HOME THEATER has a new SUBWOOFER LEVIATHON!!!!! Must read! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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As some of you know, I've been in the market for a new sub system. I am currently using 4 Citation 7.4 subs (14" drivers) all running off of bridged Citation 7.1 amplifiers. Each sub receiving ~450 watts of power. My room is 17 X 32 X 9.5.

They (Citations) perform beautifully except in my large room,however, I cannot get usable bass to 30 hz and below. In my previous, smaller room, they could.

I wrote to SVS, read the threads about that sub, the Velodyne, Mirage, etc. and other heavy duty subs.

Then,I found out about a sub from Servo-drive that was recommended by Chris Collins (MYSPHYT) here on the forum. The ContrBass.

All of the above are nice subs, but I wanted something to really kick out the low, low frequencies.

I called the company to find out more about the product, I found Jeff to be very helpful. I described my room, my needs, and where the subs needed to be placed (behind the screen wall).

Originally, I asked about the formideable Contrabass, but it was too wide for my set up and the DEAP-32 was recommended instead - a professional grade subwoofer.

The company is very excited about this new sub and are readying it for the HT market. They also make the ContraBass. They offered to drive up and install two in my theater. They wanted to run some tests in a sealed, dedicated design theater to test out this sub and put it through the paces.

Of course, I agreed.

Mark Seaton and Jeff Parmanian drove up a pair of these from Chicago (5 hours) to Detroit. We had lunch and after pulling down the screen, removing the 4 Citation subs from behind the screen wall and installing these two new subs, we were ready to test (2 hours later).

We used a Professional grade amp and then my bridged Citation amps and EQ'd with my PE-17.

Between all of the testing on Servodrive's TEF device and Chris's room evaluation software, we mic'd the room and ended up with a flat response from 18 - 70 hz +/- 2 db. with useable bass under 14 hz.

Chris has pix and a better explanation as to the details of the set up and the proprietary design but the bottom line is I've never heard a tighter, louder, deeper sub ever. MY LCRs bailed before the sub did when we reached 120 bd peaks. The subs were amazing. Very powerful and authorative and fast.

The depth charges from U-571 and scenes from Titan AE (both DTS) were no match for these subs at full reference and beyond. Scenes from the Matrix, various test discs, and Saving Private Ryan couldn't strain tthese subs and performance to below 20 hz was loud, controlled and powerful. Really amazing and available for home use.

Don't take my word for it.....

CHris (MYSPHYT) will give his impressions and data from the numerous room sweeps and other measurements we made.

Also, I am hosting a meet next weekend. I am excited for fellow AVSers to give their impressions.

Thanks Chris, Mark, and Jeff for all the hard work. We didn't finish up until midnight last night. Jeff and Chris drove back to Chicago and Chris 1.5 hours home. Really a dedicated group.

What a fun day.

This sub really is something. I think any typical driver design (be it 12", 15" or 18" ) design - multiple drivers or not - would have simply exploded (or melted) from last nights torture tests.

This sub is for real and can easily handle today's very hot, dynamic tracks.

I don't believe these are quite yet available for home use but will be soon available.

Highly recommended!

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #2 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 02:28 PM
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Very cool. You have some kick A subs there with some very knowledgable people backing them up.

Kudos to Servodrive.
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post #3 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 02:59 PM
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post #4 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 03:15 PM
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DEAP-32? dont see any mention of that particular model in the servodrive site. any pics, links, more info available?
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post #5 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 03:33 PM
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when i checked w/ the servo-drive folks a while
back, they described their upcoming HT sub
as half of a servo-drive.

hopefully, these'll be available w/o going thru
the custom installer route. (i'd like to be able
to put one in my HT)
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post #6 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 03:47 PM
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Hi Jeff,

Yesterday was indeed a lot of fun, and quite an experience. Dennis E. did a wonderful job with the design of your room, as most would have been rattling and buzzing like crazy. The room sounded very good over the entire range, not just the subwoofer. I was quite pleased with the results we achieved in one afternoon/evening. We finally rolled back into Chicago some time after 3:30 am, yet Jeff and I both agreed it was worth the trip.

