Sonos in central closet with inceiling speakers with custom back boxes - WITH PICS! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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After much research and time going over the ideal system I have decided to go with Sonos and Lutron RadioRA2 for my handicapped home control. I say handicapped because I will not be able to control HVAC or view security cameras from a keypad and the lighting and audio will be two separate systems.

The Sonos user interface is extremely easy to queue playlists and link zones

To start I ended up purchasing:
1- BU250 bundle
6- ZP120's

All wired to inceiling Martin Logan
Helos20's which I already have 12 sitting here waiting for install. I have an additional Helos20 incase I want to add a zone to the Kitchen in the future. As it is now the livingroom and kitchen are open to each other.

Zones:
Zone 1 Master Bedroom; 1- ZP120; 2- Helos20
Zone 2 Master Bath; 1- ZP120; 1- Helos20
Zone 3 Hall Bath; 1- ZP120; 1- Helos20
Zone 4 Bedroom 2; 1- ZP120; 1- Helos20
Zone 5 Bedroom 3; 1- ZP120; 1- Helos20
Zone 6 Living Room; 1- ZP90; Denon 4810; 5-Helos20
Zone 7 Garage; 1- ZP120; 2- Helos20
Will Add the following at a later date:
Zone 8 Patio; 1- ZP120; 2- Speakercraft OE8 One
Zone 9 Hot Tub; 1- ZP120; 2- Speakercraft OE8 One

All Sonos equipment is in the AV rack which is to small, I had to relocated the power conditioning gear. I will order a 42U MA rack soon.

I started the install this weekend. I made back-boxes for the in-ceiling speakers with an internal volume of .5 ft3. I used the existing rafters as part of the box. I used Belden 1311A Brilliance Low Cap OFHC speaker cable. The bass extension with the back boxes are perfect, before installing thedm I thought about the possibility of needing to add a sub but that is not the case at all.

crappy iphone pics














These two speakers are directly above the bed in the master. Laying there the sound stage is fantastic and the imaging is excellent. Combine that with a cal-king Tempurpedic and its heaven...







The cheese fell off my cracker a long time ago...
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post #2 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:49 AM
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Very nice.

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post #3 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:52 AM
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Hows the Sonos controller working for you with all the Zone Players in one place?
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post #4 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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All the zone playes are located right in the middle of the house so the controller has very good reception house wide, 4 bars. 3 bars at the hot tub in the back yard, it drops to 2 bars when in the garage and at the table and seating in back yard.

All zone players are hardwired, the first one is wired to the router and subsequent zone players are piggybacked/cascaded off the switch on the first zone player.

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Hows the Sonos controller working for you with all the Zone Players in one place?


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post #5 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 04:08 PM
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Thanks I was just curious as I was thinking of doing something similar but most everyone I talked to suggest spacing them further apart.
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post #6 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 05:03 PM
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I have 2 ZP100 and 1 ZP80 centrally located and it works great!!

How many Sonos controller units do you have?? But I would love a Sonos Wall Mounted Keypad.

I was going to get another unit, but then I saw the new Sonos product the Zoneplayer S5 and I'm sold!!!!
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post #7 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 07:40 PM
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Why .5 ft3?

Ceiling joists 16" on center? What are the dimensions of the back boxes?

I built back boxes for a pair of my in-ceilings last week. I built them in the workshop, and installed them over the speakers - I wanted to limit my time in the attic, and it's a part of the attic that's relatively difficult to get to. Plywood boxes. Nailed, caulked.

The boxes prevent the blown-in insulation from getting inside the speakers. And, they may improve the bass, as an added bonus.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #8 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Internal dimensions are 10x14x6, 14" is the dimension between studs/joists 16" on center. Since ML does not publish the required specs necessary for an appropriate box size. These are suppose to be infinite baffle but I researched a few 6.5" woofer specifications and came up with the conclusion that what works for the 6.5" JL audio subs I have in my Supra, .5ft3 will work for these. Half a cube sounds perfect.




No matter how you made your boxes they should provide some level of benefit as you mention. What are the Qts, Vas, and Fs parameters for your speaker? What dimensions did you make your boxes?

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Why .5 ft3?

Ceiling joists 16" on center? What are the dimensions of the back boxes?

I built back boxes for a pair of my in-ceilings last week. I built them in the workshop, and installed them over the speakers - I wanted to limit my time in the attic, and it's a part of the attic that's relatively difficult to get to. Plywood boxes. Nailed, caulked.

The boxes prevent the blown-in insulation from getting inside the speakers. And, they may improve the bass, as an added bonus.


