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Old 2014-11-16, 11:16 AM
Don Franchi Don Franchi is offline
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Default In-Ceiling Surround

I need some help with an in-ceiling surround system - a 5.1 system, but possibly 7.1.

I need the Left, Centre, Right and Surrounds to be ceiling mounted. You can probably guess why.

Anyway - my budget for the speakers themselves would be approx. $5,000.

The little research I've been able to do tells me that I should look for something with a tweeter that can be directed. Also, since this is a great room with Master bedroom above, I should look for something that has its own housing to reduce the sound that would project upwards.

I've seen the details for the Paradigm Signature and Reference collections, KEF ci200RR-THX, Sonance VP Series on various websites... but I get lost in the specs etc,

Does anyone have experience with an in-ceiling surround system. Other pertinent info - 10' ceiling in great room with a waffle ceiling, The room is 16' x 20'. The TV will be placed on the short (16') wall. One 20' Wall has 3 (three) 4' windows. The other 20' wall has no windows etc, The other 16' wall isn't a wall at all, it joins the kitchen/breakfast and is divided only by a 2-sided fireplace. The from of main couch (listening position) will probably be about 12' from TV
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Old 2014-11-16, 08:03 PM
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Um, yes.. we've done many of them

Do you want everything in ceiling? O just the surrounds and rears?
If you can get the fronts in or on the wall, that would be preferred.
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Old 2014-11-16, 08:57 PM
Don Franchi Don Franchi is offline
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Hi Greg,

My home is being built by Countrywide in King City. They use Built-In Technologies for their home audio/security solutions - so I will probably have them pre-wire, but (if more efficient and more tailored) engage someone like you to deal with the actual setup immediately after close.

Unfortunately, they are all going to have to be in-ceiling (it's not a battle that I am going to win and so, in picking my battles, this just isn't a good one to pick!). Plus, if I did pick this as a battle and did win, I would never have a shot at a "proper" cinema style home theatre room in the future - so I'd hate to win and (in a twisted way) be stuck with the great room with its hardwood floors, various reflective surfaces, open back wall, huge windows, etc, as my home theatre room forever.

As for product, I was thinking of going with motorised units for my LCR. For example, maybe 3 KEF Ci200.3QT for the LCRs and then 2 or 4 (depending on 5.1 or 7.1) KEF Ci200QR with directed tweeters as the surrounds. Would still need to figure out the sub... of course, I'm not wedded to anything - I only mention the KEF because they are the only ones I'm really aware of.

Have you ever worked with motorised units for LCRs in the sort of environment I've described? Do you have any comments/suggestions?

I don't need to decide on product anytime soon - we are closing next July. However, I am in the process of dealing with Built-In for the pre-wiring and do need to decide on the pre-wiring in the near future.
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Old 2014-11-16, 09:11 PM
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I haven't worked with the KEF ones, however the motorized ones do require low voltage power, which may be a stretch for a builders sub-contractor to do/understand.

We have done a lot of in-ceiling and on-wall KEF in the past.

For angled in-ceiling LCRs we usually do Atlantic Technology and their current model is the IC6-HT.
http://www.atlantictechnology.com/in...eakers/ic-6ht/

Great sound, great value.

I wouldn't do directional tweeters on the surrounds as surrounds you want as dispersed as possible. It's not directional sound.
Again for Atlantic Technology, we use their 6.3 series speakers which have dual tweeters set up like di-poles. We've been using them for years and they are fantastic.
http://www.atlantictechnology.com/in...ling-speakers/
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Old 2014-11-16, 09:43 PM
Don Franchi Don Franchi is offline
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Thanks again Greg - what is the general price point for this product? Do they have backings/enclosures or is the sound from these going to travel to the second floor? Does their frequency range decrease when pointed (the highs already seem a bit low).

If the builder isn't able to handle the additional low voltage requirement (or wants to charge an obscene amount as a premium or they don't inspire a sufficient level of confidence), is foregoing the prewiring opportunity and having someone fish the wires right after closing an option (one that would still be cost efficient)? I definitely don't want to open walls after.
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Old 2014-11-16, 10:08 PM
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You can't fish wiring into the middle of a first floor ceiling without cutting something open somewhere. Maybe if you had a bulk head all the way around it might be possible, however I'm not sure how your room is to be constructed.

Atlantic 5 In-ceilings with sub comes out to around $2600 depending on when and what the dollar is doing.
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Old 2015-08-11, 10:01 AM
Don Franchi Don Franchi is offline
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For anyone who was tracking this, my decision in the end was also driven by the joist cavity. As my joists (engineered) are 12" OC, the joist cavity has a width of 9.5". I ended up installing a 7.1 system using the KEF Ci200RR-THX in ceiling, a Definitive Tech Supercube 4000 and Marantz SR7009 Receiver. As the Family Room furniture has yet to arrive, I haven't had it calibrated, but I have fiddled with it a little.

The system sounds great. I was surprised that an in-ceiling system could create the sort of sound envelope I am getting. I've watched Gravity, Jurassic Park, Lorax, some Game of Thrones and regular TV - Jurassic Park really shines on the system... I wouldn't go as far as to say "you're there" (that would be a gross exaggeration), but there is a really good envelope. The Supercube works very well in this installation - haven't figured out optimal location and haven't calibrated it yet either.

Overall - quite satisfied. It isn't tinny or directional. Dialogue is crystal clear. The "clang" of swords in some Game of Thrones scenes is remarkable - not a frequency I have ever picked up before. The depth of sound is also quite good.

I installed the Ci200QR as dining room and kitchen speakers. They sound really good on acoustic and modern pop tracks. The sound isn't as deep as I would like - I am hoping to tinker with the receiver to help with that. Rock and R&B tracks are a weakness - I am finding the speakers cannot handle the range on their own (but haven't tinkered yet). Of course, everything sounds great at "listening" volume.... so I might be being a tad harsh.

Finally - take it all with a grain of salt. My review is in the context of in-ceilings. I don't get a true stereo effect envelope with anything (except if I lie on my dining table - I think I have seen sushi served that way...).
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