AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm building a new home. Due to a compromise with the wife, I'm not getting a dedicated theater room, but we are going to put in a full theater system in our basement common area. Due to the constraints of the room layout, I'll be limited to only in-ceiling speakers.

The room will have a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace on the wall where the TV and screen go. The wife wants a TV to make it easy, I want a screen. So we are putting a 75-85" TV on the stone fireplace above the fireplace insert. Then I'm getting a drop-down screen (120-140") that will be recessed into the ceiling just in front of the fireplace. On each side of the fireplace will be built-in cabinets that are about 4 feet tall. I suppose I could put in-wall speakers in the for the left and right front speakers, but I'll need a ceiling center channel due to the fireplace and the screen blocking any speaker that would mount on the fireplace.

I'm also planning on having a left and right subwoofer, which I'll have to mount in the sidewalls due to the cabinets. The system will be a 7.2.4 layout with in-ceiling speakers handling the side the and rear surround as well as the atmos height speakers. If it matters, I'm going to use a Marantz SR7009 receiver (I already own this). The ceilings will be 10 feet high.

I'm not looking for budget speakers, but I also don't want to go crazy. I'm looking for good bang-for-the-buck. I figured I'd be ok to spend about $2,000-$3,000 for all the speakers.

So, my questions:
- What is recommended for in-ceiling LCR speakers?
- Should I consider angled speakers for the side and rear surround?
- Is it ok to put the left and right front speakers in the ceiling with the center channel? Or will it make a big difference if they are in the wall? (the wife prefers them in the ceiling)
- Is it ok to have two subwoofers mounted in the sidewalls and firing at each other as opposed to at the listener?

If it helps, I've attached a layout of the room.

I'd appreciate any advice I can get! I want to make sure I do this right since I will need to live with it for awhile.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Just do a 7.1 system them.

No reason to do atmos if you can’t separate the layers.

You wouldn’t add more surrounds if they sat next to the mains would you?
By "separate the layers" I assume you mean that with all ceiling speakers all the sound will be coming from above so the Atmos won't be detectable? Is there any way around this? Are there ceiling speakers that can "throw" the sound to make it sound like it's coming from a lower point?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
You probably know this, if not it's worth a little study and research. Humans are very good at triangulating sounds, especially voice and higher frequencies. Accurate Surround sound is recorded, engineered, and dependent on speakers being in specific positions. With all ceiling speakers you will forfeit all precise sound placement and movement that surround sound is designed to provide (a cohesive accurate soundstage that automatically lets our brains associate the sounds as coming from what we see on the display with the aural illusion of extending around us). Also, ceiling mounted fronts cannot provide front soundstage depth or sense of up and down movement. In essence all of your sound is gong to come from above negating the ability to accurately triangulate the engineered surround sounds. When different sound sources cannot be associated with what is being watched many people quickly find it confusing or even unacceptably annoying simply because our brains automatically try and are unable to associate the sounds as coming from what we are watching. Recommend you try this if you currently have a surround sound system....change the wires on your L/C/R so none of the sounds are coming from the correct speakers and see how long it takes you to become completely annoyed. I know it's not exactly the same but it will demonstrate most of my points.

If you absolutely cannot utilize or properly place conventional L/C/R speakers which are the aural anchor of accurate surround sound as it is recorded and engineered, I would highly recommend a high quality soundbar which would at least allow viewers to associate the sounds with what they are watching. It's simple science based on human hearing and perception. Even the best speakers improperly placed cannot reproduce accurate immersive surround sound while 5 mediocre speakers properly placed can provide a spectacular and immersive surround sound system. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,875 Posts
By "separate the layers" I assume you mean that with all ceiling speakers all the sound will be coming from above so the Atmos won't be detectable? Is there any way around this? Are there ceiling speakers that can "throw" the sound to make it sound like it's coming from a lower point?
Not that I know of.

