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Old 03-12-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I know it's the usual question, but I am trying to create the right surround sound experience for my family to enjoy movies/sports etc and also music in our new home that we are constructing. It's very exciting, but i don't have the budget to hire an AV firm, and was anyway advised that it is best for me to figure it out for myself, also more enjoyable LOL.

Family Room dimensions:

The Family room is 16 x 26' so lovely space. The TV would sit on the 16' wall. But the complication is that there are 2 door ways on either side of the central wall space. So effectively we really only have an 8' wall space on which the TV, Center channel and (if we had) wall Front R/L speakers will be placed. We currently have a 50" TV. We might upgrade to a 60" TV. I checked with the architect and we only have about 10-11" above the door top to the ceiling if we want to place the front R/L speakers above the doors.

Now we will be sitting 14' away from the TV. Why? because there is a fireplace in the way on the long wall. So we sit 14' away, and the TV wall is 8' wide.

So my options are:

Option 1. Get an in wall center channel, 2 floorstanding speakers R/L and rear ceiling speakers.
Option 2: Get in wall center channel and R/L speakers, adn in ceiling rear speakers.

In both these options the speakers will be at ear/eye level but only 7' apart. I am concerned that the sound stage will be too narrow gigven i'd be sitting 14' away.

Option 3: put in-wall center channel + in wall satellite R/L above each doorway, and angle them down towards the sofa area. Then have in ceiling rear speakers.
Option 4: in wall center channel, front R/L IN-Ceiling speakers that are 12' or 14' apart, and rear in ceiling speakers.

My budget is $1200-2000 for center channel, R/L front speakers and rear speakers all together. I'd prefer to stay around $1200-1500 because i want to set up a nice listening center in the Den as well.

Which option do you think makes sense to maximize experience and aesthetics of room, and what brand/type would you recommend? I've read about the Triad in ceiling speakers as being a great choice if i go with Option 4, but i'm not sure i can afford them. and they also seem hard to procure...

Thx chitra
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:30 AM
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Option 4 sounds good. Is there any reason the surrounds need to be in-ceiing in all your options?
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, in the front, having in-ceiling speakers would allow me to position them 12-14' apart, which i'm thinking would be better given i sit 14' away from the TV. but they would be in the ceiling and so i'm worried about how the sound would project. In that regard, I've done some reading from various AVS threads on in-ceiling speakers. Triad bronze in-ceiling speakers gets top marks, but i'm not sure if i can afford them, and also how easy they are to procure. Does anyone have suggestions of solid in ceiling speakers that would work well for the Front R/L speakers? I would like them to be enclosed, or at least i need to know how to get backing for them to enclose them, and i would like them to be tilted firmly towards the sofa.

That is why i thought option 3: satellite speakers might be a better option because i could put them above the doorways and angle them down. Again, what would be a good config to buy for that?

For the rear surround, i'm going ceiling just for aesthetics, and convenience and my understanding is that they'd be fine.


Any thoughts?
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:59 AM
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In my experience, in-ceilings for the fronts sound weird because the sound is coming from overhead as opposed to the front. I don't like it. Others aren't bothered at all by it. Since the rears are only surround effects, in-ceilings will be fine. I think option 3 is your best bet for your space.

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Old 03-12-2013, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Flyng_fool. Thanks that's really useful. Can you advise what you would suggest for really good satellite speaker options? The only ones i can find seem to be part of a Home theater package, but here i'm trying to get really good sound and am forced to use satellite to form a decent sound stage. Also, if i mount the satellite above the doorways, does that mean that the center channel should be above the TV? At this polk audio link, that is what the authors seem to be saying, but i am not clear: http://www.polkaudio.com/polk-university/articles/home-audio-speaker-placement
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:41 AM
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Having two satellite speakers above your doors would act more like height speakers than fronts. Good ceiling speakers can do the job of fronts depending on their design and placement.
If you did go the route of using two satellites for fronts, you might as well add some satellites as Front wides to get a more enveloping sound. And yes, surrounds can be left as ceilings.
Energy Veritas V-Mini can be a used a as satellite speaker. They have been on sale recently for 99 each at wwstereo. You should still be able to find the coupon code to get that price.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Ethusiast8: To be honest, I'm not keen on the satellite speakers. I'd rather just do in-wall speakers in that case. they look cleaner. I know i shouldnt think so much about aesthetics, but since it is a room for entertainment as well can't really help it.


So my questions are:

1. Is it ok from a sound stage standpoint if i just did in-wall front speakers? am I getting to hung up on the question of ok so i'm sitting 14' back so the front speakers need to be 12-14' apart? if you think 7' apart is fine, then is the speakercraft cinema series a good choice?

