What Are the Rules with Speakers In Rooms - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 6 Old 02-06-13, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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What Are the Rules with Speakers In Rooms

I am just about to start my basement build which will include a Theater Room and an adjoining Game/TV Room in an open layout. Additional plans are going to included Whole-House Audio down the road. I am basically ready to complete the 3 bedrooms in the basement except I have a few things to finalize in the next week or two before the drywall is set to begin.

I want the bedrooms to have pairs of in-ceiling speakers but don't know much (okay, anything) about if there is any particular rules to follow or schools of thought on how that is supposed to be done.

For example: What/where is correct placement of in-ceiling speakers in a small bedroom? Is there a particular size speaker that is recommended (or even "too big") -- I have several pairs of 8" speakers I was planning on using unless they are too big for the room sizes and would then use them upstairs in the larger main living area for the whole-shouse audio there. Is there particular spacing between the pairs that is optimal?

I've included a jpeg of my layout.

Thanks in advance! I can't wait to get this part done as the Theater Room comes next!
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-07-13, 10:33 AM
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Re: What Are the Rules with Speakers In Rooms

Looks like a good plan. You might be overdoing it. It also will depend if you users to control what they here or if the whole thing is tuned to one volume and one source. I expect it is more control to each user/zone

People will say the 8" sound better than 6" in general from the same Manufacturer. I use 6" and they sound great. I didn't like the look of the larger speaker in the ceiling but most people wont even pay attention. If you like the look of 8" go for the larger size.

I have Polk, Episode, and something else maybe golden something. I tried 3 different ones (was evaluating dealer products) and they all are great. They do have some minor differences in sound but no one notices and for background music while cooking or something they all work awesome.

A couple of things that helped me....

Make sure the ones you get have a tweeter. A directional facing one is even better.

Most speakers only have one tweeter. Others have 2 tweeters and take 2 channels. The 2 tweets are for in a room where only one speaker will be present. It will still give a stereo affect. Think of a small bathroom or shower. In your picture I would suggest this for the tanning and bath. Don't forget the bath. listening to music while relaxing is a nice additive for the wife.

You are going to here the music more than in the direct spot under the speaker so there little return for the money of all the speakers in the hall and storage. 1 dual tweet would prob suffice.

Also you will want to think of the space in terms of Zones. Most large whole home runs on 8 zone systems that are hardware daisy chained for more zones. Russound, Niles, Zantech, etc (google 8x8 audio matrix) all are about the same. The control software or hardware will determine the best hardware.
A room such as the bedroom will have a left and right feed amped or preamp for that zone depending on the hardware. Thus most 8 zone whole home audios have 16 speaker outputs. You will need 2 of these ($$$) in your set up above. unless you daisy chain speakers which is not recommended. Restaurants daisy chain theirs.

So I would recommend zones bed 1, bed 2, bed 3 , tanning, bath, other. One the other zone I might take the preamp from a zone and amp it to all the random placed speakers.

In my bedrooms I only use 2. Some people who sell them recommend 4 : ) . I place about 2 ft out from the beds near the head of the person while laying down. I direct the tweet inward. 4 would be fine as well. 4 x 8" in a small room are not too much as you can control the volume. It is more about costs of speakers and more importantly the cost of hardware to control.

In my house I would have 10-12 speakers to cover you diagram.

If you will want volume knobs on the wall for a certain zone plan this is now. Volume knobs can be convenient for people who visit and cant use technology or have access to your control software.

Also many control software platforms have keypads in each zone to change source and volume. These are nice. Most will run off of Cat5 and some need power. My biggest advice here is to run a stub box behind the drywall in a spot close to the light switch at the same height. run cat 5 to it back to the closet. also ask the electrician to run a dead wire to it from the room light switch box. Ask him to label and terminate in the light witch box. If you ever need power for a control box you can simply feed off the circuit line in the light switch box without need to tear walls fishing power.

Make sure you use in wall speaker wire that is fire rated.

What home automation or audio control suite have you researched for master control? This will be an area of large research I predict.

good luck, ask more...
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-07-13, 03:18 PM
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Re: What Are the Rules with Speakers In Rooms

in case you daisy chain them....http://www.bcae1.com/spkrmlti.htm
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-09-13, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are the Rules with Speakers In Rooms


Thanks! That is a great website and resource!

I should have been more clear when I posted the floor plan picture .... the fixtures seen in the picture are locations of recessed can lights not speakers. There will not be speakers in the hallway or storage room or mechanical room as it may have seemed ... however, I hadn't thought of the tanning room which you pointed out so I might add that in.

But that brings up another question then, with the locations of the can lights shown in the bedrooms, now where is the best place to put the pair of speakers?
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-09-13, 10:51 AM
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Re: What Are the Rules with Speakers In Rooms

Maybe this will help: http://www.jblpro.com/pub/technote/csapp.pdf


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post #6 of 6 Old 02-11-13, 08:06 PM
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I have speakers right next to lights without issue. I did place them in the next joist spot over to cut down any interference.

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You can see in the pic.

The PDF link is nice. IMHO it's more of a restaurant setup.

You really need to think about why you will have speakers and how u will control them. What's the purpose of each zone. Who's the user. What will they listen to? Tv, music, etc.
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