Complete In-Wall or In-Ceiling Q&A - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 223 Old 08-26-2006, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Since there are some, if not many, posters who submit questions related to in-wall/ceiling speakers, either for home theater or whole house audio, I thought it might be a good idea to begin a thread where all of these questions could be directed and answered by the community here along with retailers/installers like myself.

Hopefully, it won't devolve into an in-walls suck/don't suck fiasco.

Also started a thread in the Amps, Receivers, and Processors area where all questions related to whole house audio electronics can be directed (Complete Whole House Audio Q&A).

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post #2 of 223 Old 08-26-2006, 10:10 AM
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Good topic. Let's keep in mind that usually when someone says "inwalls suck" or "ceiling speakers suck" they are comparing a cheap plastic sonic horror show to a good box speaker that costs five times as much. To be fair, let's compare inwalls at the same price as freestanding speakers.

One point that I consider very important is picking the appropriate speaker for the application. For example, it's very, very common these days for family rooms with high ceilings to have a TV with five ceiling speakers, all pointing straight down. Pivoting tweeters or not, it's the most common speaker mistake being made.

And remember, you can spend anywhere between a few hundred dollars and $20,000 or more on an inwall 5.1 speaker system, so general statements (inwalls suck, et al), are not always true. I have to admit, though that there are lots of inwalls that truly are teh suck...

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post #3 of 223 Old 08-28-2006, 03:57 PM
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Hello guys-thanks for starting this thread because as it happens, I need advice and guidance.I have a small room
devoted to home theater(18 by 12)where my speakers
that I have now are being kicked out due to space restrictions.I have the following in use:
Harman Kardon AVR8000 receiver
two Wharfdale towers
two Wharfdale bookshelves
center Infinity speaker
(the above speakers need to be replaced with in ceiling)
sub woofer is Klipsch
What would you recommend to replace the fronts,center and rears with a 1,000 budget?
I have looked at the following-Klipsch(the only ones I've
heard-not bad!)Speakercraft,Sonance and B&W.
Any thoughts are much appreciated
Thom
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post #4 of 223 Old 08-30-2006, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Thom,

The one thing you really want to listen for from an in-ceiling intended for home theater is how well it presents sound into the room/into the main listening position. With the common design being stationary woofer and pivoting tweeter, high frequency clarity is permitted to carry into the room, but mid-range, mid-bass, and whatever usable bass is confined to about a 3-4' downward radius. The main negative with this, in my opinion, is that the center speaker suffers from an overall lack of presence and sounds far removed from the images on-screen.

With this, it would be a good idea to check out the Speakercraft AIM 8 or AIM 7 series speakers or the Sonance Ellipse product. These are two lines that you mentioned above engineered to be in-ceiling home theater speakers since they allow the full range of sound, and not just the tweeter, to be directed into the listening room . For your budget, the Sonance will max it out - retail pricing for your front three (Ellipse 1.0) is 1k. With Speakercraft, you can probably get into (5) AIM 8 One's with a small dealer discount, but I would opt for an upper level pair of either AIM 8 or Aim 7 models, a matching single for the center, and if budget is close to gone, using a pair from the AIM 5 line for the surrounds.

Obviously, there are so many more speaker options out there, and you have also mentioned Klipsch and B&W, but the Sonance and Speakercraft are models I am most familiar with so can only offer advice on them.

Hope this helps and good luck in your search.

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post #5 of 223 Old 08-30-2006, 05:32 AM
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I have MTX in-wall speakers in a 7.1 config that are fairly priced and had some good reviews on the web. I'm happy with the selection. I chose not to go in-wall with the subwoofer though

SPEAKERS
1 MTX ( HT2625W ) Dual 6 1/2" 2-Way In-Wall Video Shielded Center Channel
2 MTX ( HT520BDP ) 5 1/2" 2-Way In-Wall BI-POLE/DI-POLE Surround Speaker
2 MTX ( HT825W ) 8" 2Way Rectangular Pair
2 MTX ( HT8253W ) 8" 3Way Video Shielded Rectangular
1 Subwoofer - SVS PB12-Plus/2 Textured Black
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post #6 of 223 Old 08-30-2006, 08:07 AM
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After tons of research on in-wall, in-ceiling I concluded that most of them are not going to be close to the sound quality of decent FS or BS speakers unless you spend lots of money. For me it wasnt worth it since I need 11 sets of speakers for my house.

