PeterM Show full post »
BRAC
"I'm assuming the flop was gear-related here. Dennis/Epic is a highly sought-after and well-thought of operation."


That would be my guess too. I was initially very impressed with the room. It seemed to be very well put together and was dead silent.
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PeterM
Hi Guys,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to the thread ... 24+ hour trip home, work, son's birthday etc has kept me pretty busy !!

Firstly a HUGE thank you to audioguy for opening his house to a strange bunch like us.  Mark and audioguy apparently worked on the room setup into the early hours to make sure it was as good as it can be.  Even though both Mark and audioguy said the room needed some work, it was still very nice ... maybe just not good enough for those two perfectionists.  BTW what do you call a bloke with 6' tall Dunlavy's sitting unused in the entrance hall to his theatre !!

The only time I really noticed any adverse effect from the room was sitting in the money seat and moving my head front to back a couple of feet, which had a surprising effect on the top end image.  Apart from this the room sounded fine from all the seats I tried.

We started the session with me basically taking over and running through 3 CDs of 2 channel demo material I'd brought with me.  These same CDs have been used for all the demos I've done over the last 6 months covering at least 50 different brands and models of speakers.  I think I know them pretty well.

BTW audioguy I haven't forgotten my promise to send you the track listings for the CDs ... I'll get it to you over the weekend.

Thankfully my music selection didn't send everyone running screaming from the room, so thanks guys for being so patient with me !

OK ... listening impressions ... would it be sufficient if I just said that my room is now being designed around an all Seaton setup, including Cat12s for LCR, six surrounds model yet to be decided, four Submersive HPs and probably an additional pair of smaller side balancing subs.  No ??? didn't think so.

Of course I'm not a pro reviewer nor do I possess any talent whatsoever for describing what I hear ... but I'll have a go anyway.

The Cat12s don't sound like any "Hi-Fi" speaker I'm aware of.  They are more neutral, more dynamic and less fatiguing than just about anything else I've ever heard.  I agree with the comments from the other thread regarding comparison to Genelec (I listened at length to the 8260a).  For my taste the Genelecs are a tad too clinical and almost hyper revealing. 

I could have sat and listened to the Cat12s all day and beyond, but I don't think audioguy wanted to adopt a middle aged son !!! 

I know there's been a lot of criticism of the Procella room from CEDIA, but trust me it wasn't the speakers, as my previous demos of them have been hugely impressive and they are actually very close to the Cat12s in sound, sharing all the same strengths.  I think Mark and Anders from Procella tackle speaker design with very similar goals.  I would have to hear them together in the same room to be able to pass judgement as to which I ultimately prefer, and I'm sure it would be a very close race.  My final decision came down to value for money between these two.

There's also been a lot of discussion about the overall balance of a speaker and its effect on perceived top end detail.  I definitely noticed this whilst listening to the Cat12s.  At first I thought they were lacking some detail, but then when I focused my listening on certain instruments it was all there, it just doesn't jump out at you as with some other speakers with different balance.  I think this is partly what helps them to be non-fatiguing, as does the low distortion.

My decision was made easier knowing that with the Cat12s huge output capability across the entire spectrum, I'll be able to achieve whatever final balance I choose.

Thanks for reading this far ... hopefully some found it of interest.

Cheers,
Peter M

BTW ... the intro to Toy Story 2 rocks on Cat12s.  I haven't watched it in years ... what a blast !!!
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audioguy
Glad you enjoyed your visit and I certainly enjoyed the vast majority of the music you brought -- but I can't find the last two CD's that someone else loaded onto my server. Whatever name they used to load them is unknowns nor, when searched by date, was there any oCD's other than the one I loaded.

Keep us posted on your theater build.  SIX surrounds?  4 SubMersive HP's PLUS another sub?  How big is your room going to be ???



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PeterM
No worries audioguy ... another set of CDs will be on their way to you early next week ... it's the least I can do after your kind hospitality.

The overall dimensions of my room will be 9.5m x 6.4m x 3.6m which translates to about 31' x 21' x 12'.

