In-wall speaker advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-03-2013, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm installing a Russound A-BUS system, consisting of two A-H484 hubs and fourteen A-K3 amplified keypads.

The keypads output 7.5 watts per channel (sidebar: does per channel refer to each speaker, or are the two speakers one channel?)

I've always liked Polk products, and was looking at the MC65 speakers to use with my setup. However, the Pyle Home PDIW65 are much less expensive, especially considering the number of speakers I'll be purchasing.

The question: at an output of 7.5 watts, is it worth spending the extra for the Polk speakers? Alternate speaker recommendations are also welcome.

Thanks for any advice...
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-04-2013, 07:47 AM
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More power makes speakers produce louder output, not better... Typically the amp is producing only a few watts anyway - speaker efficiency is something you should pay attention to, though, as you'll get more output from that small amp. Efficiency is rated in dB - higher is better.

And yes, "7W per channel" means per speaker (the amp has two channels, a Left and Right).

Buying in-wall / in-ceiling speakers is tough as there aren't a lot of places to hear most of them, especially the cheap ones. There are a lot of cheap ones that sound like crap. I have not heard they Pyle units, they may be fine - a lot of folks here have been happy with the really cheap Monoprice units.

My advice would be to use the Polks in your main areas (whichever ones will get used often), and perhaps start with inexpensive speakers elsewhere. Use 6.5" speakers and be mindful of the cutout size required for each brand you're considering. Your goal when using cheap speakers should be to use ones with a small cutout when compared to "better" speakers. That makes it easy to upgrade speakers later - since it's easy to make the hole slightly larger - the other way, not so much! biggrin.gif

You could also buy one pair of each and test them, and then go from there.

Jeff

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-04-2013, 07:51 AM
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Also - have you already bought the A-Bus gear? You might also look at the Digi-5 system from Xantech or Aton which use the same wiring scheme...

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-04-2013, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.

The Polks have an efficiency rating of 91 dB, but I couldn't find any rating for the Pyles. Monoprice has a 6.5" in-wall speaker with a sensitivity of 88 dB, is this the same as efficiency?

I've ordered the Russound equipment but it hasn't arrived - does the Digi5 system have a better reputation?
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-04-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr5231 View Post

The Polks have an efficiency rating of 91 dB, but I couldn't find any rating for the Pyles. Monoprice has a 6.5" in-wall speaker with a sensitivity of 88 dB, is this the same as efficiency?

Yes, sensitivity same thing as efficiency. It's a measurement of the output (sound) the speaker produces for a given amount of input power.
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I've ordered the Russound equipment but it hasn't arrived - does the Digi5 system have a better reputation?

Digi-5 is a newer design and doubles the power output of the zone amp(s) compared to A-Bus. The makers claim a significant sound quality improvement in the system - probably mostly due to the digital (modern) amplifier...

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-04-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I've ordered two pairs of the Polk MC65, and a pair of Monoprice 6.5" in-wall speakers to test out, I'll let you know what I think.

I looked around a bit at the Xantech and Aton Digi-5 systems, and am interested - if I don't like the sound from the Russound I may switch to one of these - my only concern is that there aren't as many spare components for the Digi-5 systems as there are for the Russound on eBay, and I don't seem to have an authorized Xantech or Aton dealer in my area.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-05-2013, 08:41 AM
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I've got different versions of the 8" Monoprices in my WHA set up. In particular the 8" 3 way, in wall/rectangular variety sounds particularly good. I used them in the formal dining room as my thinking was in,that room the volume will be low and the music will be Classical, Jazz or Xmas when entertaining. They have a 90 dB ± 2 dB (1 watt/1 meter) efficiency. I see the PYLE 6.5 inch speakers here at the local Menards store. They are shamefully cheaply constructed but the display has them mounted in custom baffles and they sound at least in the display better than they look. I opted for only 8" Monoprice for WHA and so I'll be curios how the Monoprice 6.5 stack up against the Polk. I will say that most of my rooms have the 8" 2 way (not the dual voice coil variety) Monoprice in ceiling speakers and they all sound a bit different depending on placement and whatever is behind them in the ceiling. Baffles would help tremendously I'm certain.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-09-2013, 11:49 AM
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I can chime in and say I read most of the threads on in-wall speakers and how different people were so passionate about their speaker choice. I knew it was going to be about personal preference for stereo whole home audio. I agreed with jautor and others with 6.5" drivers for these relatively cheap speakers, and narrowed it down, and got a pair, of the Polk 65i and the Monoprice 7607, which were not "equal", but close in price, putting them for me in the same catergory. I tested in my unfinished basement, hanging sheetrock on both sides of a stud wall, three studs wide, and closing off top and bottom with wood to emulate a finished wall. I tried without insulation, with insulation, and with 1/2" thk MDF board made into a speaker box and insulation around that. Used identical wires, length, and Onkyo main channel output, to compare sound of various music and movies, and compare sound transmission to the areas around the speakers. The 3-way monoprice sounded much better in just about every test; fuller sound and better base.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-12-2013, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRob View Post

