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In-Wall Recommendations

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I just moved into a new house with pre-installed in-wall speakers by the builder. There isn't much to say about them except that they're crap I have a set of Definitive Technology bipolar towers and surrounds however the room setup will not allow the use of them so looking to get a nice set of in-wall's along with a separate sub.

Would love to hear your guys thoughts and perspectives on in-wall's and anything I should be on the lookout for. I've been looking at the Klipsch line as well as Definitive Technology, Polk, and Speakercraft. I'd like to stay under the $2,000 mark for total setup to get me close to or above quality I had with the DT's.

We listen to a lot of music and watch a lot of movies so need something balanced for both applications. Speaker location is high and will be driven by a Denon 2309CI receiver. All current speaker/cut outs are the same with a cutout of 7.5'' width by 10.8'' height. I can make the holes larger however won't be able to do anything smaller unfortunately.

Appreciate any insight and recommendations!
post #2 of 37
If you can hold off a few weeks , I just bought 4 speakercraft aim8three's got them online from a place in Tulsa, got a pair for same price sells one for, am installs soon using definitive center and sub.
post #3 of 37
What size is your room? Is $2k just for the speakers or the sub as well?
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
The room size is about 20 x 20 but it's all open above (2 stories). The current in-wall speakers sit about 9' up.

I can wait but would like an entire set. What are you proposing for the Speakercraft's?

Thanks guys!
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfendya View Post

The room size is about 20 x 20 but it's all open above (2 stories). The current in-wall speakers sit about 9' up.

I can wait but would like an entire set. What are you proposing for the Speakercraft's?

Thanks guys!

Can you lower the speakers for the mains? 9ft is really high. Ideal placement for your main speakers is the tweeter at ear level when seated. For surrounds, idea, placement would be tweeter at ear level when standing.
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
I agree with you on placement however right now there isn't really a way as the holes are already cut and in place. Moving them would be difficult to do at this point

I forgot to respond to your question re $2000 and that would be including the sub. So entire set in the $2k range.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfendya View Post

I agree with you on placement however right now there isn't really a way as the holes are already cut and in place. Moving them would be difficult to do at this point

I forgot to respond to your question re $2000 and that would be including the sub. So entire set in the $2k range.

Well, we will work with what you have

For the left, right, and center channel I would go with three of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Speakercraft-A...8855028&sr=8-1

The great thing about the AIM series by Speakercraft is you can aim your woofer and tweeter for maximum sound. With your situation and budget, this would be the way to go IMHO.

For the left and right surrounds, I would go with these (sold as a pair):
http://www.amazon.com/SPEAKERCRAFT-S.../ref=de_a_smtd

This would put you just under $1K shipped. For a subwoofer I would get one of these:
http://hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk4.html

Great product that allows you to configure and tune for the best mix between movies and music. Sub is very important with in-wall speakers that are placed that high as you will not get much localized bass I suspect.

On sale for $759 shipped. This keeps you under budget and you should have a nice sounding system.
post #8 of 37
With trying to fill a 20' x 20' by 2 story space, i would go with a higher sensitivity speaker like the klipsch. If we can help you with selection, please drop us a line.
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post #9 of 37
I'm really confused, why not stick to the brand you already like DT?

I'm a big fan of DT's and have tried quite a few different other brands in their price range and preferred DT's overall. I have used DT's UIW RSS's for all 4 of my surrounds in a 7.1 setup and really like how they fill my room with sound. You have a big space to fill like I do (My HT is about 10,000 cubic feet), so DT's would be my recommendation. You could easily buy these well within your $2,000 budget, and have quite a bit of money left over for a really good sub. Which you will need to have if you want good low end for an HT as big as yours is.

Check out DT's In Wall offerings if you haven't already...

http://www.definitivetech.com/Produc...l/default.aspx

This would allow you to keep your DT speakers that you already have since you don't ideally want to mix and match speaker brands.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

I'm really confused, why not stick to the brand you already like DT?

I'm a big fan of DT's and have tried quite a few different other brands in their price range and preferred DT's overall. I have used DT's UIW RSS's for all 4 of my surrounds in a 7.1 setup and really like how they fill my room with sound. You have a big space to fill like I do (My HT is about 10,000 cubic feet), so DT's would be my recommendation. You could easily buy these well within your $2,000 budget, and have quite a bit of money left over for a really good sub. Which you will need to have if you want good low end for an HT as big as yours is.

