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Discussion Starter #1
It's high time we at AVS had a dedicated Seaton Sound non-subwoofer thread and here it is!


The focus of this thread is discussion of Mark Seaton's current loudspeaker offerings, specifically the CATALYST and the SPARK. It can certainly be used as a repository of information and discussion area for any new speakers Mark designs.


First things first: Here is the link to Mark Seaton's forum: www.seatonsound.net . A great deal of information regarding technical specifications, sizes, prices, etc. can be found here in addition to a series of lively discussions.


Second: Here is the AVS link to Peter's (fugueness) excellent Catalyst thread. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1094517 Peter, who just this past weekend opened up his home once again for a large enthusiast GTG, is a great photographer and it is he who provided the "money shots" of the Catalyst in addition to insightful commentary. His observations of the Catalysts carry particular weight given he is "in the business."


As for me, I was fortunate enough to find out about Mark Seaton's other loudspeaker designs after investigating and finally purchasing a SubMersive subwoofer. Like many others I was so pleased with the performance of the SubMersive I couldn't get my wallet out fast enough to order up a set of 3 Catalysts for LCR and 2 Sparks for surround duty. I will admit some trepidation in placing an order for loudspeakers I had not auditioned (usually a big no-no) but decided after much research that I would place my trust in Seaton. While I am still waiting patiently
for my Catalysts to arrive, I did receive my 2 Sparks early and am for now using them as a 2.1 system. Pictures below...









Well, I needn't have worried even a little. To MY EARS these are the best possible choice I could have made. They are EXACTLY what I was looking for in a loudspeaker! The dynamics are impossible to imagine for such a compact speaker. I'm sure this has much to do with the DSP controlled ICEpowered design (160W/140W). What is really striking is the unbelievable clarity of the Spark. A good quality female vocal leaves me slack-jawed.
I have never experienced such perfect crystal clarity in all my years with audio.


Unlike most AVS'rs, my emphasis will be on music first, HT second. While I look forward to the arrival of the Catalysts, for now I am a very happy camper with the Sparks.


Let the discussions begin!



Chris
 

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Great stuff.... would love to hear more of your thoughts on the sparks....


I just got sparks setup in my theater monday with the help of mr. seaton himself. I would love to have a set of catalysts but my room and my budget don't currently allow for it.


I will be doing some eval against some AV123 Rocker 450's, X-SLS's, and my old reference Mirage M3si's over the weekend and will post more pics and details at that time....


I will say that I am quite impressed early on... They clearly have a lot of dynamics and can easily overpower my underdampened room....


more later....


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith /forum/post/16829751


Great stuff.... would love to hear more of your thoughts on the sparks....


I just got sparks setup in my theater monday with the help of mr. seaton himself. I would love to have a set of catalysts but my room and my budget don't currently allow for it.


I will be doing some eval against some AV123 Rocker 450's, X-SLS's, and my old reference Mirage M3si's over the weekend and will post more pics and details at that time....


I will say that I am quite impressed early on... They clearly have a lot of dynamics and can easily overpower my underdampened room....


more later....


Sean


Yes, and I'll be interested to get your take on the Sparks compared to your other speakers. I don't doubt at all the Sparks can be used as mains. There is plenty of effortless drive. Actually, IIRC Mark has made this very point numerous times.


How big is your new room Sean? I ask because mine is only ~1600 cf. Of course I have lots of room treatments in the works and it is a sealed room so I expect to have lots of slam and an abundance of headroom!
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIkeDuke /forum/post/16829867


The Sparks look great. Small, but they seem to pack a pretty good punch with very good SQ. Hopefully someday I will get a chance to check them out.


You know it's only a matter of time.
 

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I guess this is a good thread to ask...


Who is Mark Seaton? Where are the speakers produced? Is there a trial period (like SVS)? What is the warranty? ...etc., etc.


What I've read so far has been very positive, but it would be nice to know a bit more about the man and his company for the "casual" AVS'er.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Originally Posted by Nuance /forum/post/16832539


Great thread - thanks Hudda! It's about time Seaton gets his own speaker thread.


Agreed. I was surprised there was not an "Official" umbrella thread yet either. The timing is probably good as I suspect more and more people are discovering the Spark in particular.



Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by bambam /forum/post/16832766


I guess this is a good thread to ask...


Who is Mark Seaton? Where are the speakers produced? Is there a trial period (like SVS)? What is the warranty? ...etc., etc.


What I've read so far has been very positive, but it would be nice to know a bit more about the man and his company for the "casual" AVS'er.


Mark Seaton is one of a handful (the youngest I think) of Midwestern speaker designers coming out of the pro/live audio world who have started their own companies in the last 5 or so years. He and Jeff Permanian (JTR Speakers) had worked with Tom Danley at Servodrive until they all left to forge out on their own. Danley has his own company (and patents) which seems to specialize in very high-end large-scale projects. Jeff's products focus on very efficient passive designs while Mark's are amplified/DSP controlled. They each do great things for different segments of the market. Mark is probably best known as of now for his SubMersive subwoofer but he has other subwoofer options in addition to loudspeakers which are the focus of this thread, namely the Catalyst and Spark. Both of these speakers have been very well received.


Mark is based in the Chicago area. I do not think he offers a trial period as his company is still relatively small compared to the big manufacturers. He could answer that better than I. On the other hand, I have yet to hear of anyone who wanted to return any of his products. His warranty on the SubMersive is 3 years materials and workmanship except in cases of obvious abuse.