2. Is doing ceiling front speakers 12' apart better than (1) above? if so, which ceiling speakers would you recommend?

3. Sorry, i didnt understand your comment that , "If you did go the route of using two satellites for fronts, you might as well add some satellites as Front wides to get a more enveloping sound". So how would that configuration look? would it be 2 satellite speakers over each doorway?

thx for taking the time to help me out on this!

Best Chitra
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:46 PM
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1. Given your short front wall, in-ceiling is what I would suggest, to get a wider front stage. Triad is generally regarded as having good in-ceiling speakers. Look at Paradigm too. For something a little less expensive Sonance can also be looked at. For your question from your PM, in-wall speakers come with back boxes to mount them flush to the wall and also have a deep enough space for them to breathe.

2. I personally think so. Other people on the forum would know more about specific models to suggest.
Theres some nice older Veritas in-wall speakers for sale on e-bay. But that seller doesnt seem to have all 5 you are looking for. But just to give you an idea of some nice in-wall speakers, look at this.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Energy-Veritas-V2-0-CM-SK-In-Wall-Surround-Sound-Speaker-/251243844852
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Energy-Veritas-V2-2-WM-SK-In-Wall-Surround-Sound-Speaker/251243843800
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Energy-Veritas-V2-2-In-Wall-Surround-Sound-Speaker/251243842923

3. What I meant was that if you went with Option 3, you would be installing 2 satellite speakers over your doorways either in-wall or bracket mounted.
And my suggestion is, if you did do that, you might also want to get 2 more satellite speakers and place them in the "Front Wide"(LW/RW) position as in the below diagram to get a more enveloping sound.
http://www.audyssey.com/sites/default/files/dsx-configuration-graphs.png
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh got it thanks. Sorry, i sent the PM because for some reason my reply wasnt posting. but i guess it did after all LOL...ok let me chew over all this. Yes, looks like Triad is really good but might be too pricey. Also they seem to have a 10 year limited warranty, while some others have lifetime? so wondering why after a higher price there isnt a better warranty? And also with triad can we install or does some professional have to install? i'm not clear about all this...

Ok i will check out Paradigm and Sonance as well for sure.

You know i didn't realize that satellite could also be in-wall. that;'s a thought right there. The diagram you linked is really useful. So in a 5.1 system, if i did in-wall satellites, can i ask:

a. Would the center channel be above the TV or below the TV?
b. So if the satellites are in-wall above the doorway at 12' or 14' apart, where should the real wide be placed in terms of along the 26' wall length of the room? and it sounds like they would also be similar in-wall satellites right?
c. I'm assuming that the last pair is the rear and that I'll do just in-ceiling right?

Thanks for all this help!

Chitra
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:22 PM
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a. It could go either way. Listen to it in both positions and make a preference.
b. Satellites are not really meant to be used as in walls. You are better off getting in-wall speakers to place in-wall. If you do prefer satellites, you can bracket mount them, and that way you have the advantage of angling them with ease, rather than when they are sitting in wall. Similarly for Front Wides, you can stand mount them. Front wides are placed at 60° angle from the listening position.
c. Yes.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok I get it. Did you have any specific models in the Sonance and Paradigm that you recommend in the IN-CEILING? ALso what about speakercraft?
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:39 PM
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Dont know much about Speakercraft, but Sonance are nice, but can get expensive pretty quickly. Paradigm Signature series in-ceiling/in-walls are pretty nice too, and pretty expensive too. So in either brand, filter the models by your budget and go from there.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
If you aim the satellites toward your listening position they won't sound like they are coming from above you. In-walls can be good. But generally the only truly good ones are really pricey, plus only the more expensive ones come with backer boxes. I'm not a big fan of in-walls just because of all the compromises they generally have to make. But you also have to go with what works best for you and your space.

The Energy Veritas in-ceilings for surround use the other guy suggested are good, and they are a pretty good deal at $99.

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Old 03-12-2013, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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This is great. I will chew over all that you guys have said. I will report back either with more questions LOL or with what we've decided..
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:04 PM
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Anyone willing to lend a low-budget guy, with a similar sort of question, a hand?
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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jspeciner: Hey I'm a novice, but here's what i've learnt;

1. In WAll we clearly lose some resonance. If we go budget then unlikely there will be backing/box to the speaker. If you do a google search or on the forums there was definitely advice on how to create that box/backing either DIY or some professional help.