In the end I found cheap BIC 5.1 package that gave me the HT-100 sub for the MSRP just over the sub. That will cover a couple of rooms. Also, I have 4 sets of in-ceiling SCW-2 klipsch and 5 sets of in-wall SCW-3 klipsch (better sound, will still go in the ceiling) from an ebay store. Thats 23 total speakers for my house. I still have a 5.1 HT room and bookshelfs for another room after that.

I also concluded that its better to buy Bookshelf (no rear port) speakers into a bookshelf instead of buying in-wall speakers because of huge savings.

Installing all of the in-ceiling/in-walls this week since the painting is finally done.

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post #7 of 223 Old 08-30-2006, 04:17 PM
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TomHT,

What was the total cost for your set-up? Were did you purchase your speakers, net or store?

penngray,

Same questions.

BBec

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsHT View Post

I have MTX in-wall speakers in a 7.1 config that are fairly priced and had some good reviews on the web. I'm happy with the selection. I chose not to go in-wall with the subwoofer though

SPEAKERS
1 MTX ( HT2625W ) Dual 6 1/2" 2-Way In-Wall Video Shielded Center Channel
2 MTX ( HT520BDP ) 5 1/2" 2-Way In-Wall BI-POLE/DI-POLE Surround Speaker
2 MTX ( HT825W ) 8" 2Way Rectangular Pair
2 MTX ( HT8253W ) 8" 3Way Video Shielded Rectangular
1 Subwoofer - SVS PB12-Plus/2 Textured Black

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post #8 of 223 Old 08-30-2006, 05:47 PM
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I'm moving into a new house next week. WAF restricted me to in-ceiling speakers until I build a HT in the basement in a couple of years. I have no idea how this will sound but I will for sure find out soon. This is what I have; 7.2 Speakercraft system - (3) AIM-8 three's for front and center, (4) AIM-7 two's for side and back surrounds, and (2) Energy subs. I recently bought a new Outlaw 1070 HT receiver in June. I'll let you guys know how it sounds if you are interested. At my current house I have a complete Energy connoisseur speaker system, so this is what I'll be comparing it to.

-Tom
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post #9 of 223 Old 08-30-2006, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueboyec View Post

TomHT,

What was the total cost for your set-up? Were did you purchase your speakers, net or store?

BBec

The total for the 7 in-wall speakers came to about $1,600 from t-tronics.inc The sub I purchased seperatly
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post #10 of 223 Old 08-31-2006, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom899 View Post

I'm moving into a new house next week. WAF restricted me to in-ceiling speakers until I build a HT in the basement in a couple of years. I have no idea how this will sound but I will for sure find out soon. . I'll let you guys know how it sounds if you are interested. .


Tom-I would love to hear about your system as I still haven't
committed yet to anything.After watching a movie last night
with my current system,I am having major anxiety about the switch.If I do go with Speakercraft,I may have to do it slowly
since I am sure I will go with upper Aim8's for fronts and center.Thankyou to all for the excellent advice though,and I
will keep checking back to this thread.
Thom
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post #11 of 223 Old 08-31-2006, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thommy2458 View Post

Tom-I would love to hear about your system as I still haven't
committed yet to anything.After watching a movie last night
with my current system,I am having major anxiety about the switch.If I do go with Speakercraft,I may have to do it slowly
since I am sure I will go with upper Aim8's for fronts and center.Thankyou to all for the excellent advice though,and I
will keep checking back to this thread.
Thom

Sure, I'll be glad to let you know, I should have a report around the 10th of September.
Tom

-Tom
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post #12 of 223 Old 09-01-2006, 08:10 AM
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Quote:


What was the total cost for your set-up? Were did you purchase your speakers, net or store?

I have purchased all in-wall/in-ceiling speakers online.

- The main living room has 4 in-ceiling speakers for side and rear part of an overall 7.1 solution. They are klipsch in-walls (SCW-3) for the sides and in-ceilings for the ceiling rears. bought on ebay for I think around 450 total for them. Main Mains will be Klipsch RB-81s no rear port so that are in a cabinet, RC-35 above 60'' plasma and a DIY Sub that kicks any SVS subs butt

- The back patio has a roof and it will have klipsch in-walls (SCW-3s) in the ceiling....$200 from ebay and the dining room has also 2 more SCW-3s another $200

For all other rooms.
- I bought 2 BIC in-wall solutions from ebay for a total of 1K....gives me 6 HT-8W in-walls, 4 HT-8C in ceilings and 2 very popular BIC H-100 subs (Anyone want them ). The subs alone are around $500 so the in-walls/in-ceilings came out as a decent deal. I will sell the subs because Im DIYing monster subs.