FWIW, Seaton has an impeccable reputation for his designs, quality or work, and general business dealings. Check out his site for lots more info. Link is in the first post.


Chris
 

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I'm glad that someone finally started this thread.


Mark is cursed with the drive to create amazing products and continually tweak/fine tune them.


I'm proud to have joined the Seaton Sound family -- Catalysts x 3 as LCR and Sparks x 4 as my left and right side/rear surrounds. I'm just waiting on my subs!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudda /forum/post/16833326


Mark Seaton is one of a handful (the youngest I think) of Midwestern speaker designers coming out of the pro/live audio world who have started their own companies in the last 5 or so years. He and Jeff Permanian (JTR Speakers) had worked with Tom Danley at Servodrive until they all left to forge out on their own. Danley has his own company (and patents) which seems to specialize in very high-end large-scale projects. Jeff's products focus on very efficient passive designs while Mark's are amplified/DSP controlled. They each do great things for different segments of the market. Mark is probably best known as of now for his SubMersive subwoofer but he has other subwoofer options in addition to loudspeakers which are the focus of this thread, namely the Catalyst and Spark. Both of these speakers have been very well received.


Mark is based in the Chicago area. I do not think he offers a trial period as his company is still relatively small compared to the big manufacturers. He could answer that better than I. On the other hand, I have yet to hear of anyone who wanted to return any of his products. His warranty on the SubMersive is 3 years materials and workmanship except in cases of obvious abuse.


FWIW, Seaton has an impeccable reputation for his designs, quality or work, and general business dealings. Check out his site for lots more info. Link is in the first post.


Chris

Nice little write up.


I have read that Mark has also been involved with AV123 subwoofer designs and Tweak City audio. Im sure his hand has been other great projects too.....
 

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What is the MSRP on the Sparks?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudda /forum/post/16831574


Yes, and I'll be interested to get your take on the Sparks compared to your other speakers. I don't doubt at all the Sparks can be used as mains. There is plenty of effortless drive. Actually, IIRC Mark has made this very point numerous times.


How big is your new room Sean? I ask because mine is only ~1600 cf. Of course I have lots of room treatments in the works and it is a sealed room so I expect to have lots of slam and an abundance of headroom!

I will have to measure but I beleive around 3,200 ft^3 but its open to the rest of the house....


This house I am living in was build in 53 and had many additions between now and then. There are sliding closet doors, regular doors and pocket doors everywhere... I have already removed 10 doors from the interior of the house and have some more to go..... I'll get some stuff posted this weekend....


Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/16836494


What is the MSRP on the Sparks?

Pricing info is here on Marks Site....

http://seatonsound.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3364736


# Spark Powered Loudspeaker (First units back ordered, lead time 4 weeks)


* Internally Bi-amplified (160W-140W) loudspeaker

* 8" coaxial midrange w/Neodymium magnet 1" HF driver

* Compact vented 2 way design

* 17" H x 11" W x 11" D

* 36 lbs.

* Introductory Price: $1,395 each + shipping, pricing available through Friday, July 31st.

* Normal price after August 1st: $1,495 each + shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith /forum/post/16837102


I will have to measure but I beleive around 3,200 ft^3 but its open to the rest of the house....


This house I am living in was build in 53 and had many additions between now and then. There are sliding closet doors, regular doors and pocket doors everywhere... I have already removed 10 doors from the interior of the house and have some more to go..... I'll get some stuff posted this weekend....


Sean


Oh, you have MORE than enough room for a set of Catalysts.
j/k. The Sparks should do just fine. I've been cranking some tunes with just my 2 and man, do they get LOUD! Still no distortion.


Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/16836463


Nice little write up.


I have read that Mark has also been involved with AV123 subwoofer designs and Tweak City audio. Im sure his hand has been other great projects too.....


Thanks Penngray. Yeah, like Sean said the Sparks are on sale right now. When you look closely at what you are getting I think it's a bargain. There is a lot of value built into one of these.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/16836362


I'm glad that someone finally started this thread.


Mark is cursed with the drive to create amazing products and continually tweak/fine tune them.


I'm proud to have joined the Seaton Sound family -- Catalysts x 3 as LCR and Sparks x 4 as my left and right side/rear surrounds. I'm just waiting on my subs!


Boy, you said a mouthful John. Mark is a very busy guy.


I'd love to hear more about your impressions of the Catalysts. I cannot freaking wait until mine arrive! The neighbors are going to just LOVE me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/16836463


Nice little write up.


I have read that Mark has also been involved with AV123 subwoofer designs and Tweak City audio. Im sure his hand has been other great projects too.....

Mark is no longer involved with Tweak City Audio, for the record.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just as an update, I've been listening to a variety of music over the weekend and continue to be very impressed by the Sparks. Most listening has been in 2.1 mode with the SubMersive but even just by themselves, these little guys put out a BIG sound!


One thing I am curious about which I hope Mark can answer is what does he think about the new Trinnov optimizer? I know his speakers already have DSP but would they benefit from this new tech more from say, MCACC or Audyssey? I'm keeping an eye open for when Outlaw comes out with their Trinnov-based pre/pro and my curiosity is piqued with what seems like a breakthrough.


Chris
 
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