Ceiling speaker descisions, decisions: Polk, Snell, Boston Acoustics, Klipsch, Episode, Def Tech, Speakercraft - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-20-2012, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I wrote another thread about my living room / HT proposed setup, and right now I am debating about in-ceiling rear surrounds (I think I have decided to go with directional monopoles that can be aimed, both due to my room configuration limitations and because I'm not convinced a diffuse sound of dipoles is really the best thing -- maybe for rainstorms and generic environmental sounds like people chatting in a cafe, but it seems more directional sound effects would actually suffer)

However, I am thinking of mixing and matching brands -- one matching brand/series for front LCR, a different (possibly) for rear, and a third (most likely) for sub. Does this tend to be a problem? Front LCR will likely be either Polk Audio or Episode (I kind of ruled out Klipsch because I've heard so much about listening fatigue due to the crisp, bright high ends, and I think that would only be magnified by my room with hardwood floors and little in the way of sound dampening present)

Here are some I'm considering:
  • Polk RC80i ($123/pair) or RC60i ($100/pair)
  • Episode ES-500-POINT-6 ($280/pair)
  • Snell OH-T7 ($100/pair)
  • Boston Acoustics VSi 560 ($400/pair)
  • Definitive Technology UIW63/A ($278/pair)
  • Klipsch CDT-3650-C II ($400/pair -- I am concerned about the tweeter horn being aimed at me from less than 8' away, but the feature I like is that in addition to aimable tweeter, the woofer can also be angled 15 degrees in any direction)


PS. They would be mounted directly above and flanking the viewing area (couch), 8' ceiling, and would be used for both HT and music (but mostly cinema) Fronts will probably be either Polk RC85is flanking 255c-RT ($400 for all), or a set of 3 Episode 500 LCR-4 ($600 total), paired with a SVS, Hsu, or Outlaw sub (undecided on the sub so far, but pretty sure it will be one of these brands)
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 01:28 PM
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In-ceiling speakers are a compromise at best. I would advise you use the same brand/series throughout the entire system to ensure proper timbre matching. Also I would not recommend using in-ceiling for your LCRs. I've never heard any in-ceiling LCRs that even remotely sound right. Best to use on-wall/in-wall or stand mount LCRs and the matching in-ceiling surrounds.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 01:42 PM
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For your rear surrounds I do agree that you should try to timbre match if possible, but it is not nearly as important as timbre matching your LCR speakers. Subwoofer does not matter.

I have owned setups that had different brand surrounds vs the mains, and they sounded great. I would not lose sleep over not matching the surrounds.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I will definitely be using brand- and series-matched LCRs (in-wall), not in-ceiling or mismatched LCR.

For the rear, I have some limitations in my room setup which are making it difficult (even in-ceiling might be difficult, for installation/access reasons -- I don't have an accessible attic); essentially, my couch is in the corner and so I could either do in-ceilings (aimed 15-20 degrees at seating area), or I could do a side in-wall next to sofa, but couldn't do a matching one on the other side because the other wall is too far away (an extra 10 feet past HT area), so I'd have to do either a wall-mount on one side or (preferably) in-wall flush, paired with a different speaker (bookshelf or floor-stand) on the other side.

Or I could do in-wall rears directly behind, but it wouldn't look great and seems like forward aiming of those would make them even less ideal than sides or overhead (ceiling is only 8', so not too far away)
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 05:11 PM
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Its not ideal to have a room that is not symmetrical, but the speaker setup menu is where it all comes out. Setting one surround, say, @ 2' and the other @ 12' puts the proper delay to each.
But as to placing one surround on a stand does not mean you have to have mis-matched pair. If you buy a pair of on-wall speakers for the surrounds, then there is no problem. One mounts to the wall, the other sits on a stand. And I know you are thinking in-wall LCRs but if you did all on-walls you could be completely matched all around.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-21-2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

For your rear surrounds I do agree that you should try to timbre match if possible, but it is not nearly as important as timbre matching your LCR speakers. Subwoofer does not matter.
I have owned setups that had different brand surrounds vs the mains, and they sounded great. I would not lose sleep over not matching the surrounds.

