Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Home of the Hawkeyes
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While I love the way Paradigm speakers sound, how their build quality for the $$$ is beyond reproach, and how their aesthetics are usually super clean, the Speakercraft offer a seriously valuable feature: the ability to be aimed within their mounting plane. With your less than ideal speaker locations (from a home theater purist standpoint) the ability to compensate for these off axis locations by tilting the speaker in its frame to aim it at your ears could make a big difference. I haven't personally heard a Speakercraft system outside a trade show, but a former associate of mine sold them for many years when he went independent and thought they did what they did very well for the money.
If you want to know what I would install in your situation, the first brand to come to mind is Triad. They ain't cheap, but you're not looking at low end equipment either. The biggest difference in the Triad line is that they are a fully enclosed speaker designed to be flush mounted in a wall or ceiling. This makes for a much more predictable behavior regardless of wall cavity size/construction, plus less sound leakage into other spaces. Check out the Bronze line, they may not be that much more than what you're looking at. These are very highly regarded speakers, check the speaker and dedicated theater forums. They aren't usually found for sale on the 'net, other than fleabay, if you're willing to gamble on used speakers. AVS could possibly offer a quote if there isn't a local dealer in your neck of the woods.
Other manufacturers offering this type of construction are Totem and Atlantic Technology. (sorry if I've slighted someone elses fav)
Everything's better than a sound bar.........good luck with the install.