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Ceiling speaker installation


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#1 MrSpeed

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:15 AM

I about to start installing my ceiling speakers, I purchased monoprice speakers for my audio distribution. I would like to know if anyone has pictures or helpful guides on placement of the speakers. Also I have seen many members make their own boxes, does anyone sells already made boxes? One last thing, I saw a member discuss fire rated speakers for a garage, I did not realize there where different type speakers, why these type speakers for garage?


Thanks

#2 Neurorad

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 02:49 PM

By code, the walls of the garage are supposed to have a fire rating - drywall provides this. If you penetrate it, you're supposed to maintain the fire rating. Using back boxes made of drywall will provide the continued fire rating, behind the speaker. If retrofit, it's sometimes easier to use a flexible pre-manufactured fire-rated back box. Automated Outlet sells these, made by Russound. CALL to get the best prices. Another option for retrofit in-ceiling garage speakers is to use a fire-rated speaker, with an enclosed rear (usually aluminum). Monitor Audio makes some of the cheaper ones, but you can probably find cheaper.

Similarly, you're not supposed to use low-voltage retrofit backless rings in a garage - use a high voltage fire-rated retrofit/old work box behind your LV keypads and other penetrations. Slightly more difficult to use, but similar cost.

Don't use these in a garage:
Posted Image

Use these:
Posted Image

And just a reminder not to use these plastic drywall access panels in a garage:
Posted Image
I have one in my garage ceiling, and I need to replace it. It hides a gate valve that controls an exterior spigot that is prone to freezing. I'll probably replace it with a fire-rated access panel, or I'll extend the handle through the drywall ceiling.

#3 Neurorad

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:00 PM

As far as speaker placement, someone else mentioned in a recent post the 'rule of thirds' for speaker placement.

Can't find the post, maybe try google.

I also found mention of the 'rule of fifths', something else to research.

#4 MrSpeed

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:44 PM

As far as speaker placement, someone else mentioned in a recent post the 'rule of thirds' for speaker placement.

Can't find the post, maybe try google.

I also found mention of the 'rule of fifths', something else to research.



Thanks for the informative post!

#5 MavRic

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 02:53 PM

The fire rating bit...does this only apply to the walls that border the house? For example my garage only has 1of the 4 walls touching the house.

#6 Yankeewired

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:35 PM

The fire rating bit...does this only apply to the walls that border the house? For example my garage only has 1of the 4 walls touching the house.

Yes . The fire rating applies to the walls or ceilings that abut living space . So If only one wall abuts living space than just that wall is fire rated. One way to tell if its fire rated is that it will have 5/8'' thick wallboard and has ''x'' rating , however some builders may board the hole garage in 5/8'' anyways.Next time your at the home center take a look at the wallboard and you should see the stamping on the fire rated board. This wallboard looks just like the 1/2'' thick type but has something added to it to achieve the 2 hour fire rating. This is also why when cutting into a fire rated wall or ceiling you need to look at the box you are using . Look inside the box and you should read ''2 hr'' some where stamped inside along with cubic inch capacity , ect. There are also building codes on how close these openings can be next to each other,ect. This is of course subject to building code practices in your area.

#7 Monk

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:36 PM

Does anyone install in-wall / ceiling speakers WITHOUT boxes? I mean to ask, is it an accepted thing to do? Will it sound horrible without boxes?

#8 sic0048

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 04:23 PM

I have not used boxes with any of my ceiling speakers. But they are covered by insulation, so there is some "blocking" provided by the insulation. I've used a selection of Proficient and Niles speakers and they sound great. But generally I've also larger speakers 7-8" in most places and haven't bought the cheapest grade either. That alone should help sound quality.

#9 Lou Apo

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 05:26 PM

I put yamaha ceiling speakers all through my house with no boxes. The directions had no indication that a box was even an option. In addition, I don't see how it would be physically possible to get a box in there without making a hole in the ceiling that is bigger than the speaker would cover. And the speakers sound great. Keep in mind, this is just ambiance type sound that I am piping through the house.

#10 pete_c

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 05:59 PM

Now you guys have me thinking that maybe my in ceiling adds for 7.1 sound should have boxes. I have about two feet or so of space above the speaker. I currently have them paired up with the rear speakers and haven't really noticed anything weird with the sound.

Is there a way to box a speaker (8" round) thru same said opening?

