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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know that some of you are ready to wear your keyboards out on how a HT setup should not be in the ceiling. I get it. However there are 2 things that will not change. First my house layout. The room doesn't have much of a back wall and due to window, fireplace, and door placements there's not great spots for in-wall. Nor will I suddenly have a perfect media room somewhere else. Secondly my wife's requirement that she doesn't want to see speakers. So after you get done with any tomato throwing, try and help me out.

1)Looking to spend 2k or less on speakers and a receiver and a sub. Maybe even some labor in there too but we'll see how quickly things get pricey and how handy I'm feeling. If this is not a difficult job please feel free to offer tips with how to get it done DIY style. But no more than 2k all in, less if I can get away with it.
2)The setup will be primarily TV watching with some video games and some music. We're not movie aficionados. I mostly watch sports, the rest of the viewing is your typical popular tv and streaming.
3)I don't have anything yet except speaker wire is run in the ceiling to 5 locations where you might put speakers.
4)The room is about 20ft wide by about 17ft deep. It backs up to the kitchen which is almost the same size. The opening between the rooms is probably 11-12ft so it's pretty open at the back. Probably 2 feet of framing across the top as well dividing the rooms. Basically a really wide door frame and no door.
5)The speakers have to be in the ceiling. I would like to find some with angled drivers if possible but those only seem to come in the extremely cheap and the very expensive. Any suggestions on angled speakers would be highly appreciated.
6)I'm debating between 8 inch and 6 inch ceiling speakers. If I don't need 8in speakers and can go with 6in and pair with a floor sub with good results, I'd be for that.
7)I've looked online at a lot of in-ceiling speakers and somehow they all have good to great reviews. Here's a few items I'm considering
Polk RC80i These seem to be universally well reviewed and I cannot argue with the price. Probably a lead contender based on reviews and price. This could be the way to go unless I can do a lot better for not a lot more. Or given some of the items listed below, is it possible to do as well for cheaper?
Polk 70-RT & Polk 90-RT Right now these are probably the priciest speakers I'm looking at. I'm not sure if I need the 8inch drivers of the 90s and if I could get by with the 6.5inch in the 70s and then add a sub, that's probably preferable form a budget standpoint. However, are these that much better than the Polks above? What about the MC series compared to the RT or the RCi? Also have concerns about the depth on these as one corner of the room may not have the depth needed.
Sonance VP62RThe guys at Magnolia/Best Buy say these are better than the Polk speakers I've listed. Maybe they are but I can't find anything online about them. No reviews or comparisons seem to exist. Also a negative for these is the Magnolia guys want like $1200 to install them which is more than a set of 5 would cost and would blow most of the budget on labor. The only way I'm going with these is if it's the DIY route.
There's also a lot of cheap ones out there that are well reviewed but seem to be lesser known brands or may just be cheaply made and not that good. But is it possible they are good? Such as Monoprice Alpha and Micca M-8C and 82AC Silver Ticket. Are any of these decent or just a bunch of reviewers happy to spend very little?

Let me reiterate that I understand that an in the ceiling HT setup is not ideal but my options are TV speakers or in-ceiling. I'd love to hear thoughts on any of the items above or recommendations for anything I else as well. So if anyone has experience with in-ceiling setups or has thoughts on how to get the most for the money, help me out.
 

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Another speaker you could check out would be the RSL C34E. Inexpensive, but good quality, and a good company with great customer service. These are popular speakers, and are frequently out of stock, so there's that, and they are a fairly large cutout.

https://rslspeakers.com/c34e-ceiling-speaker/

Labor costs can indeed be high, as you've discovered! You should be ale to do this within your budget if you're doing the work, but if the wiring is already run, that's a plus. Cutting holes in sheet rock is not too bad - all in-ceilings have a cutout template, easy enough - you can cut by hand with a drywall saw, or invest in a purpose-built hole cutting tool, they range in type and price.

Decent sized space, I'd probably put a good portion of your budget into a nice subwoofer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the recommendation on on the RSL C34E. I might give them a call. Any idea how they compare to what I've mentioned? I realize this is not the forum for it but do you have recommendation on a sub. Or if that's a no-no in here, what about budget breakdown? Of my 2k or less, what percentages should be going into my sub, speakers, and receiver? Thanks again for the feedback.
 

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Thanks for the recommendation on on the RSL C34E. I might give them a call. Any idea how they compare to what I've mentioned? I realize this is not the forum for it but do you have recommendation on a sub. Or if that's a no-no in here, what about budget breakdown? Of my 2k or less, what percentages should be going into my sub, speakers, and receiver? Thanks again for the feedback.
receiver = 20-30%
sub = 50%
speakers = 20-30%

Normally, the % for speakers would be a lot higher than 20-30% but since you're set on doing in-ceilings, there's no point in paying more...the inherent limitations/disadvantages of in-ceilings (especially for the critical front 3 speakers, not so much for the surrounds) cannot be overcome no matter how much money you spend on them.

I'd get something good like the RSL in-ceilings for your front 3, then go cheap with the Micca 8 inch ones from Amazon, get a $200-300 authorized refurb AVR from accessories4less.com and then spend whatever's left on the best sub you can...a Hsu VTF-2 or VTF-3 perhaps.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can't be sonance for speakers. Just get the back covers too
Thanks for the reply. Do you have experience with them? Is there a certain level that is good or the ones I have linked above are good enough? If I do go with them I still can't swing that Magnolia install feed. Also it looks like their angled models start at 750 which puts them out of reach for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wrote on this here, look at post #5 and #7. This topic comes up a lot. The speakers you are choosing are not good for the front speakers.
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/2869281-ceiling-speaker-setup.html#post53625065
Good stuff. I'd like to go angled if possible. I looked at the manufacturers you listed in post #5. I've reached out to a few of the manufacturers you have listed to find dealers in my area. Are there any that you have experience with or can recommend that fit my budget?
 

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The company I work or uses Paradigm, Triad and Episode, so I see them the most. For your budget go with these for the font 3 speakers.
https://www.paradigm.com/products-current/series=ci-home-series/model=ci-home-h65-a/page=overview

For the surrounds it would depend on where your seating is located compared too your speaker but it would be one of the other CI Home series in ceiling models. You should be able to get some discount on them. To find dealer use their locator, checkout some of the installer companies as well as ones with a show room to see where you can get the best deal.
https://www.paradigm.com/locator/index.php
 

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If you do not already have the cut-outs for the speakers in the ceiling, might I suggest an alternative? Install a box with speaker wire attachments at each position. Then, get some smaller white satellite speakers to install on (not in) the ceiling. The Cambridge Minx Mini 12 come to mind. Inexpensive, white, good sound within their obvious limitations. Using this speaker, or something similar, would remove many of the issues with in-ceiling speakers, especially off-angle issues which often limit your frequency response severely when sitting more than 30 degrees off angle (angled speaker or not).

One caveat of this approach, the sub must have good response up to 150 Hz and must be placed somewhere in the front of the room.

If none of this works for you, the Golden Ear in-ceiling speakers are said to be the best at not sounding like the sound is coming from the ceiling. Not inexpensive, but you could just get 3 for the front and go cheaper in the rear.
 
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