Hello all. New member, first time poster. To preface this post, I've searched the forums and read ~10-15 of the fireplace threads regarding speakers. I'm aware that this would not be the best location, but, like most people posting, I have limited options so it is what it is. However, I've included pictures of the room to allow for opinions on other options. Now, on to my story...
My wife and I just entered a contract with a builder for a new-construction townhouse and, you guessed it, we're almost to the pre-wire stage. Like I mentioned before, I've looked through some of the fireplace threads so I'm familiar with some of the options available. That being said, I figured I still might get some ideas that are applicable to my exact situation, instead of trying to extrapolate ideas from others. First of all, here is are 2 links to pictures of what the finished house will look like:
Now, an alternative option to above the fireplace might have been the opposite wall, but, for a couple of reasons, my wife would be extremely unhappy with that set-up, so above the fireplace it is. (What can i say? happy wife, happy life). As far as the tv, it is a 51" sammy plasma. The fireplace itself will be gas, and we don't plan on using it often, maybe 1-2 times a year, so I'm not worried about damaging the tv. The distance from the floor to the top of the mantel will be ~65-68 inches. Now, on to my original questions...
1) Before I can decide where to pre-wire, I think I need to decide what speakers to use. The builder's "audio" guy (whose primary practice is alarm installation...) suggested I use in-ceiling speakers. From that point, I knew I would need to consult my own sources. I like the idea of in wall speakers (probably enclosed type) or even on-wall speakers, but I prefer not to use floor speakers. My preferable budget for LCR is around $700-800 total(which eliminates the artison Portraits and such). I've also considered the idea of a phantom center, but I don't have a current setup to test it. Anyways, I was looking for some suggestions for other possible in-wall speakers, which would lead me to my second question
2) where should the speakers be placed? From what ive read, I would want them at ear height when sitting down. However, that would mean that they would be below the mantel and it might not line up mentally with my picture (like the idea of having ceiling speakers). Would an in-wall speaker with directional tweeter (~speaker craft Accufit iw-7) be an appropriate selection?
Basically, at this point, I was hoping to get a few suggestions for speakers and where "exactly" I would need to put them (maybe I should have started with this and skipped the book written above?). Anyways, I hope I covered all of the appropriate variable areas.
Oh, and the receiver I will be using to power them will most likely be an Onkyo mod-level AVR (~$500-700 lever)
Thanks in advance for any and all help!