Definitive Technology ceiling speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm very interested in Definitive Technology ceiling speakers, and I have several questions. I hope you can help me. smile.gif

My main concern is to have a good 5.1 home theatre set-up (for Blu-Ray, DVD, TV and DIVX), and I need the speakers to be in the ceiling.
I also listen to music occasionally.

I was thinking of two configurations :
- 5 x UIW RCS II
- or 3 x UIW RCS II (for front and center) et 2 x UIW RSS II (for surround)

I have made a plan of my living room so that you can give me an advice on the best set-up. See the attached file.



You can see there is no wall at the back of my living room. There are just three walls (left, right and front). The space is completely open between the kitchen and the living room.

Given that, what do you recommend ? Is it best to have bipolar speakers for the surround in my specific living room ? Or not ?
And if the UIW RCS II or UIW RSS II are best for me, how do you recommend to place them and to orientate them ?

My ceiling is at 2,50m height, and my fake ceiling at 2.30m height. So because of the 45-degree angle of the UIW RCII, I figure I need to put them 2,30m in front of the listeners. In that configuration, the sound is perfectly aimed at them. Is it true ? What do you recommend ?

Thanks for your help,

Fred
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post #2 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 07:21 AM
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The thing to remember is that ANY in-wall or in-ceiling speaker does not have an optimally designed enclosure to get the best performance out of the drivers.

They are very much an inferior product, and their performance is strictly 3rd-rate. You don't get much for your money.

No one who expects good-quality sound should even consider them. Conventional speakers on stands will sound much better.

If you have absolutely NO other option, they might be acceptable for use as surround speakers, but not for front or center speakers.

Having the sound coming from the ceiling is intuitively incorrect and unnatural, in any case.

Dipole speakers are very tricky to place, and do not work well in many rooms. It is hard to prevent unwanted reflections in most cases.

Two Polk RTi-A1 speakers with a CSI-A4 center speaker is a front combination that sounds very nice and will cost around $600.

You can't even come close to their sound quality with in-ceiling speakers (unless you get some PSB speakers that cost around $2500).
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post #3 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 07:44 AM
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In-ceiling speakers are not as ideal as in-room or in-wall, but not everyone can make in-wall or in-room speakers work. You have done your homework and have found an in-ceiling design that is the most ideal. Enclosed, and with the angle that will give you the best sound at the listening position.

I would go with three UIW RCS speakers in the front, and two UIW RSS speakers for the side surrounds. I have a very open room like you, but use in-wall RLS II speakers behind an acoustically transparent screen for front, and RSS III for surrounds. You can get good sound with these speakers, and I would ignore the comments above mine since this person is 100% ignorant on in-wall/in-ceiling speaker design.

As for speaker placement, where is your listening position where you typically sit? And are you able to center the TV on the wall more?
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post #4 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 08:06 AM
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Yes, it is always best to ignore the facts (and the laws of physics), when you already have your mind made up.

Anything that might tend to conflict with your preconceived notions must be dismissed as ignorant and ill-informed.
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post #5 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Yes, it is always best to ignore the facts (and the laws of physics), when you already have your mind made up.

Anything that might tend to conflict with your preconceived notions must be dismissed as ignorant and ill-informed.

You continue to prove your ignorance at AVS. These speakers have 45 degree angled baffles and if placed right, the sound will project right at the listening position. This is really no different that people placing horizontal center channel speakers below their TV's and then angling the center upward towards the LP. If properly setup, I doubt you could tell these speakers are in the ceiling at the LP.

We are not talking about poorly designed in-ceiling speakers that have the woofer or tweeter firing straight down, or at a slight angle. We are also talking about a speaker that is fully enclosed.

Yes or no answer, have you ever listened to these particular speakers in a properly insalled/designed room?
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post #6 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 08:53 AM
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Just so people understand what we are talking about, here is a picture of the RCS II:

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post #7 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Yes, it is always best to ignore the facts (and the laws of physics), when you already have your mind made up.

Anything that might tend to conflict with your preconceived notions must be dismissed as ignorant and ill-informed.

Now you've got my interest... which laws of physics are violated here? Please be very specific.