Two bathrooms have JBL two-way stereo in-ceiling speakers. (around $300 I think)

Thats 20 (not 23) in-wall/in-ceiling speakers for around $2200.

I refuse to go with in-walls for the mains or Center in HT rooms so I made sure I found speakers that are not rear ported and put them inside a built-in cabinet...definitely WAF. The built-in cabinet in the main room is a monster 17' long by 10' high unit and it fits all my electronics and speakers perfectly (I hope, its not installed yet). I just do not believe you will get the performance out of in-walls like you do with FS or BS speakers. Well if you spend thousands then maybe but instead I spent thousands on a wall unit that fits the room the equipment and the wife is extremely happy.

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post #13 of 223 Old 09-02-2006, 02:02 PM
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For TDI Driver, or others familiar with SpeakerCraft.

I need to place my familyroom home theater CENTER channel in the ceiling. I have a one story ranch home, and there is attic space above the room.

I was thinking of using SpeakerCraft's AIM LCR 3 in-wall as an in-ceiling center channel. If it fits, would that be the best sounding center channel option from SpeakerCraft? If it won't fit, what would you recommend?

As for the front L/R's, I could probably use LCR 3's as well, or use AIM 8 Fives. What would sound best?

How would the speakers from TRIAD stack up to what I've suggested above? They seem to have a good reputation, and I like the idea of their in-ceiling sub-woofer.
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post #14 of 223 Old 09-02-2006, 02:07 PM
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I should also note that I have built-in bookshelves where I could easily place mid-sized bookshelf front L/R speakers.

Would it be better to use bookshelves as the front L/R's with a high-end ceiling center?

Or would the AIM LCR 3's (or AIM 8 Five's) sound just about the same?
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post #15 of 223 Old 09-03-2006, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VBOMB View Post

For TDI Driver, or others familiar with SpeakerCraft.

I need to place my familyroom home theater CENTER channel in the ceiling. I have a one story ranch home, and there is attic space above the room.

I was thinking of using SpeakerCraft's AIM LCR 3 in-wall as an in-ceiling center channel. If it fits, would that be the best sounding center channel option from SpeakerCraft? If it won't fit, what would you recommend?

As for the front L/R's, I could probably use LCR 3's as well, or use AIM 8 Fives. What would sound best?

How would the speakers from TRIAD stack up to what I've suggested above? They seem to have a good reputation, and I like the idea of their in-ceiling sub-woofer.

In-ceiling speakers are primarily designed for whole-house audio systems for background music. They are not designed for home theater and they are a significant compromise for HT applications. There are several problems with these types of speakers for HT. First off, they use the ceiling as the "speaker enclosure". Speaker enclosures need to be solid, non-resonant, well braced boxes. Drywall and joists don't fall into this category. Using the ceilng as your enclosure will cause unpredictable resonances and vibrations and allow the sound from the back of the speaker to leak into adjacent spaces.

Second, placing the CC in the ceiling will cause all the dialogue to "image" from above. The only voice you should hear from above is the voice of God. I'm joking, but the point is that the dialogue should be locked to the image on the display. It's difficult to make it believable when the sound originates overhead. Even with aimable tweeters, it's difficult to overcome this effect.

If you absolutely *must* place your CC or L/R's in the ceiling, at least use an in-ceiling speaker with a "backbox" or an enclosure. I don't believe Speakercraft makes any, but I could be wrong. Triad does and their speakers are rated much higher than Speakercraft. Klipsch also has backboxes available for their in-ceiling speakers.

Mount them close to the front wall and aim the tweeters as directly as possible at the LP. Then place sound absortion material at the early reflection points to minimize the boundary effects. Better yet, find a way to use an in-wall, (with a backbox), or an on-wall or bookshelf speaker.

Craig

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post #16 of 223 Old 09-03-2006, 09:29 AM
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Paul Scarpelli of Triad is the resident expert on In-wall In-ceiling speakers. I have found that for a manufacturers representative he is fairly objective on this difficult topic. Usually, doing in-wall/ceiling is out of necessity either for asthetics (read WAF) or space/placement issues. I just added an in-wall for my HT as a Center Channel and it is working great. As you can see from the picture, furniture placement in the room made for few options for the CC. It is the same brand speaker as my floor standers (Monitor Audio), is an enclosed box design and most importantly, has the same driver(s) as my floor standing speakers. The net result is it and blends well and sounds great.