Check out DT's In Wall offerings if you haven't already...

http://www.definitivetech.com/Produc...l/default.aspx

This would allow you to keep your DT speakers that you already have since you don't ideally want to mix and match speaker brands.

I own DT in-wall speakers as well (RLS and RSS II series) and would have recommended them, but his speakers need to be mounted 9' high. With that in mind the Speakercraft AIM series will allow him to aim the woofer and tweeter towards the listening position. DT and Klipsch won't allow him to do this (the woofer and tweeter are fixed and cannot be aimed), and I suspect it will greatly affect sound quality when you are sitting 6' or so below the speaker.

Per his post, he cannot use his existing DT speakers in the room so no worries about trying to timbre match.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I own DT in-wall speakers as well (RLS and RSS II series) and would have recommended them, but his speakers need to be mounted 9' high. With that in mind the Speakercraft AIM series will allow him to aim the woofer and tweeter towards the listening position. DT and Klipsch won't allow him to do this (the woofer and tweeter are fixed and cannot be aimed), and I suspect it will greatly affect sound quality when you are sitting 6' or so below the speaker.

Per his post, he cannot use his existing DT speakers in the room so no worries about trying to timbre match.

How much value is there really in having aim able tweeters? That's something I've always wondered about. I can see it if the speakers are placed in such a way that they are actually facing away from the listener in such a way that they are more facing away from the listener than facing at the listener like they should be. But 9 feet up may not really be that high to warrant the need for aim able tweeters but I cannot speak from experience. I mean if you really think about it, if the speaker in itself is a well made speaker, will the speaker being as high as 9 feet up really be a deal breaker for not having aim able tweeters? That's something I guess the OP will have to decide for himself.

Speakercraft does make great speakers though, that's for sure. So I'm not knocking your recommendation for them either way. I haven't heard them before but I have read alot of good reviews of them over the years.

As for the current speakers he owns, I wasn't completely sure if he was able to keep using his DT towers that he currently has. I wasn't sure if he actually had to go with in walls for all his speakers including the fronts.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I own DT in-wall speakers as well (RLS and RSS II series) and would have recommended them, but his speakers need to be mounted 9' high. With that in mind the Speakercraft AIM series will allow him to aim the woofer and tweeter towards the listening position. DT and Klipsch won't allow him to do this (the woofer and tweeter are fixed and cannot be aimed), and I suspect it will greatly affect sound quality when you are sitting 6' or so below the speaker.

Per his post, he cannot use his existing DT speakers in the room so no worries about trying to timbre match.

Several of the Klipsch in-wall speakers have a Pivoting Tractrix® Horn tweeter. As an example: http://www.klipsch.com/R-5650-W-II
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post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post


How much value is there really in having aim able tweeters? That's something I've always wondered about. I can see it if the speakers are placed in such a way that they are actually facing away from the listener in such a way that they are more facing away from the listener than facing at the listener like they should be. But 9 feet up may not really be that high to warrant the need for aim able tweeters but I cannot speak from experience. I mean if you really think about it, if the speaker in itself is a well made speaker, will the speaker being as high as 9 feet up really be a deal breaker for not having aim able tweeters? That's something I guess the OP will have to decide for himself.

Speakercraft does make great speakers though, that's for sure. So I'm not knocking your recommendation for them either way. I haven't heard them before but I have read alot of good reviews of them over the years.

As for the current speakers he owns, I wasn't completely sure if he was able to keep using his DT towers that he currently has. I wasn't sure if he actually had to go with in walls for all his speakers including the fronts.

The Speakercraft AIM series let you aim the woofers and tweeter, and with placement not being ideal, I think it definitely helps. And I agree, his current speakers would most likely sound better but he stated his only options are in walls.
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
Great information by all guys, really appreciate the input. I actually have looked at the DT's since I love my DT's I'm leaving. The Speakercraft AIM series is definitely interesting and it sounds like the flexibility in that I can pivot them to better suit my space would be a better solution. I'll definitely throw them at the top of my list based on this.

As far as sub, it sounds like the VTF-3 has received some great reviews as well has already been recommended to be paired with Speakercrafts. Are there any others I should be looking at or paying attention to?
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfendya View Post

Great information by all guys, really appreciate the input. I actually have looked at the DT's since I love my DT's I'm leaving. The Speakercraft AIM series is definitely interesting and it sounds like the flexibility in that I can pivot them to better suit my space would be a better solution. I'll definitely throw them at the top of my list based on this.

