Center Speaker Built Into Fireplace Mantel - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 11:26 AM
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Flanking subs have a lot of advantages but I'd still bet 3π's would sound great without them.

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post #32 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

as for the effects that you list, linkwitz has performed some a-b comparo's with and without the center channel. his conclusion, "...switching between actual and phantom center on recordings that used the center channel did not produce significant audible differences..." and "...at this point I am not convinced that a center speaker in my system is worth it..." might carry more weight with you than my opinion.
http://www.linkwitzlab.com/surround_system.htm

I love me some Linkwitz. I've poured over his pages of data and learned a great deal. His scientific method appears solid, however nobody is immune to the subtle effects of bias,...and I found these quotes wrt center vs. phantom;

"This is not a system for home theater"


"At this point I am not convinced that a center speaker in my system is worth it, even if it is placed out of sight most of the time. Sitting in front of such speaker is visually highly distractive and its benefit for multi-channel sound is marginal, given the satisfying sound stage that is set up by the ORION."

"The center speaker adds additional signals at the ears that are not necessarily time coherent with the other two speakers' signals, because of the overlap in the three microphone pickups. This may have caused the effect that was observed."


These aspects are fundamentally oriented toward systems that are primarily geared toward music,...whereby the acoustic information from the recorded event is spread across the three mic elements. Additionally, although it states last revised as of this month, much of the information on that page appeared somewhat dated. With multichannel material that's associated with contemporary techniques in film and TV mixing today, the hard panning and dedicated center channel material and dialog, translates solidly to a multi-person group of listeners in typical residential rooms. Regardless where someone experiences the recorded event from in the room, the dialog is entirely correlated (no phase issues) and solidly placed as centered with the visual element.

In my non-dedicated listening/HT room, listeners are splayed all across the room, and spaced at different distances front to back. Aside from the detrimental HRTF transfer function I stated above (two octave wide 2khz dip), a dedicated center locks the hard panned CC material to the image, and retains clarity and intelligibility to a high degree.

Just my 2 cents




Quote:
Originally Posted by two.dogs View Post

So it looks like I'm back where I started. Does anyone know of a cornerhorn design of reasonable proportions that only fires out the front? If not, then I might be back to the L/R/mid design based upon maybe the econowave.

The Danley Synergy Horn designs may be of some interest. They work in concert with the subsequent wall corner angle that results from corner placement, and I've seen them recommended by Danley to individuals in this scenario in which you find yourself. So, food for thought. Clearly, their designs are very low distortion, high output oriented, and controlled directivity approach,...directing the acoustic energy off the sidewalls, and toward the LP,... allows for further clarity and less detrimental effects of less than ideal acoustics.

Hope this helps. Even if you didn't pursue the Danley mains, perhaps this opens things up a bit and facilitates you finding some avenue that gets you there. The Danley products are availed to consumers in custom skins as well as the typical pro style, AFAIK.


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post #33 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 01:10 PM
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btw; my fave coverage angle/form factor is the SH-69. Typically, once one experiences total lack of dynamic constraints, and lack of drive compression (nine drivers in that cabinet!), it's impossible to go back to designs possessing less dynamic realism. These certainly aren't for everyone, however their attributes are quite appealing to many enthusiasts.

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post #34 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 01:29 PM
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entry price on danley mains = $3000 EACH for their smallest synergy horn, still need subs just like the pis

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post #35 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two.dogs View Post

I've been over to the Pi Speaker forum and can't seem to find anything that will work. I thought the Pi 3 looked promising, so I sketched the attached layout. Unfortunately Wayne said they needed flanking subs a few feet behind, below and beside the mains, and WAF rules that out. Wayne said that if I moved from a bass reflex design (like the pi 3) to a corner horn like the pi 6 or 7, then flanking subs would not be needed. Unfortunately those are freakin ginormous and also fire out the back - so no way to incorporate into built in bookshelves.
So it looks like I'm back where I started. Does anyone know of a cornerhorn design of reasonable proportions that only fires out the front? If not, then I might be back to the L/R/mid design based upon maybe the econowave.

