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post #31 of 79 Old 04-18-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Erod View Post
That's why I like the Triads because they are enclosed like a virtual tower.
Triad speakers are "LCR's" which means they are unlike standard towers or bookshelf speakers. Towers generally try to be as "full range" as possible while bookshelf's, due to their smaller cabinets, are somewhat less than full range. LCR's are designed to have a very specific LF extension, usually in the 60 to 90 Hz range. They are designed specifically to be used in a *system* in conjunction with subwoofers and Bass Management. They have limited bass extension because the design intention is that the low bass will be re-directed to the subwoofers. Nonetheless, LCR's can be a lot bigger than bookshelf speakers. The Gold LCR's are very substantial speakers, and larger than most bookshelf speakers, yet the only have LF extention to about 65 Hz. (They're specified to 50 Hz, but that is not their -3 dB point, (F3).) They are sealed speakers which means they have a 12 dB/octave roll-off below their F3 point. This mates up very nicely with a 12 dB/Octave roll-off of the High Pass Filter used in the crossovers in most receivers. The combination yields a 24 dB/Octave roll-off, which matches the Low Pass Filters used on the subs in those same receivers. The dual 24 dB/Octave roll-offs make an ideal Linkwitz-Riley crossover that is free from phase shift. This was THX's original crossover/speaker/subwoofer system design.

All of Triad's LCR speakers are built around this principal, whether they are in-room, on-wall or in-wall. In fact, the only difference between any of these variations is the baffle-step/boundary compensation built into the crossovers. Otherwise, an in-room, on-wall or in-wall LCR of the same series will all have the same drivers and internal box volume, along with similar internal bracing.

I mentioned that the enclosures are sealed. It is important to note, as you have, that Triad LCR speakers are indeed enclosed. There are 3 primary components to a loudspeaker: the drivers, the crossover(s), and the enclosure. All 3 of these need to be designed and integrated systematically in order for the final result to work cohesively. How can a speaker designer worth his salt leave one of the primary components, (the enclosure), out of his design and leave it to the arbitrary and unknown dimensions and materials of a wall cavity? One of the things Triad is most known for is the stiffness and lack of resonance of their cabinets. This is essential to their sound quality. Placing an open-backed in-wall into a piece of drywall over pine studs with an unknown volume, unknown construction quality and unknown dampening, is a recipe for resonances, vibrations, buzzing and compromised sound quality. Moreover, the designer gives up all control over the actual installation to an unknown installer of unknown skill level. Some dealers may hold themselves out to be "experts" when they really aren't, and/or they may have unskilled workers do the actual installation.

The idea that the only benefit of enclosed in-wall speakers is a reduction of sound-bleed into adjacent spaces is ridiculous. Having complete control over all 3 of the primary design elements of a speaker design is far more important than sound-bleed.

I am not trying to talk you into Triad speakers, (although I think you would be very happy with them.) There a many other well-designed and well-built in-wall LCR speakers that use integral enclosures. If you are going to use in-walls, and you will have subwoofers and a Bass Managed system, I strongly suggest you stick to that form factor.

Craig
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post #32 of 79 Old 04-18-2019, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Erod View Post
That's why I like the Triads because they are enclosed like a virtual tower.
Triad speakers are "LCR's" which means they are unlike standard towers or bookshelf speakers. Towers generally try to be as "full range" as possible while bookshelf's, due to their smaller cabinets, are somewhat less than full range. LCR's are designed to have a very specific LF extension, usually in the 60 to 90 Hz range. They are designed specifically to be used in a *system* in conjunction with subwoofers and Bass Management. They have limited bass extension because the design intention is that the low bass will be re-directed to the subwoofers. Nonetheless, LCR's can be a lot bigger than bookshelf speakers. The Gold LCR's are very substantial speakers, and larger than most bookshelf speakers, yet the only have LF extention to about 65 Hz. (They're specified to 50 Hz, but that is not their -3 dB point, (F3).) They are sealed speakers which means they have a 12 dB/octave roll-off below their F3 point. This mates up very nicely with a 12 dB/Octave roll-off of the High Pass Filter used in the crossovers in most receivers. The combination yields a 24 dB/Octave roll-off, which matches the Low Pass Filters used on the subs in those same receivers. The dual 24 dB/Octave roll-offs make an ideal Linkwitz-Riley crossover that is free from phase shift. This was THX's original crossover/speaker/subwoofer system design.

All of Triad's LCR speakers are built around this principal, whether they are in-room, on-wall or in-wall. In fact, the only difference between any of these variations is the baffle-step/boundary compensation built into the crossovers. Otherwise, an in-room, on-wall or in-wall LCR of the same series will all have the same drivers and internal box volume, along with similar internal bracing.

I mentioned that the enclosures are sealed. It is important to note, as you have, that Triad LCR speakers are indeed enclosed. There are 3 primary components to a loudspeaker: the drivers, the crossover(s), and the enclosure. All 3 of these need to be designed and integrated systematically in order for the final result to work cohesively. How can a speaker designer worth his salt leave one of the primary components, (the enclosure), out of his design and leave it to the arbitrary and unknown dimensions and materials of a wall cavity? One of the things Triad is most known for is the stiffness and lack of resonance of their cabinets. This is essential to their sound quality. Placing an open-backed in-wall into a piece of drywall over pine studs with an unknown volume, unknown construction quality and unknown dampening, is a recipe for resonances, vibrations, buzzing and compromised sound quality. Moreover, the designer gives up all control over the actual installation to an unknown installer of unknown skill level. Some dealers may hold themselves out to be "experts" when they really aren't, and/or they may have unskilled workers do the actual installation.

The idea that the only benefit of enclosed in-wall speakers is a reduction of sound-bleed into adjacent spaces is ridiculous. Having complete control over all 3 of the primary design elements of a speaker design is far more important than sound-bleed.

I am not trying to talk you into Triad speakers, (although I think you would be very happy with them.) There a many other well-designed and well-built in-wall LCR speakers that use integral enclosures. If you are going to use in-walls, and you will have subwoofers and a Bass Managed system, I strongly suggest you stick to that form factor.

Craig
Thanks for those thoughts. I'm much in line with how you're thinking.

How do you compare Triad to JBL Synthesis?

Video: JVC RS620/X9500 projector, Stewart ST130 screen, Panasonic ub820 UHD player
Audio: Anthem AVM60 preamp, Anthem MCA525 amp, B&K Reference 125.7 amp
Subs: dual SVS PC-12 cylinders
Speakers: RBH SV-661R and SV-661CR fronts, Jamo 626k4 side/rear surrounds, DefTech DI6.5R heights
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post #33 of 79 Old 04-18-2019, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for those thoughts. I'm much in line with how you're thinking.

How do you compare Triad to JBL Synthesis?

In my opinion... and we all have opinions here about what constitutes ultimate "accuracy" related to being a "window" on the source as much as reasonably possible... the non-horn Triad models give up a modicum of effortless SPL loudness to err more on the side of overall top end smoothness and a fairly honest overall reproduction with a touch more "warmth" (though to get a bit of a smoother response, there is a small rounding in the upper frequencies that many find more pleasing that takes some of the edge off). That's why I describe them as pretty "musical," even in the LCR versions vs the supposedly more refined Monitor versions. You normally wouldn't go to a live classical concert and say, "man that sound is unpleasantly gritty or metallic." To the ears it sounds pleasant and inviting and non fatiguing whether you like classical acoustic music or not. And that seems more like the Triads. Unlike some B&W speaker models that some may consider "darker" in their tonality, I wouldn't categorize Triad in that manner. They're definitely not "bright," "harsh," and "fatiguing" like many a Klipsch horn speaker. The Gold LCR's sound a lot like my Paradigm Studios in a kind of lushness with stringed instruments and vocalists, and bite when listening to blues and jazz guitar string plucking, cymbals have a pleasant attack and overhang without grittiness, but have a lot more authority and a wider soundstage whilst maintaining composure if I turn the knob a bit higher on movies. They are in no way forgiving of poor recordings and they pick out a lot of flaws. Bad soundtrack vocals will still be poor and hard to understand, but the top notch mixes sound spectacularly clear and distinct even with all the bombast around the dialog.



