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Inwall setup for new Townhome

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey guys & gals,

First, thanks for all the great help over the years. AVS forum is the place where I come to get the right answers. So, here's come background. I have quite a bit of existing equipment already. Out of it all, I think only the receiver will be useful in our new place. Still, here's the list:

  • NAD T 747 a\v receiver
  • Infinity Primus 2 x 362s, 1 x 351 and 2 x 151s
  • Generic Sony subwoofer, 10", 120w

The receiver is my latest purchase from a couple of years ago and I'm completely happy with it. The sound quality is terrific and it's got plenty of power. Plus, that exotic thing, wife approved. ;-) However, in our new place we'd both like to get rid of the tower speakers, large center channel and rear surrounds. They just don't really fit in that well in this place. Plus, I'd like to create a much more integrated look and I've decided to give inwalls some close attention.

Perhaps a few comments about sound quality would be in order. First, we watch a ton of movies and sports. Secondly, we'll watch concert blu-rays or listen to some 2 channel music. So, that's my order of priority. With the existing setup, I can play a movie like Master and Commander and revel in the small details of sound (at reference levels) and then enjoy the most dynamic, couch shaking sound when those fantastic cannons go off. Dialog is nicely weighty and centered, panning between all the channels is pretty seamless. I'm happy with the sound quality, honestly, just not the looks. Now, since I'm buying new gear, I've got the chance to step up in both quality and looks.

My sound goals for this are pretty straightforward, If a movie with a great dynamic range is playing, like Master & Commander, I'd like to be able to keep those great details and still have the headroom to shake the couch properly and make people duck when the bullets go by. ;-) But then, most of the time I neither want nor need that kind of room shaking sound. 90% of our watching\listening is done in the evening or night and it's at a very moderate level. So, keeping the detail and having a relaxed, non-fatiguing sound is key. An accurate, yet smooth sound would be a nice upgrade. So, if I put on a Norah Jones concert we can kick back with some scotch and chill out. Maybe I can sum it up this way by quoting the ever relevant Usher "we want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed".

My budget for speakers + sub is around $2000. I'd like to get inwalls with builtin enclosures so I can enjoy a fully engineered sound. There's some pretty significant room challenges that I'm trying to overcome which are a little frustrating. Right now I've got to live with a pretty lousy fireplace setup (at least for home theater purposes. I'm told it helps my resell value). You'll see what I'm talking about in the attached diagram. It's not to scale but the proportions should be accurate. Regarding the fireplace setup, for now let's just assume there's a blank wall above it. The TV and LCR are are properly mounted to that wall.

I've looked at Axiom, Triad, RBH and a few others. But, without being able to demo them in my place, it's hard to gauge how they will sound compared to what I've got now. Frankly, the Axiom home theater setups are pretty tempting since they come in a package. But, that's just my lazy side talking. I'd really like to hear from you all what you like in that price range. I know I can get that laid back, Norah Jonesy sound from inwalls but I'm wondering if I can still shake the couch with them? Is there a system in my budge that will do both? Does anyone have local dealers in Atlanta that I can go listen to these inwall setups?

townhouse.jpg 111k .jpg file
post #2 of 27
I suggest that you look at the PSB CW 383 and CW 363 speakers; they are much better than the typical inwall speakers, which are mostly awful.

Your current subwoofer is much too small and way way underpowered.

I suggest that you consider an NHT B12D subwoofer, or Klipsch Sub 12HG. That's what you need to shake that couch properly.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I suggest that you look at the PSB CW 383 and CW 363 speakers; they are much better than the typical inwall speakers, which are mostly awful.
Your current subwoofer is much too small and way way underpowered.
I suggest that you consider an NHT B12D subwoofer, or Klipsch Sub 12HG. That's what you need to shake that couch properly.
Those look like pretty special speakers. At first glance, it would seem they are outside my price range with the cw383 at $900 each and that's before I buy the mounting brackets or rear enclosures. Are you suggesting my budget is too low to get the quality I'm looking for?

