Triad In-Room Speakers vs Aerial, Revel, etc. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to upgrade my front 3 speakers and I am hoping that this will be my last upgrade for sometime. I really want a good top of the line 3-way speaker for home theater. I would like to have my 3 speakers matched across the front as closely as possible, if not identical. I have been looking for months now and have auditioned several different speakers, including: PMC, Revel, Paradigm Signature, B&W, Aerial and many more. I am NOT concerned about lower extension as I have the sub thing covered with multiple subs and strong extension to 16hz. So, I am more looking for the best mid-range and highs I can find down to about 50 hz. I want the front sound stage to be deep and wide and well blended and balanced across the 3 speakers.

I have heard a little about Triad, but they are nearly impossible to audition and there are really not many reviews on them. Their LCR series, particularly the Gold LCR In-Room seem to be a perfect fit for what I am looking for, but are they really that good? I know they are great for in-wall applications, but are they that great as a stand alone "In-Room" speaker? They are usually distributed through Cedia type installers who are usually dealing with clients who want everything done for them and don't care about price. I am not one of those guys!!! I do it all myself and am proud of that fact, I am willing to pay good money to get the best sound, but I demand BANG for my BUCK. I wish there were more reviews on the Triad Gold LCRs, for example there is not even 1 review on them at audioreview, I find that very strange!

So, here is my question. Who out there has had first hand experience with Triad speakers, preferrably the Gold LCRs. Does Triad skimp a bit on the components for what you get (i.e., tweeter, crossover, etc.)? How good is the tweeter they use, how about the mid-range drivers? How would they compare with Aerial Acoustics center the CC-5, or Revel's Voice? I know the Triad's are less expensive, but do they approach the performance of those 2 center channel speakers? I can get the Triad's for MSRP of about $1750, I can get a used Aerial CC-5 for $2500, I don't mind spending the extra money if there is a big difference in performance. Would love to hear from some Triad owners, or others who may have heard Triad and chosen something else.

I use a Lexicon MC-12 and Lexicon amps bdridged to give me 400 WPC.

Thanks,

Mike
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post #2 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 10:35 AM
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Allow me to clarify a bit to help you in your quest. First of all, you're looking at really good stuff, and it appears you've done your homework.

There are two pending reviews on the NEW Gold LCR (don't confuse them with the old ones that used a dispersion control lens.) The latest Widescreen Review (August) features the Gold LCR and Gold PowerSub, and there's a tentative review coming soon in Digital TV and Sound. Because the Gold LCR ($1750 each) is new within the past year, we don't have a large collection of reviews...yet.

The drivers are all proprietary, premium Seas drivers and include a 1" fabric dome tweeter, 5.5" midrange, and two 8.5" metal cone bass/midrange drivers. The speaker has high sensitivity (92dB) and will handle gobs of power. It was our intention to make a mini-Platinum LCR, at less than one-third the cost. You'll like the review in Widescreen, which makes reference to value, stating that within this price range, the Gold LCRs are tough to beat.

We use a vertically-aligned mid/tweeter array in the Gold Center, like Revel and Arial, which helps dispersion. As I mentioned, Arial and Revel are also outstanding choices, and I don't often use the word "outstanding" in reference to speakers.

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post #3 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the unput Paul. May I ask you which speakers you use for your set-up and why??? Are you more of a HT or music guy. As I said earlier I am geard more towards HT. I figure you are using Triads as you get them for a great price, but which Triad's did you decide upon?

Also, do the Triads tend to be birght, warm, or more neutral in your opinion?

As for the tweeter on the Triad Gold LCRs, is it the best tweeter you offer for HT use, if not why?

As for the finish...in the black standard finish...is it glossy or more flat. I am worried about reflections from my projector. If I go with a veneer finish will it change any of the sound characteristics of the speaker?

Are the Triad Gold LCRs still THX certified? Not a big deal either way as I don;t give much weight to THX certification anyways, but would sitll like to know. What do you recommend for a crossover point on the Gold LCRs?

Thanks!!!
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post #4 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophile1966 View Post

Thanks for the unput Paul. May I ask you which speakers you use for your set-up and why??? Are you more of a HT or music guy. As I said earlier I am geard more towards HT. I figure you are using Triads as you get them for a great price, but which Triad's did you decide upon?

Also, do the Triads tend to be birght, warm, or more neutral in your opinion?

As for the tweeter on the Triad Gold LCRs, is it the best tweeter you offer for HT use, if not why?

