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**The Official Seaton Sound Speaker Thread** - Page 11

post #301 of 764
I can make it Chris . Please check your PM.
Thanks
post #302 of 764
Since I was there to listen to the Cats, might as well post my thoughts here as well
Yep, thanks for having that great GTG. It was very fun indeed. The Cats are great speakers to be sure. First, the fit and finish is top notch. They do look like fine furniture. They sounded fantastic. Incredible dynamic. I have not heard many speakers that can do what these can do. Movies just rocked. They have an incredible detail. They are able to pick up any little sound in the movie no matter how slight it may be. But they are incredibly crisp and accurate. Music sounded very very good as well. I brought some Dire Straits and the songs sounded fantastic. I also brought over some Allman Brothers. They are worth the price of admission for sure. I already knew what the sub could do but the HP totally rocked that room. I was there from 1-7 and it was an afternoon well spent. The Clarity was sick. Master and Commander kicked butt. WOTW was fantastic. I brought over Live free or Die Hard and that movie just rocks with the Cats. All in all very impressive speakers.
post #303 of 764
Thread Starter 
^^^

Thanks Mike. It was great to meet you and everyone else. Now that you know where I am we'll have to get together again over a weekend (if I can ever manage to clear one ).

Thanks very much for coming and bringing the music and films. I had a great time.

Chris
post #304 of 764
Thanks for hosting Chris- I'm afraid you cost me a lot of money.

Karl
post #305 of 764
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindless View Post

Thanks for hosting Chris- I'm afraid you cost me a lot of money.

Karl

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and Leigh. If you have any questions about any of the components including the Anti-Mode feel free to ask. I'm no expert but will be happy to help if I can. Do check out GIK acoustics for bass traps and broadband absorption. They sell some very attractive ready-made corner and panel traps which are not aesthetically objectionable.

Why not post up some of your thoughts on the system? What are you going with?

Chris
post #306 of 764
It was great to put a face to the name. Yea, hopefully you can clear a weekend. I would really like for you to swing by and check out my system. I can confirm GIK is a good way to go. That is what I got and I am very happy with the results. It was cool to meet everyone else as well.
post #307 of 764
I agree with everything Mike said. I have been looking for a system for HT-my priorities were dynamics and voice clarity-the Catalysts had both in spades! In Master and Commander, just before the ship is attacked, the ship's bell is struck-it sounded like the bell was in the room-totally, not just almost.

They also rock-it felt like a live concert. We played a little classical music, but I wasn't familiar enough with the recording to comment- I have to hold off comment.

Anyway, I'm sold. As soon as I can connect with Mark Seaton, I plan on ordering 3 Cats and 2 Sparks. I am not sure if I'll order one or two Submersives-I don't know if I need the extra oomph. I know multi subs help balance the peaks and nulls- I have to discuss that with Mark. I have Audyssey pro and presently no room conditioning. Hopefully, the Cats are directional enough that I won't need panels.
post #308 of 764
Congrats on the order Mindless. You heard the setup so you know what to expect. I will say that even though you have Audyessy pro I would bet willing to be that room treatments also would help. I think they really go hand in hand. They work together to help make the room sound as good as it can. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
post #309 of 764
Mark, what db level is the new cat 8 able to play at? could you post poler response for the 8c and spark? have been waiting for something like this for a long time now. just need to figure out how to sneak another 6.5k (2/8c 1spark) past the wife. this could be the start of a beautiful relationship where i give you 5-10k a year(what i spend on this hobby) and you give me audio bliss.
post #310 of 764
Hi Guys,

I am looking into building a dedicated theatre with CAT 12C as the LCR, but wondering whether to go Sparks for the rears or a dipole speaker, how have you found them as rear speakers and for those that have owned other speakers over the time how do you feel they perform in creating a surround image v a quality dipole speaker setup?

Cheers,

Matt
post #311 of 764
Not a selfish bump, just another update. There was another GTG. It was at Mindless' house. There were quite a few people there including Mark. First, Karl's house and room is very nice. The speakers that were able to listen to were a trio of Cat 12's(L\\C\\R) dual Submersives and a pair of Sparks for surrounds. I think I can sum it up this way. WOW. We listened to music and movies and both were well served by this system. Dynamics, Clarity and bass were all top notch. Dialog clarity, which was a priority for Karl was really good. Just as I noted before, these are really great speakers.
post #312 of 764
Any owners of Catalyst 8c's ? I don't see many around and I'm interested. What's funny is that I upgraded my system to Paradigm Studio 100 v5's with cc590 center not 8 months ago and I'm thinking of upgrading. I want reference quality reproduction. The dialog clarity on my cc590 (considering it's also not a small center) is good but not that good. Everyone I've spoken to have said that the Catalysts have the clearest, most articulate dialog clarity of almost any speaker.

