to Sparks and a SubMersive or 2 here, and even I don't much miss the Catalyst's performance, but at the same time when ever I have them in the system again it evokes and evil chuckle and I get all giddy at the thought of "extensive testing." I also tend to get much less work done.

Mark -

Since your "job" is "extensive testing" I don't know that you can say you get less work done.

Fun job!

Mike
post #159 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

Hi All,

That said I want to add a further comment. I was playing around yesterday with ref100 as a center channel compared to the spark. What a difference....., The ref 100 is far from laid back but the overall difference SQ was amazing. The spark has a tremendous advantage over the Ref 100 as a center. I would not have expected such a difference but compared to the spark it sounds grainy and lifeless.

Wow. The Ref100 is a very nice center. May I asked what was powering the Ref100 ? Might the Spark have similar advantages over the BIGFOOT center?

Thx again for sharing you experiences here.

Dave
post #160 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Rowe View Post

Wow. The Ref100 is a very nice center. May I asked what was powering the Ref100 ? Might the Spark have similar advantages over the BIGFOOT center?

Thx again for sharing you experiences here.

Dave

I think there was/is a (? pending ?) comparison in the Seaton forum.
Will add link if I find it.

Mike

*EDIT* - Seaton Sound Discussion Forum - link added:

Spark vs RSC200 (bigfoot) for center channel
post #161 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Rowe View Post

Wow. The Ref100 is a very nice center. May I asked what was powering the Ref100 ? Might the Spark have similar advantages over the BIGFOOT center?

Thx again for sharing you experiences here.

Dave

The Ref100 was being powered by an Onkyo 876
post #162 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Having had the Sparks in the same position in a few rooms now as well as my own, I don't hesitate to say the difference in capabilities are significant. By design the Sparks are meant to sonically match the Catalysts as well as possible.

The most notable differences lie in the subjective scale and weight of the sound, as well as in the effortless dynamics. While careful sub integration with the Sparks can close the gap quite a bit, they aren't quite the same. Of course I hesitate to make that statement, as it is again a matter of comparison. If you don't have Catalysts there for comparison, as Sean's comments echo, they certainly are not lacking in scale and power. In making such comparisons in the same room I've started with Sparks and even myself questioned "How much more can we really use in this room?" with the impressive dynamics of the Sparks, and then the Catalysts just laugh as they move into the realm of the speakers exploring the limits of what your room can comfortably support and what level of excitement/intensity you can handle.

The Catalysts do simply sound larger and more effortless, but at much greater size and cost. That's why I make both. I most often am listening to Sparks and a SubMersive or 2 here, and even I don't much miss the Catalyst's performance, but at the same time when ever I have them in the system again it evokes and evil chuckle and I get all giddy at the thought of "extensive testing." I also tend to get much less work done.

That was the kind of response I was digging for!!!!! Thanks Mark.
post #163 of 765
I was curious Sean, when you mention the imaging of electrostats, were you referring to the "airiness" they present when sitting in the sweet spot, or their ability to project quality sound to a wide range of positions?

It is becoming clear to me that these two phenomenon are not one in the same.

Also does the same apply to the mirages in comparison with the sparks. Is the "image" at the sweet spot or at various positions in the room?
post #164 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

I am trying to decide between the catalysts and the sparks for the L/C/R duties at the moment and after that comment it makes me wonder if the extra cost for the catalysts is really worth it.

YES.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

I'm thinking that both crossed at 80hz with 2 submersives would yield similar results.

NO.

I had a set of 4 Sparks in here (6000 cu sq ft room, unsealed and open) and while the Sparks are potent for their size, the Catalysts are in a different league. Tri-amped with 6x more power, the Catalysts deliver a WALL OF SOUND. As Mark noted, the difference is in the "subjective scale and weight [and dynamics] of the sound" - the Catalyst sound has some serious heft, albeit fast and refined.

I had originally planned on Sparks for surrounds, but there is a reason why I am now going with Catalysts for surrounds.
post #165 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by fugueness View Post

YES.



NO.

I had a set of 4 Sparks in here (6000 cu sq ft room, unsealed and open) and while the Sparks are potent for their size, the Catalysts are in a different league. Tri-amped with 6x more power, the Catalysts deliver a WALL OF SOUND. As Mark noted, the difference is in the "subjective scale and weight [and dynamics] of the sound" - the Catalyst sound has some serious heft, albeit fast and refined.

I had originally planned on Sparks for surrounds, but there is a reason why I am now going with Catalysts for surrounds.

Thanks Peter, I was only going on the comment made about the differences not being so great but its only one persons opinion and I figured that he hadn't heard them in the same room. I was just trying to get these sort of comments back so I can justify in my own mind that the catalysts are the one's for me.
Are you going with 4 surrounds or just 2?
post #166 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

Are you going with 4 surrounds or just 2?

4, and they will likely be the upcoming, smaller "Catalyst Jr" with 8" woofers. Although I'm still considering full Catalysts for the rears.
post #167 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbybreezy View Post

I was curious Sean, when you mention the imaging of electrostats, were you referring to the "airiness" they present when sitting in the sweet spot, or their ability to project quality sound to a wide range of positions?

It is becoming clear to me that these two phenomenon are not one in the same.

Also does the same apply to the mirages in comparison with the sparks. Is the "image" at the sweet spot or at various positions in the room?

elctrostats and ribbons like maggies I used to have and the martin logans that my good friends own have the ability to just disapear and present a very wide and deep yet precise image. They also seem to have a very narrow sweet spot of where the listener needs to sit....

The mirages are bi polar and not quite as good as planars in those respects but one thing they have going for them is a wider position for listeners to sit and still enjoy the spacious soundfield they create...

hope that clarifies things...

