Long time listener, first time caller. Thanks in advance for your help.
My wife and I just moved into a new place and it's been prewired for an all ceiling 5.1 setup in the Family room. The space is 20x18 with 11' ceiling. The TV (Sammy 58b560) is mounted on the long wall with the couch 14' from the TV. There is no wall behind the couch as the space opens to the kitchen/dinette area and one of the short walls has a large oversized doorway...so the space is quite open feeling. We use this space primarily for watching tv and will be watching movies at night using the same setup. This is until i can finish my basement and build out my home theater. Currently i have an Onkyo Home Theater in a Box (HT-530) receiver that is driving the speakers that came with it. It's a 7.1 receiver that has 110w per channel. I have narrowed things down to the Monoprice 8" angled and tSc 6.5" or 8" NT angled speakers.
1. Size. I need to figure out what size speakers i should get for the fronts and center and the two rears.. From all the reading i've done, 6.5" speakers seem to be optimal all around as they will bring out the mids more than an 8". Perhaps my ceiling height changes that thought. So do i get tSc NT 6.5's all around or perhaps tSc NT 6.5's/8's for the front and 5.25's/6.5's in the back respectively? The Monoprice speakers only come at 8" for angled speakers so i don't have much choice. Some feedback on what size i need would be great.
2. Speaker angle. Angle of the monoprice is 15deg and the Angle of the tSc NT's is 30deg. I suspect imaging might be better with the tSc's due to ceiling height ...does this make a huge difference since I can angle the tweeters?
3. Price. I've read raving reviews of the Monoprice speakers for the price at 80 bucks a pair. The tSc's are 99 bucks a piece for the 6.5's and 130 each for the 8's. and I've also read good things about them as well especially since they have back boxes built in to provide better bass. Is the sound quality I'm going to get from the tSc's THAT much better than the Monoprice units that it warrants paying more than double? $500 for a full 6.5" tSc setup or $240 for a full 8" Monoprice setup. Your thoughts on this would be great.
"angle of the speakers".... are you any good at drafting ? a simple sketch of the room in "elevation" with the speakers located fairly accurately will tell you which angle is "better". What you are drawing is a vertical slice of the room, it will be a long rectangle starting with the first vertical line at 11' (the "front wall" and the height of the room), the bottom horizontal line is the floor and it will be either 18' or 20' based on the long dimension to the back of the room with the TV on the 11' high front wall. Position the prime listening position (a couch or chair), and then locate where the front, side, and rear speakers will be on the top horizontal line (the ceiling). Draw a straight line from the speaker to the listening position...the angle between the ceiling (top horizontal line) and the couch will be the "ideal" angle for the speaker in the ceiling. I hope this makes a tiny bit of sense . Whatever you get, rotate the speakers in the ceiling on installation to "aim" them towards the center of the listening position.
Personal opinion.....use the closed back TSC speakers to make sure all the speaker energy is directed to the listening area. Your in-ceiling installation starts out as a compromise, so do whatever you can to improve the situation. I would use no less than 6.5" speakers, and probably just install 8" all around. You have a tremendous area to fill with sound and small speakers will not "push" enough air to make that happen.
PS: is there any chance you can re-direct the front three speaker wires to the wall around the TV and us in-wall units for the L-C-R ? It would make a huge difference to the final HT layout.
I am new on here as well and I have asked similar questions. My take on ceiling mounted speakers is that the biggest benefit will be that you save floor space but don't end up with ideal sound by any means. But that is just me rehashing what I have read, not my own experience. For this reason I would just go with the monoprice because of the price.
Or do like vanmeter suggested, and how my system is turning out, and get normal LCR speakers and put the rears in the ceiling. (Then help me make up my mind on which to chose because I haven't decided on those yet ).
