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Discussion Starter #1
In my theater I am using Infinity floor standing speakers for the L/R and a Definitive Technology for the center. I am not too thrilled with the sound, and especially with the center. It seems weak to me, even when I properly calibrated (SPL, measure and set delay) all the speakers. I am sure part of the reason is the speakers do not match, and some of the reason is none of the walls are treated ( they will be as soon as I get my speaker situation taken care of). However, I think the major reason may very well be the location of these 3 speakers. You see, they are in a cabinet, or wall, depending on how you look at it. (See the attached picture)


Based on some threads in the Speaker forum, I understand it is a no no to place speakers in an enclosure. It was suggested as a total waste of time and money to buy 3 new speakers (floor standing or bookshelf) and put them in an enclosure. Inwall is the way to go I was told.


Now my question.Can I build affordable inwall (or built-in) speakers that will sound significantly better than more expensive inwall speakers? Money is tight right now so I would I would think the center speaker should be first. My budget for this speaker is $350 max.


FYI, the available space for the center speaker is 32 wide, 21 tall, and 24 deep. For the left and right speakers, the available space is 38 wide, 37 tall, and 24 deep.


What do you think? Can it be done?


I look forward to your input on this.


patrick
 

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Patrick,

The answer is right there in your picture. You'll notice that your R & L spkrs are heavily padded (or at least appear to be) around them in the cabinet to deaden resonances caused by being in the cabinet. Do the same for your center and it should tighten up the sound (specifically the midbass and midrange) considerably. It won't correct for a difference in timbre or efficiency, but general muddy-ness in the sound should diminish greatly. Also, you might consider setting the center to "small" in your surround setups to alleviate some of the lower bass demands and let the sub handle those (especially since the sub's up front). Lastly, make darn sure that center is NOT recessed back into the cabinet at all - even poke it out a 1/4" or so to insure you don't get the extreme diffraction that will occur from being recessed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response Mike. As for the r l speakers being heavily padded, they are not. I have the cavity of all three speakers packed with sound insulation. The L/R speakers are actually sealed in the cabinet. They are flush with the wall. The center is not sealed and is basically flush with the wall as well.


patrick
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by patrick21
The L/R speakers are actually sealed in the cabinet. They are flush with the wall. The center is not sealed and is basically flush with the wall as well.


patrick


L&R are sealed in, and the center is not.

That is one of the main reasons your center don't sound "right" to you.


As the way you have it, is almost like having a completely different/wrong center setup as far as a "match" goes, with the speaker for the center in relation to the L&R speakers.


And I agree with what some others have told you already. In that if you "need to have" the speakers sealed in the way that you have them. That going with "in-wall" speakers may be the better way to go. As any built speaker (ones that come in a enclosure that they were designed with) is best not put into a wall or sealed cabinet.

As you just threw out whatever "work" that was done in designing that speaker, right into the trash can.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Johnla. I agree with everything you said.


Back to my question. Is it possible to build a center inwall speaker for $350 that will blow away comparably priced commercial inwall speakers?


patrick
 

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The cabinet that you are mounting them in, will have a lot to do with, if you can or not "build" a better one.

Or even for how good a commercial in-wall may work. As you're not really putting them in a wall, but rather a large box/enclosure instead of a wall like they were designed for. So I think that there are going to be many trade offs involved here.
 

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patrick -


Since you mention that your center channel is not sealed, I imagine it is rear ported. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Is it possible to build a high-quality center channel that will blow your other speakers away for $350. Yes.


But...there are a few issues involved.


First, inwall speakers are rarely a good answer. Even the best of them are, IMO, a second-tier solution. But a good speaker can be designed to moung flush with the wall. And you seem to have plenty of space.


But it must be sealed or front ported. And consideration must be given to baffle step correction. Most speaker designs require it, but this may not be desireable with a flush-mounted design.


Another issue: Do you require shielding (are you using a crt-based monitor for video)? If not, your options are greatly expanded.


Once you've had a chance to respond, I will do some investigation and may have a recommendation for you. A friend of mine (who happens to be an extraordinary speaker designer) is just finishing up development on a series of home theater speakers. His center channel (or a modified version) might be just the picket for you.


- Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the response jim. As for sealed, I must clarify that by sealed, I mean the L/R speakers themselves are sealed in the cabinet (wall) I built. The center, which is front ported, is not "sealed" in the cabinet. There is about an inch clearance on the sides and top.


As for shielding, I use front projection so it is not an issue.


Thanks again.


patrick
 

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patrick -


Were the left and right speakers a sealed design, or did you "seal" them in yourself? If they wer originally a ported design, sealing them will affect their performance and the crossover may no longer be correct for that format.


As for the center channel, baffle step issues aside, a front ported speaker in your setup will be fine.


If you are still interested in upgrading your center, let me know and I will investigate the design I mentioned earlier. It may be perfect for you.


- Jim
 
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