Installing Ceiling speakers, never done it before.

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Mw Roofline, 24 Jun 2011.

  1. Mw Roofline

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    Hi my first posting in Audio Visual.

    I'm renovating a house we've bought. All the upstairs has been plastered and downstairs plastering will commence in a month or so. As there are no ceilings downstairs yet (just joists) it would be a good time to install some ceiling speakers.

    I can't actually afford this, but I know that years down the line when it's all finished, i'll regret putting them in.

    I'm not after oodles of base and massive noise, only just a nice quality sound that can be played low for guests coming to dinner and maybe a tad louder if we have a party :cool:

    I'd like the controller to be in the kitchen.

    I'm thinking 6 speKERS in the lounge, 6 in the kitchen, 2 in the hallway, 4 in the dining room and one in the bog.

    I've seen these on ebay
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1-x-CEILING-S...I&otn=5&po=LVI&ps=63&clkid=878700627353617644

    I have no clue about wiring (I'm a roofer!). So say if I install all 17 speakers, do I just run all 17 sets of pos&neg wires to the kitchen and then get some kind of control module? :oops:

    Thanks in advance but I haven't a clue.

    Anyone want to do it cheap and i'll fit a flat roof for free? Midlands area ;)
     
  2. OwainDIYer

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    It is rarely a good idea to install ceiling speakers. It's not natural to have sound coming from above your head and it sounds wrong. Most houses don't have high enough ceilings anyway, so the sound is very uneven.

    If you buy those speakers in multipacks you can get them for about £24 each. eg
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140565791951

    Unless your lounge is the size of Tesco you won't need 6 speakers.

    You can't run more than one or at most two stereo pairs of speakers from an ordinary amplifier, so if you want 8 stereo pairs you'll need at least 4 amplifiers.

    Or you'll need a multi-room system with separate amplifiers/controls in each room, eg.

    http://www.richersounds.com/products/multi-room/multi-room-systems
     
  3. ChrisFrost

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    I work in the trade. Amongst the products I supply & install are various recognised manufacturer's in-ceiling speakers for background music, foreground music (your dinner party etc) and home cinema use.

    Those speakers you've found are very cheap for an 8" unit... but cheap isn't a good thing in this case. It means the speakers are crude and basic.

    Here's the back of the Adastra 8" speaker...
    [​IMG]

    and here's a competing brand 6.5" for around £95
    [​IMG]

    All those bits of circuitry on the back are the crossover and overload protection. This is the same sort of stuff as you would get in a hi-fi speaker.
     
  4. ChrisFrost

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    Following on from the above...

    I agree with OwainDIYer that you don't need 6 speakers in the average large living room. Well, not unless the speakers are very poor. I'd also agree that a conventional stereo system will sound better. Having said that though my customers have all been really pleased with the results when a decent in-ceiling system has been installed.

    Buying cheap speakers is false economy. You'll end up spending extra cash on things such as amps and associated electronics.

    There are speakers in my range that can be daisy-chained. They have switching to balance the load on the amp. That means you need just one stereo channel amp to run four speakers. This is enough to cover a very large domestic lounge.

    The savings on the amp and the juice it would use would more than pay for the extra cost of the better speakers compared to 6 cheapies, 3 stereo amps, the signal splitters and all the extra cable. The side benefits would be better higher grade components, better sound quality, bass & treble controls on the speakers and a flatter profile. Over all it's a win win for you.

    Your system needs to be planned in advance of any wiring. That way you'll get the result you want without missing something, wasting cash or involving silly compromises.
     
  5. festive

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    Some great advice from the guys above, may i also add you need to add other considerations.

    Acoustics.. where the speakers are mounted perhaps double up the plaster board, also ensure if possible they are either in their own enclosure or have some acoustive wadding around the enclosed area as you will get a considerable amount of sound reflected upstairs otherwise.