Horn-loaded tweeters, even with the JBL's and Triad Platinums, can start to have a bit of cupped mouth "honkiness" and coloration to vocals and upper frequencies as they get driven harder, though they are much better than some higher end horn speakers on the market, especially the Klipsch THX Ultra2's. I would consider them slightly more towards a cinema type speaker in their overall presentation, though much more enjoyable in their clarity and richness. The JBL's do give up a bit of realism and refinement of the Triad Gold's for more brute force and slam. Vocals are just slightly "off" in my estimation though not in any horrendous fashion. More than likely, it come down to the tweeter design choice (horn vs dome). Sensitivity ratings are better too given the horn-loading, so it takes less wattage to reach a given volume level.

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post #34 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 03:27 AM
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Thanks for those thoughts. I'm much in line with how you're thinking.

How do you compare Triad to JBL Synthesis?
I have no personal, first-hand experience with the JBL Synthesis line of speakers, so I can't really offer any thoughts on them. Sorry.


I do, however, have one other comment for your consideration...

"Also, I have two SVS PC-Plus subwoofers up front..."

With LCR-type speakers, the subwoofers are an integral part of the design of the sound system and are essential to the overall sound quality of the system. If you decide to use speakers of the quality of the Triad Gold LCR's or the JBL Synthesis line, and you drive them with strong amplification, (as it seems like you intend to do), you may want to consider an update to your subwoofers. There is nothing "wrong" with the SVS subs, and they make work fine in your system. However, I suspect they may be a "limiting factor" and something more substantial, (PI), would be beneficial.



In addition, placing both subs on the same wall is not, generally speaking, taking best advantage of multiple subwoofers. Separating them as far apart as possible will provide a more likely chance for optimal frequency response smoothing. Getting the best out of dual subswoofers requires the ability to measure and optimize the response. Making the effort to do this can take the whole system to the next level.


Craig

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post #35 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I have no personal, first-hand experience with the JBL Synthesis line of speakers, so I can't really offer any thoughts on them. Sorry.


I do, however, have one other comment for your consideration...

"Also, I have two SVS PC-Plus subwoofers up front..."

With LCR-type speakers, the subwoofers are an integral part of the design of the sound system and are essential to the overall sound quality of the system. If you decide to use speakers of the quality of the Triad Gold LCR's or the JBL Synthesis line, and you drive them with strong amplification, (as it seems like you intend to do), you may want to consider an update to your subwoofers. There is nothing "wrong" with the SVS subs, and they make work fine in your system. However, I suspect they may be a "limiting factor" and something more substantial, (PI), would be beneficial.



In addition, placing both subs on the same wall is not, generally speaking, taking best advantage of multiple subwoofers. Separating them as far apart as possible will provide a more likely chance for optimal frequency response smoothing. Getting the best out of dual subswoofers requires the ability to measure and optimize the response. Making the effort to do this can take the whole system to the next level.


Craig
Regarding my subwoofers, I just don't have any other options on location. The back two corners of my room are doors, about 18 inches higher than the front of the room, and the side walls are aisles to the seats. When Chad B was out, I asked him about that and he liked what it was producing up front, getting a smooth response below 20 Hz. I can rattle the house with problem with those, and my ears and senses can't localize it at all. However, they are aging, so I thinking about upgrading to newer SVS 4000 subs down the road.

Speakers need attention first, and the only thing holding me back is this internal struggle I have with AT screens. Haven't seen one yet I liked near as much as my Stewart ST130, but I hope one day to have that center channel behind a screen. Makes it hard to pull the speaker trigger, but it's time.

I also have my L/R channels very close to the wall, but given the framing of my screen, I'd have to do much more tear-down to fix it. Not to mention, with a 13-foot wide wall, there's not much room, especially if I decide to increase my screen size. Wife likes the frame. I use acoustic panels immediately to the side of them, but I've heard I need to accept those reflections because they are actually beneficial.

I'm much appreciate of everybody's thoughts on this, especially the passion and authority of everyone's experiences and beliefs on the matter.

Video: JVC RS620/X9500 projector, Stewart ST130 screen, Panasonic ub820 UHD player
Audio: Anthem AVM60 preamp, Anthem MCA525 amp, B&K Reference 125.7 amp
Subs: dual SVS PC-12 cylinders
Speakers: RBH SV-661R and SV-661CR fronts, Jamo 626k4 side/rear surrounds, DefTech DI6.5R heights
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post #36 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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^ Expanding on the above: Putting an open backed in-wall in a wall cavity is no different in real world use, Craig, with the exception of the speaker having more airspace to work with. It just isn't. Assuming typical American 2x4 construction, 8' high ceiling, and 1/2 to 5/8" drywall, after some insulation is stuffed in there a bit... what's THAT different? Actually, the (roughly) 2" thick sidewalls of 2x4 the open-backed design are 4x (or more) thicker and more stable than the MDF, and that's me being generous by giving the box a 1/2" thick wall all around (it's not, BTW). The drywall is not going to resonate in the way you would assume to the point where it's detrimental to the sound, either. That's BS and just an idea rather than the reality... well, unless it isn't screwed in effectively, but... lets be realistic here. In my 13 year career in the field with this stuff I've never had that issue come up and doubt many other professionals have, either. At least I've never had it come up in any training, seminars, etc. that I've attended over the last 20 years. Perhaps it happens once in a blue moon.
I appreciate your time and help with all this. Much to consider, especially with this AT screen or not debate constantly rattling in my head.

But regarding the enclosure versus open-back discussion, I have a somewhat unique situation.

My screen walls in the back of the room has no drywall behind it, and there's a large attic space behind. The wall space is stuffed with bat insulation with netting behind (which has become very fragile), so there's essentially no "wall cavity" like I have in my other three walls. Installing these new speakers will basically leave the backs fully exposed behind whatever kind I use.

That's why it seems to me that I should choose a JBL Synthesis, Triad, or other enclosed speaker, rather than the other options like KEF, Revel, Martin Logan, or other non-enclosed speakers.

Am I right, or does this not really matter given my unusual wall conditions?

(By the way, I have heard the GTL Labs speakers are excellent from local dealers, too. So little out there about them.)

Also, what is your thoughts of having the center behind the screen and the L/R to each side, versus all three behind the screen?

Video: JVC RS620/X9500 projector, Stewart ST130 screen, Panasonic ub820 UHD player
Audio: Anthem AVM60 preamp, Anthem MCA525 amp, B&K Reference 125.7 amp
Subs: dual SVS PC-12 cylinders
Speakers: RBH SV-661R and SV-661CR fronts, Jamo 626k4 side/rear surrounds, DefTech DI6.5R heights

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post #37 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 11:32 AM
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Regarding my subwoofers, I just don't have any other options on location. The back two corners of my room are doors, about 18 inches higher than the front of the room, and the side walls are aisles to the seats. When Chad B was out, I asked him about that and he liked what it was producing up front, getting a smooth response below 20 Hz. I can rattle the house with problem with those, and my ears and senses can't localize it at all. However, they are aging, so I thinking about upgrading to newer SVS 4000 subs down the road.

Speakers need attention first, and the only thing holding me back is this internal struggle I have with AT screens. Haven't seen one yet I liked near as much as my Stewart ST130, but I hope one day to have that center channel behind a screen. Makes it hard to pull the speaker trigger, but it's time.

I also have my L/R channels very close to the wall, but given the framing of my screen, I'd have to do much more tear-down to fix it. Not to mention, with a 13-foot wide wall, there's not much room, especially if I decide to increase my screen size. Wife likes the frame. I use acoustic panels immediately to the side of them, but I've heard I need to accept those reflections because they are actually beneficial.

