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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Building a new house and looking to put a number of in-ceiling speakers throughout. I've narrowed choices down to the following options (first in higher use / surround areas with the second in 2-speaker set ups that aren't used that much).

B&W
CCM683
CCM682

Paradigm
CI Elite E80
CI Pro P80

Monitor Audio
C280-IDC
C280

Would love any thoughts folks have on recommendations here (or on some not mentioned). Some additional info:

1. Thinking of doing 8" everywhere as I have fairly high ceilings so hoping for more robust soundstage
2. Hoping for nicer speakers to be c. $4-600 / speaker and the 2-speaker set ups to be around $2-400 / speaker
3. I don't have room for in-wall or floorstanding, so in-ceiling is the way to go
4. Most of the speakers will be on the first floor, so it'd be helpful to know if any have bad sound bleed (currently in construction, so can insulate or build a back box if needed)

Thanks in advance!
 

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Sound bleed? The exact same sound level is produced both front and back of the speaker. So yeah, if that matters to you, get back boxes or build them.

Assume a 60 degree (30 degrees off center, each way) cone of sound from your speakers to your seated or standing ears. The high ceilings are helpful, but you may want to consider speakers with a built-in angle to help with area coverage. For instance, a 15 degree angle will improve the off center coverage to 45 degrees, while a 30 degree angle will get you 60 degrees of coverage. This will come into play if you are trying to cover an area with stereo sound. If you find that the room size, or placement, make stereo coverage problematic, then you might consider multiple mono speakers in each room, placed for one speaker per area of coverage only (vs two speakers per area for stereo).

If you are going to be using in-ceiling speakers for HT, then you will probably want to look at highly angled speakers to be sure all the seating is covered at your seating distance.
 

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Add Revel to your list. Both of my friends have installed their top in ceiling speakers and they are fantastic, really no substitute for them if you can afford them.

C763L for angled in ceilings (for directed sound like a theater)

C783 for distributed audio (like what you are looking for)

Id take B&W off your list. You pay a premium for the name and take a hit in sound quality.

Can’t speak for Paradigm or Monitor Audio, though Monitor Audio has some cool On-Walls that look nice also.

Make sure whatever you end up with you get it discounted from your dealer. 20%+, take nothing less as there are definitely dealers out there who will do it for you. I know a few here that might even do 30%+.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Helpful info - appreciate it. I'll take a look at Revel as it doesn't look too much more than the CI Elite or 280-IDC.

Ray - Just to confirm, the in-ceiling will be in a 5.1 great room setup and distributed audio elsewhere. My home theater room will have floor standers with 4 in-ceiling Atmos.

Look forward to any other thoughts!
 

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In the great room, will your TV be up high on the wall? If so, your placement might work (or not). However, if the TV will be at seated eye level, then you might consider getting on-wall or in-wall speakers, at least for the front 3, so you have a good connection between the sound and the picture. Other options are speakers that can attach to the TV itself via the vesa mounts (or to the wall mount, if applicable). You could get three separate speakers to surround the TV or a three channel passive soundbar (of good quality) attached to the underside of the TV for a seamless presentation, audibly and visually. However, if married to the in-ceiling approach, you might consider the 7000 series from Golden Ear, said to be the best at making it seem the sound is not coming from the ceiling (ceiling height and seating distance will be critical with these as their vertical sound distribution is limited).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In the great room, will your TV be up high on the wall? If so, your placement might work (or not). However, if the TV will be at seated eye level, then you might consider getting on-wall or in-wall speakers, at least for the front 3, so you have a good connection between the sound and the picture. Other options are speakers that can attach to the TV itself via the vesa mounts (or to the wall mount, if applicable). You could get three separate speakers to surround the TV or a three channel passive soundbar (of good quality) attached to the underside of the TV for a seamless presentation, audibly and visually. However, if married to the in-ceiling approach, you might consider the 7000 series from Golden Ear, said to be the best at making it seem the sound is not coming from the ceiling (ceiling height and seating distance will be critical with these as their vertical sound distribution is limited).
It will be above a fireplace (I know, I know not ideal) but only thing that worked given the space (two large windows on either side). So, it will be slightly higher than ideal seating height. Really don't want to do the soundbar for aesthetic reasons (the wife will be displeased). I think that leaves me with angled in-ceiling speakers...
 

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FYI: Triad has a soundbar that can be tailored to the exact length and finish of the TV, so it will look, for all intents and purposes, to be a part of the TV itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You seem very anti in-ceiling Ray! :)

Compared with three higher-quality in-ceiling though, how would the Triad compare?
 

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If you are comparing the Triad Mini LCR Soundbar to the Triad InCeiling Mini LCR, they would sound the same. The Triad InCeiling Bronze LCR is $100 more and would give you higher volume output and better bass.
 

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I like the Paradigms. For some areas, you can consider a single point where both channels come from the same speaker. Smaller spaces or very large spaces with stereo imaging issues are decent applications. I don’t mind the stereo image in my rooms with two speakers, but for discerning listening you want to make sure the main listening position is in the spot.

For instance, my living room has a chair perfectly positioned, works great with the overheads and angle. My kitchen probably should have been single points because you tend to be on all sides of the island so stereo imaging is a little off at times. We went single point in the Master, one speaker given size and it rocks and sounds great.

Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I like the Paradigms. For some areas, you can consider a single point where both channels come from the same speaker. Smaller spaces or very large spaces with stereo imaging issues are decent applications. I don’t mind the stereo image in my rooms with two speakers, but for discerning listening you want to make sure the main listening position is in the spot.

For instance, my living room has a chair perfectly positioned, works great with the overheads and angle. My kitchen probably should have been single points because you tend to be on all sides of the island so stereo imaging is a little off at times. We went single point in the Master, one speaker given size and it rocks and sounds great.

