In-wall vs On-wall vs LCR box (<$1500) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Need help to decide if I should go with in-wall, on-wall or a LCR box system.
My budget is $1500, but I would be delighted to spend less!

SETUP:
  • The TV is 65" plasma mounted above the fireplace.
  • Pioneer elite SC-25
  • Velodyne 12" sub behind couch
  • Existing in-ceiling surround sound speakers in back of room
  • There is room for a sound bar or center channel either on the mantle or above the TV.
  • The room is 16' x 20' family room opening to kitchen & dining
  • Wife has specified it must be low-profile, so thin on-wall or in wall are acceptable.

OPTIONS CONSIDERED:

  • Definitive Mythos SSA-50 sound bar (use only LCR or use all 5 and use ceiling speakers to make 7.1 system)
  • In wall Definitive UIW RLS III (but I have to pay a contractor to open the wall, cut the studs and frame out support for the center)
  • On wall Definitive XTR-50

I am leaning heavily towards the sound bar, but don't want to give up too much sound quality.

Any experiences out there about these types of options?
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 06:46 PM
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Get yourself a nice Center Box and 2 nice towers or Bookshelves from the Same Mfg' Model/Line. I would not Go in Walls.. you have to spend A lot of Money to get good Quality.. If you Do I would look into Axioms, they have a Enclosed Box and also make On walls..they have a lot of options.. Once you GO in Wall you Cant go Back!! The WAF loves them!!! It took me 8 years of Fights and Pleading to get back in a Box for the Front Mains!!
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 07:07 PM
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I agree with flying freak. You have to spend big dollars to do in-walls right.

For your price I would go with bookshelf for LCR. They will project best sound stage for the money. I intially started with Bowers and Wilkins CM5 for LR and CM Center and it sounded reasonably good. I think they run about $750 per speaker at Best Buy. Unfortunately, my son poked a hole in the tweater and I was concerned that my dog (250 pound Mastif) would take out the other speaker). So I looked at in-wall and in-ceiling.

After I put in the rear in-ceiling speakers (B&W CCM 683) about $450 per speaker, my wife fell in love with the hidden in-ceiling look. I then opted for the much more expensive in-ceiling 818 for LCR. They run $800 per speaker. The sound quality is quite good, but the sound is projected downward to seating area. It is good for HT, but not so hot for two channel listening. Also, sound does not project well outside the room if the room happens to be adjacent to another open room.

At some point I am going to get rid of the in-ceiling LCR and go to in-wall. I have done lots of research and I think Triad appears to be fairly well respected on this forum. They have lots of different price points for both in-wall, on-wall and in-room. You should check out their site if you go this route. Note also that one of the challenges with in-wall is that it is difficult to place the center as it goes horizonal and will require additional construction costs to install unless you are good at that sort of thing.

Best bang for the buck will be bookshelf or floorstanders if your wife can handle the look.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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The problem is, if I don't go in-wall, i need to go with an LCR speaker bar, or I need to go with very low profile on-wall speakers.
I will never get a box for the front-mains, no matter how much begging I do!

I am leaning pretty heavily towards the Definitive Mythos SSA-50 speaker bar (but only use the LCR channels), or also considering the Atlantic FS-5000 and Triad 3.0.

I can put the bar either on the mantle or mount above the TV, and be done with it!
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Deeda,

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, book shelf are also out of the question.

Good point about construction costs, I figure my handyman can frame it out and patch dry wall for about $250.

I was looking at the Definitive UIW III in-wall speakers as an option.
You can pickup 3 of them on Ebay for around $1500.


A better option would be a center channel that is only 14" wide.
Anybody know of a 14" wide center channel that can fit between studs ???
Luckily, my studs are centered around the center of the fire place so would not need a mod.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Book shelfs are out of the question too.

If I go in-wall, the best case would be to use a center channel that is less than 14" wide.
My studs are mounted perfectly centered, so I could slip in the center channel without modification.

Anybody know of such a center-channel that also sounds great?

The other option is to go wider and modify the framing in the wall, but it would cost at least $250.
If I go that route, I was considering the Definitive UIW III.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobears98 View Post

[*] Wife has specified it must be low-profile, so thin on-wall or in wall are acceptable.

In a perfect world, the husband's need are subjugated to the woman's needs and for the most part, for peace in the family, that's good counsel. But every once in a while, the husband must violate this counsel and in my opinion with all due respect for the wife's sensitivities on this issue, for the sake of the home theater itself, the husband has need to prevail on this issue.

Do with my above as you will for it's the sanctity of your home, not mine.

wink.gif

With that in mind, working with your wife on this matter, here's something to consider.

Yes. I know it's waaaaaaaaaay above your stated budget. The intent of the recommendation is to give you some ideas.

Here's a link to some more Klipsch architectural ideas.

Wishing you well with your efforts to make the both of you happy and your home theater happy with this project.

-
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 08:14 PM
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The Axiom VP100 comes in at 13.2' and would require no stud Mod! Now I have never Personally heard these, They get great Reviews are mad in Canada vs China!! They have Metal Cones wich are a Bright Sounding Speaker, I have had Infinity in walls and same Technology/Speaker.. They sounded good, But I prefer a Kevlar Cone as found in the B&W's
http://axiomaudio.com/vp100-inwall-center-channel.html#
Another option is the Niles there going for Cheap, Fully enclosed, what ever you get try to get Enclosed.. There some good speakers out there with GOod Pricing.. Even the Triads pop up ever y now and then..
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Niles-IW650FX-Stage-Front-FG01331-Wall-Enclosed-Home-Theater-Rear-Speakers-/150780572594?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item231b38f3b2
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobears98 View Post

Book shelfs are out of the question too.
If I go in-wall, the best case would be to use a center channel that is less than 14" wide.
My studs are mounted perfectly centered, so I could slip in the center channel without modification.
Anybody know of such a center-channel that also sounds great?
The other option is to go wider and modify the framing in the wall, but it would cost at least $250.
If I go that route, I was considering the Definitive UIW III.
The UIW RLS III is an in-wall done right. It uses an integral wooden enclosure, so from that aspect it is properly designed. In-walls have the advantage of being "infinite baffle" designs, which eliminates the issue of SBIR, (Speaker Boundary Interference Response), from the wall behind the speaker. You should listen to these speakers before you decide, but, in general, they are a "good" in-wall choice.