2. Check this thread on monoprice speakers. Looks like they are a great budget choice..I realize the thread is titled in ceiling, but i could swear there are good in-wall options for that as well. .http://www.avsforum.com/t/991046/monoprice-in-wall-in-ceiling-speakers

3. Check above for the links to the veritas, they seem very reasonably priced.

As i read various other threads, i will post if i find anything that makes sense. there were very good threads of speakercraft as well: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1249382/cant-find-any-reviews-for-these-in-wall-speakers-speakercraft-aim-cinema-one. I think speakercraft has a range of speakers.

Finally, from what i understand the 8" is better for the front and the 5 1/4 for surround i think. In other words you want bigger driver for the front speakers than the ambient speakers. Hey, i could be wrong, but that's my understanding. makes sense becuse the front ones are more important thna the surround right? but maybe some of the other guys can add to that.

Thx chitra
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:24 PM
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I have very little advice to add (other than perhaps consider something like Orb Audio), but I will point out one gotcha - the framing above the doorways may be an issue. Check with your contractor and see if he can work with you on this. If in-wall speakers are a must I agree with others, don't put the fronts in the ceiling. Otherwise you will altogether lose any sonic imaging.

I feel compelled to aide with terminology. Rear speakers are the 7 in 7.1. Surrounds is the correct term for the 5 in 5.1. I think by your last message you understand this, apologies for the correction. A diagram like this may help.

Good luck! It is exciting, congrats on the new space and your eventual enjoyment.

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:02 PM
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The rears are also called surround backs too.

Orb audio is Okay but I don't think they're a good value for the money. The Paradigm Millennia One is a much better set for the price.

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Old 03-13-2013, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes Nethawk you make a good point on the framing. I was calculating the 10" considering the 4" for framing and then another 4" for trim near the ceiling. But that said ive realized that i better choose positioning soon ebcause the architect/contractor will start identifying the studs etc and they need to know what i want to do for that purrpose right?

From all I'm reading, i think the safest thing is to do in-wall front speakers right and left, a center channel in the middle and then as you said the surround backs on either side behind me. One could conceivably do 2 ceiling right and lefts on the sides, but i'd rather save that money. I'm going here because although the sound stage/projection will be narrower, at least we know that the sound will come out right LOL!. NOw the issue is how to make sure that the speakers are enclosed or have backing. I have to do a search online because i thought there was advice on how to create backing/insulation if we cant afford the high end speakers that are fully enclosed. Any suggestions on more mid range speakers that are good and have backing? what about the speakercraft cinema series?

Lastly, guys, i wanted to change the subject to the Den where we are very excited to create a sensible music listening environment. It will just be us sitting on a sofa facing the fireplace. My question is shd I get 2 nice free standing speakers and place on either side on the ground? I listened to some monitor audio floor standing this weekend and they were really lovely for the music we were listening to. Or shd i be doing something else?

Thx as always to all.

Best chitra
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:10 AM
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Putting a backer box on a speaker that wasn't designed to have one will hurt sound quality unless you have the Thiele/small parameters of the speaker and can design one that will be the right size. On the upside it will help keep the sound from radiating into the room behind it a little bit.

The Speakercraft Cinemas will be way better than those Micas you were going to get. Which model are you looking at?

The Monitors are very nice speakers. Very neutral and well suited for music. For HT I prefer speakers that are more dynamic.

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Old 03-13-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes Flyng_fool. I did some reading and one has to be very careful about doing backing for speakers that are open ended (i guuess in the rear). So it looks like the speakercraft iis open backed right? because there was a website that seemed to sell enclosures for them (http://www.avhifi.com/shop/speakercraft-speaker-sound-enclosures.html). I also found this great thread within AVS: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428445/in-wall-open-vs-in-wall-enclosed and several enclosed in walls were recomended. So i will research them as well. the thing seems to be to identify 2 or so speakers you like and thhen if you have time to keep tabs on reputable venues where they may come on sale. We do have time on our side. so we should def do that. That thread seemed to identify some such venues, and i'll check those and others. I did audit the monitors from a music standpoint and so what you say makes sense.

In the inwall thread i reference above, the names that came up were Paradigm, James, Atlantic Tech, Def Tech uiw rls iii, thiel power plane. They all seemed enclosed. One reviewer talked about the Axiom but wasnt sure that they were best for front main. any thoughts?

Thx chitra
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitra0828 View Post

Lastly, guys, i wanted to change the subject to the Den where we are very excited to create a sensible music listening environment. It will just be us sitting on a sofa facing the fireplace. My question is shd I get 2 nice free standing speakers and place on either side on the ground? I listened to some monitor audio floor standing this weekend and they were really lovely for the music we were listening to. Or shd i be doing something else?

Thx as always to all.

