As any competent speaker designer knows, the very fact that they have to be designed to fit in the typical thin wall compromises the enclosure design in fatal ways, no matter how high the cost or how good the designer. Ask any speaker engineer if you really want to know the truth. Calling my comments ridiculous displays a total lack of actual speaker design knowledge. It says nothing about me, and a lot about you, when you dismiss me as a dork based on zero knowledge!
The speakers I have at home are Vandersteen Model 3A ($4500+) at one home and Gallo Acoustics CL-3 ($1700) at my other home. Does that sound like "budget home-brew" to you?
The last true "home-brew" speakers I had were made in 1960. I replaced those with a Klipsch 15" Corner Horn system built from a Klipsch kit (not quite home-brew, since Klipsch supplied all the pre-fab parts).
Your overblown and patently ridiculous claims for your "LA800" speakers are laughable to anyone who has actually owned speakers like mine; the sound of yours is 3rd-rate by comparison. Go down to Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica and listen to some Vandersteen speakers, and you will immediately experience sound 10 times better than what you have. The same thing could also be said of top-quality speakers from KEF, PSB, Vienna Acoustics, etc. etc.
Even some of the best in-wall speakers I know of, the PSB CW383 and CW363, are far far inferior to the conventional speakers that PSB makes, and the company and their designers will acknowledge that if asked directly. IMO, anyone who would consider putting several thousand dollars into in-wall speakers has a lot more money than good sense.
Originally Posted by k_lewis
Wow good thread until I read the rediculous comments by "commsysman" - What a crock. Now, if someone who has actually owned the best in both floor standing and also comparable inwall wants to chime in on their personal experience, I'm all for that- but this person obviously sounds like a dork with a pair of home-brew budget speakers at home, and is just here to incite argument.
My personal opinion, based on actually owning several best-of-the-best floor standing cabinet speakers, and now recently moving to an all BG-Radia inwall system (LA800's etc), it is indeed possible to have inwall designed speakers on par with, if not better than, any traditional cabinet speaker on the market. My LA800's sound as finessed and dramatic as anything I've previously owned or auditioned. I think the key with any inwall is going to be with the installation. Sure, mount them to flabby 1/2" sheetrock and they will sound very marginal. Build a proper recess for them, preferably a dedicated cabinet that mounts in the wall so your sheetrock is simply a covering layer, and they will rock. Room placement is also key so you should also understand your room, because once they are in they are not moving. This is where working with an experienced AV professional will be of benefit, and heck if you're going to drop $18k on a pir of inwalls you probably want to put more thought into installation than your typical DIY project.
I built dedicated inwall cabinets for my LA800 mains - each box is 2.89 cu ft, 6" deep / 16" wide 87 3/4" tall (outside dimensions). Cabinet is a CDL approach with the inner wall layer consisting of 1/4" cement (Hardie)board. outer cabinet is 3/4" baltic birch ply. both layers are bonded together with 3mm bitumen elastomer. The entire cabinet is braced every 14" along the outer edges of inside cabinet, with braces running between the face baffle and the rear cabinet. interior walls are lined with 1/4" felt, and cabinet fill is a combo of pink FG and white accoutic poly (about 1.5lbs total per cabinet - .75 pink FG and .75 poly).
Result is a very inert cabinet, and all you hear is the line source drivers. All too often it is easy to not install inwalls properly and get a lot of sound bleed through / resonanance. I suppose in contrast a cabinet speaker has all the "hard work" done for you in terms of proper mounting and enclosure for the drivers, and they can be moved to optimal positioning in the room as needed.