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. "
-Samuel Goldwyn

I wonder what he'd think about 3D IMAX?
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post #8 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, my questions were not wether a ceiling setup is good or not. I don't have any choice regarding this matter.
So it will be in ceiling speakers.
But I want good in ceiling speakers for a correct price. And that's exactly what Definitive Technology is offering.

Now, it is settled, I thank you for your help.
And thanks Ack_bk for your answers. It's helpfull.
What is the exact placement of your surround speakers ?
Do you think it is best to go the bipole or the monopole route ? Are you happy with your actual bipole speakers ?
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post #9 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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The TV is not in the center because there will be two people watching it: one laying in the first couch (the one on the left) and one sitting in the second couch (the one on the right).
And we absolutely need the couch as they are.
The wall on the right is a 10-meters window (2,5-meters height).
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post #10 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgueho View Post

Well, my questions were not wether a ceiling setup is good or not. I don't have any choice regarding this matter.
So it will be in ceiling speakers.
But I want good in ceiling speakers for a correct price. And that's exactly what Definitive Technology is offering.

Now, it is settled, I thank you for your help.
And thanks Ack_bk for your answers. It's helpfull.
What is the exact placement of your surround speakers ?
Do you think it is best to go the bipole or the monopole route ? Are you happy with your actual bipole speakers ?

For my setup (I have 7.4 setup) I have the side surrounds on either side of the couch. I would think your setup would something like this:


Bipole vs monopole is a preference thing. For side surrounds I like my bipole speakers, for a 7.0 config, I think I actually prefer monopole for the rear two speakers. I am very happy with the surround sound from my bipole RSS speakers. For what it is worth smile.gif
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post #11 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgueho View Post

Do you think it is best to go the bipole or the monopole route ? Are you happy with your actual bipole speakers ?


I asked this exact question for 5.1/7.1 placement in my room (almost exactly your setup, but with 10ft ceilings) to Paul Scarpelli (resident expert in regards to Triad speakers)... his reply:
"I try to avoid LCRs for surrounds because of their limited dispersion pattern and high directivity. If the seating is close to the rear speakers, dipole surrounds will work best; if they're away from the seating, InCeiling Gold/6 Sats would be a great choice at a good price."


So, in the context of your room... monopoles would be an option for rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup given some space between the couch and the speakers (if you ever decided to go that route), but with lower ceilings than in my room, the case for dipole right/left surround is even stronger in your room (with only about 6-7ft from listeners ears to speaker location)... would be hard to get the enveloping ambiance effects from monopoles placed as depicted in your sketch... in the definitive lineup, ack_bk's recommendation of RCS LCRs and RSS surrounds is the safest bet. You will need a sub though, do you have that figured out? I'm curious, as I am making the same decision right now with a VERY similar room.

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. "
-Samuel Goldwyn

I wonder what he'd think about 3D IMAX?
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post #12 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes. I already have a very good subwoofer.
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post #13 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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And I'm thinking of adding a second subwoofer...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgueho View Post

And I'm thinking of adding a second subwoofer...
Due to lack of output, or lack of even response due to difficulty in dealing with room modes?

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. "
-Samuel Goldwyn

I wonder what he'd think about 3D IMAX?
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post #15 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgueho View Post


My ceiling is at 2,50m height, and my fake ceiling at 2.30m height. So because of the 45-degree angle of the UIW RCII, I figure I need to put them 2,30m in front of the listeners. In that configuration, the sound is perfectly aimed at them. Is it true ? What do you recommend ?

Fred

Keep in mind your ear level is ~1m above the floor... I'm not sure this means you should place the speakers that close (1.3m) though, I'd contact DefTech and ask their advice.

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. "
-Samuel Goldwyn

I wonder what he'd think about 3D IMAX?
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post #16 of 43 Old 04-16-2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougri View Post

I asked this exact question for 5.1/7.1 placement in my room (almost exactly your setup, but with 10ft ceilings) to Paul Scarpelli (resident expert in regards to Triad speakers)... his reply:
"I try to avoid LCRs for surrounds because of their limited dispersion pattern and high directivity. If the seating is close to the rear speakers, dipole surrounds will work best; if they're away from the seating, InCeiling Gold/6 Sats would be a great choice at a good price."


