Perlisten’s THX Dominus In-Ceiling Speakers Great Sound for EVERY Seat!

T

tree001

Audiophyte
You have to be joking. Mark Audio is one of the lowest rated speakers we've reviewed in Audioholics history. It's like comparing a Ford Pinto to an Audi R8. You can't get this level of directivty control or dynamic range from a single fullrange driver.


I saw the measurements of these new Perlisten speakers and they are absolutely SOTA performance like every product they've designed prior. These products are designed to meet the strict CEDIA RP22 standard for good design practices. a fullrange driver won't cut it and hence why nobody uses them as a serious solution in virtually any case.
Just looked at the rating in the headline of the Mark Audio review. This article is what bugs me in the review industry. If it was one of the worst, why dont it get just one star?!

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gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Just looked at the rating in the headline of the Mark Audio review. This article is what bugs me in the review industry. If it was one of the worst, why dont it get just one star?!

Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk
It was one of the worst. We've reviewed worse but at much lower costs. We try to pick good products that will review well to avoid the drama and waste of our time on mediocre products.
 
Tankini

Tankini

Full Audioholic
Nice article Jacob! I enjoyed reading it. Thing is Gene more than likely would say something like that.
I got a chuckle out of it. The photo that is. Nice touch, or maybe Gene edited that in.?;):)

image_feature.jpg


This article got me to thinking about the installation of in-ceiling speakers. Attics get very hot or very cold, one would have to factor in installing A box of some kind to insulate the speaker from the elements not to mention, bugs, mice etc. That love to ness and munch on wires. Warranty surely would not cover speaker failure from elements of those.
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Just looked at the rating in the headline of the Mark Audio review. This article is what bugs me in the review industry. If it was one of the worst, why dont it get just one star?!

Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk
It was not a great speaker, but it wasn't without merit, and there are people who would enjoy them. A one-star speaker would be something with no redeeming value whatsoever.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Nice article Jacob! I enjoyed reading it. Thing is Gene more than likely would say something like that.
I got a chuckle out of it. The photo that is. Nice touch, or maybe Gene edited that in.?;):)

View attachment 63499

This article got me to thinking about the installation of in-ceiling speakers. Attics get very hot or very cold, one would have to factor in installing A box of some kind to insulate the speaker from the elements not to mention, bugs, mice etc. That love to ness and munch on wires. Warranty surely would not cover speaker failure from elements of those.
What you say is correct. Not having ceiling speakers in an enclosure I think is not a good idea. As you say, that space is a relatively hostile space especially in our part of the world. Blasting sound all over that space, does not make for good sound insulation. I strongly favor enclosing ceiling speakers in an optimum damped enclosure, and mine are.
 
Tankini

Tankini

Full Audioholic
What you say is correct. Not having ceiling speakers in an enclosure I think is not a good idea. As you say, that space is a relatively hostile space especially in our part of the world. Blasting sound all over that space, does not make for good sound insulation. I strongly favor enclosing ceiling speakers in an optimum damped enclosure, and mine are.
I surely wouldn't install an in-ceiling speaker with it exposed to the elements of an attic. I have been up in attics that had the speaker backside exposed. The amount of dust alone that had accumulated over time was enough. I would believe that even an R-rated attic insulation type should be used in the speaker box, or the very least covered up with an R-rated insulation after the speaker box has been installed.

Maybe cover the outside of the speaker box with aluminum tape that's used on AC ducts for moisture resistant. I would have to even consider running conduits for all of my speaker leads PVC type would do well. Just for peace of mind from mice or rats munching on the speaker wire.
 
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Bobby Bass

Bobby Bass

Senior Audioholic
Good points about the wires being available for rodents. I lost the wired phone connection in my office when field mice got in the basement one year and chewed through the wires. I hate them meeces to pieces! as Jinksy the cartoon cat used to say.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I surely wouldn't install an in-ceiling speaker with it exposed to the elements of an attic. I have been up in attics that had the speaker backside exposed. The amount of dust alone that had accumulated over time was enough. I would believe that even an R-rated attic insulation type should be used in the speaker box, or the very least covered up with an R-rated insulation after the speaker box has been installed.

