Surround Sound in Basement


  #1  
Old 11-30-04, 11:24 AM
bsievert
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Surround Sound in Basement

I am finishing my basement and will be installing surround sound. I have a few questions, I have a choice as to install the speakers in my ceiling or attach to the wall. It would look better installed in the ceiling, but don't the effect on sound if they are installed in the ceiling facing down vs. on the wall. Also any specific speaker wire that I should install?


Thanks for any help
Bob
 
  #2  
Old 12-04-04, 07:49 PM
P
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I have a butt load of money in in-walls and I think that free standing speakers sound best, in-walls are next and then in-ceilings are a distant third. The volume of air behind a speaker has a big effect on it's sound. Free standing speakers have their enclosure carfully designed at the factory. In-walls deal with varying wall cavity volume and ceiling speakers often have infinate volume.

I wanted nice free standing speakers but the wife said "NO","they're ugly". I ended up having to spend a lot of money and effort getting in-walls to match the sound quality of free standing speakers. Even though in-ceiling and in-wall speakers "say" that they sound great anywhere, what is behind them does affect their sound.

I would intall the speakers wherever I can seal and control the air behind the speaker. Usually that is the wall but you might do it in the ceiling of a basement. I found that my B&W speakers sounded better with a smaller, tight and well damped enclosure.
 
  #3  
Old 12-04-04, 09:59 PM
SkyKing
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I don't understand women on this issue (or many other issues for that matter). Who says that stand alone's are ugly?? I like them personally.

My female relatives and female customers when working mostly hate stand alone speakers. I have even heard, on many occassions, that people don't like wall outlets!! This is asenine in my book.

I'd put pink speakers in my house if they had incredible sound! Who cares, as long as it works better than other options and itsn't a devaluing eyesore to property value.

The reason why you may experience less sound volume for inwalls/ceilings is because the speaker is actually a dipole source of soundwaves. As the cone moves air is pressurized at both sides 180 degrees out of phase. This is the principle bose wave radio's are based on (that and resonance).
 
  #4  
Old 12-10-04, 10:24 AM
Dink
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Originally Posted by bsievert
I am finishing my basement and will be installing surround sound. I have a few questions, I have a choice as to install the speakers in my ceiling or attach to the wall. It would look better installed in the ceiling, but don't the effect on sound if they are installed in the ceiling facing down vs. on the wall. Also any specific speaker wire that I should install?


Thanks for any help
Bob
Actually, in-ceiling speakers can have a very nice sound if installed in the correct location and the right manner. In my days of doing installs for high-end custom home theater setups, there were many times when in-walls and in-ceiling speakers where the only option due to asthetics. Most in-ceiling speakers are designed to be installed in an infinate baffle environment where there is no defined enclosure (as in false ceiling where it is completely open above), and for the most part they do sound fine, but there are a few options that can add to the sound quality if this is what you decide. Some manufacturers have added models which after installation, can be pivoted in a manner that "bounces" the sound off the back wall which can add more depth and realism (of course talking specifically on the rear channel). These same speakers, if installed for the front stage, can be pivoted towards the listener making the sound clearer and more directional. In some cases, certain models of in-ceiling speakers can also have a custom enclosure added behind (assuming there is access - as in false ceilings) which allows for control of the amount of air being pushed, which makes them easier to be "dialed-in" and gives them the deeper sound that self enclosed exterior speakers generaly have.

Asthetically speaking though, if you do decide you prefer the sound quality of exterior wall mounted speakers and want to go that way, you could look at low-profile speakers like electrostatic models that dont have a need for big boxy enclosures. The have an amazing sound, look very nice, but can be pricy depending on the model. A third option might be be a corner-mount wall speaker. They have a pyramid-like shape and are installed in the upper corner where the side wall, back wall, and ceiling meet and have a front grill that can be painted to match the room. If you consider them, make sure to look at a model that has a flat rear interior panel. The models that are open inside can have an odd sound due to the interior reverberations caused by its pointed shape.

As far as speaker wire to use, simply look for something that UL rated for in-wall use like Monster or Audioquest and such. The extra sheilding these have can help to negate any interference (hissing and static) that might appear if the cable is ran too close to power.

Hope this helps!
 
  #5  
Old 12-12-04, 08:52 AM
MacRPM
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stay away from the ceiling speakes for you LCR

If you are considering using a ceiling speaker for your LCR( Left Center Right) don't. There will be a lott of mid band cansilation.

Exsample; talk to your wife with a cup or large peice of paper next to your mouth. Thake it way while you are talking; see how much that change the sound of your voice! Never mind that your ears will localize and know everything is above the screen.

+ use two subwoofers to avoid many of your room inperfections.

sorry about the spelling!
 
 

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