Best speakers for near rear wall placement?

A friend of mine is almost finished with a major remodel. The contractor says his ESS AMT-3 speakers must go!

He asked my advice on what would be a good choice for some smallish (not too tall or wide) speakers that would sound good very close to the rear wall.

Any ideas?

I would give the Direct Acoustics "Silent Speaker" a try. It is designed to work near/against a wall. Here's a link to a good positive feedback review:

The company has a generous return policy too, so you can't really go wrong.


Limited opitons, so these are just for consideration, not because I necessarily think them "best"; some Linn's and Klipsch.
I think I read that some VMPS speakers can be placed close to a wall.
The smaller Totems work okay against a wall - if you can give them even a foot or so they're not bad. Gradient has some that are designed to work well against a wall although I don't think they are small. He could go with some good standmount monitors and a sub.
If your friend doesn't listen at loud levels he might be best served by getting small speakers with a high bass roll off and supplement these with a sub woofer. Not optimum, but it could solve the bass reinforcement most all floor standers will experience when placed near boundries. Is that an option? Does you friend have a budget?
Stick with something that is 'not' rear ported .
Audio Note speakers are designed to be against the wall.
You might consider the monitors designed by George Short, the kitty kat revelator

The Linn Kan is specifically designed for near wall placement and meets your size requirement as well.
I second the silent speakers that Burhoe designed, especially intended for placement at the front wall. By the way, if you call the wall in front of you the "rear wall" what do you call the one behind you? :>)
Most Naim speakers are designed to be placed right against the wall, but expect a «flat wall» soundstage...
Thiel SCS?
I can second Hoggshead's recommendation - I have the Kitty Kat Revelator monitor, specifically designed for near-wall applications. Amazing speakers "in-my-system" fronted with Wadia CDP and Plinius amplification.
Vandersteen Quatro.........
We have installed many of these full range speakers.
Some have been even four inches from the wall.
With their room compensation feature adjusted to this position we experienced remarkable results.
Dealer Audio connection
I can place a vote for the Wilson Duettes. I have a pair right in front of me now that are about 3 inches from the wall and toed into the listening position. The result is truly amazing.

Excellent soundstage width and depth and very good bass response (especially considering the size of the speaker).

Unfortunately, they are expensive... with stands the cost is around $13K.