Maybe cover the outside of the speaker box with aluminum tape that's used on AC ducts for moisture resistant. I would have to even consider running conduits for all of my speaker leads PVC type would do well. Just for peace of mind from mice or rats munching on the speaker wire.
A lot will depend on location, climate and local codes.

If those speakers are installed between a basement and main floor, or a main and upper floor, no harm will come likely, although you have sound bleeding through the space, which I would not favor. Speaker wires should always be in conduit in any event.

The trouble will come for top floor use, below the roof space in the colder climates. You will have a building code issue for sure.

My AV room is in the top floor below the roof, in Minnesota. I could not install those speakers in my room without an enormous expense and hassle.
It all has to do with improved insulation codes and preventing troublesome ice jams, which are a huge problem in the snowy colder northern states in winter.
The thinking on this and code changes have evolved for the better over the last half century.

Basically the current codes, which are correct, are to have a cold roof, and the colder the better. That means the insulation has to be right above the ceiling. Code here in the twin cities requires a minimum of 14" of blown insulation over the entire ceiling. Then there are eve ventilators, connected to "pop vents" which exit above the blown insulation. There is no insulation directly under the roof. The cold air is thrown up to the roof. Codes have also changed as regards roof pitches and steeper pitches are now required. This allows snow to fall off and water to drain quicker and not get dammed up and cause ice jams resulting in water leaks.

This problem requires careful design in the snow belt. Every winter ice jams are a headache. This results in people going up onto their roofs to shovel off the snow, slipping and falling to the ground. This results in death or severe disability as a rule, and there are some every winter.

In my time in the ICU in Grand Forks, we had some brain death declarations every winter from these events. A very nice guy who had an upscale B & B in Benedict MN where we had our former home, fell off his roof clearing snow, and now is paraplegic and wheelchair bound.

I had a huge problem with ice jams when I first bought our lake home. The pitch of the roof was typical of its early eighties construction. I had a huge ice dam problem, so I had the eve vents replaced and put in 4' pop vents and had 2' of blown insulation blown in all the attic spaces. That solved the problem.

My studio here, and the one in Benedict were below the roof, and so neither would have been suitable for any ceiling speakers not totally enclosed.



You can see two of the back boxes for two of the ceiling speakers. The conduit was run and the boxes placed before the ceiling sheetrock. Then the ceiling insulation was blown after the building passed its pressurised air leakage test.

So if you were to install ceiling speakers after the room was complete, you would have a huge headache and a lot of expense, which would make them even more outrageous as to cost.
 
Tankini

Tankini

Full Audioholic
Good points about the wires being available for rodents. I lost the wired phone connection in my office when field mice got in the basement one year and chewed through the wires. I hate them meeces to pieces! as Jinksy the cartoon cat used to say.
Thank you @Bobby Bass I know my comments are off- topic, my apologies to the OP. Anyone getting ready for an install of in-ceiling speakers, should consider the whole application of in-ceiling speaker install.
 
Tankini

Tankini

Full Audioholic
A lot will depend on location, climate and local codes.

If those speakers are installed between a basement and main floor, or a main and upper floor, no harm will come likely, although you have sound bleeding through the space, which I would not favor. Speaker wires should always be in conduit in any event.

The trouble will come for top floor use, below the roof space in the colder climates. You will have a building code issue for sure.

My AV room is in the top floor below the roof, in Minnesota. I could not install those speakers in my room without an enormous expense and hassle.
It all has to do with improved insulation codes and preventing troublesome ice jams, which are a huge problem in the snowy colder northern states in winter.
The thinking on this and code changes have evolved for the better over the last half century.

Basically the current codes, which are correct, are to have a cold roof, and the colder the better. That means the insulation has to be right above the ceiling. Code here in the twin cities requires a minimum of 14" of blown insulation over the entire ceiling. Then there are eve ventilators, connected to "pop vents" which exit above the blown insulation. There is no insulation directly under the roof. The cold air is thrown up to the roof. Codes have also changed as regards roof pitches and steeper pitches are now required. This allows snow to fall off and water to drain quicker and not get dammed up and cause ice jams resulting in water leaks.