The cheese fell off my cracker a long time ago...
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post #9 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 07:17 AM
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For my boxes, I took a small length of 2 x 4 into the attic, and put it next to the speaker. Then I marked on the wood the length that would be bigger than the speaker.

Then I cut 8 pieces plywood (using a jigsaw freehand) to that length, and slightly smaller in height than the joists (as it turns out, they were slightly smaller). I nailed them together, and then used the boxes to trace the tops. Cut out the tops, and nailed them on. Then I caulked the inside joints.

I put the boxes over the speakers, and used perforated metal strapping to secure each box in place, attaching the strapping to the adjacent joists.

Most speaker manufacturers, I read on remotecentral.com, will give you the exact ideal volume for each speaker model, if you call their tech support.

I didn't bother calling Monoprice.

Took about half an hour to build the boxes, and an hour to install them. There was a 2 x 4 in the way (glued to the attic side of the ceiling drywall), used to patch the nearby ceiling for a moved can light, so I had to cut out the corner (~2 x 2") of one of the boxes for it to fit.

The acoustics in the master bath are atrocious. Nice back boxes would have been a wasted effort.

I have to go back into that attic this afternoon (I'm adding some flooring, after the fact), so I'll measure. The flooring will add some limited storage, and will make access to the back of the attic easier (need to alter the bathroom fan vent hose, add a water sensor to the bathroom below, and automate the bathroom fan and a thermostat).

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #10 of 32 Old 11-10-2009, 07:27 PM
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do you have the helos 20 acting as single stereo speakers or monos?

if mono, how do you find the dispersion on them.... ie. better than the helos 10 models? and, did you audition other inceiling speakers before deciding on the logans? thanks.

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post #11 of 32 Old 11-10-2009, 10:39 PM
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how did you build that rack, it looks great....


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post #12 of 32 Old 11-11-2009, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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In the master and living room they are wired for one left and one right. In the bathrooms and kids rooms they will be wired for left and right on one speaker. I have not heard them yet this way so not sure on the dispersion.

I did not audition any other in-ceilings, I picked 12 of these up when Amazon had there one day sale about a month ago.

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do you have the helos 20 acting as single stereo speakers or monos?

if mono, how do you find the dispersion on them.... ie. better than the helos 10 models? and, did you audition other inceiling speakers before deciding on the logans? thanks.


The cheese fell off my cracker a long time ago...
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post #13 of 32 Old 11-11-2009, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, I made it out of birch panels. It is now on the small side for my needs so I might pull it for a 42U MA rack.

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how did you build that rack, it looks great....


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post #14 of 32 Old 11-29-2009, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Update:

Just finished the garage remodel and installed 4 more Martin Logan Helos 20 and another ZP120 Zone






















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post #15 of 32 Old 12-01-2009, 07:11 PM
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After being sidelined with a bad back, I made it back into the attic today.

My back boxes for my 8" Monoprice speakers are 11 x 11 x 7 inches, internal dimensions.

Call the speaker manufacturer to see if they give give you the ideal back box dimensions for any given model.

Nice job on the garage, Mike. You may not be aware that the speakers are not 'to code', in the garage ceiling. You need to build drywall back boxes, or use fire-rated speakers - ones with a UL listing.
http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin...rated|speakers
Worst case scenario - when you go to sell your house, the inspector calls you out, so you take them out and repair some drywall. Enjoy them until then.

No, wait - worst case scenario - fire in garage, travels quickly through speaker into level above (attic in your case), and burns your house down.

All garage wall and ceiling penetrations are supposed to be fire rated. Drywall is fire rated, and it's required to line all garages.

Currently, I have 2 penetrations in my garage that are not fire rated, but I plan on fixing them. I'll be installing fire rated speakers in my garage since I don't have easy access from above to build drywall back boxes.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #16 of 32 Old 12-02-2009, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I could see that if your house shared common attic space with the garage, here it does not and the house/garage wall has sheet rock up to the purlin's so we do have a fire break. After all there was no sheet rock in the garage last week and all trusses where exposed. The speakers did not come up during inspections.

Mike

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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

After being sidelined with a bad back, I made it back into the attic today.

My back boxes for my 8" Monoprice speakers are 11 x 11 x 7 inches, internal dimensions.

Call the speaker manufacturer to see if they give give you the ideal back box dimensions for any given model.

Nice job on the garage, Mike. You may not be aware that the speakers are not 'to code', in the garage ceiling. You need to build drywall back boxes, or use fire-rated speakers - ones with a UL listing.
http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin...rated|speakers
Worst case scenario - when you go to sell your house, the inspector calls you out, so you take them out and repair some drywall. Enjoy them until then.

No, wait - worst case scenario - fire in garage, travels quickly through speaker into level above (attic in your case), and burns your house down.