As far as sub, it sounds like the VTF-3 has received some great reviews as well has already been recommended to be paired with Speakercrafts. Are there any others I should be looking at or paying attention to?

For subs I would also look at the SVS-PB12NSD. The HSU will have more output and extension but you can't go wrong with SVS. There is also the Epik Empire.

All three in your price range and highly recommended.
post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 
For the AIM LCR's are you able to mount them vertically opposed to horizontally? Reason I ask is due to the way the current in-wall speakers have been mounted. I don't want to do a whole lot of modification to the wall nor can I easily repair what holes currently exist (walls are textured making patch work difficult).
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfendya View Post

For the AIM LCR's are you able to mount them vertically opposed to horizontally? Reason I ask is due to the way the current in-wall speakers have been mounted. I don't want to do a whole lot of modification to the wall nor can I easily repair what holes currently exist (walls are textured making patch work difficult).

Yes, you can mount vertical or horizontal. Vertical is actually preferred.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

The Speakercraft AIM series let you aim the woofers and tweeter, and with placement not being ideal, I think it definitely helps. And I agree, his current speakers would most likely sound better but he stated his only options are in walls.

Be that is it may, as I stated earlier, unless your speakers are really not facing you as ideally as they could be, then what advantage is there to really having aim able tweeters, unless like I said earlier, the line of sight is really that bad?

With DT's speakers, even though they do not have aim able tweeters, once they are installed, even if it is as high as 9 feet high, you would still be able to have line of sight of the tweeters and woofers themselves. They just won't be facing directly in the direction of the listener. As long as there's nothing obstructing that line of sight, I wouldn't think the fact that they're not aim able will really matter. I think it's a moot point going with speakers that aim able tweeters with him. That is, if he has a clear line of sight with the tweeters and the woofers in his new speakers.

I guess he could always get the Speakercraft speakers and is unhappy with them, just return them. Just make sure you don't install em in your walls first though before trying them out!
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Be that is it may, as I stated earlier, unless your speakers are really not facing you as ideally as they could be, then what advantage is there to really having aim able tweeters, unless like I said earlier, the line of sight is really that bad?

With DT's speakers, even though they do not have aim able tweeters, once they are installed, even if it is as high as 9 feet high, you would still be able to have line of sight of the tweeters and woofers themselves. They just won't be facing directly in the direction of the listener. As long as there's nothing obstructing that line of sight, I wouldn't think the fact that they're not aim able will really matter. I think it's a moot point going with speakers that aim able tweeters with him. That is, if he has a clear line of sight with the tweeters and the woofers in his new speakers.

I guess he could always get the Speakercraft speakers and is unhappy with them, just return them. Just make sure you don't install em in your walls first though before trying them out!

Agree with you on aiming vs not but thinking about it simply, it makes sense. It's probably not the best analogy but you hear someone better who is talking to you vs talking away from you right? I do have line of site to the speakers and there is nothing which blocks them so perhaps this doesn't matter as you mention.

I absolutely love my DT's and I'm quite sad to get rid of them. The only thing that is making me think about the Speakercraft or Klipsch is the ability to aim them due to mounting position. Because you have a similar room and you like your DT's, I'll take another look at them. What sub do you have paired up with your DT's and anything you wish you had vs not?
post #20 of 37
Good!

Glad to hear you're still considering DT's. I've owned about 7 different brands of speakers over the years. 1 of which was Klipsch, I have never heard Speakercraft's so I can't help you there. I just do love my DT's like you do it sounds like so if you were going to move away from what you love, I just think I'd really want to make sure it's the right move. So if I were you, maybe buy a Speakercraft that you have in mind, and just try it out to see how well it works for you before going full out and buying the whole set.

The theory behind aim able tweeters makes absolute sense, and I'm not knocking the concept, I just don't know as if it will make that much of an overall difference unless the Speakercrafts really do perform as well as the DT's you love so much. To me the priority would be over the better sounding speakers over 1 feature that the other might have. But as I said, the Speakercrafts have gotten lots of good reviews so don't take what I'm saying as a bash against them. I suppose if you still have your DT's, you could always just try and place them how you would have them if they were actually in wall speakers. Put them on a ladder I guess and see how it sounds to you having the tweeters facing forward as opposed to down at you.

If all the speakers are exactly 9 feet high, with all the tweeters facing forward, then at least your soundstage will be consistent all the way around.

