I believe I once read that the Audio Physic can be setup against the long wall and toed in almost directly at the listener. There was a S'phile review about this some years ago and maybe the AP website has some info about this. Also, the Wilson Duettes are specifically designed for wall proximity placement. Although not floorstanders, these are a pretty big speaker.
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Springbok10, the Classic Audio Loudspeakers do that quite nicely. They are also completely full-range, smooth, detailed, dynamic (efficiency is 97-98 db), easy impedance (16 ohms)...
The field-coil versions are hard to fault. They have the detail that I have only heard from the best ESLs.
I have them 6 inches from the rear wall in my room and they image beautifully.
I heard Ralph's set-up at THE SHOW and was pretty impressed. Definitely speakers worth looking into if the budget is there.
That being said I never had any good experiences placing any of the Spendor's I've owned (3/1, 7/1, and 1/2e) near the back wall. Then again I'm also biased that the only real Spendor's are those in the Classic Series, the others are...
A couple other suggestions I'll make are Audio Note (although they may not have the bass output you're seeking) and the Audiokinesis Jazz Modules or Dream Makers.
Hi Tvad, the T-1 has a 20Hz cutoff, the T-3 a 22 Hz cutoff (although I had mine made up to cut off at 20 Hz), the T-5 cuts off at 32 Hz and its hard to say what the Hartsfield does, since it is so woofer-dependent. I've seen it doing very well down to 25Hz with the right set up.
The T-1 and T-3 both have a down-firing and a front-firing woofer so they tend to not have a lot of proximity effect when near the rear wall. That makes them very easy to set up in a room, even very small ones.
Having researched this question a couple of years ago, I discovered that there were a few speakers that were deliberately designed to be placed against the wall as opposed to speakers that "can work somewhat" close to the wall. The ones that were designed to be placed against the wall included a number of British companies - Linn, Naim, and Audio Note to mention a few. I am currently using my Zu Definition 2s within 4" of the wall; they were not designed for this placement, but they do work quite well.
Gsm 18439, this is exactly my point. I have been told on numerous occasions by dealers and mnufacturers that speaker x and y work just fine against the front wall - but they never do - imaging suffers - so my question is which speakers are specifically designed for that purpose - which brings to mind very few modern speakers. Appropos that, has anyone tried/heard the North Creek Kat Revelator, which was designed for this purpose?
While conventional speakers must be perfectly positioned in the room to maximize their low-frequency performance, the Vandersteen Model Fives As and either Wood or Standard Quatro's can be positioned in a convenient location and then tuned to the requirements of that particular placement. The subwoofer amplifier incorporates multiple unique adjustments that allow the speaker's low frequencies to be matched to its environment and the preferences of its owner. Model Five,and Quatro design owners can adjust the sensitivity of the subwoofer section and contour the subwoofer's response. The sensitivity adjustment increases or decreases the overall level of the bass without changing its character. The low frequency contour control adjusts the Q of the subwoofer to accommodate different rooms, listening tastes, or system modes. In subwoofer engineering terms, system Q is the product of a complex mathematical equation derived from driver, electrical, and enclosure parameters. In practical terms, it relates to the character of the bass response. A low Q subwoofer sounds very tight and controlled. A high Q subwoofer produces a full, warm bass with more energy in the most audible bass range.
Each speaker also has eleven, adjustable compensation controls that modify the subwoofer's response to precisely counter room and placement induced non linearities. When the speakers are initially set up by dealer in the owner's home, the Vandersteen Warble Test test CD is inserted and compensation controls then adjusted for the most linear bass response at the listening position. Once set these controls will not need to be readjusted unless the speaker placement or listening position changes significantly.
Having installed hundreds of pairs of Vandersteen Five and Quatro series we are consistently reminded after each tuning of how versatile,adaptable this design is even when speakers were only inches from the wall.
Best John Rutan
I may be going out on a limb here . . but from what I have read and heard, most designers of speakers meant to be against the wall do not seem to have soundstaging as the highest priority compared to other considerations. The Allison speakers were an unconventional design - especially the Allison One and Allision Two; they still appear occasionally on the pre-owned market. Another possible contender, now that I think of it, might be GURU: www.sjofnhifi.com/products.html. They are designed to be against the wall and are supposed to excel in soundstaging.
I'll second the suggestion on the Snell Type A's. While they can be flat against the wall, mine sound best about 16-18 inches off the wall. If you want to fill a large space, they can do it with an amazing midrange, big & refined bass, imaging/soundstage...and they easily disappear. Awesome speaker for such a modest cost.
You'll need some power though...it's a 4 ohm speaker at 86dB sensitivity.
I've read that Blue Circle is preparing to launch a model called the "Penny" which is a compact floor stander designed to be able to go close to the rear wall. It uses an OHM Walsh driver for wide dispersion in the midrange and is supplemented by conventional drivers in the low end.
Haven't heard it yet but most intriguing design for near wall application from a very well respected company.
You could go vintage with Linn Isobarik or Sara's.
I ran Isobarik DMS (passive xover not bi-ampable model) with a custom tube amp sporting 2 6L6 per channel at 3" from front wall with good results. If you find the Isobarik PMS you can go active Xover). Currently in the USA the resale on Isobarik and Sara in relatively low.