All garage wall and ceiling penetrations are supposed to be fire rated. Drywall is fire rated, and it's required to line all garages.

Currently, I have 2 penetrations in my garage that are not fire rated, but I plan on fixing them. I'll be installing fire rated speakers in my garage since I don't have easy access from above to build drywall back boxes.


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post #17 of 32 Old 12-04-2009, 07:39 PM
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so how do they sound? i just ordered a bunch as well.

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post #18 of 32 Old 12-05-2009, 03:34 AM
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Nice job Mike! Looks good! I love your backbox design, I did not realize how simple that could be for an attic location. Very nice design. Do you hear a big difference in the ML speakers vs the cheap monoprice speakers?

Neuroad, what size did you make your box on the 8 inch speakers?

I had an idea for my monoprice in wall speakers, I was thinking to install GREAT STUFF in the cavity to form a set size cavity. I think this would be easier than trying to retrofit 2x4s into the cavity. Or alternatively, cut a piece of drywall 15 3/4 inches by 3 inches and spray GREAT STUFF into the cavity and then use the drywall piece to control the expansion of the GREAT STUFF so that I can control the dimensions. What is better you think?
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post #19 of 32 Old 12-05-2009, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

My back boxes for my 8" Monoprice speakers are 11 x 11 x 7 inches, internal dimensions.

Retrofitting back boxes is tough, when you don't have access from behind, unless you want to do some drywall repair and painting.

I have no idea if Great Stuff would be a good material for back boxes.

I've always considered drywall repair pretty easy. Until this weekend. Tricky work to make a butt joint seam flat. I think I need to move the joint to another unnoticable location.

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post #20 of 32 Old 12-07-2009, 10:24 AM
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I just purchased a Helos 20 and installed it in the master bathroom ceiling. It is being driven by a Sonos ZP90 connected to a high end Apt Holman 100w per channel amplifier.

Initial impressions of the speaker. The tweeter's sound muddy to me. The highs are not crisp but sound like they are being played through a fabric curtain.

The mid range on the speaker is excellent. Mellow and smooth.

When listening to Opera, I can tell when the person is singing when their voice switches from the mid range driver to the tweeter as it goes from a dry sound to a more lush and full sound.

Jazz sounds good as many of the instruments use the mid range driver. Rock sounds more brittle.

Alfred--
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post #21 of 32 Old 12-07-2009, 10:52 AM
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I just ordered a Dynamat Dynabox In-Ceiling Speaker Enclosure as I can't get above the master bedroom ceiling to build a ridged box out of 2x4's and MDF.

From my previous post, is there any way to improve the sound of the tweets? I'm hoping some break in time will mellow the sound.

I understand how building a box will tighten up the bass, but how can a Dynabox do the same when it's made out of a flexible cloth material? Are canceling back waves as important as a tight enclosure?

I don't care about sound insulation as the speaker is already isolated, just improving the sound quality.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a speaker with a smooth rich sound from a single speaker. Don't care about imaging as it's in the bathroom but I would like the best sound possible.

Alfred--
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post #22 of 32 Old 12-07-2009, 10:57 AM
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The sound in my MBR sucks because of acoustics. Maybe room treatments would help you?

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #23 of 32 Old 12-09-2009, 07:11 AM
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curious how you find the dynabox with the helos. im thinking of doing the same thing... atleast for the master bedroom.

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post #24 of 32 Old 12-09-2009, 08:57 AM
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They dynabox hasn't arrived yet but I hope to install it this weekend.

Alfred--
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post #25 of 32 Old 12-14-2009, 07:05 AM
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any luck with the dynabox?

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post #26 of 32 Old 04-25-2010, 01:03 PM
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bumping thisw thread. anymore updates?

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post #27 of 32 Old 04-25-2010, 03:49 PM
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FWIW, Russound makes a product similar to the Dynabox - a flexible back box, for retrofit.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #28 of 32 Old 04-26-2010, 08:30 AM
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Why is there cotton batten (or white insulation or whatever it is) in the boxes. I thought they were supposed to be hollow.
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post #29 of 32 Old 05-19-2010, 01:46 PM
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I'm thinking about doing something simmilar. Are the speakers wired directly to the zone players?

Thanks
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post #30 of 32 Old 05-19-2010, 02:13 PM
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Yes the speakers have to be wired to the Zoneplayers, but the Zoneplayers themselves talk to eachother wirelessly. But, at least one Zoneplayer has to be wired to your broadband router via ethernet cable.

(the Zoneplayers can also be wired via ethernet if you want, but there is no real advantage to this other than if one has problems communicating with the others because of distance, but then they have a product called a Zonebridge which is wireless and helps bridge such situations)
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