Looking for good in-ceiling speakers - lcr, and surround - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 07-10-2014, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for good in-ceiling speakers - lcr, and surround

Without going into all the discussion about pros/cons, and reasons for decisions...(I will say mostly WAf), I'm looking to put in in-ceiling speakers for front LCR and surround.

I dropped into an A/V Home Theater store, and they reommended the Episode 700s.

I've found some reviews that talk very highly of them. Of course, they ALWAYS qualify their praise with "...for in ceiling speakers".

At any rate, they are pricy, and only available through installers/speialty A/V dealers.

Take a look at the specs and they way they are set up. Any suggestions for alternantives?

[EDIT]

Just to update, I've been looing a bit at some Definitive Tech and Triad in-ceiling speakers. They cme a bit less expensive. Based strictly on my novice uneducated impression, it looks like the Episodes are pretty nice.

Maybe I don't need to use that specific peaker for the rears. but use 3 of those for LC and R.

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post #2 of 23 Old 07-10-2014, 04:29 PM
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Definitive Technology, Klipsch, Martin Logan - they all make good in ceiling speakers. Give one of us a call at AV Science tomorrow if you would like to discuss them, and get pricing. I personally don't think you can go wrong with any of them.

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post #3 of 23 Old 07-11-2014, 12:30 PM
 
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The big thing with any speaker is to have it aim at the listeners. You wouldn't take a book shelf speaker and aim it down, up or away from you. The same is true if you are going to go with a ceiling system. You want something that angles at least 30 degrees and the speakers that you are considering all do that. The ceiling speakers that point straight down or only angle a little like 15 degrees aren't going to cut it.


Another thing is to get consistent sound you ideally want your speakers in an enclosure or back box. Many in ceiling speakers have open backs. These are some of the reasons these type of speakers cost more and are not as easily found on the internet or big box stores. I had a Triad 7.2 in ceiling speaker system for over ten years. It worked well for our living room and I enjoyed it very much.


If the surround speakers are close to your seating area then you wouldn't need speakers that angle and can you save some money on them. All the brands mentioned are good and somewhat personal preference. I am actually impressed that the installer recommended speakers with a good angle and have an enclosure, not all of them are as competent.




I haven't heard the In-ceiling Episode 700 but I have owned the Episode Monitor 700 book shelf speakers for a stereo system and I thought the were one of the better sounding speakers in that price range. I also tried some Def Tech monitors and towers I didn't like as much, It is vey much personal and YMMV. Triad makes a big range for in ceiling speakers from several hundred each to several thousand each. I had a combination of Silver and Bronze models for my ceiling system and I would guess they are in the same league as the Episodes.
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post #4 of 23 Old 07-12-2014, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys.

Craig...I'll probably be giving you a call...may be a bit.

As FYI...some details on the room. First a diagram:



A few more details:
  • 12 ' Ceilings
  • As you'll probably decide from diagram, Kitchen and living room open to each other
  • Thinking of putting sub under one of the end tables (one at each end of couch on wall)
  • I drew up the plan for placement of the couch at 10 1/2' away from TV based on some recommended distances I've read
  • TV will be 75" Samsun UHD
  • Will have a 6' wide A/V cabinet below TV, not in diagram. Thinkinf of center speaker in that.

The blue box represents the TV.

Thinking of this cabinet where the center speaker will reside:

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post #5 of 23 Old 07-12-2014, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewingr View Post
I've been looking a bit at some Definitive Tech and Triad in-ceiling speakers.

Maybe I don't need to use that specific peaker for the rears. but use 3 of those for LC and R.
Those are the two that I would recommend. I really like the forward, slightly bright sound of my Def Tech UIW RSS speakers, they are very sensitive and put out a lot of sound even with a modest amount of power. The RCS versions for the front three have bigger drivers so I imagine they have even better bass. Right, standard in-wall or in-ceiling (with back boxes) to the sides of the listening position pointing straight down works well - I've done this twice and was happy with the results.

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Originally Posted by ttlnb View Post
Another thing is to get consistent sound you ideally want your speakers in an enclosure or back box. Many in ceiling speakers have open backs.
I agree 100% - that is one of the most critical features of in-wall / in-ceiling speakers. Without an enclosure, as much sound is going into the wall or the ceiling as coming from the front of the speaker and you can hear it in adjacent rooms and the vibration from behind the speaker makes the sound muddy.