3 pis would sound fine with only one very tiny sub SOMEWHERE in your room. Theres no need for a dozen subwoofers littered about

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post #36 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

bigus, i agree with your science, but question the practical ramifications of it.

I think we're on the same page here. I've tried to clearly state that practical limitations may sometimes make a phantom preferable to a physical center. I just didn't want the implication that by using certain speakers a center and a phantom were equivalent.

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post #37 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post

I think we're on the same page here. I've tried to clearly state that practical limitations may sometimes make a phantom preferable to a physical center. I just didn't want the implication that by using certain speakers a center and a phantom were equivalent.

For one centered listening position, little difference. A center channel allows more of an audience (not just one seat) to experience the stereo illusion.

5 channels across the front would include more of an audience into the illusion. Hence the SDDS (still kicking) and 70mm formats of the past.

JSS
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post #38 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 04:54 PM
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2dogs, just looking at the build plan, it seems like 45 degree angled 3pi would be great.

a duke lejune design is attached.

you will need subs, but you can easily build some into the "bookshelf" area anywhere on that front wall and easily conceal them behind some speaker cloth as in the second photo.

or depending on how deep the bookshelves are, you might be able to just use the lower part of the enclosure for the sub (envision a deeper cabinet and the sub driver mounted below the main driver with a horizontal board inside the cabinet sealing the top off from the bottom--essentially two sealed cabinets stacked on top of each other).
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post #39 of 59 Old 02-25-2012, 05:26 PM
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how about something like this?
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post #40 of 59 Old 02-26-2012, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Perhaps we're back on track again. Regarding the sub, I thought low frequencies were less directional than high, and that subs could be located anywhere. It would be much easier to put the sub on the back wall next to the sofa.
I realize that most of what I'm suggesting compromises the sound. But the corner horn design we're discussing now seems an enormous improvement over Paradigm Atoms in the bookshelves and a DIY MTM center channel.
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post #41 of 59 Old 02-26-2012, 01:25 PM
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Yes you could put a sub in the back corner. Best strategy is to do both because then you get a smoother response but you can add either a rear sub or pair of front subs later if you feel the need. If going 3 way for the front, then keeping the cabinet small will be a challenge. Conventional approach is for the mid woofer below the waveguide to be vented (and thus larger box) to squeeze out more bass. But if going 3-way in a corner like LTD drew with lots of corner gain available, then I would say both midwoofer and sub can be sealed. A sealed sub using the TC Sounds Epic10 for example needs only .42 cu.ft. internal volume and a sealed midwoofer that only needs to get down to 125 hz because the sub is right below it can be done with .2 cu. ft. or so. But make that angled box taller or slide an angled sub box underneath it so the sub doesn't fire into the bookshelf.
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post #42 of 59 Old 02-26-2012, 05:14 PM
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jack, the reason that i suggested the sub driver fire sideways is because most subwoofer drivers are too deep to be mounted on the 45 degree angled front piece.

2dogs, ideally you want at least two capable subwoofers. corner placement get you a lot of boost, which is why i put them there. pretty stealthy too once you consider that they will all be covered with grill cloth. subwoofer frequencies spash around in a room like waves in a bathtub. their interference creates peaks and dips (aka nulls) depending on room shape and subwoofer placement. the more sources that you have, the smoother the response around the room. a sub at the center of each wall is one good solution. a sub in each corner is another good solution. a sub located at the center of two opposite walls is another good solution. beyond that, it really becomes hit and miss.

horn loaded speakers in the front corners can work very well. william cowan did something like this but on a little larger scale.

left side, click on "unity, the finale" http://www.cowanaudio.com/

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post #43 of 59 Old 02-27-2012, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the latest post from Wayne at Pi...
Quote:


If you change dimensions of the three Pi loudspeaker - especially to form a tower - you really need to test the configuration for internal standing waves. Maybe just go with Prisma's as they are already designed and optimized for that size and shape? I mean, I don't want to dissuade you from going with Pi Speakers, but if you modify them enough, they aren't really Pi Speakers anyway. I'd rather you go with something that has been optimized and thoroughly tested than to modify something of mine and not know what you're getting. If you have measurement gear and some time to dial 'em in then by all means, give it a go. But if you don't want to go through a design/test/optimization cycle, then it might be better to go with a design that has been proven

I credit him for telling me this. He seems committed to quality products and does not want me to be disappointed. I keep coming up to dead ends - maybe its like Edison discovering thousands of ways not to make a light bulb. I had no idea that I was trying to do anything unusual.

