Bookshelf speakers that sound good on a SHELF or SIDEBOARD


No room for stands; rear wall is very close, less than 6 inches. Shelf (it’s actually a sideboard) height is 36" inches from floor to shelf.

Any thoughts on monitors/bookshelf speakers that sound good in these sorts of applications?
mjmch2003
Vandersteen VLR designed for exactly that instalation , easy load, flat to something crazy like 47 hz and integrate very well with unique Vandersteen powered subwoofers, so you have some system growth options
read the reviews and go listen, made and designed in USA
and
KEF LS50
and
Sonus Faber
and.....

disclaimer
happy Vandersteen owner but i have other gear as well...
rega rs1 is impervious to placement; likewise the pricier paradigm sign s1
+1 for Rega RS1 , doesn't know how to sound bad .
Not a 100% written in speaker design laws.
But mounting on a shelf or sideboard, usually means your going to get some bass loading addition because of close proximity to walls, corners or the sideboard itself.
Because of this I would look more to speakers that are infinite baffle design (sealed enclosure)  not ported, as these will help keep the added bass bloom down.

Cheers George    
The Wilson Audio Duette was designed for bookshelf and stand. These are the BEST sounding bookshelf speakers I have heard period. But they are very pricey.
Any LS3/5a type sealed two way should work fine. Harbeth, Spendor, Falcon, etc, etc.
Post removed 
Regardless of what speaker you get, if you're not going to put them on dedicated stands, try the IsoAcoustic stands. It's the next best thing. 
Or IsoAcoustics pucks if space is even tighter. I had them before and the improvement, compared to putting the speakers directly on the console, was noticeable. 
Tetra 120u.
Awesome, helpful replies..!

Thank you all very much.
Another vote for Tetra 120u. My first decent speakers. Sound great on stands, great on maple plinths on the floor, and I currently have them on their sides on a shelf.  Stands sound best but very good sound on a shelf. 
A pair of Totem Signature One’s will work wonders!! This speaker has been in production for decades. For a reason.

https://totemacoustic.com/en/signature-one

Also, EPOS makes speakers that work very well in tight spaces.

www.epos-loudspeakers.com/products/stand-mount-loudspeakers/k1i



Matt M
Signature Ones will not work well in a tight space. Totem recommends a minimum of 1 foot from rear walls but anyone that's owned Model Ones knows they need at least 2-4 feet. 
Focal Aria 906 on ISO Acoustic Aperta 200 stands would be my highest recommendation anywhere near that price point.
Get sealed cabinet speakers or good headphones. 
I would recommend a front ported speaker.....or sealed acoustic suspension like Helo mentioned,  but not many small speakers aren't ported.
In this same situation I have used both Rogers LS3/5a (also available from other manufacturers as noted by yogiboy) and Allison CD-6 (available on the used market from time to time, but you must be patient). Price points are very different including the variations of the LS3/5a. ZuAudio also makes a couple of speakers for this purpose - Cube and OmenBookshelf; but I have not heard either of these.
The LS3/5a and its successors have been the classic choice. For years I happily used the LS3/5a as my desktop speaker, and only recently replaced it by the far superior Harbeth P3ESR. Both of them have suffered a bit from bass boost as a result of the proximity of the desktop surface. I have cured most of this by raising them some 8 inches using little isoacoustics stands. In my case that had the additional advantage of bringing the tweeter up to ear height.
The remaining lump I cured with an equalization graph in REW and uploading that into the Equalizer APO software on my desktop PC (used as a source). Traditional tone controls will also do this, to some extent, and not as precisely. I do not think you can avoid using a bit of equalization, and the more precise the better. But with it, you should be fine.
My room is the same as yours. I am using a Pass labs integrated mated to NHT c-1. These are very small and sealed. I am also using a Bowers and Wilkins DB3D sub. Speakers are mounted on the wall and my room is treated. I can tell you that there are not many full size speakers that sound better. I have been into audio since I was 12 (73 now)  and I have the best sound I have ever owned. I’ve owned NHT 3.3’s and Krell. 
My room is the same as yours. I am using a Pass labs integrated mated to NHT c-1. These are very small and sealed. I am also using a Bowers and Wilkins DB3D sub. Speakers are mounted on the wall and my room is treated. I can tell you that there are not many full size speakers that sound better. I have been into audio since I was 12 (73 now)  and I have the best sound I have ever owned. I’ve owned NHT 3.3’s and Krell. 
I have some Totem Model 1 Signature speakers. Original owner. 

Includes two Totem Signature main speakers, a center channel, and standard model 1s too.

Initially they were used for reference validation, and now saved for a future 2nd den room reference system. I used them a few times to compare to my own custom build speakers to see how far off track I get on my own builds. While I don’t use them much any more, and may sell them soon, I tested them recently on a shelf setup and was surprised recalling once again how great these speakers really are. Had forgotten, they are amazing...

They primarily sit on 6" tall metal stands on a side shelf, about 1.5ft from the wall, or sit on 24" stands about 9’ apart. Sound great in either case with my 10w tube amp or my 200w solid state amp.  Totems are a real treat.


+3, f or the REGA RS1 or its immediate predecessor R1
The current model is the RX1

review of the R1

http://v2.stereotimes.com/post/the-rega-r1-loudspeaker

These bokshelves are ideal for close placement to back walls: they even have OEM brackets available as inexpensive accessories for mounting on the wall.

"..... The Rega R1 becomes my new budget reference speaker. In addition of its ability to get the fundamentals of music right, it adds clarity and resolution, and an ability to lay out a vivid and coherent 3-dimensional stereo image. In small room applications, what more could you want?...."

highly recommended.
+1 Sonus Faber. Very happy with my Venere 2.0