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I'm setting up a built-in surround sound system that a previous owner of my house built some time in the early- to mid-90s. The old system was centered around a CRT TV in the corner. I've taken out one of the in-wall speakers and converted it to a bookshelf speaker on the other side, so I have good stereo separation, but I'm missing a center channel speaker. I'm primarily going to use the system for movies and TV.

The speakers in the wall are made by Triad. I emailed them asking for more information about the speakers, and got vague and not-very-helpful answers. They measure 6 ohms on my multimeter.

There is also a built-in passive (unpowered) subwoofer, that I either need to replace with a powered sub, or buy an amplifier for. Triad said it was designed for an amp of 250 Watts, which sounds like overkill to me. Will it work fine on a smaller amp? It also seems pretty difficult to find a standalone home theater subwoofer amp. Almost everything I can find are either car audio subwoofer amps, or plate amps designed for someone building a subwoofer. Maybe I'm just using the wrong search terms?

What I'm looking for recommendations on is a center channel speaker that will sound good for dialog, and blend reasonably well with the existing triads, and either a subwoofer amp to drive my existing sub, or a replacement subwoofer.

Thanks!
 

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Triad does make some good gear, but those look dated and could likely easily be improved on. Do you need an in-wall center or can you place a free-standing unit on a stand?

250 watts is actually pretty low for a subwoofer amp. Reproducing bass takes a lot of power, and most modern subs have 400+ watts in their internal amps, with 1000 watts and above not being uncommon.

The Behringer iNuke series is popular with the DIY crowd here, and while overkill for that sub, this one is very inexpensive and would get the job done.

You'd probably get better results by just buying a new standalone subwoofer though. The SVS PB12-NSD is on sale at Amazon right now and is probably the value king for a quality subwoofer at the moment. The Emotiva BAS-X Sub12 is also a nice option.
 
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Apologies if you described this but I missed it, but are you trying to keep one of the in-wall mains? What I understood is you replaced one with a bookshelf speaker with the assumption you're planning to keep the other.

Are you planning to wall mount the TV or put it on a stand?
 

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If you could give me the serial numbers on the back of the speakers and sub I should be able to find out which Triad's you have. If the in-wall speakers were built in the 1990's the drivers will most likely be different from the latest Triad speakers of the same series. However, if you wish to keep your current models I would stay with Triad for the center channel.

As far as the sub amp goes, let's first see which sub model you have before choosing a separate amp.
 

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I'm setting up a built-in surround sound system that a previous owner of my house built some time in the early- to mid-90s. The old system was centered around a CRT TV in the corner. I've taken out one of the in-wall speakers and converted it to a bookshelf speaker on the other side, so I have good stereo separation, but I'm missing a center channel speaker. I'm primarily going to use the system for movies and TV.

The speakers in the wall are made by Triad. I emailed them asking for more information about the speakers, and got vague and not-very-helpful answers. They measure 6 ohms on my multimeter.

There is also a built-in passive (unpowered) subwoofer, that I either need to replace with a powered sub, or buy an amplifier for. Triad said it was designed for an amp of 250 Watts, which sounds like overkill to me. Will it work fine on a smaller amp? It also seems pretty difficult to find a standalone home theater subwoofer amp. Almost everything I can find are either car audio subwoofer amps, or plate amps designed for someone building a subwoofer. Maybe I'm just using the wrong search terms?

What I'm looking for recommendations on is a center channel speaker that will sound good for dialog, and blend reasonably well with the existing triads, and either a subwoofer amp to drive my existing sub, or a replacement subwoofer.

Thanks!
For a range of amplified subwoofer prices check:
www.svspeakers.com
They have a pretty good range of prices for nice subs and do let you try them and return them at no charge if you order direct from them. Shipping both ways is free. Also if you buy direct on line from them you get a lot better warranty and other benefits and the price is the same.

Most subs use a lot of power. They make the speaker cone move a great distance for a given sound level. Several thousand watts is not uncomon for peaks. For a small sub of 250 watts, that is a peak that you can use for steady state sound without damage to the speaker, not the most it can draw on an occasional peak or the least you can have an amp size. In today's world of subs, most use internal plate amps. They mate well with today's Audio Video Receivers (AVR's). The added power needed by the sub over regular speakers is usually just provided in the sub, not the amplifiers in the AVR

Unless you are looking for real room filling loud theater sound it might be fine to get a small plate amp for your sub. . Plate amps are usually used as they are low cost. For a few hundred dollars you could get a nice Crown amp that will give you even more than you need. Do you have an AVR (Audio video receiver) for both the video switching among dvd or blue ray or cable and still provide audio stereo use? . Check the stuff at SVS and be sure to check the "outlet" for good deals. I have purchased several subs from them from the outlet and they are perfect and about 8% lower in cost. Probably ones that have been tried by people and returned with a veryminor external visual defect. I never could find defects that I could see on those I got from their outlet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you could give me the serial numbers on the back of the speakers and sub I should be able to find out which Triad's you have. If the in-wall speakers were built in the 1990's the drivers will most likely be different from the latest Triad speakers of the same series. However, if you wish to keep your current models I would stay with Triad for the center channel.