So here is where I am. First priority has always been that this must be a stealth installation. Second priority is cost - ballpark of $1000 for the pair. The speakers will be built into the bookshelves at the corners of the room. They must be front firing. If the speakers are small enough, I can incorporate subs into the shelves as well. If not, then a single sub goes on the back wall.

Fostex makes a line of very fine full-range drivers along with published plans for back loaded horns. Many of these designs are small enough to fit within the allocated space with no modification and still provide room for subs mounted underneath.
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post #44 of 59 Old 02-27-2012, 09:33 AM
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LTD, I think you are correct about where best to mount the sub, if a sub is used, but lets go back to the original design goals where budget was mentioned.

The plastic 12" SEOS and one of the new C/Ds take care of the top end at low cost. If one has limited funds for the low end drivers, then I submit he is better off with one very good midwoofer rather than a lesser mid plus a lesser sub on each side.

With a really good midwoofer (e.g. smooth and with enough Xmax) in a vented box, an F3 of < 30 hz after corner gain is reasonable. I've been looking at JBL 2262HPL closely for my own use and I know this is feasible in 2 cu. ft. or so. The JBL2262HPL is $360 (ouch!) but is near best of class, Some suggestions for alternatives were made recently in the SEOS "rally" thread. I think the minimum that needs to be spent here is about $200.

With that kind of performance from the fronts, a rear sub is only needed for that last half octave for movies and for smoothing room modes. It can be added later if necessary and, crossed over low, will do just as well from the rear of the room.

As you drew the woofer in front, it would actually help with the front wall 1/4 wave cancellation null but that is a high price to pay for something that could also be taken care of with some wall treatment. It might even be that books on the shelf next to the speakers would be adequate treatment.

Two.dogs I hope this helps. Tell us how we are doing for you.

Jack
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post #45 of 59 Old 02-27-2012, 09:37 AM
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First, I've little experience in this regard, there are vastly more experienced DIY'ers than myself wrt roll your own mains,...that said, on several occasions I've slept in a Holiday Inn Express while surfing about on AVS

What about a high sensitivity/high output coaxial pro design, like the B&C stuff. If the bottom end is handled via bass managed sub system, a pair of 8", 10", or 12"s could be quite the performers if the hand-off between the drivers was handled properly (active or passive) and proper balance was achieved. The B&C coaxes are very highly regarded, and I'm sure many successful DIY efforts have been built. I'd think the mfr has data on passive networks, and active numbers as well if you were to utilize a Berry DCX as a Xover.



Hell, even a pair of DSP amps of Behringer's could be config'd to mate up nicely w/a DIY two way of this type. Nice and clean, yet simple and POWERFUL set up.

Regarding stealth, few scenarios have the stealth form factor/frontal size of a coaxial.


Thoughts?

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post #46 of 59 Old 02-27-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Jack, LTD, FOH et all,

You are helping. When I first posted, I thought this would be a pretty simple matter of some forum members saying "oh yeah, these three or four designs would work - pick your favorite". But I learned that the center-channel-in-mantel would not sound that great compared with corner horns. Then I learned that most corner horns don't want to be buried within a bookcase - they are designed to sit just in from the corner and fire bass out the back. I also learned that many good designs incorporate L/R front subs. It turns out to be quite a challenge to get good sound within the constraints imposed by my lovely spouse.
Bottom line is I'm asking way more of you than I thought, and you are stepping up to the plate. Thank you. Under other circumstances I'd try my hand at speaker design and propose something myself, but if you've looked at the picture I posted of my house you can see I can't. I'll look at the SEOS and coaxial designs.
What does the crowd think of the Fostex idea? I know there are entire forums of full-range enthusiasts, but perhaps lukewarm reception here. My thoughts were that they might have great midrange, acceptable highs, and bass would be augmented by subs. Pretty low cost and no crossover to worry about.
Maybe the upside is that this might turn out to be a valuable thread - there must be others who have similar situations. I'll document and post the installation and results sometime before the year 2020 when this house might be finished! We're actually trying to be finished before fall.
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post #47 of 59 Old 02-27-2012, 03:46 PM
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if i had to guess, wayne's comment probably derives from not wanting to have somebody who doesn't know what they are doing build a crappy design, call it a 3pi, and then tell the whole world that 3pi's suck. if you ask here before you start cutting wood with your final plan, the chance that you will fail is near zero.

the duke lejeune style angled cabinet isn't going to have "standing wave problems" inside of the cabinet.

