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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive me if this is an ignorant question.


I am designing a home theater that will be in a living room (approx 16x22 ft) with a large amount of floor to ceiling windows at each wall on the front and back of the HT.


To make this HT pass the WAF I need to "keep the living room looking like a living room". I can use drop down screen and projector for hidden video, but what can I do for the sound. She will accept floor fronts and even subs discretely placed, but the center has no where to go behind the screen. How much am I losing by placing the center in the ceiling, and does this mean the fronts should be there too?


If it can work. How much would I have to spend for it to work. I want this HT to have gorgeous sound with the majority of the audio use in HT vs music only. My back-up is reconfiguring the room in the other direction and not using any ceiling speakers, but the fronts are awkwardly placed 20 ft apart in a short theater length.


If possible, I am looking for brands to consider (approx cost-mkt), and what it might translate to quality of sound speakers(any typical brand of a certain price range) if I used floor or shelf speakers. My logic being the best ceilings can't beat the purity of sound from floor speakers.


Hopefully I presented the dilemma okay. I am quite a newbie in terms of this aspect of HT.


I would like to plan for 7.1 ch system.


Thanks in advance for all your help,


Kirk
 

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You might consider posting some pictures so folks can see what you have to work with. Large floor to ceiling windows on the front and back wall, significant WAF issues, and inexperience are all factors working against you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your input. Pictures probably would help. I can try to take some tonight and add them to the post. The windows are either arched or rectangular depending on which wall we are talking about, and I need to correct myself since there is actually some wall above the windows, but it couldn't accomodate a speaker since one end has fixed shutters over this area and the other has full length sliding shutters across the whole wall.


I had planned on using blackout blinds to deal with the light aspect but I know the glass will also bounce on me. I wish I had a dedicated room with no windows at all, but that won't work.


Realizing there are aspects of this room that are challenging, is a ceiling center too much of a compromise and likely not worth the effort. Or are there some centers for the ceiling that work great, but in my case the windows/room may be too much to overcome?


Thanks,

Kirk
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Using an acoustic screen is an option but the room configuration doesn' warrant placement of a center. I don't think I could put a hutch or table or small cabinet or shelf for the center that wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb, since the spot would almost be direclty in fron of a sliding glass door.


Are there any great sounding centers that are elegant enough and subtle in there appearance to be in plain site in a living room that is trying to disguise the HT element. This would mean switching the front wall to the back wall where the glass isn't a door so furniture/speaker wouldn't be an absolute contraindication.


Thanks,
 

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Would the use of a transparent screen and mounting in-wall speakers for

L-C-R be an option? I would be very careful with regards to combining a ceiling mount center with floor standing main speakers. First is the consideration of matching the sound quality across the front to create a seamless (as possible) sound stage. Next, and this is a personal thing, I really struggle with the height difference between my mains and center. I am very aware of the vertical difference in the sound. My center has matched drivers to my mains but it is still very noticeable to me. Even with angling the center downward it has not significantly improved this problem for me. The best solution is three identical speakers at equal level across the front. Obviously this is logistically a problem for many of us. The in-walls, if practical for you would solve your dilemma. For me I will soon (hopefully) be upgrading my 10 year old Toshiba wide-screen (that's right a wide-screen from 1994) rear projection for a plasma screen. Sound is so important to me for music and movies that I am considering mounting the plasma on a wall at a height that would keep it above the level of three equal floor standing speakers. The decision is to "look up" or continue to "listen up". I am not sure which might be the lesser of two evils.
 

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I used floor standing speakers (Martin Logan Sequel II)with my last theater and I used 2 center speakers (Celestion 3). I put one center close to the ceiling and the other was close to the floor. I was shocked as to how well the tonally matched the Sequels as were all my friends. It also allowed us to have the center sound appear to actually be coming from the screen and not detached from the screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When you looked at the ceiling did you see the full speaker or just its front. I am trying my best to have this work with hidden or at least "not elephant in the living room" obvious. If the ceiling flatness was disrupted by the bulk of a speaker, I think the "hidden" aspect of the LR is lost. I was planning on dropping down the projector, but dropping down a speaker is intriguing only if the HT was being used for video and audio simultaneously, i.e. no music from the center unless using HT.


Kirk
 

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I angled the top speaker down and the bottom speaker up, so I would have to say you only saw the front. Another thing is the Celestion 3s were small speakers that worked excellently. If you are using a big center you would notice the speaker more. My speakers above and below were black and positioned close to the screen (but not so close as to be picked up by the projection beam) so they disappeared when you were watching a movie. You could get a speaker to mount close to the ceiling that was white and then a darker one to put below the screen (blending into the wall color would make the speaker very transparent to viewers and very acceptable for WAF). You could even find a speaker you like and paint the cabinet and dye the grill cloth if you wanted to go that far to conceal.
 

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Quote:
I used floor standing speakers (Martin Logan Sequel II)with my last theater and I used 2 center speakers (Celestion 3). I put one center close to the ceiling and the other was close to the floor. I was shocked as to how well the tonally matched the Sequels as were all my friends. It also allowed us to have the center sound appear to actually be coming from the screen and not detached from the screen.
I would be very careful going down this road. There has been much discussion on this forum about 2 centers (and I have experimented with it my self) and it is very uncommon to have it work without "comb filtering" causing peaks and dips that make dialog hard to understand. YMMV...
Quote:
Next, and this is a personal thing, I really struggle with the height difference between my mains and center.
This is the biggest argument against a ceiling-mounted center. The "voices from on high" effect can be very disconcerting. You would be better off with an on-wall or in-wall speaker behind your screen. Next best choice would be a center-stand mounted speaker angled up placed below your screen.


Regards,


John
 

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I agree with not going with a ceiling speaker and having floor standing speakers.


When we tried to run 1 center speaker angled down or 1 angled up (only 1 speaker used) the sound did not appear to be coming from the screen and was very distracting.


The problem I have with perforated screens is that you are sacrificing your audio and video quality especially if you are using a digital projector.


If you try 2 matched speakers for your center (1 above angled down and 1 below angled up), what have you got to lose? By angling the speakers up and down they are converging to a point you pick and your image is centered. It is just like the way you toe in your left and right speakers. I think you will be pleasantly surprised (I know I was). I think your audio will be better than going through a perf screen and you will not be sacrificing your pic.


When you do this, in order to get your upper and lower to blend you need to have an amplifier of reasonable quality driving each center speaker with its own channel . You can do this with a Y connector to each amplifier channel from your center output.
 
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