I'm much appreciate of everybody's thoughts on this, especially the passion and authority of everyone's experiences and beliefs on the matter.
If Chad B was able to get smooth response from your subwoofers as they are currently placed, you're good to go. The SVS 4000 subs would be a nice upgrade.

On the subject of AT screens, I have been using one since about 2010. To compensate for the loss of brightness of the AT screen material, I have my calibrator aim his light meter at my screen and calibrate the reflected image, not the direct image coming from the projector itself. I get enough brightness that I can run in low lamp mode with the iris almost closed. I also get excellent color saturation. My calibrator is extremely happy with the post-calibration image, as am I. IMO and IME, adding an AT screen and placing the CC behind it was one of the "milestones" in my theater progression. I am not susceptible to the "Ventriloquist Effect" and I could always tell that voices were originating from below the screen and pans were changing heights as they tranversed the video image. Adding an AT screen completely resolved those issues and I couldn't be happier with the audio AND video result. I do plan to upgrade to a 4K projector in the very near future. I will also be upgrading my screen to one of the new 4K screen materials. I also plan to move my seating a little closer to the screen than I am now, (9.5' from a 120" "scope" screen.)

BTW, you can see my system in the link in my signature. However, it's an old link and I haven't updated that page for a while. I have done an Atmos/DTS;X upgrade, added a new pre/pro, (Marantz 8805), and added another Earthquake Cinenove 5 to my amplification. I have eliminated the CATV box and gone to an all streaming environment with a Roku Ultra system. Once I get the 4K projector/screen, I will have completed this round of upgrades.

On the subject of speaker enclosures, just for reference, here is a picture of the inside of an in-room Triad Gold LCR including the bracing and sound absorption materials:


Note that the exterior cabinet is internally braced with 3/4" MDF and cross braced with more 3/4" MDF. The bracing was CAD designed to inhibit cabinet resonances. This is a fully engineered enclosure that is part and parcel of the speaker "system" and is part of the equation that leads to its' sound quality. So please don't let anyone fool you into thinking that Triad cabinets are just "boxes." That is pure and simple nonsense.

That pic is the interior of an in-room Gold LCR. I can't find one of the interior of an in-wall Gold LCR but here is a pic of a Silver Monitor In-wall:


I'm sure you can detect the family resemblance.

If you read any of Dr. Floyd Toole's writings on speaker design and measurement, you will see that cabinet resonances are seriously detrimental to sound quality, and they easily show up in measurements. An inert cabinet is highly beneficial to sound quality. Placing a well-braced and inert cabinet like the Triad Gold cabinet into a wall will not excite any parts of the wall or mounting system. Mounting an open-backed in-wall can't make that claim, no matter what any "expert" says. Gypsum drywall and pine dimension lumber studs do not a inert speaker cabinet make, at least not one that I would be willing to use in my home theater.



Craig
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I appreciate your time and help with all this. Much to consider, especially with this AT screen or not debate constantly rattling in my head.

But regarding the enclosure versus open-back discussion, I have a somewhat unique situation.

My screen walls in the back of the room has no drywall behind it, and there's a large attic space behind. The wall space is stuffed with bat insulation with netting behind (which has become very fragile), so there's essentially no "wall cavity" like I have in my other three walls. Installing these new speakers will basically leave the backs fully exposed behind whatever kind I use.

That's why it seems to me that I should choose a JBL Synthesis, Triad, or other enclosed speaker, rather than the other options like KEF, Revel, Martin Logan, or other non-enclosed speakers.

Am I right, or does this not really matter given my unusual wall conditions?

(By the way, I have heard the GTL Labs speakers are excellent from local dealers, too. So little out there about them.)

Also, what is your thoughts of having the center behind the screen and the L/R to each side, versus all three behind the screen?

Hmmm... I'm wondering if in your situation it might be better to place standard in-room's within framed "wall pockets" and set on a platform and do a flush faced baffle wall (there are a number of Triad build's that do something like this, as an example). The internal cross-over network board of many in-wall's tends to have some sort of boundary compensation filtering as the manufacturer thinks the speaker is going inside a standard stud wall enclosure (even Triad in-wall's have something like that). There wouldn't be any of that in an in-room model and you have a more "open" space behind your screen wall.


Having only the center behind the screen wall vs all three depends on the size of your potential AT screen and whether you would have to cram them too close together given your seating distance vs recommended left/right location angles. Even if you can only get an LCR center behind the screen and flank the left/rights, it's still better than having the center below your screen.
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post #39 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 12:38 PM
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I appreciate your time and help with all this. Much to consider, especially with this AT screen or not debate constantly rattling in my head.

But regarding the enclosure versus open-back discussion, I have a somewhat unique situation.

My screen walls in the back of the room has no drywall behind it, and there's a large attic space behind. The wall space is stuffed with bat insulation with netting behind (which has become very fragile), so there's essentially no "wall cavity" like I have in my other three walls. Installing these new speakers will basically leave the backs fully exposed behind whatever kind I use.

That's why it seems to me that I should choose a JBL Synthesis, Triad, or other enclosed speaker, rather than the other options like KEF, Revel, Martin Logan, or other non-enclosed speakers.

Am I right, or does this not really matter given my unusual wall conditions?
Let's step back a second and ask the question: Why do speakers need enclosures at all? The answer is that they don't need enclosures per se' but they need some form of baffle to separate the front wave coming off the driver from the back wave. If there were nothing separating the two waves, the positive wave from the front would cancel the negative wave from the back and there would be no sound. Take a backless in-wall and put it in free air with no divider between the front and back. The only sound you get is the upper midrange and treble, (these waves are so short that they don't get canceled by the lack of a separator.) The "ideal" baffle is completely impermeable to sound and is long enough that it is longer than the longest wave required from the loudspeaker. For reference, a 20 Hz wave is 56.3 feet long.) A baffle long enough to separate the front/back soundwaves to the lowest needed frequency is called an "infinite baffle."

Another way to separate the front from the back is to use an enclosure. The enclosure keeps the back wave "enclosed" and doesn't allow it to cancel the front wave. The ideal enclosure is large enough to dampen the back wave, (the larger the box, the lower in frequqncy the dampening is able to work), is impermeable to sound, and doesn't generate any of it's own sound, (cabinet resonances.) There is no such thing as a "perfect" enclosure, but a large, high-mass box is about as good as it gets.

In your case, with the open space behind the speakers, you may be able to get away without an enclosure, as long as the wall itself is fairly impermeable to sound. However, from your description, you would only have a single layer of drywall between the back of the speaker and the front. A single layer of 1/2" drywall has an STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating of about 20. Here is a chart of STC ratings and what they describe:

STC Examples

25 Normal speech can be easily heard and understood

30 Loud speech can be easily heard and understood

35 Loud speech heard, but not understood

40 Loud speech now only a murmur

45 Loud speech not heard, music systems / heavy traffic noise still a potential problem

50 Very loud sounds such as musical instruments or a stereo can be faintly heard

60+ Excellent soundproofing

So an STC of 20 means that very little sound will be stopped by a single layer of drywall. Have you ever been in a space where the walls are so thin, you can easily hear and understand the people on the other side? Those walls are generally TWO layers of 1/2" drywall with a 3.5" air gap in between them. Such a wall has an STC of about 33. A single layer of drywall is a very ineffective baffle for a backless in-wall speaker. Therefore, I would recommend an enclosed speaker in your space. (I'm sure there is at least one "expert" who will disagree, but I don't know how he can argue with the measurements.)