My UIW RSS's that I mentioned earlier, I actually had mine installed 10 feet high, but mine was a bit different as they were in the ceiling, which is not quite the same as being in the wall. But even still, they were not as optimally in line with my ears since they were not aim able, but I still was very impressed with how they sounded even still. Also keep in mind the overall placement and difference between all of your speakers. Mine were in the ceiling, but placement wise other than that, they were really well placed for where they need to be other than being so high.

As far as subs go, you can't go wrong with the recommendations that ack_bk has made. I've owned about 7 different SVS subs over the years. And liked them all.

My only knock with SVS is i think they're a bit overpriced for what you get. They've been around for a long long time. But there's just been other companies that have come along so they're not as competitively priced as they maybe should be. But, with the money you spend on SVS, you do get 1 of the best if not the best CS experiences you will ever have if the need arises. Their CS is that good.

There's about 5 or 6 really good ID sub companies out there so be sure to check out the Subs forum here at AVS. That's a whole lot more research to keep you busy for hours on end.

For my subs, since my room is so big (10,000 cubic feet), I really needed something to fill all that room. Duals was absolutely needed, and price was critical, so I went with what I felt was the best for buck subs I could get. I bought a pair of CHT VS18.1's. Awhile back I posted an amateurish type review of them if you're interested. Also I have pics of my HT set up with my in walls as well, if you're curious about seeing that as well.

You can find that here... https://www.chasehometheater.com/for...ead.php?t=4705

Getting subs that match well with your speakers is irrelevant. Any well made sub will sound good with any speakers regardless of what speakers you buy.
post #21 of 37
As for the amiable tweeters and woofers, all I can tell you is that I have experimented with traditional fixed in-ceiling speakers and the AIM series Speakercraft speakers and it definitely was noticeable. You now have the sound aimed at the listening position vs over your head. Granted these were in-ceiling not in-wall, but the concept is similar.

Our upstairs family room has builders grade in-ceiling speakers that do not pivot, and now that I have finished to basement and the theater room, I will be replacing them with Spakercraft AIM series in-ceiling speakers. It is never ideal having your speakers that high but you work with what you have.

Good luck OP!
post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

As for the amiable tweeters and woofers, all I can tell you is that I have experimented with traditional fixed in-ceiling speakers and the AIM series Speakercraft speakers and it definitely was noticeable. You now have the sound aimed at the listening position vs over your head. Granted these were in-ceiling not in-wall, but the concept is similar.

Our upstairs family room has builders grade in-ceiling speakers that do not pivot, and now that I have finished to basement and the theater room, I will be replacing them with Spakercraft AIM series in-ceiling speakers. It is never ideal having your speakers that high but you work with what you have.

Good luck OP!

Appreciate all the help you have been. Huge amount of information and very beneficial. I'll follow up to let you know what route I've decided to go. Again, thanks for everything!
post #23 of 37
I just think that the whole aim able tweeters concept is really only necessary for extreme situations.

You mentioned the analogy of it being easier to hear someone if they are directly facing you, as opposed to facing away from you. But if you think about it, if your speakers are actually 9 feet high, they'd still be facing you, and not facing away from you. So I don't think your analogy is 100% accurate. It may not be 100% line of sight, but it's still in the same general direction.

If you think about how sound leaves a tweeter. Does it come out straight like a faucet? Or does the sound come out more like an explosion, where the sound is being omitted in all directions away from the source?

If aim able speakers are so essential for in walls, why don't more companies utilize this feature? I wouldn't think it'd be too hard to implement it.

This is just stuff I've always wondered about over the years, and the very reasons why I decided to not go with speakers that had aim able tweeters.

I know that any HT guide you'll read that covers optimum speaker placement will mention it being best to have the tweeters aimed at the listeners ears. But how critical is it really?

You could as I said before, order a Speakercraft speaker and just see how you like the sound of it before committing to a whole set up.

Anyways, did you consider my previous recommendation of placing your DT's up high to see how they sound to you? That is if you still have them.
post #24 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

I just think that the whole aim able tweeters concept is really only necessary for extreme situations.

You mentioned the analogy of it being easier to hear someone if they are directly facing you, as opposed to facing away from you. But if you think about it, if your speakers are actually 9 feet high, they'd still be facing you, and not facing away from you. So I don't think your analogy is 100% accurate. It may not be 100% line of sight, but it's still in the same general direction.

