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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've been doing some hunting and listening but haven't come up with a solution yet. So if you'd please, we need suggestions on surround speakers for a new house with a 7.1 setup. The use is 98% HT. The problem is the room layout. The family room flows (no wall) into the kitchen and breakfast nook on the left and to the left rear and there is a nook on the right side so the wiring for the surrounds is in the ceiling. The fronts aren't wired which will be ok and the rears are wired about a foot down from the 9ft ceiling. We do NOT want in ceiling speakers but rather ceiling mountable speakers.


We currently own Axiom speakers; M60s for the fronts and VP150 for the center, and a couple of QS8s. The QS8s would be fine for the rears but would look awful for the surrounds. Axiom doesn't seem to have anything that would fit the bill for the surrounds so it looks like we have to either mix brands or replace the Axioms.


We need speakers in the master as well and the Axioms would fit the bill so we don't really mind going with the replacement route especially since the current finish (light Maple) on our Axioms doesn't work well with the family room decor (traditional leathers and dark woods). The "modern" or "orb" looking speakers aren't our style either.


Suggestions for the ceiling issue (remember not IN ceiling but rather ON ceiling)? Or for a new setup that includes workable surrounds?
 

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Omnimount makes ceiling speaker mounts which will let you mount and angle any reasonably sized bookshelf speaker to the ceiling; that may work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually we already purchased a set of those to mount the speakers however mounting the QS8s this way would probably be very ugly. The left surround would hang in the open, a couple of feet from where the room turns into the kitchen on the left and the breakfast nook to the rear. This means you'd be looking at the back and side of the speaker when using the kitchen or breakfast nook. The right surround speaker isn't such a problem since the side of the room that the back would face the fireplace. As well, with the left surround speaker, the position is such that as you move from room to room you walk under it and it's in direct line with the hall coming from the front of the house so it really catchs your attention before you are even in the room.


We were hoping to find something that is designed to be ceiling mounted so that it doesn't look so out of place.
 

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Mirage makes those omni sats that can be put pretty much anywhere. They also have a larger one that would work. Some people don't like the "omni polar" design, but I listened to them and thought they sounded pretty good. They definitely don't look like traditional speakers.
 

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Now this may sound a little strange, but instead of having the rear speakers hanging down and firing towards the front of your room, how about having them flat against the ceiling firing down? I had a similar situation where I didn't want the backs of the surrounds to face the kitchen either. It looked much better flat on the ceiling and didn't sound bad. I did have to increase the sound level a little bit.
 

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I do see your point trekker, but in this case, you will still have speakers hanging from you ceiling. If you are willing to point them straigh down, why not get in ceiling speakers? If they are going to obtrusively hang down, I personally would rather be able to point them directly to the listening position to get that "on axis" response. It really makes quite a difference in your upper frequencies. I'm not trying to start anything, but my living room also has one side (right) open to a kitchen, and the back open to a cove for the fireplace with a lower ceiling. I tried putting the rears on shelves, but was not able to angle them down at the listening position. Once I bought adjustable brackets... wow, the rear sound field opened up quite a bit.


On another note, I saw people discussing mounting bipole/dipole on the ceiling with the in phase side firing at the listening area. I don't see how that wouldn't sound good either... but, don't know first hand.


Good luck Beth!

-Paul
 

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Hey Paul,


Yeah, it wasn't the most ideal surround set-up, but I couldn't afford new surrounds speakers. I have to agree about the highs being slightly attenuated. I figured, at least the speakers weren't as obstrusive mounted flat on the ceiling instead of having the back of the speaker seen with the wiries coming from the ceiling. Just a suggestion none the less.


Beth, hope you have something that works for you.


Arnold
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In ceiling speakers aren't an option (my husband won't buy them). We'd would love to have something that mounts flat to the ceiling but so far I've only found Boston Acoustics that are designed to mount to the ceiling. BA isn't really the quality of speaker we are interested in though.


We've looked at so many speakers they all blur together right now but I believe we saw a rocket surround that is similar to our QS8s that wasn't as deep but I don't know if it's ceiling mountable (flat). Worse case we'll just have to get used to looking at the back of a speaker but we figured if anyone would know of the perfect solution to our problem, then the AVS forum folks would.


We have decided that we will move our current Axioms to the master bedroom and buy a whole new setup for the family room which means we are open to any suggestions.
 

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can u use the side walls instead of the ceiling?
 

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Beth,


Have you looked into Thiel loudspeakers? Their Powerpoint 1.2 on-wall/on-ceiling model seems to be exactly the type of surround speaker you're looking for.


Since you're open to suggestions for the front speakers too, I would recommend the SCS3 loudspeakers from the same company for the L/C/R duties. The drivers are co-axially mounted so the speaker can be oriented vertically (on stands) or horizontally (for the centre channel) without a loss in performance.


That combination can give you a seamless front soundstage and consistent sound all the way around. At the very least, worth giving a listen to.


Good Luck,

Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ahhhh!! Where were those when we were looking for "white" speakers for the last house. Do they come in anything other than white? (I'm going to read about them when I get done with work). We've already painted the room and ceiling a dark color and my husband wants dark wood finish.
 

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Beth,
Quote:
Do they come in anything other than white?
Hey, don't push your luck. They not only fill your requirements of being on-ceiling and looking nice from behind, but they also sound good.


Seriously though, they only come in the off-white colour you see in the photos. However, there is a solution. Follow:
Quote:
We've already painted the room and ceiling a dark color....
Did you save any of the paint? The Powerpoint speaker cabinet and grille are paintable and (get this) each ships with an included 'painting mask' to protect the drivers. You pull off the grille, snap on the circular mask in its place, and paint away. Instructions for painting the cabinet and grille are in the user manual .


Now all you have to worry about is optimal placement.


Best,

Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's sweet! I think we might have just found the perfect solution to the problem. I'll be in research mode tonight. A thousand "thank you"s and a thousand more if they work out.


LOL on the luck thing, I was thinking the same when I posted my reply.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth
LOL on the luck thing, I was thinking the same when I posted my reply.
Actually, I was thinking of 'Private Benjamin': "Is green the only color these come in?"


Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
At least this time I can say it's not the WAF it's the HAF. I convinced him that he can still have dark wood grain fronts and rears even if the surrounds are white and a different style. All of the other ceiling items, sprinkler system, fire alarm, motion detectors, A/C vent, spot lights and so on are white so why not a couple of speakers. With that style I don't think most people would even realize they are speakers without a closer look.
 

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Having recently installed a set of 5 ceiling mounted Powerpoints, I can tell you they are great speakers. Extremely clear, detailed, and open -- with fairly deep and tight bass for their size.


On the paint color issue, you should wait until you see them before deciding whether to paint them. We had planned to paint ours a medium gray to match our ceiling, but we liked the white paint finish so much, we decided to leave them "as is." Now that I think about it, Thiel may paint these satin black for the same price as the white finish, if that's preferable. Talk to Shari Graham in Thiel customer service. She is very helpful on these type of issues.


The 1.2s are pretty heavy, so be sure you have a solid way to attach them if you go with the Powerpoints.


SDL
 
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