Home Theatre Question

Im new to Home Theatre. A friend who installs
home automation systems and surround recently wired my home
up for a Focus4 system. He then cut out seven 8-inch holes
in the ceiling of my listening room for ceiling speakers.
The holes are for 7.1 surround speakers. Im concerned that
all seven speakers pointing downward from the ceiling wont create proper surround sound. Is there any merit to the
placement of all 7 speakers on the ceiling ? The speakers
will sit flat in the ceiling.
thanks for responses
There is no acoustical or performance merit to having the speakers in the ceiling; it is simply meant to eliminate having real speakers in the room or in the walls. That said, many people (not including me) find it satisfactory especially if they buy speakers that can be aimed at the listening position. That ameliorates the problem a bit.

Actually it is more of a demerit to have all of your speakers in the ceiling. If it is a HT room..the speakers should be in/or on the front, side and rear walls to give a true surround sound effect.

Putting all seven speakers in the ceiling is just the easy way out. The sound will lack luster.. regardless if you can tilt them or not.
So, at anytime did you think of asking your friend of how he was going to set this up for you.....or did he just take this upon himself ?
Riley The friend is certified to install Focus4 Home Automation systems. He's not so skilled at surround sound,
but he does install his speakers this way every time. He
usually uses Marantz AV receivers and Proficient speakers and says that all of his clients love the end result.
I figured out on my own that this setup is not at all optimal for surround sound. No, he didnt give me any options. At the time it seemed he knew what he was doing. I might just cover up the holes and stick with my 2 channel system, Musical Fidelity TriVista Integrated with Spendor S8e's.
I think you should repay the favor by offering to rebuild his transmission.
The speakers will be firing downward and although they will "work", they will lack placement and interaction with the room boundry to sound as real as could be. They will be out of the way and not affect appearance as much but I would have placed them in the walls around the room but check out some interior magazines like Home theater, etc.
I wouldn't give up on HT so quickly. Film and music video are starting to come into there own with HD and Blue Ray. I'm guessing your nice two channel system is providing you with sound staging, you have a working knowledge of your room, and this is the basis for your concern.

I have yet to hear what was once a high quality resolving and staging two channel system morf into an HT system, but that's me. If your considering all this in the same room I'd give up on using your S8e's as a part of the HT system. Your two channel ain't broke!

Start the HT from scratch. Keep the display well away from the Spendors, if it must go between them keep it well behind them. Consider a modern receiver with room correction and possibly some directional ceiling speakers (sorry I don't know the brand but there out there) or a set of small sensitive wall mounted speakers. I'm using Triangle Comets which are on the large size for the wall but their sensitivity works great with a receivers power, in my case it's a Pioneer SC-07.

There is very little in the way of 7.1 film audio right now and what there is seems to have been produced hastily, but its coming. For now music video, HD Comcast Paladia are great fun and worth the effort IMO.

Thanks for the advice. I'll use 4 ceiling speakers
for the sides and rears, but for fronts, I'll use my Totem
Forest floorstanders, and I'll use a Totem center channel speaker. The Arcam avr350 should do a fine job
with music and movies, and I can biamp the fronts
for 2 channel or add one of my integrated amps with
the HT passthrough feature, Thanks
The Arcam seems like a fine receiver (class D?) but if the list of features on their website is accurate I strongly suggest looking elsewhere. Does the Arcam have HDMI in's and out's, True HD audio, room correction? IMO these are must haves. I have seven identical speakers and room correction made a huge difference. You'll be using three different types of speakers. In HT if I have a choice between a high quality receiver without these features and a comparably priced receiver with the new features, the features win. It's HT not hi-fi, it's still going to sound real good.

Compared to component video Blue Jean HDMI cables are super cheap and come in one foot increments for a clean installation.
That is a good decision IMHO to only use 4 ceiling speakers for side and rear only. It would be nice if they could be from the same manufacturer to better voice them together.
Vic- I see that you have a pair of Avalon Eidolons in your two-channel system. Do you have seven Eidolons in your HT system? I’m thinking of using five or seven Vandy 1Cs or Eminent Technology LFT VIIIBs in my basement (under construction) music room / theater.

I agree with your assessment of the need for room correction. Kal, who I consider the ultimate last word in anything surround, using a setup with five identical speakers, could here a marked difference between the front and back speakers when using pink noise; until he switched Audyssey in and then all sounded identical!

Oh, and thanks for the HDMI cable case of beer.

No, just two Eidolons but they are simply outstanding. Hearing them in stores and shows they always seemed sleepy to me and they never changed or upgraded the design all that much over the years. After just a few weeks their presentation became clear to us. Thankfully, my wife gets Hi-Fi so the Avalons look and sound stunning out in the middle of the room.

I consider Vandersteen and Thiel at a similar level of accomplishment for dynamic speakers. I'm not a panel fan but in an HT they could be great. As I understand it the Audyssey system is parametric in nature and the Pioneer is a combination of parametric and graphic EQ.

My new HT sounds way better even using the same speakers (Triangle Comet). Playing music videos we crank the HT up and the class D receiver doesn't run out of gas the way the linear receiver did.
the benefits of having flush mount speakers are: 1) no comb-filtering from speaker boundary reflection (at least for the boundary the speaker's attached to), 2) no speaker/boundary reflection issues to smear transients, 3) dynamic reinforcement from boundary itself being so close to the driver, for greater efficiency.
Down side to flush mount (considering you have sealed enclosure for speaker, and not wall cavity as enclosure): 1) is you will be reinforcing the bass modes in the room with such a setup, 2) it's likely your speakers won't be able to adequately "aim" or point towards the desired listening positions for proper tonality, due to water-fall response issues, 3) on ceiling mounting applications - as considered here - yes, localization and proper anchoring of the soundstage will be thrown off...drawing you out of the perspective, in relation to the screen. (basically, the dialog will be sounding like it's coming from the ceiling, and not centered near the phyisical screen.
I personally can usually work with ceiling mounted rears and sides, often. However, I don't like front L/C/R speakers up front in a ceiling mounted application. Just doesn't make a realistic front sound-stage, wich is critical.
I'd recommend using the back, sides, etc, but do some sealed boxed speakers for your L/C/R's. I think you'll get better restults, have better flexibility, and a higher overall performing system, potentially.
Good luck