In the above description of the measured frequency response, it should be noted that this was at the listening position, and what suprised even me was was the final system response which was found to be only 10dB down at 10Hz! :eek: The solid room construction certainly was an important factor in this result.

Oh yeah, for those wondering, the pair of subwoofers were located dead center on the front wall under the center channel.

audionut101-

It is actually called the B-DEAP 32.

It is a brand new product. Less than 20 have been built yet. A minor fiasco with our lame-o website has delayed posting new info, and I am still working on some of the literature and explanations of various ways to use it. For those wondering, it is a bass horn that can operate properly as a single unit. It is not small, but if you have a front screen wall with more 24" of clear depth behind it, it can easily be made to fit. We got away with even less depth in Jeff's system. It requires EQ to achieve flat response below 25Hz, but is rediculously efficient above 25-35Hz. We call the design concept B-DEAP, which is a long acronym which I can get into in another post. This unit loads a pair of 12" drivers in a rather unique, and effective, horn. Above 30Hz we conservatively rate the power handling at 1600W total into the 4 Ohm load.

It's a wild one...

Best Regards,

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
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post #7 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lcubed
when i checked w/ the servo-drive folks a while
back, they described their upcoming HT sub
as half of a servo-drive.

hopefully, these'll be available w/o going thru
the custom installer route. (i'd like to be able
to put one in my HT)
lcubed-

The sub you are recalling is a different, more compact ServoDrive product. The subwoofers in Jeff's theater are actually professional bass horns using specifically designed, conventional motor, 12" drivers. It is in our Sound Physics Labs product group. These two are somewhat polar opposites in approaches to bass reproduction, where the B-DEAP 32 is quite large, and will drive a large room in a way no other sub could dream of.

The upcoming ServoDrive product, and a home theater directed version of the B-DEAP 32 (we typically just call it the BD-32) will be available through approved custom installers. Our commercial contractors will not have access to our our Theater Calibrated line unless they are deemed appropriately qualified. After meeting and working with Chris Collins yesterday, I'd say he's certainly qualified and capable. :cool:

Mark Seaton
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post #8 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 05:08 PM
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Here are some photos of the B-DEAP-32 (BD-32) and the installation in Jeff's Home Theater.

This was the first time I had experienced the new BD-32. Experienced is the right word too, they play clean, low and loud without straining. To my ears they really opened up Jeff's whole home theater sound. Like Mark says, its all about headroom.

Special thanks to Mark and Jeff from Sound Physics Lab for bringing these up on short notice and for their dedication and expertise in making the installation great. Besides that Mark and Jeff are really nice guys.

B-DEAP-32, back showing horn ports, these mounted facing the front wall of the theater.

http://www.cmcpics.homestead.com/files/deap/b-deap.jpg

B-DEAP-32 in profile. Overall dimensions are 42"x42"x18". Not small, but if you are building an dedicated room, they can be easily accomodated behind a screen wall, as Jeff has done.

http://www.cmcpics.homestead.com/fil.../deap_side.jpg

BD-32's installed behind screen wall. Center channel on top. At close to 200lbs each, they make a very stable base.

http://www.cmcpics.homestead.com/fil.../installed.jpg

Some of the test gear used to set up the subs. Equalization and level control provided by a Rane PE-17 pro equalizer.

http://www.cmcpics.homestead.com/fil...nstruments.jpg

Low frequency response, measured in room. Note that the left hand of the display is 10Hz instead of 20Hz:D

http://www.cmcpics.homestead.com/fil...p/response.jpg
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post #9 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 05:58 PM
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Waterfall plot showing the in room low frequency response in Jeff's theater, before final equalization. Previously there was not much energy in the room at 20Hz and lower, now there is plenty. This has lit up a dormant room mode at 20Hz (first order length mode). Shows great decay times away from the room resonances.

