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Discussion Starter #1
I recently moved into a house which was pre-wired for whole house audio. I bought a Monoprice multi-zone amp to power 6 stereo zones on the main floor. I installed ceiling speakers in the kitchen over the weekend to test out the first ceiling speakers zone. I tried the setup with Monoprice 8" ceiling speakers and HTD HD 8" ceiling speakers (the cutout size was close enough to try out both). I was disappointed with both set of speakers. They both sounded flat, muddy, with poor imaging especially when listening off-axis (as in not sitting underneath the speakers). I have Ascend Sierra-1 Nrt 2.0 setup in one of the other zones. The sound for the same music tracks was much more engaging with the Sierra 1. I wasn't expecting excellent sound from ceiling speakers but I didn't think that it would be this lousy. The sound reminded me of being in a shopping mall. I would rather crank up the volume on the family room setup (3.1 with Ascend Sierra-2 and SVS sub) than turning on the kitchen stereo zone.


I later went out to Best Buy Magnolia to listen to other ceiling speakers and I found them all to pretty much have the same problem. They all sounded hollow and unengaging especially when A&B compared with bookshelves. Is this a general problem with open-back ceiling speakers? Are there other ceiling speaker brands and models that I should audition?
 

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I recently moved into a house which was pre-wired for whole house audio. I bought a Monoprice multi-zone amp to power 6 stereo zones on the main floor. I installed ceiling speakers in the kitchen over the weekend to test out the first ceiling speakers zone. I tried the setup with Monoprice 8" ceiling speakers and HTD HD 8" ceiling speakers (the cutout size was close enough to try out both). I was disappointed with both set of speakers. They both sounded flat, muddy, with poor imaging especially when listening off-axis (as in not sitting underneath the speakers). I have Ascend Sierra-1 Nrt 2.0 setup in one of the other zones. The sound for the same music tracks was much more engaging with the Sierra 1. I wasn't expecting excellent sound from ceiling speakers but I didn't think that it would be this lousy. The sound reminded me of being in a shopping mall. I would rather crank up the volume on the family room setup (3.1 with Ascend Sierra-2 and SVS sub) than turning on the kitchen stereo zone.


I later went out to Best Buy Magnolia to listen to other ceiling speakers and I found them all to pretty much have the same problem. They all sounded hollow and unengaging especially when A&B compared with bookshelves. Is this a general problem with open-back ceiling speakers? Are there other ceiling speaker brands and models that I should audition?
What is your budget? Triad speakers are very, very, very good and all but the cheapest models have backer boxes. But it depends on the price you're willing to spend for quality audio.
 

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Def Tech has some in-ceiling speakers with back enclosures and aim-able tweeters....

That said, in-ceiling speakers, by their very nature (down firing) are a compromise.
 

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Def Tech has some in-ceiling speakers with back enclosures and aim-able tweeters....

That said, in-ceiling speakers, by their very nature (down firing) are a compromise.

+1


I've got some Axiom M3's which aren't too bad, and could work for most simple setups but really a ceiling speaker is never going to be as good as a decent bookshelf yet alone floor standers. I love monoprice and everything, but they would be one of my last choices to buy speakers from.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
What is your budget? Triad speakers are very, very, very good and all but the cheapest models have backer boxes. But it depends on the price you're willing to spend for quality audio.

Budget is $750 per pair of ceiling speakers. I need five pairs. I looked at Triad (online) but they can only go down to 80 Hz according to the spec. I would like speakers that can do at least 50 Hz as I am using them as stereo pair with no sub.
 

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Budget is $750 per pair of ceiling speakers. I need five pairs. I looked at Triad (online) but they can only go down to 80 Hz according to the spec. I would like speakers that can do at least 50 Hz as I am using them as stereo pair with no sub.
RBH MC-815. They have an f3 of 45hz: https://rbhsound.com/mc815.php
Atlantic Technology IC-8.2 have an f3 of 45hz: http://www.atlantictechnology.com/index.php/products/wall-ceiling-speakers/ic-8262-ceiling-speakers/

These are above your budget, but go down to 37hz. ML Electomotion EM-R: http://www.martinlogan.com/architectural/electromotion/em-r.php

Give us a call to discuss and or for pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Marin Logans look very interesting. However, I think that they are based on open baffle design. It seems like I need to go with something like the Triad below to get good performance out of ceiling speakers.