    I purchased Sonance speakers, they also look and sound good with a paintable grill to blend into the ceiling. I have the CR101's in my bathroom

    http://www.cyberselect.co.uk/product/69

    running from a Mission Cyrus1 as my slave amp in the loft (bit overkill but it's one of my fave amps as a kid and it was cheap on ebay!)

    4 of these Ceiling speakers with good amplification along with a Sub on the ground floor somewhere will fill your room with sound believe me. Connect them via a decent amp like a Onkyo and youll have some nice sounds.
     
  6. daryah

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    also thinking of installing speakers in ceiling of upstairs bathroom

    back of the speaker will be inside the loft - been told I need to think about (read "pay for") the casing of the speaker and that it may not be a trivial thing - any thoughts?


    planning to string the cabling into a bespoke bathroom cabinet with an electrical point that will house a small car amp which I can turn on/off easily.
     
  7. ChrisFrost

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    Bathrooms aren't a great place to put amps. There's a lot of moisture and a fair amount of dust in the atmosphere. That's not good for long term reliability.

    If I was you I'd consider housing the amp in the adjoining bedroom instead.

    As for boxing in the speakers, there's a couple of good reasons to do it: acoustics, stopping dirt and debris getting in the back of the speaker, as well as fire protection. It doesn't have to be mega expensive though. Off-the-shelf back-boxes are available. I used some recently on a job. They worked out at around £90 ea for steel ones. If it's a standard sized bathroom then install a single point stereo speaker and you'll only need one back-box.

    If you're buying quality gear I can do you a cracking deal on one or two 6 1/2" single point stereo speakers with back boxes.
     
  8. Wheats

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    Hi, sorry to drag up an old thread but this is my first post on this forum as Ive only just bought my first house. Ive read through the various posts on this topic but just after a few tips...

    Im looking at putting a single stereo ceiling speaker into my bathroom (2.5x3m), like the one below. Is it safe to place it under loft insulation or is this a fire risk/ will affect the sound? Is cutting a hole in the insulation sufficient?

    The ultimate plan is to buy a Sonos amp and connect it to the speakers from a bedroom. Ideally i would like to place the amp under the floorboards with its own power source so it is hidden. Again is this safe or a bad idea?

    I will be using a similar set up in my kitchen - if I again hid the amp next to the other one will the Sonos system perform well with both amps next to each other? Also I would prefer to use Apple Airplay - would this require a separate device plugged into each Sonos amp? I will be running out of floorboard space!

    Finally...

    Cheers for any help!
    Jonathan
     
  9. Sam Gangee

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    How much heat does the amp emit? Hot air rises. If it can't rise, it simply circulates a little and gets hotter until conduction through surrounding materials allows it to reach equilibrium. If the materials are thermal insulators, it could become unpleasantly hot in there.
     
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  10. Wheats

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    Yeah I see what your saying - if you put underlay/carpet on top then it will get too hot. If I were to strip the floorboards and have a bit of ventilation then possibly.

    I was in a shop where the guy had a Sonos Amp in a cavity pillar and just wondered if it was feasible to hide it in a similar way in the house or if any of you guys had done a similar thing professionally.

    I take your point Il think of another way. Ta
     
  11. ChrisFrost

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    Ceiling speakers will be okay under insulation but I would never do an install and leave them like that. Theres two reasons. The first is dirt getting in to the back of the speaker. It will rattle sooner or later. est to cover it before that has chance to happen. The second reason is fire prevention. The speaker is very inlikely to spontaneously combust, but if a fire starts in the bathroom or adjoining bedroom the the flames will find the weak spot in your ceiling to spread to the rest of the house. A firehood restores some or all of the fire retarding capacity of the ceiling after you cut a big hole in it to fit a plastic speaker enclosure.

    As for any mains powered device in the floorboards.... Wouldn't be something I'd ever let a customer talk me in to doing. Hide them in a cupboard with easy access and ventillation.
     
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