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CPopowski 17th March 2007 03:56 PM

In wall custom speakers

This is my first post after having visited here over the last month or so.
I am owner building a new home and will be installing multi-room audio as well as a 5.1 / 7.1 system.
My partner likes music which is good so doesn't mind me spending some money on such things but she would like the system to be seen but not heard.
I am wondering if any of you know where I can find some DIY designs that would be suitable for building behind a false wall?
Most reviews I read say that the speakers work best up to 1m into the room but I would like them installed behind a wall with only a cloth grill revealing that a speaker is behind it.
I would like possibly a bi-amped config with tight bass and open mid/highs.
Budget I would say is around $500-$1000 Australian ($400-$800 US) per front tower speaker.
I would also like a matching 2 way design that would be suitable for installing in bulk heads (soffits).
I want system geared about 70% for music, and 30% for home theatre.
Any ideas would be much appreciated.


CPopowski 18th March 2007 09:12 AM

Can anyone help me on this one?

bobhayes 18th March 2007 10:46 AM

Hi Cpopowski,

I was very close to building a system into my room recently, but decided to avoid the upheaval, even though my wife was happy for me to go ahead. I was planning large bass horns built under the floor of the house, firing through some kind of grille in the floor, tight in the room corners. For the time being I decided against it, but one day I will succumb!

I should imagine that you can arrange practically anything behind a false wall, be it Infinate baffle, Transmission lines, BIB's or horns etc. With all the space created behind the wall, I would probably go for something like large and hardly compromised bass horns arranged in the space, with the mouths of the horns opening into the full corner height by a good distance wide (as deep as your false cavity).
With the space available, it shouldn't be too hard to find room for your other frequency drivers and components.
Personally I would be looking for high sensitivity from the system, but tastes and need vary, and you might look for something else.
Depending on the size of the bulkhead you had in mind, there are almost the same number of options there too.
The solution will also need to be based on the overall room dimensions, shape,general seating arrangement and personal preferences too.

I hope this thread grows, and it would be nice to hear what other people's solutions for this project.

CPopowski 19th March 2007 09:12 AM

Thanks for your reply and I hope others look at this as well.

So what you are saying is that I can do almost anything in behind the false wall. But what is it about speakers generally that makes them sound better if placed away from the wall? Is it just a matter of having any ports firing forward? What are the other limitations of having a speaker build into the wall (or standard speaker cabinet recessed into the wall) and how should I overcome these?

bobhayes 19th March 2007 11:16 AM

I think typical loud speakers are recommended to be placed out into the room, to prevent excessive boundry load, which lifts the bass too much, and in most applications, the percieved stereo image may be 'deeper'. Placing them close to a wall tends to shallow the stage. Along with the fact than many ported cabinets have the port on the back doesn't help either. There is also a problem with boundry reflections, arriving at the listener later than the original signal. The effects can accentuate some frequencies more than others, and blurs the clarity too.
Many people place sound absorbant material behind the speakers, and where sound may directly reflect to the listener, and stategically place bookcases around to diffuse these sharp reflections. The image can be really improved by placing the speakers in front of a thick curtain.
With an in wall speaker, many of these problems will not exist, or be lessened, negating these remedies, and the response characteristics of the system can be designed for a specific placement and room.
However, there are cons. Room modes or eigentones are a real design complication adding to the challenge of designing a built in system, as (I think) they are more dominant with the source in a boundry situation, but taking this into consideration, a built in system should have real benefits over standard enclosures, but if you get something important wrong in the design stage, it might be costly, or just a real chore to correct, as opposed to moving a 'box'.
The opportunity to build a great system shouldn't be missed though.

If you can't get any input on this forum, you might want to post over on the full range forum. I think you might get a few more 'bites'.

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