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Old 09-04-2014, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Shared wall in townhouse : Shear wall and In wall speakers

Hello AVS, long time reader, first time poster

had a question i hope you guys can answer, i searched and no threads about my scenario

I live in a townhouse with a shared wall with my neighbor, and i want to install LCR speakers in the wall that is shared.

Between the drywall between the two units i have a shear wall for my side, and a shear wall for their side.

I have two questions

1) Am i going in the right direction to get enclosed in wall speakers, and how much acoustic leakage is there to expect, or should i get on wall/free standing speakers for my LCR?
2) Is it OKAY to cut three large holes in the shear wall, structurally, or is this to be avoided?

Thanks in advance!,
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcow View Post
Hello AVS, long time reader, first time poster

had a question i hope you guys can answer, i searched and no threads about my scenario

I live in a townhouse with a shared wall with my neighbor, and i want to install LCR speakers in the wall that is shared.

Between the drywall between the two units i have a shear wall for my side, and a shear wall for their side.

I have two questions

1) Am i going in the right direction to get enclosed in wall speakers, and how much acoustic leakage is there to expect, or should i get on wall/free standing speakers for my LCR?
2) Is it OKAY to cut three large holes in the shear wall, structurally, or is this to be avoided?

Thanks in advance!,
I really don't have any experience.. but based on personal thoughts.. I wouldn't go cutting into the wall... I'd go with perhaps an on wall speaker system... I know Triad makes some nice ones and I'm sure other companies do as well..

I'm sure you will get some more experienced opinions but that would be my 2 cents...
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:48 AM
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FYI if you're part of some type of a condo or co-op community, then you need to read up on the condo regulations, as in certain developments, the condo corporation actually owns the building shell, including any load-bearing structures.

If you're in a freehold townhome (where you own both the unit and the property outright), then of course none of the above applies, and you can do whatever you want on your side of the wall. I'll let others chime in on the wisdom of cutting holes in them.

Just something to keep in mind.

Last edited by tezster; 09-04-2014 at 08:31 AM. Reason: grammer correction
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:59 AM
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I think it's a can of worms best not opened. Go with on-wall, or conventional speakers.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcow View Post
and how much acoustic leakage is there to expect, or should i get on wall/free standing speakers for my LCR?
2) Is it OKAY to cut three large holes in the shear wall, structurally, or is this to be avoided?

Thanks in advance!,
It's going to be noticable if you install in-walls, especially with lower frequencies. That would be the case even if there was a brick or concrete divide, although not as bad. I would go with some slim towers. There are plenty of designs and colors to choose from that will satisfy asthetics.

You could have sound absorbtion material installed behind the wall where the speakers would be but I would consult a pro about that first.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:02 PM
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What do you mean by a SHEAR Wall?

In-wall are only suitable for Wood Frame construction, and only in a house (etc...) that you own. As has been mentioned, if this is a Condo or similar, you have to check the rules. I suspect they would not allow something so drastic, especially something that intrudes on your neighbors so greatly.

You could potentially build a false or floating wall, which would not in any way effect the structural integrity. You simply build a full wall over the existing wall and mount the speakers in that.

Let me see if I can find a photo of a Floating Wall, these can be pretty cool. You build a smaller wall over the existing wall that is set out a bit. Typically people will install LED lights behind the edges that really makes it appear as if the wall is floating.

http://www.floatingwall.co.uk/avis_floatingwall.jpg

This particular one gives the Floating Wall effect, but it could easily be just a glorified equipment stand.

http://www.floatingwall.co.uk/sworrall1.jpg

http://www.floatingwall.co.uk/sworrall2.jpg

http://www.floatingwall.co.uk/wall_and_floating.jpg

Notice on this one, it is quite thick and the equipment is built into the wall, again making it more of a free standing equipment stand than a true wall.

This would allow you minimal intrusion into the structural integrity of the existing walls, produces a nice impressive effect, provides a custom place to store your equipment, and gives you a place to mount In-Wall Speakers.

If the Condo board won't approve attaching such a system to existing walls, as I have pointed out, it would be possible to make it free-standing, un-attached to existing walls.

