Entertainment Unit with Fireplace - Help??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-20-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a 15x18 room. Ceilings are 8ft high. On one of the walls I want to build a wall unit. The center of the unit will be a raised fireplace. TV will go on top of the fireplace.

I currently have 5.1 set up with B&W in-ceiling speakers. My wife is very pleased with the look, but the sound imaging of the speakers is very disappointing considering the price I paid for each B&W 818 (i.e. $800 per speaker).

I am considering buying B&W 805D for the front left and right and placing them on the bookshelves in the wall unit to the left and right of TV about 4 feet off the ground. Question: Will the 805Ds perform well on a book shelf?

Due to the relatively low ceiling height and the fireplace which will take up the first four feet from the ground, I will need to place the TV high off the ground. To improve the sound stage, I am considering buying the B&W HTM4 Diamond as the center. The center can be placed above or below the TV. My preference is to put the speaker above the TV (just below ceiling level). The alternative is to put the TV above the speaker, but this would put the TV at ceiling level. Question: Will placing the center at ceiling level significantly impact performance?

Thanks for your insight.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-20-2012, 12:46 PM
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You can place it above the TV, but I would find a way to secure it so that it is pointed down toward the listening position. You may get simialr imaging to what you are experiencing now with the in-ceiling. As an alternative, you could also employ two bookshelf speakers acting as your center on each side of the TV. Then place your L&R mains a few feet away from them on the shelves.

It may also be worth installing back-boxes on the front three 818s before investing in more speakers since they do not look like they are enclosed. Check out Dynabox as a decent retro fit option

Question - how is the room set-up for acoustics given that your speakers are pointing toward the ground? hardwood floor/rug?

Dan

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post #3 of 15 Old 04-20-2012, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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You have a terrific set-up yourself. I debated about in-wall, in-ceiling, bookshelf and floor standers. The wife pushed me to hide the goods. I see that you have in-wall. How do your in-wall speakers compare to bookshelf or floorstanders.

I am familiar with the B&W CM5, CM8, CM9 and 805D. B&W also has in-wall speakers CWM7.3 that I was also considering. Having recently listened to the 805D I had give up on the in-walls. However, if I am going to put the 805D on a bookshefl in a wall unit, I may be better off going with the in-wall. Any thoughts would be welcomed.

I plan to use the speakers 50/50 HT and music.
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-20-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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You noted the following in your set up: Two directional center speakers installed in ceiling. I used two to try and match the output of the two mains. I went with in-ceiling so that I could add Non-AT screen and PJ later on.

I am surprised you went in-ceiling, particularly as your ceiling is quite high relative to the TV screen. How did you hook up two in-ceilings. Did you split the center channel cables somehow? Your LR speakers look pretty beefy. Ceilings look kind of weak relatively speaking. Are they well matched? Can you explain what PJ means. Lastly, how does Altantic Technology compare with B&W?
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-20-2012, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Two more questions if you ever read them.

First, I see that you have some Arcam equipment. I read a review on the Arcam 600 that was incredible. I think it was overrated, but is still top quality. Key question I have is about reliability. Have you had any problems. For $5000 is a good value for a receiver or would you get separates. If separates, any recommendations.

Second, did you see definate improvement in speaker performance with the Dynabox product. Is this something an accountant who can barely operate a screwdriver can install?
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 08:50 AM
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PJ= Projector

You just put the two center speakers in parallel from your amp.

I dont think back boxes are going to help your sound stage. you need a speaker with positional tweeters. I have an older model b&w. CCM65 with a positional tweeter for my left right and center in the ceiling, Pointing the tweeter towards the listen position.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeda View Post

You have a terrific set-up yourself. I debated about in-wall, in-ceiling, bookshelf and floor standers. The wife pushed me to hide the goods. I see that you have in-wall. How do your in-wall speakers compare to bookshelf or floorstanders.

I am familiar with the B&W CM5, CM8, CM9 and 805D. B&W also has in-wall speakers CWM7.3 that I was also considering. Having recently listened to the 805D I had give up on the in-walls. However, if I am going to put the 805D on a bookshefl in a wall unit, I may be better off going with the in-wall. Any thoughts would be welcomed.

I plan to use the speakers 50/50 HT and music.

I am very happy with my in walls and in ceiling. I actually compared them to the b&w in walls and found the quality to be same as the atlantics for less money. I took the attitude that I was going to have to spend more (2x) what I would have spent on towers for good sound. I do not feel like I am missing anything - especially with 2 subwoofers. I primarily listen in surround vs 2 channel

Dan

My set up

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post #8 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeda View Post

You noted the following in your set up: Two directional center speakers installed in ceiling. I used two to try and match the output of the two mains. I went with in-ceiling so that I could add Non-AT screen and PJ later on.

I am surprised you went in-ceiling, particularly as your ceiling is quite high relative to the TV screen. How did you hook up two in-ceilings. Did you split the center channel cables somehow? Your LR speakers look pretty beefy. Ceilings look kind of weak relatively speaking. Are they well matched? Can you explain what PJ means. Lastly, how does Altantic Technology compare with B&W?

