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I have an asymmetrical HT room build in the works and I'm looking for some advice on speaker type selection, placement and such. I have changed the layout from putting the screen at the end of the long end of the room to a wide room arrangement as in the picture below:

This arrangement seems to please everyone in the home and it makes the room more flexible than the more traditional lengthwise HT layout.

I've read that in-wall speakers don't perform as well as regular speakers by design. I also know they have been improving. I'm wondering if the difference is a deal breaker or is it more a subtle difference that would be noticed only in a direct comparison but go undetected otherwise. reason --> Wife really likes the clean look of in-walls:bigsmile:

I'm also aware of the other major drawback with in-walls, which is speaker placement flexibility. Given the shape of my room, would I be taking a high risk by going the in-wall route?

In a 7.1 speaker arrangement I figure the middle left surround would go along the left wall at about 10 feet from the screen but, where should I place the right one? Also, where would the rear surrounds go? I'm afraid they will be either too close to us or too close to the middle surrounds.
 

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I heard a lot of the naysayers regarding in-wall and/or in-ceiling speakers but I purchased GoldenEar in-ceiling speakers and I'm very happy! They provide great sound and compliment my front 3. I am running 7.2 and I had book shelf speakers before and I believe these sound better (newer speakers).

Couple of questions? You mentioned 10 feet for your sides how far back is your seating?

Also what is your budget range?
 

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Seating will be at approximately 10 feet from the screen. I checked out GoldenEar. Had never heard of them before, they inspire confidence :T Are you still using regular speakers for front and center or did you go 100% in wall?

As for my install, the budget is in the $2000-$3000 range. I'm willing to sacrifice some quality for aesthetics but what worries me most is speaker placement. If I go in wall, I'm also considering an AT screen.
 

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Sorry for the delayed response I have the traditional towers GoldenEar Triton 2s and center XL. I love them even though I'm upgrading to the Triton 1s this spring. I would check on the goldenear forum I'm pretty sure there is someone running 5.2. The triton 7s are awesome speakers and could help you with the WAF factor. Speaker placement is really important so I would really take the time to layout and plan. I just got my system up and running and I love the sound of my Invisas.

Sent from my iPad using HTShack
 

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I've read that in-wall speakers don't perform as well as regular speakers by design. I also know they have been improving. :
Personally I don't subscribe to that theory. I have heard many, many fantastic home theater systems that utilized in-wall speakers. Cost is the main factor along with a competent designer/installer. You can put together a pretty good home theater for not a whole lot of money if you use free standing speakers. To get in-walls that perform as well as their free standing counterparts usually costs quite a bit more.

I'm wondering if the difference is a deal breaker or is it more a subtle difference that would be noticed only in a direct comparison but go undetected otherwise. reason --> Wife really likes the clean look of in-walls:bigsmile:
That just depends on your expectations. Some people may be tickled pink with $500 worth of Polk in-wall speakers and some may be left wanting more even though they have $14,000 of Triad in-wall Gold speakers (I doubt it, but it could happen).

I'm also aware of the other major drawback with in-walls, which is speaker placement flexibility. Given the shape of my room, would I be taking a high risk by going the in-wall route?
Good point, once the in-walls are in place, they are in place. Of course you can move them but...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Personally I don't subscribe to that theory. I have heard many, many fantastic home theater systems that utilized in-wall speakers. Cost is the main factor along with a competent designer/installer. You can put together a pretty good home theater for not a whole lot of money if you use free standing speakers. To get in-walls that perform as well as their free standing counterparts usually costs quite a bit more.
Well I don't think I'm so fancy that I couldn't find a set of in-walls that fit the bill. But, aside from speaker placement I was wondering how much more sound leakage to other rooms I could expect since the speakers are in the walls. For that reason, I'm leaning toward something like the Definitive Technology UIW RLS III front speaker that come with their own enclosure.
 

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Well I don't think I'm so fancy that I couldn't find a set of in-walls that fit the bill. But, aside from speaker placement I was wondering how much more sound leakage to other rooms I could expect since the speakers are in the walls. For that reason, I'm leaning toward something like the Definitive Technology UIW RLS III front speaker that come with their own enclosure.
Something with its own enclosure has the advantage of less sound leakage as well as being designed for a known acoustic environment (the enclosure) which helps the designer produce consistent results.
 