http://www.cmcpics.homestead.com/fil.../waterfall.jpg
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post #10 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 06:58 PM
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I guess my ContraBass is now a mere puppy!
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post #11 of 127 Old 06-20-2003, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Seaton
The upcoming ServoDrive product, and a home theater directed version of the B-DEAP 32 (we typically just call it the BD-32) will be available through approved custom installers.
Mark, where can I find more info on the upcoming servodrive product? and the HT directed version of B-deap 32? I have heard the contrabass installed at a friends place and I was literally floored! He quickly returned a pair of SVS subs for it. Now if only the wife would let me fit something that large.......

are any of these new products smaller in size? If so, where do I sign up?
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post #12 of 127 Old 06-21-2003, 02:09 PM
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Mark, are these the ones you were talking about at the Chicago get-together at Ross's place? If so, try to get some more info up here about 'em.

How does one BD-32 compare to a single ContraBass?
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post #13 of 127 Old 06-21-2003, 04:09 PM
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I'm delighted to see more people paying attention to the proper measurement and correction of room acoustics. Sure we apply treatments as prescribed by others, but Jeff is to be applauded for bringing in a heavy hitter like Chris to really dial in the rooms acoustics. He'll have a far more enjoyable experience.

Can't wait to see this setup next week!

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post #14 of 127 Old 06-21-2003, 09:02 PM
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"Now if only the wife would let me fit something that large....... Audionut 101"

Even if the ContraBass is no longer the big dog in town, the pictures below will give you an idea how to domisticate the ContraBass.

http://groups.msn.com/ChicagolandHom...to&PhotoID=149

http://groups.msn.com/ChicagolandHom...to&PhotoID=151

You can hide the ContraBass and increase its WAF.

"He quickly returned a pair of SVS subs for it.- Audionut 101"

I don't blame him, I quickly got rid of my Velodyne HGS-18.

When Mark took that ContraBass to my house to demo during a Chicagoland get together, I basically told him that that sub is not leaving my house!
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post #15 of 127 Old 06-21-2003, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Chris, is certainly a heavy hitter (and a super guy to boot).

I just watched LOTR DTS version and I can't even explain how powerful the low end was.

However, I have a resonance at 20 hz. THere was so much low bass in this soundtrack that the greater decay times at 20 hz seemed apparent.

These subs didn't as much as hiccup through the entire movie.

A lot of fun.
I do, however, feel lucky to even have a powerful 20 hz (and below) response. It is amazing. I am looking forward to everyone's comments.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #16 of 127 Old 06-22-2003, 08:07 AM
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Does Chris have a fix in mind for the resonance? Perhaps a tuned trap?

Ted

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post #17 of 127 Old 06-22-2003, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Exactly what he recommneded. A resonator of some sort.

If he is around, maybe he could explain a little better.

Boy, you achieve one milestone and it starts the process of more fine tuning and adjustment.

I am looking forward to your comments next week.

All and all, it is a problem wirth having.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #18 of 127 Old 06-22-2003, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by thebland
Exactly what he recommneded. A resonator of some sort.

If he is around, maybe he could explain a little better.

Boy, you achieve one milestone and it starts the process of more fine tuning and adjustment.

I am looking forward to your comments next week.

All and all, it is a problem wirth having.
Check out this waterfall plot of the in-room response made with both new subs playing and before any equalization was applied. You can see the real culprit is at 30Hz. 30Hz is the primary width mode and second order length mode of your room. Mark set the PE-17 to deprive this mode of energy and bring up the response at 20Hz. This resulted in the "flat" response show in the picture a couple posts up.

http://www.cmcpics.homestead.com/files/deap/lfe2.jpg

To really tame this will require adding absorbtion at 30Hz, as you mentioned. This can be done with resonators designed to a 30Hz center frequency with a Q = 1. This would treat the whole "bump" from 15Hz to 45Hz. The trick is to get enough absorbtion into the room, which is very large.
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post #19 of 127 Old 06-23-2003, 05:27 PM
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Hi Andreas,

