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#135704 - 04/21/06 12:27 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
millerbrad Offline
buff

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
I was hoping to toe-out the ledge that the TV and speakers would sit on, so that they could be as far forward in the cabinet as possible. I'm going the pedestal-route on the TV to offer flexibility in TV trims if I ever need to replace the plasma. That, and I kind of like the pedestal.

The diagram below is of the smaller 50" TV model, but I would think that the 58" pedestal wouldn't be drastically different in dimensions. Worst case, the screen is about 6" from the front of the cabinet.



Also, I piddled around with to-scale cabinet designs (using MS Word of all programs).



Mostly, I wanted to see how the components scaled out on the 12ft wall and against each other. Neither the wife or myself or particularly happy with how it looks, so I think I'd rather give the carpenter some rules to follow, and see what he comes up with. And yes, that's the sub on the bottom-center <shudder>. Still working on fixing that.

I was thinking something along the lines of the following:
* M60s near the outside corners, to come close to Dolby's 5.1 layout recommendations
* Keep it symmetric, if at all possible

As far as cutouts for speakers, I'm curious about optimal deadspace on each side (if I couldn't follow tom's slide-out design). Is it better to leave alot of space, or a little? Preferably, I'd like to just leave it wide open at the TV-Speaker level from wall-to-wall. In my head, that would eliminate alot of the cabinet-effects. But then I need to put the electronic components somewhere.

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#135705 - 04/21/06 12:59 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
millerbrad Offline
buff

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
In reply to:

I agree with Tom. A very good setup that should lend itself to the WAF. My wife originally wanted inwalls (completely flush) but I just couldn't bring myself to sacrifice the audio quality for aesthetics. If you get a speaker with a beautiful wood finish, it is more like a piece of furniture which tends to be pleasing to wives (unlike the typical black where they do tend to stand out).




Sounds reasonable. It's quite possible that one of the maple finishes would match reasonably well.

Does Axiom provide samples for their handful of standard finishes? I can only seem to find ordering info on the custom ones ($10 vinyl / $25 wood).

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#135706 - 04/21/06 02:16 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8292
Loc: Tacoma
Hey Brad!

Well, that's worth 1,000 words, at least.

Yes, I believe Axiom will send you samples of standard finishes also. You might be pleasantly surprised by how good they look, especially the Mansfield Beech. Give them a call. Great people.

I think you may be surprised how large the M60's are. Putting them on a shelf that high might make them seem a bit overwhelming. Perhaps more importantly, they are quite DEEP, and require at least a token amount of clearance for the ports on the back of the speaker. I don't know the depth of that shelf, but you might want to look into that dimension. Again, the M22's might end up being a better choice (use a good bookshelf speaker instead of setting a floorstander on a bookshelf) It would also be much easier - because of the weight - to engineer the sliding mount concept.

Dude, seriously, you've got to get the sub out of the cabinet. I am a big Axiom fan, but the one thing that has always bothered me is that the subs are front-firing. From an aesthetic (and kid and pet protection standpoint) I have quite enough grill cloth in my life, thank you very much. The wood finishes on the SVS and Hsu models make them look like just another lovely wood cube in your space. Flexibility in placement is critical to getting good sub performance, and it's not something that is easily predicted by room dimensions. A few inches either way can make all the difference.

Finally, I do not think that having the speakers as far to the edge as possible is a good thing. You will dramatically increase the amount of early reflections you get from the side walls and muddy the soundstage appreciably.

Nice piddling, btw.

I don't fully understand your vision for the equipment and how this all lays out dimensionally. Is it reasonable to suggest that you put an equipment-rack width space to the outside of the speakers on each side?
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#135707 - 04/21/06 03:00 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
millerbrad Offline
buff

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
In reply to:

I think you may be surprised how large the M60's are. Putting them on a shelf that high might make them seem a bit overwhelming. Perhaps more importantly, they are quite DEEP, and require at least a token amount of clearance for the ports on the back of the speaker. I don't know the depth of that shelf, but you might want to look into that dimension. Again, the M22's might end up being a better choice (use a good bookshelf speaker instead of setting a floorstander on a bookshelf) It would also be much easier - because of the weight - to engineer the sliding mount concept.




The "nook" where this will all be built is about 4ft deep, so I've got a fair amount of depth to work with. I wasn't too much against elevating the M60s, because I had read at least one reviewer who thought that the soundfield seemed a bit low to the ground. I'm also strongly considering having the cabinet actually terminate after the AV shelving on either side. Then I could put the towers and sub on the floor next to the cabinet.

In reply to:

Dude, seriously, you've got to get the sub out of the cabinet.




I know, I know... I think I've got her convinced to at least install a subwoofer jack in that northeast corner of the room -- so I'm getting there. That spot is just begging to be the home for a big, fat sub. Apparently, Dr. Hsu agrees. He recommended their VTF-3 in that spot. I'm not sure how tweaked I am about putzing with foam plugs and electronics behind the sub whenever I switch between music and movies, so I'm actually leaning a bit more toward the STF-3.

In reply to:

From an aesthetic (and kid and pet protection standpoint) I have quite enough grill cloth in my life, thank you very much.




Agreed. I already have one dog-chewed grill cloth on the el-cheapo dorm speakers in my current living room. Yet another reason for me to not be completely opposed to elevating the fronts (and a reason for me to favor Hsu/SVS for my sub).

In reply to:

Is it reasonable to suggest that you put an equipment-rack width space to the outside of the speakers on each side?




Should I expect any other problems with the sound field if I do this? I've been trying to follow the Dolby recommendations to a tea. As it is, I'm already short on the recommended 44-degrees of separation between my fronts.


