in-ceiling and center speaker placement and suggestions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-02-2012, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I just purchased a new house with a bit of an awkward room that I would like to setup a home theater system in.

Unfortunantely with the way the room is designed I think I am limited to putting my speakers in the ceiling. The only speaker I can have out of the ceiling is the front speaker, I'm not quite sure if this is a good Idea though, or I should have all of them in ceiling?

the TV is mounted on the only available wall and only has 18" on each side of it and I think it is way too close to put the left and right speakers.

I also was curious on what speakers I should go with. I have looked online and the Polk RC80i's seem to have good reviews. they are only available in pairs it seems, which wouldn't be a problem if I went with a stand alone center speaker, but would be if I wanted to use one for the center speaker.

I also have a friend who recommended some stuff from proficient audio. I am a little learly though as the price is a bit more and they don't seem to have any reviews on them online. looks like they are only available to installers which sounds a bit sketchy to me, seems to be a good way for them to make some serious markup? Maybe I'm wrong though?

attached is an image of the room without speakers, and a image for where I think I should place them. any comments/suggestions are appreciated.

thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-02-2012, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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sorry, here are the attachments.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-02-2012, 07:52 PM
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What is your budget?
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-02-2012, 08:01 PM
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Ceiling speakers are the absolute worst choice for sound quality. The surround speakers in ceiling would be OK, but would still be my last choice.

What's the distance from TV to couch? The couch is right against the rear wall?

What size is that TV?
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-02-2012, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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@ ack_bk

My budget is around 700-1000 for either a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system. I already have the TV (42" vizio) and reciever (denon 2112ci)

@ Jim McC

Definitely aware that ceiling speakers are in no way optimal. I'm okay with that, I know this won't be a stellar system, but I'm hoping to get something that is satisfactory. I just want to know what the best way to go about this with my current situation is, which will have to incorporate in-ceilings.

The couch is right up against the wall. Its almost exactly 10' from the TV (front of tv to front of couch).

42" LCD

Thanks for the response so far! added some actual pics of the senario...
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-03-2012, 01:12 AM
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Is that a thermostat on the wall behind TV? I would wall mount the front speakers(2 bookshelf speakers) and use 2 ceiling speakers for the surrounds. With the couch up against the rear wall, you can't use a 7.1 system anyway. A nice budget sub is the BIC F-12, normally about $190.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-03-2012, 08:29 AM
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I tend to agree with Jim. Some bookshelf speakers might be the best course of action. Still not ideal for placement (narrow soundstage), but as long as you sit towards the middle of the couch you should get good imaging. Also agree with Jim on 5.1 vs 7.1.

What is above the area where the couch is? Bedroom? Neighbor? One thing to consider when buying an in-ceiling speaker is to buy one that has an enclosed backer box and also stuff some insulation up there if there is none to try and deaden the sound.

I would look into offerings from Hsu. They make some good subwoofers and bookshelf speakers for your situation. With bookshelf speakers, you will want a decent sub that you can crossover in the 80-100 hz range to handle bass that you just can't get from a smaller bookshelf.

Some ideas for speakers:
HSU (although this may be too big) http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html
KEF (these are open box, and the Q series are great speakes IMHO):
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...r/1.html#!more
Energy: http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...05/energy-rc10
PSB Image 5: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PBIMB5

For the money, I like the KEF or the Hsu. I would concerntrate on your front three speakers and the sub first and then the surrounds later on your budget.

For a sub for a condo I like something like this:
http://www.svsound.com/outlet-specia...&category_id=5

Or this:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-1mk2.html
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-03-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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@Jim McC

Yes thats the thermostat.... lovely place for it isnt it?

okay, so 7.1 won't work without room behind the couch. Good to know.

wasn't too clear on your recommendation, but were you saying I should have the bookshelfs, rears, and a center channel speaker... or no center channel?

I'll go check out that sub. I was looking at polk audio's psw505($250), and proficient audio's PS10($290). curious on how they might compare to the BIC F-12

@ack_bk

The sound field was my concern, this is why I was thinking in ceiling's would be best. If someone is sitting on the far left of the couch they will have the left speaker to the right of them with bookshelfs.

Above the couch is the attic, there are no attached neighbors on my house.

I attached a few photo's of the couch area so you can see what I mean.

I'll definitely check out the speakers you recommended.




