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Correct speaker size for 5.1 in-wall setup

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Long time lurker, occasional poster. We're currently renovating a space in our home that was originally built as more of a sun-room into a living space, which is where our HT will be. The dimensions of the entire room is 21'x21', but the HT setup will be in half of the space, so let's call it 21'x10.5'. There is a 12'-15' (I'm not exactly sure) vaulted ceiling, which only exists on this side of the room, the other half of the room is a normal ceiling, average height.

A 60" Sharp LED will be placed in the exact center (horizontally) of the short wall, elevated to about 6'. I'm an entry level kind of guy everywhere else (but very happy with that). The system will be powered by a Denon AVR 1613, which is a 5.1 system. Where the HT is now, I'm currently using an Insignia satellite speaker kit with a 10" sub. The speakers are pretty puny, but they work for me. The sub is actually surprisingly nice.

With this renovation we've decided, for better or worse that we're going to go with in-wall speakers, as opposed to re-mounting the existing speakers in the new space. I've got to be pretty budget conscious here (~$50 a speaker), and after looking around I've found that Micca has speakers that fit my criteria, and I can hardly find a bad thing that anyone's said about them for the price. Here are the options available (which will lead to my question):

M-CS 5.25-Inch 2-Way MTM FR: 60Hz-22kHz +/-3dB
M-6S 6.5-Inch 2-Way FR: 60Hz-22kHz +/-3dB
M-8S 8-Inch 2-Way FR: 40Hz-22kHz +/-3dB

Assuming that I'm using my existing sub and setting the crossover at 80Hz (a number that I've picked up on from other threads, but this too could be wrong), and using the 5.25 as the center - what should I use for the fronts and surrounds? I've seen some varying opinions around here and other places, but am I crazy in thinking that I should use the 6.5s for the fronts, and the 8s for the surrounds? Should this be the other way around? Or should I use all 8s or all 6.5s?

I hope I've provided enough details for some help, but I'd be happy to provide more if needed. Thank you!

PS. If you know of any other speakers that would fit my budget, please let me know.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hate to be that guy, but I want to bump this at least once. I know I'm not talking about the latest, greatest, coolest, huge budget, "wife approved" setup here - but I would really appreciate a little bit of help doing the right thing with the budget and setup I will have. Thanks again.
post #3 of 9
I think all that's happening is fewer forum members have experience with in-wall. Responses may come a bit slower is all.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

I think all that's happening is fewer forum members have experience with in-wall. Responses may come a bit slower is all.

I know this will be counter-productive to my cause, but I just came across this thread, in which a nearly similar question was asked - with in-walls and in-ceilings being considered. Responses poured in. I had to relegate myself to "begging" for a little help in there. I'm not sure what the fundamental difference is, other than the obvious one to me, which is budget.

Aside from all of that, all I'm really getting at is: does it make sense to use speakers capable of lower frequency response for surrounds, and the higher levels for the fronts, or the other way the around, or all the same? If all the same, which size? This could be for satellites, bookshelfs, in-wall, stands, etc...
post #5 of 9
THX specs call for speakers to be crossed over at 80 Hz and above to limit localization of the low freq sounds. Below 80 Hz bass is more or less omnidirectional. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but don't expect a great HT experience from in-walls that cost $50. It takes good engineering and good components to make an in- wall sound good because there are so many compromises that have to be made with them. I would bet the manufacturer just took any woofer and tweeter and stuck a generic crossover on it and called it good.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I appreciate it. So what are your thoughts on my question?

Let's just say that I was buying $400 a piece Klipsch in-walls... Would I want lower FR in the surrounds, or the fronts? Or same all around? If the same all around, would I want the lower or higher FR for all four? I think I provided all of the other relevant details in my OP, but if I left anything else out just let me know.

Thanks again.

Edit: And if my budget is the issue, what would be my "step up" into something you think would be appropriate?
Edited by jspeciner - 3/12/13 at 6:47pm
post #7 of 9
Well, if you can get rid of the in-walls you can get decent little speakers for not too much. This setup will far outperform what you're looking at while still budget friendly.


However, if you're still set on in-walls, the least I would do would be the Klipsch R-3650-W. At least then you would know the speaker has the design, engineering staff and quality that an entry level in-wall requires.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm happy with an Insignia 5.1 set I bought 4 years ago for like $150 total. If I was going to ditch the in-wall idea, I'd frankly just stick with those. This is honestly the conversation I wanted to avoid - I actually debated for a couple of hours as to if I would even mention the actual speakers I was looking at before I asked this question - but I thought it would make sense to mention them.

But I'm not sure how else to say this - I keep reading threads and seeing questions asked and the first reply is commonly "what's your budget" or "what's your room size." I'm being fair in disclosing those things, and my question is realistically independent of those items (at least the budget). My question is focused on speaker size and frequency response. What speaker I'm buying, or how much it costs honestly doesn't matter right now. That's why I thought originally to not include it; it's distracting from my question. All I would really like to learn, from people like yourself who know this, is do I want speakers capable of a lower FR for surrounds, and vice versa for the fronts, the other way around, or the same in all four positions? This is all assuming that I'm happy with the sub and center that I'm using, and the speakers I'm buying.

I'm sorry to be so long winded and keep beating this drum - but as I keep reading posts here I notice that the commonality is to try to drive people out of their budget, like if I was a buyer on a sales floor. There's no way I can, or want to afford $300 a piece speakers. I'm not an audiophile, I'm happy with **** speakers I bought at Best Buy 4 years ago, I just want to understand the fundamentals.

Continued thanks.
post #9 of 9
Fronts with a lower crossover point probably won't do a whole lot for you. That just isn't a factor unless you're not going to have a sub. Your receiver's room correction software will set the crossover freq between your sub and other speakers for you anyway. It might give you a bit of a fuller sound to have larger fronts but what your currently looking at I honestly can't see it making a difference.
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