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most bang for the buck: in wall or small monitors?

Old 10-07-06, 12:46 AM
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most bang for the buck: in wall or small monitors?

I'm moving to a new house, and the wife has (finally) agreed to let me put a 5.1 system in our bedroom. The only catch is the speakers have to be small and out of the way or in the walls. (I could probably talk her into letting the sub be normal sized and hide it in a corner.) Which would get me the best sound for the least $$. (The instalation for either won't be a problem.) I'm hoping to spend roughly $1500-2000 for all six speakers. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-07-06, 01:08 AM
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For that kind of money you should look at the usual suspects:

B&W
NHT
Paradigm
KEF

Both B&W & KEF make excellent in wall speakers as well at traditional speakers.
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Old 10-07-06, 11:30 AM
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Yep, those are pretty much the lines I was considering. I don't have that much experiance with in wall speakers though, and wanted to get opinions as to the relative value. Are you paying a lot more for the in-wall aspect? Generally speaking, if you were to compare two systems (in-wall and small satelites) that cost the same, would there be a great differance in quality?
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Old 10-08-06, 11:54 AM
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If by value you mean "cheap" there a re a lot of cheap in wall speakers out there (not listed above).

If you mean value as in, very good but at a discounted price, this is a little tougher. IMHO very good in wall speakers are a "specialty" item. They don't sell as well due to the added work in getting them installed. As an example, both B&W & KEF make excellent in wall speakers, but you will rarely find them at much below then MSRP. Now I could make the argument that they are still a value at MSRP as they do not over inflate their worth. But still, you will rarely find their in wall speakers at a discount. Tho in truth their traditional speakers are not exactly easy to find or get a discount on either.

As for "which is better" it depends on how much you are willing to spend. I would say yes a decent set of traditional speakers would sound better then cheap off brand in wall speakers. However, if you are looking at the mid to high end KEF/B&W I think they would offer as good a sound as anything else out there.

You know, I seem to remember the new circuit city had the KEF 5.1 system that looks sort of like eggs. I don't know if CC is trying to compete with BB and their in house HT store or what, but I was surprised to see the KEFs at CC. I think the set runs $1,300 or so. Tho the problem is you won't be able to compare them to in wall in a similar set up even if they by chance have the KEF in wall.

You might hit a couple of the high end dedicated HT stores and see if they have any in wall set up you can listen to.

Also you might consider some of the newer "on wall" speakers that are hitting the market with the popularity of flat panel tvs. Just because they were "designed to match a flat panel" doesn't mean you can't use them with anything else.
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Old 10-09-06, 07:51 PM
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I have Paradigm Mini Monitors for front speakers and their in wall equivalents (CS-150s, I think - it's been a while) for surrounds. They're both great, but the Monitors are better - better dispersion and bass response. But if you're looking for less intrusion, the in-walls are definitely the better choice.

Also, I believe the in-walls were more expensive.
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Old 10-10-06, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Shazam
Also, I believe the in-walls were more expensive.
I agree, quality inwalls are going to be more expensive than comparable small bookshelf speakers. You also need to deal with the wiring for inwalls.

You have a generous budget, I would go to the nearest local audio video speciality store and listen to some speakers!
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