Here is my setup:
6 - Polk Audio RC55i (2 in kitchen, 2 in dining room and 2 in listening area which is a very large room with no walls between it and the dining room)
2 - Polk Audio RC85i (bedroom, not hooked up yet)
2 - Sony 90w 6x9s in the garage 4 ohms (left over from my teenage car days, actually sound very good for the garage)
Amp - Dayton Audio MA1240a 6-zone (12 channel) amp 40w/channel @8 ohms, 60w/channel @4 ohms
Sub - Dayton Audio SUB-1000 10" 100w
Player - Logitech Duet
Source content - mostly itunes 256kbps content, some FLAC
Here is my problem:
Music such as the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Norah Jones, Doug Hammer sound spectacular, even at 128kbps. No complaints there.
Music such as Social Distortion and the Dropkick Murphys sounds "muddy" if I can describe it in any way, like everything is just all jumbled together. Hardly any distinctness to it. I've tried that content on 256kbps and FLAC and it doesn't seem to make a difference.
I know the amp looks to be sort of underpowered, but it's very clear and seems to be plenty "loud". There is no distortion at high volume settings.
Maybe in-wall speakers just aren't up to the task?
I thought about pulling the two RC55is out of the listening room and using them as front L-R speakers on the home theater surround sound, and replacing them with Polk Audio 65 RTs in the listening room. That's a huge jump in price though and I don't know if I'd be able to tell the difference?