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Preparing the "Best Possible My Wife Will Allow" Setup. I need all the help I can get!!!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
*Updated 4/10*

Well... I guess I knew this day was coming.

My wife and I have been married about 9 months and it would appear she is ready to ship out, or hide as much of my tech as possible. Since I understand that having an urban dwelling dramatically cuts down on the amount of square footage your money can buy, and we both love our urban dwelling, I think it is only fair that I meet the lady in the middle. Essentially our home only has one room for entertainment, whether that be watching totally rad 3-D movies on a 60" plasma display with a sonic tidal wave smacking you left and right, or entertaining socialites around a cozy fireplace with copious amounts of bourbon being consumed. Essentially we need a middle-tier home theater that runs and hides every single time we have guests.

In order to do this I have to do the unfathomable. I have to break up with some of my bookshelf surround speakers and make a sizable investment/compromise in two sets of In-Wall (Ooo-Aaa....Thats right, I went there...) Speakers. I know, I'm pretty bummed too frown.gif However, I am slightly cheered up by the fact that the new setup will dramatically open up the room up which I know is best for the future of our house (Kids... AHH!). So basically, I'm trying to migrate from a Tower/Bookshelf 7.1 system to a Tower/In-Wall solution.

Current System
Onkyo TX-NR609
2 x Klipsch WF-35 Towers
1 x Klipsch WC-24 Center Channel
4 x Klispch WB-15 Bookshelves (Surrounds- placed on stands at ear level)
1 x Klipsch RW-12D

Onkyo TX-NR609
2 x Klipsch WF-35 Towers
1 x Klipsch WC-24 Center Channel
4 x (Insert In-Wall Units Here)
1 x Klipsch RW-12D

I plan to keep the two towers and the center channel (because they're beautiful) for the new setup. Unfortunately, I plan to get rid of the WB-14s. In their stead, I plan to purchase some in wall speakers. I expect but am not wed (nope, that would be the wife) to the idea selecting 2 matching pairs for the surrounds. Generally all of information I have on prospective in-wall speakers, I have gathered from AVS. There just isn't a lot of information out there. I'm expecting to receive approximately $400 from the sell of my WB-14s and am will to spend $400-600 ($800 Max) for the replacement in walls (4 speakers). My wishlist, however, goes deeper than my pockets. Below, I am going to make a list of possible candidates (in different combinations) of speakers I am interested in. Some of my candidates are dipole/bipole speakers. I know those can be just as controversial as in-wall speakers so feel free to chime in as it applies to this setup. Also, I am exclusively selecting speakers that have or can be fitted with enclosures due to one wall being an exterior wall and another wall (surround backs) that is shared with the master bedroom. I need to keep the speakers clean and quiet. I would like to stick with Klipsch (as there sounds is pleasing to my ears) but unfortunately there only enclosed offerings are a little too pricey.

Possible Surround Combinations (not in any particular order)
  • 4 x Niles Audio IW650FX or IW770FX (Dipole/Bipole) (Bargain Bin ~$400)
  • 4 x Axiom M22 In Walls or 2 x Axiom M22 (Surrounds) and 2 x Axiom M3 (Surround Back) (~$800-$1000)
  • 2 x Definitive Technology UIW RSS III (Surround) (Dipole/Bipole) and two lower-priced direct speakers like the Axiom (Surround Rear) (~$800-$1000)
  • 4 x Monitor Audio CP Silver In Wall - AVSer selling 2 pair for $600 on Ebay (Ends on Saturday)
  • 4 x Speakercraft IW7 One or 2 x Speakercraft IW7 One and 2 x Speakercraft IW7 Three ($800-$1000)

So to say thank you for your assistance, I'd like to offer you this masterpiece!


Front Living Room

Front Concept

Back Living Room

Back Concept

Right Living Room

Right Concept

Left Living Room

Left Concept

A few more bits of information:
  • I know fireplace mounts are frowned upon. I know the viewing angle will be annoying.
  • The furniture positioning is not flexible. They might as well be in cement.
  • No need to worry about housing components. All of them will be housed in the closet across the hall from the "hallway door". Remotes work via HDMI-CEC.
  • You might be able to tell, but this beauty is not drawn to scale. It is as close as I could eyeball it after a long day at work.
  • The Pink rectangles to each side of the rectangle are custom cabinetry that will be the first phase of this project. They will stand 23" tall (window sill begins at 23 inches) and one of the cabinetry will have a custom slot to house the subwoofer. In the diagram, it is arbitrarily shown to the right of the fireplace. The WF-35s will sit on top of the cabinetry.

  1. Given the placement of the surrounds and the size of the room, are dipole/bipole speakers a good idea?
  2. Would you mix Di/Bi pairs with direct firing pairs?
  3. Would you move the surround rears somewhere else? Ceiling? Further Apart?