So, in the context of your room... monopoles would be an option for rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup given some space between the couch and the speakers (if you ever decided to go that route), but with lower ceilings than in my room, the case for dipole right/left surround is even stronger in your room (with only about 6-7ft from listeners ears to speaker location)... would be hard to get the enveloping ambiance effects from monopoles placed as depicted in your sketch... in the definitive lineup, ack_bk's recommendation of RCS LCRs and RSS surrounds is the safest bet. You will need a sub though, do you have that figured out? I'm curious, as I am making the same decision right now with a VERY similar room.
Hello Dougri, ack_bk and Fgueho, Paul Scarpelli is a good guy and quite knowledgeable. I sold Triad as a rep for quite a while. I agree that ack_bk's recommendation is a good one. Yes, in-ceiling speakers are a compromise. But they beat the heck out of no speakers, which often is the only alternative. Dougri, we have two in-wall subs that can be used either as singles or twins with the SubAmp 600, IW Sub Reference and IW Sub 10 / 10. So if you must go in the wall, you have options at several price points. If you need compact subs, the SuperCube 2000 and 4000 are small but have solid output. Good luck and I hope this helps - best, Joe
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post #17 of 43 Old 04-17-2013, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I have contacted Definitive Technology, and here is the answer :

"Thanks for your recent email to Definitive Technology. Given your room layout and size, I would recommend using 3 x UIW RCS IIs as your front left, right and center speakers. I would then recommend using 2 x UIW RSS IIs as your surrounds (when used as surround speakers, we have found the UIW RCS IIs produce a bit too much focus or directional quality….)

When setting up your UIW RSS IIs, I would recommend placing them directly above (and to the left and right) of your main listening position. In this location, I would recommend placing them approximately .5 m away from the side walls your room. I would then orient them so their drivers and tweeters are facing toward the left and right in your room. This would allow them to produce a great balance of focused sound and spaciousness.

You are correct with your description of where to place the front UIW RCS IIs. Placing them 2.3 m in front of the main listening position would be ideal."
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post #18 of 43 Old 04-17-2013, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougri View Post

Due to lack of output, or lack of even response due to difficulty in dealing with room modes?

It is just that I like bass. My subwoofer is very good and can fill a small room. But I like huge impact in battle scene, so I'm thinking of adding a new subwoofer.
But it is totally optional. We'll see...

So it's not because of lack of output, or lack of even response, or anything like that. I'm just a bit greedy ! smile.gif
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post #19 of 43 Old 04-17-2013, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Keep in mind your ear level is ~1m above the floor... I'm not sure this means you should place the speakers that close (1.3m) though, I'd contact DefTech and ask their advice.

Well, I haven't though of that. And it perfectly makes sense.
But it seems to me too that the speakers would be very close.
I will ask DefTech. Thanks.
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post #20 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is Deftech answer:

"First, you are correct. Ear level is approximately 1 m off the floor. Next, in a perfect world, we would want the speakers 1.3 m away. This would, however, place the speakers quite close to the listening position. Given a choice, I would still recommend placing the speakers approximately 2.3 m away. In this location, the speakers would be facing directly toward your feet, however, the dispersion of the UIW RCS IIs is quite broad and you will still have a natural sounding front soundstage at 1 m above the floor.

(If this were my system, I would rather have the speakers 2.3 m away – rather than 1.3 m away)"
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post #21 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgueho View Post

Here is Deftech answer:

"First, you are correct. Ear level is approximately 1 m off the floor. Next, in a perfect world, we would want the speakers 1.3 m away. This would, however, place the speakers quite close to the listening position. Given a choice, I would still recommend placing the speakers approximately 2.3 m away. In this location, the speakers would be facing directly toward your feet, however, the dispersion of the UIW RCS IIs is quite broad and you will still have a natural sounding front soundstage at 1 m above the floor.