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Also, what is your thoughts of having the center behind the screen and the L/R to each side, versus all three behind the screen?
You can do it either way. Some considerations:

  • If the screen is not wide enough, placing the speakers behind the screen can make the soundstage too narrow.
  • Placing all the speakers behind the screen will cause all the speakers to be identically impact by the acoustic transparency of the screen.
  • If the screen is not acoustically transparent enough, you will need to boost the speaker levels and EQ the response. (Woven screen are much better in this area than perforated screens.)
  • Placing the speakers outside the screen edges can reduce the lock-up between sound and onscreen image; however, I have never noticed this with my screen/speaker placement.
  • Placig the speakers outside the screen edges mat increase the need for toe-in of the L/R speakers.

The key to an AT screen is to use 3 identical speakers, all vertically oriented and mounted at the same height, (preferably tweeters at ear height.) How much toe in they will need will be dependent on the speakers' horizontal dispersion.

Craig
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Lombardi said it:
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
My System (Edited Feb. 2020 to add 4K and Atmos updates)

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post #40 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

In your case, with the open space behind the speakers, you may be able to get away without an enclosure, as long as the wall itself is fairly impermeable to sound. However, from your description, you would only have a single layer of drywall between the back of the speaker and the front. A single layer of 1/2" drywall has an STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating of about 20. Here is a chart of STC ratings and what they describe:
Thanks, perhaps I may need to provide a bit more context here.

That wall isn't completely exposed on the other side of the drywall; it's not just a piece of drywall and open air behind. The entire wall is packed between the studs with dense bat insulation across its whole. However, when a speaker is installed, that "hole" has much less bat insulation behind it. When I remove a speaker, I can barely see behind it into the open space. Installing another could easily widen that specific hole to that open attic space, which is where my concerns lie.

So the vast majority of the wall is still covered in dense netted insulation, so it's not like there's some huge echo coming through the wall. I have good sound right now, and if you were there, you wouldn't know what was going on behind that wall.

Still, an enclosed back speaker might be the ticket for me, although certainly companies like KEF know what they're doing and don't enclose theirs.

Also, regarding speaker placement, currently my L/R speakers are 12 feet apart from each other, and I'm 13 feet from each one. That's a good spread, right?

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post #41 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 03:40 PM
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Thanks, perhaps I may need to provide a bit more context here.

That wall isn't completely exposed on the other side of the drywall; it's not just a piece of drywall and open air behind. The entire wall is packed between the studs with dense bat insulation across its whole. However, when a speaker is installed, that "hole" has much less bat insulation behind it. When I remove a speaker, I can barely see behind it into the open space. Installing another could easily widen that specific hole to that open attic space, which is where my concerns lie.

So the vast majority of the wall is still covered in dense netted insulation, so it's not like there's some huge echo coming through the wall. I have good sound right now, and if you were there, you wouldn't know what was going on behind that wall.

Still, an enclosed back speaker might be the ticket for me, although certainly companies like KEF know what they're doing and don't enclose theirs.
The single layer of drywall, (the "baffle"), needs to be able to stop the cancellation of the out-of-polarity soundwaves from the front and backwaves... irrespective of the volume behind the drywall baffle. With an STC of just 20, I would argue that it is not an impermeable enough baffle to work well. Obviously, not everyone agrees with that or you wouldn't see so many backless in-walls installed in single layer drywall. I guess I'm just more of a purest and I would never do that in my own system, or in any system I designed for friends or family. I don't think I've ever seen a speaker enclosure made of gypsum board. There's probably a reason for that.

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Also, regarding speaker placement, currently my L/R speakers are 12 feet apart from each other, and I'm 13 feet from each one. That's a good spread, right?
For 2-channel listening, you want an equilateral triangle of speakers and LP. You're almost perfect in that regard. For a multi-channel system, the recommended angles for the L and R speakers is 22 to 30 degrees from the centerline.


Those are the "guidelines" not the rules. You're probably a little wider than 30 degrees, but I wouldn't sweat it.

Lombardi said it:
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
My System (Edited Feb. 2020 to add 4K and Atmos updates)
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My name is Steve Colburn, As a founding CEDIA Member and Editor of their first Home Theater Manual eons ago, I have spent most of my career in home audio, specializing in the technical aspects of Home Theater. In the early days I ran a high end audio retail shop in Austin and in later years I have been dedicated to helping others develop some of the best home theaters you have seen or heard. I worked with Dolby on the introduction of Atmos for the home and have personally designed over 600 dedicated Atmos home theaters. I currently design and specify theater systems for Triad dealers around the globe. I wanted to give you this introduction, as I believe knowing a little about me offers context to my next statements.

I have read through some of the posts on this forum and take issue with some disparaging comments about how Triad speakers are designed, engineered (or not) and manufactured. Many of these comments are simply wrong and reflect a poor understanding of speaker design, engineering, & manufacturing. Say whatever you want about how any speaker sounds (sound is obviously subjective) but I take issue with people disparaging Triad’s design practices, especially when they have no first-hand knowledge of it. And I personally don’t view the opinion of competitors and anonymous posters as unbiased sources.

I have worked closely with Triad engineers & designers for almost two decades and have great respect for the team. They spend countless hours choosing and tweaking the right drivers, designing the right crossovers and refining our cabinets and internal bracing to produce speakers that sound great. In fact, if they have a fault, it’s that they can sometimes over-engineer a speaker, spending too much time focusing on making it sound “just right”. They use target frequency response curves and an anechoic chamber to make sure Triad speakers are as neutral sounding and as musical as possible, with final tweaking by ear (for changes you wouldn’t even see on a curve). They want you to hear what the sound engineer that mixed your movie soundtrack heard, which is why our speakers are used in many labs (like Dolby’s own), mixing rooms, and specialty audio manufacturers’ demo & testing rooms.

Triad uses lean manufacturing methods. These not only keep us efficient and environmentally-friendly, but they let us offer far more application-based speaker models than other manufacturers- even identical performing versions of the same speaker model engineered for different boundary conditions. This gives the serious Home Theater Designer/Installer more and better tools to create a great Home Theater experience, without the compromises of most other very good speaker manufacturers. We are so proud of the speakers we build in Portland, Oregon and of the jaw-dropping cinematic and music listening experiences they can provide.

If you would like a closer view of how we do it at Triad, take a look at this short factory tour video: https://www.triadspeakers.com/why-triad-2/ .

Unfortunately, I can't follow all the relevant threads here, so I would have a difficult time replying in the future. But I did want you all to know that we take what goes on here seriously. And Triad is grateful for the many factual based postings of support. Not only do they help clear the ether of some nonsense, but they make it clear to us that most of the folks out there who have our speakers appreciate them. Thanks from all of us at Triad.

Steve Colburn
Triad Speakers
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Originally Posted by stevecolburn View Post
My name is Steve Colburn, As a founding CEDIA Member and Editor of their first Home Theater Manual eons ago, I have spent most of my career in home audio, specializing in the technical aspects of Home Theater. In the early days I ran a high end audio retail shop in Austin and in later years I have been dedicated to helping others develop some of the best home theaters you have seen or heard. I worked with Dolby on the introduction of Atmos for the home and have personally designed over 600 dedicated Atmos home theaters. I currently design and specify theater systems for Triad dealers around the globe. I wanted to give you this introduction, as I believe knowing a little about me offers context to my next statements.

I have read through some of the posts on this forum and take issue with some disparaging comments about how Triad speakers are designed, engineered (or not) and manufactured. Many of these comments are simply wrong and reflect a poor understanding of speaker design, engineering, & manufacturing. Say whatever you want about how any speaker sounds (sound is obviously subjective) but I take issue with people disparaging Triad’s design practices, especially when they have no first-hand knowledge of it. And I personally don’t view the opinion of competitors and anonymous posters as unbiased sources.