Regarding the sub, I know I'll have to pop for a better one. And I'm a huge Klipsch fan already so that caught my eye immediately. But, the NHT looks like it would be a lot tighter and musical. Would you agree? By the way, are you recommending the 12" sub instead of a 10" because of the floor plan?
post #4 of 27
The biggest problem you are going to have with inwalls in a townhome is your neighbors. If you shake your couch and home with an inwall, you are also shaking your neighbor's wall. An inwall sub would most likely make your neighbors mad...and the other inwalls might as well. The problem is the only way to test is to get some and install them, cutting the wall.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

The biggest problem you are going to have with inwalls in a townhome is your neighbors. If you shake your couch and home with an inwall, you are also shaking your neighbor's wall. An inwall sub would most likely make your neighbors mad...and the other inwalls might as well. The problem is the only way to test is to get some and install them, cutting the wall.
Yup... That's all true... I'm not thinking about an inwall sub at all though, my setup doesn't require it. Regarding shaking their walls, let's just say I'll have to exercise restraint most of the time. But, if I want to cut loose I'd like to have that option.

Having said all that, wouldn't going with enclosed speakers help a little with my neighbors?
post #6 of 27
I have the NHT B12D, and for my money it is the best you can buy for under $1000; it is very linear and distortion -free; an acoustic suspension design. It is also only 14" on each side, and has a wonderful piano black finish. I recommend it highly.

The trouble with inwall speakers, in general, is that they are much more expensive than conventional speakers of comparable sound quality.

The JBL Studio L820 runs $650 per pair, and they mount on the wall and are very thin; that might be a possibility. maybe someone has them at less than list price. In any case, check out that line of speakers (also the L810).

(BPphoto has the L820 for $540)
Edited by commsysman - 9/11/12 at 6:38am
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I have the NHT B12D, and for my money it is the best you can buy for under $1000; it is very linear and distortion -free; an acoustic suspension design. It is also only 14" on each side, and has a wonderful piano black finish. I recommend it highly.

You forgot quite a bit of fantastic, proven subwoofers:

SVS SB12 NSD
HSU VTF 3MK4
HSU VTF 15H
SVS PB12 NSD
Rythmik F15HP
SVS PC12 NSD
Emotiva X-Ref 12
Power Sound Audio XS15 and XV15

These offer quite a bit more than the NHT subwoofer. All under $1k some ported some sealed.

OP any subwoofer you consider, you will want to get a subwoofer isolation pad, it helps stop the vibration from the subwoofer from transferring across the floors. I also think it tightens up the bass alittle.

Triad and RBH will probably be out of your budget unless you go with their lowest model line, RBH would be the EMP Tek brand. Not going to comment on Axiom only to say I've sold them all and couldn't be happier.

I would look into the SVS S series speakers http://www.svsound.com/speakers/s-series and a pair of the SB12 NSDs http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/dual-sb12-nsd would fit right into your budget just fine.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Would a NHT B-10d be a consideration? There's a price difference, to be sure, and I've been satisfied with the levels my old 10" sub produced.

Regarding the Triads, would 3 Triad InWall Mini/4 LCRs and 2 Triad In-Wall Bronze/4 Surrounds give me what I'm looking for?
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

You forgot quite a bit of fantastic, proven subwoofers:
SVS SB12 NSD
HSU VTF 3MK4
HSU VTF 15H
SVS PB12 NSD
Rythmik F15HP
SVS PC12 NSD
Emotiva X-Ref 12
Power Sound Audio XS15 and XV15
These offer quite a bit more than the NHT subwoofer. All under $1k some ported some sealed.
OP any subwoofer you consider, you will want to get a subwoofer isolation pad, it helps stop the vibration from the subwoofer from transferring across the floors. I also think it tightens up the bass alittle.
Triad and RBH will probably be out of your budget unless you go with their lowest model line, RBH would be the EMP Tek brand. Not going to comment on Axiom only to say I've sold them all and couldn't be happier.
I would look into the SVS S series speakers http://www.svsound.com/speakers/s-series and a pair of the SB12 NSDs http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/dual-sb12-nsd would fit right into your budget just fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekard View Post

Would a NHT B-10d be a consideration? There's a price difference, to be sure, and I've been satisfied with the levels my old 10" sub produced.
Regarding the Triads, would 3 Triad InWall Mini/4 LCRs and 2 Triad In-Wall Bronze/4 Surrounds give me what I'm looking for?

Agreed. Nothing against NHT, they are a solid company, but I would lean towards some of those other brands. Especially the ones tested by the CEA-2010 standard. The Powersound Audio subs may just represent the most bang for the buck under $1K shipped..
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekard View Post

Would a NHT B-10d be a consideration? There's a price difference, to be sure, and I've been satisfied with the levels my old 10" sub produced.
Regarding the Triads, would 3 Triad InWall Mini/4 LCRs and 2 Triad In-Wall Bronze/4 Surrounds give me what I'm looking for?

