try tekton enzo - front port so they can go close to rear walls
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I am a caregiver for my 90 year old mom. I sold my home to move back into the home I grew up in. In my former home, I had a krell setup with NHT 3.3's that were bi amped. Needless to say I had a hell of system! Now I have a modified Jolida amp with NHT super zeros mounted on the wall near the corners of my room. I also have the matching 8 inch sub and it works completely seamless with zeros. Paid less that 800 for the speaker system and let me tell you, I get just as much enjoyment listening to this system as I did with my 20K system. Other than the pants shaken bass, I sometimes feel this setup sounds like my more expensive system. I did add some room treatment, which I believe is just as important and the equipment itself. It made a night and day difference to my system
The closeness to the wall behind certainly boosts any speaker's bass loudness, as I am sure you know. And many speakers are designed with midrange and highs much louder than their bass output, because they 'are designed' for that wall to boost their bass.
However, as soon as you choose to play it loud, what will upset you the most are the reflections coming off the wall all around the speaker cabinet, followed not too far behind by the reflections from all other walls and perhaps your floor.
If you absorb sound in the main voice range (middle of the piano), behind the speakers, it makes a huge difference in how you enjoy your tunes.
We recommend at least one 24 x 48 inch, 2" thick mineral-fiber panel, cloth covered, hung sideways behind each speaker, even though you said nothing can be done about your environment, acoustically. The ones from Auralex are nice, as well as those from Acoustics First.
FYI, the next reflections to treat, besides those from a bare floor, would be those off the sidewalls' points of first reflection.
Adding furniture helps to break up longer-term echoes, of course.
or AudioKinesis Rhythm Prism
are a couple designed for it. I have heard the latter in a small room and they were good. I do not know what you have been reading, but there are a variety that will do fine against a wall. Easy examples: the ones I own (sealed three-ways) sound better in a Cardas room config but are perfectly enjoyable against a wall. Robert Lee told me his Crescendos should be placed under two feet or over five feet away from the front wall.
Speakers will sound better when no placement variables are fixed but most of us have some constraints still and do okay.
Rega RS3 are designed just for that and are good speakers at about $1500 new. Used I got a pr for $750 shipped.
I'd say if they don't sound good in that room your best option is buy a pair of Gallo minis with stands and move them out when listening, take the room out of the equation as much as possible. They do play music !
Dwest , may Gods blessings be upon you, in this world and the next .
As noted above, most of the Rega floorstanders tend to work well close to a wall.
As another option, check out the Tannoy Precision 6.4's. They are sealed floorstanders and I have also found that they work quite well near walls. Excellent speakers and right at your price point also!
***Rega and Tannoy Dealer disclaimer***
How about "The Clue" speakers. Designed to work their best with wall placement. Below your budget, but so what! Something like that with careful room treatment could work really well. You may have to scale down your high-end expectations and find something sweet that just allows you to groove with the music. Something with rich beautiful tone. Less High-End, more soul. Place less importance on depth, soundstage, etc. I remember the old days with AR's, KLH's, Dynaco A25's. We used them in whatever crappy rooms we had and loved every minute of it.
In a second system, I have Merlin TSM-MME monitors placed 4 inches off the front wall (on their side in a wall unit, no less), combined with a modest 10-in. sealed cab subwoofer (Von Schweikert), EQ-ed in at 50 Hz. Powered by a Manley Stingray II integrated, they produce satisfying music, even in this severely compromised arrangement.
I don't get all the 3D effects that placement farther from the wall would allow, but imaging is still adequate and tone and timbre, etc. are quite good. These speakers integrate easily with the sub because they're not ported, giving them a gradual roll-off. I listen to a lot of jazz. Acoustic bass is visceral, solid, and tonally rich.
For the past 6 weeks my main system (which costs many multiples of this second system) has been packed up because I'm remodeling a whole floor of my house. I listen to music much of the day because I work at home, so I'm spending *a lot* more time with this Merlin system than ever before. I'm loving it. Though compromised by placement, etc., it's been a real pleasure and does some things my big rig doesn't.
You're in suboptimal circumstances for sound, and whatever speakers you choose will be hindered. But that doesn't mean you're doomed to lousy sound. Buying used, you could find the Merlins TSM and a good, small sub (go for non-ported) for less than your $3K budget with some patience. Worth considering. Good luck!
If your room acoustics are so horrible and you are also restricted in speaker placement, then why spend big bucks on a good speaker? It won't sound good and you'll be unhappy. In another thread you mention that you have a pair of old Celestions loudspeakers that sound decent and play loud enough. Keep them and accept them for what they are. For a more audiophile listening experience get a pair of good headphones ($500 to $1,500) and match it with a nice headphone amp, say $1,000. Headphones are headphones, but such a setup can match the detail and frequency response of $20,000+ loudspeakers.
Linn Majik 109s and Majik 140s are front-ported wall huggers designed to work in compact Tokyo apartments.
I own the 109s and have had them 3 to 5 inches from a wall and they worked fine.
Also, If you're able, consider getting an over sized oriental rug and attaching it to the concrete wall. It will improve the acoustics in the room tremendously, and it will look nicer too. :-)
I overcame my fear and budgetary sanity to buy a pair of Focal Aria 926s. No regrets now. I really tried to live with the Celestions and a Gallo sub, and could do so if I restricted myself to moderate listening levels (you can still talk over the speakers if you raise your voice but you don't have to yell), but once you ventured into Judas Priest SPL they turned into white hot lengths of coat hanger ramming into my ears. I was unwilling to compromise. So, I have two huge boxes in a little room and they can play beautifully at conversational levels or at debilitating loudness with no wincing when the music ascends into the treble region. I'm good with that.
In this case, the OP had a challenging set of factors which--to his satisfaction--were satisfied with a pair of Focal Aria 926s, NINE months ago. Then the thread was revived by a post that didn't like the Focal 906s, while never hearing the 926s. No qualifications, no system parameters. That doesn't add to the discussion, nor did anything that followed.
Seems to me the logical direction would be for the spectators to check out the 926s and see what they can do. I find the more affordable Focals to be impressive. They're fast, musically engaging, throw a soundstage like a mofo, and have a realistic, musical tonal balance with very low cabinet coloration.