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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy y’all. Long-time peruser... first time poster am finishing my basement and have reached an impasse on speaker brand and would love some outside opinions.
The room is 28’ x 22’ with 9’ ceilings in our unfinished basement (framing is done and I plan to start Sheetrock in about a month). the primary seat will be around 12’ from the screen. I have hearing damage and struggle to decipher dialogue when there is much interference and I hate nothing more than having to turn it up to hear the dialogue and turn it back down for louder/action scenes. I have a speaker budget around $6-7K and the only deal with my wife is the speakers must be in-wall. I really want to go with 7.2.4 surround and had been leaning towards The following:
Klipsch PRO-250RPW LCR speakers for the LCR and rears and surrounds (7 of the same speaker) and four Klipsch PRO-16RC (ceiling) and two Definitive Technology IW Subs with a 600 SUBAMP each.
In talking to my vendor, he was adamant that the PRO-250RPW LCR speakers all around are a waste and he strongly recommended going with Definitive Technology all the way around. For nearly the same price as the system above, he is pushing:
4 of Definitive Technology DI6.5R (ceiling atoms speakers)
3 of Definitive Technology UIW RLS III for LCR
4 of Definitive Technology UIW RSS III for rear and surround.
I know nothing about Definitive technology but their in-wall subs have relatively good reviews. Reviews of the rest of their speakers seem to have very polarized opinions and I cannot find much at all with regards to their in-wall offering. Unfortunately, our area has a very poor offering of showroom options and the few I have visited are clearly more interested in their commission than they are in my best interests. I cannot find any showrooms with either brand of in-wall speakers (big shiny towers aplenty but that’s not what I am shopping for). I would appreciate input from anyone with personal experience using these in-wall options.
 

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Here's the list of Def Tech dealers:

Maybe give a call to some online dealers that also sell Klipsch like Crutchfield, etc and get opinions from their staff. Best Buy Magnolia may be an option as well.
If your vendor is eyeing juicy margins on DT compared to Klipsch, how would you know?
They're all probably making commission, but get some other opinions from some sales reps who's commission is based on sale price instead of margin.

I really want to go with 7.2.4 surround and had been leaning towards The following:
Klipsch PRO-250RPW LCR speakers for the LCR and rears and surrounds (7 of the same speaker) and four Klipsch PRO-16RC (ceiling) and two Definitive Technology IW Subs with a 600 SUBAMP each.
In talking to my vendor, he was adamant that the PRO-250RPW LCR speakers all around are a waste and he strongly recommended going with Definitive Technology all the way around. For nearly the same price as the system above, he is pushing:
...
I know nothing about Definitive technology but their in-wall subs have relatively good reviews. ...
Unfortunately, our area has a very poor offering of showroom options and the few I have visited are clearly more interested in their commission than they are in my best interests. I cannot find any showrooms with either brand of in-wall speakers (big shiny towers aplenty but that’s not what I am shopping for). I would appreciate input from anyone with personal experience using these in-wall options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks philpoe. I will make more calls. It’s a significant investment for me and I am just not comfortable yet with the vendors I have talked to so I was hoping to get some opinions from non-commissioned informants.
 

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Does the vendor say the Klipsch speakers are a waste because the DTs are so much better, or because they're overkill for the application?
If the latter, why get lesser speakers for nearly the same price?

FWIW, here's an article from Crutchfield regarding in-wall systems

I'm sure that they'd have competitive prices and probably even refer local installers for a competing quote.

In talking to my vendor, he was adamant that the PRO-250RPW LCR speakers all around are a waste and he strongly recommended going with Definitive Technology all the way around. For nearly the same price as the system above, he is pushing:
 