Here is a pic.
LL

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post #17 of 223 Old 09-05-2006, 12:31 PM
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We are starting construction on a new house soon, and the WAF has kicked in big-time. She hate hate HATES the giant black boxes of the Ascends that currently adorn our living room, so to keep everyone happy I've agreed to move to in-wall surrounds while keeping (hopefully) the Front L/R CBM-170's and my CBM-340c center.

Now, the question is, will I mess myself up sonically by moving to non-matched speakers? So far I've not done much in the way of shopping around for in-walls yet, but the Klipsch look pretty good to me.

Also, if I run the speaker wire myself before the drywall goes up, is installing in-wall speakers something I could do myself?

Thanks in advance!
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post #18 of 223 Old 09-05-2006, 01:06 PM
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One option that is not discussed very much is the use of outdoor speakers in a HT environment. I chose to use the Polk Atrium 55's for the side and rear surrounds in my 7.1 set up. These were mounted on the ceiling and aimed down toward the listening area with excellent results. Just thought I would through this out there, might not "look" quite as nice as an in ceiling speaker, but in my case sounded a ton better.
Jim
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post #19 of 223 Old 09-06-2006, 07:42 AM
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Paul- I'm trying to decide the speakers to use for the rears in a 6.1 system. I have Triad Silver Minimonitors for the front channels and a silver inwall subwoofer. However, since the family room is open in the back, I need in-ceiling speakers for the rear. What do you recommend?

Thanks!
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post #20 of 223 Old 09-06-2006, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJO View Post

Paul- I'm trying to decide the speakers to use for the rears in a 6.1 system. I have Triad Silver Minimonitors for the front channels and a silver inwall subwoofer. However, since the family room is open in the back, I need in-ceiling speakers for the rear. What do you recommend?

Thanks!
CJ

In a 6.1 or 7.1 system in your room with the speakers you're using, my first choice would be InCeiling Silver/6 MiniMonitors for the back speakers. The 45-degree angled baffle directs the sound toward the listening area, and the performance is virtually identical to your front Silver MiniMonitors. If there is a budget constraint, consider the InCeiling Gold/6 Omni, which costs about half as much, but SIlver MiniMonitors all around will be awesome.

If the room is very dead acoustically, you may want to consider InWall Silver/4 Surrounds mounted in the ceiling.

Damn, you bought some nice speakers.

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post #21 of 223 Old 09-06-2006, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

In a 6.1 or 7.1 system in your room with the speakers you're using, my first choice would be InCeiling Silver/6 MiniMonitors for the back speakers. The 45-degree angled baffle directs the sound toward the listening area, and the performance is virtually identical to your front Silver MiniMonitors. If there is a budget constraint, consider the InCeiling Gold/6 Omni, which costs about half as much, but SIlver MiniMonitors all around will be awesome.

If the room is very dead acoustically, you may want to consider InWall Silver/4 Surrounds mounted in the ceiling.

Damn, you bought some nice speakers.

Thanks- I'll take a look at the InCeiling Sivler/6's. The room is going to be pretty live with hardwoods all around.

CJ

PS- I'm looking at the gold LCR's for the theater that I'll be putting in next spring.

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post #22 of 223 Old 09-19-2006, 05:27 AM
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Unfortunately, the Silver/6 Inceiling speakers won't work. My ceiling joists are 12 inches on center and the Silver/6's are too large. Guess I'll now be looking at the Omni's.

CJ

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post #23 of 223 Old 09-19-2006, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
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Unfortunately, the Silver/6 Inceiling speakers won't work. My ceiling joists are 12 inches on center and the Silver/6's are too large. Guess I'll now be looking at the Omni's.

CJ

Look at the InCeiling Mini/8 LCR. It will most likely fit. http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/icm8lcr.html

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post #24 of 223 Old 09-19-2006, 05:47 AM
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I will. Can you post the MSRP on them?

Thanks!
CJ

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post #25 of 223 Old 09-19-2006, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
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I will. Can you post the MSRP on them?

Thanks!
CJ

$600 each, as of October 2. Included in the price is free custom paint matching. Just supply a paint sample to your dealer. All our speakers are made to order, and even with custom paint, they ship in 4-6 work days. Within two weeks, all our InWall and InCeiling speakers ship with an improved grill and frame assembly, too.