How large is your room? Triads are excellent speakers, but the mini-4 may not be enough speakers if the room is large.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekard View Post

Would a NHT B-10d be a consideration? There's a price difference, to be sure, and I've been satisfied with the levels my old 10" sub produced.
Regarding the Triads, would 3 Triad InWall Mini/4 LCRs and 2 Triad In-Wall Bronze/4 Surrounds give me what I'm looking for?

The sub choice is up to you, the NHT would be decent - not everyone is looking for the highest SPL's
or the lowest notes.

Even the Energy S10.3 sub is good, and can work for you.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269026

As far as in-walls, I have no reccomendations > for I can even hear regular bookshelf speakers, from
another room. Your call and good luck.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Agreed. Nothing against NHT, they are a solid company, but I would lean towards some of those other brands. Especially the ones tested by the CEA-2010 standard. The Powersound Audio subs may just represent the most bang for the buck under $1K shipped..
I'm looking at under $500 shipped... totally different price range..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

How large is your room? Triads are excellent speakers, but the mini-4 may not be enough speakers if the room is large.
The room is 13" x 13" and enclosed on 2.5 sides... In other words, the back wall extends halfway the length of the couch. So, I'd have to go in ceiling or on the side walls (I prefer the side walls approach but that will be probably closer to 20" width with the main listening area nearly centered below. If this doesn't make sense, check the floor plan I posted in the first post of this thread for a picture.
post #13 of 27
Have you considered on wall speakers? you would still have to worry about noise transfer to the neighbors, but they offer the flexibility of being able to move them to obtain the best acoutstics and/or changes in room furniture, etc...
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekard View Post

I'm looking at under $500 shipped... totally different price range..
The room is 13" x 13" and enclosed on 2.5 sides... In other words, the back wall extends halfway the length of the couch. So, I'd have to go in ceiling or on the side walls (I prefer the side walls approach but that will be probably closer to 20" width with the main listening area nearly centered below. If this doesn't make sense, check the floor plan I posted in the first post of this thread for a picture.

I saw the picture, but I was not sure what the dimensions were. Based on your description I would think the Triads would be more than adequate.
As for a subwoofer, and better understanding your price point I think this one would be more than adequate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269026

You could even do a pair of them to smooth out bass response in your room.

One more thing. Do you know if your walls are insulated? If not, it might be worth it to at least add some insulation in the wall cavities where the speakers are going. R13 pink stuff is more than adequate and is cheap.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I saw the picture, but I was not sure what the dimensions were. Based on your description I would think the Triads would be more than adequate.
As for a subwoofer, and better understanding your price point I think this one would be more than adequate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269026
You could even do a pair of them to smooth out bass response in your room.
One more thing. Do you know if your walls are insulated? If not, it might be worth it to at least add some insulation in the wall cavities where the speakers are going. R13 pink stuff is more than adequate and is cheap.
Yup, the walls are heavily insulated. When you say the triads would be more than adequate, do you think I could expect reference levels from them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Have you considered on wall speakers? you would still have to worry about noise transfer to the neighbors, but they offer the flexibility of being able to move them to obtain the best acoutstics and/or changes in room furniture, etc...
Ya, I have... I'm thinking I like the asthetics of the inwalls enough to put up with the tradeoffs... I have done plenty of drywall work in my life, so I can fix it if needed.
post #16 of 27
Okay, but when your wife says "I think I would like the TV set over here now"....don't say I didn't warn you!rolleyes.gif
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Okay, but when your wife says "I think I would like the TV set over here now"....don't say I didn't warn you!rolleyes.gif
Lol, I promise! I love my wife, but she's never told me, hey, we should move that over there.. just not her style. Anyway, I'm hoping to sell this place before any of that has time to come to pass. 2-3 years is my timeframe, but we'll see. I figure, no matter what, good audio gear tends to give years of enjoyment. So, worst case scenario, I'll move and install this whole inwall system in my bedroom or small theater room...
post #18 of 27
Check out the James QX-320/330, 620/630 or 820/830.

http://www.jamesloudspeaker.com/index.cfm?page=help
Edited by Hookedonc4 - 9/12/12 at 12:48pm
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookedonc4 View Post

Check out the James QX-320/330.
http://www.jamesloudspeaker.com/index.cfm?page=help

The James speakers are very nice, but they are not cheap. Probably out of his budget range but the new QX series is worth looking into. Do you happen to have pricing?
post #20 of 27
Quote:
quote name="dekard" url="/t/1428847/inwall-setup-for-new-townhome#post_22396169"]Yup, the walls are heavily insulated. When you say the triads would be more than adequate, do you think I could expect reference levels from them?

