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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I did a little bit of searching before posting, but this is kind of a last minute thing as we need a general plan to be in place this weekend (to run cables and such), so I figured I'd defer to you guys. Sorry in advance!

An old friend of mine came to me yesterday asking about some home theater options, and while we have some of the things figured out, I'm not 100% sure on what the best way to do speaker placement. My condo is very open, and I don't have really any WAF, so I can just put stuff wherever. The attached picture is what they're currently building, so all walls can be played with without issue (as far as cabling and speakers, not as far as moving walls).

This project needs a high amount of WAF, so I was thinking the most acceptable solution is In-walls. I know they've gotten better recently, and we've been taking a look at the in-walls from Paradigm, but open to options (looks like they have inwall subs now? Anyone used those?). Budget for Speakers + Receiver is roughly 3k, can be expanded if needed but cheaper the better is obviously desired.

The room in question is attached, it specifically is the Family Room on the far right. TV will go inside of the built-ins on the south wall (south from looking at the picture, not true south). We could do bookshelves for the the front LCR's as a possibility and put them inside of the builtin bookshelves. The rears, I'm not as sure on. The receiver were looking at is the Denon AVR-S910W, so 7.2 or 5.1.2.

Some options we were thinking of for placement:

2 side speakers placed on the back wall but in the corners, maybe with one of the angled speakers, like the Paradigm CI Home H65-A? Not sure if thats a proper use-case for this. Then two more rear speakers along the back wall.

Could also do 2 speakers on the back and 2 in the ceiling, but I'm not sure how that would sound with this size of a room. Anyone that has used the ceiling speakers either for rears/sides or heights be able to chime in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Anyone with in-wall experience able to shed some light on this? If this was a standard build I think it'd be pretty straightforward, but my experience with in-wall solutions is basically nil.

Thanks in advance, I appreciate it.
 

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Google "Dolby speaker placement recommendations". That will give you the general outlines of what you should do. That said, without the actual speakers in hand, you may find that the placement you chose is less than ideal. This is because each room is different and the speakers you select may benefit from a slightly different placement to perform their best. Experimenting with the placement before cutting the holes in the walls/ceiling is always the best approach to be sure you are getting the most from your speakers.

That said, I would ask you to re-think the whole in-wall concept. You will get much better sound for your money by going with conventional speakers. Floor standing, bookshelf, or even on-wall speakers will give you a much better experience (for the same money), for no other reason than they allow you to modify their position to get the most from your investment. This is especially true of subwoofers, whose placement is extremely critical to getting the most even response in the room. Not to mention the cost, maybe 3 or 4 times the money for similar quality.

However, if you are tied to the in-wall concept, be sure to leave a lot of slack (10 ft) in the pre-wiring, to allow you to modify the speaker positions when you actually install. Speaker wire is cheap, and you will thank me when you decide that the originally chosen speaker positions are not really working out in practice. If you pre-wire for sub(s), do both speaker wire and low level cables (and leave even more slack in these)!

The best solution for you may be to compromise with on-wall speakers. There are lots of good ones, Paradigm, PSB, Totem, Triad, Def Tech, Golden Ear ... to name a few options.

Lastly, the task of planning for an in-wall system is not something that should be taken on at the last minute. There are a lot of things to be considered if you want it to be successful. Take a look at the home theater build forum here on AVS for some experiences with this same sort of project. Or better yet, post there and get the real scoop from the folks who have done it already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Google "Dolby speaker placement recommendations". That will give you the general outlines of what you should do. That said, without the actual speakers in hand, you may find that the placement you chose is less than ideal. This is because each room is different and the speakers you select may benefit from a slightly different placement to perform their best. Experimenting with the placement before cutting the holes in the walls/ceiling is always the best approach to be sure you are getting the most from your speakers.

That said, I would ask you to re-think the whole in-wall concept. You will get much better sound for your money by going with conventional speakers. Floor standing, bookshelf, or even on-wall speakers will give you a much better experience (for the same money), for no other reason than they allow you to modify their position to get the most from your investment. This is especially true of subwoofers, whose placement is extremely critical to getting the most even response in the room. Not to mention the cost, maybe 3 or 4 times the money for similar quality.

However, if you are tied to the in-wall concept, be sure to leave a lot of slack (10 ft) in the pre-wiring, to allow you to modify the speaker positions when you actually install. Speaker wire is cheap, and you will thank me when you decide that the originally chosen speaker positions are not really working out in practice. If you pre-wire for sub(s), do both speaker wire and low level cables (and leave even more slack in these)!

The best solution for you may be to compromise with on-wall speakers. There a lots of good ones, Paradigm, PSB, Totem, Triad, Def Tech, Golden Ear ... to name a few options.

Lastly, the task of planning for an in-wall system is not something that should be taken on at the last minute. There are a lot of things to be considered if you want it to be successful. Take a look at the home theater build forum here on AVS for some experiences with this same sort of project.
Hey RayGuy, thanks for the response. Yeah, I agree with trying to not go with in-walls...thats a conversation for him and his wife, to see if shes up for it. I'll see what he thinks. Thanks for the insight.
 
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