This problem requires careful design in the snow belt. Every winter ice jams are a headache. This results in people going up onto their roofs to shovel off the snow, slipping and falling to the ground. This results in death or severe disability as a rule, and there are some every winter.

In my time in the ICU in Grand Forks, we had some brain death declarations every winter from these events. A very nice guy who had an upscale B & B in Benedict MN where we had our former home, fell off his roof clearing snow, and now is paraplegic and wheelchair bound.

I had a huge problem with ice jams when I first bought our lake home. The pitch of the roof was typical of its early eighties construction. I had a huge ice dam problem, so I had the eve vents replaced and put in 4' pop vents and had 2' of blown insulation blown in all the attic spaces. That solved the problem.

My studio here, and the one in Benedict were below the roof, and so neither would have been suitable for any ceiling speakers not totally enclosed.



You can see two of the back boxes for two of the ceiling speakers. The conduit was run and the boxes placed before the ceiling sheetrock. Then the ceiling insulation was blown after the building passed its pressurised air leakage test.

So if you were to install ceiling speakers after the room was complete, you would have a huge headache and a lot of expense, which would make them even more outrageous as to cost.
Thank you for sharing your experience with photo proof @TLS Guy I wasn't even thinking of 2nd or even a 3rd floor of in-ceiling installation. Some have really huge homes, your install of in-ceiling speakers detailing of it is, kind of like a blueprint very well-done Sir. I didn't even consider building codes for new construction.

As I was posting in my comment of in-ceiling speaker installation, I was thinking how much of a hassle plus the cost of it with an installation of in-ceiling speakers with a home already built. Done right the first time with in-ceiling installation for, surround setup or even just for music use would be joyful audio bliss.
 
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TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Thank you for sharing your experience with photo proof @TLS Guy I wasn't even thinking of 2nd or even a 3rd floor of in-ceiling installation. Some have really huge homes, your install of in-ceiling speakers detailing of it is, kind of like a blueprint very well-done Sir. I didn't even consider building codes for new construction.

As I was posting in my comment of in-ceiling speaker installation, I was thinking how much of a hassle plus the cost of it with an installation of in-ceiling speakers with a home already built. Done right the first time with in-ceiling installation for, surround setup or even just for music use would be joyful audio bliss.
Thank you for your kind words. Actually we probably should have a thread, or better an article, about fire hazards and codes with reference to AV installations.

But honestly I see a lot of advice given here likely to be against local fire codes. A lot of these are designed to delay a fire getting past the room skin, which should act as some degree of a fire wall.

Once a fire gets into the wall space, the home is likely to be a total loss.

So the idea is to keep the fire out of the internal walls long enough for the fire service to get there. If codes are properly followed and not breached that will usually be the case.

That is why I really think it unwise to place unboxed drivers in walls and ceiling spaces. I don't and never would. Actually I would bet it is against fire code in most jurisdictions. I can tell that the Eagan building inspectors were very concerned about this studio, and followed the whole process with Eagle eyes. They were particularly concerned about my though wall center speaker. However I knew how to do it right and safely.

So I would not put one of those Perlistens in a ceiling or wall as is, no matter how good it is. I can tell you for sure, it would have be forbidden by Eagan building inspectors.
 
Tankini

Tankini

Full Audioholic
Thank you for your kind words. Actually we probably should have a thread, or better an article, about fire hazards and codes with reference to AV installations.

But honestly I see a lot of advice given here likely to be against local fire codes. A lot of these are designed to delay a fire getting past the room skin, which should act as some degree of a fire wall.

Once a fire gets into the wall space, the home is likely to be a total loss.

So the idea is to keep the fire out of the internal walls long enough for the fire service to get there. If codes are properly followed and not breached that will usually be the case.

That is why I really think it unwise to place unboxed drivers in walls and ceiling spaces. I don't and never would. Actually I would bet it is against fire code in most jurisdictions. I can tell that the Eagan building inspectors were very concerned about this studio, and followed the whole process with Eagle eyes. They were particularly concerned about my though wall center speaker. However I knew how to do it right and safely.