The active design also appeals to me. So any 8c's owners around that could shed some light on their experiences ? Any Spark owners ? I'm talking Spark's for the front stage ? What are your experiences in terms of clarity and what have you compared them with ? It's difficult to get user impressions since there is no steady discussion on them. The Seaton forum seems dead to me, very little movement and even in the AVS thread there seems to be no action. Not sure why that is.

Obviously, I'm from South Africa which means I will have zero chance of auditioning (yeah, I'm really going to absorb the shipping costs on the off-chance it doesn't sound good ) but user experiences would be appreciated.
post #313 of 764
Thread Starter 
^^^

You have a pm.

Chris
post #314 of 764
I am also surprised how quiet it is with Cat-8 impressions. I think a few pairs have been shipped and setup. There is typically a lot of buzz around a new product especially something from a highly respected builder. Maybe the new owners are too busy enjoying their new speakers which would be a good thing.

I am also interested in upgrading from Paradigms. I am considering the Cat 8s, Cat-12s, or Danley SM60s. I am very interested in hearing from owners as I have never had opportunity to listen to any of these with living in northern Canada.

Altahometheatre
post #315 of 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaHomeTheatre View Post

I am also surprised how quiet it is with Cat-8 impressions. I think a few pairs have been shipped and setup. There is typically a lot of buzz around a new product especially something from a highly respected builder. Maybe the new owners are too busy enjoying their new speakers which would be a good thing.

I am also interested in upgrading from Paradigms. I am considering the Cat 8s, Cat-12s, or Danley SM60s. I am very interested in hearing from owners as I have never had opportunity to listen to any of these with living in northern Canada.

Altahometheatre

More are headed out this week. As it happened, many who got the first CAT-8C's have been more the lurker types or are still working on their theaters and have only hooked them up in a temp setting. I suspect some of the upcoming deliveries may have more comments to offer.
post #316 of 764
Thanks Chris ! I sent you another PM....hehe...
post #317 of 764
The thing that is weighing on my mind at this point is whether there will be a MAJOR improvement in SQ from a Spark to a Catalyst or if the difference between them is reduced to SPL (mainly).

If the sound quality is more or less the same then my decisions are made that much easier because the chances are that I won't reach anywhere close to the dynamic limits of these speakers. But if there are big improvements in clarity between them then that is another story altogether.

Any thoughts ?
post #318 of 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

The thing that is weighing on my mind at this point is whether there will be a MAJOR improvement in SQ from a Spark to a Catalyst or if the difference between them is reduced to SPL (mainly).

If the sound quality is more or less the same then my decisions are made that much easier because the chances are that I won't reach anywhere close to the dynamic limits of these speakers. But if there are big improvements in clarity between them then that is another story altogether.

Any thoughts ?

The case where there is not a major difference in sound quality at less intense levels is between the Catalyst 12C and the 8C. The 8C doesn't reach as low, and isn't as robust with a little less headroom, but if anything, in smaller rooms the 8C might reach a nicer midbass balance when no room correction is employed (plug-n-play). In larger rooms the 12C runs away with the show, but the sound quality is very similar.

This should be no surprise, as the coaxial midrange and tweeter differ only in the width of the speaker face and having 1/2 the amplifier headroom on tap. The 8" woofers have the identical pedigree and design approach as the 12" woofers, and take over from the 8" midrange at the same frequency.

The Spark to CAT-8C is a much more noticeable difference in my listening, with the '8C sounding fuller, but also cleaner and smoother in the midrange due to the mid not having to be bothered with the lower frequencies. The Sparks sound highly impressive and clear until you switch to the 8C.

Of course I'm biased, but the primary purpose of the 8C was to bridge the gap between the Spark and '12C by delivering the qualities of the 12C in a more manageable form and more attainable package.
post #319 of 764
So what you are saying is that at high levels or higher levels the Catalysts (either model) will run away from the Sparks. But at more sane listening levels (below reference level) would you still say the 8c's have much better clarity ? Just need to put all this into perspective. My listening levels will not be at reference level (most likely -10 to -15 from calibrated reference).

I'm also renting at the moment (and for the foreseeable future ) so output levels and dynamics are not a huge concern. The fact that the Sparks can perform to high levels is a plus but my primary concern is overall clarity and dialog intelligibility. Everything else is a bonus for me.