Ok. Its late and I'm tired. If I think of some more things I will update the OP. Also, I will try to upload some actual photos of the room. Let me know if any more information is needed. I really appreciate any help that is given. Thanks in advance.
Edited by jugsta - 4/10/13 at 5:24pm
post #2 of 5
Seems like a good endeavor. I'm sure pictures of the room will draw more comments smile.gif

I've had above fireplace TV's in my apartment and now in our house. I know the purists don't like it, but I prefer them. I don't understand the fuss about looking slightly upwards, rather than slightly downwards like a lot of homes have their sets. I naturally tend to lean back in a seat, which makes my head lean back, which points my eyes slightly upward. I'm probably a hair further back than you are, though. I'd recommend making a mock up out of cardboard and see what you think. cool.gif
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouragement!
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

Seems like a good endeavor. I'm sure pictures of the room will draw more comments smile.gif

Bump. I've added actual photographs of the room (thumbnails) with concept drawings (full size) to the OP. Contact my publisher if you need a print wink.gif

First... Please excuse the socks on the ottoman. Please excuse the terrible furniture. Eventually, none of those things will be there smile.gif

Some Notes
  • Thought of dipole or angled ceiling speakers for the back surrounds if my positioning is too close for in wall speakers. Any thoughts?
  • The a/v rack will not be where it currently is in the back of the room. Instead, it will be in the closet you can see through the door in the last photo (will be replaced with a louvered door and some fans)
  • The concept of the cabinets are a very rough sketch. I should be able to know more after I speak with the builder later this month.

Does anyone have any thoughts? I would really really appreciate it. Since this is a rather broad concept, would it be ok talking about speaker brands/types for the surrounds in this forum or would I be better off referencing this thread in audio section? I'm not super-sensitive to sound but would like to make the best possible decision on surrounds based upon my front soundstage. Even negative feedback will be accepted. Thanks smile.gif
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any comments on Dipole/Bipole for the surrounds and surround-backs with a room of this given size? I've really been thinking back to Axiom M22 In-Walls for the speakers because they allow a 30 day return policy and are somewhat in my price range. They are also new. I just don't want to pass up on UIW RSS if it is going to sound better.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Update 5/30/13

So the goal of this project was to get all/most of my speakers up off the floor and put our television over the fireplace. This was to accommodate the wifie, but also to accommodate myself and our company as well. Our living room has opened up immensely due to this change.

The wife, in the spirit of compromise, sacrificed a linen closet to house all of the AV equipment, this was a bonus for the room and opened up even more space (Hello Mini Bar!). The louvered, hinged door is a new addition and was relatively easy to install. The closet situation is temporary and I will discuss more below.

Closet with New Louvered Door

Inside Closet A/V Rack

I hired an electrician to run electric into the cabinet and behind the TV. Not cheap!

Inside Closet A/V Panel


These are the speaker installation. Easy Breezy! And before it got too hot in the attic!

Surround Back Units without Grilles

Surrond Left Unit

Surround Right Unit

Obviously, one of the biggest renovations still needed are the bookshelves that will flank each side of the television and wrap around the the windows. I'm a little scared to get a quote from the carpenter, but it something I can't wait to put together. Also, I plan to install permanent shelving for blu-rays (400 and counting) in the lower reaches of the media closet , a ventilated a/v rack around eye level and possibly put an exhaust fan/light in the ceiling. For the blu-ray storage, I envision "U-Shaped" floating shelves that wrap around the periphery of the closet space and stacked 4 or 5 levels high. They will begin at the bottom of the closet. Anyone see anything objectionable?

Finally, I'd like to first share my thoughts on the speakers I purchased; 4 Axiom M2 In-Wall Units. First, they were a breeze to install and look wonderful in the wall. When the room gets painted so will the frames and grilles for these speakers. About sound; I'm quite fond of bright speakers and these are far brighter than the Klipsch Icon WB-14s they replaced (in my previous 7.1 setup). That was surprising to me but a good surprise. The front stage for this setup is a Klipsch Icon WC-24 center channel and two Icon WF-35 for the left and right towers (should be this way for a while). In contrast to the WB-14s, the WF-35s are very bright and I think these M2 in-walls match up very well with the towers. I watched Tron Legacy 3D the other night and was pummeled by the new sound that was created. The top of the in wall units are 2 feet above the listener's ear position. I just thought putting the center portion of the speaker two feet above ear-position was too high and looked a bit goofy in the room. I will have to observe the localization effects over time. I can't wait to try my next 7.1 movie. I'm thinking something from Pixar.

Thanks again to Axiom for their help and some of the members of this message board as well for their encouragement. Together, you've helped me love my living room and made my wife happier in the process. But there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
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