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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody, I am building a new house and I really need to save cash. In-wall speakers go for around like $200, but for $100 I can get car 6x9 speakers that sound really good and handle more wattage, so they are probably better than typical in-walls.


Is using car speakers in the walls a better choice than using in-wall speakers? Both should fit fine, any disadvantages to this idea? I think a 300 watt speaker would sound really nice, and since I need a few of them, I can save a few hundred bucks, which is really important to me. But, if this idea is not good and it won't work, please let me know, I wouldn't want to waste money on it.


Thanks alot everyone.


Suke
 

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That thought crossed my mind as well, but it probably won't do too well. Here's my 2 cents.


As I understand it, most home surround receiver/amps are designed to driver speakers with a nominal resistance of 8ohms. Car speakers are generally 2ohms (I think it is due to the lower available DC voltage. I'm guessing here.) and so most home surround reciever/amps aren't capable of supplying enough current to drive 2ohm speakers.


Anyways, if you look around and shop around you can find some good in walls for a good price.
 

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I have a set of focal polykevs in custom enclosures for my computer speakers. AMAZING sound. FYI, car speakers are not generally 2 ohm...most operate at 4 ohms. There i sno problem with your idea...but I would probably avoid using 6x9s and stick with a decent 6.5" round 2 or 3 way unit. Focal's are a bit pricey if saving money is your thing, but pioneer has a decent set of 6.5" component speakers for $160.


Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, thanks for the input guys, I'll check out more on the ohm information and see what I would need to drive the speakers.


I'll check out some 6.5s, but yea focal are incredible, and ofcourse expensive, I may look into alpine, pioneer, or polk.


Any reason on why 6.5 and not 6x9? Should I get the component system or the regular 3 way speakers?


Hopefully I'll install these myself this weekend before the sheetrock is put up, thanks for the help, keep the great advice coming! :)
 

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6x9 speakers do not reproduce sound as well as round speakers due to their oval shaped cone. You get uneven surface area with 6x9 shaped cones, which means uneven sound reproduction. A round speaker will move air evenly all around its surface, thereby not changing the tone or quality of the sound in any way.


I can tell you that component speakers will sound better, and some of them have adjustable crossovers, so you can tune them to your tastes. Since this sounds like a permanent installation, I would go with the component speakers.


You'll need an amp to drive the speakers, and car audio amps are surpisingly high quality these days -- even by HT standards. I use a Rockford Fosgate 550X. Its specs easily rival mid-range AV receivers as far as S/N ratio and distortion goes, and the price-to-quality factor is unbeatable. Slap in a nice preamp and you'll be all set.


Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for replying, I'll go with the round speakers.


Does anyone have any recommendation for the amp? Would a car amp better or would regular home amp be good? I'm just not sure how I would hook a car amp up to my outlet and power it, but a car amp sounds tempting.


Thanks!


Suke
 

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You can connect your amp with a 12V transformer. You just need to make sure that the transformer you use can handle reasonable high current...car amps were designed to run off 12VDC batteries, and batteries can handle high current draws. It may actually be easier to go with a rackmount amplifier from parts express or something.


Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great, thanks for the help Eric, I will seriously look into doing this. This may be going a little overboard but I'm going to see if I can find a big car stereo head unit that looks good (not too much graphics) that has tape player, cd changer, and radio, that way I won't even need a separate stereo system. It would be like a hidden stereo system for the party/bar room that the bartender can control, working w/ the 12V transformer.

I just like the idea of everything being hidden... though, a nice big stereo system would look pretty impressive too.


Suke
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, I did some searching on the net for some things I can use to get my amp to work, here's what I came up with, keep in mind I am trying to save money.


TWO Profile 2-Channel Amplifiers: 100 watts per channel - $80 each
http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.js...rk_0&oid=50276


INFINITY 4 x 6 in. 2-Way Car Speaker: 120 Watt - $90 /pair
http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.js...k_24&oid=20667

I am still deciding whether I should get these or 6.5 circular speakers, because of the comment that they will provide better sound, but these 4x6 also have round speakers.

OR

Infinity Reference 6 ½†Two-Way Speaker: 180 Watts - $90 /pair
http://www.circuitcity.com/frame1.js...ftchildcat.jsp


And finally, to power the amps:

PR 50 Tripplite Inverter: 50 ICS Amps, 40 Continuous Amps, 250 and 300 watt transmitters, VHF/UHF ham radios; commercial/land-mobile 2-way radios; multiple piece radio installations; microwave applications. - $176.00

http://www.poweruptech.com/tripplite_psup.html


I am hoping that one of these can fully power two of the amps. I need two amps because I will have 4 speakers, each will use 100 watts. I can get a 4 channel amp, but its expensive, especially at 100 watts per channel.


This is a total of $516, which is actually still more than my budget. This gets really expensive when it comes to the amps and how to power them, there must be another way to use these car speakers. Any suggestions?


But if my setup theoretically works, then I may just go with it, how does it sound?
 

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Have you checked into Home Theater Direct speakers? They make equipment that seems to be good value for the money, and are quite inexpensive. I think their address is just their name preceeded by a www and followed by a dot com.


[Edit: Yes, that's their address. You could power the speakers with an inexpensive receiver for now, I like the Yamaha HTR-5540 for
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yea it seems like a good price, though will in wall speakers ever get as loud as car speakers? The room I want to put it in will be more like a party/dance hall type room that needs the volume to be high, I'm just afraid of blowing out in-wall speakers, I know car speakers can handle a lot, but I don't have any experience with in-walls.
 

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From what I can tell, speakers specifically designed for inwall use either suck or are really good. Pricing ranges from cheap to really expensive, so your idea to use car speakers is pretty good from a value perspective.


As long as you use high quality speakers that can handle at least 100W RMS, you should not have any problems with volume. I used to work in a car stereo shop with a large warehouse-style store. We had demo units installed at the back of the store for people to see how different HUs and speakers sounded. When amplified by a 65W RMS Kenwood amp, the sound from the 6.5" speakers was enough to fill the whole 16,000 sq.ft store, and they had power to spare.


Car stereos are insanely powerful these days, and the quality of engineering that goes into some of the higher end amps is impeccable. In my pesonal opinion, you really should check out using a set of focal polykevs...if nothing else, they can handle over 200W RMS -- and in my car they do not exhibit any signs of distortion when driving them hard.


Check out the Rockford Fosgate 550X or 750X amplifiers. They are both 4 channel amps capable of being bridged to 2 channels. The 550X can be had for about $150-$170. Check crutchfield.com for detaild specs on these units, and when ready to buy, try ecost.com or just search the web.


Eric
 

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You should still be able drive them with a receiver or home/studio poweramps. The thing is that almost everything is rated for its ability to drive an 8ohm load. Most of your car speaks will be 4ohms, so you basically just halve the wattage output a receiver claims. Also remember that the advertised output is peak, not real over time, so for a cheap surround amp, you're like only going to be able drive 30-50 watts into each channel. Of course, there are lots of expensive home speaks that are rated differently from the standard 8ohms (as low as 2ohms generally), and there are receivers (mostly expensive ones) designed specifically to drive those sorts of loads well, too, for what that's worth.


Anyway, if you've already got a receiver, try picking up a pair of car speaks you like from a place that will let you return them, and try driving them with the gear you have. If you can't get an acceptible volume level out of them with the receiver set to -20dB or less, you'll likely need more power to drive them safely, and it looks like going for car amps and transformers will then be the cheapest way to do that.


Good luck and let us know how it goes.


Kensai
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am thinking about doing this test run with a Pioneer VSX-D411, it has 100 watts per channel, and 5 channels.


Would running a 4 ohm speaker cause any damage to the reciever? The manual says use speakers of 8 ohm to 16 ohm. Thanks.



Suke
 

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Some amplifiers will not run stable with low impedance speakers. You can give it a try, but it may either not work or could damage your amp.


Eric
 

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Im running 2 coaxial car speakers in the wall for my Office TV. Really theres no difference between car speakers and home speakers, except the obvious. The Car speakers are designed to save space, hence the drivers inside of eachother. The customer provides the enclosure/baffle, this mean some special stuff that can be included in the enclosure is sometimes missing (like aluminum baskets, large crossovers, ports). And the 4 ohms instead of 8 ohms. Most home receivers can run car speakers fine, up to reasonably high volumes. The 4 ohm load will trip certain models (of receivers) at extreme volumes, but if your running extreme volumes in a home, you probably shouldnt be running car speakers ANYWAYS :)


The Infinitys are good choices, btw
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I went to Best Buy today and tried out the inwall speakers, one brand they had sounded not so great, the JBLs sounded really great compared to their other brand, they would be great inwall speakers if I didn't get car speakers. What wasn't so great was that they go for $250 a pair.


These speakers were ALMOST comparable to some $99 6 1/2 speakers, not as great as the JBLs, but much better than their other inwall brand, which wasn't so cheap.


I have not checked out infinity yet but I will. I guess I'll take the risk of trying them out on the Pioneer reciever. Would it make any difference if I was to hook up just one speaker rather than four, as in would it do less damage if any damage was possible?


This reciever has shutdown on me in the past, so I am guessing before any damage can occur it would automatically shut down? Thanks!


Suke
 

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I have this very same receiver model, so I am interested in hearing your results. Also, I know you can replace it for about $140 retail now since they've been discontinued, so it won't be a very great loss.


Good luck.


Kensai
 

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If you wire the speakers in series, two per channel, the combined load will be 8 ohm versus a 2 ohm load in parallel. Car amps are designed to handle a 2 ohm load, but most receivers are not.


For each set of speakers (L & R) wire one "+" terminal to the "-" on the other speaker. Then connect the free "+" and "-" terminals to the appropriate amp channel. This will give the amp the load it needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cool Kensai, how do you like it? What speakers have you hooked up to it?


Mike that sounds pretty interesting, I was thinking whether it would be good for the receiver to connect 2 speakers per channel by connecting them in series, I know connecting it in parallel would be bad because of the low ohms.


I just wasn't sure on how to actually connnect them in series. I will try your idea. I was thinking of maybe conncting one speaker to the amp, and connecting the 2nd speaker by putting the wires not in the amp but in the first speaker.


Thanks for you help everyone!


Suke
 
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