 

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The Marin Logans look very interesting. However, I think that they are based on open baffle design. It seems like I need to go with something like the Triad below to get good performance out of ceiling speakers.


The Triad speakers are excellent speakers, but most are going to be above your budget. You could look at the following from Triad:
In-ceiling Mini/8 LCR: http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/icm8lcr.html A little above your budget.
In-ceiling Bronze/8 Sat, which is shown above and in your budget.
In-Ceiling Silver/6 Sat. http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/ics6sat.html A little above budget.
 

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I recently moved into a house which was pre-wired for whole house audio. I bought a Monoprice multi-zone amp to power 6 stereo zones on the main floor. I installed ceiling speakers in the kitchen over the weekend to test out the first ceiling speakers zone. I tried the setup with Monoprice 8" ceiling speakers and HTD HD 8" ceiling speakers (the cutout size was close enough to try out both). I was disappointed with both set of speakers. They both sounded flat, muddy, with poor imaging especially when listening off-axis (as in not sitting underneath the speakers). I have Ascend Sierra-1 Nrt 2.0 setup in one of the other zones. The sound for the same music tracks was much more engaging with the Sierra 1. I wasn't expecting excellent sound from ceiling speakers but I didn't think that it would be this lousy. The sound reminded me of being in a shopping mall. I would rather crank up the volume on the family room setup (3.1 with Ascend Sierra-2 and SVS sub) than turning on the kitchen stereo zone.


I later went out to Best Buy Magnolia to listen to other ceiling speakers and I found them all to pretty much have the same problem. They all sounded hollow and unengaging especially when A&B compared with bookshelves. Is this a general problem with open-back ceiling speakers? Are there other ceiling speaker brands and models that I should audition?
So are you happy with the Monoprice Mulit-Zone amp to power your 6 stereo zones? Or do you think that is part of the problem with the sound?
I'm curious what a good multi zone amp is, what brands and cost etc, I want to do something similar in my house and don't know who makes these?
I was thinking just mono speakers in most of my rooms of the house is all I need. Not sure how big a room you need to want stereo sound in the ceiling?
Sounds like you've planned yours well and have a pretty big home to want stereo speakers in each of your 6 zones?
 

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That is part of their DI series, which are infinite baffle. What you are looking for is their reference ( R ) series... RLS, RCS, and RSS. These are enclosed units.

I've had decent results putting my UIW 75 in MDF enclosures. Still playing with the amount of poly-fill in them, but they DO sound better to me in their home made box vs. just mounted between ceiling joists. Probably safer too since the dog ears have something else to grip to besides ceiling drywall. The boxes I made are secured to the joists with wood screws.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So are you happy with the Monoprice Mulit-Zone amp to power your 6 stereo zones? Or do you think that is part of the problem with the sound?
I'm curious what a good multi zone amp is, what brands and cost etc, I want to do something similar in my house and don't know who makes these?

I am using the same amp for my office zone which is setup for 2.0 wall-mount bookshelves with Ascend Sierra 1 Nrt. It sounds fine in that room. The Monoprice Multi-Zone amp is pretty bare-bone. It does what it says. There is no official app for controlling the amp (there is an unofficial one written by an AVS member). The unit also does not look very sexy. A non-issue if you put it in an enclosed cabinet or in the basement. One annoying issue is all keypads are reset back to the default settings (volume, source, and EQ) if power is turned off on the main unit. You might want to look at HTD Advanced Level system for more functionalities. The price is three times the Monoprice's but you gain features such as built-in intercom and keypads that can accept a local source.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That is part of their DI series, which are infinite baffle. What you are looking for is their reference ( R ) series... RLS, RCS, and RSS. These are enclosed units.

I've had decent results putting my UIW 75 in MDF enclosures. Still playing with the amount of poly-fill in them, but they DO sound better to me in their home made box vs. just mounted between ceiling joists. Probably safer too since the dog ears have something else to grip to besides ceiling drywall. The boxes I made are secured to the joists with wood screws.

Thanks. It is too late now for me to build MDF back-box without opening up a large section of the drywall (no attic access in the majority of the zones). But it sounds very tempting. Just cut out rectangular holes on the ceiling between joints, build the box, screw drywall-in, tape, mud and paint. I have never done DIY drywall work before but how hard can it be.
 