I have worked closely with Triad engineers & designers for almost two decades and have great respect for the team. They spend countless hours choosing and tweaking the right drivers, designing the right crossovers and refining our cabinets and internal bracing to produce speakers that sound great. In fact, if they have a fault, it’s that they can sometimes over-engineer a speaker, spending too much time focusing on making it sound “just right”. They use target frequency response curves and an anechoic chamber to make sure Triad speakers are as neutral sounding and as musical as possible, with final tweaking by ear (for changes you wouldn’t even see on a curve). They want you to hear what the sound engineer that mixed your movie soundtrack heard, which is why our speakers are used in many labs (like Dolby’s own), mixing rooms, and specialty audio manufacturers’ demo & testing rooms.

Triad uses lean manufacturing methods. These not only keep us efficient and environmentally-friendly, but they let us offer far more application-based speaker models than other manufacturers- even identical performing versions of the same speaker model engineered for different boundary conditions. This gives the serious Home Theater Designer/Installer more and better tools to create a great Home Theater experience, without the compromises of most other very good speaker manufacturers. We are so proud of the speakers we build in Portland, Oregon and of the jaw-dropping cinematic and music listening experiences they can provide.

If you would like a closer view of how we do it at Triad, take a look at this short factory tour video: https://www.triadspeakers.com/why-triad-2/ .

Unfortunately, I can't follow all the relevant threads here, so I would have a difficult time replying in the future. But I did want you all to know that we take what goes on here seriously. And Triad is grateful for the many factual based postings of support. Not only do they help clear the ether of some nonsense, but they make it clear to us that most of the folks out there who have our speakers appreciate them. Thanks from all of us at Triad.

Steve Colburn
Triad Speakers
Thank you for taking the time, Steve, in the event that you read this reply. I understand busy, and I also understand how sensitive and concerning it could be for any business to be criticized on such a well-known and highly respected forum such as AVS. I'd be lost without this wealth of information and the incredible helpfulness of so many knowledgeable people here.

I can assure you that, in my case, nothing here dissuades me from any particular speaker. I look for positives more than negatives because I know many options are quality choices.

That said, I do put stock in what Prestige is saying in general on a number of fronts. I just don't dismiss Triad based on his distaste for the brand. I don't see it so much as bias as it is just the general wild variations in audio preference that people have. As an installer, he may have other reasons, but the subjectivity of sound is truly a unique thing. This thread got emotional and competitive, and frankly, I've appreciated the passion of those reaching out to help me here. It helps get the picture in the frame of all that I need to consider.

At this point, I've narrowed my choice to three different speakers: Triad golds, KEF ci-5160s, and JBL Synthesis 4s.

I hear and read the positives and negatives of each. But what I want is the best choice for movies, period. I don't do much two-channel music listening, and I don't exceed 85 dB ever. I want a sound system that enhances the music, effects, imaging, and overall representation of musical speakers with great imaging regardless if something is Atmos, 7.1, 5.1, or broadcast. I want it played as well as the source allows.

Dawn does a wonderful job here representing your brand and engaging with everyone here. Obviously, she has a dog in the fight, but I find her responses fair and informative, and most of all, helpful. She cares about what she's doing, and that's all a buyer can really ask for in the end.

I'll give that video a watch, and thank you again.
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The 4 all vertically behind your screen would be ideal. The 3 could be a center below a display or something of that nature if it had to be. The 3 is really meant as more of a high end surround or ceiling atmos speaker.

The 3 is better than the 4. Bit more driver area, no vertical off axis suckout in dispersion window. The 4’s problem is that the C2C spacing on the woofer and CD are too great for the XO point. The only reason to use the 4 would be if you have a 2x4 wall or if you have the old S4AI surround because the new speaker drops right into the old back box.


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post #45 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post
The single layer of drywall, (the "baffle"), needs to be able to stop the cancellation of the out-of-polarity soundwaves from the front and backwaves... irrespective of the volume behind the drywall baffle. With an STC of just 20, I would argue that it is not an impermeable enough baffle to work well. Obviously, not everyone agrees with that or you wouldn't see so many backless in-walls installed in single layer drywall. I guess I'm just more of a purest and I would never do that in my own system, or in any system I designed for friends or family. I don't think I've ever seen a speaker enclosure made of gypsum board. There's probably a reason for that.


For 2-channel listening, you want an equilateral triangle of speakers and LP. You're almost perfect in that regard. For a multi-channel system, the recommended angles for the L and R speakers is 22 to 30 degrees from the centerline.


Those are the "guidelines" not the rules. You're probably a little wider than 30 degrees, but I wouldn't sweat it.
First off, you got me measuring tonight, Craig, and my L/R speakers are at 28 degrees from my listening position. Score!

Regarding my wall, the Triads and JBLs are enclosed, so that should nip that right there. I'm also looking at KEF ci-5160s, and the dealer said there is a specialty box that they'd build for these between my studs that would solve that issue.

I listened to those KEFs and liked them; unfortunately, they were set up in two-channel there, and I suspect they are used more for music than movies. It is a Control4 dealer, so they have access to Triads, but they weren't terribly knowledgeable about them. Their "opinion" of JBL is that they are very clear speakers at soft and loud levels, but don't offer the separation for home theater like the KEFs, which is their primary brand along with Martin Logan.

I have another dealer bidding me for JBL synthesis speakers.

My issue with JBL and KEF would be that they don't have bipole options for side surrounds from what I can tell. I do think I"ll be using KEF for Atmos down the road. Those were nice. However, I'm not replacing those yet.

Video: JVC RS620/X9500 projector, Stewart ST130 screen, Panasonic ub820 UHD player
Audio: Anthem AVM60 preamp, Anthem MCA525 amp, B&K Reference 125.7 amp
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Speakers: RBH SV-661R and SV-661CR fronts, Jamo 626k4 side/rear surrounds, DefTech DI6.5R heights
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post #46 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 09:24 PM
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The sound transmission loss of 5/8 gyp is the same as 5/8 MDF below about 2khz. Above 2khz advantage MDF about 6dB.

I don’t know the answer, but why would people think this would make a difference? Gyp re-radiates more sound >2khz, but this is mainly harmonics.

Of course a standard stud wall is not well braced compared to a speaker enclosure.

I’d be interested if there’s any scientific studies on comparing speaker in enclosure in wall vs speaker no enclosure in std gyp bd wall. Or maybe someone’s done some measurements.


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post #47 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Erod View Post
First off, you got me measuring tonight, Craig, and my L/R speakers are at 28 degrees from my listening position. Score!

Regarding my wall, the Triads and JBLs are enclosed, so that should nip that right there. I'm also looking at KEF ci-5160s, and the dealer said there is a specialty box that they'd build for these between my studs that would solve that issue.

I listened to those KEFs and liked them; unfortunately, they were set up in two-channel there, and I suspect they are used more for music than movies. It is a Control4 dealer, so they have access to Triads, but they weren't terribly knowledgeable about them. Their "opinion" of JBL is that they are very clear speakers at soft and loud levels, but don't offer the separation for home theater like the KEFs, which is their primary brand along with Martin Logan.

I have another dealer bidding me for JBL synthesis speakers.

My issue with JBL and KEF would be that they don't have bipole options for side surrounds from what I can tell. I do think I"ll be using KEF for Atmos down the road. Those were nice. However, I'm not replacing those yet.

If a speaker can do music well, that's definitely a plus as long as they don't start sounding strained, compressed, and harsh during louder playback of movie soundtracks. Well recorded acoustic music is tougher for a speaker to reproduce than a synthetic soundtrack where most everything, except maybe the music track, is constructed artificially, and not usually mixed for audiophile, true-to-life (as far as man-made speakers can get to that ideal) purposes. That's why I was impressed with the Triads and utimately decided them over the Synthesis line, though I was considering them at one point... again on a personal basis. As much as I like raw output during a movie, I wanted to err on the side of refinement. As most everyone here has conveyed, sound is ultimately subjective to the listener. Since you're not trying to hit reference, the Triad's will probably sound more "balanced" overall. Again, IMHO. I even think you would enjoy playing music through your home theater once you had the system calibrated. There are even some interesting Dolby Atmos mixed albums worth considering.