As for the finish...in the black standard finish...is it glossy or more flat. I am worried about reflections from my projector. If I go with a veneer finish will it change any of the sound characteristics of the speaker?

Are the Triad Gold LCRs still THX certified? Not a big deal either way as I don;t give much weight to THX certification anyways, but would sitll like to know. What do you recommend for a crossover point on the Gold LCRs?

Thanks!!!

Lots of good questions...

I am an ex-professional musician and non-Martian audiophile who loves accurate music reproduction as well as accurate movie sound. I have Triad speakers all over my home and office, but I have three Gold Monitors ($3400 each) in my theater/demo room. I had the opportunity to compare these to Gold LCRs almost a year ago, and, at half the price, I advised my reps and dealers NOT to do a comparison. The Gold Monitors use a $450 tweeter and they're spectacular, but the Gold LCRs are probably 90% as good. Both have high output, but the Gold LCR may have a 2 dB edge here. The fact that both speakers are accurate with flat frequency response makes them sound very similar...neither has a sonic personality, and they are both windows to the sound. I would describe them as unforgivingly neutral and very dynamic.

Tweeter choice is a matter of using what is appropriate, and there is no real "best" tweeter. Being a 3-way system, the Seas tweeter in the Gold LCR doesn't have to handle as much midrange as the Scan-Speak tweeter in the Gold Monitors.

Our cabinets are the deadest made, and a veneer finish changes nothing. We, too, believe a high-gloss finish is a distraction in a home theater due to reflections from the screen. Our basic finish is a black pebblestone water-based acrylic, although we can do any color and even gloss.

We haven't submitted the new Gold LCR for certification, but it is a good candidate. Our last Gold LCR was certified, and this speaker crushes it in all respects, though. An 80 Hz crossover can be used, but the Gold LCR has strong response to 50 Hz. I would probably do 65 Hz if the processor allows it, or 80 Hz if you are a-thumpin'...

Great questions, and I hope my answers helped.

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post #5 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 05:01 PM
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Following up -- I am forced into a less than ideal setup -- putting a system into a 220 yr old house/room -- in wall in celing are not an option -- horsehair plaster and very thin spaces not standard stud spacing etc -- and I don't want to know what is in my wavy ceiling and on the floor is not an option also

Soooo Im forced into a custom cabinet -- I know this is not ideal but since this is not a dedicated room but an intimate family space with 7' ceilings --

I am considering the Bronze or Silver LCR -- -- their size specifcations capability and price seem perfect for me

will I really lose alot of performace for if I place them in the cabinet -- I might be able to have it be an open shelf but the current design calls for a door with fabric?

thanks

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post #6 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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I can answer some of the questions from a semi-biased point of view. We carry Triad as part of our product line and they are excellent speakers. I come from an engineering background and enjoy designing and building speakers for fun. I can tell you from taking the Triads apart and looking at the quality of components I can't build speakers this good for the price I can get them for (pretty close to Dealer Cost). And the cabinets are the best I've seen from any company. The internal bracing they use is impressive. No cheap parts in the crossover. They might use some propietary driver design but if you study the drivers themselves and build speakers you know about how much something like these would cost.

I consider Triad at RETAIL price one of the best values in the industry when you compare their design, workmanship and components. I have heard the Aerials, PMC and Revel but never directly against the Triad. I would say the Triads are in that league and worth a listen if at all possible. However, for a reference I have heard the Triad Bronze and Paradigm Signature S2's and this would be splitting hairs but I would pick the Bronze over the S2s. The Gold is definitely a step up.

Michael,

Mounting speakers in cabinets can cause all types of acoustic problems. Here is what I would suggest. Leave enough room so you can surround the speaker on all sides and behind speaker with acoustic foam to fill the cavity that they will be put. Then cover that cavity with speaker cloth and make some framing for the cavity to hide the edges of the speaker cloth.

Hope this helps

Bob
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post #7 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Michael,

Mounting speakers in cabinets can cause all types of acoustic problems. Here is what I would suggest. Leave enough room so you can surround the speaker on all sides and behind speaker with acoustic foam to fill the cavity that they will be put. Then cover that cavity with speaker cloth and make some framing for the cavity to hide the edges of the speaker cloth.
Bob

Bob thank you that is very helpful regarding the installation ---

Do you know what the Silver InRoom LCR's retail for?

thanks

Michael

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post #8 of 177 Old 07-17-2005, 07:55 PM
 
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I don't have the latest price sheet at home but if I recall $850 each for basic finish. Paul will correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm quoting the old price. I can check tomorrow.

