Need advice on in-ceiling speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-04-2012, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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We bought a new house that has in-ceiling rectangular speakers that I'm not impressed with to say the least. The room is set up so TV is on top of the fireplace and four speakers are in the ceilings with an in-wall sub on the outer wall.

I would have loved to go with the floor standing speakers but for various reasons it is not an option. I'm looking at replacing front speakers and complement them with the standalone center speaker below TV and a standalone sub and will worry about rears later (still need to figure out if I will patch the ceilings and do 7.1 instead of 5.1). I will drive it through Yamaha-vx1800.

I stopped by Fry's today and out of all speakers they had only ML Tickets sounded good and worked fairly well with Motion 6 center. I did some reading on in-walls and in-ceilings and it sounds that it's the best to have in-ceilings angled towards seating area and MLs do not allow that.

What are my other options (Definitive Technology UIW RCS, ...) assuming I stay with in-ceiling speakers (preferably rectangular so I do not fix up the ceilings)?

Thanks
Igor
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-04-2012, 10:46 PM
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Sorry brother, I am not sure about the rectangular speakers. I thought those were mostly used for in wall and not in ceiling.

I am very impressed with my polk tc60is. They also make an 8" version called the tc80i. Both have aimable tweeters. I have a whole set up of Polk RTi series speakers and wouldnt trade them for the world. If you are starting from scratch with speakers I would deinately look at the polk RTi line. They also make in wall speakers too. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-05-2012, 01:05 AM
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You might prioritize your requirements with a 1-5 score system.

Sound quality:
Easy of mounting:
Appearance:
Off axis response:

Add your own characteristics of course, then go for the solution that satisfies the highest priorities. There are lots of solutions, not all very good. Many custom installers work with distributors that have demo systems of their installed products. They can take you two the distributor for a listen and look-see.

To name a few to start:
MK Sound (in-wall only)
Polk
Atlantic Technologies
Definitive Technologies (in ceiling and in-wall)
Klipsch

Don't forget some means of calibration...Audyssey or similar. Can make so-so speakers sound lots better.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-05-2012, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isakhnov View Post

We bought a new house that has in-ceiling rectangular speakers that I'm not impressed with to say the least. The room is set up so TV is on top of the fireplace and four speakers are in the ceilings with an in-wall sub on the outer wall.
I would have loved to go with the floor standing speakers but for various reasons it is not an option. I'm looking at replacing front speakers and complement them with the standalone center speaker below TV and a standalone sub and will worry about rears later (still need to figure out if I will patch the ceilings and do 7.1 instead of 5.1). I will drive it through Yamaha-vx1800.
I stopped by Fry's today and out of all speakers they had only ML Tickets sounded good and worked fairly well with Motion 6 center. I did some reading on in-walls and in-ceilings and it sounds that it's the best to have in-ceilings angled towards seating area and MLs do not allow that.
What are my other options (Definitive Technology UIW RCS, ...) assuming I stay with in-ceiling speakers (preferably rectangular so I do not fix up the ceilings)?
Thanks
Igor

You are correct if you must go with in-ceiling (in-wall is preferred) and you are looking for rectangular speakers there are three brands that I know of that offer rectangular in-wall speakers that have built-in enclosures (which I highly recommend) and are angled:
- Deftech UIW RCS
- Episode 700 : http://www.episodespeakers.com/product/49/Episode-700-Series-Home-Theater-In-Ceiling-LCR-Speaker
- Triad : http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/icb8lcr.html

I own Deftech in-wall UIW RCS II in-wall speakers along with in-ceiling UIW RSS surrounds and love them. Triad would be my first choice (and is also the most expensive), and I have not heard the Episode speakers but have heard good things about them. All three of these would be at the top of my list.

You really want to avoid open baffle in-wall/in-ceiling speakers if you can and all three above offer engineered enclosures.

For the Deftech speakers, the seller "bajawaverunner" is the parent company for Deftech and sells refurbished Deftech speakers at significant discounts. I bought my UIW RSS surrounds from the seller and they were in perfect condition.

Example:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Definitive-Technology-UIW-RCS-II-Loudspeaker-BBUDSA-/180915511271?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item2a1f679fe7

The UIW RCS III speakers will be cheaper (I have seen them for around $325 or so) if you have time to wait.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-05-2012, 07:51 AM
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Definitely go with sealed. Many manufacturers like Monitor Audio, Speakercraft, Axiom, and others offer them.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-05-2012, 07:54 AM
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In-wall and in-ceiling speakers are very limited in performance and power-handling capacity unless you get some fairly expensive ones.

There are some good reasonably priced speakers, and there are in-wall speakers, but there are no low-priced good in-wall speakers.

The ones I would recommend to anyone who is serious about sound quality are the PSB CW383 speakers; these are some very well-engineered speakers that will give you some decent sound.

