Recommendations for In-Ceiling Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by george.kell, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. george.kell

    george.kell Auditioning

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    I making some final decisions on our HT setup for our remodel that is now well underway. The system is going to be setup in our family room. I've opted for a very open floor plan between the family room and the kitchen with many big windows so I think I'm forced to use in-ceiling speakers for the surrounds and rear speakers. The main listening and viewing area would be sitting in a couch with your back to the kitchen. Anything hanging from the ceiling or on the floor would be suboptimal esthetically speaking. A big window is to the right of the couch and a big open doorway to the hall and living room is on the left. The family room is about 21x22.

    I'm looking at a Denon 4806 receiver to drive the system with Monitor Audio Silver S10's for the main front speakers along with the Monitor Audio Silver Center. Does anyone have any preferences or recommendations for a high quality in-ceiling speakers that would match well with this setup? Do you folks feel that a fully pivoting speaker versus just a pivoting tweeter is key to the sound quality and my buying decision. I'd like to keep the total budget around or below $2000 for the rear and surround speakers. I've been looking at the following options:

    Monitor Audio Silver or Gold (For consistency - pivoting tweeter only)
    Speakercraft Aim-8 Four (Fully pivoting)
    Sonance Virtuoso 832DR (Three way speaker)

    No one carries all three of these speakers so it's hard to do a side by side comparison. I've only heard the Monitor Audio's and it didn't knock my socks off which wasn't a surprise given that I could only hear one speaker and it is after all an in-ceiling. If you have any preferences in this list or have other in-ceiling options let me know. If you have any other design ideas that would eliminate the need for ceiling speakers then feel free to chime in. I realize that I'm looking at suboptimal sound with in-ceiling speakers compared to a box speaker so I'm looking for some inspiration here.


    Thanks,

    George
     
  2. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    Though I've not heard them, I'd go with the Monitor Audio Silver's, simply because they're from the same line as your mains. It just makes sense to keep them all in the same family.

    The only exception to this rule I'd make is with the sub.

    Mike
     
  3. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    I know what you mean about demoing the speakers. It's even tougher with built in's because too many other things can affect their sound in the actual environment. There is no way you're going to match those mains in an in-ceiling anyway so I don't think matching based on brand is really going to do anything for you in this case. You're moving to a completely different product. Yes, the ability to direct the sound is key if it's for HT and not just whole house audio.

    I originally looked at the MA line but the specs for the Veritas Custom 2.0 cm's are better than even the Gold line of the MA in-ceings and they're more flexible. I used them and had to go all in-ceilings because of a very difficult family room which also happened to be open to the kitchen at the back, large window on one side and hallway on the other. (Check the link to my HT page at the top of this post.) I love them. I don't know if I'd consider myself a fully fledged audiophile, but quality sound is very important to me.

    This speaker has a rotating pod which houses not only the tweeter but dual mids which are switchable dipole/bipole. I believe that the woofer not being directional isn't as critical because lower frequencies are more difficult to localize anyway. Just make sure you take flooring and sound treatment into consideration. I'm running them with a 3805 and I'm extremely happy. Your 4806 in your larger room should be ideal. Two rears and (ideally) two rear centers should get you in under $2K.
     
  4. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    I wouldn't disregard the MA Silver RS as not being a match quite yet. According to MA, the RS mid drivers are based on the old Silver series. Anyway, granted you probably won't get a perfect match to the S10's but you'll be closer than if you went with a totally different brand. It's up to you. If it were me, I'd try to get as seamless a soundstage as possible (by using like-drivers in all channels).
     

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