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post #26 of 223 Old 09-20-2006, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Using the ceilng as your enclosure will cause unpredictable resonances and vibrations and allow the sound from the back of the speaker to leak into adjacent spaces.....

If you absolutely *must* place your CC or L/R's in the ceiling, at least use an in-ceiling speaker with a "backbox" or an enclosure. I don't believe Speakercraft makes any, but I could be wrong. Triad does and their speakers are rated much higher than Speakercraft. Klipsch also has backboxes available for their in-ceiling speakers.

Craig

Speakercraft does indeed make backboxes for their in ceiling speakers. I have used them and they are basically a metal box with rock insulation. These are for the round 6.5" and 8" speakers. They ain't cheap. I have used them with both Speakercraft speakers and the Sonance "HiFi Works" speakers and they work well, the main advantage is the reduction of noise transmission.

They are available from:
http://www.smarthome.com/97251303.HTML

Niles makes an enclosure which from the pictures looks very similar to the Speakercraft. It's likely they are both made in the same place. Sonance also makes enclosures for their speakers as well.
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post #27 of 223 Old 09-23-2006, 06:17 PM
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I found the right thread.. I have 5 speaker cutouts in a 10ft ceiling in a newly built home. The greatroom opens into a kichen the total area is 32X17. I will (WAF) use in ceiling speakers. I need five. I want HT type system that can also handle music. Budget for the 5 speakers is 1200-1500 not including the sub. Q? Do I simply use 5 of the same make and model speaker or do I have to use something different for the surrounds? Is there a center channel inceiling speaker? I have looked online at the Speakercraft and Omnicans.
What's the basic school of thought for us who have a similar configuration as mine?
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post #28 of 223 Old 09-23-2006, 11:35 PM
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Hello Everyone. I'm a newer member here. I'm looking for some help on installing in-ceiling speakers for my new home. The builders did the wiring but didn't install speakers to go with them so I'm a bit stumped.

Here are some images of what the pre-wire looks like:

Currently with cover on:
lsctech[.]com[/]images[/]cover_on[.]jpg

Underneath the cover:
lsctech[.]com[/]images[/]cover_off[.] jpg

(the system won't let me post URLs, please copy paste and remove brackets. Thx!)

Now the in-ceiling speakers that I've seen have always been round. They roughly the size of a volley ball. However, the builder only punched out the drywall about the size of an electrical outlet. I don't think most in-ceiling speakers that I've seen will fit.

Also there appears to be a lot of wires and not a lot of area, I'm not sure how to proceed?

Do I cut some of the wires (to reduce the length)?
Do I cut a larger opening in the drywall for larger speakers?
Do I remove the rectangular housing box they put in? If so, what do I mount my speakers to?
My budget is no more than $600. What kind of speakers should I get? I need 4 since I only see 4 slots in the ceiling.

My goals are as follows:
I have a separate independent box setup with awesome sound. The in-ceiling speakers is mostly for some soft music throughout the house. It is not for theater / movie, etc. I don't need expensive or high quality speakers. I would like the speakers to be flush with the ceiling. Not sure if the family will approve of speakers that protrude from the ceiling.

Anyone with advice / experience on this kind of install is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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post #29 of 223 Old 09-24-2006, 12:46 AM
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I've been using an old RCA HTIB that I've had for about 6 years now. For a low end surround sound system it has been over the years quite adequate....but in the last year I finally got that TV I wanted...a Hitachi 55" Rear Projection LCD...I don't know the model number off the top of my head...its moot anyway...

In addition I had a Wallunit built around the TV in the Entertainment nook in our Den so the TV looks like it is part of the way...very pleased.

We (my wife and I) recently decided to remodel the Den...new furniture, tile, etc. And as a result I decided that now would be the time to upgrade the speakers...

The Room I have to work with is pretty limited...Its attached to the kitchen...so the "back wall" exists as part of the kitchen. The room itself apprx 24 x 14 but the actual Den area is 14 x14. The ceiling's are vaulted so that limits my choices as well... Space is at a premium so nice floor standing speakers were out of the questions...after doing much research and examining my budget here is what I went with:

Pioneer Elite VSX-82TSX (For HDMI switching)
2 Pairs (4 Total) Speakercraft MT-Three's (These will be my FL, FR, RL, RR in a 5.1 setup)
1 MartinLogan Dynamo 10" 200-Watt Powered Subwoofer (My Entertainment unit has a "hidden" space for a sub...this is the largest that will fit in the space)
1 Definitive Procenter Center Channel Speaker.
PURCHASED All the above for $1516.93 out the door today at a Magnolia Center inside Bestbuy.

