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Need advice on surround sound on new construction house (1 Viewer)

Curry

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I’m building a house and wanting to have a custom surround sound system built into the ceilings and walls. Any advice on receivers, speakers, and ceiling subs? I don’t really want the sub in the wall or standing by itself. I have a 75” sony tv for the living room. The room is 20’x20’ roughly. But it is open completely to the kitchen. I’m new to all of this. I want something that will sync to the patio tv and patio speakers. My budget is probably around $4,000
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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I can’t say I’ve ever heard of anyone using in-ceiling subwoofers, so you’ll be breaking new ground there.

The complexity of your system increases exponentially with the patio set-up. Your best bet would be to consult with a whole-house specialist like Home Theater Direct.

https://www.htd.com/

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Curry

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I can’t say I’ve ever heard of anyone using in-ceiling subwoofers, so you’ll be breaking new ground there.

The complexity of your system increases exponentially with the patio set-up. Your best bet would be to consult with a whole-house specialist like Home Theater Direct.

https://www.htd.com/

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

yes this “in ceiling” sub was a new thing to me as well. But when I talked to the audio place in town they told me about it. And yea I figured I will just get someone to design and install it.
 

JohnRice

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I’ll say what I suspect Wayne is hedging on. It sounds like a bad idea.
 
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John Dirk

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My budget is probably around $4,000

Welcome. I wouldn't suggest such a setup unless you're willing to seriously compromise on either performance or aesthetics. You mentioned two things in your original post which are incompatible with your stated budget.

  1. Building a house. Trust me on this one. Spend more at this stage because it will be exponentially more expensive [and difficult if you're a DIY guy like me] to do it later.
  2. "Custom." Respectfully, when it comes to Home Theater, you don't get any flavor of custom for $4000.00.
Also, the whole idea of an in-ceiling sub sounds like snake oil to me. In my brief research I only see either very low powered or passive options. Even with a high powered ceiling sub [if they even existed] you would need to be concerned about it's effect's on your upstairs or downstairs levels. My floor standing sub has caught the attention of my neighbor on many occasions.

The sub design would also be a major concern for me as a subs "cabinet" has a huge effect on overall sounds quality.

In summary, I would approach this decision carefully.
 
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PCRIDE

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Let me try to give suggestions based on your post like you asked. Seems previous posts simply ignored or didn’t bother


$4000 budget would barely cover the wiring you’ll need installed in the walls, let alone all the components will be a few thousand dollars for basic equipment. You’ll probably want a structured media closet to house all your components in.

I would suggest a 7.2 receiver system that has network capabilities along with airplay and Bluetooth. Options for streaming to the patio are endless.
You could do a simple Sonus system tied into the main system to amplify it or the wireless speakers. Other option would be using “zone 2” on a receiver but this seems limited based on if you are doing a 5.1 or 7.1 system.
Honestly an in wall sub is not a bad idea, just like in wall speakers. You can paint the grills and get them to match the wall. You can also do a speaker mesh that looks like a painting. I’ve seen these somewhere and they are essentially poster size or any size really pictures screen printed on a speaker mesh material which allows all the sound through but gives you a hidden in wall speaker. You could probably easily make them your self.
 

PCRIDE

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Isn’t an inwall sub no different than installed in the ceiling? Setting aside the direction the speaker is pointing shouldn’t it work? I would imagine the sub wound need to be installed above you in the middle of the room
 

JohnRice

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I would imagine the sub wound need to be installed above you in the middle of the room
Actually, installing a subwoofer in the middle of the ceiling would be a standing wave disaster.

This stuff isn't necessarily that simple. Often, suggestions can create a handful of new problems.
 

PCRIDE

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Lots of ambiguity here... maybe you can elaborate... a disastrous wave...
I see lots of comments from seasoned forum users that it won’t work, disaster, looking to chaos if you do that. Easy to critique but when comments aren’t backed up with any suggestion on WHAT to do, that chaps my hide.

In a typical set up the sub is set in the front of the room on the left or right side. Take this same positioning and move it into the ceiling. It’s no longer pointed at you and not near ear level. Sounds like putting a sub in a ceiling is uncharted territory. Install it, see how it sounds then decide
 

JohnRice

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You never want a subwoofer located equal distance from two walls, since the sound waves tend to alternately defeat and amplify each other at different frequencies. Generally, a subwoofer should be located where there is a great difference in distance from each wall. Or, sometimes it is placed extremely close to two walls (in a corner) which is called "corner loading" since that distance is too short for standing waves to be produced, but that doesn't work well in a square room. So, in the center of a room is probably the single worst place a subwoofer could ever be located, since it could be roughly equal distance from all walls.
 

John Dirk

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Let me try to give suggestions based on your post like you asked. Seems previous posts simply ignored or didn’t bother
We did offer suggestions. Mine are repeated below.

  • Building a house. Trust me on this one. Spend more at this stage because it will be exponentially more expensive [and difficult if you're a DIY guy like me] to do it later.
  • "Custom." Respectfully, when it comes to Home Theater, you don't get any flavor of custom for $4000.00.
I see lots of comments from seasoned forum users that it won’t work, disaster, looking to chaos if you do that. Easy to critique but when comments aren’t backed up with any suggestion on WHAT to do, that chaps my hide.