Bob
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post #9 of 177 Old 07-18-2005, 05:19 AM
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InRoom Silver LCRs are $850 each, and they'll work well on a shelf or in a cabinet. You'll have slightly elevated response from around 100 Hz-300 Hz due to the boundary effect. Bob's advice of packing the area around the speaker with foam is spot on. The current and 3rd version of the Silver LCR is very robust, and is as sensitive as the Gold LCR.

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post #10 of 177 Old 07-18-2005, 05:58 AM
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For what it is worth, I use the Triad Silver In-Wall Mini Monitors for our great room theater. The Mini Silvers are used in the front with Silver Dipoles in the rear. I find these speakers to be very clean and super responsive. I am now looking to add two sets into the ceiling of two other rooms.

I thought I would post for I do not see a lot of chat on speakers like the Triads.

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post #11 of 177 Old 07-18-2005, 09:21 AM
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I thought I would post for I do not see a lot of chat on speakers like the Triads.

Thanks, Dave. Triad doesn't usually induce animated discussion because our line is made up almost exclusively of applications-based problem solvers. We're not mainstream, and we live out our solitude wretched lives in the lonely shadow of anonymity...

(Was that a bit over-the-top??)

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post #12 of 177 Old 07-18-2005, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

Thanks, Dave. Triad doesn't usually induce animated discussion because our line is made up almost exclusively of applications-based problem solvers.

Sounds like speakers that you would have to remind the house painters to not paint ....

You see those new Revel in-walls Paul? At least I think they are new ..
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post #13 of 177 Old 07-18-2005, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

InRoom Silver LCRs are $850 each, and they'll work well on a shelf or in a cabinet. You'll have slightly elevated response from around 100 Hz-300 Hz due to the boundary effect. Bob's advice of packing the area around the speaker with foam is spot on. The current and 3rd version of the Silver LCR is very robust, and is as sensitive as the Gold LCR.

Paul:

I am also considering using Triads in a custom cabinet in a media niche. Would it be more appropriate to use the InWall Silver/4 LCR in a custom cabinet?

Thanks
Rick
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post #14 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 05:02 AM
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Paul:

I am also considering using Triads in a custom cabinet in a media niche. Would it be more appropriate to use the InWall Silver/4 LCR in a custom cabinet?

Thanks
Rick

You'll have enough depth to use the InWall Silver/6 LCR, which is 6" deep and has a smaller baffle. Everything about the speaker is the same as the 4" version other than the enclosure proportions.

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post #15 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 12:47 PM
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If a potential dealer or consumer living on the East coast wanted to audition a set of Gold LCR's in-room speakers before deciding whether to invest the $5000+ how would one go about it?

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post #16 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Mounting speakers in cabinets can cause all types of acoustic problems. Here is what I would suggest. Leave enough room so you can surround the speaker on all sides and behind speaker with acoustic foam to fill the cavity that they will be put. Then cover that cavity with speaker cloth and make some framing for the cavity to hide the edges of the speaker cloth.

This is exactly what I did with the speakers in our living room. To make matters worse I had to place the speakers on their sides (but I'm using very small speakers which don't give up much when placed on their sides). The results have been good.

The cabinet maker built covers made with speaker cloth that snap in place with magnets. They work well and I removed the speaker grills from our speakers (since we don't need two sets of them).

I'm using Role Audio Discovery speakers. They aren't in the same price league as the Triad Golds and I haven't heard the Triad Golds, but I'm very happy with the Role Audio speakers. They work well in tight spaces and still image well even when abused by being placed into a cabinet. We're using a subwoofer crossed over at 65hz (the Discovery speakers start rolling off between 50-60hz depending on placement).

http://gallery.phred.org/CS/photos/house/picture10.aspx is a picture of our cabinet. You can see the speaker grills on the upper left and right. The center speaker is identical to each side speaker to give you an idea of size. It is 5.5x5.5x10 or so (you can check the real specs on http://www.roleaudio.com).

Previously we were using Paradigm Studio 60s placed in the middle of the room. To give you a size comparison here are the Discovery's placed on top of the Studio 60s from the day that I received the new speakers:
http://phred.org/~alex/pictures/audi...d-speakers.jpg

My wife is much happier with the new setup. I don't feel like I gave up much, if anything. I spent a lot of time listening to the speakers in their normal orientation and on their sides to see if the new placement would cause imaging or staging issues and it didn't seem to. The driver placement is so close on these speakers that it might not matter.