Because of the locations of windows/door ways/kitchen im extremely limited on placement of the surround sound speakers...the Fronts will go on the wall 3ft from either side of the TV....but the furthest back I can place the Surround sound speakers is 9-10 feet, and these will be facing towards the center of the room.

I need some opinions:
1) Is this worth the money I spent?
2) How adversely will the surround sound be affected by not being able to have the speakers placed further back
3) I was told I don't need to build an enclosure in the wall...but I need to know that this will not adversely affect sound.
4) Anything I should worry about in this setup...I know that I might have some timbre differences because of a different center channel...but due to space limitations I had to go with something that could free stand in my entertainment unit...

Thanks for anyone input in advance...

Eric Post
"Its will only seem kinky the first time."
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post #30 of 223 Old 09-24-2006, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fence82246 View Post

I've been using an old RCA HTIB that I've had for about 6 years now. For a low end surround sound system it has been over the years quite adequate....but in the last year I finally got that TV I wanted...a Hitachi 55" Rear Projection LCD...I don't know the model number off the top of my head...its moot anyway...

In addition I had a Wallunit built around the TV in the Entertainment nook in our Den so the TV looks like it is part of the way...very pleased.

We (my wife and I) recently decided to remodel the Den...new furniture, tile, etc. And as a result I decided that now would be the time to upgrade the speakers...

The Room I have to work with is pretty limited...Its attached to the kitchen...so the "back wall" exists as part of the kitchen. The room itself apprx 24 x 14 but the actual Den area is 14 x14. The ceiling's are vaulted so that limits my choices as well... Space is at a premium so nice floor standing speakers were out of the questions...after doing much research and examining my budget here is what I went with:

Pioneer Elite VSX-82TSX (For HDMI switching)
2 Pairs (4 Total) Speakercraft MT-Three's (These will be my FL, FR, RL, RR in a 5.1 setup)
1 MartinLogan Dynamo 10" 200-Watt Powered Subwoofer (My Entertainment unit has a "hidden" space for a sub...this is the largest that will fit in the space)
1 Definitive Procenter Center Channel Speaker.
PURCHASED All the above for $1516.93 out the door today at a Magnolia Center inside Bestbuy.

Because of the locations of windows/door ways/kitchen im extremely limited on placement of the surround sound speakers...the Fronts will go on the wall 3ft from either side of the TV....but the furthest back I can place the Surround sound speakers is 9-10 feet, and these will be facing towards the center of the room.

I need some opinions:
1) Is this worth the money I spent?
2) How adversely will the surround sound be affected by not being able to have the speakers placed further back
3) I was told I don't need to build an enclosure in the wall...but I need to know that this will not adversely affect sound.
4) Anything I should worry about in this setup...I know that I might have some timbre differences because of a different center channel...but due to space limitations I had to go with something that could free stand in my entertainment unit...

Thanks for anyone input in advance...

1. Don't know.
2. This depends on where you're sitting. "Side" speakers are designed to be at your side. If you're sitting against the back wall, and the "side" speakers are in front of you, it will be a compromise. If you can move your seating out to be even with the side surrounds, you'll be fine.
3. When using in-wall speakers, you should always use enclosures for the best sound quality. Otherwise, you are using the drywall and studs as speaker enclosures, (ever see a speaker cabinet made out of drywall?). I have heard Speakercraft in-walls, mounted in the wall with no enclosure. They sounded hollow and the upper bass was colored by wall resonnances. They were subsequently built-in to enclosures in a custom entertainment unit and they sounded *much* better. In addition, in-walls with no enclosures, (back-boxes) will allow sound from the back of the speaker to be freely transmitted to the rest of the house.
4. I have no idea how the Definitive CC will blend with the Speakercraft in-walls, but they certainly won't be a sonic match. The alternative would have been three matching Definitive speakers, with the L/R's mounted on the wall next to the entertainment center. You may have been better off using another Speakercraft in-wall for the CC, but that may not be practical.
4 (a). Placing a sub in an enclosure is a compromise. This may be a good location or it may not; depends on the room interactions at that location. Be sure to set it up as front firing, not downfiring.

Craig

Lombardi said it:
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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