All commentws in my review were from me sitting dead center in the best listening position.

Sean
post #168 of 765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fugueness View Post

YES.



NO.

I had a set of 4 Sparks in here (6000 cu sq ft room, unsealed and open) and while the Sparks are potent for their size, the Catalysts are in a different league. Tri-amped with 6x more power, the Catalysts deliver a WALL OF SOUND. As Mark noted, the difference is in the "subjective scale and weight [and dynamics] of the sound" - the Catalyst sound has some serious heft, albeit fast and refined.

I had originally planned on Sparks for surrounds, but there is a reason why I am now going with Catalysts for surrounds.


Oh my God. I thought you were joking about that. I assume this means you will have the most potent Seaton system out there. Wow, just wow.
post #169 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudda View Post

Oh my God. I thought you were joking about that. I assume this means you will have the most potent Seaton system out there. Wow, just wow.

I don't know, Art's Catalysts for fronts and 4 X submersives would be a pretty mean setup if you ask me.
post #170 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by fugueness View Post

4, and they will likely be the upcoming, smaller "Catalyst Jr" with 8" woofers. Although I'm still considering full Catalysts for the rears.

Everytime I turn around there is talk of something new (can't keep up), now there's "Jr catalysts".
Ok how far away are they and how much are they likely to cost?
post #171 of 765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanDave View Post

I don't know, Art's Catalysts for fronts and 4 X submersives would be a pretty mean setup if you ask me.


Art's system is nothing to sneeze at but IIRC, Peter has, or has ordered a pair of Terraform XL's!! I can't even wrap my brain around that. 3 Cats up front, 4 Cats or Cat Jrs. for surround, and 2 Terraform XL's. If Peter isn't careful, he might just trigger "the big one" out there in Cali.
post #172 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

Everytime I turn around there is talk of something new (can't keep up), now there's "Jr catalysts".
Ok how far away are they and how much are they likely to cost?

No certainty in when they'll be coming out yet as some parts are not yet sourced. They won't be called "Junior," but that and many other additions are in the works for next year. At this point none of these speaker projects have definite time lines, as many factors could easily make introduction take 3x as long as the soonest possible date. Do know that I'm not one to make products which are just "slightly different." Generally it has to offer enough of a price, performance or form factor difference to make it worth justifying another model.
post #173 of 765
Come on Mark! cat jr's at about 2.5k each would represent a sweet spot that I would not be able to resist, develop faster!
post #174 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

No certainty in when they'll be coming out yet as some parts are not yet sourced. They won't be called "Junior," but that and many other additions are in the works for next year. At this point none of these speaker projects have definite time lines, as many factors could easily make introduction take 3x as long as the soonest possible date. Do know that I'm not one to make products which are just "slightly different." Generally it has to offer enough of a price, performance or form factor difference to make it worth justifying another model.

As long as they aren't going to perform at 95% of the catalysts for $1000-$1500 less. I have sold my current speakers now so I'm getting itchy feet to get some Seaton into my theater.
post #175 of 765
So anyone have any hesitation with either the Sparks or Catalyst for music?
post #176 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by video_bit_bucket View Post

So anyone have any hesitation with either the Sparks or Catalyst for music?

If you're an audiophile mainly and want these for stereo listening I would say: yes. If you prefer an honest representation of what was recorded, even at scary levels, I would say a definite: no.
post #177 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

As long as they aren't going to perform at 95% of the catalysts for $1000-$1500 less. I have sold my current speakers now so I'm getting itchy feet to get some Seaton into my theater.

If you are looking for about 95% of the cat's then get the sparks, you pay a LOT for that last 5%. Look at just about any high quality speaker maker and you will find that the top of the line bookshelf crossed over to a good sub will get you 95% of the top of the line floorstander and in many cases will sound better for 1/4th of the money.
post #178 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by audio0947 View Post

Come on Mark! cat jr's at about 2.5k each would represent a sweet spot that I would not be able to resist, develop faster!

You're not too far off of the general idea. Yes, I know this will be of great interest. It still has to be done right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabra View Post

As long as they aren't going to perform at 95% of the catalysts for $1000-$1500 less. I have sold my current speakers now so I'm getting itchy feet to get some Seaton into my theater.

You are safe in the differences. Of course how someone values the relative % performance depends entirely on their own perspective, values and use. In a tiny room, that may be the case, but the very high quality 12" woofers and the greater power in the Catalyst offers definite advantages over what I can do in smaller packages.

I look forward to hearing from you for a shipping quote in the near future.
post #179 of 765
Mark, any ideas on the upcoming 9.2 pre-amps and sound formats? Did you hear or install a set-up already?

With speakers sounding different when placed differtently and such do you see any real benefits for playback of existing titles?
post #180 of 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ettepet View Post

Mark, any ideas on the upcoming 9.2 pre-amps and sound formats? Did you hear or install a set-up already?

With speakers sounding different when placed differtently and such do you see any real benefits for playback of existing titles?

Hi Ettepet,

I'm hoping to look into this a bit more at CEDIA (hopefully I'll be able to attend). I have no problem with the concept, but the real limitations always end up in the execution. I have found many of the auto-EQ systems rather capable in balancing voicing differences due to boundary interaction (near a floor, ceiling or wall), and I suspect with a decent phase matching (ie same crossover frequency and type), you should be able to get some useful imaging.

At the same time I always worry a bit about such formats where it can prompt those first assembling a system to cut back on the investment in the front 3 channels and subwoofer to add extra effects channels, when these 4 components make up 80-90% of the enjoyment of the sound.
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