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Audio Enthusiasts?


Sean
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After a little advice please. I purchased a house in December which I've now ripped to pieces and begun to rewire, re-plumb and do a complete renovation on. I have the opportunity to set things up exactly how I want them so will be putting a lot of smart things in. Audio is not something I've ever been too bothered about and currently use a soundbar with wireless sub. In the new place, I want the TV on the wall and nothing around it for a slick look. This obviously means no more sound bar. Here's the thing - I'm committed to ceiling speakers because I'm going for a minimalist look and don't want speakers dotted around the place. I know ceiling speakers are not the best for pure sound perfection to the audiophiles but in this case I'm personally ranking appearance above sound perfection. So my question is this - what do I need to do to get the best out of a ceiling speaker set up? How many? What type? Placement? All the cabling will be run back to under the stairs where I'll have an amp of some sort. What amp? Is it worth chasing a half decent 5.1 setup or just go for a stereo setup with sub? Any advice appreciated, thanks.

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You would be better off sinking the front speakers into the wall at or below screen height. Having them in the ceiling really would be very disorientating. You could just about get away with the rears in the ceiling for a 5.1 setup. For the amp/receiver I would look at Marantz. I've had them for many years and they have been very reliable.

I would look at Polk for the speakers.

Edited by Rob666

Rocket Giotto Evoluzione v2, Eureka Zenith 65E, Niche grinder, Pharos grinder with VoodooDaddy mods, Eureka MDL, Torr Goldfinger, Smart Tamp. Various coffee stuff.

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I’m sure you’ve considered it, but won’t the ceiling speakers make the room upstairs/above unbearable if someone’s in there and not watching the TV ?

 

definately 5.1 and not stereo.

 

the amp, in a cupboard, under the stairs : how will you turn the sound up and down ? Films and tv programmes have wildly different volumes, and the adverts are astonishing louder than any program/film you might be watching.

 

ive got an Onkyo amp, and am extremely pleased with it btw

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Ceiling speakers are getting more popular but 'typically' only for use as atmos speakers and forming part of a 5/7/9 or 11.1 set up. As stated ceiling speakers could confuse the sound. A clever amp will help orientate these better, but in my opinion would still not be perfect. You then need to think of the rooms above (if present). If so, you'll need decent acoustic boxes built into the ceiling to aid the sound as you'll already be struggling for perfect acoustics with everything down-firing, and these boxes can become expensive.

 

To make a good sound experience you'll be ideally looking for at least a 5.1 set up. If you have the option, you can still get good flat wall mounted speakers like Kefs range. If possible, and if space permits I would go for a 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 set up or 7. This way you're optimising the ceiling speaker option but getting the best sound options too.

 

I use a 5.1.2 and love it. All controlled by a Denon 6400 which using the Audyysey setup allows me to make the sound better suited to the chosen listening point of the room.

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Ceiling speakers are getting more popular but 'typically' only for use as atmos speakers and forming part of a 5/7/9 or 11.1 set up. As stated ceiling speakers could confuse the sound. A clever amp will help orientate these better, but in my opinion would still not be perfect. You then need to think of the rooms above (if present). If so, you'll need decent acoustic boxes built into the ceiling to aid the sound as you'll already be struggling for perfect acoustics with everything down-firing, and these boxes can become expensive.

 

To make a good sound experience you'll be ideally looking for at least a 5.1 set up. If you have the option, you can still get good flat wall mounted speakers like Kefs range. If possible, and if space permits I would go for a 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 set up or 7. This way you're optimising the ceiling speaker option but getting the best sound options too.

 

I use a 5.1.2 and love it. All controlled by a Denon 6400 which using the Audyysey setup allows me to make the sound better suited to the chosen listening point of the room.

 

Nice setup.

I'm in rented accommodation so have to be happy with my 7.1 system.

Yamaha Z7 receiver

Rotel power amp

7.1 M&K speakers inc tripoles

Would love to go Atmos but no can do at the moment.

 

OP I would advise against ceiling speakers if you can, as suggested.

Youre better going discreet for better sound.

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Nice setup.

I'm in rented accommodation so have to be happy with my 7.1 system.

Yamaha Z7 receiver

Rotel power amp

7.1 M&K speakers inc tripoles

Would love to go Atmos but no can do at the moment.

 

OP I would advise against ceiling speakers if you can, as suggested.

Youre better going discreet for better sound.

 

 

Nice setup.

 

I am currently using a front soundstage of 3 Kef LS50’s. SVS SB2000 sub, Kef CI200 ceiling, and some SVS prime elevations for the rears. With the Denon 6400 and Rotel power amp. With an LG 65” c8. It works well for me at present and no real want for anything else currently.

 

But agree with your points raised for the OP.

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Its strange but the TV gets in the way of the audio gear in my house. I believe Mr @Grimley is a bit of an AV fan and might be able to help?

 

Did someone mention me? Well I'm here.

Home cinema isn't really my main hobby anymore. It's speciality coffee drinking and visiting said speciality coffee shops where I happen to be at the time or going into London especially to do so. As for the cinema itself I went to see two films last year. Films I want to see this year are Captain marvel, avengers endgame and probably the latest Quentin tarantino film, the 1 about sharon tate in the late 1960s I believe.

 

All I can say is I reflect pretty much what others have said here. Compared with some my AV setup is positively stone-age. My hardware consists of;

A 10-year-old Blu-ray player.

A 7 year-old telly.

A set of 6.1 speakers that are 15 years old. I bought these half price because they were discontinued.

A second-hand 1080p projector, age undetermined.

A second-hand Denon receiver about 5 to 6 years old.