That's an interesting idea about using KEF coaxials for the overheads. They do tend to throw a wider cone of sound, which is ideal for overhead applications, and a recommendation of Dolby Labs. I do wish Triad had a re-designed in-ceiling speaker for each of their various model lines that had a wider monopole dispersion pattern.


Whether or not you choose in-wall's or in-room's, however, truly depends on how you decide to design the screen wall given your unique situation.

Whatever you decide to go with... happy listening!

Listen up, studios! Dolby Atmos Lite™ print-outs must stop!!

Last edited by Dan Hitchman; 04-19-2019 at 09:40 PM.
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post #48 of 79 Old 04-19-2019, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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If a speaker can do music well, that's definitely a plus as long as they don't start sounding strained, compressed, and harsh during louder playback of movie soundtracks. Well recorded acoustic music is tougher for a speaker to reproduce than a synthetic soundtrack where most everything, except maybe the music track, is constructed artificially, and not usually mixed for audiophile, true-to-life (as far as man-made speakers can get to that ideal) purposes. That's why I was impressed with the Triads and utimately decided them over the Synthesis line, though I was considering them at one point... again on a personal basis. As much as I like raw output during a movie, I wanted to err on the side of refinement. As most everyone here has conveyed, sound is ultimately subjective to the listener. Since you're not trying to hit reference, the Triad's will probably sound more "balanced" overall. Again, IMHO. I even think you would enjoy playing music through your home theater once you had the system calibrated. There are even some interesting Dolby Atmos mixed albums worth considering.



That's an interesting idea about using KEF coaxials for the overheads. They do tend to throw a wider cone of sound, which is ideal for overhead applications, and a recommendation of Dolby Labs. I do wish Triad had a re-designed in-ceiling speaker for each of their various model lines that had a wider monopole dispersion pattern.


Whether or not you choose in-wall's or in-room's, however, truly depends on how you decide to design the screen wall given your unique situation.

Whatever you decide to go with... happy listening!
Thanks, Dan. Good stuff.

The Triads are probably where I feel most comfortable right now. But I also know that if I sat in 10 demos, that might change altogether. So hard to adequately audition everything because nobody has the setup you really want to see. And you can't just give in-walls a test spin.

I will say this for the JBL idea. Most studios use JBL for sound mixing for movies. That's interesting.

Also, the SLC-4 speakers handle are rated for 200 watts RMS at 6 ohms, which would basically eliminate the need to amp up to such a degree.

I'm also considering re-looking at the AT screen idea again. God help me.

So much to consider that I'll probably get paralyzed and do nothing. LOL
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post #49 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 05:23 AM
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My name is Steve Colburn, As a founding CEDIA Member and Editor of their first Home Theater Manual eons ago, I have spent most of my career in home audio, specializing in the technical aspects of Home Theater. In the early days I ran a high end audio retail shop in Austin and in later years I have been dedicated to helping others develop some of the best home theaters you have seen or heard. I worked with Dolby on the introduction of Atmos for the home and have personally designed over 600 dedicated Atmos home theaters. I currently design and specify theater systems for Triad dealers around the globe. I wanted to give you this introduction, as I believe knowing a little about me offers context to my next statements.

I have read through some of the posts on this forum and take issue with some disparaging comments about how Triad speakers are designed, engineered (or not) and manufactured. Many of these comments are simply wrong and reflect a poor understanding of speaker design, engineering, & manufacturing. Say whatever you want about how any speaker sounds (sound is obviously subjective) but I take issue with people disparaging Triad’s design practices, especially when they have no first-hand knowledge of it. And I personally don’t view the opinion of competitors and anonymous posters as unbiased sources.

I have worked closely with Triad engineers & designers for almost two decades and have great respect for the team. They spend countless hours choosing and tweaking the right drivers, designing the right crossovers and refining our cabinets and internal bracing to produce speakers that sound great. In fact, if they have a fault, it’s that they can sometimes over-engineer a speaker, spending too much time focusing on making it sound “just right”. They use target frequency response curves and an anechoic chamber to make sure Triad speakers are as neutral sounding and as musical as possible, with final tweaking by ear (for changes you wouldn’t even see on a curve). They want you to hear what the sound engineer that mixed your movie soundtrack heard, which is why our speakers are used in many labs (like Dolby’s own), mixing rooms, and specialty audio manufacturers’ demo & testing rooms.

Triad uses lean manufacturing methods. These not only keep us efficient and environmentally-friendly, but they let us offer far more application-based speaker models than other manufacturers- even identical performing versions of the same speaker model engineered for different boundary conditions. This gives the serious Home Theater Designer/Installer more and better tools to create a great Home Theater experience, without the compromises of most other very good speaker manufacturers. We are so proud of the speakers we build in Portland, Oregon and of the jaw-dropping cinematic and music listening experiences they can provide.

If you would like a closer view of how we do it at Triad, take a look at this short factory tour video: https://www.triadspeakers.com/why-triad-2/ .

Unfortunately, I can't follow all the relevant threads here, so I would have a difficult time replying in the future. But I did want you all to know that we take what goes on here seriously. And Triad is grateful for the many factual based postings of support. Not only do they help clear the ether of some nonsense, but they make it clear to us that most of the folks out there who have our speakers appreciate them. Thanks from all of us at Triad.

Steve Colburn
Triad Speakers
Steve thank you so much for your thoughtful and informative reply. I've enjoyed working with you and learning from you over the past 14 years. Triad is an awesome company and I'm sure most Triad owners everywhere enjoy their hand-built, American made speakers. You guys are the best.

Visit us over in the Triad thread here on AVS when you can find the time.

________________________________________

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post #50 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 05:38 AM
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Thank you for taking the time, Steve, in the event that you read this reply. I understand busy, and I also understand how sensitive and concerning it could be for any business to be criticized on such a well-known and highly respected forum such as AVS. I'd be lost without this wealth of information and the incredible helpfulness of so many knowledgeable people here.

I can assure you that, in my case, nothing here dissuades me from any particular speaker. I look for positives more than negatives because I know many options are quality choices.

That said, I do put stock in what Prestige is saying in general on a number of fronts. I just don't dismiss Triad based on his distaste for the brand. I don't see it so much as bias as it is just the general wild variations in audio preference that people have. As an installer, he may have other reasons, but the subjectivity of sound is truly a unique thing. This thread got emotional and competitive, and frankly, I've appreciated the passion of those reaching out to help me here. It helps get the picture in the frame of all that I need to consider.

At this point, I've narrowed my choice to three different speakers: Triad golds, KEF ci-5160s, and JBL Synthesis 4s.

I hear and read the positives and negatives of each. But what I want is the best choice for movies, period. I don't do much two-channel music listening, and I don't exceed 85 dB ever. I want a sound system that enhances the music, effects, imaging, and overall representation of musical speakers with great imaging regardless if something is Atmos, 7.1, 5.1, or broadcast. I want it played as well as the source allows.

Dawn does a wonderful job here representing your brand and engaging with everyone here. Obviously, she has a dog in the fight, but I find her responses fair and informative, and most of all, helpful. She cares about what she's doing, and that's all a buyer can really ask for in the end.

I'll give that video a watch, and thank you again.
Thank you for the kind words Erod.

There is an older Triad video that's longer with more detail (narrated by Steve himself):

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post #51 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 07:43 AM
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I hear and read the positives and negatives of each. But what I want is the best choice for movies, period. I don't do much two-channel music listening, and I don't exceed 85 dB ever. I want a sound system that enhances the music, effects, imaging, and overall representation of musical speakers with great imaging regardless if something is Atmos, 7.1, 5.1, or broadcast. I want it played as well as the source allows.
Reference level is 85 dB average but requires capability to produce 105 dB peaks. Are you saying the loudest peaks you ever hit, ever, is 85 dB? Just curious if you are saying the loudest you ever and will ever listen is -20 dB from reference(65 dB with 85 peaks) or 85 dB average which is reference level, but with peaks up to 105 dB. The reason I ask is that hitting 85 dB peaks will be a pretty easy task for most any speaker, even typical low efficiency designs. But if you think you might ever desire reference level playback of 85 dB(with 105 dB peaks), no low efficiency designs will do it.

