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Old 2009-10-11, 11:03 PM
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Default Question about in ceiling speakers

I'm trying to decide whether or not we should go with in ceiling speakers in our living room. We'd like to have a surround sound system but we can't have the speakers on the wall facing us because it is an outside wall so the only option is to have the front right, centre and left speakers installed in the ceiling. My question is, will this affect the sound quality in any way? I was always under the impression that front speakers should be facing you for better sound quality. Is this true??
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Old 2009-10-12, 01:01 AM
PerMil PerMil is offline
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Ideally, you would want in-wall speakers firing from the front. In your case, sound quality may not be affected that much if you can get in-ceiling speakers that you can tilt towards you. Not just the tweeter but the woofers too. One brand that I came across when I was looking for in-ceiling speakers that tilts is Speakercraft. They even have the model called 'Time' where it opens to 15º, 30º, or 45º and rotates 285º. The only issue is if you are putting it in the main floor, you need a clearance of at least 14" between your ceiling and the second floor. I believe joists are only 10" to 11". If you are placing it in the second floor ceiling, then you are ok since you have enough space in the attic.

Another model is the 'Time mini' where it decends from the ceiling when activated.

On both these speakers, you need CAT5 or CAT6 running to your speakers on top of the speaker wires and a controller unit to open or decend the unit.

Without tiltable units, the sound quality will not be the same as front firing ones.
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Old 2009-10-12, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the info PerMil. I really like the look of the Speakercraft Time speakers. Their website indicates that the Cut-Out Diameter is 9 5⁄8" (244 mm). Does anyone on the forum know what the diameter is for the in ceiling speakers Mattamy installs? I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to get Mattamy to install the in ceiling speakers first so that we can get the wiring put in and then swap the speakers for the Speakercraft model after the fact. I'm thinking this would be easier, more cost effective and less disruptive than getting the wiring installed after closing. Thoughts anyone?

Also, does anyone know if Mattamy will prewire the house for speakers so that we can purchase and install our own speakers after closing?
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Old 2009-10-12, 02:48 PM
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Most builders will prewire for you. They don't usually do a very good job, but they'll do it for you.

There are several speaker companies that make in-ceiling speakers for home theatre applications.

One such manufacture I use quite a bit is Atlantic Technology. They have an LCR (left/center/right) model that will aim themselves towards the listener. They also have an excellent set of in-ceilings that can be used as surrounds.

These speakers are not available retail or through mail order. Generally they are only available through custom installers.

http://www.atlantictechnology.com/de...alse&NodeId=23
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Old 2009-10-12, 08:05 PM
PerMil PerMil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara23 View Post
Does anyone on the forum know what the diameter is for the in ceiling speakers Mattamy installs? I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to get Mattamy to install the in ceiling speakers first so that we can get the wiring put in and then swap the speakers for the Speakercraft model after the fact. I'm thinking this would be easier, more cost effective and less disruptive than getting the wiring installed after closing. Thoughts anyone?

Also, does anyone know if Mattamy will prewire the house for speakers so that we can purchase and install our own speakers after closing?
There is no need to have Mattamy install the in-ceiling speakers. Just have them pre-wire your planned speaker locations. Having them install your speakers will cost you a lot of money and then you will have to change it with your own speakers.

We had ours pre-wired for all the planned speaker locations. I can't remember how much we paid for pre-wiring, which included volume control locations. I will have to dig for the list of upgrades. So to answer your question, Mattamy will pre-wire as an upgrade. You will have to let them know if you want it home run to a particular location, i.e. basement, closet space, etc. What you will see when you move in are wires sticking out of the ceiling/walls from a small hole. It is up to you to cut the speaker hole. Tell them to place the wires between joists, preferably in the middle so if you decide to install larger speakers (from 6.5" to 8"), it will not hit the joists.

Pre-wiring is better done in the beginning than after moving in for ease of installation. It can still be done after the fact, but you may need people like GregS to do the installation if you are not a handy person.
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Old 2009-10-12, 08:40 PM
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That's great news PerMil! Do you remember if Mattamy offered that upgrade in your catalogue or was it something they told you at your design appointment? I don't see the option in our catalogue so just hoping they still do it. It would be the perfect upgrade.
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Old 2009-10-12, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara23 View Post
I'm trying to decide whether or not we should go with in ceiling speakers in our living room. We'd like to have a surround sound system but we can't have the speakers on the wall facing us because it is an outside wall so the only option is to have the front right, centre and left speakers installed in the ceiling. My question is, will this affect the sound quality in any way? I was always under the impression that front speakers should be facing you for better sound quality. Is this true??
Is your setup mainly for movies and not for stereo? If your speakers are mainly for movies, then LCR that you can aim at the watching/listening positions should be good. If your setup is even close to 50/50 movies/music, you may want to reconsider using floorstanding/bookshelf speakers.

MDW told me to install ceiling for the surrounds but I insisted on using the bookshelf speakers for LCR. Someday, I'll get some decent floor speakers.
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Old 2009-10-13, 09:21 AM
PerMil PerMil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara23 View Post
That's great news PerMil! Do you remember if Mattamy offered that upgrade in your catalogue or was it something they told you at your design appointment? I don't see the option in our catalogue so just hoping they still do it. It would be the perfect upgrade.
Sara,

It was included in our general catalogue (detailed listing of what is available as an upgrade - not model specific). If it is not in yours because of your house model, let Mattamy know that you wanted your house pre-wired for speakers. If your design consultant says 'NO' or 'You can't have it because it is not in the catalogue', talk to the Head builder in the construction office at the site and let him/her know that you want your house pre-wired and you are bringing in a third party contractor.

Our experience is that the design centre is not in sync with the construction office. It is the construction office that can tell you whether or not it can be done. Good Luck.

Before I forget, see if you have an option to install a conduit from the attic to the basement. Again, this will help in installation, shoud you decide to install speakers in your 2nd floor rooms at a later time. There are other conduits you can have the builder install like TV location to the basement and floor level location to the basement (for your equipment i.e. AV receiver, game consoles, cable box, etc). This will depend mainly on your setup. I had mine all run to the basement.
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Old 2009-10-13, 02:00 PM
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Thanks PerMil! Pre-wiring isn't mentioned in our catalogue but apparently they have taken many options out recently so I'll definitely take your advice and follow up at the design center appointment and with the construction office.

A question regarding your comment: There are other conduits you can have the builder install like TV location to the basement and floor level location to the basement (for your equipment i.e. AV receiver, game consoles, cable box, etc). This will depend mainly on your setup. I had mine all run to the basement.

I've read a few posts where people talk about this but I'm not sure what the benefit of running the AV receiver, cable box etc from the basement is? Is it so that you can store the electronic equipment out of sight in the basement but still operate them from the main floor?
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Old 2009-10-13, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara23 View Post
Is it so that you can store the electronic equipment out of sight in the basement but still operate them from the main floor?
Sara, you are absolutely right. It keeps the clutter in the basement. It'll keep the main floor neat and tidy and no wires sticking out. It is more of preference than anything else.

The only issue with this is that you will have to run IR (infrared) receivers in the main floor to control your AV receivers, cable box, etc. It is a small button that you can't hardly see. I would rather have RF (radio frequency) remote controllers (Harmony by Logitech) so it does not have to be line of sight (IR).
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