Point of diminishing returns for in wall speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-24-2018, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Point of diminishing returns for in wall speakers

Hi everyone. Been a long-time lurker but could use some advice so here's my first post.

I'm looking for some advice on in wall speakers for my great room. First, a little about my setup. The room is very large (approx 20x30) with vaulted ceilings. There's a seating area around the TV that is carpeted. Behind that is my kitchen with tile floors and a breakfast nook. Obviously, this is far from an ideal setting for great audio with tons of reflective surfaces.

When we bought the house they already had a pair of Bose 191 in walls and a couple of Yamaha speakers in the ceiling for surrounds (not sure the exact model). We have young kids who like to grab things and I already have holes in the wall, so I'm looking to upgrade my front in walls because I think I can do a LOT better than the Bose 191s. At this point I'll probably just leave the Yamaha's in the ceiling alone. I'd like to use the existing holes and just expand them. The 191s require a 8 1/16" wide hole. This rules out some nice speakers that aren't this wide since I don't think patching the drywall will look very nice or allow for a good mount of the new speakers. I have a Yamaha TSR-7810 and a Monoprice 12 inch sub.

In terms of my preferences, I would like something that is balanced for both music and home theater use. I used to play a lot of music so I want something that can recreate the dynamics of live sound and I prefer something that is fairly neutral/balanced. That said, I am fully aware of the limitations my room will create for me. We won't be listening to movies at reference level or cranking the music super loud most of the time.

I've been looking at a ton of different speakers at different prices and I'm trying to get an idea of whether I really will get any benefit by spending more. I live in a small town and there are very few options for me to go listen to different speakers. I'd have to drive at least a couple of hours to hear more than 1 or 2 options (Yamaha NS-IW470WH or Polk 265LS). Here are some of the ones I'm looking at:

- Monoprice Alpha 13682 $90/pair
- Dayton ME825W $123/pair
- BIC Formula FH8-W $167/pair
- Yamaha NS-IW660 $170/pair
- HTD HD-W80 $180/pair
- Monoprice Amber 2433 $190/pair
- Canton 880 $280/pair (accessories4less)
- HSU HIW-1 $300/pair
- Definitive Technologies DT8LCR $320/pair (open box Amazon)

Obviously I can keep going up in price and look at many other nice speakers like Axiom or Speakercraft and keep going up in price. My question is at which point will I not really even notice or benefit by paying more? Are the Canton's really noticeably better than the HTDs? Are the HTDs worth double the Monoprice Alphas? Are the Hsu's worth almost double the similar BIC's?

A related question - for a room like mine, what type of tweeter would you recommend? Will the metal tweeters on the Canton's or Def Tech's be too bright because of all the reflective surfaces? What about the horns on the Bic's and Hsus? Are the ribbons on the Monoprice Alphas any good? Have I missed any other good options I should consider?

Thanks in advance for the help. I'd love to hear from anyone who has one of the speakers above or has something similar they are really happy with.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-24-2018, 01:49 PM
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Only your ears will know. From what I know, based upon the fact that my space is similar in size and arrangement to yours, is that most will probably work well.

What I don't see is what you are using to drive them. The Hsu's are pretty efficient, so they will require less power to drive them to higher volume levels. I have heard them and they are great.

One thing that I am not a fan of re: in wall speakers is that most are designed to use the wall cavity as the cabinet. I have the axiom M22 in walls ( sealed cab) and they rock.

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post #3 of 4 Old 02-24-2018, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah those M22s look awesome. I?d probably go for the M3 because of the width of my existing hole. But this gets to my dilemma. Are the M3s really worth $250 more than the Hsu?s at modest volumes in a big great room like mine?

I wish it were easier to demo these. I?m also worried that upgraditis will hit if what I get doesn?t knock my socks off.

I?m planning to drive them with my Yamaha TSR-7810. It?s the Costco version of the RX-V781 and is rated for 95w into 2 channels.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-24-2018, 07:57 PM
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The point of diminishing returns is when you choose to go in-wall. That decision immediately changes the cost / benefit ratio from 1/1 to 2/1, and even greater as the cost rises.
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Canton , def tech , Hsu Research , inwall speakers , Monoprice

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