You can check out the design and the data sheet and manual on the PSB website. I think they run about $800 for a pair, but you will need to check with PSB for dealers near you and price.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-05-2012, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

In-wall and in-ceiling speakers are very limited in performance and power-handling capacity unless you get some fairly expensive ones.
There are some good reasonably priced speakers, and there are in-wall speakers, but there are no low-priced good in-wall speakers.
The ones I would recommend to anyone who is serious about sound quality are the PSB CW383 speakers; these are some very well-engineered speakers that will give you some decent sound.
You can check out the design and the data sheet and manual on the PSB website. I thi
nk they run about $800 for a pair, but you will need to check with PSB for dealers near you and price.

Those are open baffle and do not have an engineered enclosure, which is not recommended as it leads to in-wall speaker loss:
http://www.cepro.com/article/how_to_prevent_audio_loss_with_in_wall_speaker_systems/

Sounds like you can buy an enclosure from PSB, but there will be much better options for the same price or less without having to compromise an open baffle design.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-05-2012, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.

Sounds like open baffle are off my list and I will skip on custom enclosures.

In-wall is of no interest given the room layout (built-ins on both sides of fireplace). I can potentially use bookshelf speakers instead of in-celiings and leave old ones not connected. The challenge will be with the matching centerl speaker as looks like any decent one will be fairly large thus driving my LCD even higher on top of the fireplace.

UIW RCS looks like the best integrated setup but is also an unkonwn as I've never heard them myself, any idea what they can be compared with sound wise?

Yamaha already has YPAO so I should be covered with basic calibration.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 05:51 AM
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Triad
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 06:30 AM
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If you want good sound for HT and are using ceiling speakers, you need the sound directed toward the listener. There are a few companies that make speakers specifically for this purpose. Take a look at the following:


Bronze/8 LCR: http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/icb8lcr.html
Klipsch KL-7502-THX: http://www.klipsch.com/kl-7502-thx-in-ceiling-speaker
RBH MC-615L: http://www.rbhsound.com/mc615l.php

Many regular round speakers have aim-ability of the woofer along with the tweeter. This would be a better choice (lower price point than above) than just a regular ceiling speaker.
Klipsch CDT-5800-C II: http://www.klipsch.com/CDT-5800-C-II If you would like to discuss this more in depth, please shoot us an email.

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post #11 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isakhnov View Post

Thanks everyone.
Sounds like open baffle are off my list and I will skip on custom enclosures.
In-wall is of no interest given the room layout (built-ins on both sides of fireplace). I can potentially use bookshelf speakers instead of in-celiings and leave old ones not connected. The challenge will be with the matching centerl speaker as looks like any decent one will be fairly large thus driving my LCD even higher on top of the fireplace.
UIW RCS looks like the best integrated setup but is also an unkonwn as I've never heard them myself, any idea what they can be compared with sound wise?
Yamaha already has YPAO so I should be covered with basic calibration.

You could go with a matching in-ceiling center channel, but I like the idea of having the center channel closer to ear level. There are mounting options for the center channel, either above or below your TV. Something like this:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1390240/get-your-tv-off-your-center-channel-with-this-stand

I auditioned lots of in-wall speakers in my journey for my home theater:
- Deftech
- Klipsch
- B&W
- Triad
- PSB
- Paradigm
- RBH
- Atlantic Technology

If I had to rank them my top 5 I would say:
- Triad
- RBH
- Atlantic Technology
- Deftech
- Paradigm

This was exclusively for home theater usage. The Traid's were my favorite speakers but they were easily $3-4K more than the Deftech speakers smile.gif

I have owned lots of RBH speakers in the past and really like them as well, but they were going to be pricey as well and above my budget. Paradigm was nice, but I thought they were overpriced for what you pay.

Comes down to budget, and you have to factor in a good subwoofer or two in that budget which will be another $600-1000.. I have been very happy with my Deftech speakers and I have owned lots of speakers over the years, some of them priced more than the Deftech's. They are very dynamic for home theater and I don't feel like I am missing anything. I have dual subwoofers in the room which really help (HSU VTF-15H), so don't skimp on the sub.

If I had the budget, I would have gone with the Triad in-wall speakers and not have looked back. I may upgrade to them down the road, but with three young kids it is hard to justify spending that much money when I am already really happy with my speakers.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-06-2012, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Had managed to get to Magnolia HiFi today and I'm scrapping the idea of in-ceilings. Even b&w ccm7.3 they had installed didn't sound that good.

I guess my next option is compact bookshelves.

Really liked b&w cm1s but will probably settle for deftech sm55s. The problem is that I have a limited depth available for the center speaker and I wonder if sm55 can be paired up with Mythos 3 as the center or would have to go with cs-xx for the correct matching?
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