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post #48 of 59 Old 02-27-2012, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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LTD, seems your vote is still for the 3 Pi's. Perhaps I should re-engage with Wayne and assure him that I would try not to slime his design, nor would I ever badmouth something that I had modified. Besides, everyone knows that even crappy DIY speakers sound wonderful to the builder.
I never thanked you for the drawing - that was above and beyond. The side-firing sub took me aback because I had envisioned building this like kitchen cabinets - stand alone speaker screwed to standalone bookshelf, then apply trim. But looking at driver dimensions there may be no choice but to fire sideways (or go with sub on the rear wall). The sidefiring sub would mean no glass on the bookcases - would that detract from the performance of the horns?
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post #49 of 59 Old 02-27-2012, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been searching for the SEOS 12 design with no luck. Anyone have a link?

The Danley's and the B&C coax were too expensive. The remaining contenders are...
Modified Pi 3 - ($320)
SEOS 12 - ($125)
Seas Loki coax - ($195)
Fostex fullrange - ($150)
Econowave - ($130)

All of these could probably leave room for subs underneath
TC Sounds Epic 10 - ($160)
SA240 plate amp - ($120)

Most expensive speaker/sub combo is Pi 3 at $600 per side component cost. Over budget, but not outrageously so.
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post #50 of 59 Old 03-26-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two.dogs View Post

This is what Madisound recommended.

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...it-parts-only/

Here is a picture of a similar mantel with speaker.



Here is the drawing of the room. House is brick. The elevation of the fireplace wall is at bottom the back wall with columns is shown at top.


Thanks for the image. My wife and I are stuck with placing our center channel/TV over the fireplace mantel. If we're able to place the center channel in the mantel, that would drop the TV further down. Now I just have to figure out an acceptable height, so that the mantel doesn't look odd and I can bring the TV down as low as possible.

Yes, I shouldn't have every designed my house with a TV above the mantel, but trying to make the best of the situation.
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post #51 of 59 Old 03-26-2012, 04:31 PM
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"I've been searching for the SEOS 12 design with no luck. Anyone have a link?"

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1291022

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post #52 of 59 Old 03-26-2012, 08:15 PM
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I'm just throwing this out there, and I'm sure it's a terrible idea. Is it possible to stick with your original plan for the bookshelf speakers and use the speakers on the television as the center channel?
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post #53 of 59 Old 04-09-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm convinced that constant directivity horns in the corners seem to be the best answer for my needs. Had a tough time finding the right design though. Either too big, too expensive, or too complicated. The SEOS might be great but I couldn't handle a 119 page thread!
I ordered parts for Econowaves. I'll build these first and give a listen before building the mantel. That gives the option to incorporate a center channel if needed, but based on this thread it seems like I can avoid the center. I'll put a single sub at the back of the room.
I know that this is a compromised design, but I suspect it will be the best sounding system I've ever had. The renovation is coming along. I'm finishing plumbing and electrical. Drywall is next, then installing the kitchen and master bath. Then I'll build the speakers. This is a lot of work - lost 15 pounds last month!
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post #54 of 59 Old 04-16-2013, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two.dogs View Post

This is what Madisound recommended.

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...it-parts-only/


Here is a picture of a similar mantel with speaker.



I'm thinking a about doing something similiar. I have a huge mantle, and no room for a sound bar on it. I can, however cut a rectangle in my mantle and out a white fabric speaker grille on it to look flush. Like this:



Again. All I want is a soundbar. I have room behind that mantle as its hollow and I don't use the fireplace. My one friend says putting a soundbar in the mantle might not sound as good as it being ontop, but the soundbar is sealed enclosure and will be pretty much flush mounted in the mantle. Thoughts?