I can chime in and say I read most of the threads on in-wall speakers and how different people were so passionate about their speaker choice. I knew it was going to be about personal preference for stereo whole home audio. I agreed with jautor and others with 6.5" drivers for these relatively cheap speakers, and narrowed it down, and got a pair, of the Polk 65i and the Monoprice 7607, which were not "equal", but close in price, putting them for me in the same catergory. I tested in my unfinished basement, hanging sheetrock on both sides of a stud wall, three studs wide, and closing off top and bottom with wood to emulate a finished wall. I tried without insulation, with insulation, and with 1/2" thk MDF board made into a speaker box and insulation around that. Used identical wires, length, and Onkyo main channel output, to compare sound of various music and movies, and compare sound transmission to the areas around the speakers. The 3-way monoprice sounded much better in just about every test; fuller sound and better base.

I've got no passion just practicality. I've got a large house with large rooms and the 8" monoprice weren't much more than the 6.5 inch so that was my motivation. The 8" produce surprisingly ok bass which I wasn't expecting.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-13-2013, 07:08 AM
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kjust - I agree with the 8" 3-way from Monoprice, but I did not have "huge" rooms and did have speaker size factor coming into play - looking like the size of wall artwork.....which I didn't mind, but was vetoed when I taped the paper mockups around the house to see what it would look like.
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Well I've ordered two pairs of the Polk MC65, and a pair of Monoprice 6.5" in-wall speakers to test out, I'll let you know what I think.

mpr5231 - Have you been able to test your Polk and Monoprice comparison?

I am in the same boat with head end equipment - looking for best solution as well.
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-13-2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MrRob View Post

kjust - I agree with the 8" 3-way from Monoprice, but I did not have "huge" rooms and did have speaker size factor coming into play - looking like the size of wall artwork.....which I didn't mind, but was vetoed when I taped the paper mockups around the house to see what it would look like.
mpr5231 - Have you been able to test your Polk and Monoprice comparison?

I am in the same boat with head end equipment - looking for best solution as well.

Believe me I understand that. The weeks it took me to complete the whole house audio install my wife complained constantly. About all the time it was taking me, that I wasn't spending time with the family, about the mess, about the fact I needed her to feed wires at times, and on and on. I thought the 3 way inwalls in the formal dining room were going to send her over the edge. The 8" ceilings mounted...in the ceiling are not noticeable and so she didn't complain. I started the project on day 1 with a 5.1 system with the Energy Take Classic system and a 55" tv and the speakers are mounted under the TV and I had to resuscitate her when she saw them.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Well my A-BUS system arrived. To test it, I hooked it to a set of Polk Atrium 4's - the sound quality wasn't bad, but the loudness isn't what I'd like. I have since ordered two Russound CAA66 consoles to make 12 zones, and will give those a try. I received the Polk and Monoprice 6.5" speakers, and realized that they're too large for me... so I'm now going to order 5.25" Monoprice speakers to replace them. Will continue to update on my progress...
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-02-2013, 05:43 AM
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What's the latest, mpr5231? Which ones do you like more?
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-30-2014, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, it's been a while! Since last summer, I replaced the two CAA66 with two CAM6.6 units. Four rooms have the 5.25" Monoprice in-ceiling speakers, four have the 5.25" Monoprice two-way in-wall speakers, and two have the 5.25" Monoprice three-way in-wall speakers. (the remaining two zones are both outdoors, one with Polk Atrium 4's, and one with TIC GS3's)

The CAA66 setup was satisfactory; I had four inputs connected: two AirPort Express stations for AirPlay, one cable STB for listening to games outside, and one DVD player for playing the occasional CD. However, I found good deals (eBay) on two CAM6.6's, an ST2 (dual AM/FM), and an SMS3... and what a difference. Really enjoy the keypads (three TS2, nine S2) and their command of the ST2/SMS3.

As far as the speakers are concerned... I'm very happy with the Monoprice products. The CAM provides 20W/channel, which I was initially skeptical about, but have found the power sufficient for my needs (with the exception of the zone with TIC GS3's - 20W/channel was decent, but I'm much happier with a separate amp for this zone at 2x75W - also, due to the length of cable I ran [~120'], I heard a huge difference when I swapped out my initial 14/2 runs for 12/2). The two-way vs. three-way? Some people can tell the difference, but most cannot. Actually, I think the three-way (though a nicer sound) distort more quickly than the two-way speakers at higher volumes - though at 20W per channel, distortion is rare.

I've been through several different products in the last few years - Russound A-BUS, CAS44, CAA66, CAM6.6; Sonos; SpeakerCraft MZC-66. If anyone has questions about my setup or my experience, I'm happy to share my experiences!
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