Apogee s versus a haircut

A couple of years back I went out for a haircut, stopped in at my local dealer and snapped up a mint pair of Apogee Caliper Signature II's for $500
Got them home and set up with my Krell Kav 300i, in place of trusty old QLN sig's.
Sound was kind of ok for a while, but felt the room/amp didn't really do them justice. Sounded a bit thin, imaging was average, soundstage wide but not deep, bass fast and tight but not low.

Couldn't move them more than 18" from front wall, and had them firing long ways down a 12' X 35' room.
I've since moved, changed amps to a CJ CAV 50, though the room problems are the same.

Question - does anyone have any ideas on how to best position and drive these beauties? What are they worth (9/10 years old)? Is it worth me dragging them out of the basement to try with my CJ amp? Can anyone recommend a really good speaker that works best up against a wall (no Linns please)

Thanks for any help.
my big krell monos and symo cable are a killer combo good luck i love apogee
Blue book retail on the Caliper Signatures, mint condition, is $1582. Frankly this seems a bit optimistic to me. Remember blue book is not the bible.

I think the CJ would have a hard time driving the Calipers.

As far as recommending a speaker that works best up against the wall, I have two recommendations. The first is the old Snell Type A. This speaker was designed to go up against the wall and was among the best of its day.

The Gradient Revolution from Finland is a brilliantly innovative and musical design, and can be positioned very close to the rear wall. Unlike virtually all dynamic speakers, the bass is dipole - that is, no enclosure, just a folded baffle! The result is cleaner and more natural bass than I have heard from any box speaker, including several systems costing between 50 and 100 grand. The rest of the spectrum is very natural as well, and the Gradients invite you to listen deep into the music. You might want to check them out at http://www.gradient.fi/En/index.htm . The Gradient Revolution (the new active model) was overall the most enjoyable speaker of its size or price range that I heard at the 2001 CES, and just so happens the Revolution works quite well up against the rear wall. See their website for an explanation with diagrams.

The Gradients are somewhat demanding of power - the CJ might be marginal, but I bet it would sound wonderful within those margins!
Did you like the hair cut? Even if you didn't you got a GREAT deal on the Calipers. If you feed'em right, they will reward you with astonishingly good sound. However, the first step is to let them breath and this means distance from the front wall and distance from them. If you can't do this you might as well sell them. My Apogees sound best 50-60" out into my 22'x15'x8' room and I listen about 13' away. In the right spot, they will have a sound stage and coherency like you read about. I think your CJ amp would have a hard time with them, particularly on the bottom end. Good, beefy solid state is the way to go : older Classe (DR-8 or DR-9)& Threshold, pair of Forte 4a's, CODA, Pass and in particular, Reference Line (scarce). The watch word here is the amps that seem to work best on Apogees are those that are deeply class A biased and can dish out the current. Cabling : Symo, Audioquest (good old midnight and sterling) and Nordost (blue heaven & red dawn). One thing you might try is to add a good subwoofer that has a high pass section that's worth something (like Velodyne or HSU)so that you can cut off the bottom end of the Calipers. This will open up the soundstage considerably and add a fair amount of head room to the Calipers. When you move the calipers out into the room they may up becoming bass heavy. Check theses sites out. They can give you a lot of information on the care and feeding (and repair)of Apogees. Good luck. http://audioworld.com/cgibin/sw/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&number=1 and http://www.apogeespeakers.totalserve.co.uk/
Despite their vintage status, Calipers are still very capable speakers. However, they need lots more juice and air to strut their stuff. My old Stages were best approximately 60" from the wall with ample space between the speakers and the side walls (something like 55-60" inches as I recall). Need plenty of current to sing. If you can do this you *stole* your speakers. Makes me want to go out for a trim right now.
The Cqlipers demand current and room to breath to sound their best. In their time Krell was their best mate. A cheaper option would be a Classe 25. A low powerd tube amp may sound ok but will not have the current to drive them properly. You may consider the Innersound amp which should be more than capable. If you can't get the speakers out into the room, I would not spend money on an amp, but sell the Calipers and buy a pair of Gradient Revoulutions. I have a pair in a secondary system. They are great and can be placed against a rear wall with good effect. Email me for details on the Gradients.
Thanks to all above for your advice, and for taking the trouble to respond.

I've heard this model of Apogee sound absolutely, incredibly great. Set-up is important with most speakers; with Apogee it's critical.

The speakers do need to be pulled out at least 3 feet from the reflecting wall. The wall should be free from damping material. Make sure your tilt back and toe-in adjustments are as the owner's manual suggests. The amplifiers of that era that work best with the Calipers are Krell (both KST-100 and KSA-250 great) or Classe (DR8 and DR9 again great). There are now many high current, low noise, amps that would probably work well with the Calipers. Apogee always recommended Symo cables, but Nordost (Blue Heaven and above) and Goertz (MI-2 and above) would be more up-to-date choices (and don't forget to biwire).

The Apogees, due to their inherent transparency and speed, were among the most critical to set-up in its time; now days, with really high-end equipment proper set-up is a given. The Apogee's musicality comes through when you take care to treat them right. Over a decade later, they can still sound beautiful.