I've picked our components more for music quality than HT quality. We have no surround speakers and our subwoofer (M&K MX70b) is great for music but probably underpowered for the space for hollywood effects. We watch few hollywood movies so this isn't really an issue.

My only Triad content is that I considered using Triad inwalls here instead of building into the cabinet, but couldn't demo them easily. I probably wouldn't have known about the Role Audio speakers if I didn't see them on Audiogon from a local seller that did allow me to demo them. I wish Triad products could be found in places like Magnolia Hifi or Definitive Audio (two local stores) for easily comparison with other products.

alex
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post #17 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomHuffman View Post

If a potential dealer or consumer living on the East coast wanted to audition a set of Gold LCR's in-room speakers before deciding whether to invest the $5000+ how would one go about it?

That's a fair request. Go to www.triadspeakers.com and look under "how to buy." Scroll over your geographical territory and the name of the local Triad rep will come up. Call him, use my name, and he will take it from there. Also, my Eastern Regional is a great guy named Bruce Franklin, and he can be reached at 860 657 9920. If no one has a close demo, we can probably "work something out." (Don't ask... )

I've explained this before, but Triad is sold almost exclusively through CEDIA dealers who specify products and generally aren't set up for retail demonstrations. I apologize for what can be somewhat of an inconvenience, but this has been our business model, and it's allowed us to grow tenfold in the past nine years. We'll try to help you, though.

Thanks for the interest.

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post #18 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I read the review in Widescreen. It was very good, although I didn't like the comment that they weren't quite as fast or accurate as the reference Dunlavy SC-Vs Widescreen uses. Still, other than that the review sounded quite good.

Paul, can you please explain to me the reason you use a "proprietary" driver from Seas and how it differs from some of their better known drivers (i.e., the Seas Millenium, etc.)...thanks.

I wish there was someone out there who could better compare the Triad in Room LCR Golds to the Aerial CC-5 (or CC-3b) or the Revel Voice. I would expect the Aerial and Revel would win out due to the difference in price, but I would be very interested to hear from anyone on the similarites, differences, etc...

Thanks,

Mike
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post #19 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

I've explained this before, but Triad is sold almost exclusively through CEDIA dealers who specify products and generally aren't set up for retail demonstrations. I apologize for what can be somewhat of an inconvenience, but this has been our business model, and it's allowed us to grow tenfold in the past nine years. We'll try to help you, though.

I think it is great that this has helped you grow tenfold in the last decade, but it also seems odd considering your presence on this forum. Most of the members of this forum are DIY types and not the sorts who purchase products through CEDIA dealers.

I don't know much about the business end of this industry, but would it be impossible to have both types of dealers? It seems like there are dealers who cover both ends of the spectrum like Definitive Audio (http://www.definitive.com/) in Seattle.

alex
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post #20 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 06:26 PM
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You'll have enough depth to use the InWall Silver/6 LCR, which is 6" deep and has a smaller baffle. Everything about the speaker is the same as the 4" version other than the enclosure proportions.

Paul -- since my cabinet is not yet build which would you recommend using the inRoom SIlver LCR or using the InWall Silver/6 LCR --

Michael M

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post #21 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophile1966 View Post

I read the review in Widescreen. It was very good, although I didn't like the comment that they weren't quite as fast or accurate as the reference Dunlavy SC-Vs Widescreen uses. Still, other than that the review sounded quite good.

Paul, can you please explain to me the reason you use a "proprietary" driver from Seas and how it differs from some of their better known drivers (i.e., the Seas Millenium, etc.)...thanks.

I wish there was someone out there who could better compare the Triad in Room LCR Golds to the Aerial CC-5 (or CC-3b) or the Revel Voice. I would expect the Aerial and Revel would win out due to the difference in price, but I would be very interested to hear from anyone on the similarites, differences, etc...

Thanks,

Mike

The Dunlavys retailed for $8000 each in 1999. The Triad Gold LCR retails for $1750, and it held it's own.

By "proprietary" I mean we work with our speaker vendors to develop a specific driver for our needs. Sometimes we require more sensitivity, more excursion, a bump smoothed out, shielding, etc., and Seas, Peerless, Scan-Speak and our other vendors are happy to help us.

As far as the assumption that the Arial or Revel products will sound better because they cost more, consider that we design and build everything in a lean manufacturing facility, and we rarely run a print ad. I would welcome a comparison with these two excellent speakers.