(If this were my system, I would rather have the speakers 2.3 m away – rather than 1.3 m away)"

Hmm.. I would personally lean towards having the sound closer to ear level. One thing you could do, not ideal I know, would be to hook up the speaker before you cut holes in your ceiling and try them in different lengths holding them as close to the ceiling as possible to see what sounds best to you. Also, what type of flooring do you have? Carpet, wood, tile, etc? Hard surface has different reflections and sound that carpet for instance and will impact your sound.
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post #22 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Also, what type of flooring do you have? Carpet, wood, tile, etc? Hard surface has different reflections and sound that carpet for instance and will impact your sound.

It will be all wood. Something like that :

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post #23 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 06:43 AM
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It will be all wood. Something like that :


One thing you may want to consider is a nice area rug near the seating position, and some drapes for the windows. You would be surprised how much it can change the sound in the room. Before I had carpet down, drapes, throw pillows, etc I was getting horrible echo/reflections when we talked or clapped our hands. After putting in those accents, the echos were really tamed down and it dramatically improved the sound quality of the room.

Something to experiment with smile.gif The room is such a big part of getting good sound...
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post #24 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for the advice. I will definitely look into it.

But the right wall will be all glass (10-meters), with a nice view. And nobody on the outside to look at us.
So, in those conditions, it will difficult to add drapes, even transparent ones. We will miss the view.

And we really enjoy walking bare-foot on wood, rather than walking on carpet. So I think we will pass on that one too.
But If the room has too many echoes, and I can't stand it, I will follow your advice.

We do like nice pillows on the sofa, but who doesn't? smile.gif
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post #25 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgueho View Post

Ok, thanks for the advice. I will definitely look into it.

But the right wall will be all glass (10-meters), with a nice view. And nobody on the outside to look at us.
So, in those conditions, it will difficult to add drapes, even transparent ones. We will miss the view.

And we really enjoy walking bare-foot on wood, rather than walking on carpet. So I think we will pass on that one too.
But If the room has too many echoes, and I can't stand it, I will follow your advice.

We do like nice pillows on the sofa, but who doesn't? smile.gif

No problem, just something to consider. We have a nice view too, but we only really watch the TV late at night so we close the drapes then (which I feel safer doing anyway since nobody can look in). Living where we do, the drapes also help cut heating costs by further insulating the windows. Even with energy efficient windows it is still surprising how cold those windows get.

Your place looks really nice, I am sure you are excited to get the speakers and enjoy the room!
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post #26 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

We only really watch the TV late at night so we close the drapes.
We will maybe do that. We'll see how it goes.

Quote:
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Your place looks really nice, I am sure you are excited to get the speakers and enjoy the room!
I certainly am! smile.gif
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post #27 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Now, all I have to do is find a very good deal. The difficulty is that I live in France... Not so easy to find Deftech here.
I certainly will have to order abroad and ship the speakers to France which will cost a bit more!
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post #28 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fgueho View Post

Now, all I have to do is find a very good deal. The difficulty is that I live in France... Not so easy to find Deftech here.
I certainly will have to order abroad and ship the speakers to France which will cost a bit more!

Episode, Triad, and B&W all make similarly designed speakers. I would not hesitate to recommend Triad, I have not heard the B&W or Episode speakers, but they are all reputable companies. Being in France, B&W might be easier and cost effective.
http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Custom_Installation/CI_Series/CCM7.3.html

Triad:
http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/icb8lcr.html

Episode:
http://www.episodespeakers.com/product/49/Episode-700-Series-Home-Theater-In-Ceiling-LCR-Speaker
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post #29 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 09:54 AM
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Could not find a French distributor for Deftech (they have like every country but France!)

Found this one for Triad:
http://www.triadspeakers.com/howtobuy/intlmapfolder/intldists/france.html
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post #30 of 43 Old 04-18-2013, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's not the same budget for Triad or Episode...

And I have found B&W speakers in my city but for speakers not as good as Deftech, the price is higher :
  • The CCM7.5 is 1000 dollars each..
  • The CCM7.4 is 1500 dollars each.
  • The CCM7.3 is 2000 dollars each.

And there is less depth with Deftech which I prefer for my fake ceiling.

So, all in all, I'd rather go with Deftech...
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