#11 mdesmarais

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:29 PM

Boxes are frequently used to keep the sound from coming through to the other side of the wall. . .

#12 Work2Play

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 01:14 AM

I emailed one of the big speaker makers (can't remember which) - about back boxes... I got a weird question/response that basically said there's nothing wrong with having open-backed speakers in your attic - in some ways it'll sound better. Personally though, I gotta think free-blown insulation could blow around and interfere with the operation of the speaker.

Long before I cared about HA, I was a teenager who ran solid mobile audio and security systems; and I did an awesome boat stereo... one of the biggest things lacking in many car/boat systems, is mid-range (and I talked to all the local installers about this phenomenon). The solution, honestly, is a speaker backing. When I've done my cars and boats, I've always manufactured some sort of "can" for the speaker. To demonstrate the effect to others, I've taken a speaker playing - and put it in/out of an enclosure (sometimes as simple as tupperware). The difference in sound quality and volume is incredible.

Everyone has different ears and different tastes... some people hate the strong mids; I like 'em. I won't install ceiling speakers without backings. Please try it out and see for yourself. Otherwise, there's been some good info here - if you need fire-safe, those are out there... just depends on your need.

#13 MavRic

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 09:12 AM

I have 5 pairs of Polk RC series 6.5" speakers in my ceilings. They sounds great, but on the upper floor I can definetely hear the 'thumping bass' even on non rapper/ghetto music at lower volumes. The carpet and floor of the upper floor (naturally) seems to block the higher frequencies and let the bass through.

Since it's just the wife and me at this point it doesnt really matter, but if i had kids sleeping upstairs you could hear the bass even at very moderate playing volumes.

So i don't have back boxes and my speakers were installed by a pro LV-contractor who didn't mention anything of the kind. They sounds great. I believe they are 100w while the Nuvo E6G only puts out 20w per channel so they're pretty well oversized for sure. 20w seems to be sufficient for good ambiance music and a party now and then in reasonably sized rooms.

Off Topic, but think about the size of your amps and their power consumption. Unless you have very large rooms (foyers, double height living rooms, etc) anything more than 20w or so seems wasted to me. My main living area is about 18x36 ft and i have 2 sets of these polks in there (each on their own channel). The intention was to use 1 set as rear surrounds while the other set is in the kitchen area or they can play together when needed. I havent but the surround system in yet.

I'm looking for some more speakers to do the upstairs office and potential nursery, I'm now looking at the monoprice speakers who seems much better value than the Polks.

#14 Neurorad

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:10 AM

The Monoprice speaker thread, at AVS, has lots of good info on retrofitting speakers, in general.

Flexible back boxes, made of a vinyl-like material, (Dynabox and Russound Flexbox) are available for retrofit, but I doubt they do much for bass. They're designed to improve performance, and diminish sound transfer, but the specs I've seen show they're only good for reducing transmitted high frequencies and not bass. The Russound product is fire rated (not sure of the time), and is designed to be used in a garage - but check the rating, again not sure about it. Brandon at AutomatedOutlet gave me the tip on the Russound - I think they were half the price as the Dynabox, very affordable through AO, if you CALL by PHONE.

Stuffing fiberglass batts above the speaker doesn't do much, as the sound travels around the fiberglass, through the joists, right up through the floor above. I tried it in my wiring closet ceiling - no sound difference in office above.

A CI at remotecentral.com suggested using a plastic grocery bag around speakers, in an attic, with blown-in insulation. It was quick and easy to build a back box, so I did that instead, for my MBa speakers.

Most speaker manufacturers will tell you the ideal back box volume for each speaker model. Contact them.

For my garage speakers, I'll prob just buy fire-rated speakers, with an enclosed back. Easier than DIY.

Edit - Russound Flexbox is 1 hour fire rated. I don't know if that's kosher for a garage, you'll have to figure it out. If someone does, please post back. B)

#15 charliebarns

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:57 AM

I boxed all my 26 of my speakers but one during the build. I used Polk RC80i speakers and you can see in the attached image how I boxed them. Basically just creating an enclosure for the speaker. The difference in the sound of these boxed speakers compared to the one I did not box, simply because I ran out of time, is absolutely night and day. The unboxed speaker has no....body to it. The boxed speakers sound incredible.

Attached File  DSCF4468.jpg   74.48K   272 downloads




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