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If you can then get all identical speakers - including the Atmos.
11 identical bookshelf speakers will outperform any other combination.
Bookshelf mounted on-ceiling and aimed at Main Listening Position (MLP) will outperfom any in-ceiling option and for the same money you should get far better speakers.
If you do an Acoustically Transparent (AT) screen with at least the centre speaker behind it and install some acoustic treatment panels you should have the best clarity available to you and will never need to adjust the volume in a movie.
Be careful of putting th seating in (or close to) the middle of the room as this is not the best place for acoustics. Ideally you want to be at 1/3 length of the room either form the front or back wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you can then get all identical speakers - including the Atmos.
11 identical bookshelf speakers will outperform any other combination.
Bookshelf mounted on-ceiling and aimed at Main Listening Position (MLP) will outperfom any in-ceiling option and for the same money you should get far better speakers.
If you do an Acoustically Transparent (AT) screen with at least the centre speaker behind it and install some acoustic treatment panels you should have the best clarity available to you and will never need to adjust the volume in a movie.
Be careful of putting th seating in (or close to) the middle of the room as this is not the best place for acoustics. Ideally you want to be at 1/3 length of the room either form the front or back wall.
Thanks @niterida. Wifey is definitely against speakers hanging down “we paid for 9’ ceilings in the basement - you aren’t clogging that up with speakers hanging around”. Thus the PRO-16RC speakers with aimable tweeter. I know that’s a touchy subject but having the ability to aim the tweeter or just point it straight down makes sense to me so I can mess with it until happy.
I hadn’t heard the 1/3 rule so that’s very useful. I had been planning on nearly centered so I will look to push the seating around. I modeled the room and will try to post that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does the vendor say the Klipsch speakers are a waste because the DTs are so much better, or because they're overkill for the application?
If the latter, why get lesser speakers for nearly the same price?

FWIW, here's an article from Crutchfield regarding in-wall systems

I'm sure that they'd have competitive prices and probably even refer local installers for a competing quote.
Funny, I was reading that article when the notification of your post hit my screen. I like what he said but all his speaker selections were well beyond my price range. If I could afford $12K in speakers, I would look a lot closer at his suggestions.
 

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Thanks @niterida. Wifey is definitely against speakers hanging down “we paid for 9’ ceilings in the basement - you aren’t clogging that up with speakers hanging around”. Thus the PRO-16RC speakers with aimable tweeter. I know that’s a touchy subject but having the ability to aim the tweeter or just point it straight down makes sense to me so I can mess with it until happy.
I hadn’t heard the 1/3 rule so that’s very useful. I had been planning on nearly centered so I will look to push the seating around. I modeled the room and will try to post that.
I would look at angled in-ceilings rather than just aimable tweeters. Klipsch do some with adjustable woofers up to 15deg.
15deg is the minimum you should look at - 30 and 45 deg ones are available but they are a lot more expensive. RSL c34e are very popular on here and there is less requirement to match the height speakers to the rest, although as I said before the closer you can get them to identical the better they will sound.
Or do what I did and paint the whole theatre black so you can't see the black speakers hanging down - unfortunately you can't see where you are going either.......
But seriously once the bookshelf speakers are up, and if you put them at the junction of wall and ceiling, you will hardly notice them but will really appreciate the acoustic impact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the screenshot below is my rough layout for the room. I plan to rough for an AT screen but will have to settle for a TV for now. The speakers are in green. The sub placement is not set in stone and I plan to pull wire to several different locations so I can easily move the subs around (“easily” would mean some minor Sheetrock cut and patch but having the wiring pulled ahead of time will make it much easier. The second shot is the elevation view of the TV wall. We’ll have a fireplace below the TV and I am hoping to build the center speaker into the mantle but I worry about heat. The fireplace has a mantle sizing guide for how close and how far out it can safely be but I assume it will still get pretty warm.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Does the vendor say the Klipsch speakers are a waste because the DTs are so much better, or because they're overkill for the application?
If the latter, why get lesser speakers for nearly the same price?
It was odd the way he said it and I share your confusion on what he was getting at. He basically said “LCR speakers won’t be used to their full potential when used as a surround or rear speaker”. I think he was trying to steer me to a dipole speaker which I could see as useful for the right and left surrounds because the speaker is so close to the seats but with our rear speakers being around 10’ behind, I feel that a bipole speaker back there will come through as noisy and too diffused - compared to a standard speaker. Is it odd to use an LCR as the surround or rear speaker? I spoke with a Klipsch engineer and he was the one pointing me that way. I had been looking at Klipsch PRO-160RPW for the surround and rears until I spoke with the Klipsch engineer. He said having the same speaker all the way around is ideal but if that’s the case, why would they be making dipole and other “non-LCR”surrounds?
 

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IMO, a TV over a fireplace is just a bad idea from the word Go. Electronics + heat = not good. Lots of compromises to get good sound and visual effects in any room. Adding a fireplace to the mix is just asking for more problems. Add in squeezing in too-small speakers into a poorly thought out space, for the sake of aesthetics... you won't be happy, long term. Save the $ and just don't do it.

Is there any other space you could possibly carve out for a "Man-Cave" space ?? Even a small spare bedroom, properly thought out, will (hopefully) provide a more satisfying end result.

