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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I'm fairly new to surround sound and would really appreciate any tips/ideas on this. We're getting ready to move into a home which has 5 eight inch flush-mount ceiling speakers in the living room (Speakercraft). There are 3 across the front of the room above the TV (left, right, center) and 2 in the rear (left, right). I've attached a diagram of how the room is setup.

I'm not planning to use the front, center ceiling speaker. I've purchased a Definitive Technology ProCenter1000, a Definitive Technology ProSub1000, and my receiver is a Sony STR-DH750 7.2. I currently do not have any normal front left/right speakers.

My questions are: Do you think this will sound okay without the normal front left/right speakers? If I use the front left/right ceilings as "front high", then does that mean that I won't be able to use the rear surrounds? My receiver has inputs for either front high, or rear surround so it doesn't appear that i could use both.

Thanks!
 

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You should be able to use the rear surrounds regardless of if you use any of the front channels. It will depend on how it's wired, but it sounds like it's wired as 5.1 so you should be fine.

I would recommend against using only the front LR and not the center. If you're going to use the Definitive Technology center (a much better choice than the ceiling speaker) I would also recommend getting a pair of DT left/right speakers. A couple reasons.

First, the front left-center-right speakers should be as close to the same make & model as possible so they sound the same. When action or voices move around onscreen, you want them to sound the same regardless of where they are coming from. Using different types/models/manufacturers of speakers is not a good idea.

Second, Your left-center-right speakers' tweeters should be as close to horizontally aligned as possible to avoid vertical movement of the imaging. If a car goes left to right through the center onscreen, the sound shouldn't go up-down-up in addition to left-right. It should go left-right.

Something to look into would be getting a DT left/right pair to match your center, and if your AVR offers height channel or Atmos, you could use the in-ceiling left/right pair for those to add ambiance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You should be able to use the rear surrounds regardless of if you use any of the front channels. It will depend on how it's wired, but it sounds like it's wired as 5.1 so you should be fine.

I would recommend against using only the front LR and not the center. If you're going to use the Definitive Technology center (a much better choice than the ceiling speaker) I would also recommend getting a pair of DT left/right speakers. A couple reasons.

First, the front left-center-right speakers should be as close to the same make & model as possible so they sound the same. When action or voices move around onscreen, you want them to sound the same regardless of where they are coming from. Using different types/models/manufacturers of speakers is not a good idea.

Second, Your left-center-right speakers' tweeters should be as close to horizontally aligned as possible to avoid vertical movement of the imaging. If a car goes left to right through the center onscreen, the sound shouldn't go up-down-up in addition to left-right. It should go left-right.

Something to look into would be getting a DT left/right pair to match your center, and if your AVR offers height channel or Atmos, you could use the in-ceiling left/right pair for those to add ambiance.
thrillcat,

Thank you for the reply. So you're saying that I should get some left/right DT's to accompany the DT center. Then use the 2 rear ceilings as my "rear surround". Then, i could use the front ceilings if my AVR offers Atmos. If no Atmos, then i'm guessing that I wouldn't use the front ceilings at all?

Thanks again!
Erik
 

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You should be able to use the rear surrounds regardless of if you use any of the front channels. It will depend on how it's wired, but it sounds like it's wired as 5.1 so you should be fine.

I would recommend against using only the front LR and not the center. If you're going to use the Definitive Technology center (a much better choice than the ceiling speaker) I would also recommend getting a pair of DT left/right speakers. A couple reasons.

First, the front left-center-right speakers should be as close to the same make & model as possible so they sound the same. When action or voices move around onscreen, you want them to sound the same regardless of where they are coming from. Using different types/models/manufacturers of speakers is not a good idea.

Second, Your left-center-right speakers' tweeters should be as close to horizontally aligned as possible to avoid vertical movement of the imaging. If a car goes left to right through the center onscreen, the sound shouldn't go up-down-up in addition to left-right. It should go left-right.

Something to look into would be getting a DT left/right pair to match your center, and if your AVR offers height channel or Atmos, you could use the in-ceiling left/right pair for those to add ambiance.
+1

I too bought a house with SpeakerCraft 8" in-ceiling speakers in the theater. They were fine as surrounds in a 5.1 setup with Aperions across the front, now are fine as rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup with Aperions all around, and I expect they will be fine in my eventual Atmos setup.

But I agree that you'd have a lot of soundfield issues using the DefTech center with the in-ceilings as L/R.
 

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So you're saying that I should get some left/right DT's to accompany the DT center. Then use the 2 rear ceilings as my "rear surround". Then, i could use the front ceilings if my AVR offers Atmos. If no Atmos, then i'm guessing that I wouldn't use the front ceilings at all?
Yes, get l/r DTs for the front. Use rear ceilings as surround l/r (at least for now).

I haven't read up on Atmos, so I'm not sure what the speaker placement recommendations are, but your ceiling front l/r could possibly work, though being in the front would not be ideal.

If your AVR offers front height (Dolby ProLogic IIz), the ceiling front l/r would be perfect in that situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, get l/r DTs for the front. Use rear ceilings as surround l/r (at least for now).

I haven't read up on Atmos, so I'm not sure what the speaker placement recommendations are, but your ceiling front l/r could possibly work, though being in the front would not be ideal.

If your AVR offers front height (Dolby ProLogic IIz), the ceiling front l/r would be perfect in that situation.
Thanks for the advice. I'll get DT's for front left/right and will use the front left/right ceilings for the "front-high". My wife is going to kick me, but it looks like i've got 2 more speakers to buy :)
 

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I know of one family where the household compromise left them with SpeakerCraft 8" for LR and surround and a quality center under the big screen and a SVS sub behind it. I was surprised how good it sounded for family entertainment. It is a compromise that will not compare well to many home theater sound systems and don't think it will incorporate Atmos easily. Sometimes you just have to adapt to the available environment.
 
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