Floorstanders with a large sweetspot


I'm looking for a pair of floorstanders under $2.5k new or used that (1) can be placed close to a wall and (2) have a reasonably large sweetspot. I will drive then with an integrated tube amp, TBD based on the speakers. The room they will be in is 12 x 18. Any recommendations are welcome. Thanks.
andrejb
Check out the Philarmonic 2. The port is on the top of the lower cabinet so they can be placed right up against the wall and it will still give some room for the OB mid to breathe.
http://philharmonicaudio.com/philharmonic2.html
The Salk Soundtowers can be placed as close a 1' to the wall
You might want to look into waveguide designs
If you want a large sweetspot, Ohms might be a good candidate for you. They are sold direct, but do have a 4 month home trial period with a money back guarantee. (I think you're still on the hook for return shipping, but still a good deal.)

I'm not a current owner, but have had them in the past and can recommend them for any short list of candidates.
Audio Note model E is almost a floorstander and when placed in the corner will throw a huge soundstage and sweetspot.

Also consider Audiokinesis.
With re: to the Ohms, without heroic room treatment, they aren't well suited for close wall placement.
agree with ohms.
IMO, there is no such thing as a wide sweet spot.

But maybe I am missing your intent.

What is a wide sweet spot to you?
How close to the rear and side wall?

Ohms are made to go somewhat close but flush is not a good idea. 1.5 to 2feet or so canwork quite well. More will tend to deepen the soundstage mostly.
>05-09-12: Hornguys
>IMO, there is no such thing as a wide sweet spot.

Sure there is.

With well-behaved polar response you can have correct timbre anywhere in a room and imaging that doesn't require vise-like head positioning although with broader polar response images will shift towards the nearer speaker as you move off-axis.

With higher-directivity (acoustically small dipoles, wave guides, or horns) that's also uniform you can also have a decent sound stage with centrally located center images for several seats (like a three cushion couch) by leveraging the off-axis roll-off so that seating positions farther off center that are closer to one speaker have lower amplitude sound by crossing the speaker's axis somewhere in front of the listeners.
Looking to place the speakers about 5-10 inches from the rear wall and 1-2 feet from the side walls. As far as the sweetspot goes, I would like something more than just a single seat on a couch.
The PSB line of speakers, especially Stratus and Synchrony, have very wide sweet spots and are designed to load the room equally.
REGA R7s / RS7s

http://www.stereotimes.com/speak022306.shtml
http://www.audioreview.com/cat/speakers/floorstanding-speakers/rega/r7/prd_337424_1594crx.aspx

REGA R9s

www.plurison.com/rega/Test%20Reports/Hifi%20Choice%20R9.pdf
5-10 inches is really close to the front wall. Not many speakers are designed for this; I doubt this is optimal placement for the Salks, for example. I used to have North Creeks in my main system, which are designed for this, and are lovely -- definitely worth researching. Audio notes go close to walls, but I understand the require corners, which is not always possible If the speakers are not designed for near wall, I'd be inclined to stay away -- crowding can have really unhappy effects on the sound.

Add in the "wide sweet spot" and you've a really limited search. My Montana EPS2s fare well on this (though you need to be a ways from the speakers), and can be placed surprisingly close to walls for big boxes (18"-30"), but come in a bit above your price point; you might consider others in the line -- there are often good used prices.

In the end, I'd be tempted to drop the "near wall" constraint; in a 12x18 room I'd think you'd be able to find a decor, or negotiate one with interested parties, that would allow placement a bit further into the room, and would leave you with a lot of nice options, new and used, at your price point).

Good luck,

John
Yes, agree with PSB for something more conventional that I have heard that also excels. I could probably live with those! From my experience, those still sound best a couple feet out from the walls. Most speakers do, though some are designed to go flush/couple directly to walls and/or corners with perhaps some sacrifice in soundstage depth, which is not a concern for many. Klipschorn is the classic example. Rear ported speakers tend to be designed to do best further from rear walls in general, so probably avoid speakers that are rear ported.
Sorry, the phase cancellation from unequal path-lengths for centrally placed images (as an example) not only sound markedly different off-axis, they MEASURE differently.

IMO, having a wide spot to sit to hear centered images with their ENTIRE FREQUeNCY ENVELOPE INTACT is not possible with stereo, unless there has been a recent break-through in the Laws of Physics.

We will buy time-and-phase-aligned speakers and then sit off axis which is most certainly NOT a phase and time aligned listening position.

Doesn't mean that we can't sit off-axis and enjoy the sound, but it is important to recognize that such sound is a distorted version of the original.