One more concern on the bookshelfs, is if I ever upgrade my TV to something bigger (and that supports 3D), I'm not sure I will be able to fit them. Which again makes me lean toward in-ceiling.

Is it advantageous to use bookshelf speakers on brackets mounted to the ceiling instead of in-ceiling speakers if I had to? or am I basically in the same position I was with in-ceilings.

Which brings me back to one of my original questions, can I use in-ceiling (or mounted on ceiling) speakers with a center channel speaker directly in front of me? or would the all have to be located above me to sound correct/better.

thanks again for all of your help!
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-03-2012, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boozemaker View Post

@Jim McC

Yes thats the thermostat.... lovely place for it isnt it?

okay, so 7.1 won't work without room behind the couch. Good to know.

wasn't too clear on your recommendation, but were you saying I should have the bookshelfs, rears, and a center channel speaker... or no center channel?

I'll go check out that sub. I was looking at polk audio's psw505($250), and proficient audio's PS10($290). curious on how they might compare to the BIC F-12

@ack_bk

The sound field was my concern, this is why I was thinking in ceiling's would be best. If someone is sitting on the far left of the couch they will have the left speaker to the right of them with bookshelfs.

Above the couch is the attic, there are no attached neighbors on my house.

I attached a few photo's of the couch area so you can see what I mean.

I'll definitely check out the speakers you recommended.




One more concern on the bookshelfs, is if I ever upgrade my TV to something bigger (and that supports 3D), I'm not sure I will be able to fit them. Which again makes me lean toward in-ceiling.

Is it advantageous to use bookshelf speakers on brackets mounted to the ceiling instead of in-ceiling speakers if I had to? or am I basically in the same position I was with in-ceilings.

Which brings me back to one of my original questions, can I use in-ceiling (or mounted on ceiling) speakers with a center channel speaker directly in front of me? or would the all have to be located above me to sound correct/better.

thanks again for all of your help!

Yes, if your concern is a wide soundstage then the bookshelf speakers or onwall speakers are not going to cut it. Nor will onwall speakers, and you are correct there will be no option to upgrade to a larger TV in the future.

So.. This leaves you with two options I see. A good soundbar. Or the in-ceiling speakers you reference.

In-ceiling is not preferred as you end up with a good portion of your sound being lost either in front of you, or you may feel that the sound is coming from above you vs in front of you. I am speaking on this with some authority as my main family room was wired with 6 in-ceiling speakers, and even with a pivoting tweeter, they really don't sound that good to me. If you stand under the speakers they actually sound pretty good, but I don't see too many people wanting to watch TV 3 ft away from the TV on the floor But now that I have a dedicated media room it does not bother me nearly as much as these speakers are just used for causal TV watching or by the kids.

That said, there are some speakers out there that will definitely address some of these issues. It really depends on how important audio is to you in this setup.

I know this is above your budget, but if this is your primary listening area and you want good audio, I would consider three of these:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Definitive-T...item1e6b8ef85e

Now the seller bajawaverunner on Ebay is the parent company for Deftech and I have seen him sell these very same speaekrs refurbished on Ebay for $260 apiece. I have ordered several speakers from the seller and they were in brand new condition and worked flawlessly. He has a good return policy (no charge to you) if they are defective. So that is one option.

If that is just too much for your blood, I would go for the Speakercraft AIM series which allows you to aim the woofer and tweeter:
I would get three of these for the mains:
http://www.amazon.com/Speakercraft-P...3478151&sr=8-1

You could either go cheaper with your inceiling surrounds as they are not nearly as important.

Or the third option. These:
http://www.htd.com/Products/high-def...iling-speakers

These would be the cheapest. And I suspect the worst sounding of the three, but at a minimum you have the angled woofer and adjustable tweeter, but they would not be as flexible as the Speakercraft or sound as good.

The Deftech speakers would by my recommendation if you can up the budget but longterm, it would offer the best sound for the money.

The Polk sub, on a budget is not a bad option. There is a good thread here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1364182

Personally, I am a big fan of spending a few hundred more and getting something from Epik (Legend), Hsu, Outlaw (watch for sales and B stock specials), SVS, or Rythmik. I know, easy to spend other peoples money

But from my perspective, waiting a little longer and buying better components for a few hundred more across years or usage is worth it. You can buy and build your system in stages and end up with a very nice sounding system and not wondering "what if" or having or doubts.