One other consideration... if you want a CC, there is no Definitive in-wall CC choice. You will end up with an unmatched CC. Definitive makes some smaller LCR in-walls, but they don't have integral enclosures. I would avoid them, just as I would avoid *any* unenclosed in-wall. You could always just use "phantom" center mode.

Craig

Lombardi said it:
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

My System

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post #10 of 19 Old 08-29-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobears98 View Post

Book shelfs are out of the question too.
If I go in-wall, the best case would be to use a center channel that is less than 14" wide.
My studs are mounted perfectly centered, so I could slip in the center channel without modification.
Anybody know of such a center-channel that also sounds great?
The other option is to go wider and modify the framing in the wall, but it would cost at least $250.
If I go that route, I was considering the Definitive UIW III.

I have the UIW RLS II speakers and love them. They replaced some expensive floor standing speakers and sound even better to me for audio quality.

Honestly, if you have a stud finder you can install these yourself with no problem for left and right surround. Is the wall load bearing? If not it should not be hard to modify your wall for the center channel as the only real purpose of the studs is to hold the sheetrock to the wall. Reframing would not be hard. You would also need to pull speaker cable through the walls, but again, this is not rocket science and lots of DIY help in the theater forums here.

If this is too much for you then I think your option of going on wall would make sense. Speakerbar, for me, would be the last option if you value audio quality. While it will be a noticeable improvement over TV speakers, it is not going to replace a true three speaker main system.
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-30-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I like the idea that the men should have the final say in the home theater system.
But, that just won't work in my household.
I "wear the pants" on alot of issues, but what goes on the walls in our great room is not one of those, unfortunately.

After discussing it for quite awhile, my wife likes the idea of the sound bar best.

So, now I am looking at a sound bar for the front, left & right, which will sit on the mantle, and use the existing in-ceiling rear speakers for surround.

So, does anybody have any experience with the sound bars used only for the front 3 channels.
I was looking at the Monitor one HD, and the Definitive Mythos SSA 50.

The Definitive Mythos SSA 50 would give me the added option of running 7.1 by using the sound bar for 2 of the surround channels.
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-30-2012, 12:31 PM
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You will most likely get better feedback in the soundbar forum:
http://www.avsforum.com/f/195/soundbars

My 2 cents. Deftech makes good stuff. Atlantic Technology and Triad would be a tier above. Also if the speaker is sitting on our mantle, you are going to need to aim the speaker down slightly towards the listening position, so keep that in consideration when buying (unless you have a really low mantle) smile.gif

Ideally you want the tweeter at ear level, so ability to aim the tweeter and woofer is key since it could be sitting up well above ear level.
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-30-2012, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Today I went out and auditioned some speakers, including the Monitor Radius One HD soundbar, Definitive Mythos, and Leon.
By far, the Leon sounded the best.

I also tried the GoldenEar SuperSat 3 and 50's, which were the surprise of the day!
Now I am thinking to mount 3 of these speakers for my LCR solution.
They are only 2.5" thick and look pretty good.

The sound is pretty amazing for their low cost ($250 for supersat3 and $500 for supersat50).
What blew me away were the high and high-mid range. Unbelievably good separation.
The only concern is that they are a little weak in the lower mid-range.

Anybody have any experience with the GoldenEar's?

I also heard they will come out with a soundbar which got great reviews at the trade shows.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-30-2012, 08:46 PM
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Golden Ears are good Speakers! I would take those over a 3 channel sound bar Any Day.. your gonna get better separation and they will have Bigger Drivers.. Sound Bar = Small Drivers!! frown.gif
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-31-2012, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, the more I read about the GoldenEar speakers, the more I am convinced this is the way to go.
I just learned they will have an LCR bar coming very soon, which got rave reviews at trade shows this spring.
Might wait for that, as its the same components but a more integrated look.

It seems there is more & more momentum for mounting a passive LCR sound bar at the bottom or top of the TV for a clean look and a horizontally consistent sound stage.

flyingvfreak, keep in mind I am only talking about passive sound bars driven by a separate amp.
In most cases, the "sound bar" of the sort I have referreed to here is using the same high level components of the separates.
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-31-2012, 08:22 AM
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The one thing I have noticed about sound bars is that some of them have poor off-axis response (most likely due to the way the speaker is designed with multiple tweeters and woofers in a horizontal speaker). I would tend to go with the Golden Ear solution myself.
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-01-2012, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I have settled on the golden ear for sure.
Its just a matter at this point of deciding between the new sound bar, which should be releaseed soon, versus separate LCR components.
The separates would help with the stereo separation, but the sound bar might be a better value and look.
I am going to check with my local stereo store about the timing of the sound bar release.
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-04-2012, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI... The GoldenEar sound bar just appeared on their web site!
Gonna talk to the dealer about availability.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-13-2013, 04:50 PM
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Ancient thread i know, but what did u end up getting? In a similar situation as you (WAF & other constraints smile.gif ).
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