Best chitra
Whats the budget for the Den speakers? Which model Monitor Audio did you like?
Would a subwoofer have a place for it in your Den?
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Enthusiast8: i dont actualy know. Have to check with the dealer. I was thinking in terms of about $1500-2000 not more. and i hadnt thought of a sub woofer. I thought 2 floor standing + an integrated amp would do the job. Am i wrong?

i have a question on speakercraft inwall speakers, but i'll start a new thread for that, in case it gets lost to other speakercraft users or critics...
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes i did find that to be the case - that you better be careful if you do DIY boxes. I found a great thread talking about in/on wall speakers: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428445/in-wall-open-vs-in-wall-enclosed . In that recommmendations were around Paradgm, james, atlantic tech, def tech uiw rls iii, thiel power plane. We have loads of time to actually buy the speakers so it seems that if we identify 2 or so speakers we like (for main and rear) then we basically keep a watch on reputable venues where it may come on sale and then make the investment.

What were your thoughts on dynamic speakers, which would you recommend and how do they match up against the ones mentioned above. You rae right on monitor. I did audit them listening to a classical cd and they were lovely and just let the music speak unhindered.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:06 AM
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Yep. Sounds like a plan.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:02 AM
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Sorry it's taken me a while tho get back to you.

Den: For two channel listening a sub really isn't required. It would be nice to have but most music doesn't go low enough or have bass powerful enough for it to be a requirement. The upshot is that it takes the heavy bass duty away from your mains and will give you a fuller sound. Powered subs also have their own dedicated amp so it places less strain on your receiver's amp and your main speakers. For HT use you most definitely should think about a good sub. It makes a HUUUUUUGE difference while listening to a good action-packed movie. I have one of the world's best subs, a Danley DTS-10. It is a giant black box, but it makes me smile every time it makes my whole house shake.biggrin.gif

Living room: The reason people prefer dynamic speakers for home theater use is because movies generally have a much wider dynamic range than music. While most music has a relatively small difference in volume from the beginning to the end of a song, movies will have go from a whisper to an explosion and back again over and over. Dynamic speakers can handle these wild swings with efficient drivers that can handle it without compressing or distorting. Well designed HT in-wall speakers are not cheap. Adam Audio and BG Radia make some really good HT in-walls but be prepared to pay through the nose for them.

http://www.bgcorp.com/all-speakers.html

http://blog.svconline.com/briefingroom/2010/09/25/adam-ups-the-ante-with-grand-theatre-component-system-2/

There is a DIY line where you can buy a kit that is an absolutely fantastic HT speaker for only about $300. but, it's not an in-wall. And quite frankly it's a big ugly box. My plan is to have three of these across the front and have them hidden behind an acoustically transparent screen. So then you just see a screen and no speakers.

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/waveguide-speaker-kits/seos-deltalite-kit.html

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Old 03-14-2013, 06:07 AM
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For the in-walls, Triad Bronze/4 LCR: http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/iwb4lcr.html
For the den, RBH SX-6300: http://www.rbhsound.com/sx6300.php

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Old 03-14-2013, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Flyng_Fool: (Sigh): I'll never be able to afford BG Rada i dont think. I saw some very neat speakers last night online and they're way too expensive. Do they have a lower end line that's pretty good and i could do for my budget? Guys, I was wondering about the Def Tech RTS III, but I am not clear what center channel to use. On one thread someone recommended just putting the speaker horizontally, but on the def tech website the recommended installation is vertical. Since i cant do an acoustic screen, that just doesnt work fo me. Would you consider Def Tech dynamic speakers? Maybe i shd call their tech support, but do you have any ideas?

Mike: I'll definitely check out your recommendations. Triad is high on my list for sure. and i'll call you as well so we can price them out. I wish i had the courage to do the in-ceiling, and there are some great threads of folks who did it for Triad and are happy. I just cant afford to experiment LOL..

Wish i could do the DIY...but aesthetics is so important unfort too. if it were basement? for sure i'd find someone if i couldnt do it myself...I'm glad you're able to exploit them.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:23 PM
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According to the Def Tech website it says that it can be used for either application:
Quote:
Use the RLS III as a main Left, Right, Center or Surround Loudspeaker

Great speakers. Those will rock pretty hard in your HT.

You can't go wrong with Triad either. Excellent speakers but I think they're a tad expensive for what you get.

Television: Mitsubishi WD65737 DLP
Processor: Emotiva UMC-200
Amps: Carver AV 806x/Behringer EP4000
Mains: DCM TimeFrame 600 Center: AT 453C
Surrounds: AT 251.1 Sub: Danley DTS-10
Blu Ray: Panasonic DMP-BD655
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Well i know i can use as a center channel, but i cant do that vertical. I have to do it horizontal. You think that's ok?
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