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Ceiling speakers and Rear in wall speakers with center (1 Viewer)

PCRIDE

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Hi, I stumbled across this forum and was hoping to get some general advice on this set up.

I have a basement family room I want to install some ceiling and in wall speakers. The goal is to have everything hidden, no free standing speakers and on a budget.

The set up I'd go for is something like these polk 8" ceiling and wall speakers, and I would have a sub behind the couch (wireless with a sound bar), - sound bar as a center speaker, as well as acting as the front left and right speakers. The ceiling speakers would be positioned on the left and right of the couch, slightly in front of the couch. The in wall speakers would be ear level behind the couch.

Would this be a good set up? The room is rectangle and I'll be using the short side of the shape, right in the center. The room width is 10', all speakers I'll be able to get equal distance of 60" (5 Feet).

Questions I'm not sure if

  1. Will the sound bar be sufficient to provide center, front left and right
  2. Will the in wall rear speakers be ok pointing straight out from the back wall, or would you suggest angling them in (i'd build a custom wood box that angles them in slightly, this will go against my design of keeping everything hidden and discrete.
    • The speakers have adjustable directional tweeters
  3. Having the speakers in the ceiling (using the directional tweeters) will this be ok pointing straight down?
  4. Will 16g wire be ok (only running 20 -40 foot max per speaker
    • Polk Audio RC80i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 8"
    • Polk Audio RC85i 2-way Premium In-Wall 8"
    • 89 DB per speaker, 20-100 wrms , 8 ohm
    • I'll buy a basic receiver for about $250
    • Decent $200 sound bar w/wireless sub
See attachment for diagram
s!AsvXoUD3K0eHgQndgLV1bjMdMeE0
 

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Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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AV receivers and traditional soundbars and are two mutually exclusive means of providing a central hub for an A/V system. You can’t use them together.

If you have a receiver, you could use a passive sound bar. It would have three pairs of speaker connections and would connect with speaker wire the same way traditional left, right and center speakers would. That would be “sufficient to provide” the front three channels, but it will not get the separation that you would get with free standing L/R speakers spread further apart.

Other than that, your ceiling and rear speaker proposals sound fine. However, there is no reason to use the ceiling speakers unless you’re doing an Atmos system.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

JohnRice

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As Wayne pointed out, sound bars are designed specifically to be used instead of a receiver, never with a receiver. Except the rare passive models. Certainly not ones that have wireless subs. I suspect you'll want to resist my feedback, but here it is all the same. The surround speakers should be on the side walls, at about the seating point. Not on the wall behind. Honestly, rear wall speakers really only work when the seating position is significantly away from the rear wall, and then only in addition to the side surround speakers in a 7.1 system. Also, as Wayne already said, you would only have the in-ceiling speakers for an Atmos system, in which case, your location is pretty much correct. I would not put the sub behind the couch. Distribution around the room will be awful, so some people will get excessive boominess while others won't hear it at all. A corner in the front of the room is best. You said you want an invisible system. The fact is, you can have good or you can have invisible. You can't have both. Then the sound bar, no need for me to repeat Wayne again. A passive sound bar can work, with the negatives he mentioned. Of, you can use in-wall speakers there too.
 

PCRIDE

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Thanks for the responses, that makes sense about the center sound bar, hence is why they make a center speaker for the receiver. What if I moved the in ceiling speakers up towards the front, acting as the front left and right, then I do a true center speaker, built into the fireplace facade. Use a SUB in the front as suggested, and bag the rear speakers?

I'm looking to get "somewhat" of a theater room, or just better than maybe a sound bar and one that gives a bit more dynamic and bass effects.

Those polk audio speakers have an aim'able tweeter if that helps direct any of the high range. I don't have any place to put speakers in the front other than the ceiling, unless I made the fireplace facade thicker, and I don't really want to do that, but it may not hurt if I can get thin profile in-wall speakers.

Any advantage of adding the atmos speakers ? Seems fairly exclusive to DVD's with the label and not even sure if streaming media would benefit from it.
 

JohnRice

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You'd be better off using a passive sound bar than having the L/R speakers in the ceiling, IMO. Having the Atmos speakers, I think, would have a real benefit. They aren't exclusively for Atmos soundtracks, since any compatible receiver will process an ambience channel for them. In rooms with limited space, it can really be an improvement.
 

PCRIDE

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I measured again and I get 84" if I position the ceiling speakers out further, aimed in , that would give me 84" to the center speaker as well from sitting on the couch, leaving about 1 ft away from the wall. The ceiling speakers would be 90" apart, almost forming a perfect triangle to the center speaker. I feel the spacing is far enough apart that the ceiling speakers would really provide the left and right channels to deliver that dynamic effect. I'm considering this center speaker, its a passive 2 way speaker for the center. Would I want that?
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/klipsc...channel-speaker-black/6240509.p?skuId=6240509


I'll run wire for rear speakers in the future but just a plate on the wall to accept some banana plugs, I'm envisioning some slim tower speakers that may work, or some decent book shelf speakers to sit on the end tables.
 

JohnRice

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It isn't at all necessary to get the speakers equally spaced from the viewing area. Wherever you got that was dead wrong.

And in-ceiling fronts are just a bad idea. Sound will constantly bounce up and down as it pans from one side, to the center, to the other side. Your front three really should be as close to the same height, and as close to the vertical center of the screen as possible. Not in the ceiling.

And you want the speakers as closely matched as possible, especially the front three. Do NOT mix Polk and Klipsch. They sound nothing alike.

You're going to outsmart yourself into a bad system, that seems really clever, but doesn't work right.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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If you aren’t going to do Atmos, ditch the ceiling speakers. Ceiling speakers at the front of the room as main L/R – I mean, how can you expect speakers to sound good when you are sitting virtually 90-degrees off axis from them? Go to a department store and listen to the way the ceiling speakers sound when you’re directly under them vs. 15-20 ft. away.

And John is right, rear speakers that close to the seating isn’t going to work well (sorry I missed that). Move them to the sides.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

PCRIDE

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Thanks a ton for the good info both of you. I watched a few videos and they said having the speakers equal distance will make sure the sound "arrives" at the same time, reducing any echo effect and the "magic triangle" for the center and fronts.

So just adding a good quality passive center speaker and maybe some slim towers on the side rear (end tables pointing inwards) would be better than one sound bar with a decent receiver?
 

JohnRice

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I watched a few videos and they said having the speakers equal distance will make sure the sound "arrives" at the same time, reducing any echo effect and the "magic triangle" for the center and fronts.
Well, I don't know what those video were, but they must be extremely out of date. Any current surround receiver I know of has speaker calibration (both manual and auto) with distance settings, which corrects the timing of every speaker, down to the millisecond, so sound arrives at the main viewing location at the correct time. A room that small would never have any echo anyway. I don't know what the magic triangle is. I wouldn't use towers for the surrounds. You actually want them as far away from the viewing position as possible in a small room. So, on or in the side walls.
 

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