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I am curious about the sound of ceiling speakers too as I'm contemplating a Dolby Atmos set-up and would hopefully have ceiling speakers as part of the system. I was assuming they would sound better than the top firing speaker tops that have come out (Def Tech, Pioneer).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was thinking just mono speakers in most of my rooms of the house is all I need. Not sure how big a room you need to want stereo sound in the ceiling?
Sounds like you've planned yours well and have a pretty big home to want stereo speakers in each of your 6 zones?

The house is not that big. But once I decided to use a multi-zone system I expanded to 7 zones (with one 5.2.4 Atmos zone powered by a AVR) to cover all the rooms on the main floor. The smallest room on the main floor is 12' x 12.' Why do mono if you can do stereo?
 

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has anyone checked out the GoldenEar ceiling speakers?
 

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Thanks. It is too late now for me to build MDF back-box without opening up a large section of the drywall (no attic access in the majority of the zones). But it sounds very tempting. Just cut out rectangular holes on the ceiling between joints, build the box, screw drywall-in, tape, mud and paint. I have never done DIY drywall work before but how hard can it be.
If you believe Def Tech's frequency response claims, I have a bridge to sell you. ;)

Atlantic Tech, RBH, and Triad tend to be more trustworthy.
 

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I 2nd post number 17. I don't see a reason why you would be disappointed with the 3 brands mentioned above.

I have never heard an HT speaker by Focal (on my short list!), I have heard a couple lines of Focal's car audio, although the speakers were several years old, they sounded wonderful. Perhaps these could be added to your list: http://www.focal.com/en/82-integrationbuilt-in-mounting

I've never read a bad review on Focal's speakers.
 

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I am using the same amp for my office zone which is setup for 2.0 wall-mount bookshelves with Ascend Sierra 1 Nrt. It sounds fine in that room. The Monoprice Multi-Zone amp is pretty bare-bone. It does what it says. There is no official app for controlling the amp (there is an unofficial one written by an AVS member). The unit also does not look very sexy. A non-issue if you put it in an enclosed cabinet or in the basement. One annoying issue is all keypads are reset back to the default settings (volume, source, and EQ) if power is turned off on the main unit. You might want to look at HTD Advanced Level system for more functionalities. The price is three times the Monoprice's but you gain features such as built-in intercom and keypads that can accept a local source.
Did you ever consider a higher end multi zone amp such as Russound or Niles etc? It sounded like you have a pretty big budget for 5 pairs of speakers ($750 x 5)? Why not get a nicer amp as well and maybe come down on the speaker budget? I'm only asking cause I'm trying to figure out what I want to do as well. I don't know if I really need "stereo" all over the house, I just want some ambient sound of the music playing in certain rooms. Like my office, the master bathroom, the master bedroom, the garage and back patio, the living room will have its own speakers to play music in so its just certain areas, and I'd think mono speaker would do the job in each.
 

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I recently moved into a house which was pre-wired for whole house audio. I bought a Monoprice multi-zone amp to power 6 stereo zones on the main floor. I installed ceiling speakers in the kitchen over the weekend to test out the first ceiling speakers zone. I tried the setup with Monoprice 8" ceiling speakers and HTD HD 8" ceiling speakers (the cutout size was close enough to try out both). I was disappointed with both set of speakers. They both sounded flat, muddy, with poor imaging especially when listening off-axis (as in not sitting underneath the speakers). I have Ascend Sierra-1 Nrt 2.0 setup in one of the other zones. The sound for the same music tracks was much more engaging with the Sierra 1. I wasn't expecting excellent sound from ceiling speakers but I didn't think that it would be this lousy. The sound reminded me of being in a shopping mall. I would rather crank up the volume on the family room setup (3.1 with Ascend Sierra-2 and SVS sub) than turning on the kitchen stereo zone.


I later went out to Best Buy Magnolia to listen to other ceiling speakers and I found them all to pretty much have the same problem. They all sounded hollow and unengaging especially when A&B compared with bookshelves. Is this a general problem with open-back ceiling speakers? Are there other ceiling speaker brands and models that I should audition?
Well they are ceiling speakers. You could not have reasonably expected cheap ceiling speakers to compete with the Ascend's.
 
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