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In-wall vs. In-Ceiling, Model and Placement Recommendations?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Usually I would spend 6 months reading every single thread, researching and comparing every model, waiting for a great price, etc. but I'm in a bit of a time crunch (need everything to arrive by 7/27 at the latest) because I've got a friend who's an electrician coming for a few days and want to have him around for as much of the installation as possible. So, I'm hoping to get some help narrowing things down quickly, and sorting out the best placement for the speakers.

The home theater is in the den downstairs, but we entertain a lot and I like having music throughout the house even when it's just me, so I'd like to add speakers in the walls/ceilings of the kitchen/living/dining rooms. I'm just looking for ambient music so they don't have to be too fancy, but I don't want them to sound muddy or muffled. IOW, good enough so that people notice them because the music is there, not because it sounds "off". I'd also like to add two speakers outside in the sun room, but that may have to wait a while.

Questions:
  1. Ceiling installations would probably be much easier, as everything can go through the attic, and placement is more flexible. Do I lose anything by going this route vs. in-wall speakers?
  2. Recommendations for speakers? Budget is variable - you get what you pay for, but it's a case of diminishing returns. I think I can probably get away with something decent for $500 total, but lower would be better (just bought the house 6 weeks ago and already dumped $10k into a new HVAC system, we want to remodel the kitchen and put in hardwood floors - WHA is probably going to have to come out of my "allowance" rather than the house funds)
  3. What would be the best placement for various speakers? See image - letters are possible in-wall locations, numbers are for in-ceiling possibilities, orange is HVAC ducting, green is a ceiling fan, wall between kitchen and dining will be removed, hopefully soon
  4. What's the best way to power this setup? Currently using an Onkyo TX-SR606I was thinking either a Russound X75 or an inexpensive stereo receiver. Pros/Cons to either?
  5. What else am I forgetting?

Thanks in advance!

540
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok, maybe more specific questions would be better:
  1. Given some additional purchases we need to make for the new house, cost has become more of a priority than it was previously. So, I'm leaning towards the 8" in-ceiling speakers from Monoprice http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10837#1083703; any reason not to go with these? Is there a better option in this price range?
  2. Assuming the Monoprice speakers are fine, any input on placement and/or whether to get the straight-firing or angled version?
  3. Video switching on my Onkyo TX-SR606 has been flaky for the last year and a half, but just got much worse in the last week. So, I'm thinking of grabbing a Marantz SR5006 on clearance to replace it, then run the Zone 2 pre-out to the SR606 to power the 4 new speakers in the living room/kitchen. Anything to watch out for in this scenario? Any reason it won't work?

Thanks,
Tony
post #3 of 15
I have Totem Acoustic Mask in ceiling speakers and they are excellent. I was even considering saving up for their Tribes.
post #4 of 15
For the front three speakers (left, right, center) I would go in-wall vs in-ceiling. Much better imaging. If you have to go in-ceiling, at lest get the angled speakers so you can direct sound to the seating position.

No matter what, you will need a subwoofer.

How much is the Marantz receiver?
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

For the front three speakers (left, right, center) I would go in-wall vs in-ceiling. Much better imaging. If you have to go in-ceiling, at lest get the angled speakers so you can direct sound to the seating position.
No matter what, you will need a subwoofer.
How much is the Marantz receiver?

A good sub yes. I own the HSU VTF3 MK4 and its amazing. There is also SVS, Rythmik,Epic that are top manufacturers.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post

I have Totem Acoustic Mask in ceiling speakers and they are excellent. I was even considering saving up for their Tribes.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm guessing those are going to be outside my budget. I was hoping to keep the cost to <$50/speaker, so I've been mostly looking at deals on Polk and Klipch, and the Monoprice models.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

For the front three speakers (left, right, center) I would go in-wall vs in-ceiling. Much better imaging. If you have to go in-ceiling, at lest get the angled speakers so you can direct sound to the seating position.
No matter what, you will need a subwoofer.
How much is the Marantz receiver?
This will actually just be for music in the living room and kitchen; I've got a 5.1 Monitor Audio/HSU VTF-1 setup in the den already. The Marantz would be $450 on clearance at Best Buy. They're running $600 pretty much everywhere else right now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asere View Post

A good sub yes. I own the HSU VTF3 MK4 and its amazing. There is also SVS, Rythmik,Epic that are top manufacturers.
I've got the VTF-1, and it's already massive overkill for the space wink.gif
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneloc427 View Post

Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm guessing those are going to be outside my budget. I was hoping to keep the cost to <$50/speaker, so I've been mostly looking at deals on Polk and Klipch, and the Monoprice models.
This will actually just be for music in the living room and kitchen; I've got a 5.1 Monitor Audio/HSU VTF-1 setup in the den already. The Marantz would be $450 on clearance at Best Buy. They're running $600 pretty much everywhere else right now.
I've got the VTF-1, and it's already massive overkill for the space wink.gif

In that case, on your budget, I would go with these:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/SNELLOHT7/SNELL-OH-T7-Full-range-6.5-inch-coax-Direct-Power-waveguide-Each/1.html

Snell is a very reputable brand and these are on a major clearance. Should be solid for your needs.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Are those actually made in the US, or just "tuned" in the US?

I'd prefer the 8" for the lower frequencies (the sub is in a different part of the house), but that does seem like a great deal on a great product. Thanks!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneloc427 View Post

Are those actually made in the US, or just "tuned" in the US?
I'd prefer the 8" for the lower frequencies (the sub is in a different part of the house), but that does seem like a great deal on a great product. Thanks!

Hard to say where they are made:
http://www.snellacoustics.com/History.asp

Sounds like US to me, but so many things are being shipped overseas now, I would not be surprised if it was China.

Not to confuse you even more, but I am a fan of the BG Radia ribbon tweeters. They sound great for music IMHO:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ETHERT6C/Ethereal-ERT-6CJ-6.5-In-Ceiling-Speakers-BG-Radia-Ribbon-Tweeter-Pr/1.html

The tweeter alone by itself probably costs as much as the speaker that is on clearance smile.gif
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to go with the Snells - thanks a ton for pointing those out!

Now the big question is: How many do I need and where do I put them? Can I get away with just two speakers at positions 2 and 4, 4 speakers at 1, 3, 5, and 6, or some other combination?

Given the fact that these are really just filling in background music in conversational areas and mono will be fine, I'm going to try just two speakers at 2 and 4. We're only going to be in this house for 4 years and I wouldn't want to leave 4 of the Snells when we move.

Thanks for all the help!
Edited by Toneloc427 - 7/17/12 at 5:24pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneloc427 View Post

I think I'm going to go with the Snells - thanks a ton for pointing those out!
Now the big question is: How many do I need and where do I put them? Can I get away with just two speakers at positions 2 and 4, 4 speakers at 1, 3, 5, and 6, or some other combination?
Given the fact that these are really just filling in background music in conversational areas and mono will be fine, I'm going to try just two speakers at 2 and 4. We're only going to be in this house for 4 years and I wouldn't want to leave 4 of the Snells when we move.
Thanks for all the help!

Your welcome, enjoy!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneloc427 View Post

I think I'm going to go with the Snells

Good choice - have fun
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Got the Snell's on Saturday, installed them yesterday. Thought there was something wrong until I realized that there is just a lot of background noise in "Jump Around" that I'd never heard before - skipped Pandora to the next song and everything sounds great. Thanks again!

FWIW, the box says "Made in China" but the the speaker itself said something else (wish I'd written it down/taken a picture) that made it sound like maybe they were made/assembled in the US. Could have either been that the final assembly/tuning was done here, or that most of it is made here but the plastic surround and packing box is produced in China. Still unclear...
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneloc427 View Post

Got the Snell's on Saturday, installed them yesterday. Thought there was something wrong until I realized that there is just a lot of background noise in "Jump Around" that I'd never heard before - skipped Pandora to the next song and everything sounds great. Thanks again!
FWIW, the box says "Made in China" but the the speaker itself said something else (wish I'd written it down/taken a picture) that made it sound like maybe they were made/assembled in the US. Could have either been that the final assembly/tuning was done here, or that most of it is made here but the plastic surround and packing box is produced in China. Still unclear...

My guess is the speakers are designed and possibly assembled in the US, with parts that are produced in China. My best guess at least. Glad you like them, and they will most likely sound even better after they are broken-in.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneloc427 View Post

Got the Snell's on Saturday, installed them yesterday. Thought there was something wrong until I realized that there is just a lot of background noise in "Jump Around" that I'd never heard before - skipped Pandora to the next song and everything sounds great.

That is the thing when you buy good speakers, you get to hear good detail and definition - have fun!
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