Many people are limited on how loud they can comfortably listen by their systems capability, and not purely the SPL being produced. Clipping, distortion, and compression will make things sound louder than they should be. For a home theater environment, I agree with your goals 100% on accurate sound reproduction. I also think capability should be a very important consideration as no speaker will sound good with distortion, clipping, or compression.

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The 4 all vertically behind your screen would be ideal. The 3 could be a center below a display or something of that nature if it had to be. The 3 is really meant as more of a high end surround or ceiling atmos speaker.

The 3 is better than the 4. Bit more driver area, no vertical off axis suckout in dispersion window. The 4’s problem is that the C2C spacing on the woofer and CD are too great for the XO point. The only reason to use the 4 would be if you have a 2x4 wall or if you have the old S4AI surround because the new speaker drops right into the old back box.


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Well, hello, Nyal. I'm familiar with you from Acoustic Frontiers, which was hugely valuable to me when I was converting my room to Atmos speakers.

Interesting what you say about the JBL 3s. Almost everybody, it seems, recommends the 4s for the LCR; however, I noticed that JBL did their demo with 3s at the LCR, and 4s for the surrounds and atmos.

What is your opinion, for home movies, of the JBL, Triad, KEF, etc, options for a 3000 cubic for room? Your thoughts would be valuable to me.

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post #53 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Erod View Post

I hear and read the positives and negatives of each. But what I want is the best choice for movies, period. I don't do much two-channel music listening, and I don't exceed 85 dB ever. I want a sound system that enhances the music, effects, imaging, and overall representation of musical speakers with great imaging regardless if something is Atmos, 7.1, 5.1, or broadcast. I want it played as well as the source allows.
Reference level is 85 dB average but requires capability to produce 105 dB peaks. Are you saying the loudest peaks you ever hit, ever, is 85 dB? Just curious if you are saying the loudest you ever and will ever listen is -20 dB from reference(65 dB with 85 peaks) or 85 dB average which is reference level, but with peaks up to 105 dB. The reason I ask is that hitting 85 dB peaks will be a pretty easy task for most any speaker, even typical low efficiency designs. But if you think you might ever desire reference level playback of 85 dB(with 105 dB peaks), no low efficiency designs will do it.

Many people are limited on how loud they can comfortably listen by their systems capability, and not purely the SPL being produced. Clipping, distortion, and compression will make things sound louder than they should be.
Thanks, Bear. I should better account for the peak aspect of this.

I listen generally at 70-75 dB with 90-95 peaks, but I occasionally get a wild hair to get louder on that 80+ range (As you know, many movies don't play nice and seem to want to jump from 70 dB to 105 dB just because they want to mess with us....lol)

What speakers on this discussion are you saying are and aren't efficient enough to get up there properly?

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post #54 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 08:15 AM
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Thanks, Bear. I didn't account for the peak aspect of this.

I listen generally at 70-75 dB with 90-95 peaks, but I occasionally get a wild hair to get louder on that 80+ range (As you know, many movies don't play nice and seem to want to jump from 70 dB to 105 dB just because they want to mess with us....lol)

What speakers on this discussion are you saying are and aren't efficient enough to get up there properly?
Well, I don't have a specific recommendation for the ones that you are considering, I'm really not very well versed on in wall offerings. I really just wanted to throw the clean output capability consideration into the ring. One of my personal objectives when I upgrade or make a change in my system is to make sure that it will play as loud or louder than I would ever want to listen with clean, accurate sound free from excess distortion, compression, limiting, clipping, etc. It's why I am in the process of upgrading my speakers as well.

I think sensitivity of whichever speaker being considered can be used to calculate whether or not you will get the clean output capability you need. Also, I believe many speakers will show substantial distortion and compression long before the maximum rated power is put into them. So some overkill is helpful. I mean, do I really think my 6.5" Hsu bookshelf speakers will handle 250 watts crossed over at 80 Hz without distorting and compressing significantly? Definitely not. I don't want to rely on them handling 250 watts, or even 150, in order to reach the playback levels I want. No way it will be clean.

I like to work backwards from reference level or whatever you feel your maximum peak playback level might be, or might ever be.

So we start with reference level which requires 105 dB peaks from each speaker LCR. Move backwards to the max volume you think you might want to ever watch. Speaker efficiency/sensitivity is rated at 1m distance with 1 watt or 2.83 volts(which could be more than 1 watt if not 8 ohms).

For every doubling of distance, you lose 6 dB. So for example, if you are 4 meters(12 feet) from the LCR, the SPL drops 12 dB. So a 90 dB speaker at 1m is 78 dB at 4 meters, since you have doubled distance twice from 1m.(1 to 2, 2 to 4).

You can adjust this to your specific situation. Now lets add power to get our SPL up where we need it to achieve the desired playback level. Double power to add 3 dB. So to get the 90 dB speaker back up from 78 to 90 dB, we have to double power 4x, which is 16 watts. In this example, 15 below reference(90 dB) isn't too hard to achieve. For reference level, we need to double power another 5 times. 512 watts. At what power level do you think most speakers will start distorting, compressing, pushing the limits of our amps, etc.

We can make matters much worse than this by increasing our listening distance or using speakers lower than 90 dB efficient.

Anyhow, these generalizations can be used to calculate anyones specific needs.

Start with speaker sensitivity.
-6 dB for every doubling of distance.
Double power for every 3 dB gain. We have to also assume our speakers remain, clean, free of distortion and compression and that our amp can supply the power.

My system will run you out of the room by -10 MV. Not because its too loud, but because it sounds uncomfortably loud by this level. I've been in the theater of @raynist and I could watch movies in his room comfortably all day at reference level.

I don't want my listening level dictated by lack of capability. And I think this happens much more often than people realize.
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post #55 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I don't have a specific recommendation for the ones that you are considering, I'm really not very well versed on in wall offerings. I really just wanted to throw the clean output capability consideration into the ring. One of my personal objectives when I upgrade or make a change in my system is to make sure that it will play as loud or louder than I would ever want to listen with clean, accurate sound free from excess distortion, compression, limiting, clipping, etc. It's why I am in the process of upgrading my speakers as well.

I think sensitivity of whichever speaker being considered can be used to calculate whether or not you will get the clean output capability you need. Also, I believe many speakers will show substantial distortion and compression long before the maximum rated power is put into them. So some overkill is helpful. I mean, do I really think my 6.5" Hsu bookshelf speakers will handle 250 watts crossed over at 80 Hz without distorting and compressing significantly? Definitely not. I don't want to rely on them handling 250 watts, or even 150, in order to reach the playback levels I want. No way it will be clean.

I like to work backwards from reference level or whatever you feel your maximum peak playback level might be, or might ever be.

So we start with reference level which requires 105 dB peaks from each speaker LCR. Move backwards to the max volume you think you might want to ever watch. Speaker efficiency/sensitivity is rated at 1m distance with 1 watt or 2.83 volts(which could be more than 1 watt if not 8 ohms).

For every doubling of distance, you lose 6 dB. So for example, if you are 4 meters(12 feet) from the LCR, the SPL drops 12 dB. So a 90 dB speaker at 1m is 78 dB at 4 meters, since you have doubled distance twice from 1m.(1 to 2, 2 to 4).

You can adjust this to your specific situation. Now lets add power to get our SPL up where we need it to achieve the desired playback level. Double power to add 3 dB. So to get the 90 dB speaker back up from 78 to 90 dB, we have to double power 4x, which is 16 watts. In this example, 15 below reference(90 dB) isn't too hard to achieve. For reference level, we need to double power another 5 times. 512 watts. At what power level do you think most speakers will start distorting, compressing, pushing the limits of our amps, etc.