Maybe a new AVR with height virtualization? I don't know whether that supports ceiling speakers, but it may.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
By "separate the layers" I assume you mean that with all ceiling speakers all the sound will be coming from above so the Atmos won't be detectable? Is there any way around this? Are there ceiling speakers that can "throw" the sound to make it sound like it's coming from a lower point?
Yes.
No.
Maybe, depending how much $$$$$ you want to throw at it.
Seriously, a pair of ear buds would be better than an all in-ceiling setup like that, with the added bonus of not costing $$$$$...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,979 Posts
If you absolutely cannot utilize or properly place conventional L/C/R speakers which are the aural anchor of accurate surround sound as it is recorded and engineered, I would highly recommend a high quality soundbar which would at least allow viewers to associate the sounds with what they are watching. It's simple science based on human hearing and perception. Even the best speakers improperly placed cannot reproduce accurate immersive surround sound while 5 mediocre speakers properly placed can provide a spectacular and immersive surround sound system. Good luck
This!

I'd take a decent soundbar over all in-ceilings any day.
@Bphillips921

Or at the very least, do a 3-channel soundbar up front, and use in-ceilings only for your surrounds (forget about Atmos, it will be redundant with in-ceiling surrounds anyhow).

Examples:

* HTD Versa SB3 (free return shipping)

Crutchfield, $10 flat rate return shipping:
* Klipsch G-42 or RP-440D
* KEF HTF8003
* PSB Imagine W3
 
  • Like
Reactions: Joshua Chmiel

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well, this is a bummer, got a good education.

I think I can get my left and right front speakers wall-mounted. If I were able to put a front center channel speaker on the fireplace mantle (and use an acoustically transparent screen) and had the side and rear surround speakers in the ceiling can I still get some decent sound? If I shouldn't bother with Atmos speakers, does anyone suggest what I could use the 8th and 9th channel on my receiver for? Or just leave them disconnected?

What about the subwoofers? If I mount two subwoofers in the sidewalls facing each other will that sound ok? Or do the subs need to fire towards the seating position?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
Well, this is a bummer, got a good education.

I think I can get my left and right front speakers wall-mounted. If I were able to put a front center channel speaker on the fireplace mantle (and use an acoustically transparent screen) and had the side and rear surround speakers in the ceiling can I still get some decent sound? If I shouldn't bother with Atmos speakers, does anyone suggest what I could use the 8th and 9th channel on my receiver for? Or just leave them disconnected?

What about the subwoofers? If I mount two subwoofers in the sidewalls facing each other will that sound ok? Or do the subs need to fire towards the seating position?
You can get away, though not optimal, with a 5.x.2. The FRONT Atmos and RS and LS at say 100-110 degrees can be done in ceiling. Again not ideal but possible.

If using 2 subs a starting point would in opposite room corners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Could I get a decent 7.x.2 setup using front Atmos speakers, front LCR speakers mounted in the wall/on the mantle, 100-110 degree RS and LS speakers and something like the Klipsch 180RPC LCR for the left and right side surround speakers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I think ceiling height and slope are both significant factors of how well an in-ceiling system will work. My $.02: I helped a friend of mine set up their house that was pre-wired for 5.1 (all five in ceiling with dedicated subwoofer pre-out in front corner of room) with 9' flat ceilings. Maintaining decor and aesthetics were priority #1 in this room. These speakers were installed in the first floor of a 2 story house. I went with RSL C34E speakers all around primarily due to their angled woofers and tweeter set up; I figured this arrangement would be beneficial for all channels to help direct sound to the seats in the room. All speakers were angled to the MLP and we used a decent but aesthetically pleasing small sub (Polk HTS-10). While my expectations were quite low, the setup actually really surprised me with how good it sounded while providing high aesthetic value and a very satisfying home theater experience. While there are compromises of course with in ceilings, if I was trying to maintain decor in a room, I wouldn't hesitate using this setup again (with sub upgrade(s) if the room allows).

Regarding alternatives, I wouldn't think LR in wall speakers with an in-ceiling center would be desirable. I'd say keep them all in the same plane, either all in ceiling or as Jon & Zorba recommended, a 3 channel LCR soundbar with in ceiling surrounds. I've never heard a setup like that before to comment, but it's likely a solid option as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,818 Posts
Well, this is a bummer, got a good education.

I think I can get my left and right front speakers wall-mounted. If I were able to put a front center channel speaker on the fireplace mantle (and use an acoustically transparent screen) and had the side and rear surround speakers in the ceiling can I still get some decent sound? If I shouldn't bother with Atmos speakers, does anyone suggest what I could use the 8th and 9th channel on my receiver for? Or just leave them disconnected?

What about the subwoofers? If I mount two subwoofers in the sidewalls facing each other will that sound ok? Or do the subs need to fire towards the seating position?

