High-end In-wall speakers? KEF? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-09-2018, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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High-end In-wall speakers? KEF?

We are remodeling our house to produce a big family room with a giant wall of glass looking out at 7000' mountains about 2 miles away. Architecturally the room will look very cool. We know free standing speakers are a lot cheaper, but the room will look much better with in-wall speakers. The free standing speakers I was looking at were RBH 55 towers, Canton 509.2s or Chane 5.4s. We want sound at least that good.

The room is large, 22'W * 30' L * 15' H. One side will be glass and the other open to the kitchen. The speakers have to be big enough not to get lost (sonically) in the room. The installation will be 5.1.4. I'd go with 7.1.4 but there is no place to put surrounds directly to the sides of the main listening position.

We are interested in clear, accurate sound, particularly dialog, mostly for movies and other video. We do not listen at very high volumes.

The KEF In-wall speakers, Ci5160RLs are as expensive as we are willing to go.

http://us.kef.com/ci5160rl-thx

Are there other better speakers I should consider?

Would the KEF Ci3160s have sufficient power in a room this size?

If we do go for the Ci5160s for LR, would the 3160 be enough for the C?

Thanks in advance, Bob
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-09-2018, 02:11 PM
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JBL Synthesis is the way to go. Both the SCL-3 and SCL-4 are the same price as the KEF you are looking at.


In wall speakers with conventional tweeters will not be able to get loud enough in large rooms. You need compression drivers and the SCL series use the technology similar to the JBL M2.
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Last edited by Rex Anderson; 09-09-2018 at 02:15 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-09-2018, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
JBL Synthesis is the way to go. Both the SCL-3 and SCL-4 are the same price as the KEF you are looking at.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRatKIMAnUI

In wall speakers with conventional tweeters will not be able to get loud enough in large rooms. You need compression drivers and the SCL series use the technology similar to the JBL M2.

Nice advertisement. He specifically said he doesn't listen that loudly, and his room isn't that big.


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post #4 of 20 Old 09-09-2018, 03:41 PM
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those KEF's look capable, but they sure are pricey! based upon my limited experience, I recommend in wall speakers with either an integrated enclosure or back box.

check out: axiom audio : https://www.axiomaudio.com/in-wall-speakers

Triad gets lots of positive recommendations

GTL soundlabs is another you should consider : https://www.gtlsoundlabs.com/

paradigm is another

good luck and congrats on the remodel. It sounds like it will be an amazing space.

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post #5 of 20 Old 09-09-2018, 05:09 PM
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CEDIA just ended and there may be some good deals to be had on JBL Synthesis products.

You did say you don't play loud, but you also said you are interested in clear, accurate sound, particularly dialog, mostly for movies and other video.

The SCL series excel at all of the above and are professional grade speakers, not "high end hi-fi consumer" products.

It's a shame more people don't know about professional audio products. I have been an avid "audiophile" and worked as a recording and live sound engineer for 34 years, so I know both consumer and professional products.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 09-10-2018 at 10:38 AM.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-10-2018, 09:41 AM
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Here is some pertinent information:

SCL3 is essentially an in-wall version of the LSR708i. Baz Luhrman mixes on the 708i - https://www.thebroadcastbridge.com/c...-on-dolby-atmo).

Bob is looking for flat and neutral speakers with great dialogue reproduction. Synthesis speakers are used in final QC mastering at DeLuxe on almost 80% of all Blu-rays / UHD Blu-rays.

They share technology with M2 – look at all the links on the right: http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/r...s#.W5XWIOhKjZs

SCL2 won best in-wall at CEDIA 2018: https://www.cepro.com/article/ce_pro...d_winners_2018

Just remember, the SCL3s require a 6” mounting depth. SCL4s can go into a 4” mounting depth. Revel W990 is an option as well.

Most in-wall speakers are HORRIBLE. The reference room at Harman allows for testing Harman in-walls against others box speakers and the Revels win.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 09-10-2018 at 10:32 AM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-10-2018, 07:02 PM
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-10-2018, 07:12 PM
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RJ,

GTL Sound Labs was mentioned above. Not ver well known but been in the biz for 30+ years and has designed screening rooms for some pretty heavy hitters befor the term home cinema was used.

I have a friend in Florida that was going to spend big money on James Loudspeaker and went with the GTL SL Bronze. The Gold is even better but requires at least a 2x8 wall.

RBH is another sleeper so to speak.

This is a crowded marketplace for sure.