Though it may not suit you, this next photo at least illustrates the concept of a free standing wall -

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/23...c809adb836.jpg

To even understand the feasibility of this we would need to know the size (dimensions) of the room, and if possible a floor plan.

If the room is small, you might be able to sneak by with a floating wall. If the room is a bit larger, a free standing combination equipment cabinet and In-wall speaker placement might be possible.

A floating wall would have to be attached to the existing wall. But it would just be a few screw holes, and could easily be repaired when you move out, or the Floating wall could just be left in place for the next person. The Free-Standing is nothing more than a custom piece of furniture, and I don't see how they could possible refuse that as it is not really attached to anything.

Just a few thoughts.

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Old 09-04-2014, 03:19 PM
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Many of the photo links I provided are from AVForums.com in the UK. They have a Home Cineman DIY section where you will find many DIY project. Typically these detail the project from beginning to end as can be found at this link -

http://www.avforums.com/threads/wall...setup.1059039/

AVSForum has a similar section though I haven't looked through it -

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...-construction/


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Old 09-04-2014, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
What do you mean by a SHEAR Wall?

Steve/bluewizard
Steve, are you from the UK? Maybe they are not prevalent there, but a shear wall is a divider used typically for a wall that is shared between townhouse / condo unit.
http://www.abag.ca.gov/bayarea/eqmap...ch3/sld002.htm


I think from these replies, i will be targeting on-wall LCRs instead of in wall since 1) i dont want to mess with building code nightmares and 2) i dont want to annoy my neighbor.

What is the general consensus on Definitive Technologies (mythos 6 and 7) ?
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:51 PM
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Fellow townhouse-dweller here...

I haven't heard the 6/7, but I have a pair of the mythos 2s. They image very well, but don't have a lot of impact once you get down into the double digits. If you're looking to not annoy your neighbors, the 6/7 won't go low enough to leak much noise through the walls unless you're really cranking and the general volume is just annoying. If you want any real bass, you *MUST* have a sub w/ the 6/7.

I have a lot of different def techs all over the house (bipolars, subs, studio monitors, power monitors, mythos, etc). Guess you could say I'm a fan of the brand overall...
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcow View Post
Between the drywall between the two units i have a shear wall for my side, and a shear wall for their side.

1) Am i going in the right direction to get enclosed in wall speakers, and how much acoustic leakage is there to expect, or should i get on wall/free standing speakers for my LCR?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec88 View Post
It's going to be noticable if you install in-walls, especially with lower frequencies.
The OP was asking about enclosed in-wall speakers - since there is an enclosure / speaker cabinet behind the drivers there is no sound radiating inside the wall and since most of these require mounting to a structural member (like the Def Tech Ultimate In Wall series) no wallboard vibration either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcow View Post
Is it OKAY to cut three large holes in the shear wall, structurally, or is this to be avoided?
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcow View Post
I think from these replies, i will be targeting on-wall LCRs instead of in wall since 1) i dont want to mess with building code nightmares and 2) i dont want to annoy my neighbor.
I think that is something to avoid - regardless of who owns the wall, cutting into a shear wall may comprise the structural integrity of the building - better not to do it.

Lots of on-walls described / reviewed here
http://hometheaterreview.com/on-wall-speaker-news/

Paradigm makes some great on-walls - Cinema, Millennia and very expensive Signature series



Also, check out these clearance priced Boston on-wall speakers:

BOSTON ACOUSTICS P442 LCR (Left,Right,Center) Speaker Black Each NEW - $200


2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD

Last edited by mtn-tech; 09-04-2014 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post
The OP was asking about enclosed in-wall speakers - since there is an enclosure / speaker cabinet behind the drivers there is no sound radiating inside the wall and since most of these require mounting to a structural member (like the Def Tech Ultimate In Wall series) no wallboard vibration either.
With or without an enclosure the speaker will be noticable next door at higher volumes because of the fact that it's right on the wall. Insulating it then putting sound dampening around it will help. When I worked part time at an AV store the contractor we had for installations would always use sound absorbtion material.
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