Six surrounds is due to two rows of seating so each row gets its own sides + two rears.

The extra two side subs are for balancing purposes and to even out the response over the whole seating area.
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MikeDuke
Thanks for that very nice write up Peter.  I am sure it was all that AND a bag of chips. I was also very impressed when I heard them.  But that system you say you are building should be way over the top.  I hope you have a build thread for it. And like you indicated, I could have listened longer.  I listened for 6 hours straight at what I think are high levels with no fatigue or pain whatsoever.  When compared to the Cinepro setup I heard a long time ago, no contest.  The Cats win hands down.  After a ten min demo of the Cinepro system my ears were ringing for a while.  And it was quite loud and dynamic.  But the Cats did not give me that feeling at all.  Glad it was a good GTG.
I simply love this stuff.
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KenWu

PeterM wrote:

The Cat12s don't sound like any "Hi-Fi" speaker I'm aware of.  They are more neutral, more dynamic and less fatiguing than just about anything else I've ever heard. 


Thanks for your sharing!

Neutral, dynamic and less fatiguing at the same setup? I find that hard to beat.
The submersive I have now gives that impression when it's properly adjusted to fit into
my humble setup. 
No doubt all these active seaton speakers pose similar sound quality.
One question from a curious hobbyist: are there any other speakers in the general market that resemble
the SQ from these seaton speakers? 


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PeterM
Mike,

I'll have a build thread over at AVS once the house construction gets underway.  Currently with local Council for approval.

Ken,

My long search for speakers has led me to conclude that in medium to large rooms with acoustic treatments, normal dome tweeters just can't do it.  This leads to compression drivers / horns / waveguides etc.  Some examples are Seaton, Procella, JBL, Klipsch, Geddes, Triad plus more that I can't think of right now.  These solutions are frowned upon in "audiophile" circles but properly designed and executed I now believe they are superior in many ways.

By way of background ... I've been a happy Thiel owner for 15 years.

Cheers,
Peter M
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MikeDuke

Got you Peter.  Just give a heads up when and where to look for it.  Can't wait to see this one.

I simply love this stuff.
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audioguy
PeterM wrote:
Mike, I'll have a build thread over at AVS once the house construction gets underway.  Currently with local Council for approval. Ken, My long search for speakers has led me to conclude that in medium to large rooms with acoustic treatments, normal dome tweeters just can't do it.  This leads to compression drivers / horns / waveguides etc.  Some examples are Seaton, Procella, JBL, Klipsch, Geddes, Triad plus more that I can't think of right now.  These solutions are frowned upon in "audiophile" circles but properly designed and executed I now believe they are superior in many ways. By way of background ... I've been a happy Thiel owner for 15 years. Cheers, Peter M


Interesting, I would thought that large well treated rooms would have had less need for directivity control
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KenWu

PeterM wrote:
Mike,
Ken,

My long search for speakers has led me to conclude that in medium to large rooms with acoustic treatments, normal dome tweeters just can't do it.  This leads to compression drivers / horns / waveguides etc.  Some examples are Seaton, Procella, JBL, Klipsch, Geddes, Triad plus more that I can't think of right now.  These solutions are frowned upon in "audiophile" circles but properly designed and executed I now believe they are superior in many ways.

By way of background ... I've been a happy Thiel owner for 15 years.

Cheers,
Peter M

Thanks Peter.

In a large room one needs capable speakers with enough dynamic range especially when it comes to movie soundtracks.
Not to say that SQ isn't the priority, but to achieve the high standards on SQ and dynamics 
in somewhat limited budget can be hard. 
I'm in no way implying those speakers you mentioned are lacking in SQ and I think
these speakers are more than capable of producing sufficient dynamics for ordinary HT.
What I tried to ask was an attempt to guess what brands of speakers in the market
can have the better chance to blend-in with the seaton active speakers
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PeterM
audioguy,

I was really referring to high output / low distortion more than directivity control, however that is another feature of these designs.  I understand that even and uniform off axis frequency response change is more important than the actual width of dispersion.  In other words, its easier to design a room for speakers with well behaved off axis response.