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post #55 of 59 Old 04-17-2013, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two.dogs View Post

I'm convinced that constant directivity horns in the corners seem to be the best answer for my needs. ...I ordered parts for Econowaves. I'll build these first ... That gives the option to incorporate a center channel if needed, but based on this thread it seems like I can avoid the center. I'll put a single sub at the back of the room....
Good move, akin to "measure twice, cut once."

I will suggest that you need a broader perspective on audio and home theater design than you're receiving here. Not everyone will agree with this path as a desirable choice. At very least, post some of your questions at these sites at see what folks say!
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/forumdisplay.php?2-Tech-Talk-Forum
http://www.htguide.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?6-Mission-Possible-DIY

The reason is that we're individuals, each with different preferences - likes and dislikes - and the whole idea of DIY is to build to your preference. With this complex a build, you have a lot we'll all agree on, but when it comes to the details, opinions will contradict because preferences vary.

Some people like "pinpoint" imaging, where every instrument or voice has a well defined location. My ears agree with the majority of perceptual studies that prefer the opposite of this - wide apparent source width. Before you start shopping speakers, find out what you like about sound or there's a good chance you'll buld to someone else's preference.

In my case, the very good horn designs I've heard all had problems I wouldn't want to live with, and a good CC is more important for multichannel than the mains. How's that for a different perspective?

HAve fun,
Frank
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post #56 of 59 Old 09-26-2013, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonn B View Post

I'm thinking a about doing something similiar. I have a huge mantle, and no room for a sound bar on it. I can, however cut a rectangle in my mantle and out a white fabric speaker grille on it to look flush. Like this:



Again. All I want is a soundbar. I have room behind that mantle as its hollow and I don't use the fireplace. My one friend says putting a soundbar in the mantle might not sound as good as it being ontop, but the soundbar is sealed enclosure and will be pretty much flush mounted in the mantle. Thoughts?

Any thoughts on this? I've been looking at sound bars that "are not" ported. I assume it would be a bad idea to have a ported sound bar with it being recessed into the mantle, yes?

80" Vizio LED - (60" Vizio plasma - retired)
Harmony 890 Remote
X10 Commander Iphone App = full control of lights, fireplace, pool, shades, from Iphone
X10 IR543 controller
Hunter Douglas motorized shades

 

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post #57 of 59 Old 09-26-2013, 12:29 PM
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I had this done and happy with the results. It can get hot, so if your fireplace doesn't have the blower on, it could be problematic. During Hurricane Sandy, I popped out the speaker to avoid any issues.

I use mine as a center channel, but you could certainly build in a soundbar. If I was going that route, I'd give some consideration to Sonos' soundbar. Once it's built-in, you are locked. I used Monoprice throughout my house, but spent extra for the center channel, knowing that I could never upgrade it.
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post #58 of 59 Old 09-26-2013, 12:56 PM
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Below is a video I just made showing my setup. I would make the rectangle 46" wide, and maybe 5" high. I have quite a bit of room. This would allow for many different sound bar options, and I have a depth of about 5" or maybe more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzyhDD4Ja8A

Any advice on the best way to make it look good? What type of grille to use, white fabric or metal? I was thinking a "press on" type grille like a normal house speaker? That way you wouldn't see the cut marks?

Have any pics of your setup?

80" Vizio LED - (60" Vizio plasma - retired)
Harmony 890 Remote
X10 Commander Iphone App = full control of lights, fireplace, pool, shades, from Iphone
X10 IR543 controller
Hunter Douglas motorized shades

 

Jasonn B is offline  
post #59 of 59 Old 09-30-2013, 11:00 AM
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I made a new post with additional pics and info here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1492307/soundbar-recessed-into-fireplace-mantle-needs-ideas-opinions-etc#post_23786979

80" Vizio LED - (60" Vizio plasma - retired)
Harmony 890 Remote
X10 Commander Iphone App = full control of lights, fireplace, pool, shades, from Iphone
X10 IR543 controller
Hunter Douglas motorized shades

 

Jasonn B is offline  
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