I need some advice on a project I want to perform in my condo media room - home theater space. Basically I want to upgrade and finalize a 7.1 setup and get suggestions if the upgrade will really bring a good improvement and if the choice I'm going with is a good pick.
I designed my condo back in 2010 and had the chance to do all the wiring myself for all the A/V, including the projector hookup, the auto 100" projector screen that I've designed to be hidden on the main TV wall and automatically come out upon starting the PJ, 9 security camera system / dvr wiring/installation, and some other additions that we're easy to plan ahead before the drywall was installed. Everything went very smoothly and I'm happy with the results overall.Picture Below
There are 2 issues that I can point out that bother me and that I've of course only realized that when the place was already completed. The first is that I've only designed everything for a 5.1 setup and would love to go for 7.1. I use a DENON 3808CI that I bought back in 2008 around its introduction and still love it, it does a great job paired with my Klipsch RF62's, RC62, RF10's for the back and don't see a reason to upgrade as I don't really care for 3D (1.4 switching) at the moment. I did all the wiring, wall plates, banana plugs etc using Monoprice.com, saved a bundle...great supplier.
The second issue is the surround speaker placement. If you can notice from the pictures the surround RF10 towers are placed in the back at the complete end of the room... it's a 36 feet long room. As most will agree it's not the correct placement and would be more be targeted for a back surround under 7.1.
The room itself is 36 feet long by about 14 feet wide near the TV/PJ screen, then it expands to 18 feet wide for a good part of the room and goes back to about 14 feet wide at the end where the surround towers are placed.
The project I'm looking to start is basically add two in ceiling speakers just above the sectional sofa and make them as surrounds and use the RF10 towers as the back surround for 7.1. I'm looking for a good quality speaker that will do a good/decent job for surrounds. I came across the monoprice.com offerings of their 6 1/2 and 8inch in ceiling solutions (about 80$ a pair) and the reviews seem pretty decent. I've actually got a full set of 6 1/2 from monoprice for my parent's living room 5.1 and they do a great decent job. The price is pretty impressive as well. I would like to point out that I'm planning to stay here for another 2 - 3 years, then eventually If business is going good and budget allows, I would love to buy / build a house and design a dedicated HT room within, therefore I don't want to go over kill at the moment. I know most would probably agree that in ceiling solutions are far from being the perfect choice.
I live on the top floor of the condo, I have access to the attic, therefore In ceiling installation is double. What pre-occupies me is that the ceiling has 2 sheets of drywall, the contractor said it acts as a firewall. In addition there are re-sillient bars going on the inverse of the beams. The contractor claimed that upon cutting the drywall, I could cut out the resilient bar without any issues on the space where the speaker would fit. Another point worth mentioning is that the insulation on the attic is all blown, therefore could be messy. The wiring won't be a problem as I could pass it through the attic and fish it out somehow from the TV wall where I would join everything within the wall plate.
I wanted to get your advice if this project would be worth the trouble and if the end result would be worth going for, going from 5.1 to 7.1, but most importantly take advantage of a better speaker placement.
The contractor told me it's a very decent 1 day project, I'm just concerned a little bit with the double dry wall cutting, the mess that the blown insulation would cause.... and most importantly how to seal the speakers within the attic. I live in Montreal, Canada, therefore the weather during winter can get very cold, good insulation on top would be important.... In addition, do you think that the in ceiling spkr brackets would be problematic to get a grip on 2 pieces of drywall?? I'm somewhat handy and did allot of work around the house, just haven't really played within this rough/ attic field... yet :-)
The other idea I had would to be literally build a nice 4 - 5 inch wide MDF box by about 7-8 feet long, make it seem that its somewhat floating from the ceiling and pleasant to the eyes.... would have to match the design of the condo and install the speakers in it... this would avoid the need to make 2 big holes in the ceiling for the speakers where I could only drill a small hole and pass the wiring through it. My concern is if the sound / in ceiling speakers would function well within a 4 inch wide mdf enclosure.
Any advice, suggestions are much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!