Mike Miles
[email protected]
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-01-2019, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
Nice advertisement. He specifically said he doesn't listen that loudly, and his room isn't that big.
You miss @Rex Anderson 's point, or are not aware of critical distance. The OP does not reveal an important factor to the design equation: primary listening distance/throw. That is quite a large room by residential standards. Certainly LF acoustic response is going to be greatly affected by the room volume. The primary listening distance could easily be at or beyond critical distance in a room that size with certainly very lively acoustics, and with speakers that are not designed like the Synthesis models Rex suggests. Output capability and controlled directivity are critical with rooms of that size and acoustic character. If the front row is not at critical distance, I would bet that the second is. All three of the SCL in-walls are serious players, but at a steep price.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-01-2019, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RJCarlson49 View Post
We are remodeling our house...The KEF In-wall speakers, Ci5160RLs are as expensive as we are willing to go...Are there other better speakers I should consider? Would the KEF Ci3160s have sufficient power in a room this size?...If we do go for the Ci5160s for LR, would the 3160 be enough for the C?
- Focal certainly has some good speakers
https://www.focal.com/en/custom-inte...g-loudspeakers. Better than KEF? Different more likely. Anything you put in may benefit from some room EQ like Dirac or a top Audyssey
- A built-in install is not easily changed, and will last for decades, so DON'T CHEAP OUT on the speakers. Get cheap/used electronics to start with if you must to hit the budget and upgrade later.
- Similarly I would do the 5160s not 3160s, more woofer power is like a bigger TV, nobody ever regretted that. Why can't you do 5160s in the middle?
- I would not get back-boxed in-walls, because it limits the enclosure space which limits the performance (excepting some rare models with full-height back boxes). BUT I would absolutely rebuild the wall cavities to reduce vibration, and stuff them with maybe Acousta-Stuf. More advice here would need more details about what you are planning to do and pictures
Sounds like a great project, enjoy!
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post #11 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by head_unit View Post
- Focal certainly has some good speakers
https://www.focal.com/en/custom-inte...g-loudspeakers. Better than KEF? Different more likely. Anything you put in may benefit from some room EQ like Dirac or a top Audyssey
- A built-in install is not easily changed, and will last for decades, so DON'T CHEAP OUT on the speakers. Get cheap/used electronics to start with if you must to hit the budget and upgrade later.
...
Thanks!

We're not too far from wiring and the 3160s are ordered already. We are also putting in a pair of in-wall woofers from KEF mounted below the L and R. More KEFs for rears plus 4 Atmos speakers. I can't wait. We will be putting as much sound insulating material in the wall as possible since it's the MBR on the other side.
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post #12 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RJCarlson49 View Post
Thanks!

We're not too far from wiring and the 3160s are ordered already. We are also putting in a pair of in-wall woofers from KEF mounted below the L and R. More KEFs for rears plus 4 Atmos speakers. I can't wait. We will be putting as much sound insulating material in the wall as possible since it's the MBR on the other side.
The 3160's are probably all you need, bass is going to be the hard part in that room, do you have a plan for subwoofers? You'll need at least 2 and possibly 4, they do make some decent in-wall subs these days if you don't want them out on the floor.
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post #13 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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The 3160's are probably all you need, bass is going to be the hard part in that room, do you have a plan for subwoofers? You'll need at least 2 and possibly 4, they do make some decent in-wall subs these days if you don't want them out on the floor.
Yup, two in-wall subs from KEF
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post #14 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 03:06 PM
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Yup, two in-wall subs from KEF
BUT. Those 3160s don't appear to have back boxes, and the in-wall subs are designed to use the full height. So do NOT put them inside the same studs, also because then the woofers will fight each other. What model in-wall sub did you get? In a big room, a depending on location which may well not be the best for subs, it may not be enough.
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post #15 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 03:32 PM
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Yup, two in-wall subs from KEF
I really don't think those subs with the 3 6.5" woofers are going to cut it in that room, bass is all about horsepower so to speak, that means bigger woofers and a lot of power. I'd be looking at a minimum of 2 12" woofers, preferably 4, 2 in the front and 2 in the back placed symmetrically. Unless you don't really care about the deep bass much, of course.
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post #16 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I really don't think those subs with the 3 6.5" woofers are going to cut it in that room, bass is all about horsepower so to speak, that means bigger woofers and a lot of power. I'd be looking at a minimum of 2 12" woofers, preferably 4, 2 in the front and 2 in the back placed symmetrically. Unless you don't really care about the deep bass much, of course.
I guess I fall into the bass is nice, but ... category. I'll make sure there is a cross brace between the L/R and the woofer below.

Thanks!
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 03:48 PM
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I guess I fall into the bass is nice, but ... category. I'll make sure there is a cross brace between the L/R and the woofer below.

Thanks!
True and you can always add more and/or other subs later if the bass isn't to your liking. I think your plan is a good one, make sure to post your impressions in this thread or the KEF thread when you get everything up and running, I'm sure people would be interested in your impressions.
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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True and you can always add more and/or other subs later if the bass isn't to your liking. I think your plan is a good one, make sure to post your impressions in this thread or the KEF thread when you get everything up and running, I'm sure people would be interested in your impressions.
I will and I am eager to post pictures too. The room is going to be very cool, 15 foot windows looking out a mountain side to the north about a mile away that rises about 5000'. The windows wrap around a few feet on the east and we realized at the last full moon that it will rise in the that window. Can't wait.
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-02-2019, 10:39 PM
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I'll make sure there is a cross brace between the L/R and the woofer below.
That means each will see significantly less air volume than either is designed for. You can't move locations? Hard to imagine without pictures.
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-04-2019, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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That means each will see significantly less air volume than either is designed for. You can't move locations? Hard to imagine without pictures.
Should not be a problem. The speakers will be in a "fur out" which is not structural and will be framed specifically for the AV stuff.
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