I would ask in the Triad thread, or give them a call. They use higher end woofers and tweeters so I would expect to drive them hard before they distort, but you may be asking too much of them and want to step up into something with larger drivers and woofers. I do know I can easily drive my Deftech RLS II speakers to reference cleanly. Also keep in mind the Triad speakers are 4 ohm rated, so you need to ensure your receiver can handle 4 ohm when driven hard.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

The James speakers are very nice, but they are not cheap. Probably out of his budget range but the new QX series is worth looking into. Do you happen to have pricing?

Not a Dealer but I think MSRP for QX-320 is $1100 a pair and the 330 are $1300 pair.
They are sold individual so you can set up the way you want.
Very nice speaker...
Edited by Hookedonc4 - 9/12/12 at 1:23pm
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookedonc4 View Post

Not a Dealer but I think MSRP for QX-320 is $1100 a pair and the 330 are $1300 pair.
They are sold individual.
Very nice speaker...

That is a resonable price for James. When I was looking at in-walls they were on my list to demo but the pricing was too high (I was looking at a different lineup).
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

That is a resonable price for James. When I was looking at in-walls they were on my list to demo but the pricing was too high (I was looking at a different lineup).

I agree I think that's a good price too.

I think the 812BE speakers are $ MSRP a piece. I would love to listen to them... Maybe save up and that will be my retirement gift... Lol

My Baby Grand Concertos were $ MSRP but it came with QSC-1450 amp.

As you can tell from my posts I am very happy with my James Loudspeakers its took a long time to save up but they are Awsome. Now I want to upgrade my Pioneer Elite VSX-81 to a Denon 4311 or Pioneer SC-55.
Edited by Hookedonc4 - 9/24/12 at 2:18pm
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I would ask in the Triad thread, or give them a call. They use higher end woofers and tweeters so I would expect to drive them hard before they distort, but you may be asking too much of them and want to step up into something with larger drivers and woofers. I do know I can easily drive my Deftech RLS II speakers to reference cleanly. Also keep in mind the Triad speakers are 4 ohm rated, so you need to ensure your receiver can handle 4 ohm when driven hard.
I talked to the regional sales manager for Triad, Mr. Hobbs, today. He was terrific and spent some time with me to find the right setup. The short version is that he agreed with you and recommended that I step up to the bronze for a small increase in price. Considering that the Minis have 4.25" drivers and the Bronze have 5.25" they will be a little more efficient and play a littler louder. He also recommended I ceiling mount my rears due to the unusual wall design on my back wall. I'm going to send him a scale drawing of my place and he's setting up a visit with my local dealer so I'll get the chance to listen to them in person. All in all, it was a great conversation and I learned a lot.

Regarding the Deftech RLS II, do you have a install thread where I can see what you did and what you think of it? I'm curious about those as well.
post #25 of 27
Very nice... Sit back and enjoy now...
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookedonc4 View Post

Very nice... Sit back and enjoy now...
Thanks, I can't wait.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekard View Post

I talked to the regional sales manager for Triad, Mr. Hobbs, today. He was terrific and spent some time with me to find the right setup. The short version is that he agreed with you and recommended that I step up to the bronze for a small increase in price. Considering that the Minis have 4.25" drivers and the Bronze have 5.25" they will be a little more efficient and play a littler louder. He also recommended I ceiling mount my rears due to the unusual wall design on my back wall. I'm going to send him a scale drawing of my place and he's setting up a visit with my local dealer so I'll get the chance to listen to them in person. All in all, it was a great conversation and I learned a lot.
Regarding the Deftech RLS II, do you have a install thread where I can see what you did and what you think of it? I'm curious about those as well.

I think the advice from Triad makes sense, and as Mike mentioned you can wire for the rear Triad speakers and then buy them later if you don't want to commit the cash now. Getting a chance to listen to them in person will definitely help, and being comfortable with your purchase and talking to the sales manager and dealer is important.

Here is my build thread and it will have pictures of the speakers and the install. All in all, I am very happy with them, based on what I paid. Very dynamic and clean playing speakers. Triad Gold in-wall LCR, or B&G Radia Line Array in-wall would most likely be my next move up, but I don't really see that happening anytime soon. Maybe 5-7 years smile.gif

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1341864/acks-media-basement-build

I think these are some of the more relevant posts starting around this page concerning the speakers:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1341864/acks-media-basement-build/150
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