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post #6 of 23 Old 07-12-2014, 09:02 PM
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A quick and easy ceiling back box is the dynamat dynabox.

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post #7 of 23 Old 07-13-2014, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Boxed in-ceiling is a given. The fronts are what's up in the air, but at the moment, I'm leaning toward the same thing.

Aimable speakers seem to be important.

The Episodes meet all the requirements, and have an excellent set of reviews. The others mentioned seem to be considered very good as well, and a bit less expensive.

I expect to hire them installed. Given that, I'm thinking it may be wise to consider whatever the installer is experienced with.

This'll be going in a home in Saint Augustine, Fl. Don't see any installers at all in that area, but the one I did talk to is in Jacksonville. When the time comes, I'll probably seek out others to compare.

Determining who is 'good' is something that may be harder to come up with.
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post #8 of 23 Old 07-13-2014, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewingr View Post
Without going into all the discussion about pros/cons, and reasons for decisions...(I will say mostly WAf), I'm looking to put in in-ceiling speakers for front LCR and surround.

I dropped into an A/V Home Theater store, and they reommended the Episode 700s.

I've found some reviews that talk very highly of them. Of course, they ALWAYS qualify their praise with "...for in ceiling speakers".

At any rate, they are pricy, and only available through installers/speialty A/V dealers.

Take a look at the specs and they way they are set up. Any suggestions for alternantives?

[EDIT]

Just to update, I've been looing a bit at some Definitive Tech and Triad in-ceiling speakers. They cme a bit less expensive. Based strictly on my novice uneducated impression, it looks like the Episodes are pretty nice.

Maybe I don't need to use that specific peaker for the rears. but use 3 of those for LC and R.




The "specialty" dealers/installers usually push a mediocre line from a 3rd-rate company with about 300% markup; that is a sure way to get ripped off.

Their huge profit is your huge loss. Episode??? Who ever heard of them? Avoid that like the plague.

The best in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, by far, IMO, are the ones made by PSB.

They are not cheap, but well worth what you get. Check out their CW-26 and CW-80R.

Last edited by commsysman; 07-13-2014 at 09:05 AM.
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post #9 of 23 Old 07-13-2014, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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My comments in blue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
The "specialty" dealers/installers usually push a mediocre line from a 3rd-rate company with about 300% markup; that is a sure way to get ripped off.

I have presumed that to be the case to an extent. But I will say that looking at the comparable speakers in Triad and others, they don't seem that much more expenseve, although, definitely more expensive.

Their huge profit is your huge loss. Episode??? Who ever heard of them? Avoid that like the plague.

The best in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, by far, IMO, are the ones made by PSB.

They are not cheap, but well worth what you get. Check out their CW-26 and CW-80R.

Neither of those appear to be enclosed speakers. All information I am reading is that for the best sound you must use enclosed ceiling speakers.

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post #10 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 04:20 AM
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Triad is worth a look. Monitor Audio also makes some nice sealed in ceiling speakers, but not sure of your budget.
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post #11 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 04:37 AM
 
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Monitor Audio doesn't have any that angle enough to be used for LCRs and that is the problem with many in-ceiling speakers. Monitor Audio does make nice speakers just not for this application. Having speakers that aim towards the listeners is even more critical than having an enclosed speaker. Of course ideally we want both:-)
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post #12 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Been reading on the Definitive Tech RCS II's. They appear nice. But, so far, having looked at Triad, Def Tech, and the ones that were recommended by the shop in Florida (Episode 700s) the Episodes appear to be the only ones that have an aimable tweeter.

They also have this, which I don't know if there's value in it or not:

Quote:
Room Compensation Switches (Tweeter and Woofer)
In multi-room audio installations, no two rooms are alike. Floor coverings, drapes, windows and furniture all impact how a speaker sounds in a room. With the ES-700, you can quickly adjust the tweeter's output by 3db to compensate for rooms with more or less sound absorbing materials. The same adjustment can be made to the woofer to compensate for installations near walls and corners that might otherwise cause a speaker to sound "boomy".
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post #13 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewingr View Post
Been reading on the Definitive Tech RCS II's. They appear nice. But, so far, having looked at Triad, Def Tech, and the ones that were recommended by the shop in Florida (Episode 700s) the Episodes appear to be the only ones that have an aimable tweeter.
A tweeter that aims is better than one that doesn't, but it still will not give a good result. The entire speaker must aim at the listening position. The speaker must also be one that has a full enclosure. The UIW RCS II is an example of an in-ceiling that can give a good result, but only if it is installed so that the LP is directly on-axis. If the speaker axis is aimed in front of or behind the LP it won't sound right. OTOH the Episode 700 is an example of a speaker that should never be used for HT, unless you're striving to get that hotel lobby sound.