So I would not put one of those Perlistens in a ceiling or wall as is, no matter how good it is. I can tell you for sure, it would have be forbidden by Eagan building inspectors.
You hit on valid issues with in-ceiling speaker installation, inspectors walk in on a new build unannounced with a punch list in hand. A thread needs to be started on in-ceiling speaker installation.
Again, my apologies to OP and members for my side comments on in-ceiling speaker installation. Started reading the thread last night and couldn't stop it's that good. The whole thread not just a few comments.
 
DigitalDawn

DigitalDawn

Senior Audioholic
That's one of the reasons I love Triad. All the speakers they build in Portland, OR are completely sealed.
 
D

D Murphy

Full Audioholic
I received the Mark Audio Driver today and took some measurements. The on axis response is pretty much what I expected--the breakup is pretty severe, although it occurs quite high up. The off-axis measurements were disappointing, and they were confirmed by ear. The highs virtually disappear once you get beyond 20 degrees off axis, and the roll off isn't smooth. In order to judge the actual sonics on axis I would need to design a baffle step circuit, since my driver is mounted in a conventional cabinet rather than in an infinite baffle formed by the ceiling.
I'll just post two plots--the on axis and 30 degrees off axis horizontally. The response below about 250 Hz includes room modes, so you shouldn't pay much attention to that region.

On Axis
1695592948620.png


30 Degrees off Axis
1695593032262.png
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I received the Mark Audio Driver today and took some measurements. The on axis response is pretty much what I expected--the breakup is pretty severe, although it occurs quite high up. The off-axis measurements were disappointing, and they were confirmed by ear. The highs virtually disappear once you get beyond 20 degrees off axis, and the roll off isn't smooth. In order to judge the actual sonics on axis I would need to design a baffle step circuit, since my driver is mounted in a conventional cabinet rather than in an infinite baffle formed by the ceiling.
I'll just post two plots--the on axis and 30 degrees off axis horizontally. The response below about 250 Hz includes room modes, so you shouldn't pay much attention to that region.

On Axis
View attachment 63515

30 Degrees off Axis
View attachment 63516
It looks like you could cross them over pretty high. That should be a big advantage in opening up what tweeter they could be used with. Again, an MTM using these and a tweeter along with a real bass driver should be a pretty darn good speaker that doesn't need to cost a lot.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I received the Mark Audio Driver today and took some measurements. The on axis response is pretty much what I expected--the breakup is pretty severe, although it occurs quite high up. The off-axis measurements were disappointing, and they were confirmed by ear. The highs virtually disappear once you get beyond 20 degrees off axis, and the roll off isn't smooth. In order to judge the actual sonics on axis I would need to design a baffle step circuit, since my driver is mounted in a conventional cabinet rather than in an infinite baffle formed by the ceiling.
I'll just post two plots--the on axis and 30 degrees off axis horizontally. The response below about 250 Hz includes room modes, so you shouldn't pay much attention to that region.

On Axis
View attachment 63515

30 Degrees off Axis
View attachment 63516
That looks about right. That is why you need to cross them at 6 to 7KHz. However if you are using them as Atmos speakers you are off axis and its fine.

The real strength is that they are a essentially a mid band driver that easily covers the speech discrimination band with room to spare at each end. So that helps a lot with crossover design and getting a good phase response.
It looks like you could cross them over pretty high. That should be a big advantage in opening up what tweeter they could be used with. Again, an MTM using these and a tweeter along with a real bass driver should be a pretty darn good speaker that doesn't need to cost a lot.
What you say is true. I mostly used the JW module with a high crossover to a super tweeter.

The FR shows that in actuality they sound good especially compared to what was available in the late fifties. They have a somewhat reserved character not aggressive, due to that slight dip at 3k. The trouble above 15K you are not going to hear. Plenty of aluminum domes do that. That off axis dip at 8.5K is so narrow you won't hear that. You have to have really good hearing to hear the violent 19K break up peak. I have never been able to hear above 16K even when I was in my twenties. Actually few can hear to 20K and only when very young.