We can make matters much worse than this by increasing our listening distance or using speakers lower than 90 dB efficient.

Anyhow, these generalizations can be used to calculate anyones specific needs.

Start with speaker sensitivity.
-6 dB for every doubling of distance.
Double power for every 3 dB gain. We have to also assume our speakers remain, clean, free of distortion and compression and that our amp can supply the power.

My system will run you out of the room by -10 MV. Not because its too loud, but because it sounds uncomfortably loud by this level. I've been in the theater of @raynist and I could watch movies in his room comfortably all day at reference level.

I don't want my listening level dictated by lack of capability. And I think this happens much more often than people realize.
That's a great explanation, thanks. I get where you're coming from about working backwards.

Take the Triad golds for instance. The measurements are confusing to a degree, but they have a long and loyal customer base.

They ask for 100-450 watts of amplification, but have a 92 sensitivity rating. Their specs are known to be benchmarked pretty accurately, but that seems somewhat counterintuitive, no? They are said to be wonderful up to a point, but a little iffy at true reference level. How can that be? Or perhaps, that is the case because many people are running them with only 300 watts?

My amp can give them 400 watts at 4 ohms, so surely that's enough.

Other speakers, like the JBL 4s, only want 200 watts of power at 6 ohms. Most any amp can do that. Yet they can get crazy loud supposedly.

Specs are more confusing than helpful most of the time

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post #56 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 09:21 AM
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That's a great explanation, thanks. I get where you're coming from about working backwards.

Take the Triad golds for instance. The measurements are confusing to a degree, but they have a long and loyal customer base.

They ask for 100-450 watts of amplification, but have a 92 sensitivity rating. Their specs are known to be benchmarked pretty accurately, but that seems somewhat counterintuitive, no? They are said to be wonderful up to a point, but a little iffy at true reference level. How can that be? Or perhaps, that is the case because many people are running them with only 300 watts?

My amp can give them 400 watts at 4 ohms, so surely that's enough.

Other speakers, like the JBL 4s, only want 200 watts of power at 6 ohms. Most any amp can do that. Yet they can get crazy loud supposedly.

Specs are more confusing than helpful most of the time
A 4 ohm speaker is 2 watts for its sensitivity rating. 2.83v @4R = 2 watts. 2.83 volts @ 8R= 1 watt.

92 dB is a pretty decent efficiency rating, just keep in mind the above regarding a 4 ohm speaker. So as you double power to figure things out, start with 2 watts. My best guess, short of having decades of experience doing this for a living, just based on the math and physics, is that a 4R speaker with true 92 dB efficiency with the power you have available should get you to 5 below reference(not that this is the limit, but seems like your upper threshold). You can do the math to see how much power is required.
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post #57 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 09:26 AM
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Well, hello, Nyal. I'm familiar with you from Acoustic Frontiers, which was hugely valuable to me when I was converting my room to Atmos speakers.

Interesting what you say about the JBL 3s. Almost everybody, it seems, recommends the 4s for the LCR; however, I noticed that JBL did their demo with 3s at the LCR, and 4s for the surrounds and atmos.

What is your opinion, for home movies, of the JBL, Triad, KEF, etc, options for a 3000 cubic for room? Your thoughts would be valuable to me.
JBL SCL-3, Triad Gold, KEF 5160 are all great in-wall speakers and we've done rooms with all of them. Another great speaker that could be recessed in wall is the ATC HTS40.

The sonic differences between these are definitely there, but very hard to explain in words in anyway you could relate to.

Of course the ideal thing would be to demo them all to get a sense of their sonic signature.

For movies, the nod would go to the SCL-3. I generally feel that compression drivers are the way to go for high performance HT, unless seating distances are on the smaller side. There's just something about the high frequency dynamics / slam (not bass slam) that I've never heard from a soft dome (except the ATC, which does not have "normal" drivers). The SCL-3 also has the benefit that it can be run off a good premium level AVR. That is very important for many people as saves a bunch of money. The Triad and KEF are more difficult 4 ohm loads which many AVRs aren't happy with at higher drive levels.
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post #58 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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JBL SCL-3, Triad Gold, KEF 5160 are all great in-wall speakers and we've done rooms with all of them. Another great speaker that could be recessed in wall is the ATC HTS40.

The sonic differences between these are definitely there, but very hard to explain in words in anyway you could relate to.

Of course the ideal thing would be to demo them all to get a sense of their sonic signature.

For movies, the nod would go to the SCL-3. I generally feel that compression drivers are the way to go for high performance HT, unless seating distances are on the smaller side. There's just something about the high frequency dynamics / slam (not bass slam) that I've never heard from a soft dome (except the ATC, which does not have "normal" drivers). The SCL-3 also has the benefit that it can be run off a good premium level AVR. That is very important for many people as saves a bunch of money. The Triad and KEF are more difficult 4 ohm loads which many AVRs aren't happy with at higher drive levels.
Thanks, Nyal.

I currently run my fronts with a B&K 125Wx7 (155 into 6 ohms) separate amp, so you're saying that would be plenty for the SCL-3? I was about to add a much beefier amp for the fronts with this upgrade. The Anthem MCA525 runs 315 watts into 6 ohms.

For me, power isn't going to hold me back on the choice, but sure, I'd like to save where I can if the best option doesn't require that expense.

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post #59 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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A 4 ohm speaker is 2 watts for its sensitivity rating. 2.83v @4R = 2 watts. 2.83 volts @ 8R= 1 watt.

92 dB is a pretty decent efficiency rating, just keep in mind the above regarding a 4 ohm speaker. So as you double power to figure things out, start with 2 watts. My best guess, short of having decades of experience doing this for a living, just based on the math and physics, is that a 4R speaker with true 92 dB efficiency with the power you have available should get you to 5 below reference(not that this is the limit, but seems like your upper threshold). You can do the math to see how much power is required.
So that would mean I could listen around 80 dB and have the headroom needed for peaks. That's about 3-5dB louder than I typically listen. That seems reasonable from a practicality standpoint.

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post #60 of 79 Old 04-20-2019, 12:59 PM
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The sound transmission loss of 5/8 gyp is the same as 5/8 MDF below about 2khz. Above 2khz advantage MDF about 6dB.

I don’t know the answer, but why would people think this would make a difference? Gyp re-radiates more sound >2khz, but this is mainly harmonics.

Of course a standard stud wall is not well braced compared to a speaker enclosure.

I’d be interested if there’s any scientific studies on comparing speaker in enclosure in wall vs speaker no enclosure in std gyp bd wall. Or maybe someone’s done some measurements.


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Not many people use 5/8" gypsum board. In residential construction, it's almost always 1/2". If Erod's wall is 5/8" I would be very surprised. 5/8" has about 25% more mass than 1/2".

The transmission loss of 1/2" drywall is 15 at 125 Hz. https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/so...smission-loss/ Transmission Loss is not rated below 125 Hz, but it is definitely lower than 15 at lower frequencies.

In any event, we're not talking about using gypsum board for the wall structure vs. using MDF for the wall structure. We're discussing mounting a speaker with an MDF enclosure into a single layer, gypsum board wall vs. mounting an open-backed speaker into the same wall. I contend that the MDF enclosure will keep sound from radiating back through the wall and into the listening space much better than a backless speaker mounted in gypsum board. In addition, the MDF enclosure will be more inert and will keep sound energy from transferring to the wall structure vs a backless speaker.

If one were to perform the comparison test you suggest, IMO the best way to do it would be with an accelerometer attached to the 1/2" drywall with the enclosed speaker vs. attached to the drywall with the backless speaker, along with close-mic'd, high resolution FR measurements. It should be performed in an acoustics lab with the ability to isolate the front side from the back side for everything but the item under test.

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