@Curry asked the Forum for thoughts BEFORE this plan was implemented. A critique would generally only apply afterwards. As "seasoned forum users" we did our best to help. It's fine for you to disagree but maybe there was a less confrontational way to do so.
 

PCRIDE

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I’ve experienced a sub positioned in a corner and it appears there is more bass than when I placed it 3 feet from one wall, 6 feet from the other wall. Same exact set up I put in an alcove where a floor TV use to be, it essentially creates a box around the sub, and the bass was 10x better And more punchy vs when I set it outside the alcove sounded drowned out and didn’t seem the base was even working. I suppose there is the scientific way of measuring things with calculations and decimal measurements but in the end it’s what it sounds like. Sure there is a general model to follow but I wouldn’t get too caught up in it unless you are going all out from ground up building a theater.
 

PCRIDE

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We did offer suggestions. Mine are repeated below.




@Curry asked the Forum for thoughts BEFORE this plan was implemented. A critique would generally only apply afterwards. As "seasoned forum users" we did our best to help. It's fine for you to disagree but maybe there was a less confrontational way to do so.


Yea sorry most of my frustration came from browsing several other threads before posting this one, it’s the “theme” I’m seeing from this forum... I appreciate all the help that I see but more often than not it appears to be, don’t do this, don’t do that, I wouldn’t have done that, it won’t work like that type of posts
 

David Willow

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I’ve experienced a sub positioned in a corner and it appears there is more bass than when I placed it 3 feet from one wall, 6 feet from the other wall. Same exact set up I put in an alcove where a floor TV use to be, it essentially creates a box around the sub, and the bass was 10x better And more punchy vs when I set it outside the alcove sounded drowned out and didn’t seem the base was even working. I suppose there is the scientific way of measuring things with calculations and decimal measurements but in the end it’s what it sounds like. Sure there is a general model to follow but I wouldn’t get too caught up in it unless you are going all out from ground up building a theater.

In YOUR room.

For the responses, wouldn't you want to know if you asked to do something that was suboptimal? In ceiling speakers are for supermarkets, not home theater. Sure you can do it, but why? Perhaps the OP will still go ahead but at least now he knows the compromise he is making.
 

JohnRice

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- Sometimes I just need to leave it alone. -
 
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PCRIDE

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Never implied that Sir, no sense in driving it deeper.... As a new comer to the forum, I wouldn’t have had the perception I had about the responses if I hadn’t seen them throughout the forum. Easier to see as an “auditioner/agent” than “executive producer”. I get it, all forums have seasoned moderators /users that rack up the posts, help out the most and know a lot. I appreciate that.
Thanks a bunch for the info so far, even on my other posts. I hope we can now move on. Apologies for any offense anyone has taken by my post.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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In a typical set up the sub is set in the front of the room on the left or right side. Take this same positioning and move it into the ceiling. It’s no longer pointed at you and not near ear level. Sounds like putting a sub in a ceiling is uncharted territory. Install it, see how it sounds then decide
All else being equal, a sub moved from a position on the floor to the ceiling directly above it should sound no different.

Rgards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

rbstern

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I’m building a house and wanting to have a custom surround sound system built into the ceilings and walls. Any advice on receivers, speakers, and ceiling subs? I don’t really want the sub in the wall or standing by itself. I have a 75” sony tv for the living room. The room is 20’x20’ roughly. But it is open completely to the kitchen. I’m new to all of this. I want something that will sync to the patio tv and patio speakers. My budget is probably around $4,000

You didn't mention anything about how many speakers you want for the main room. At the most basic level for home theater, you would probably choose a 2 zone, 7.2 receiver for your needs: left/center/right at the front, left/right at the rear, plus a subwoofer, and two speakers for stereo listening on the patio. You need two HDMI outputs on the receiver to support the two TVs, assuming you want to use the same source for output to both TVs. If the outside TV might be used independently, it gets a bit more complicated.

I'd skip the sub-in-ceiling concept. You just don't have the budget for bleeding edge sound experiments. There are plenty of small-ish subs that can be easily placed in an out-of-the-way spot and not attract attention, yet deliver satisfying, if not room shaking, sound.

Bottom line: With the info you've given, it's hard for any of us to give you "right answers." For example, while in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are a relatively straightforward topic, number of speakers and positioning based on your specific house is a different matter.
 

rbstern

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All else being equal, a sub moved from a position on the floor to the ceiling directly above it should sound no different.

Rgards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt


In a blank room, I'd agree, but I'm gonna disagree with this because of practical issues presented in a real world environment. I think the potential for funky wave effects is much more likely with a ceiling sub. The sub will have nothing near it. And the ability to mitigate errant waves in the OP's scenario will be almost nil, because it's a permanent install in his living room ceiling. He won't be able to reposition the sub, nor will he have easy opportunities for deflecting or absorbing sound from offensive surfaces.
 

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