The two centers are wired in parallel vs serial to drive more power to each speaker. I find that the centers are well matched and sound great given that they are enclosed and I have them set a plus 2db compared to the mains.

PJ stand for projector. Because of ambient light in the room I can not get an acoustically transparent screen. Therefor I could not put a center behind the future screen

I found the atlantics a better value than the b&w in walls and sound great

Dan

My set up

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post #9 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeda View Post

Two more questions if you ever read them.

First, I see that you have some Arcam equipment. I read a review on the Arcam 600 that was incredible. I think it was overrated, but is still top quality. Key question I have is about reliability. Have you had any problems. For $5000 is a good value for a receiver or would you get separates. If separates, any recommendations.

Second, did you see definate improvement in speaker performance with the Dynabox product. Is this something an accountant who can barely operate a screwdriver can install?

Funny I'm an accountant/fp&a guy too but I tend to be handy. I am really glad that I added the Arcam amp, it really opened up my speakers mid and bass. I had an opportunity to check out the Arcam avr 600 and was really impressed. I think it is well worth it. It is also upgradable unlike my disposable Onkyo. I am seriously considering the avr600 and also possibly something from the NAD or Anthem lines.

Install is not too difficult, but running wires may be difficult.

I believe the dynaboxes added to the overall sound quality of the speakers

Separates are a good choice, but the Arcam avr600 has a really good built on amp if you are looking for a simple solution

Hope this helps

Dan

My set up

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 12:48 PM
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What are the acoustics in the room. Hardwood? Carpet?

Dan

My set up

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post #11 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 03:37 PM
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What are the acoustics in the room. Hardwood? Carpet?

Another thought on your current speakers. What are you powering them with now. I experienced a significant improvement moving from a semi weak Japanese power to a more powerful UK power

Dan

My set up

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post #12 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I have tile floor with a carpet covering most of the floor. In regards to the power I am using an Onkyo TX-SR805. I40 watts x 7, but liklely only at two channels. I paid about $650 so it was really a stop gap solution at the time. I read many a review on the Arcam 600 and it seemed to get very high marks except for reliability.
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-21-2012, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I would really like to get the 805D and put them on stands. This is not going to happen for two reasons. First, my kinds will likely damage the speakers by poking the diamond tweater or by knocking them over. Second, the wife does not like the clutter.

In the next year or so we are planning to put in a fireplace and bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. TV will go on top. I can use bookshelves with 805D, in-walls or I can use floorstanders that could be hidden in shelving and covered with fabric that will be built to house the fireplace and wall unit. To keep costs down I could use CM8 or CM.

The 805D sing and the sound stage at the stereo shop is magnificent. $5000 does not come easily. Also, to power them adequately, I will likely need to upgrade the amp. I could keep the Onkyo and get a two channel solution or I could replace the Onkyo with either the Arcam 600 or equivaltent or go the route of separates. To keep costs down something like Rotel. I like the Mcintosh sound, but the cost is up there.

Lots of decisions. No clear solution.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-22-2012, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeda View Post

I have tile floor with a carpet covering most of the floor. In regards to the power I am using an Onkyo TX-SR805. I40 watts x 7, but liklely only at two channels. I paid about $650 so it was really a stop gap solution at the time. I read many a review on the Arcam 600 and it seemed to get very high marks except for reliability.

I think that may be part of your problem - the TX-SR805 will only be drive 2 channel max at 140w. The other issue may be the speakers as well. The B&W in-ceiling are only two channel without enclosures. Looking at the 12 degree angle of the tweeter, if my estimated calc is correct based on an 8' ceiling, the sound would be directed to about 2 feet in front of the speaker on the floor. How close are the speakers to the TV wall vs th distance to your seating?

Another question, are you using a subwoofer in the room?

Dan

My set up

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post #15 of 15 Old 04-22-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeda View Post

I would really like to get the 805D and put them on stands. This is not going to happen for two reasons. First, my kinds will likely damage the speakers by poking the diamond tweater or by knocking them over. Second, the wife does not like the clutter.

In the next year or so we are planning to put in a fireplace and bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. TV will go on top. I can use bookshelves with 805D, in-walls or I can use floorstanders that could be hidden in shelving and covered with fabric that will be built to house the fireplace and wall unit. To keep costs down I could use CM8 or CM.

The 805D sing and the sound stage at the stereo shop is magnificent. $5000 does not come easily. Also, to power them adequately, I will likely need to upgrade the amp. I could keep the Onkyo and get a two channel solution or I could replace the Onkyo with either the Arcam 600 or equivaltent or go the route of separates. To keep costs down something like Rotel. I like the Mcintosh sound, but the cost is up there.

Lots of decisions. No clear solution.

I would recommend a couple things for you - one, upgrade your power - if you have pre outs, try getting a 3 channel amp to boost your front stage. Second, if you do upgrade your front stage speakers I would either go with good in-walls or bookshelfs designed to be in enclosed in bookshelves. I would not waste your money on towers to then hide them in a wall unit. I am no expert, but towers are typically designed to be placed 2-3 feet away from walls and away from corners to produce the prefered sound. However, none of this will matter if your electronics are weak.

Dan

My set up

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