As far as the sub amp goes, let's first see which sub model you have before choosing a separate amp.
The only numbers anywhere on the speakers are on the front, as you can see in the photos I posted. These are the numbers:

202303 (left front)
202302 (right front)
202211 (left rear)
202212 (right rear)
202042 (sub)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Most subs use a lot of power. They make the speaker cone move a great distance for a given sound level. Several thousand watts is not uncomon for peaks. For a small sub of 250 watts, that is a peak that you can use for steady state sound without damage to the speaker, not the most it can draw on an occasional peak or the least you can have an amp size. In today's world of subs, most use internal plate amps. They mate well with today's Audio Video Receivers (AVR's). The added power needed by the sub over regular speakers is usually just provided in the sub, not the amplifiers in the AVR

Unless you are looking for real room filling loud theater sound it might be fine to get a small plate amp for your sub. . Plate amps are usually used as they are low cost. For a few hundred dollars you could get a nice Crown amp that will give you even more than you need. Do you have an AVR (Audio video receiver) for both the video switching among dvd or blue ray or cable and still provide audio stereo use? . Check the stuff at SVS and be sure to check the "outlet" for good deals. I have purchased several subs from them from the outlet and they are perfect and about 8% lower in cost. Probably ones that have been tried by people and returned with a veryminor external visual defect. I never could find defects that I could see on those I got from their outlet.
I have an old Yamaha RX-V573 receiver. I haven't hooked it up yet, and I have some concerns that it will have issues with HDCP for passing through a 4k signal.

If I get a plate amp, does it matter where I put it? I could either stick it in the same cabinet as the sub (there's power there), and run an RCA cable under the house, or put it in the same cabinet as the receiver, where there's already a speaker wire running from the sub. It seems to me that the advantage of colocating it with the receiver is I only have to provide surge protection in one location.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does this forum support editing your posts? If so, I can't see where...

Potentially relevant to Dawn for figuring out what speakers I have: There's a hole in the floor with a heavy-gauge speaker cable coming up in the opposite corner of the room from the sub, which could possibly have been a location for a second sub. In any event, there's no sub there anymore.
 

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Apologies if you described this but I missed it, but are you trying to keep one of the in-wall mains? What I understood is you replaced one with a bookshelf speaker with the assumption you're planning to keep the other.

Are you planning to wall mount the TV or put it on a stand?
Yes, I'm planning to keep one of the in-wall mains. My wife would like the speakers to be as invisible as possible.

The TV is wall mounted above the fireplace.

Triad does make some good gear, but those look dated and could likely easily be improved on. Do you need an in-wall center or can you place a free-standing unit on a stand?
My plan is to put a center speaker on the mantel below the TV.
 

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What I'm looking for recommendations on is a center channel speaker that will sound good for dialog, and blend reasonably well with the existing triads, and either a subwoofer amp to drive my existing sub, or a replacement subwoofer.
Reasonably priced 200 watt subwoofer amp:
https://www.htd.com/SDA-200-digital-icepower-amp

HTD offers free return shipping for first time customers, so if it doesn't work out you just send it back and order a standalone sub as suggested by other posters.
 

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4k and sub concer4ns

concerns that it will have issues with HDCP for passing through a 4k signal. If I get a plate amp, does it matter where I put it? I could either stick it in the same cabinet as the sub (there's power there), and run an RCA cable under the house, or put it in the same cabinet as the receiver, where there's already a speaker wire running from the sub. It seems to me that the advantage of colocating it with the receiver is I only have to provide surge protection in one location.
You might look into a "whole house" surge protector. They are the only ones worth a **** according to an electrical contractor and electric company tech I know. Cost about $50 and go into a 220 volt breaker position. If none are empty, you can buy some half width breakers and free space for one. I learned this after my neutral went bad and a little surge protector burned and scorched my pine wall. The high current blew some equipment fuses and fried a washer circuit board and a clock radio. None will stop a lightning strike but the whole house unit catches it for the whole house right at the breaker box and only for about $50.
Just use the Blu ray 4k straight to the TV. (you have a 4k tv not a 4k projector, right?). The 4k for a small screen is not impressive unless you have the HDR capability. The HDR contrast and color gamut make a difference that is very visible. The 4k resolution is tough to see even on a 120 inch projector screen with a 4k compatible surface unless you are sitting REAL close. The tv probably has a couple of hdmi Inputs but you would need to run a HDMI cable direct from the 4k blu ray to the tv input of a secondary HDMI input jack. I would build or buy a little box and put it by the receiver to hold the amp. Not sure it would not overheat in the sub box. .Also not sure if they come with a box or are only built for a panel on a speaker.
 

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Here's the deal according to the folks at Triad:

"Actually these [in wall speakers] are from around 1994-1995 at best guess. At that point they were called InWall System 7 Sats and Sub. Later the Sats became the InWall Silver/4 Sat.

For something the same size you would do an InWall Bronze/4 Sat for the center and you would have to order a Wide style “B” grill assembly to get a similar look to the old ones."

Sub Amp: "The RackAmp 300 would be the only choice. I believe those used Peerless 8 ohm drivers. So they can run two in parallel on one 300 amp. I would probably lean towards the Mini setting on the amp but the Bronze should be ok. The thing is they might give more EQ on the bottom end than these can handle but there is no way to know without just trying it out."

Triad sent me a pdf spec sheet for your speakers. I've put it here for you.
 
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