You are correct, the BD-32 is passive. You can see the dual Speakon connectors in the first picture Chris posted. Likewise, EQ was used to extend the response to what was observed. Indeed there is no free lunch here, but we do need to put this boost in proper perspective. First, above 30Hz, the nominal sensitivity is roughly equivalent to 106dB @ 1W/1m. This means that even where the sub is 14dB down, we are still at the same sensitivity as a ContraBass. The PE-17 only has 12-15dB of boost, yet we were still able to achieve the response shown in my measurement. The tightly sealed, double drywall construction of Jeff's room provides for significant low frequency gain as compared to anechoic conditions or outdoors. This is why we still see significant level at 10Hz. While I am not certain yet at what frequency we finally see all horn loading lost, below this frequency you still have the volume diplacement of 4 12" drivers which can survive 2" p-p travel (about 1" p-p linear). What makes this more significant is that where the horn loading is effective to ~30Hz, excursion is VERY low at any resonable playback level. Where most subwoofers have to work fairly hard so far as excursion to produce the 30-50Hz range, the horn makes this a very easy task for the driver. The strong acoustic loading and greatly reduced excursion makes for a system with less than 1% distortion to VERY high levels. We still have to take distortion measurements of the final product, but an earlier design which did not load as well was surprisingly low in distortion, and this one appears to be even better. Another unusual factor here is with respect to power handling and efficiency. Most subwoofers are around 1% efficient or less. The BD-32 is 25-50% efficient, which means that 1/4 to 1/2 of the power delivered by your amplifier turns into sound, not heat! As such, a driver in an efficient horn has 50-100% more power handling than what the individual drivers would be generally rated at.

What this all means is that for signals above 25-35Hz, the horn is loafing along, typically near 1W average drive levels to the pair of boxes. This makes dynamic peaks very effortless. 100W per sub (50W per driver) should yeild roughly 120dB peaks at the seats in Jeff's fairly large room above 30Hz. This leaves the bulk of the power and excursion of the drivers available for the lower frequencies. Similarly, while the horn is rolling off, there is still loading present, still allowing much greater headroom than would be seen from a pair of sealed 12" drivers per box. We did bring with us an "arc-welding" pro amplifier we often use to insure we had enough power. This was a BGW GTA amplifier , which we bridged into the pair of BD-32s. This translates to 3-4kW of burst power on tap, but in reality less as two 15-20A breakers are required for such power. We started using this amplifier on the subs, and after determining that things were working well, we swapped things over to Jeff's 4 channel Citation amplifiers. At the time we only had one connector for the subwoofer, so we had one sub to a bridged output on each amplifier. This should be >500W to each subwoofer. This is a bit of a difficult load for these amps when bridged, and the plan is to drive each subwoofer with one amplifier, where each driver will then have a ~400W bridged amp. I would expect this 1600W plus should be plenty for all but the craziest of ultra deep bass scenes.

So far as the MSRP, this is a rather interesting development as we didn't know the BD-32 would work SOOO well in a home theater setting. Basically, for large rooms, it would be hard to provide this much power and clean headroom without many multiples the number of boxes. Now that the product is finalized operationally, we are working out options for the Theater Calibrated version. The retail price is slated for $3450, with the Line-X coating as seen in the photos above, with options possibly varying the cost some. It should also be made clear that proper setup requires a flexible EQ and measurement capability. A 1/12th octave RTA or system of similar resolution is strongly recommended. This sub also requires enough delay/offset capability within your processor to account for the additional 7-12' of "virtual distance" wrapped up inside the box. IOW, in a typical pre-pro, you would measure the distance to the subwoofer, and then enter this number plus 7-12' depending on how you have it set up and where you are measuring from. Fortunately more and more custom installers are realizing the benefits and value of such capabilities.

Best Regards,

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
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post #20 of 127 Old 06-23-2003, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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The speaker does work well. I have a crowd of AVSers coming to my meet this Saturday. You'll get some unbiased reviews.