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post #14 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 09:14 AM
 
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When you said episode 700 I thought you were referring to these.
http://episodespeakers.com/product/4...ng-LCR-Speaker


These do have an enclosure and the whole speaker is angled similar to Triad, etc. As Bill stated you want the whole speaker angled and not just the tweeter. Most tweeters play frequencies above the vocal range and speech should be a primary consideration for TV and Movies.


I just looked up the ES-700-Point-6 and it is open backed and only angled 15 degrees. I wouldn't use it as an LCR speaker. I don't know what the price difference is but I bet the one with the enclosure is a good bit more expensive. Now, I am no longer impressed with your installer if this is the model he recommended. At first I thought he had a clue but now it shows he is like most others with little knowledge of acoustics. It should be acoustics 101, speakers should be aimed towards the listeners.
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post #15 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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No, he recommended the right ones, I believe, enclosed, as linked in first post, these.

LIst price is $50 more than the Atlantic Tech.

[EDIT]
I see you linked the same ones. No, not the 6's.
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post #16 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 09:32 AM
 
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You are correct, somewhere in the last couple posts I got confused on the model. I think Bill's comments apply to the Point 6 and other Episode ceiling speaker models and not the ones you linked. I would go with the ones you linked over AT, as the AT seems similar to the Point 6 model.
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttlnb View Post
You are correct, somewhere in the last couple posts I got confused on the model. I think Bill's comments apply to the Point 6 and other Episode ceiling speaker models and not the ones you linked. I would go with the ones you linked over AT, as the AT seems similar to the Point 6 model.
Bill...were you thining of the Point 6's? Or have you heard the 700s which I linked in my first post, and think they are poor? They do have good reviews, but of course, everybody has different tastes.

ttlnb...not sure what AT is that you are referencing. I have been looking at this speaker from Definitive Technologies, which looks pretty nice, but the Episodes appear to have some features that it doesn't.
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post #18 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 12:14 PM
 
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AT = Atlantic Technologies. You had stated they were $50 more than Atlantic Tech, you probably meant Definitive Tech.
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post #19 of 23 Old 07-14-2014, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Yup. That's what happened. Don't know why I said Atlantic Tech...haven't even been lookin' at 'em. Brain farts.
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post #20 of 23 Old 07-16-2014, 08:59 AM
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When I got my Def Tech's, I set a pair of them up on my desk using one of my little 30w Parasound Zamp amplifiers (small 8" x 8" amp fits in my hand) and a portable music player - wow, I couldn't believe how clear, detailed, and loud they played. They also had a shocking amount of bass for such small speakers.

Mine are the bipole RSS versions so they really spread the sound. They have a forward, slightly bright sound, so they integrated with my front Paradigm speakers quite well even though they are much more sensitive - had to turn the trim down for them. The RCS versions have the aimed tweeter / mid like you talking about and with their bigger mid (5 1/4") and much bigger passive radiator (6 1/2") these are going to have the punch you want for your front left / center / right speakers and with that amount of mid-bass should be very easy to integrate with a sub - expensive, but I think you will be impressed.

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post #21 of 23 Old 07-27-2014, 12:22 PM
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Curious, did you look into any of Paradigm's in-wall / in-ceiling speakers among those you considered? I've used the AMS series main / front speakers (LCR and 350) and been beyond thrilled with the results, but I'm starting to research the in-ceiling rear options for a new setup.
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post #22 of 23 Old 07-27-2014, 02:12 PM
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Have you considered BG (Bohlender Graebner)? They're the people who supply to Martin Logan among others.

http://www.bgcorp.com/products/pd-hi-end-distributed/
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post #23 of 23 Old 07-27-2014, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbierogram View Post
OTOH the Episode 700 is an example of a speaker that should never be used for HT,[IMG]http://*******/xp1ekA[/IMG] unless you're striving to get that hotel lobby sound.
Why do you say that? It seems to have all the specs, and more, as the others. (The one I linked anyway...)

Have you heard them yourself?
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