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installing In-wall/ceiling speakers for first time, any tips?

1185 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  TDI Driver
I am in the process of remodeling my whole house and in doing so plan to add in in 6.1 theater system all in-wall and in-ceiling. yes, even the subs will be in-wall.

Do you have any tips for the installation of these sort of speakers? Like should I put any kind of fabric or do they need some sort of enclosure behind them...like the subs? I was told that they use infinite baffles...basically the dry wall they go into becomes the speakers enclosure. I find that to believe especially on my in wall subs.

any tips or suggestions would be great!

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Congratulations. It should be a fun project and hopefully will turn out great.

The enclosure v. infinite baffle debate will go on but many in-wall/ceiling designs really do not need an enclosure to perform well while some obviously are designed with their own integral acoustic enclosure. Whatever you choose will be the ones that sounds best to your ears that are in your budget.

However this only applies to the speakers in the system. The subwoofer definitely should have its own acoustic chamber. From the manufacturers I am most familiar with who make in-wall subs, both companies make new construction enclosures while one offers a retrofit enclosure as well.

Here are some links to those items just to give you a visual of what I am talking about:
http://speakercraft.com/#Products:273:SE%20BassX-W10 (new construction enclosure)
http://speakercraft.com/#Products:26...%20BassX-W10 (retrofit enclosure)

The last link is a review of a Phase Tech system using the in-wall sub. The review is a little old but PT doesn't change models often. It is also detailed on the installation process so I figured it would be helpful.

Hope this helps you out in your process and best of luck.
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Thank you for the reply and the information. All good reads!

Are there any good debates to read on infinite baffles vs. enclosures?

An enclosure for a sub almost sounds like a most. Or at least try to make it controlled by adding polyurathane fibers behind the subs.

I will have to experiment. Also, I'm trying to find good information on 6.1 and perhaps a placement guide. Know of any good ones?

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I'll defer to an industry expert. There is a good quote from Paul Scarpelli of Triad concerning add-on enclosures to infinite baffle speakers which pretty much puts the debate at rest:

"Back boxes will most likely not "enhance" the sound because, presumably, the speakers were designed for use as infinite baffle...open back. And, if you built back boxes, what would be the optimum internal volume? (You can't guess.) Could you make them air tight, as they'd have to be? What would happen to the bass? Actually, extension would get worse, and there would probably be an annoying bump between 100Hz-200Hz. What acoustical material would you pack the enclosure with? (Foam, batting, fiberglass, etc.?) What crossover changes would you make to try and flatten out the response? A speaker enclosure is not an arbitrary part of the speaker, and making an open-back speaker a sealed unit is like buying a coupe and making it a convertible by cutting the top off."

He does go on to point out as I have indicated earlier: ". . . a few companies make inceiling speakers in engineered enclosures; not back boxes."

For further Scarpelli reading on the topic of in-wall/ceiling speakers: http://www.hometheatermag.com/hookme...ook/index.html

Are speakers that have an engineered acoustic enclosure better than ones that are infinite baffle? I guess that is up to the ear of the beholder. For me, I have heard great examples of both. Many companies make add-on backboxes for their speakers but the purpose is more for eliminating sound bleed to adjacent rooms or for applications where fire-rated enclosures must be used. Indeed, the enclosure for the sub is a must.

For placement, check the Dolby and THX websites which provide some room/system diagrams and recommendations. These are ideals and a guideline to follow but your room's layout and aesthetic considerations may end up taking presedence.

Hope this helps.
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