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Advise Please - Difficult Room to Add Surrond Sound with just In-Ceiling Speakers


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 Brian Mansure

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Posted December 27 2004 - 07:07 AM

Well it's a large size room IMO at about 20X25 with sloped cathedral-type ceiling and open floor plan.

My father asked me to help him install surround sound in this room with two requirements...
It has to be pretty cheap to do and only in-wall or in-ceiling speakers will do.

My main concern is... I have to use in-ceiling speakers for the front sound stage for aesthetic reasons and I'm not sure that's going to sound to good.

I've made a quick graphic to help illustrate the room layout. Posted Image

The back of the room does have a partial wall that comes down from the ceiling so I could place in-wall speakers there but that would be for the back surround speakers.

My many questions begin here:

Can I closely reproduce a decent surround sound stage given the limitations I listed above?

If not, do you think there still would be much improved audio presence with say, 4 in-ceiling speakers in such a room?

Will I be able to compensate acoustically with the right front in-ceiling speaker being 12 feet up as compared to the right front speaker being 22 feet up?
(The receiver will have individual speaker delay adjustments)

I'm looking at the Audio Source in-wall/ceiling speakers from Best Buy, any experiences with these?

I appreciate any opinions and suggestions.

Thanks,
Brian

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#2 of 9 Brad E

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Posted December 28 2004 - 12:14 AM

Quote:
Will I be able to compensate acoustically with the right front in-ceiling speaker being 12 feet up as compared to the right front speaker being 22 feet up?


I'm just trying to imagine what it would sound like based on the fact that they would be placed so high. Not to mention that there will be a 10' height difference between the two. Also, I'm assuming that they will have to be pointed straight down at the floor below.

If you could put everything in-wall that would be way closer to ideal. Otherwise I wouldn't even bother.

#3 of 9 Brian Mansure

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Posted December 28 2004 - 04:09 AM

Thanks for the reply Brad.

I agree by the way. Trying to imagine what the speakers will sound like is tough.

I guess I could hold them in place temporarily somehow and give them a listen before cutting holes into drywall. We will be using scaffolding to install the high speakers so it's not like one of us will be on a ladder 20 feet up.

How about if I just put 2 speakers in the back wall?

Now if they are the only speakers though, wouldn't all sound coming from the back wall of the listening/viewing position sound funky?

I know without traditional speakers in this room, true surround sound will not be achieved but maybe just filling the room with good audio for them while watching TV or playing music on the stereo will be nice.

Any more ideas, brainstorming or comments are welcomed.

Thanks again,
Brian

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#4 of 9 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted December 28 2004 - 04:12 AM

I’ll second Brad’s recommendation. In-wall is the way to fly here, especially for the front speakers. With the in-ceiling rears wouldn’t be so bad, especially if they could be mounted above or slightly behind the seats, except for the difference in height. The problem is the vastly difference in dispersion you will get between the two, and I don’t imagine they’ll image well at all with one being much higher than the other. I doubt the higher one will be heard well at all.

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Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#5 of 9 Brian Mansure

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Posted December 28 2004 - 06:34 AM

Thanks Wayne for the reply.

I know you guys are right.
Unfortunetly my mother has given strict orders to my father and I not to install any speaker (in-wall or other wise) on her front wall. I have tried to convince her that properly installed in-wall speakers can be painted and are virtually undetectable without any luck.

I want to do this for my parents and my father would really like souround sound after being impressed with my moderate HT setup but it doesn't look like we're going to reach a comprimise with the speaker situation.

I don't want to do through a whole bunch of work and expense if it isn't going to at least sound good.

Thanks again and keep replying if you have any more suggestions or comments.

Brian

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#6 of 9 Brad E

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Posted December 28 2004 - 07:15 AM

Ok here is possibly a first in the history of this forum.
How about a set of discreet Bose speakers? Women seem to really like the look and style of those.
If not Bose, maybe another small satellite from a different manufacture.
This would probably sound a lot better than placing speakers 22' high.

#7 of 9 Brian Mansure

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Posted December 28 2004 - 07:28 AM

Once again Brad, we agree.
I knew it would be hard to convince her with bookshelf sized speakers but maybe I can sway her with smallish satellite speakers.
I'm going to give that a try before I go through all the trouble installing the in-ceiling speakers.

One last idea did occur to me with using the in-ceiling approach...

Maybe instead of placing a pair of speakers in L/R positions, I could place them in a direct line from the middle of the viewing/listening position. So the speakers would both be in a line at the same height and spread out evenly between the TV and the main seating area.

I know, I know, I should give up the idea of in-ceiling speakers in such a room. I just know what my parents are going to say so trying to come up with options for them.

Thanks once more for the replies fellas.

Brian

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#8 of 9 Lito

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Posted December 28 2004 - 03:18 PM

if you had a lot of money, the theil powerpoints might work on the
ceiling since they mount on the ceiling and have pointable tweeters.

i was actually pretty surprised by how big they were...

#9 of 9 Brian Mansure

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Posted December 29 2004 - 03:53 AM

Thanks Lito.

Unfortunately the budget on this project is pretty small so they won't be an option but I appreciate your reply.

I went over last night the the house and so far we now all agree that no speakers will be installed in the ceiling. Just doesn't make much sense for a lot of work and not a lot of sound quality in return.

We ordered 4 Audio Source IS8c speakers from Amazon and at the very least this Saturday we'll run the speaker wire.
2 of the speakers will be installed in the back wall and they still want to use the TV's speakers for the front. The other 2 speakers may or may not be installed on the far right side wall. I don't think it will sound right if the audio which normally comes from the L/R/C front of the viewing/listening position will be coming at you all from the right-side of the room. I believe music will be acceptable like this but movies and other TV programming with discrete channel recordings will probably be difficult to listen to with this type of speaker placement. The HK receiver does have 5-channel stereo sound processing which may sound okay for all listening but I'm just not sure.

Oh well, I'm not going to give up on using the front wall just yet... I showed my mother the in-wall speakers and the fact that the entire trim and grille can be painted and she was surprised. Maybe once we show her how nice and un-obtrusive the rear speakers are she'll agree to use the front wall.

Brian

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