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Help me decide on some in wall speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Matthew Todd, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    We had our house wired for inwall speakers when it was built (been in the house 6 months now). I'm looking to put a stereo pair in the great room, a stereo pair in the kitchen, and an in ceiling speaker in the laundry room.

    This is really just for music, no movies. I've got a separate dedicated room for movies [​IMG]

    Anyway, at first I was thinking to put in something out of the Paradigm Reference SA series, but then it seems all the dealers in the area only carry B&W (except one Paradigm dealer). From everything I've read, it seems that they both have great reputations.

    I think I can find a way to listen non critically to the B&Ws (they are mounted in the ceiling at the dealer's showroom), but I don't think there's any way I can listen to the paradigms at the one local dealer. There really is no way to listen to either in a wall configuration similar to how they will finally be installed (unless someone kind nearby would let me come over and listen!)

    Has anyone out there heard both of these lines and what are your impressions? I imagine that I'd probably be happy with either, especially since they will not be for critical listening, mostly just convenience.

    Thanks in advance!

    Matt
     
  2. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    I think B&W in walls sound better but I also think if you are truly after great inwalls then you should be looking at Triad. May be out of your price range but they are definitely incredible. They are good because they come in a specific enclosure. Any in wall speaker without an enclosure will not sound consistent depending on your wall construction as it uses the space in the wall as the resonant cavity and this is variable. Since the triads come in enclosures they are not dependent on the wall cavity.

    Brian
     
  3. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info Brian.

    Looking over the Paradigm Reference website:

    http://www.paradigm.com/Website/Site...SA_series.html

    I noticed these 2 paragraphs regarding their SA series inwalls:

    "Well-designed high-end speakers have solid enclosures. Paradigm® Reference Cascade™ enclosures are incredibly rigid and solid to control unwanted resonances and colorations. By comparison, a wall is flexible which means uncontrolled resonances and higher distortion—bass sounds bloated with poor definition, and midrange neutrality, clarity and imaging all suffer.

    To overcome the wall’s flexibility, Paradigm® Reference
    SA-Series in-wall speakers have a unique one-piece, Ultra-Rigid™ die-cast aluminum or GRIP™ chassis and an Ultra-Rigid™ die-cast aluminum or GRIP™ mounting bracket. Together, they firmly sandwich the wall, stiffen it and greatly increase the wall’s rigidity. Unwanted resonances and distortions are dramatically reduced; any that still remain can then be effectively eliminated with proper installation by a qualified installer."

    Is this talking about a specific enclosure so that the enclosure volume of each speaker is identical, or something else?

    I have heard before that if possible, you should make sure that the enclosure volume of each speaker is identical, otherwise, they will not match as well as they could.

    I wonder if I could at least get them to go in and block off the area around the speaker above and below with 16" lengths of 2x4 to get the enclosure spaces to be roughly the same. What do you think about that?

    Matt
     
  4. JonathanOh

    JonathanOh Agent

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    I listened to the SA-25s and they sounded great (at the dealer's). They were installed just above ear level.

    I am assuming you are going in-wall for aethetic purposes and more for background sound rather than critical listening. If so, I would not sweat over either brand. These are very nice in-walls as in-walls go.
     
  5. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Thanks Jonathan. You're right that it's just for background music, not critical listening. I'm beginning to think also that it probably will not matter much whether I choose the B&W or the Paradigm Reference. I'll probably be happy with either.

    I'll come back and update the thread once I've decided and the installation begins (this could be a little while).

    Matt
     
  6. glenn.arsenault

    glenn.arsenault Stunt Coordinator

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    Matthew Todd
    Have you looked into RBH speakers? They have various in-wall's and have their manufacturing located in Layton, Utah.
     
  7. DanielG

    DanielG Agent

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    While I liked the B&Ws quite a bit, I thought that at 1/2 the price the NHT IW3s were close to if not as good as the B&Ws I liked (about $300 delivered vs. about $650-800 for the B&Ws that I liked). Given, that for non-critical listening (bathroom and masterbedroom rears) it was a no brainer for me to go with the cheaper speakers. I'd suggest giving the NHT in-walls a listen.

    For my living room rears and kitchen, I'm looking in to Triad.

    --Dan
     
  8. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input Glenn and Dan! I will look into these possibilities also.

    Matt
     
  9. glenn.arsenault

    glenn.arsenault Stunt Coordinator

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