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Help with in-ceiling speaker system design

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pasto View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 March 2020 at 4:10am
Hi, 

I am new to this type of work. I know the basics but I am unsure on some things. 

I want to design a speaker system than with in ceiling speakers. '

Here are some details:
- The room is 12 feet X 12 feet
- I will be using the speakers primarily for playing around with DJ and beat production software
- I enjoy bass but not too much where you can't hear vocals

Questions/doubts:
- Do I need to buy speakers that are labeled "in-ceiling"?
- Could I use car speakers / woofers ? (they are considerably less expensive) 
- How many speakers will be enough? Dimensions? 
- Do I need a sub (should it also be in-ceiling or on the floor)? 

I hope some of you can help me with this - thanks!
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odc04r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 9:07am
You aren't going to get significant bass from in ceiling speakers so I wouldn't worry too much there.

My biggest #1 consideration would be first to check your local building codes to make sure the ceiling of the room isn't designed to be fire rated for a period of time, and that cutting holes and putting non fire rated kit in there might compromise it.

If that isn't a concern then stick what you like in it. What you pay for with dedicated in ceiling units gets you full range (ish) reproduction plus moisture resistance and stability over time. If they will be installed in a dry atmosphere and won't get leaked on you'll be ok with trying anything. Bass performance of sealed back units will be more predictable.

I'd always go for a separate sub on the floor, less resonance issues and easier to get to. Often any controls are build into a powered sub module that you can then connect other full range units to. Not always, but its common.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imageoven Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 11:41am
Is this for your house or in a commercial premesis?
Keep pushing on, things are gonna get better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Earplug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 12:42pm
"In-ceiling" speakers are generally used in large areas, for background muzak and the odd notification/message, with 70V/100V line distribution amplifiers to balance the impedance when using multiple drivers. They will have a transformer attached to select power/impedance. I´d say not that suited for your project.

Car speakers would be ok - but again, beware of the impedance. They are usually 4 ohm, so may need some sort of series/parallel wiring so as not to overload your amp.

And as ever, what´s the budget?  Smile




Edited by Earplug - 19 March 2020 at 12:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fat_brstd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2020 at 11:03am
If you want good ceiling speakers you need to spend the money on them, I like the QSC AD-C6T-LP (has to be the low profile version, they have a port and sound much better than the other sealed ones).

Sub should go on the floor, ceiling mounted subs are all rubbish, even really really expensive ones.

12 feet x 12 feet is 4m x 4m, that is a tiny room, you would probably be much better off with a decent set of studio monitors on brackets up on one wall.

Ceiling speakers really need height to get any coverage, in domestic settings you need very wide dispersion units which cost much more than cheap low dispersion stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sheggy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2020 at 1:17pm
I installed ceiling speakers in my kitchen when I did a refurb last year. Room is on ground floor, about 30 square meters and ceiling 3 M high. Here's what I learned.
Spent a fair amount of money but wasn't convinced by the sound in the room. Like most people I don't have ears on the top of my head so most of what I hear is indirect. The speakers I bought were 4 x 10" Monitor Audio but I don't recall the model (they were top of their range a year ago).

Some program sounds really good - you'll be happy if you listen to Nora Jones and like pretending you're in Starbucks. Obviously no low end below 50 Hz.

High ceilings would make a big difference. You need to sit on the floor to find a sweet spot.

Coverage is good.

May need some kind of sound isolation upstairs. These were installed btwn joists and rattle stuff upstairs but no B in kitchen.

Intumescent hoods are avail for fireproofing.

What would I do differently? Look, I accepted that I was going to make some compromises to have kitchen sounds. One day I will reinforce the ceiling speakers with point sources and add a floor mounted sub. Then it will be much better. But can't complain in such a small place. Kids love it because they can bluetooth music over, I love it because I can cook and listen. Neighboors must hate it because it is fairly quiet in the kitchen but properly humming upstairs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattStolton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2020 at 10:09am
Ceiling speakers are not meant for any form of critical listening.

At best, in a Dolby Atmos set-up, they run effects to aid special effects to main proper speakers, and your perception of depth/height/space. But tend to be band limited and just to aid perception of the total soundscape.

At all other times, they are for background musak. Or paging. The orientation of them to your ears should be the first clue.

In a less than 4mx4m room a simple 2.1 or decent pair of full range speakers will be plenty, and out perform anything ceiling mount.
Matt Stolton - Technical Director (!!!) - Wilding Sound Ltd
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