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I'm building a house and installing ceiling speakers in about six rooms. My builder has recommended an installer who carries a variety of speaker lines. He is recommending Speakercraft CRS2 6.5" or if I want to spend a bit more go to the CRS3's.

I was thinking of going with B&W CCM 65's which are sold at a local retailer that I've bought other gear from. The retailer tells me Speakercraft aren't any good.

The installer acknowledges that B&W are good but says that the Speakercraft CRS3 series are comparable and lower cost.

I've never heard of Speakercraft before meeting this guy.

Any thoughts? Any other in-ceiling speakers that I should be thinking about?

Bronze Member
Username: Jimvm

Louisiana U.S.A.

Post Number: 97
Registered: Apr-05
Your builder is naturally going to steer you toward one of the subs he regularly uses. Nothing wrong with that. The sub, a custom installer, is naturally going to steer you toward a product he carries. Nothing wrong with that. The local dealer is naturally going to steer you toward the products he sells. Nothing wrong with that. BUT, the local dealer is not only unprofessional in his bad-mouthing of someone else's gear but wrong as well. Speakercraft is a reputable maker of well-built and decent sounding architectural speakers. Many, if not most, speaker companies make in-wall and in-ceiling speakers but it'd be my guess that that few of them have been making in-walls and in-ceilings as long as Speakercraft.

That said, B&W's in-ceiling speakers may be as good or better sounding than the Speakercraft -- I don't know. But my own gut reaction would be to shun the B&W dealer on principle alone or at least deal with a different salesperson.

I don't know what your budget is but one company that has what may be the best reputation for making quality, great sounding architectural speakers is Triad -- but they're not inexpensive.

I guess it depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for simple ambiance in several rooms, I'd go with the Speakercraft. They're good speakers and you'll make your general contractor happy. If you're looking for the best sound quality you can find, you might do some auditioning. Among those I'd audition are:
Triad, Speakercraft, Paradigm, Russound and Niles.

Perhaps someone else who has more experience with in-ceiling speakers can offer better advice.

Silver Member
Username: Edison

Glendale, CA US

Post Number: 723
Registered: Dec-03
Try to hear as many as you can, and go with what "you" like.

I like the Niles audio, and MB Quart.

There is a big sale on Ubid on MB Quart - hope you see this in time to check them out.


Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4373
Registered: May-04

I assume you can go to the retailer and listen to the B&W's. If the builder and installer feel the other speakers are as good or better than the B&W, ask for an audition. They must have put these speakers in other houses; ask for the ability to make the decision based on sound. To buy any speaker without hearing it is not a good idea. With that in mind, how important are the ceiling speakers? If you're putting speakers in the bathroom or laundry room, how important are they? The cost should reflect the importance of the sound.


New member
Username: Plar

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-05
Thanks for the feedback. To answer Jimvm's question, I am simply looking for decent ambiance in several rooms. I was leaning to the Speakercraft but needed some unbiased (hopefully) third party validation.

Now on to the next question: How to power the system. I currently have a Rotel RSX 1065 surround sound that powers my CD, DVD in my family room. Was thinking of using that as primary source, pluged into either:

Option 1: Recommended by local retailer (not the B&W guy referenced above). Elan Series 6. 40W per zone, up to six zones. Can select different source (CD, tuner, etc) in each room. $5K

Option 2: Recommended by customer installer. Parasound P3 pre-amp and A23 power amp. The total price for both the amp & pre amp is only around $2K so seems cheap for decent stuff.

Option 3: recommended by B&W/Rotel dealer that I've worked with before. Two Rotel RMB 1066 (can drive three zones each x 60W). $4K

The ability to control source in each room isn't very important to me. I primarily want to throw on a CD and be able to listent to it througout the house. So would give up source flexibility for better sound.

Open to other options!

New member
Username: Plar

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-05
Jan, I completely agree with your points re being able to buy based on what you hear. Not being able to hear them is what made me nervous about them in the first place. He isn't comfortable sending me to someone's house to hear them so he has offered, in writing, to to take them out for refund or exchange if I don't like what I hear when he puts them in.
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