Can I replace the speakers in an HTIB system?
I really want to use In Ceiling speakers for the rear satellite speakers, but the HTIB makers don't encourage it. I know the impedance has to more or less match, but is there any other real problem with doing it or are they just trying to scare me?
Interesting question. Here's my thoughts on your issue, maybe somebody else can add their own ideas. I will only talk about HTiB systems in general, as I don't know which system you have.
Firstly, an HTiB system is designed by the manufacturers to be a self-contained system. One that saves the user the complication of piecing together a home cinema system. Therefore, I would expect them to not give you any encouragement as their system is doing what it was designed to do. If they encourage you to modify their setup, then they will leave themselves open to a whole load of support issues from every user who wants to make some changes.
Therefore, as you seem to be progressing beyond the scope of an HTiB system, then the best solution would probably be to trade-in your HTiB for an AV receiver and separate speakers. Then you will find it much easier to add whichever speaker combination you like. This would be my suggested route.
However, if this proves too expensive/inconvenient, then could you just add some in-ceiling speakers as you originally suggested?
Ultimately, an HTiB is still just an amplifier sending an audio signal down a speaker cable to a speaker. So as long as your new in-ceiling speakers roughly match the speaker specifications of the original rear speakers (impedance, power etc), then there is no reason why the amplifier in the HTiB should have a problem. You will need to make sure you have the necessary technical information on the HTiB system if you are going to try this route.
The other issue with HTiB systems is the connectors and cabling are usually designed to be used with that system only. Therefore it could be tricky to wire another set of speakers at the rear. However, you could probably cut the cabling at one end, strip it back and join some standard speaker cable to it - to which you could then attach any type of speaker. Although I am speaking very generally here, so it isn't something to try unless you give it some serious thought first!
Unless you are confident in what you are doing, I wouldn't recommend doing this yourself. In this instance, you may want to find a local AV installation company to do the work for you. They should also be able to advise you on installing the in-ceiling speakers too.
Hope that helps a bit.
All the best.
Paul (Site Editor)
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About Home Cinema Guide
Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment.