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Good in-wall HT speakers < $1000?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 RichardJ

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Posted July 10 2003 - 03:28 AM

Hey -

I'm trying to help a coworker who is buying some in wall speakers for his den. He is building the room as an addition, so he is prewiring the walls. The custom audio company he has a quote from lists Speakercraft CRS One speakers in all four corners, and a LCR center, for about $900 total (not including labor), plus a Speakercraft X10 sub for $425.

Can anyone recommend anything better in this price range, or give me opinions on this setup? I'm clueless when it comes to in-wall speakers! The usage will be about 50/50 music/HT, powered by a low end receiver (maybe 60-75 watts a channel).

I'd try to talk him into Paradigms and an SVS, but I don't know what would fit in the budget...

Thanks!
Richard

#2 of 6 RichardJ

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Posted July 11 2003 - 12:42 AM

Anyone?

#3 of 6 Kevin Co

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Posted July 11 2003 - 03:07 AM

It's always difficult to get opinions about a particular model of inwall on this forum. I don't think too many of us actually own them. It's even more difficult to find reviews on the web. Anyway, having recently gone through this myself, I'll try to help. The Speakercraft CRS One, if I'm not mistaken, is an in-ceiling speaker (round coaxial design). I can't imagine why your coworker's installer would use these for an inwall application. They also can be had for about $220 a pair with some quick web searches. If it were my $900 to spend on 4 inwalls and a center, I would try to score some Paradigm AMS-250's and a CC-370 off of Ebay. Since my budget was more limited, I ended up with Boston Acoustics 361 inwalls for 180/pr. off Ebay. These are a discontinued model. If your coworker is pressed for time or is leery of buying via auction, their replacement model is the DSI460 and they retail for $450/pr. I also purchased the Boston CRC center channel and a Velodyne VX-10 sub for <$400 total to round out the system. So, my total cost was less than $800 for mains, center and sub. I've had them for about 3 months so far and am extremely pleased with them (especially for the price). Def Tech also makes some decent low cost inwalls. There are a couple things your coworker should know. Inwall speakers tend to be less efficient than conventional speakers (most carry a sensitivity spec of less than 89dB). I would be careful about which receiver I used with them if his room is large or has high ceilings. I have a Yamaha HTR-5560 which is rated @75W per channel and it works fine, but my room is moderately sized (21x12x7.5). Also, a common complaint with inwalls is that they sometimes cause wall resonances which will make the speaker sound lousy. This can be caused by the speaker not firmly grabbing the sheetrock or the sheetrock not being firmly affixed to the wall studs. If he hasn't sheetrocked the room yet, It would be a very good idea to add horizontal bracing between the studs a foot above and below where the speaker will reside. This cavity should then be insulated. I used fiberglass insulation because I wasn't sure if using polyfill in a wall cavity would be a building code violation. Then, when the sheetrock goes up, draw a bead of construction adhesive around the cavities where the speakers are going. This makes kind of a pseudo speaker enclosure. Lastly, use extra drywall screws around the perimeter of the cavity. I did this when I built my room and I haven't had any problems with wall resonances. I hope this helps.

#4 of 6 RichardJ

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Posted July 11 2003 - 07:24 AM

Kevin - you have no idea how much that helps! Thanks a ton!

Richard

#5 of 6 Doug Brewster

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Posted July 13 2003 - 01:42 AM

This is a little out of the budget but the company has a great reputation for sound quality. You didn't mention what he'd be driving the speakers with and these like good electronics, but Harmon Kardon, NAD, Rotel should do fine, as well as higher end Denon.

http://audioc.com/sp...nwall/index.htm

Same company and completely different idea.

http://www.audioc.co...BFlat/bflat.htm

Doug
Turn It UP!

#6 of 6 RichardJ

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Posted July 14 2003 - 05:20 AM

Thanks, Doug, for the suggestions. The first is too far out of the price range to be an option, unfortunately. The receiver driving the system will probably be a Denon, Yamaha, or HK low end model. I figure 70-75 watts into 5 channels is probably a safe bet.

Thanks again,
Richard