OUCH! why would you want to hide a beautiful pair of speakers in cabinets?
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The will not sound good, and I have heard them used as you describe.
Century Stereo (in San Jose, CA) had a pair of Salons in large receases/enclosures in the wall, which had a fabric covered door. They used them in their premium home theater room. While they worked okay for HT; for music, they really did not work. The soundstaging and imaging was completely gone. The frequency response was ruined as well, as the enclosure rolled off both the treble and the bass.
My advise; Don't do it! Either find another way to make them work out into the room, move them to another room, or just sell them and get in the wall or ceiling speakers.
I know it is sacrilege is it not? However, what are your the technical reasons for not doing so? In what way will the sound be impaired? I am thinking that is sound radiates from the front drivers are not effected, the only sound effected are reflections of the rear wall with the rear port and tweeter. How bad is this?
It will destroy the soundstaging -- the speakers must be well out from the back wall to soundstage properly -- and almost certainly make the bass unlistenable because of the rear port and prodigious bass capability of the speaker.
In short, it would be a usage of the speaker that was absolutely not intended by the designer.
Sell the Salons and buy a speaker that is designed to go in-wall.
PS - I own Salons
Thanks for the opinions. It is a serious question as it involves incorporating the Salons in a HT setting. The room will be re-done by a designer and cabinet maker, I can place the Salons in Front of the Cabinets and lose some room or I can have them inside cabinets, save some space make the decor look better, also ruining its sound. An alternate is to design the cabinetry for inwalls, and place the Salons in front of then, that way if I sell the house, I just remove the Salons and re-fit the cabinets with in-walls. I have heard that it is a bad idea to place them inside cabinets but I just wanted to get the technical reason for it. I feel I owe it to the project to look further that it being a "sacrilege". I might also need to look into speakers with smaller depth. The Salons are 26" deep. I heard the Wilson WP7s are only 18" deep.
Another HT store in Montclair, CA had them this way as well. They were not functioning when I visited. The store owner said it made little difference. I am more concerned about the audio aspects.
From reading the Revel Salon manual, they said that if you got very close to one speaker, the frequency response would be the best. So in a way the frequency response might not depend on the rear tweeter if you sat at the proper location. If I allow the rear port to breath thru the rear of the cabinetry, maybe it would not effect the bass sound staging as much.
Does anyone have any technical studies or publication with measurements on this topic?
The will not sound good, and I have heard them used as you describe. Century Stereo (in San Jose, CA) had a pair of Salons in large receases/enclosures in the wall, which had a fabric covered door. They used them in their premium home theater room. While they worked okay for HT; for music, they really did not work. The soundstaging and imaging was completely gone. The frequency response was ruined as well, as the enclosure rolled off both the treble and the bass.
Lktanx, here is a technical explanation for you. Large free-standing speakers like the Salons and WP7s are designed to be placed far away from any room boundaries for best sound. The reason for this is only the higher frequencies radiate from the front of the speaker. Lower frequencies radiate from all sides, not just the front. If you wrap another box around the existing box, such as putting it in a cabinet, you will re-direct some of the energy from the back of the speaker toward the front of the speaker, making it sound very boomy. Treble dispersion will also be affected, which will cause imaging to suffer.
An inwall speaker is designed to be placed close to a room boundary. It intentionally has limited bass response and relies on the boundary re-inforcement to get its tonal balance right.
So, rather than trying to use a free-standing speaker in a way it was not designed to be used, why don't you use the type designed specifically for your application? The inwall type will actually sound better than the Salons built into a cabinet. Alternately, some bookshelf speakers are designed for mounting directly against a wall and would sound OK. In either case you would want to get the tweeter of the speaker as close to the front of the cabinet as possible for best dispersion.
I have Salons set up in my theater...when the room plans were being developed the designer had recommended not only to place my salon in an enclosure BUT also to raise them 10" to sit on a platform...Needless to say I didn't take his suggestions. I still built my theater & my Salons are in the room not behind the screenwall. If you plan on listening to music in your theater I suggest you leave them in the room.
Jon_p, how large is your room? Mine is 17'x22'. The 17' is the length of the room i.e. it is where the screen is placed. I cannot place it on the longer side of the room due to many windows along the wall. Another problem is that the room may be a bit too small for the Salon being out of the cabinets. I may have to use smaller speakers, maybe the Studios.
Mistake #1: You hired an interior designer, not a room acoustics engineer. Hire the engineer first, and then let the interior design deal with the structure created.
Mistake #2: Seriously listening to an interior designer stupidly suggesting that you enclose your Salons. Dude, you laid-out a lot of money for a pair of the best speakers made (or at least in the top 5%). Name one store you've visited while shopping for Salons that enclosed any speakers? Don't you think there's a reason for this?