I wish I would have spend more on my living room speakers and bought the Speakercraft. I actually have plans to upgrade to them down the road as it still bothers me enough when I watch TV in the room.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-03-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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@ack_bk

Yeah, my friend who does installs recommended the proficient audio in-ceiling. I might have to ask him if he can get me some of the speakercraft ones (from what I understand they are the same company)....

my idea of going with polk was because I could get a 8" speaker with a bit better specs for about 140 a pair, instead of 180 a pair for the 6" proficient audio speakers. Of course, that doesnt exactly mean they sound better, but with the hundreds of possitive reviews on amazon for the in-ceiling polk vs. absolutely nothing for proficient makes it hard to take the chance.


If i did go with speakercraft (which i have heard good things about on forums and reviews) I could afford the 3 mains and a decent sub for about a grand and install the rears later...

would you still recommend the hsu vtf-1 mk2, now knowing that im not in a condo with neighbors attached?

never really considered a sound bar, as I have percieved them as budget solutions only and not real quality items... is there a sound bar setup that might work/sound better then having the 3 in ceiling speakers....? I mean, if i can budget 500 for the front 3 speakers, I'm curious if there is a 500 dollar range soundbar that might perform better?

thanks
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-03-2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boozemaker View Post

@ack_bk

Yeah, my friend who does installs recommended the proficient audio in-ceiling. I might have to ask him if he can get me some of the speakercraft ones (from what I understand they are the same company)....

my idea of going with polk was because I could get a 8" speaker with a bit better specs for about 140 a pair, instead of 180 a pair for the 6" proficient audio speakers. Of course, that doesnt exactly mean they sound better, but with the hundreds of possitive reviews on amazon for the in-ceiling polk vs. absolutely nothing for proficient makes it hard to take the chance.


If i did go with speakercraft (which i have heard good things about on forums and reviews) I could afford the 3 mains and a decent sub for about a grand and install the rears later...

would you still recommend the hsu vtf-1 mk2, now knowing that im not in a condo with neighbors attached?

never really considered a sound bar, as I have percieved them as budget solutions only and not real quality items... is there a sound bar setup that might work/sound better then having the 3 in ceiling speakers....? I mean, if i can budget 500 for the front 3 speakers, I'm curious if there is a 500 dollar range soundbar that might perform better?

thanks

I would steer away from the Polk in-ceiling speakers. I have owned a set of the RC60's, and while you can pivot the tweeter, you cannot angle the woofer and you really lose the depth of sound with the woofer essentially pointed to the floor. The nice thing about the Speakercraft AIM series of speakers is the pivoting woofer and tweeter. It offers you more flexibility to aim the woofer and tweeter to the desired sitting position vs the Proficient speakers which are fixed at a 15 or 20 degree angle. Certainly talk to your friend about the Proficient vs the Speakercraft AIM series for his opinion.

There are a couple of good soundbar solutions out there, but they will most likely push your budget too far. I would look into the Triad Mini LCR 3.0:
http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/owmlcr3.html

I suspect that will be over budget. The Triad Mico line is smaller and MSRP's for $600.

Atlantic Technology also makes some nice soundbars, but again, will be well over $500 and closer to $1000-1200.

The soundbars have the pros and cons. For that price, I would most likely prefer those Deftech in-ceiling UIW RCS speakers.

As for a subwoofer, you have to keep a few things in mind. The cheaper subwoofers tend to have more distortion and more boomy or muddy sounding bass vs a more expensive subwoofer that tends to be tighter or more accurate. I would not hesitate to give Hsu a call and describe your situation. They may recommend the cheaper STF-2 which is a nice little subwoofer. The sealed SVS subwoofers are very nice as well.

No matter what, you are going to want a good subwoofer you can croosover fairly high since you won't have larger woofers closer to your seating position to handle the lower or midbass LFE.
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post #12 of 13 Old 12-28-2013, 02:36 PM
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I have used proficient audio speakers in my home for the past 6 years and love them. You guys may be interested in the attached article, they are exactly the same as speakercraft.
http://www.cepro.com/article/new_emphasys_speaker_brand_supplements_speakercraft_and_proficient/
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post #13 of 13 Old 12-29-2013, 02:02 PM
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I have used proficient audio in my house for 6 years now and I am very happy with the quality and performance, they are basically the same speakers as speakercraft. The article below will give you some insight in to how the company distributes their product.
http://www.cepro.com/article/new_emphasys_speaker_brand_supplements_speakercraft_and_proficient/
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