 

I haven't had the need to change simply because, I don't use it that much apart from having the telly on every day. The newest part of my hardware is a Chromecast which I use to stream films from Google play occasionally. I only bought 3 blu rays last year and one of those was from a charity shop.

 

I don't feel the need to upgrade either because it wouldn't be cost-effective. HD 1080p quality I'm more than happy with. 4K and Dolby Atmos in my opinion is now too expensive. My hearing and my sight is also a factor too. The room in where I have my hardware is simply too small to have Atmos speakers.

 

Another reason is I'm right in the middle of getting a property renovated and my finances are directed at getting that done.

 

Once that's done and I've got a tenant in I may decide to pack in full-time work and go part time in order to spend more time looking after my parents.

 

To sum up, the only piece of advice I could give you is to either pay a visit to an audiovisual shop close to you and get some ideas that way. If you live close to Bristol the Bristol hi-fi and AV show is usually mid to late February, it's usually held in the Bristol Marriott in the centre of the city. The show is mainly hi-fi but there are quite a few AV and home cinema manufacturers there too. I've bought stuff from that show in the past. It does get very busy and the hotel rooms are hot and crowded at times but it will give you a chance to get some good advice.

 

On a coffee note, wogan coffee roasters is a 10 minute walk from the hotel and the beans from there are seriously cheap and carry my recommendation. :coffee:

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Nice setup.

 

I am currently using a front soundstage of 3 Kef LS50’s. SVS SB2000 sub, Kef CI200 ceiling, and some SVS prime elevations for the rears. With the Denon 6400 and Rotel power amp. With an LG 65” c8. It works well for me at present and no real want for anything else currently.

 

But agree with your points raised for the OP.

 

Still running my Pioneer 5090 Kuro, maybe upgraded that soon and relegate to bedroom. Still has a cracking picture but not 4K unfortunately haba

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Thanks for all the advice. It was pretty much as expected to be fair. I’m really trying to go for a super-clean look and can’t really see another way to achieve this aside of ceiling speakers. I can easily accommodate wall speakers around the TV and maybe use ceilings as rears but just can’t see it fitting with the look. As stated, appearance is my number one priority with a half decent sound hopefully possible somehow.

 

As for control, I have this covered in multiple ways.

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Did someone mention me? Well I'm here.

....

Compared with some my AV setup is positively stone-age.

....

To sum up, the only piece of advice I could give you is to either pay a visit to an audiovisual shop close to you and get some ideas that way.

....

On a coffee note, wogan coffee roasters is a 10 minute walk from the hotel

 

Thanks for the input @Grimley...your Stoneage comment...this week I took delivery of a pre-Stoneage pre-amp to feed into an equally pre-Stoneage power amp that once was one side of a twinned pair. Sadly only one of them survives, but is will be ample ownsome feeding into an even older pair of large floorstanding speakers. Currently using equally old Cyrus amps from mid / late 80s and you know what, for me, even they blow the dust out of the modern day Roksans, MF's, Rega's at my local dealers.

 

Hoping my re-entry into Linn pre/power environment will convince me the move away from Cyrus (for the second time) will be sweet ...they're sitting staring at me now as I type, inert and un-connected, with the Cyrus fellas giving me the red LED glow.

 

But yeah day to day...I wake up in the morning my first thought is where is the coffee coming from right now? Audio is after that.

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I would imagine need to decide if going for cinema 5.1 or more or just more stereo sound first. We recently got an extension and I have cunningly managed to have it as a cinema and sitting/play room, but with emphasis on cinema oops.

Only thing that makes it any neater is wires were all hidden in walls/ceiling during the build for a 5.1 set up, and newest type hdmi to rear for if ever get a projector in future.

You can get remote control sensor things that allow you to hide all AV gear away and control it still.

Wall mounted LG C8 65" OLED, Denon AV amp and B&W 600 series speakers that are well old now, and still need a sub. My god though its worth it all OLED 4k bluray movies in the dark and Netflix in Dolby vision and atmos looks and sound amazing.

If TV gets a lot of sun or day use then any TV will do only get the best picture in the darkened room.

As ceiling is sloped I can't mount ceiling speakers for atmos, so will probably go for another 2 high mounted fronts for this effect that point down.

 

If you can go for a 5.1 system if you like your movies!

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Appreciate what you’re saying about a clean look being more important to you than the output.

 

But in all honesty you may find that you’re simply wasting money for the sake of it, if the end goal is actually a low standard sound whether stereo or surround.

 

Look at some speakers like the KEF T series. Like the 301/101 etc etc. They can be in white and although they will be seen will be discrete.

 

If however these still don’t pique your interest I would generally be inclined to just put money into a high end tv with decent sound.

 

I just think all speakers being in the ceiling will be detrimental unless the system around them is high end enough to direct sound accordingly and efficiently. But this will cost.

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You ideally want flat. Wall mounted speakers. You can get in wall speakers if that’s a possibility.

 

Like I said. The Kef T series are discreet. But will be visible. There are others I’m sure. But Kef are well renowned speakers. I use Kef for my left right and centre and cannot fault them.

 

You can get small satellite style speakers like the B&W M1. These are clearly visible but small and very much worth their money. Even buying second hand for something like this can be very cost effective as long as they are looked after.

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Ok, I'm slowly warming to the idea of wall speakers. The wall the TV will be on will be a false wall so I can accommodate some depth. I fear the rear wall will be too far back for the rears to be effective plus will have furniture between the wall and sofa so maybe ceilings for the rears. The place is in pieces and will be for a few weeks yet so all options are on the table.

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