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Paradigm Studio 40s; Installation Question

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Oct 9, 2010
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Paradigm Studio 40s; Installation Question

So, I am in the planning stages of my basement home theatre, and I am looking to set my speakers into the wall. Now, my speakers are enclosed already (Paradigm Studio 40s), but for possible noise muffling (the speakers will be in a wall, but on the other side is a laundry room), I was thinking of building a box around the box, and lightly insulating it to cut laundry-room noises down. I realise I could use in-wall speakers, but I already have these speakers, and I have a feeling getting equivalent sound from an in-wall speaker would be cost prohibitive.

Am I looking at this greatly modifying the sound that comes from these speakers? The plan is to build the box from MDF, and insulate the inside of if with some kind of foam / fibre insulation (possibly even just bumpy foam). The box will also obviously serve as the stand for the speaker.

Red are the speaker boxes, and the white box inside them are the speakers; the random lines are just for figuring out viewing angles and stuff for spacing.
theatre.PNG
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Aug 16, 2010
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The Studio 40's are excellent speakers, so I've heard. Most speakers are designed to have a several feet of open space to the sides and back. In my opinion, it would be a terrible shame to put these great speakers in boxes. I think you may get very bad, boomy, distorted base.

In my opinion, the commitment to build a basement home theater makes the project a no-compromise undertaking. I know you must be under constraints if you're considering this but if I had those speakers, I'd put them 2 or 3 feet out from walls with the appropriate toe-in, put them on good metal stands, fill the stands with sand, and put them on spikes. I think insulating the boxes will reduce sound in the laundry room but will not improve or control the sound (uncontrolled base) in the HT room. If you have to put them in walls, is it an option to build one long enclosure for all the front speakers so at least there's a little more space around them?
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If you're hell-bent on placing the speaker in the wall, I'd sell the Studio 40's and pick up a pair of Paradigm's in wall speakers instead.
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DiceMan wrote: The Studio 40's are excellent speakers, so I've heard. Most speakers are designed to have a several feet of open space to the sides and back. In my opinion, it would be a terrible shame to put these great speakers in boxes. I think you may get very bad, boomy, distorted base.

In my opinion, the commitment to build a basement home theater makes the project a no-compromise undertaking. I know you must be under constraints if you're considering this but if I had those speakers, I'd put them 2 or 3 feet out from walls with the appropriate toe-in, put them on good metal stands, fill the stands with sand, and put them on spikes. I think insulating the boxes will reduce sound in the laundry room but will not improve or control the sound (uncontrolled base) in the HT room. If you have to put them in walls, is it an option to build one long enclosure for all the front speakers so at least there's a little more space around them?
I was concerned about the "cabinets" creating an issue, but Paradigm themselves say this is an acceptable installation method (it's actually one of the few answers they have in their FAQ). Now, is it ideal? According to a lot of people: yes. These guys had some good reasoning, but maybe I am just REALLY searching for someone that agrees with me ;)
Clicky clicky

I agree about the "no compromise", but I'm using $2k in speakers, a $1k receiver, and in a basement, so plenty of compromises are already being made WAY before installing the speakers. However, I get the sentiment. As for spacing from the walls, seems like it's pretty universally understood it should be a few inches from the wall at most; I can't find anyone that says more is needed, while citing any valid reasoning. At worst, people complain about SBIR, which moving away from the wall doesn't actually fix. To fix it, you acoustically treat the back wall (all walls, really), which is what I'd conveniently be doing by insulating them.

That room is 14.5ft deep, and about 45ft wide. Another idea was to have the screen @ the lengthway side of the room, which would almost work, except one end will become a bar soon-ish, and the other side would have viewers' backs to people arriving, and I have a weird problem with having my back to people ... and a fear of being stabbed (I am not joking on either front). That "screen wall" could be moved away from the seating position ~12" before it runs up against the furnace; I'd rather not move that wall, and I like there being a gap around the furnace. If I tried to keep "ideal" spacing, I could move the screen towards the seating position about 2ft and not have an issue, but this room is not "just" a theatre, it's a lot of things, and the whole point was to have it be a pretty normal room when it's not serving theatre duties ... this would visually be "ugly", and while my basement is already pretty brutal, I don't need to make it worse. My "multi-purpose" room idea might actually be my main undoing, but it'd be cool if I could manage it.
The_Professor wrote: If you're hell-bent on placing the speaker in the wall, I'd sell the Studio 40's and pick up a pair of Paradigm's in wall speakers instead.
While I am a firm believer in in-wall speakers sounding generally pretty bad (for reasonable speakers ... lets say, costing no more than my studios), I do think this might be the best option (well, I'm not selling the Studios ... let's be real, that isn't happening). I'll probably at least TRY the speakers in the wall boxes first, because it'll only take maybe 4 hours to build it all, and at least see what's up.

I do appreciate the feedback and input though!
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.

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