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post #22 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Wetmore View Post

I think it is great that this has helped you grow tenfold in the last decade, but it also seems odd considering your presence on this forum. Most of the members of this forum are DIY types and not the sorts who purchase products through CEDIA dealers.

I don't know much about the business end of this industry, but would it be impossible to have both types of dealers? It seems like there are dealers who cover both ends of the spectrum like Definitive Audio (http://www.definitive.com/) in Seattle.

alex

I'm on this forum because I'm a hobbyist, like the rest of you, and it's a great place. If anyone asks about Triad, I answer. Other than that, I'm just goofin' here like everyone else.

Most retailers have their favorite brands of freestanding speakers that they've carried for decades, some of which make strong industrial design statements. They carry bookshelf speakers and towers, mostly, and inexpensive inwalls. Our business is the integration of the best possible sound into a high-end custom application, and that's a different business model. Plus, many big retailers have no idea what Triad does, nor are they interested in us...yet.

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post #23 of 177 Old 07-19-2005, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael M View Post

Paul -- since my cabinet is not yet build which would you recommend using the inRoom SIlver LCR or using the InWall Silver/6 LCR --

Michael M

If you're going to use the grill that comes on the speaker, you may want to use the InRoom Silver LCR and attenuate the 100 Hz-300Hz range a notch or two. If you're going to fabricate your own grill, use the InWall Silver/6 LCR, which can be ordered with the grill deleted at a savings. But remember, the InWall is $100 more than the InRoom, so this will be a wash.

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post #24 of 177 Old 07-20-2005, 06:16 AM
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For those who have not noticed, Paul has been an AVS Forum member from 2000. If you look over his posts here and in the archive, I think you will find he has been here more for the fun of the this hobby we so enjoy. In 2000, AVS was still young.

I also be be adding speakers into a built unit and not a wall. I have two more Silver Mini Monitors that will be used as a the center channel. You see, I am building a new fireplace mantel and these will be added into the collums of the mantel on the left and right side of the fireplace. I would like one center channel speaker, but I can not because of the setup. You will understand this when I am done and post the photos.

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DISCLAIMER: All spelling and grammatical errors done on purpose for the proofreadingly challenged...:)

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post #25 of 177 Old 07-20-2005, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Paul,

Thanks for all of your help and comments. You have been very helpful and informative.

Take care,

Mike
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post #26 of 177 Old 07-20-2005, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bott View Post

I also be be adding speakers into a built unit and not a wall. I have two more Silver Mini Monitors that will be used as a the center channel. You see, I am building a new fireplace mantel and these will be added into the collums of the mantel on the left and right side of the fireplace. I would like one center channel speaker, but I can not because of the setup. You will understand this when I am done and post the photos.

Why not put just one in the fireplace? ;-)

Kal

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post #27 of 177 Old 07-20-2005, 08:43 AM
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Yet another comment on the original topic...

The Aerial Acoustics CC-5 is a spectacular center channel speaker, at more than twice the price of the InRoom Gold Center; $3800 vs. $1750.

The key when choosing among products is which one is appropriate for your needs. The CC-5 is worth the hefty price, and it's built at least as well as a Triad speaker. The CC-3B is the most comparable to the Gold Center, though, at almost the same price. The driver configurations are similar, with vertical alignment of the tweeter and midrange for better dispersion, and the Triad weighs 11 lb. more due to the extensive bracing. The only major difference is in sensitivity. The Gold Center is 92 dB and the CC-3B is 86 dB, which means the Triad will play to the same level on one-quarter the power. This has nothing to do with quality, and may not be an issue, especially if your room is moderate in size. Consider what your real needs are, what speakers you'll use for left and right, and what looks and sounds best to you. Again, I consider Aerial to be a top speaker brand that doesn't get enough accolades. They look and sound wonderful, and they're well built.

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post #28 of 177 Old 07-20-2005, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Why not put just one in the fireplace? ;-)

Kal

You're killin' me, Kal. It's really hard to get our speakers to burn, but I've found that lighter fluid helps...

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post #29 of 177 Old 07-20-2005, 04:29 PM
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Paul,

How would the Triad line sound with a Fosgate Model 4 processor in the mix?
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post #30 of 177 Old 07-20-2005, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

You're killin' me, Kal. It's really hard to get our speakers to burn, but I've found that lighter fluid helps...

I guess it requires extraordinary motivation. Mebbe I should have said:
Why not put just one instead of the fireplace? ;-)

Kal

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