Ken,

I think the higher end speakers from all the manufacturers I mentioned would compare quite well to the Seatons.  I try not to come across as a "fan boy" !!  The Seatons are excellent speakers for the money and in the end my decision to buy from Mark was quite easy, but it would be a bit naive to claim that there's nothing else similar.

Cheers,
Peter M
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audioguy
PeterM wrote:
No worries audioguy ... another set of CDs will be on their way to you early next week ...


They arrived today and the wrapping job is as great as the music. Thanks a bunch!


That is quite a theater you have designed. I would love to hear It when complete?d (but that may be a tad far to travel)
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Auditor
KenWu wrote:

PeterM wrote:

The Cat12s don't sound like any "Hi-Fi" speaker I'm aware of.  They are more neutral, more dynamic and less fatiguing than just about anything else I've ever heard. 


Thanks for your sharing!

Neutral, dynamic and less fatiguing at the same setup? I find that hard to beat.
The submersive I have now gives that impression when it's properly adjusted to fit into
my humble setup. 
No doubt all these active seaton speakers pose similar sound quality.
One question from a curious hobbyist: are there any other speakers in the general market that resemble
the SQ from these seaton speakers? 




Careful there Ken....if one even hints of another similar sounding speaker.....prepare for flame on.  I believe that certain people here see their manhood in a precarious position, requiring continuous social proof that they made the right choice, the right investment.   This certainly explains why so many here feel an urgent need to protect their place in the proverbial pecking order.  Understandable I suppose, one invests a lot in something and darn if it don't sound the best out there, none better.
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audioguy
I own Catalysts and there are other speakers that do some things better. My previous speaker (Dunlavy) had flatter frequency response, had a more "refined" sound and had better front to back imaging. They were not as dynamic, were not as articulate in exposing inner detail. The Catalysts are better at home theater while the Dunlavys were better for two channel.

There is no perfect speaker.  We all make selections based on price (well, most of us) use, cosmetics, sonic preferences, size, fit and finish, etc.  If spare parts were still available for the Dunlays, I would still own them.

That said, for my use and budget, the Catalyst/SubMersive combination is the best choice by far and I have no regrets about my decision to purchase them.  They are easily the most fun speakers I have either heard or owned!

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Stereodude
Auditor wrote:
Careful there Ken....if one even hints of another similar sounding speaker.....prepare for flame on.  I believe that certain people here see their manhood in a precarious position, requiring continuous social proof that they made the right choice, the right investment.   This certainly explains why so many here feel an urgent need to protect their place in the proverbial pecking order.  Understandable I suppose, one invests a lot in something and darn if it don't sound the best out there, none better.

I guess we should just be more like you and claim to have heard speakers that we really haven't in an effort to mislead people who are looking for honest feedback.
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PeterM
Hi audioguy,

I'm very glad they arrived OK ... the postal service out of here can be unreliable.  As for the packing ... I think we talked about our OCD tendencies ... a bit like having four submersives just so they can be "symmetric" !!

I think I've pretty much invited the whole of AVS to visit my theatre once it's finished ... so we'll see who turns up !!  Maybe Mark and Dennis can fight it out over who comes downunder to do the calibration.

Cheers,
Peter M
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bclare
Audioguy,

have you thought about trying to convert your Dunlavys to a fully active system? One can use the DEQX gear or a PC with a Pro sound card.

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audioguy
My Dunlavys are now in Arizona. John Dunlavy had demonstrated an active version of his speakers at CES quite some time ago and had he had the financial resources and lived longer,he would surely have had an active speaker in the market.

But as noted earlier, spare parts (drivers) were getting more difficult to get (some were already no longer available) and I did not want to end up with an unmaintainable speaker so.would not have invested any time or money to turn my Dunlavys into active speakers.

All speakers at every price point have tradeoffs. My Seaton speaker system, in my opinion, is the steal of high end audio --- sound quality received form dollar spent is as good as it gets (for the attributes of a speaker system that are important to me).

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