If this is the only space truly available, I'd shift everything 90 degrees to the right, use the long wall, give separation all around your seating, and get the right gear the first time. Trying to cram all you want around a fireplace with such limited space is, again IMO... just not a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
IMO, a TV over a fireplace is just a bad idea from the word Go. Electronics + heat = not good. Lots of compromises to get good sound and visual effects in any room. Adding a fireplace to the mix is just asking for more problems. Add in squeezing in too-small speakers into a poorly thought out space, for the sake of aesthetics... you won't be happy, long term. Save the $ and just don't do it.

Is there any other space you could possibly carve out for a "Man-Cave" space ?? Even a small spare bedroom, properly thought out, will (hopefully) provide a more satisfying end result.

If this is the only space truly available, I'd shift everything 90 degrees to the right, use the long wall, give separation all around your seating, and get the right gear the first time. Trying to cram all you want around a fireplace with such limited space is, again IMO... just not a good idea.
I had laid the room out that way originally but I don’t know how the room will feel with the fireplace off to the side of the TV wall. Walling the room in half or separating is not an option but moving the screen to the right is not off the table. I don’t think the fireplace will be used often but I suppose it only takes overheating once to ruin a speaker or TV.
You point out “too small speakers” and getting the right gear the first time. It sounds like what I had selected is not ideal IYO. Any suggestions for “the right gear” for 7.2.4 speakers in $6-7K range?
 

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I'd shift everything 90 degrees to the right, use the long wall, give separation all around your seating, and get the right gear the first time. Trying to cram all you want around a fireplace with such limited space is, again IMO... just not a good idea.
I was going to suggest this as well - much much better option
 

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Where are you located? Just to determine how often you will actually use your fireplace.. I had a wood-burner when I lived in Erie, PA.... I used it quite often, 4-5 months per year.... winters there really suck. Then I moved to Florida. Had another wood burning fireplace, that I made a fire once a year, on Christmas Eve, no matter what, just for the kids. Some years that meant opening all the windows and doors and kicking on the A/C.

I understand the fireplace is a visual center-point of the room... let it be. DO NOT try to center your Audio / Visual focus around it. Guaranteed to FAIL. Just don't.

7.2.4 under 7k budget... very nice, and a workable budget... but what sounds good to me, you might not like at all... It's too subjective. Are there any speakers you've heard that you like? Any you've heard that you don't like?? Why did you zero in on those Klipsch in your initial post? Have you heard them? Or is it just because of what you've read? What have you heard that you like? Even a reference to car audio could be helpful.

Not to judge, but to understand. I'm happy to help. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Where are you located? Just to determine how often you will actually use your fireplace.. I had a wood-burner when I lived in Erie, PA.... I used it quite often, 4-5 months per year.... winters there really suck. Then I moved to Florida. Had another wood burning fireplace, that I made a fire once a year, on Christmas Eve, no matter what, just for the kids. Some years that meant opening all the windows and doors and kicking on the A/C.

I understand the fireplace is a visual center-point of the room... let it be. DO NOT try to center your Audio / Visual focus around it. Guaranteed to FAIL. Just don't.

7.2.4 under 7k budget... very nice, and a workable budget... but what sounds good to me, you might not like at all... It's too subjective. Are there any speakers you've heard that you like? Any you've heard that you don't like?? Why did you zero in on those Klipsch in your initial post? Have you heard them? Or is it just because of what you've read? What have you heard that you like? Even a reference to car audio could be helpful.

Not to judge, but to understand. I'm happy to help. :)
Salt Lake City... so we can get cold here. I have been to a showroom for Origin Acoustics and was rather disappointed. The draw to Klipsch for me is the multiple references I have read on the clarity of dialogue (strong highs?) and they are a mainstream manufacturer with a strong reputation but as I said before, I have been unable to find a showroom with in-wall Klipsch. The main floor of our house has a simple setup for every day TV watching and the main fireplace is up there. I would assume a fire in the basement once a week at most (it’s a gas insert fireplace).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good work there. I like that. I need to sell it to wifey in the morning. The only advantage of having it the way I posted it is there’s room for a game area behind the couch (ping pong or pop-a-shot or something like that). We have a bonus room for the kids though so I think this room will be almost exclusively for video games and movies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good work there. I like that. I need to sell it to wifey in the morning. The only advantage of having it the way I posted it is there’s room for a game area behind the couch (ping pong or pop-a-shot or something like that). We have a bonus room for the kids though so I think this room will be almost exclusively for video games and movies.
So, whether it faces the fireplace or faces to the right of it the original question remains - speaker brands. Maybe I need to ask a more basic question. How to select a manufacturer when side by side testing in the same room is not reasonably an option.
 
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