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The layout looks quite challenging. Strong consideration should be given to placing the screen on the adjacent 11' 11" wall. This would create a better balance for the front channel loudspeakers and allow first reflection point acoustic absorption to be more easily accommodated. Regardless of the final design, incorporation of appropriate acoustic treatments (corner bass traps, first point absorption and diffusion), multiple subwoofers and electronic room correction (e.g. Audyssey MultiEq XT32) will improve the sound significantly.

Constant directivity horn-loaded loudspeakers are a personal preference for home audio reproduction because these inherently minimize room coloration. A low cost option is the Hsu Research HB-1 Mk.II monitor and in-wall speakers with or without matching subwoofers. These can produce excellent sound with outstanding value. A DIY approach using one of the diysoundgroup SEOS kits or any of the superb loudspeakers from Pi Speakers can offer even higher performance while maintaining a modest budget. My Pi Speakers 6Pi cornerhorns are made for a room like yours! Substantially more expensive commercial options would be the JBL Synthesis line or horn-loaded Klipschs. Good luck!
 

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The layout looks quite challenging. Strong consideration should be given to placing the screen on the adjacent 11' 11" wall. This would create a better balance for the front channel loudspeakers and allow first reflection point acoustic absorption to be more easily accommodated.
That was actually my first choice, but it raised other difficulties, least of which would have been the screen hiding a window. The biggest problem with that setup was with the seating arrangement. Because of the low ceiling (7'2") a step for the back row was pretty much out of the question, making the layout a bit awkward for anything else than seating 3 people to watch a movie. The back portion of the room would've been more or less wasted. Turned sideways (present scenario), the room is more suited for larger audiences and allows for more interaction for other uses. But, I agree, at the cost of being a lesser HT room for up to 3 people.

Regardless of the final design, incorporation of appropriate acoustic treatments (corner bass traps, first point absorption and diffusion), multiple subwoofers and electronic room correction (e.g. Audyssey MultiEq XT32) will improve the sound significantly.
Just a clarification here, do you recommend multiple subwoofers because of the odd shape of the room, it's size or is it just a general recommendation?

Constant directivity horn-loaded loudspeakers are a personal preference for home audio reproduction because these inherently minimize room coloration. A low cost option is the Hsu Research HB-1 Mk.II monitor and in-wall speakers with or without matching subwoofers. These can produce excellent sound with outstanding value. A DIY approach using one of the diysoundgroup SEOS kits or any of the superb loudspeakers from Pi Speakers can offer even higher performance while maintaining a modest budget. My Pi Speakers 6Pi cornerhorns are made for a room like yours! Substantially more expensive commercial options would be the JBL Synthesis line or horn-loaded Klipschs. Good luck!
You have just created a monster:dumbcrazy: Do you know how many hours I will be searching to comprehend all the info in that one paragraph.

Thank you for your precious advice.
 

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The asymetric layout may produce better visual results for a large number of viewers and how important a priority that is remains up to you. Most home theaters are used by only a few people a any one time and the proposed layout may not be even yield even a single decent listening position in the room. It probably can be made to work if the alternative is unacceptable or good sound is not a primary goal. Don't worry about the window, that's why retractable screens are made.

Multiple subwoofers smooth room modes that create the "lumpy bass" found in the majority of domestic listening rooms. Two, three, or four smaller subwoofers will often handily outperform a single larger subwoofer for this reason and require less equalization, a part of the aformentioned electronic room correction. There has been a lot written on the subject by Floyd Toole and others and it is worth searching the web for some of these references.

The loudspeaker recommendations are quite a bit to digest at one time and not what are often recommended in audiophile circles. Accurate sound reproduction should be the goal and the two most important determinants are the loudspeakers and the room in which they reside. Many audiophiles have struggled with muddy bass, exaggerated highs and midrange coloration from good loudspeakers positioned poorly in untreated listening rooms. Constant directivity designs work better in most domestic rooms by radiating sound uniformly over a specified area and thus avoiding the early reflections that most color the sound.

Horn-loaded, dipole, and line array speakers are the most common types of constant directivity loudspeakers. Dipoles (e.g. Martin Logan electrostatics and Magnepans) have a figure-eight horizontal radiation pattern (front and back) that maintains constant directivity over the full audible range, but these must be placed a substantial distance from the rear wall. Usually large expensive and low sensitivity design, they require powerful amplifiers and often lack sufficient output for larger rooms. Line arrays are also large and have had very limited commercial success in home applications. Horn-loaded loudspeakers offer high sensitivity, can create a wide stable soundstage, are relatively compact and have good availability making them the easy choice for home listening. The Pi Speakers and GedLee websites are valuable resources for more detail and well worth your attention.
 
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