A standard 5.1 or 7.1 setup can be very gratifying. Don't sweat it too much, think next time around for that Atmos system. ;) Subs though, really need to manually placed and experimented with if at all possible. Obviously not possible with in-wall subs. You may get lucky and they work where you want them, or they may not work so well. They do not necessarily need to fire towards the seating position, but they do need to be properly placed within the space.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Joshua Chmiel

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
Well, this is a bummer, got a good education.

I think I can get my left and right front speakers wall-mounted. If I were able to put a front center channel speaker on the fireplace mantle (and use an acoustically transparent screen) and had the side and rear surround speakers in the ceiling can I still get some decent sound? If I shouldn't bother with Atmos speakers, does anyone suggest what I could use the 8th and 9th channel on my receiver for? Or just leave them disconnected?

What about the subwoofers? If I mount two subwoofers in the sidewalls facing each other will that sound ok? Or do the subs need to fire towards the seating position?
Most AVRs will detect what is connected and que you to your amp assignment options manually. In other words don't worry about unused or unassigned channel amps, your AVR may or may not reassign or use undesignated/unconnected amps but it won't be a problem.

If you google "subwoofer placement" you can find enough information to make your eyes bleed and your head hurt. lol It ranges from "for dummies" to extremely technical but sort though it for some stuff at your level of understanding. Subs do not need to fire towards the seating but they do need to be placed for the best gain and widest frequency response in any given room. Generally, the best location for two subs in a rectangular room is one in a front soundstage corner and the other in the opposite rear corner. A popular but less sonically effective positioning is two on the front soundstage each centered at 1/4 the wall width as long as there is enough space between them so they don't couple (act as a single unit). Again, and generally speaking about a rectangular room, two subs facing each other on opposite walls at 1/3 the length of the wall is the second best location sonically(I use this positioning for the system in my billiards room and it actually measures better than opposite corners). You're on the right track with your questions, be patient and enjoy the thrill of the chase. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
^^^
I use a product with a 30 degree angle. Folks like the result.
Would you mind sharing the 30 degree speakers that you use? I'm thinking I'll find a way to do wall mount front LCR and find some angled ceiling speakers for the side and rear surround speakers.

A popular but less sonically effective positioning is two on the front soundstage each centered at 1/4 the wall width as long as there is enough space between them so they don't couple (act as a single unit). Again, and generally speaking about a rectangular room, two subs facing each other on opposite walls at 1/3 the length of the wall is the second best location sonically(I use this positioning for the system in my billiards room and it actually measures better than opposite corners).
Can you clarify what you mean with "centered at 1/4 the wall width" and "at 1/3 the length of the wall"?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
GE has wall mounted products too. The series is called the SuperSat. That said if you can do in walls the SPS inwall is better that the SuperSat60 for just touch more cash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,979 Posts
I think I can get my left and right front speakers wall-mounted. If I were able to put a front center channel speaker on the fireplace mantle (and use an acoustically transparent screen) and had the side and rear surround speakers in the ceiling can I still get some decent sound?

If I shouldn't bother with Atmos speakers, does anyone suggest what I could use the 8th and 9th channel on my receiver for? Or just leave them disconnected?

What about the subwoofers? If I mount two subwoofers in the sidewalls facing each other will that sound ok? Or do the subs need to fire towards the seating position?
Yes, a full sized (woofers no smaller than 5.25") center on the mantle, tilted downwards so that the tweeter aims at ear level where you sit, with wall-mounted FL/FR speakers, would be near-ideal. (If you live in a warm climate where the fireplace is never used, another option is to use a center speaker stand in front of the fireplace.)

If the Marantz 7009 is still returnable, I'd return it and get a 7 channel receiver, that would put up to $500 back in your pocket which would be much better spent elsewhere. If not, I guess you could use the extra 2 channels to run a Zone B second room stereo setup elsewhere in your house, if you're willing to run long wires.

Subs are omnidirectional so where they point isn't that important, but I would avoid having them point AT each other, since that would probably result in some cancellation of frequencies (just a wild guess, I may be wrong). Usually when running dual subs, having them at diagonally opposite corners of the room is most recommended. I'd just use plain old box subs and not bother stuffing them inside walls, unless you are in a truly cramped space. You can always disguise subs as plant and/or lamp stands if you need to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JonfromCB
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top