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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, looking for some advice/feedback. I am in the process of building a small home theater. The room is 13' wide by 17' long. The ceiling height is 8'9" except for a small section where there is a soffit which brings the height to 7'11".

The plan is to do a 7.2.4 setup. I will have an acoustically transparent screen with in-wall LCRs behind the screen. The rest of the speakers will also be in-walls.

After doing a ton of research I believe I have narrowed my speaker choices down to Revel and Triad. More specifically here are the speakers I need help choosing between.

Revel
LCR: W990
Surrounds: W783

Triad
LCR: IW Silver/4 LCR
Surrounds: IW Bronze/4

Ignoring cost, can any of you let me know which speakers you think will give me the best sound.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Wow, those are both impeccable choices.

I have Triad in my theater and Revel in my living room.

Not for any sound quality reason, I would lean a little towards Revel because they publish measurement details about their speakers including complete CEA 2034 specs, and Triad does not, and that helps you decide on room treatment with more knowledge of off axis behavior, power sound factors, and so on. With Triad, it will be more of a shot in the dark and trial and error.

On the other hand, Triad has more configuration options. If you need on wall or in ceiling speakers that exactly match the capabilities of your other Triad speakers, Triad has you covered with great options. Revel, on the other hand, does not. They have completely failed to introduce a quality on wall speaker to the market, other than their entry level system which has been discontinued and would be a horrible option in a room your size, anyway. Another ding against Revel: In a small room where the side surrounds or ATMOS speakers are within 4 feet of the listener, Triad offers the option of a BIpole version of all their speakers, as well, which Dolby says is a good idea for smaller rooms to enable adequate dispersion. (On the other hand, Revel have such well documented wide, even, dispersion -- better than Triad -- that the lack of a BIpole offering from Revel may not be a deal breaker, even in a small room.)

That being said, I am a cheapskate, and if you hunt around you can probably find one or the other for half retail on the second hand market, which is nice and I might let that dictate my choice.
 

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One major difference between the Triads and Revels is the integral enclosure with the Triads, and the lack of an integral enclosure with the Revels. This means your wall will become the Revel's enclosure, (unless you build or buy backboxes for them). If your wall is 1/2" drywall, that will be the "baffle" the speaker is built into. Drywall is clearly not the best speaker baffle. Have you ever heard the expression, "paper thin walls"? That expression refers to drywall. Also, the size of the "channel" the speakers are mounted in affects the sound quality. A full height, floor to ceiling channel will have a different effect on the sound than a space below a window, above a door, next to a fireplace, etc., etc., and if those spaces are different, they will affect each speaker differently. Another consideration is whether the channel is filled with insulation or not. Bottom line, there are a number of important variables that are unaccounted for with unenclosed in-walls. Supplying an integral enclosure eliminates all those variables.

Therefore, I would select the Triads over the Revels for this reason alone.

Craig
 

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Yeah, that's a very good point I forgot about. Revel does specify where in a bay to place their speaker for the optimum performance, and that helps, but it is far less predictable than having a defined enclosure. So I agree, that is a big advantage of the Triad.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, that's a very good point I forgot about. Revel does specify where in a bay to place their speaker for the optimum performance, and that helps, but it is far less predictable than having a defined enclosure. So I agree, that is a big advantage of the Triad.
Which Revel and Triads do you have? With respect to the lack of enclosure I was told that the Revel has infinite baffle, but to be honest, I'm not sure what that exactly means. Audio science is outside my comfort zone. The theater room is in the basement that is being finished. So behind the 5/8 drywall is insulation and then concrete.

One (of many) questions/concerns I have is that the room behind the theater room is the unfinished utilities area. If you look at the picturesyou will see that I can access behind the side wall from the utilities room. Does that mean a speaker without a box is even less desirable? The red X is where I plan to put a side speaker. While that wall has insulation, you can see that from the utilities area I can actually reach behind that wall.

3120111


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Revel would be fine if you had a normal wall. They are designed to have a normal closed bay behind them.
But in your case, a backer box is more important than usual. I would definitely follow Craig’s advice and go with Triad.

In the past I had the triad gold LCR. I have had their on wall surrounds. I have had their in ceiling sealed rounds (silver). I have heard fewer Revels but am absolutely a convert. If they had some on wall models in their upper lines I would own some already.

At present I run triad bronze lcr in room up front and in wall for sides and rears.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Revel would be fine if you had a normal wall. They are designed to have a normal closed bay behind them.
But I’m your case, a backer box is more important than usual. I would definitely follow Craig’s advice and go with Triad.

In the last I had the triad gold LCR. I have had their on wall surrounds. I have had their in ceiling sealed rounds (silver).

At present I run the triad bronze lcr in room up front and in wall for sides and rears. It is a great lineup.
Do you think Triad Silver LCR and Bronze surrounds would do the job? A Triad rep suggested Bronze based on the size of my room, but said I could up the LCR to Silver if I wanted something more powerful. Thoughts?
Are the surrounds bipoles?
 

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Silver would give you nice headroom for the LCR. I use Bronze in a similar room but that was because I found a deal. Silver is a sweet spot.

You should ask your dealer what the surrounds are. You are at the size where you could use bipole surrounds or LCR speakers for surrounds. I use LCR for surrounds. Not ideal for people sitting close to them but great for me in the sweet spot!
 

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I look at that utility room behind your theatre and all I can picture is a giant Infinite Baffle subwoofer array...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Silver would give you nice headroom for the LCR. I use Bronze in a similar room but that was because I found a deal. Silver is a sweet spot.

You should ask your dealer what the surrounds are. You are at the size where you could use bipole surrounds or LCR speakers for surrounds. I use LCR for surrounds. Not ideal for people sitting close to them but great for me in the sweet spot!
So you use LCR all the way around. Even in the rear?
 

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I would personally go Triad. Revel has wonderful speakers but Triad has decades of experience building no compromise in wall speakers. The open back nature of Revel’s is enough to sway me away. Not enough resonance control.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would personally go Triad. Revel has wonderful speakers but Triad has decades of experience building no compromise in wall speakers. The open back nature of Revel’s is enough to sway me away. Not enough resonance control.
Thanks for the feedback. For the surrounds (sides/rears) which Triad speakers would you go with?
 

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Yes all seven base level speakers are Bronze LCR in my system. Works well.
That might be something I should consider. It's not in the budge to do seven Silver LCR. What are your thoughts on the front three being Silver LCR and the other four being Bronze LCR? Or should I just do all Bronze? Trying to get the best result for money while also saving a little money.
 

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Purists might say not to mix and match but I think it’s totally fine.

For a while I actually used gold for my front speakers and bronze for surround speakers and it blended well.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. For the surrounds (sides/rears) which Triad speakers would you go with?
I have Silver Surrounds and really like the sound. Bipole is especially great for multiple rows. You’d prob be fine with Bronze Surrounds in a smaller room.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have Silver Surrounds and really like the sound. Bipole is especially great for multiple rows. You’d prob be fine with Bronze Surrounds in a smaller room.
I will have two rows of three seats. The first will be at about 9' back and the second will be at about 16' back (1 foot off the back wall).
 

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Then the BIPOLE surrounds are probably a safer bet for the side surround speakers in particular, and are good for rear surround speakers. LCR speakers would work too but would favor one row versus the other.
 
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