Center channel in the ceiling?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Kirk Keene, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Kirk Keene

    Kirk Keene Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I need some help.

    Forgive me if this is an ignorant question.

    I am designing a home theater that will be in a living room (approx 16x22 ft) with a large amount of floor to ceiling windows at each wall on the front and back of the HT.

    To make this HT pass the WAF I need to "keep the living room looking like a living room". I can use drop down screen and projector for hidden video, but what can I do for the sound. She will accept floor fronts and even subs discretely placed, but the center has no where to go behind the screen. How much am I losing by placing the center in the ceiling, and does this mean the fronts should be there too?

    If it can work. How much would I have to spend for it to work. I want this HT to have gorgeous sound with the majority of the audio use in HT vs music only. My back-up is reconfiguring the room in the other direction and not using any ceiling speakers, but the fronts are awkwardly placed 20 ft apart in a short theater length.

    If possible, I am looking for brands to consider (approx cost-mkt), and what it might translate to quality of sound speakers(any typical brand of a certain price range) if I used floor or shelf speakers. My logic being the best ceilings can't beat the purity of sound from floor speakers.

    Hopefully I presented the dilemma okay. I am quite a newbie in terms of this aspect of HT.

    I would like to plan for 7.1 ch system.

    Thanks in advance for all your help,

    Kirk
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    You really don’t want the center channel in the ceiling. The screen isn’t going all the way to the floor, is it? The usual protocol in this situation is to have the center channel under the screen. As far as the WAF for that – well, you’re on you on there. [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Kirk Keene

    Kirk Keene Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks, Maybe I can come up with something the doesn't have it stand out as a speaker.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    There are a number of on wall speakers that will probably work, and won't stand out in the room. There are acoustically transparent screens that you can put the speaker behind.
     
  5. Ron-Ellis

    Ron-Ellis Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kirk,
    I wish this question would have come up last year (I just sold my house in Rocklin). I would have been happy to show you how well this works.

    We ran a pair of Martin Logan Sequels for left and right and a pair of Celestion 3 speakers for the center. Some people say this will not work but it does work very well. Read on and you will see how to make it work. It is just like your left and right channels being toed in to give you a centered image,
    We first tried to run 1 center speaker angled down and the sound did not appear to be coming from the screen so we tried 1 angled up and we got the same results. We then tried 1 speaker above the screen (angled down) and one speaker below the screen (angled up), this was better but still not quite right. In theory by angling the speakers up and down they are converging to a point you pick and your image is centered it should have worked so we continued to try other ways.
    We then used a simple Y connector from our preamp to a 2 channel power amp and ran one channel to the top speaker and one channel to the bottom speaker and VIOLA! It worked a perfect blend. The key to this working is to have an amplifier of reasonable quality driving each center speaker (same make and model speaker and would work even better if all the speakers were identical) with its own channel. A friend of mine is an electronics technician in Sacramento and I think he said it is because of EMF? I know it had something to do with the speakers backfeeding to the amp and I think he said that is why you can't do this with one amp. Try it and you will be surprised. I would think this would also work with an inwall speaker mounted above and one below the screen.
    Ron
     
  6. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1999
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Mark Seaton
    A few companies are making some oviod or other odd shaped in-ceiling speakers which work ok, but the one I used for a similar situation in my parents sun-room/kitchen was the new In-Ceiling speakers from Triad. They are very well made and sound quite good. The key with having suitable performance largely depends on the height vs. distance. Ironically the floor bounce and other reflections in the room actually help this and you find that beyond a certain distance you loose any height localization and you naturally expect it at the screen. With the reasonably long dimensions of your room (about the dimensions of the my parent's sun room) you should be ok depending on the ceiling height. Is it perfect or preferred? No. Can it sound pretty darn good? Yes. Check out www.triadspeakers.com



    Good luck,
     
  7. Pete_M3

    Pete_M3 Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    seems like ceiling speakers are going to give you an odd soundstage. Rather than having the sound and dialogue come from the screen, they will seem to come from above, which seems like it would be very distracting. Unless of course your room is set up like Mark's parent's house.

    How about a short piece of furniture, like a credenza or a low bookcase, where you can stick a center channel along with some High WAF knick-knacks, family photos, etc. If the speaker resides on an interior shelf of such furniture, you will practically not even see it. FLoor standers for L & R duties and you are golden.
     
  8. wnnabepro

    wnnabepro Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Micah
    I know this is a ancient post, but what did you end up doing? I currently have a project coming up (in the planning stages now) where the customer has no place for a center channel except for in the ceiling (they don't want a subwoofer anywhere either....so gonna have to be sending bass to the fronts r/l and maybe the rears). Has anyone tried putting a LCR in the ceiling except closer to the seating area and adjusting the delay to help with dialog and everyone else that is center channel related?
     
  9. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 1999
    Messages:
    17,390
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    I doubt we'll ever find out what he did as he only posted twice 13 years ago.
     
  10. BaconFat

    BaconFat Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Daniel
    wnnabepro, I think if you're a pro installer part of your job should be to give advice to your clients and steer them away from what many would consider a "Bad Idea". Putting the LCR in the ceiling will not deliver a proper audio experience. I would be more inclined to try and get them to consider a high-end sound bar.
     
  11. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,780
    Likes Received:
    549
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    I also agree that ceiling speakers are a huge mistake. Your only alternative is to get wall speakers that will mount inside the wall flush. Depending on the room you might be able to do it for all 5/7 channels. It is sad when your significant other refuses to allow speakers to be seen in the room. Why do some make such a big deal out of it and refuse to be flexible and act like you need there permission? Anyway I hope you have gotten a good amount of information to help you make your decision. If your going to have a projection screen only that rolls up in the ceiling I would place the speakers so all 3 front channels are behind a acoustically transparent screen. The grills on many of these in wall speakers can be painted to match the wall so they blend in very well.
     

Share This Page