Mistake #3: Not firing your interior designer, as the interior designer clearly knows nothing about HT design or room accoustics. This person is going to lead your far, far astray. If you enclose these speakers, you're going to lose: the impact of your rear firing tweater, the amazing tuned bass the salons produce, magical three dimensionality of the Salon music reproduction, clarity of
the specially designed midridge driver.
Mistake #4 (and this is common): You really should study-up on room acoustics. Owning a pair of Salons or building a HT without understanding room acoustics is going to cost you really dearly. Don't you want the world-class performance you paid so much for? Imagine how much better you could make them sound with a little acoustic treatment.
You simply must stop listening to whatever noise is emitting from your designer's mouth. As good as your HT might look, it is going to sound like crap. You should Rives Audio a call, read some of the acoustics forums, or get some books on the subject.
I own a pair of Studios (my rooms have been too small for Salons, which I prefer). I paid a lot of money for them. I love them. Because I love their sound and I love music in general, I have worked hard on room acoustics. I have flirted with other speakers, and I've even recently listed my Studios. Even if I sell these (because I'm definitely not a motivated seller, as the low ballers have found), I'd only get the same, the Salons, or a pair of Kharmas.
I will never, ever dream of enclosing any of these in a box, and I will never, ever take the advice of an interior designer without the guidance of an acoustic engineer.
Lktanx...I admit that your stuff is way out of my league, but check out the pic's in the Virtual Systems all out assault category for "Meridian Digital Theatre", "Doctor's RX-Wilson X-2,ARC,Meitner,Runco","Linn & B & W" and check the systems in the Home Theater category that are of your caliber also...one thing that I notice in the pictures of these systems is that there are no cabinets. They also use projection systems rather than big rptv's so that there is no huge box in the middle destroying the soundstage. If it were my system and was also confined to room size constraints, I wouldn't want to lose square footage to any cabinets. I would also wonder what kind of noise a bunch of cabinets would create in a listening environment...all those hollow spaces. Besides...if you bailed on the cabinets, you could spend the $'s elsewhere in the system or room.
just my 2c...sorry if I pissed off the cabinet maker
Thanks very much for your input. I have to admit that I am aware that most/all the high end setups do not place their speakers in enclosures. I have seen one case and heard of another case. Two example cases are: I saw with Salons in enclosures at the HT store in Montclair and a mention of one by Century Stereo in San Jose. So there are cases of this occuring. And this I presume are done by the pros (?)
BTW, it's really not the cabinet makers fault, he is doing his job the best he can as a cabinet maker. Isn't all this part of the learning process?
So if the Salons or WP7s cannot be placed in an enclosure, what speaker can? I presume some speakers must be designed to perform in this manner? Any suggestions? I would like them to be as good as the Salons.
You are not going to find any inwall speaker that is as good as the Salons. A good starting point would be the Revel I30 inwalls. As far as the cabinet goes that you plan to put the salons in, it could be made from solid gold but it's still going to screw up the sound of the speakers. THESE SPEAKERS ARE MADE TO BE FREE-STANDING! Listen to what Leftistelf said above and fire your interior designer and hire an acoustic engineer.
From what I have heard, the best in walls are the legacy audio ones...never heard them myself but they may be right up your alley...but from what I also gather, the best soundstaging will come from freestanding speakers...so it's a decision that your eyes and ears will have to make...sonics vs. speaker consealment...oh...the Bose comment was toungue in cheek.
You may also want to try out the Joseph audio inwall speakers. At the most recent CES, Jeff Joseph had a demo where he said his top of the line speakers were playing only to reveal they weren't even hooked up; it was the inwalls playing. They seemed to get some pretty good reviews in the various audiomags covering the show.
Note: I have never heard these, and I am a diehard Merlin owner, but if I were in your shoes, I'd definitely give the Joseph's a try.
09-13-04: Jwells wrote: "You may also want to try out the Joseph audio inwall speakers. At the most recent CES, Jeff Joseph had a demo where he said his top of the line speakers
were playing only to reveal they weren't even hooked up; it was the inwalls playing. They seemed to get some pretty good reviews in the various audiomags covering the show."
Pretty good but no one was fooled. I listened to the demo with another reviewer and, when we were supposed to believe it was one of Jeff's best, we were very disappointed. When told they were in-walls, we thought they were not bad.;-)
Recently, I helped design an HT system for my son-in-law and he wanted to go with Salons/Studios but my daughter insisted that the speakers be hidden. We switched to Gems which were placed in the full-wall cabinet but which roll out for use.
Seems to work well but the Gems require a sub for all listening, not just movies.