I would agree completely with the advice given here, but I will stake my claim that for rear surrounds there is little enough content that timbre matching should be the last of your concerns. If you can do so that would be great, but don't let this stop you from throwing just about anything up to take advantage of 7.1. On a whim, and at the very last moment I installed a pair of Polk RC80i in my ceiling for rear surrounds and am extremely glad I did. Even with simulated content it's for the most part no less trivial than a breeze but overall it enhances the experience. It is too bad that you cannot ceiling mount farther back from your couch rather than overhead, but with aimabile (amiable?) tweeters you should be able to diffuse the sound so that it is not coming from directly above.

When my HT remodel was done and gear all hooked up the very first blu-ray I popped in was Sherlock Holmes. The first scene contained horses running from back to front on a cobblestone street and those hooves behind me gave me a huge grin, another big satisfying milestone in a hobby that produces many.

Do eet! biggrin.gif

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-22-2012, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

I would agree completely with the advice given here, but I will stake my claim that for rear surrounds there is little enough content that timbre matching should be the last of your concerns. If you can do so that would be great, but don't let this stop you from throwing just about anything up to take advantage of 7.1. On a whim, and at the very last moment I installed a pair of Polk RC80i in my ceiling for rear surrounds and am extremely glad I did. Even with simulated content it's for the most part no less trivial than a breeze but overall it enhances the experience.
Do eet! biggrin.gif
The OP is only doing 5.1. Zero room to bother with rear surrounds. But you are right that the back surrounds are much less demanding to be identical.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-22-2012, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep. And, quite frankly, I don't see much of a point to 7.1. Yes, I'm sure it makes the soundstage even more 3D, but it just seems really gimmicky and unnecessary, especially for a HT. I doubt I will ever go the 7.1 route

(I listened to "3D audio" one time using nothing but a pair of stereo headphones, and they were able to manipulate the sound sufficiently well to sound like it was coming from front, left, rear, any pinpointable location in 3D space. I know that's not the same as speakers several feet away, but it says a lot)
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-22-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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Whatever you choose for the fronts I would try to match the rear surrounds. It is best when you can do this. If there is any area where tradeoffs have to be made then sure different surrounds aren't as noticeable. But, I think most of the speakers you are looking at have a model that matches for the surrounds. So if you can do this why would you want to use something different for the surrounds?
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-22-2012, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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The main reason I am considering different surrounds is because I would like directional in-ceilings that can be aimed toward the seating area; most of the brands seem to have a tweeter that can be aimed, but some also have angled or swiveling woofer, which seems like it would also be beneficial.

At this point I am narrowing down my decisions to some bargain brands most likely, unless I can get a banging deal on Boston Acoustics which might be another possibility. Otherwise I am considering Polk, Energy, Mordaunt Short, and Monoprice (and maybe DefTech).
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-22-2012, 04:08 PM
 
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The angles and how you are using them is pretty minor. Most of these only angle ~15 degrees which is minimal for your usage. If you compare a speaker that aims down to one that angles 15 degrees the difference would be less than 15" apart. Not enough to worry about. A speaker that has better dispersion would be a better bet.
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-23-2012, 06:23 AM
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On an 8' (96") ceiling, the difference would be 25.72".
9' = 28.94"
10' = 32.15"
That should be enough to get the woofer pointed towards you.
Plus, they also have the swiveled tweeter to further direct the sound.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-23-2012, 08:19 AM
 
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You have to figure it for head height not the floor unless you are going to be laying on the floor. For an 8' ceiling with a seated head height at ~3.5 feet it is about 14.5 inches. Angling just the tweeter is not always a good idea especially on cheaper designs.
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