Edited by millerbrad (04/21/06 03:15 PM)

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#135708 - 04/21/06 04:06 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16282
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

I wasn't too much against elevating the M60s, because I had read at least one reviewer who thought that the soundfield seemed a bit low to the ground.


I wouldn't pay too much attention to that reviewer's comment. Speakers can't really give you "tall sound" without being tall themselves. The highly-desirable "wide soundstage" is possible because there are two speakers in stereo, separated by a good width. The floor and ceiling, and how the speakers are positioned in the room, are what contribute to the "audio illusion" of speakers sounding taller than they actually are.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#135709 - 04/21/06 04:38 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
millerbrad Offline
buff

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Going back to my original question, I got a PM from someone offering to sell a pair of Paradigm in-wall/in-ceilings. I read a post from Alan today where he mentioned a close tonal match between the M3's and Paradigm Studio 20's (Here to be exact.)

Still waiting on more specifics on the Paradigms I've been offered, but would you say that it's a good generalization that the high-end Paradigms sound similar to Axioms?

EDIT: I meant that I'd been offered Paradigm in-wall/in-ceilings.. not Axioms. D'oh...


Edited by millerbrad (04/21/06 04:58 PM)

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#135710 - 04/21/06 04:42 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8292
Loc: Tacoma
In reply to:

The "nook" where this will all be built is about 4ft deep, so I've got a fair amount of depth to work with. I wasn't too much against elevating the M60s




Board regulars (and general audio savants) spiffnme and Ajax both reported enjoying the effects of elevating their M60's. I don't think it would be sonically problematic in any way; I was more concerned about the aesthetics in this instance. It's good that you've got plenty of depth, though.

Could you put the equipment in the "lower" cabinets under the TV so that you could leave the "shelf" part more open?

The VTF-3 comes in nicer finishes than the STF-3, which might help you I seriously doubt that there are many people futzing with the plugs; I think most people just dial in the sub for their primary use and leave it at that. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, because I don't listen to a lot of music with extremely low notes. That is, if I set up the sub in maximum extension mode, I'll bet I'd have enough SPL to satisfy me, it would go as low as possible for movies, and my music listening would probably never demand either a higher SPL or greater extension. YMMV. I'm not a fiddler.

In reply to:

Should I expect any other problems with the sound field if I do this? I've been trying to follow the Dolby recommendations to a tea. As it is, I'm already short on the recommended 44-degrees of separation between my fronts.




Okay, based on my experience, knowledge and conjecture about your situation, my *opinion* is that you have far more to fear from the boundary effects of having the speakers in a cabinet AND close to the wall than you do from having them - potentially - closer together than you might like considering the fairly long distance to the sweet spot. If it was me, I'd try really hard to get the mains a couple feet away from the corners.

Besides the distance, the other thing that struck me about that back listening position all the (long) way across the room is that it is basically against the back wall. Having a wall directly behind the listening position is suboptimal, but that's life.

Overall point being, the Dolby stuff is all well and good if you listen in a lab. For the rest of us, the Room and the other realities of life tend to require a few compromises here and there. You'll still be thrilled. Really.
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#135711 - 04/21/06 04:54 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8292
Loc: Tacoma
I haven't personally heard the Paradigms, but MANY posters here have come the same assessment.

Axiom spent a LOT of time engineering the in-wall speakers to be sonically indestinguishable from their boxy counterparts. If I had an application that demanded that form factor, I would not hesitate to buy them.

I still think, however, that wall or ceiling mounting QS8's would be much better for your surrounds in that room, given the seating arrangement.
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#135712 - 04/21/06 05:17 PM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
millerbrad Offline
buff

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
In reply to:

Could you put the equipment in the "lower" cabinets under the TV so that you could leave the "shelf" part more open?




Potentially. I'd have to get on my knees every time I changed the DVD, but I'm not sure how much of an issue that really is to me. Another option to think about, I guess.

In reply to:

The VTF-3 comes in nicer finishes than the STF-3




Yeah, I noticed that shortly after I made that post. So, yeah.. I guess I'll probably go with a VTF after all. Now, if they'd actually have those Maples in stock. (I wonder what kind of waiting list they have going? That's probably best asked at the Hsu forums.).

I'd be more interested in SVS if you didn't apparently have to buy such expensive models before you get a choice of finishes. Axiom subs would be a no-brainer if it weren't for them being front-firing (although I'm not sure how well the 350 - more along the price I'd like to pay - stands up against similarly-priced competition).

In reply to:

If it was me, I'd try really hard to get the mains a couple feet away from the corners.




Thanks. I'll take that into consideration.

In reply to:

Having a wall directly behind the listening position is suboptimal, but that's life.




Yeah. Like my wife, I've never been a big fan of Great Rooms and the "furniture islands" that go along with them, which is why we went with furniture on the wall. Give and take, I guess.

In reply to:

...the Room and the other realities of life tend to require a few compromises here and there. You'll still be thrilled. Really.




Versus the 27" Magnavox and $200 Zenith mini-stereo I'm using now? Yeah, you're probably right...

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#135713 - 04/22/06 11:24 AM Re: Ceiling Speakers with Similar Timbre?
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
In reply to:

I'm not sure how tweaked I am about putzing with foam plugs and electronics behind the sub whenever I switch between music and movies, so I'm actually leaning a bit more toward the STF-3.




You won't have to change anything with the VTF-3 going between music and movies, just leave it set at the lower extension. The other mode is if you only want to play extremely loud music without distortion.
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M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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