The room becomes soo pressurized, it really astounds. These guys (Mark, Jeff) really have something here. It is trully a reference theater sub. Very powerful and tight, deliberate bass. I have never heard anything like it.

These guys are bass fanatics, to tell you a little story, I was showering my two girls upstairs while they were figuring out why the output was suddenly lost in my processor. It was quiet for about 1/2 an hour. When they did (figure it out), the upstairs all of a sudden shook so much that all of the windows shook, the floor vibrated and my kids thought we were in the midst of an earthquake. BTW - it was the depth charges from U-571. It was something else.

Mark, I am going to pick up that Heart DVD you recommended. Looking forward to the dynamics of the live show.

Chris Collins is coming over Saturday (before the meet) to convert the BD-32 so that my amps can power each driver seperately. This way they will run at peak performance in an ideal configuration when the meet begins and the subs will shin in all their glory.

We'll keep you posted.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #21 of 127 Old 06-24-2003, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for the update Jeff. I am very interested in feedback from those who visit your home this weekend.

When you and Chris pull off the screen to switch the wiring, I would be interested in seeing a picture from the back of the room to put the size and placement of the subs in perspective as it won't be unveiled very often.

The Heart DVD is a lot of fun, and an easy one to play at rather high levels. You will likely be pushing your mains on this one. Another movie you should definitely have on hand is Signs. This movie is one of my favorite examples of how low frequency energy can be used to create tension and excitement. Maybe a bit scarry for the younger crowd, but it should really make you jump!

And yes, my name is Mark, and I'm a bass fanatic. 8-)

Regards,

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post #22 of 127 Old 06-25-2003, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey, Mark...

I was thinking (uh oh)............ how's about re-naming the sub as you are introducing it into the home theater market.

I think Leviathan is a pretty awesome word.

Here is the dictionary definitions:

Something unusually large of its kind, especially a ship.
A very large animal, especially a whale.
A monstrous sea creature mentioned in the Bible.

I like, monstrous, whale, large like a ship...

A very sexy, powerful name that certainly implies what this baby can do. (easier to market, too)

...........Just a thought.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #23 of 127 Old 06-25-2003, 09:08 AM
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Great name Jeff.

To me, the Leviathan name will always be associated with the largest float of the Krewe of Orpheus used during Mardi Gras down in New Orleans.

It is a HUGE sea serpent shaped, fiber optic laden float that is one of the highlights of the parade season. (they live to parade down here)

It would appear to be a very applicable name for the sub.

I am green with envy.

-jim
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post #24 of 127 Old 06-27-2003, 07:32 AM
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Hi guys,

Indeed, we have been scratching our heads on a appropriate name for the home theater market. Your own suggestion is a good example of why we haven't come up with something fitting as of yet. An online company, North Creek Music, already sells their variant of an Aurasound 1808 woofer under the name Leviathon. This is one of those rare, yet fairly common for us, occurences where the design and product leap way beyond the application and marketing expectations. I am certainly all ears for suggestions, as the perception of such a product in the home theater market is quite different than in the prosound market where this is seen as a rather compact box given what it does.

Tomorrow should be quite a bit of fun at Jeff's home! It is a shame that family obligations around this time of year prevent me from attending. Maybe another time...

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 #25 of 127 Old 06-27-2003, 12:24 PM
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I'd buy a "juggernaut"

("a massive inexorable force or object that crushes whatever is in its path")
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post #26 of 127 Old 06-27-2003, 01:25 PM
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And in this corner :-), Basso Profundo!

http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdiction...oprofundo.html

Richard Kaufmann
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post #27 of 127 Old 06-27-2003, 02:06 PM
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post #28 of 127 Old 06-27-2003, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Tsunami....I am into the powerful storm descriptors.

Very apt.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #29 of 127 Old 06-27-2003, 05:10 PM
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I second Tsunami. A powerful wave of sound engulfing everything and anyone in it's path.
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post #30 of 127 Old 06-27-2003, 07:49 PM
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That's a good one Jeff.

You'll have to play The Perfect Storm on Saturday. :cool:

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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