But you are correct using these units as a wide band mid is really their application and was mostly the way I used them, when I used the JW drivers. I used them successfully for many years.

It is a pity Ted Jordan's work has been so neglected. That has saddled us with endless drivers that have broken up violently in the critical speech discrimination band. In my view that ubiquitous headache could have been avoided.
 
D

D Murphy

Full Audioholic
That looks about right. That is why you need to cross them at 6 to 7KHz. However if you are using them as Atmos speakers you are off axis and its fine.

The real strength is that they are a essentially a mid band driver that easily covers the speech discrimination band with room to spare at each end. So that helps a lot with crossover design and getting a good phase response.


What you say is true. I mostly used the JW module with a high crossover to a super tweeter.

The FR shows that in actuality they sound good especially compared to what was available in the late fifties. They have a somewhat reserved character not aggressive, due to that slight dip at 3k. The trouble above 15K you are not going to hear. Plenty of aluminum domes do that. That off axis dip at 8.5K is so narrow you won't hear that. You have to have really good hearing to hear the violent 19K break up peak. I have never been able to hear above 16K even when I was in my twenties. Actually few can hear to 20K and only when very young.

But you are correct using these units as a wide band mid is really their application and was mostly the way I used them, when I used the JW drivers. I used them successfully for many years.

It is a pity Ted Jordan's work has been so neglected. That has saddled us with endless drivers that have broken up violently in the critical speech discrimination band. In my view that ubiquitous headache could have been avoided.
I was expecting better off-axis behavior, and I don't think I would want to use these full range even if I were sitting off axis--the highs virtually disappear. So to get this thread back on topic, it seems to me that the Perlistens offer a clear advantage in terms of even frequency response coverage.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I was expecting better off-axis behavior, and I don't think I would want to use these full range even if I were sitting off axis--the highs virtually disappear. So to get this thread back on topic, it seems to me that the Perlistens offer a clear advantage in terms of even frequency response coverage.
Until using that design concept for a ceiling speakers, I had not really used them full range. Even back in the day, I crossed to a super tweeter.

However, for me it is a simple cost effective solution. In movies with bullets and helicopters etc it is realistic. However for what I listen to most of the time, the ceiling speakers are reproducing the ambient field and I don't think a turnover around 7K off axis falling to 20 db. down 10K and above is of much concern. It might even be a good thing, as it reduces localization. In conjunction with the upmixer, they do a really credible job, and in the few Atmos BDs I have the result is excellent.

Atmos streaming is a mixed bag, and this is Dolby's fault. I believe due to unnecessary restrictions on streamed Atmos Audio. This is a pity as recording companies are relying largely on streaming to distribute product. However I can tell you that an Atmos BD, puts any Atmos stream way in the shade.

If streaming is going to be the standard distribution, things need to change in a hurry, or it will be a bust.

I can tell you the BD atmos discs are incredibly realistic. So I think the resources I have devoted to the four Atmos sources are appropriate and would never consider the outlay those Perlistens require for a ceiling speaker in terms of the program I am running. What I would not want is a speaker with sins of commission rather then omission. The fact that these speakers seem to add realistically to the ambient field without drawing attention to themselves is all I require in that application. I suspect that is true for most, and they are a capable budget friendly solution.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
more details and measurements from our interview:
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Dennis;

The height and wide channels are far more important than just effects. The advantage these Perlisten speakers have aren't just dynamics but focused and even coverage across a wider listening area. You can't do this with a single fullrange driver as you know based on the laws of physics. The driver will beam like mad at high frequencies and it's one of the reasons why almost NOBODY makes high performance speakers like this anymore.

I suggest reading the CEDIA RP22 Guidelines for best practices in home theater: https://cedia.net/advocacy/rp22

The Perlisten in-ceiling speakers are probably one of the first in their class that can actually be used as in-ceiling LCRs with good results. I saw the measurements on these and they are the real deal.
Is there a typical band range for the 'presense' speakers if we were to look at say 100 movie tracks with Atmos and apply a mean to them?
 
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