If you think about how sound leaves a tweeter. Does it come out straight like a faucet? Or does the sound come out more like an explosion, where the sound is being omitted in all directions away from the source?

If aim able speakers are so essential for in walls, why don't more companies utilize this feature? I wouldn't think it'd be too hard to implement it.

This is just stuff I've always wondered about over the years, and the very reasons why I decided to not go with speakers that had aim able tweeters.

I know that any HT guide you'll read that covers optimum speaker placement will mention it being best to have the tweeters aimed at the listeners ears. But how critical is it really?

You could as I said before, order a Speakercraft speaker and just see how you like the sound of it before committing to a whole set up.

Anyways, did you consider my previous recommendation of placing your DT's up high to see how they sound to you? That is if you still have them.

Yup, I too wonder why other vendors are not offering aim able speakers. Klipsch does but it looks like something new they are doing and it's just for the tweeter and not the woofer like Speakercraft.

I'm mostly after a better sound over features as you mentioned earlier so if the DT's or something else sounds better over the Speakercrafts then I'd choose them for a feature that they are missing.

The problem is DT, Klipsch, etc all have too many choices The UIW RSS aren't an option for me due to size/cost
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfendya View Post

Yup, I too wonder why other vendors are not offering aim able speakers. Klipsch does but it looks like something new they are doing and it's just for the tweeter and not the woofer like Speakercraft.

I'm mostly after a better sound over features as you mentioned earlier so if the DT's or something else sounds better over the Speakercrafts then I'd choose them for a feature that they are missing.

The problem is DT, Klipsch, etc all have too many choices The UIW RSS aren't an option for me due to size/cost

Good, just trying to help you keep your perspective open and make you aware of all possible options and what to consider, as I've been in your shoes before.

The reason why Klipsch doesn't offer aim able woofers is probably because frequencies produced by woofers aren't as easily to localize as the frequencies produced by the tweeter. So it's not too much of a concern to aim the woofer at a listener as it would be for a tweeter.

The UIW RSS II's I wasn't recommending, I was just mentioning them as those had been the only in wall speakers I have owned. I had owned them for about 5 years or so. I had posted a link to all the other in wall speakers that DT had offered, I'm not sure if you missed it or not so I'll post it again for you.

http://www.definitivetech.com/Produc...l/default.aspx

If you check out the link, you'll see DT offers lots of sizing and pricing options for you should you decide to stick with them.

Hope any of this helps you out.
post #26 of 37
I am also in same boat, but my house don't have cutouts. I didn't get much help on speakercraft recommendation. So now I was suggested to go with Episode 700 series. I see plenty of excellent reviews and all are under $2K. So I plan to with them.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anand15 View Post

I am also in same boat, but my house don't have cutouts. I didn't get much help on speakercraft recommendation. So now I was suggested to go with Episode 700 series. I see plenty of excellent reviews and all are under $2K. So I plan to with them.

Episode speakers are sold to dealers as Episode speakers, but are part of the distributor, SnapAV. The Episode products have incredibly high margins - way above average or typical, which is why dealers will recommend them. The dealer will make as much on an Episode in-wall/ceiling speaker as they would on a lot of other brands product that had an MSRP of roughly 1.5 x the price of the Episode. From a profit margin standpoint the dealer can sell an $800 Episode speaker and make close to the money he would have selling a $1,200 Canton (for example). SO, FIGHT TO GET A DISCOUNT. They are definitely good speakers, but discounts should be available to you.
post #28 of 37
I got quotation for following:
3 ES-700-IWLCR5 In-Wall LCR Speakers
1 ES-700-ICSURR6 In-Ceiling (Pair)
1 Episode 12" 300W DSP Ported
Edited by anand15 - 3/24/13 at 10:20pm
post #29 of 37
MSRP $2550. Thanks for editing your post.
Edited by BobL - 3/25/13 at 6:14am
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anand15 View Post

I got quotation for following:
3 ES-700-IWLCR5 In-Wall LCR Speakers
1 ES-700-ICSURR6 In-Ceiling (Pair)
1 Episode 12" 300W DSP Ported


At $2,000 are they charging installation on top of that quote or is installation included? If installation is FREE, then it is an "OK" quote. If they are charging you on top of that, then I would absolutely either decline or tell them installation is to be included in the cost.

The Episode 12", BTW, is an excellent subwoofer and one of my favorites for under $1,000. It's tough to do better for less on that model. Really nice looking and and excellent performer.
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