Food for thought.
Helpful color, and I didn't consider the single point, but great call on kitchen being a good use as you're exactly right, we'll be all over the island and may sound off with two depending where you are. With the Paradigms, how much issue will I have with the noise traveling through back into second floor? Will batt insulation be enough to mitigate this?

The one thing that is drawing me to Monitor Audio a bit is their controller performance line, which has built in back boxes. I've heard the Paradigms are a bit brighter and fuller than the MAs though, which has me very interested if the sound issue is mitigated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you are comparing the Triad Mini LCR Soundbar to the Triad InCeiling Mini LCR, they would sound the same. The Triad InCeiling Bronze LCR is $100 more and would give you higher volume output and better bass.
Sounds like I need to consider Triad now! Ha! Compared with the other options I mentioned, how would they compare SQ wise?
 

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You seem very anti in-ceiling Ray! :)

Compared with three higher-quality in-ceiling though, how would the Triad compare?
Not anti-in-ceiling, as such, but in-ceiling does have some issues that need to be understood before going forward. Lots of folks have done in-ceiling speakers, only to be disappointed, and have come here for help. It's a lot easier to have success when the speakers and the screen are in close proximity AND fire in the same direction. When the speakers are away from the screen and firing at a 90 degree angle to the screen, well, odds are pretty good that the result will not be positive. Just attempting to prevent that outcome by addressing the issues up front.

If you go with the Triad in-ceiling speakers, they have a 45 degree angle (75 degree coverage area) built-in, so the odds of your seating being within this area are pretty good. The Paradigms are 30 degree speakers, so the seating will have to be within a smaller area. You'll need to do the math before going forward. If the math works out, you have a very good chance of success.
 

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Two thumbs up for the Paradigm CI Elite E80s. I'm using these for my Atmos speakers and they are excellent. Audyssey thinks they are full range speakers (personally I don't think so, but they have great range). Paradigm has backing boxes available if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not anti-in-ceiling, as such, but in-ceiling does have some issues that need to be understood before going forward. Lots of folks have done in-ceiling speakers, only to be disappointed, and have come here for help. It's a lot easier to have success when the speakers and the screen are in close proximity AND fire in the same direction. When the speakers are away from the screen and firing at a 90 degree angle to the screen, well, odds are pretty good that the result will not be positive. Just attempting to prevent that outcome by addressing the issues up front.

If you go with the Triad in-ceiling speakers, they have a 45 degree angle (75 degree coverage area) built-in, so the odds of your seating being within this area are pretty good. The Paradigms are 30 degree speakers, so the seating will have to be within a smaller area. You'll need to do the math before going forward. If the math works out, you have a very good chance of success.
Certainly understood, and agreed! I'd love to do in-wall, but we have 8' of wall space and are planning to do a 77" TV, which is 68" wide. This will leave 28" of wall space to work with. I think most solid in-walls (like the Paradigm CI Elite E5 are 9-10" wide. This only gives 2" on space between end of wall + TV. Seems a bit tight but maybe not. Also, with the fireplace, I'd think we'd need to put the center above the TV vs. below to allow TV to be as close to natural viewing as possible.

Thoughts here though?
 

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Certainly understood, and agreed! I'd love to do in-wall, but we have 8' of wall space and are planning to do a 77" TV, which is 68" wide. This will leave 28" of wall space to work with. I think most solid in-walls (like the Paradigm CI Elite E5 are 9-10" wide. This only gives 2" on space between end of wall + TV. Seems a bit tight but maybe not. Also, with the fireplace, I'd think we'd need to put the center above the TV vs. below to allow TV to be as close to natural viewing as possible.

Thoughts here though?
Well, installing in-wall speakers high on the wall runs into off-axis issues, as well. So, the 30 degree scenario still applies, with your center speaker likely problematic, sitting above the TV.

One idea comes to mind, have you researched the MantleMount? It is a mount designed to help get the TV and speakers (attached to the mount/TV) down nearer eye/ear level. From a WAF perspective, it may be a no-go and there is the annoyance of constantly moving the TV up and down.

When all is said and done, you may just find that the properly angled in-ceiling speaker is the best solution for you. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, installing in-wall speakers high on the wall runs into off-axis issues, as well. So, the 30 degree off-axis scenario still applies, with your center speaker likely problematic, sitting above the TV.

One idea comes to mind, have you researched the MantleMount? It is a mount designed to help get the TV and speakers (attached to the mount/TV) down nearer eye/ear level. From a WAF perspective, it may be a no-go and there is the annoyance of constantly moving the TV up and down.

When all is said and done, you may just find that the properly angled in-ceiling speaker is the best solution for you. ;)
Yea, I think that's going to get shot down fast...

Sounds like I need to brush up on my trigonometry and make sure I've planned accordingly. 30 degree may work given the space but will certainly check.

All great advice, and certainly appreciated!
 

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Yea, I think that's going to get shot down fast...

Sounds like I need to brush up on my trigonometry and make sure I've planned accordingly. 30 degree may work given the space but will certainly check.

All great advice, and certainly appreciated!
This might help:

http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/scol/calrtri.htm

Just input the height from your seated ear to the ceiling (edge a) and the angle of coverage (angle B, i.e. angle of speaker + 30) to get the maximum distance between you and the speakers (edge b).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This might help:

http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/scol/calrtri.htm

Just input the height from your seated ear to the ceiling (edge a) and the angle of coverage (angle B, i.e. angle of speaker + 30) to get the maximum distance between you and the speakers (edge b).
Perfect - thanks Ray! So just to confirm, if I went the Paradigms, I'd put in 60 for Angle B, correct (since they are already angled at 30 degress and give another 30 of coverage)?
 
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