Thank you for jumping in to help. I found my old protractor and ruler and drafted it up and determined that the 30 degree angle would be better for the fronts and rears i think. Problem is the width of the sound dispersion. All this obsessing over the speakers has my head foggy. On top of that the thought has been lingering in my head that perhaps pointing the speakers straight down would be just as efficient as angled anyway as I read a thread discussing that only the tweeter requires angling since the sound coming out of the woofer wasn't directional. I'm a total newb so I don't know if that has any merit.
So as of right now I'm leaning towards NTIC8's all around and could maybe get away with NTIC6's all around if the wife starts freaking about the budget. This would give me the best results I could expect from an in-ceiling system while remaining on a tight budget. Then again if i go with the monoprice speakers i might have enough left over to get the tSc 250 sub to replace my Onkyo HTiaB Sub. Now i'm getting greedy. I truly wish i could do the in-walls for the fronts, I’m sure it would sound great but I can't seem to sway the jury on that.
please stick with the higher grade TSC speakers, the subwoofer upgrade can come later when the budget rebounds. Just plant the appropriate "seeds" with the wife that the new sub is a "needful thing", but you are willing to wait a bit on that purchase. Do not give her the impression that once the in-ceiling units are in you are "done".....very, very bad psychology.....can lead to a 2x4 up-side the head when the sub topic comes up later.
Thanks again guys for helping me through this most difficult time. :-) I've held off and am trying to plead my case a bit on the in-walls. I'm very worried about doing this all in the ceiling and if it sounds terrible i'll have 5 giant holes in the ceiling to patch up and start over. Does anyone out there have an ALL in-ceiling setup like what i'm trying to do and how does it compare to say what my current Onkyo HT-S780 sounds like? I wonder if i'm just splitting hairs and no matter what i do the new stuff all in-ceiling or in-wall/in-ceiling will sound orders of magnitude better than my HTiaB. Thanks again.
one more side comment.... just because the installed wiring is for 5 units in the ceiling, there is absolutely no reason you can't direct wire the the front 3 speakers if they are free standing units like 2 towers and a center, or 2 bookshelf size speakers on stands and a matching center. Then use the back two in-ceiling for the surrounds only.
I wish i had that option, if I could then i'd keep what i have. Truth is, i like my lowly HTiaB. When i had it set up in my old place and borrowed a friends SPL meter and clibrated it, the thing sounded really great. What if i got approval to do three in-walls but put them all in a row horizontally undereath my plasma (it's wall mounted)? It's a 58" so i have 50" of width to work with. Below the plasma is about 10" of open wall space before the TV stand. I could do a row of three in-walls and easily poke a hole for each wire to pop out lower on the wall behind the TV stand as it'a solid wood and would conceal the holes. I'm sure there are audio laws against this. I spose it'd be like an in-wall soundbar. Might look nice though. Hrmmm.
"corr...." three in-wall speakers in a row is very doable. You do want to get as close to the ideal layout, consider the left speaker - right speaker - listener as an equilateral triangle. Of course the L-R speakers can be spaced closer together, the soundfield will just be less expansive, but still better than "on the ceiling"
Thanks very much Nick and everyone for your help. I think I'm clear that the on-wall solution would be best with in-ceiling surrounds. Unfortunately after several battles the war has been....lost. I have succumbed to my wounds and ordered 5 of the NCIT6 speakers from the speaker company that will all be installed in the ceiling as the builder had prewired. I will hopefully have them soon and will post back after the install is complete as to how they turned out.
I ordered the NTIC6 speakers and now have them installed all in the ceiling. They sound very good after a few days they have already started to break in and overall i'm very impressed. The sound doesn't bleed to the upstairs at all and is more "detailed" than before if that helps explain it. I'd say the center channel in the ceiling doesn't in ALL cases sound like it's coming from the Tv but i think that might be because i'm obsessing over the system and practically stairing at that speaker waiting for it to faulter. Once I get into a movie or a show the sound does definitely fill the room and seems to come from the screen. Thanks for all of your help and advice.