I'm like you, don't care a whole lot about home theatre but put one together for the family. I like the Gallo Micro speakers cuz they're small and all in all do a good job, the wee sub can make the damned room shake on explosions and such. Mated with a quality receiver (if I had to do it all over again I'm go with an Outlaw) a decent DVD player, and a programmable universal remote and you'll be well within your budget. Bear in mind the biggest expense in HT is the speaker wire, you need lots of it! I used 12 gauge stuff from Home Depot, looked like Monster and struck me as more sturdy than the wire that ships with the Gallos. Good luck, Jeff
I have no experence with in-wall speakers, I've saw this same question posted before and don't think many others have experence with these types.
You could take a look at the new Maggie designed wall mount panels, these are designed to swing out from the wall when in use. They would probably look very nice with one mounted each side of your plasma and have that same low-profile look when not in use. Good luck.
I have been watching those new Magnapans. They are available factory-direct and you get a free trial.
I have the Pioneer Elite Pro 1000HD Plasma in my theater room. The amp is a Denon AVR-3803, and the speakers are B&W inwalls. Specifically, the speakers are CWM-800's for the front mains, and CWM-600's for the surrounds. I cannot recall the model number of the center channel speaker, but it is the matching speaker to above. The room also contains a Velodyne HGS-12 sub.
Room dimensions are 22 X 28, with a high ceiling, and even so, this setup is more than adequate. The sound is very acceptable for home theater applications, and I have been very happy with it. So has my wife, especially since she does not have to look at free standing speakers. What is it with that anyway!
Best of luck.
My theory -- women see TV's and speakers as "anti-social." Because when you make TV or music a priority -- you cannot pay attention to others. Therefore, they are rude. Now, if you can hide this rudeness in an armoire or in the walls, that's polite. Therefore, plasma screens and in-wall speakers are polite and anything that extends into the room demanding attention is aggressively boorish. The armoire says, "I only take the TV out when no one else is around." The in-wall speaker says, "I am not a priority." They can also say, "I'm only for background music." Plasma screens say, "I'm not pushy, I'll just wait over on the wall until I'm needed. Cover me with a picture if you want, I won't interfere with your decor -- I know my place." Main thing -- they say, "we put our our highest value on conversation and interaction with others -- especially our guests." And that's the message most women try to send with their environment. Of course, this is a generalization. There *are*
exceptions. But, most of us are not married to the exceptions. If we're lucky, we're married to ones who are tolerant. Rare is the wife who will say, "these speakers aren't big enough. Where's the slamming bass? I think we could get better sound if we could move those monsters further into the room." Along the same lines, have you ever heard a woman say, "is that Led Zeppelin -- crank it up!" Obviously, they are crass creatures with no taste whatseoever.
In walls can be tricky and expensive. Are you installing or your electrician at $80/hour++++++
What are your walls made of?
Are they insulated?
Do you care if sound echoes up to the floor above?
Some in walls have cabinets (snell...). Very nice but you will need someone good to install them. Also, they are not cheap.
In your budget range, I would suggest some nice ON-Walls that are not obtrusive (def tech). Keep in mind that you will need a sub also. You can get an in wall sub but they are pricey (niles, sunfire). The other choice is mini monitors like energy, paradigm or .... with a sub.
You should figure $1000 for the sub, $1200 for the speakers and then get an outlaw or denon reciever with what's left. If your buget allows, the more you spend on the receiver, the more bells and whistles you will get (but not always better sound). Sometimes the oposite-compare onkyo to rotel.
Well Dr. Rob, as usual..your couch is comfortable. I'm thinking that you could rent yourself out for a small fee.
Loved your post.
Analyze this though: In my critical listening audio room, my wife was complaining about all the equipment being housed in a cabinet/rack which exposed everything, i.e. everything showed. Sooooooooo, being a good husband, I pleased her by purchasing her very favorite armoire to house the electronics. Guess what though, several thousand bucks later, the doors to the armoire stay open almost all the time, exposing the equipment for all to see. Go figure.
I have heard KDS in-walls used as rears and thought they sounded very nice. Paradigm also makes an inwall speaker, and although I have not heard them, I can say what Paradigm speakers I have heard makes me confident their inwalls are worth a listen.
>>the armoire stay open almost all the time, exposing the equipment<<
This says, "You KNOW the armoire was *my* idea -- so I've done MY part to civilize this guy -- it's only open because my husband was raised by wolves."
And your wife tolerates it because that's a message with which she is comfortable. It also says, "look I'm a good guy -- I put them in an armoire,
but it's more efficient to leave the doors open than to have to open and close them all the time -- and -- I paid for this stuff, I WOULD like to SEE it once in awhile." A message with which you feel comfortable. So, she's saying, "he was raised by wild animals." And, you're saying, "But, I'm a good guy who's trying." I would bet that characterizes most of our marriages. The good ones, anyway.