Whole house sound?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob Lloyd, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. Rob Lloyd

    Rob Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2001
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm considering building my next house soon and was wondering about putting speakers in almost every room. What do most people do for speakers? Small book shelf (where space and aethetics matter), ceiling or ????
    And does anyone do mono to avoid having LR problems? I can see problems if you're wiring up the kitchen w/ LR and the end of the room sounds like crud.
    Any links would also be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 1999
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rob,
    If you are looking for background music ceiling speakers are recommended. They should be located between the first and second floor joists above to get reinforcement from the nearby wall and ceiling for optimal sound. Your concerns with L/R vs. mono are invalid. [​IMG] I've installed literally hundreds of pairs of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers and they do not sound like "crud" if they are set up as a stereo pair. Take a good hard look at the number of rooms you want to put speakers in. Will you REALLY be spending the time in each room to warrant the expense? A decent 4 zone system will set you back well over 10K. Start thinking about 8, 10 or 12 rooms and it gets very expensive. Good luck.
     
  3. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm building a house right now and I just bought four pairs of in-ceiling speakers, 14x2 gauge wire, volume controls, speaker switching plate...all for $600. Then I do the hook-up myself and I'm set. I'm just running audio to four rooms but it is feasible for a decent price. You can spend more but for "background music" why? I bought my speakers from HomeTheaterDirect.com and I'd be happy to help out anyone with specifics. The wire and other stuff I bought from PartsExpress.com. Just shoot me an e-mail, [email protected]
    Cheers, E
    ------------------
    The Norwegian Audio/Video NUT!
     
  4. Howard_A

    Howard_A Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I didn't wire my house for whole house audio, but I do have built-in speakers in some locations.
    I used stereo ceiling-mounted marine speakers in two of the bathrooms. I also put a free-standing subwoofer in the closet of one bathroom. Depending on where you are located, imaging can be a little strange in the bathrooms but it doesn't sound bad.
    For the living room I used five in-wall speakers in the standard FL, CT, FR, RL, RR configuration. I was actually quite suprised at the spatial imaging produced given that the couch is against the same wall as the rear surrounds. It's no substitute for a proper home theater but it's more than adequate for casual use or background entertainment during a social gathering. I'd like to add a powered sub in the living room eventually.
    The biggest thing to keep in mind is that ceiling or wall-mounting a speaker is the enemy of sound containment. I wouldn't advise mounting a speaker on a surface that is shared with a room you'd like to keep quiet, such as a bedroom.
     
  5. Rob Lloyd

    Rob Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2001
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK - I guess I need to restate it. I'm not doing the entire house - just the main areas - kitchen, living room, dining room, family room, master bedroom and deck.
    The dedicated HT will be a seperate zone completly. I just want background music in those areas. If you wire a room up in stereo, how do you place the speakers?
    Lets use the dining room as an example - if you have the speakers on each end then the people sitting at the ends of the table don't get the best sound. If you wire it in the middle, the middle seats will be off. Am I right or not even close? That's why I was thinking mono. In a large kitchen w/ an eating nook, there are too many areas to consider for just 2 speakers.
    I'm going to be running the wiring and such so the costs won't be that bad. If they are, I'll have to do it in stages - wiring and volume comtrols, then later add the speakers.
    My receiver has 2 zone controls so I'm set there. Just need another amp or 2 and IR repeaters.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 1999
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rob,
    Background music will not require perfect imaging and soundstage. This cannot be achieved with ceiling speakers. Your concerns about good sound seem to be geared with critical listening in mind. The people in chair "C" will not give a whit if the music doesn't image properly and have depth of soundstage. They simply will want background music that is unobtrusive but pleasant to hear. Running a simple 2 zone system from a receiver to several rooms ccan present problems. You'll be presenting a load to an amplifier that it may not be able to handle. You will not have the ability to send signals to rooms indenpendent of each other. I'm doing a job next week for an owner who had his system setup as you've described. Now he wants it done right and a retrofit job is always much more expensive than a professional job that was done during construction. Good luck.
    Erik,
    "You can spend more but for "background music" why?"
    Many people want independent zone control, video switching capabilities and complete system control. To do this on a $600 budget is impossible. These systems *start* in the 10K plus range and can cost into the 6 figure range depending upon the project and the customers wants/needs.
     
  7. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well nothing is impossible...it is very difficult.
    When you say build your own house, if you do all the labor , it can be done....but it is not easy by no means
    ------------------
    Why?
    Why do you keep hounding me and harassing me and hounding me?
    It's not like I don't have anything better to do, you know.
    It's not like the Phantom Cruiser is going to wax itself.
    It's not like last night's burrito stain will just up and remove itself from my cape.
    I am a superhero!
    A very very busy superhero! Who does...things!
    Now get out of here before I tell your mother.
    AND DON'T TRAMPLE MY BEGONIAS!
    -Space Ghost..
     
  8. Rob Lloyd

    Rob Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2001
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes I'll be doing a lot of the work to save money and also so it's done right. My wife's father is an electrician so he's going to help w/ that part of the project since he's licensed. Running RG6, CAT5, phone, IR extenders and speaker wire should be pretty simple with everything open.
    This is of course if I can find a piece of land that's useable and won't cost as much as the house itself.
    If you guys had your choice would you use in-walls or in-ceiling speakers if you wanted to hide the speaker?
    -Rob
     
  9. Howard_A

    Howard_A Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For sound quality and imaging in-wall is the way to go. The bad part about in-wall speakers is that they limit your decorating options later. You can't hang a picture on the wall on top of the speaker. In a 5.1 configuration that is a lot of unusable wall space. I didn't consider that when I built my house.
    Speakers must be mounted on studs. If you don't have a stud where you want a speaker you'll need to add mounting blocks to the nearest stud available.
    Lastly, you might not be able to mount your speaker where you want it because the stud is where you want the middle of the speaker. You either need to move the stud or change the location of your speaker.
     
  10. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 1999
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In-wall speakers CANNOT be mounted on studs. They caome with attachments to be mounted between studs (or floor joists if in-ceiling speakers are used). On-wall speakers should be mounted so that a stud can be used to ancher the speaker to the wall if at all possible.
     
  11. Howard_A

    Howard_A Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree...when I said "mounted on a stud" I meant anchored to the stud. Sorry for the confusion.
     

Share This Page