Getting a house prewired for HT

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Sebastian, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Sebastian

    Sebastian Second Unit

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    I was wondering what everyone thinks about speaker placement for the surrounds. I may be buying a new house and will be getting it prewired for HT. Is it wise (acceptable) to get ceiling speakers for the surrounds? It will be a flat 10' Ceiling. Thinking maybe that I should get the side surrounds/rear/rear center channel prewired in the ceiling? Or should I get the rear surrounds wired around the base boards so I can install a standard speaker?
    Any advise would be appreciated.
    My wife prefers ceiling speakers.
    Thanks.
     
  2. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    I would try to avoid ceiling surrounds. It is OK for distributed audio, but offers poor sonics and effect ambiance for digital surround sound. You could have them prewire the ceilings, and back wall. If you used a third outlet height, banana plate location for surrounds you will need stands to raise the sound three feet above your head for proper enveloping effects. If I were you I would wire for side and back surrounds. 7.1 is worth it. They do sell speakers that look like pictures if you go non-ceiling install.
     
  3. Sebastian

    Sebastian Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input, The side surrounds, I can only wire in the ceiling because one side will be open to the Kitchen (no wall). So for the rear surrounds and center, you recommend having them prewired in the back wall using in-wall speakers so they are facing the TV? as opoposed to ceiling speakers that would face down at the listener?

    So, if a standard speaker is unacceptable for the wife, the next best choice would be to pre-wire the rear surrounds in-walls 3 feet above my head instead of using ceiling speakers?
    I know in-walls and ceilings speakers are the same for the most part just trying to clarify.
    Thanks
     
  4. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Sebastian, There are a few problems with in-wall speakers in general, but more problems with in-ceiling speakers. When a speaker is installed in the ceiling it lifts the height of the speaker's sound greater than all the other speakers. This smears surround effects in a bad way and is rarely recommended.
    Another problem with in-ceiling speakers is they point sound to listeners. Un-like main speakers, it is not desirable to "point" surround speakers at your listening position.
    I understand your room placement issues, and pleasing the wife, (I mounted eight enclosed speakers in-wall, two 15" subs in-wall and another sub in the sweet spot sofa and she is weary, weary happy now). Before people came in and thought it was a commercial theater! Speakers everywhere. I lost a little articulateness and gain more bass output, but it is all stealthed now.
    Anyway, at prewire phase you have it made. It is much easier to decide speaker location now, then running flex-bits, glow rods and toners to retro it. If you do it all yourself and have questions, email me. [email protected]
    For you "sides" (in-ceiling speakers) you could get the type that let you aim you tweeters. You could use a digital time delay on them to tame them as well.
    For you rear surrounds you could use the speakers that look like picture frames, or use false trees to further stealth them. But, yes in-wall and aim your rears straight across the room will give you best sonics.
    This Dolby link shows preferred and alternate speaker placement.
    http://www.dolby.com/ht/Guide.HomeTh...0110.html#s3.2
     
  5. Sebastian

    Sebastian Second Unit

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    Thanks Scott for the tips.
    Yeah, the standard speakers for the surrounds are out of the question (WAF). I will not have the option to do the runs myself, I am forced to have the builder do it. I guess for now, I am planning on having the surrounds mounted on the wall behind the couch 3' above my head using in-walls. The sides I will probably have to go with them in ceiling. I do not own a 7.1 receiver yet (only 5.1) but I like to plan ahead. For the in-walls, I will buy the kind with swivel mount tweeters.
    The 3' rule is that tweeter height or driver height?
    I am looking at couple of different models now, so when we fianlly decide on what house to buy, I will e-mail you with with some questions. If that is okay with you?

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.[​IMG]
     

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