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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to design a new home theater setup in my home, and my current focus is on choosing the front L and R and center channel speakers.


My wife wants me to get rid of my floor standing towers, and also originally stated she did not want to cut into the front wall where the flat panel will be. I have previewed most, if not all, of the currently available on-wall speakers and was left underwhelmed. The price vs. performance seemed way out of whack.


I have now convinced her that we could cut into the wall and build "cavities" to hold quality bookshelf speakers. I have the good fortune of having > 20" of depth to work with. This will allow me to build a space that could be covered with a paintable screen, which should also keep the wife happy.


Aesthetics of the speakers will not be a priority obviously. From the recent postings on front vs. rear postings, it is not clear to me if a front ported speaker is required. I am willing to spend up to ~ $5K for the front 3 speakers, but am hoping to pay much less. I am hopeful the speakers will be decent enough for 2 channel music listening, as well. The room, btw, is approximately, 15' x 15' x 15' with significant openings on two sides... not exactly ideal.


Any suggestions for me to research would be helpful? Are there any previous postings on this topic that might be useful?
 

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I have done the bookshelf speakers in a wall cavity approach and they work very well indeed. While not perfect, they are much better than any on-wall speaker I have heard. Front ported speakers will be the best, but I'm sure rear ported would be OK if you have enough breathing room behind the speaker. Also, when you mount them, position the speaker so the front face is as flush to the wall surface as possible. You don't want the speakers recessed into the wall. You can do this by having the speaker grill mounted about 1/2" to 3/4 inch in front of the wall and use 3/4 round molding to frame the grill. For the grill you can go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy aluminum framing to make your own window screens (like storm window screens panels), but instead of installing metal screen use grill cloth. You can then mount the the screen to the wall with magnets or velcro.


Jon
 

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Why not get purpose-designed in-wall speakers, such as Triad, Atlantic, Meridian,..........?
 

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Agree with Kal...


Bookshelf speakers not designed for "in-cavity" mounting will exhibit all kinds of unexpected results. The SBIR (Speaker/Boundary Interferance) will be totally unpredictable. Speakers that are *designed* to be mounted in close proximetry to the surrounding surfaces can compenste for the SBIR in the crossovers, or in adjustable "Speaker/Boundary Compensation switch's. Regular speakers don't have this compensation built-in.


More importantly, the porting of the mains is paramount. You definitely don't want to mount rear-ported speakers into a cavity. If you must mount ported speakers into a cavity, use front ported speakers. Otherwise the "cavity" will have more impact on the bass response than the speakers.


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/0


Why not get purpose-designed in-wall speakers, such as Triad, Atlantic, Meridian,..........?

Initially I thought that going the bookshelf route would yield me a higher quality speaker/sound for the money. I had been aware of the porting issues, and thought that there would be enough front-ported speakers to choose from to satisfy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john /forum/post/0


Bookshelf speakers not designed for "in-cavity" mounting will exhibit all kinds of unexpected results. The SBIR (Speaker/Boundary Interferance) will be totally unpredictable.

However, I had been completely unaware of the SBIR effect, and I will need to some reading on this. How big of an effect is this? Would it be noticable in a HT setting, or only with 2 channel music? If the face of the speaker extends ever-so-slightly-beyond the face of the wall, does the effect diminish?


Although not mentioned in my first post, my center channel will need to be in-wall. Does the same SBIR effect apply to center channel speakers?


Thanks again for everyone's opinions and advice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/0


Why not get purpose-designed in-wall speakers, such as Triad, Atlantic, Meridian,..........?

Or James, JM Labs, Snell, RBH, Niles, or a few others. And if you are using them as LCRs, you don't need a ported speaker. Most good LCRs are down a few dB by 80 Hz intentionally, and a port serves no purpose. Also, an inwall version of a freestanding speaker will generally be close to the same price. The Triad InWall models usually run about 10% more, and they use the same drivers, the same type of braced, sealed enclosure, and a crossover tweaked to compensate for boundary effect. Dedicated high-end inwalls won't have the diffraction problem you'll certainly encounter by trying to flush in a freestanding speaker and build a makeshift grill frame.


One of the keys to picking a speaker is to pick the most appropriate speaker for the application, and not trying to shoehorn an inappropriate choice into an unfortunate situation.


In other words...Kalman is again correctamundo.
 

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SBIR applies to any sound source. Not only will in-walls work better than taking a chance on getting bookshelves to work in an unplanned context, you will be getting better value as the money that you would have wasted on a wood(ish) cabinet and a useless grill will be spent on correct design, convenient mounting options and a useful (paintable) grill.
 
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