Ceiling speakers - advice? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-20-2010, 08:16 AM
We are putting on a family room addition, so I get the benefit of resetting my speaker/surround layout. I have the new Sony 46XBR10 to build around. The room (plus young kids) really doesn't allow for a good 7.1 layout unless I use ceiling speakers.

I am not at all knowledgeable about speakers so any help would be great. Here is what I've been considering with Crutchfield's help:

107SB50B Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 (center, front L/R)
107TC60I Polk Audio TC60i (center L/R, back L/R)
107PSW125B Polk Audio PSW125 (BK) 12" 150-watt Powered Subwoofer
033AV2310C Denon AVR2310CI Home theater receiver

Is this a good package? Are the Polk ceiling speakers what I should focus on for the price point ~$250 per? I want to be sure they are quality and not outdated equipment.


05-20-2010, 08:23 AM
These MartinLogans look to be awesome.
I am not a Polk fan at all so I won't comment on your list.

Audio Adviser will have much better items overall to choose from.

Johnny B. Galt
05-20-2010, 09:26 AM
I'm a big Paradigm fan and really like their AMS series. I've got different applications of them in two HT setups and four other rooms in my house. Paradigm only sells its current products through dealers and no internet sales. Since you are already considering a small sub and a soundbar for your l/c/r, you might want to take a look at www.6ave.com. They are selling the discontinued Paradigm Millenia 20 Trio for $398 and have the PDR10 sub for only $190. You could then pickup a pair of Paradigm CS or AMS .for $250 / $450 and have an inexpensive but decent sounding setup.

05-20-2010, 09:47 AM
I appreciate the recommendations. The MartinLogan speakers do look great as does the speaker bar.

Johnny - if I go Paradigm, which of the ceiling models would you recommend in the $200-250 range? I am challenged figuring out models. Probably will still buy the Denon AVR2310CI receiver.


Johnny B. Galt
05-20-2010, 10:25 AM
I have heard the Martin Logan that Hyfi mentioned. It is a great sounding single speaker and one I considered for a couple bathrooms. The AA price is great. They also have a great deal on a center- http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=1MLENCORE

I ultimately went with the Paradigm AMS150SM because I'd already had Paradigm AMS speakers rooms adjacent to them and I just wanted them to have the same sound.

When I expanded downstairs, I went with Paradigms because I've had a decade of good experiences with them rather than trying something new.

With the Millenia, I think I'd opt for the AMS100R as a better match. However, the CS60Rs would offer good performance at a lower price. I would not recommend the PV series.

I don't know if your room supports 7.1 or 6.1. I was orginally planning on that for my bsement HT but Paradigm tech support talked me out of it based on room size/dimension and where my seating area was located. I went with all AMS150R30s (list about $850 and your dealer might sell them for $600+ a pair) because of the angled design and was intent on putting a AMS150RSM (stereo) speaker in for the rear channel surround. I ran the cable for it but haven't actually installed it. I don't really think I need it but may eventually just do it because....

I'm not an expert but just an enthusiast and other people would probably do things differently.

05-20-2010, 11:41 AM
This is helping a great deal.

Am I likely to have any compatability issues if I decide on the following package? Since noone has been vocally in favor of Polk, I figure I'll go with best quality for value with each component. Thanks.

MartinLogan Helos20 - speakers (4 for center and back of room)
Paradigm Millenia 20 Trio 3-Channel Speaker (front)
Paradigm PDR-10 v.4 10 Subwoofer
Denon AVR2310CI Home theater receiver

Johnny B. Galt
05-20-2010, 12:11 PM
I'm not sure if I'd mix like that. 6ave does have a good return policy if you don't like it. I've only purchased (not returned) through AA and they've always been nice on the phone (I had a unit fail twice).

Are you looking at 7.1 or are the Helios intended for additional listening areas? The Helios are priced at $200 a piece ($400 pair) so you are spending twice as much for your surround channels than the more important primary channels (lcr). I think going 5.1 with the ML center, a single pair of the Helios, and some ML fronts might be a better route to go.

Alternatively, going 5.1 and spending the savings on a better sub. The PDR10 is a great value (I have one- but my primary viewing area has a PS1200 but if you're looking at spending $400 for the 7.1, you might get better boom for your buck redirecting that towards something larger or maybe two of them.

05-20-2010, 12:29 PM
With my layout and the Denon receiver I am focused on 5.1 so I have good coverage in the room but also another zone for two outdoor speakers.

Are you saying you'd recommend 5 ML Helos instead of speaker bar for LCR + 4 Helos?

In a way I like the look of the speaker bar below a flat panel even if there is some redundancy with my 2 Helos in the front half of the room (giving LR coverage also). Does that make sense?

Johnny B. Galt
05-20-2010, 02:01 PM
I took your original plan to be 7.1 (FL,FC,FR,SL,SR,RL,RR, SW) with four Helios in the Surrounds (SL, SR) and in the Rears (RL,RR). I think that 5.1 (without the RR/RL) might be a way to save $400. If you like the idea of the Helios for the Surrounds and/or Rears, I'd take a look at a Martin Logan center (like the one I linked to) for under the TV and then adding some ML fronts (maybe inwalls like these http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=MLTICKET [you could use one for the center as well]). I haven't heard them but ML makes great stuff. The Helios is a very nice sounding speaker and seems to disperse sound well but I wouldn't be happy with them as fronts and especially not as a center. I think I'd want more directional and focused rather than radiant sound for those channels.
Because of stone fireplace and wall (my wife wanted nothing in, on, or in front of it) I have in-ceiling fronts and center (the AMS150R30) where the whole speaker is rotated 30 degrees. So, despite the fact they are in the ceiling, its not just floating and radiating overhead- it is being directed towards a sweet spot 8 feet down and in front. However, you get too close/far and/or off-axis and it doesn't sound as good. My oriinal plan had been to put a Millenia 30 center (non-Trio [center only]) on the mantle with the AMS150R30s as FL/FR but I ultimately thought it sounded better with all on the same plane.
So, a soundbar (like the Trio) with surrounds or dedicated L,C,R speakers and surrounds would be my personal preference. You could try out the Trio and see if you like the sound of it (since you like the look of it) and then go from there.

Johnny B. Galt
05-20-2010, 02:15 PM
I was poking around the AA site and found the Helos 100. This is the Martin Logan that is (I believe) a similar aimable design to what I have as fronts and center. Granted, they are $500. http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=MLHELO100 I imagine these would be awesome speakers and would work very well if you wanted to keep everything in the ceiling (with the possible exception of a center) and use the $200 Helos as surrounds.

05-21-2010, 01:00 PM
thanks Johnny. I bought the 4 Helos last night (surround and rear) and am still debating what to do for the LCR. Leaning toward separate speakers vs. soundbar and staying in the ML family. We'll see. Really appreciate your help.