Can still be great fun to listen - I do this when my wife joins me - she gets the sweet spot :)
Hornguys: Do you think speakers vary as to whether they give a more or less satisfying listening experience off axis, or are they all they same, regards the decline in litening quality as one moves from the "sweet spot"?

John
>05-10-12: Andrejb
Looking to place the speakers about 5-10 inches from the rear wall and 1-2 feet from the side walls. As far as the sweetspot goes, I would like something more than just a single seat on a couch.

You'll do better with speakers designed for in-wall use.

Get something which has a real speaker enclosure (flexing dry wall would be bad for the sound) and run a three-way with a small midrange driver.

Triad has some nice designs and will color match the grills to the edcor.
>05-10-12: Jdoris
Hornguys: Do you think speakers vary as to whether they give a more or less satisfying listening experience off axis, or are they all they same, regards the decline in litening quality as one moves from the "sweet spot"?

They vary radically based on the driver sizes, locations, and cross-over points although to get those positive differences you'll need to get away from conventional cone and dome 2-ways.
I second the Philharmonic 2 recommendation. It has a very large sweet spot. Any place in the room will sound great. It will go close to a wall as suggested, but since some of the sound comes out the top module and bounces off the front wall, you might want to hang a tapestry, absorption or diffusion panel behind each speaker for the best sound.

Bob
My Zu Def 4s are places within 4" of the back wall and give a wide sweet spot. While they are pricey, you might call Zu to ask whether their other speakers have a similar characteristics. I also second Audio Note.
Daedalus DA speakers, I have the DA-RMas the hifi speakers by Lou at Daedalus. His origonal speakers the DA series were designed for wide dispersion. Very hard to beat these speakers and they look good too. They are more expensive than your budget, but there is a second hand pair, under Daedalus, on this site at the moment. They rarely are for sale second hand, people don't sell them
Great answer Drew eckhardt,
As a devotee for years of First Order Crossovers because of the phase correct delivery, I overlooked the directionality that they impart.
Its almost as if the Laws of Physics conspire to give us that dogmatic, equal and opposite thing in every category.
Comb filter effects, off axis aberrations in frequency response...as mentioned narrow 'sweet spot'...all negatives.
So when I designed the LSA Loudspeakers, one goal was to use a crossover that did NOT limit listening position as much.
My (now ex) wife used to say, 'I can only hear 'this' speaker, pointing to the one in front of her.
In experimenting, by using 2nd, 3rd order in my design, as well as the now more popular radius side wall cabinets, almost all of the directivity is gone.
I must admit to almost arbitrarily sitting closer to one speaker nowadays...just because I can and it's somehow liberating...certainly not confining.
Again, good answer and interesting thread.

Larry
"As a devotee for years of First Order Crossovers because of the phase correct delivery, I overlooked the directionality that they impart."

Lrsky, why is a first order crossover more directional?

I always thought dispersion to be more a result of other factors, like frequency, driver shape/topology, cabinet effects, etc.

Thanks.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I also forgot to mention that the speakers must have high WAF. This makes my task quite difficult. I wonder if Zu Audio speakers will fit the bill, or even the Tekton Audio Lores or M-Lores.
Audiokinesis Rhythm Prisms offer very flexible placement and a large sweet spot.
For SAF, "the near wall specific" North Creek Big Kats with Lee Taylor custom box work veneer on all sides would be very hard to beat: gorgeous wood (perhaps choosen jointly with your better half), and unobtrusive placement and size. Comes in somewhat over your pricepoint, but perhaps worth a stretch.

http://northcreekmusic.com/
>05-11-12: Mapman
>"As a devotee for years of First Order Crossovers because of the phase correct delivery, I overlooked the directionality that they impart."
>
>Lrsky, why is a first order crossover more directional?

Excursion to produce a given SPL quadruples with each octave lower you play while a first order cross-over only halves output with each octave out of the pass band so excursion is still doubling in the higher frequency driver with each octave lower for a given program SPL level until the high-pass ceases to have a first order slope.

This forces a higher cross-over point where the lower frequency driver is more directional.

The larger frequency range of overlap between drivers covering adjacent parts of the frequency spectrum with appreciable output also causes more lobing in the vertical polar response.
Drew,

Makes sense. Thanks.
Two other suggestions are the Von Schweikert VR-33 and, if you can find them, Allison One. WAF is so subjective involving size, shape, color/finish, detailing, decor of the rest of the room, etc.
I owned Tekton Uruz and was very pleased with their off axis ability (even wide off axis), but they were designed to use the wall behind to reinforce the bass and had have the front panel of the speaker 32" - 36" from the wall in my room.