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Advice on Surround Speakers (1 Viewer)


Jun 15, 2008
Real Name
Andrew Bradshaw
Hi all,
I am in the process of building my first real surround setup. I would love some advice on speaker purchases and placement. I am in a 10' x 25' room, sitting 7' away from a 42" 1080p sony. The ceiling is 12' tall and has a vault in which the previous owners installed in-wall speakers (they took those with them of course so just the grills remain). After purchasing the TV, I have a budget of $1500 for a 5.1 system including receiver (I have been looking at the Onkyo 575 and 605). This system will be mainly for movies and music. So, my questions are:

1) Should I make use of the in-wall holes? They are pretty spread out and I'm worried about them being too far from the source.
2) Any advice on speaker brands in this price range?
3) Any advice on a receiver in the price range?
4) I have a opportunity to pick up a KEF PSW2500 sub and Q6c center for around $100 for both. Any opinions on these speakers?

Thanks in advance!

Tom Donaghue

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 18, 2005
If the in-wall cutouts are properly placed for your listening area and the sound level is properly balanced when the speakers are installed and hooked up, then the distance shouldn't be an issue. It may help if you provide the current location of the cutouts in correlation to your listening area along with measurements.

While in-wall speakers have a high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) and have somewhat of a cool factor for some, they don't necessarily provide the best performance unless you're willing to spend a bit. Even then, a comparably priced bookshelf/tower will typically outperform them, so if you have the room, I would suggest bookshelf or tower speakers instead.

There are lots of options in your price range for a good receiver and 5.1 setup, so deciding whether you're going with in-walls or not might help narrow things down. The Onkyo 605 should perform well for the money. You may want to also consider the Yamaha RX-V663, it's got an excellent feature set and performance for the money also.

The KEF PSW2500 is a good looking sub and would be a steal at that price considering on sale they're selling for $400, however understand that it's not going to have a very deep low end as it's sealed with a 10" woofer and it's only rated down to 33Hz. For only $100 for the sub and Q6c center, that's a bargain if you like the KEF sound signature. You'll want to find a pair of KEF mains that will match the Q6c's timbre, so consider this if you do go this route. Timbre matching surrounds is far less critical unless you're doing multichannel music listening, which it doesn't sound like and even if you were, I haven't found it to be terribly obvious when using a different brand or model for surrounds. -TD

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