As I mentioned, I've got the Studio 100 v5's which are pretty capable but I want a speaker with a much smaller footprint and I'm hoping for much better clarity.
post #320 of 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post
The Spark to CAT-8C is a much more noticeable difference in my listening, with the '8C sounding fuller, but also cleaner and smoother in the midrange due to the mid not having to be bothered with the lower frequencies. The Sparks sound highly impressive and clear until you switch to the 8C.

Of course I'm biased, but the primary purpose of the 8C was to bridge the gap between the Spark and '12C by delivering the qualities of the 12C in a more manageable form and more attainable package.
Interesting post -looking forward to having these in my listening room
and will be sure to post upgrade observations
Sparks have been fantastic so any upgrade will be sweet
Main upgrade reason is to have full Seaton System
since moving to highly dynamic powered speakers everything else for HT
pales in comparison
post #321 of 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post
So what you are saying is that at high levels or higher levels the Catalysts (either model) will run away from the Sparks. But at more sane listening levels (below reference level) would you still say the 8c's have much better clarity ? Just need to put all this into perspective. My listening levels will not be at reference level (most likely -10 to -15 from calibrated reference).

I'm also renting at the moment (and for the foreseeable future ) so output levels and dynamics are not a huge concern. The fact that the Sparks can perform to high levels is a plus but my primary concern is overall clarity and dialog intelligibility. Everything else is a bonus for me.

As I mentioned, I've got the Studio 100 v5's which are pretty capable but I want a speaker with a much smaller footprint and I'm hoping for much better clarity.
"much better clarity" might be a bit on the strong side, but I do find the difference/improvement obvious if you are familiar with the Sparks. The 3 way implementation with the sealed woofers offers some differences/benefits which will always be there vs. the 2 way, front vented speaker. We'll see what GPBURNS thinks in about a week.

It's hard to keep up with the specifics of each version of the Studio series. What is the footprint of the Studio 100 v5s? The CAT-8C is 28" long, 11" wide and 11" deep + 1/2" grill.
post #322 of 764
Hi Mark,

Well the Studio 100 v5's are 112.0 cm x 24.1 cm x 43.1 cm and weigh around 36 kg's each. They use (3) 7 inch bass drivers and a (1) 7 inch mid-range driver. So these speakers are no slouches.

But what I'm thinking is that the Sparks or Catalyst 8c's will offer much better clarity and detail for home theater and above all else, excellent dialog intelligibility. That is my main focus. My center speaker which is the cc590, is simply not providing good enough dialog clarity.

I look forward to GPBurns impressions once he has received his Catalysts. The thing is, some people have told me that the Sparks will offer a tremendous improvement in overall clarity compared to even the Studio's I've got which sound pretty good. My main point is reducing the overall footprint while also significantly improving clarity. With 1000 watts, and an active design, I think it will provide very big gains.

The problem for me is that the CAT-8C's are much more expensive and shipping to my destination will also prove to be far more expensive than the Spark I would imagine. It depends what the total costs are. I have no idea what it will come up to.
post #323 of 764
Heinrich,

Have you tried to address the issues you're having with dialogue intelligibility with any room treatment? While Mark's speakers undoubtedly have a huge advantage as you head towards reference level, I'd think your Paradigms would be great at lower levels. It may be worth investigating prior to swapping out speakers, given your geographic circumstances. There is an acoustical treatment thread, as well as a ton of info on Ethan Winer's website, if you haven't already addressed these issues. That said, I'd still get the Catalysts
post #324 of 764
Thread Starter 
Hello Heinrich,

If Sparks fit your size and price requirements better I see no reason why they won't provide exactly what you're looking for. In my year of living with just the Sparks and a SubMersive, I was happy as a clam. You might want to seek out Sean W. Smith via pm since he has lived with the Sparks as LCR's exclusively the longest. IMO, if what you are looking for is clarity and intelligibility the Sparks have them in spades. Now that I have the Cat 12C's they are used for surround duty.

One correction: The Sparks are bi-amplified (160W - 140W) so they have a total of 300W driving the slot-vented design, not 1000W. Still, I never thought they were lacking anything for their intended operating range (70 - 20,0000 Hz). In fact, I could be very happy with 5 Sparks and a SubMersive if push came to shove.

All that said, I'm eager to hear some reviews of the Cat 8C's. A pair of those for side surrounds, along with another SumMersive HP is on my short list of upgrades.

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Hi Mark,

Well the Studio 100 v5's are 112.0 cm x 24.1 cm x 43.1 cm and weigh around 36 kg's each. They use (3) 7 inch bass drivers and a (1) 7 inch mid-range driver. So these speakers are no slouches.

