Multi-purpose HTS room: advice for in-ceiling center+fronts

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Timothée Groleau, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Timothée Groleau

    Timothée Groleau Auditioning

    Sep 4, 2013
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    Hi there!

    So I'm moving in a new home in December, and the living+dining is a rather large open area (yay!). I thought this is finally the time to have a 5.1 HTS with a large screen and all.

    However this is *not* a dedicated HTS room, when not watching a movie, the screen should retract up and become "invisible", and the room becomes a standard living room to entertain guests (coffee table, the works), and possibly use the same 5.1 system to play music.

    The room is large, but not gigantic, and my wife will not allow fat boxed speakers.

    My initial idea is thus to have in-ceiling speakers for all 5 speakers (2 x surround + 2 x front + center). However some sales person have been telling me that without directional speakers for the center and fronts, my setup will not sound nice.

    So I would really appreciate advice to quantify that. Clearly, this setup is a compromise, but how bad would the sound experience be if the center and fronts are in-ceiling? is it going to be so bad that the sound will "feel" that it comes from the ceiling rather than from the screen?

    For extra details, I'm hoping to fit a 120" screen in there, which would nearly cover the whole wall. In that setup, the center+fronts in-ceiling speakers are technically very close to the top edge of the screen. Would that be good enough to give the illusion the sound comes from the screen, even if the sound source is much above ear-level? Oh, and viewing distance will roughly be 3.7 meters.

    I've been advised to put the speakers in-wall instead, behind the screen, at ear-level. My wife however strongly objects to the idea of having the speakers in-wall because of the ugly factor. In her design, when the screen is up, it reveals a full feature-wall cabinet that looks nice. Having 3 in-wall speakers grills visible at all time at eye-level just irks her.

    Another question: I have also considered putting the 2 fronts in-ceiling, and the center speaker below the screen. In that setup, the center speaker faces the viewer, but center would be seated at about 45cm from floor, while fronts will be at 2.4m . Is that a better or worse idea than putting the center speaker in-ceiling as well?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
    HW Reviewer

    Jul 4, 2012
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    Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
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    Why can't you wall mount your speakers?

    In-walls, at least, or something like this...

    In-ceiling front channel is the worst possible placement.

    There are thousands of colors of speaker grill fabric. What color will the walls be? Buy the same color grills. Or buy in-wall speakers with paintable grills to match the wall.

    Or give her some speaker fabric (Jo-Ann's fabric sells it very cheaply) and let her silkscreen whatever she wants over it. Pictures of the kids, your honeymoon pictures...

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