But what I'm thinking is that the Sparks or Catalyst 8c's will offer much better clarity and detail for home theater and above all else, excellent dialog intelligibility. That is my main focus. My center speaker which is the cc590, is simply not providing good enough dialog clarity.

I look forward to GPBurns impressions once he has received his Catalysts. The thing is, some people have told me that the Sparks will offer a tremendous improvement in overall clarity compared to even the Studio's I've got which sound pretty good. My main point is reducing the overall footprint while also significantly improving clarity. With 1000 watts, and an active design, I think it will provide very big gains.

The problem for me is that the CAT-8C's are much more expensive and shipping to my destination will also prove to be far more expensive than the Spark I would imagine. It depends what the total costs are. I have no idea what it will come up to.
post #325 of 764
I'm one of the first (if not the first) to have the Sparks -- they run Side and Rear Surrounds (2 pairs) in my dedicated HT -- they perform exceptionally well, though they are definitely underutilized.

I have hooked them up for dedicated 2.0 channel duty in the past and they perform great for their intended scope.

In a smallish room (ie: 10 x 10 x 10, etc.) and paired with a good sub (ie: the Submersive HP) they will be a GREAT combination.

It is very easy to overlook these great speakers when faced with the 8C/12C speakers. Though they are the babies of the family, they definitely aren't in any sense of the word.

Just a few thoughts....
post #326 of 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by uscmatt99 View Post

Have you tried to address the issues you're having with dialogue intelligibility with any room treatment?

I have GIK bass traps in my living room space....floor to ceiling in both front corners. I don't really have any traps in place for first reflection and I'm sure it would help, but the cc590 center just isn't the most resolving speaker for dialog clarity...at least that is what I've found. Even when positioned very close to the center, dialog still doesn't sound very clear (calibrated evenly with the main channels) but some guys in the Paradigm thread had similar reactions.

The other thing that appeals to me from what I've heard is the level of detail that the Sparks and Catalysts offer compared to commercial options like Paradigm and B&W. I believe they are extremely accurate and due to the active design, produce very immediate sound so sounds are very snappy in a way that passive designs aren't. I'm no expert in this so perhaps Mark could explain. But a number of reviews from users have all mentioned the resolving power of these speakers and how snappy they sound.

Hudda,

Thanks for the info. Since you have compared the Sparks to the Studios (not sure if you compared to them to the v5 latest range or an older line) and thought they completely outclassed them in all areas except deep bass, that's a big plus for me. Considering they take up little space....(or A LOT less space than the Studio's).

I'll definitely contact Sean and get his experiences with the Sparks. Thanks.
post #327 of 764
Amazing. I have owned SubMersives for about three years and just found this thread!! Bought Cat12's a year or so ago.

I'm was considering 4 Sparks for sides and rears but I don't have power located up high near where the speaker would go. I am only running passive rears now but have the sides pre-wired (but for speakers and not amplified speakers so would need to run xlr's).

To get power up to the place where I would need it would be messy and probably expensive so I may have to stick to some passive speakers unless someone has some clever idea I had not considered
post #328 of 764
Well, today I plopped down for 3 Cat 8C's, for L//C/R, to replace my Ascendacoustics Sierra-1's. The Ascends are outstanding for their price class, but I've heard Catalysts several times and it's clear that this is going to be a massive upgrade (and splurge!) for my HT. My room is only a bit over 2000 cuft, so you can well imagine. Will go great with my SubMersive HP that I've had a couple of years. Nice to becoming more of a 'Seaton shop'!
post #329 of 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerwill View Post

Well, today I plopped down for 3 Cat 8C's, for L//C/R, to replace my Ascendacoustics Sierra-1's. The Ascends are outstanding for their price class, but I've heard Catalysts several times and it's clear that this is going to be a massive upgrade (and splurge!) for my HT. My room is only a bit over 2000 cuft, so you can well imagine. Will go great with my SubMersive HP that I've had a couple of years. Nice to becoming more of a 'Seaton shop'!

What changed your mind?
post #330 of 764
Has anyone compared the cat12's to Martin Logans? I have the Clxs but am considering going back to dynamic speakers as treating the room correctly and doing a screen wall and AT screen seems more straightfoward with dynamics over the dipole nature of Martin Logan. I also really like the idea and benefits of active speakers. That being said, the clxs are incredibly detailed, so I am wondering what tradeoffs I would be making. I posted something somewhat similar over on the Seaton forums, but would like to get this wider audiences opinion.


Anyone in or near Nashville, TN that could let me hear Catalysts?
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