The Von Schweikert VR 33s are hard to beat in that price range. They sell for just a little over 3k, and hardly any of that is going into the cabinets (they're cloth). I heard a pair 6 months ago, and was blown away. Highly recommended.
Audio note in particular. British speakers in general. Also, I have my Zu Def 4s close to a wall; while these are out of your price range, I suspect that other Zu speakers would work just as well.
Oops, clicked too soon; Thiel MCS, SCS, etc..
That Harbeth recommendation is a good one. It also depends on the wall. My front Ported Harbeth C7es3's are 1.5 feet from an insulated interior wall. I did this myself and it mad a huge difference. If I had the money, I'd build a home with fully insulated walls, especially after my buddy Bimfy brought his girlfriend to the cottage way back when and ......
Thanks to all these responses...especially Donjr who added some much needed ribald levity.
Most speakers with front ports are going to work better against a wall, although if they're designed with more emphasis on bass frequencies they're still gonna boom.
Google for reviews
I too have been looking for front ported or sealed speakers which I can place close to the wall. The main difference for me when compared to the OP is that my budget is closer to the $1K-$1.5K. My short list right now includes the Focal Chorus 706V, NHT Classic Threes and the Paradigm Studio 20. Anyone have experience with any of these three that would be willing to comment on them?
The speakers will be in a 5.1 HT system powered by a NAD T755 (rated 80WPC in surround and 110WPC in stereo) used about 50/50 for music and TV/movies. The source is an Oppo 980H. The room is about 13x17 but contains openings to a dining room and a hallway. I have a SVS PB10 to handle the low end.
What about the following alternative? Is it a realistic solution?
*look for the best speaker I can afford and use in combination with a sub
*if rear ported, plug the port
*place the speaker as close as necessary
I'm wondering if the sound characteristics of a better quality rear ported speaker with the port plugged will be better than an inferior front ported speaker. Any thoughts on this?
Audio phsycic Classic series range from about $3,500 to maybe around 7K. Very nice controlled speakers. I heard the Classic 20 and 30. The 30 I liked much more being the more expensive set but to be honest the room was set up more for them. Can be played at high/low levels and still maintain the tonal qualities that make them great.No ports so you do not have to worry about rear or side walls for air movement. The article that I read after hearing them stated that to achieve the fullest bass response they had to position them closer to the wall. I am seriously thinking about these. see link
You might also check out (the clue) by Sjofn Hifi. Great reviews, relatively inexpensive and (so they say) bass and imaging to die for. And they are designed to sit within 2" of the wall behind them!
Highly recommend the clue. 2 pairs, stacked w the top pair upside down would be well w/in your budget and they are designed to be placed w/in 2" of the wall. Somebody even sells a stand that is specially designed to set them up that way. No relationship, not a dealer, yada yada.
Neumann KH310A - 3 way, no ports, active design so no need for an amp, and they go plenty low.
I would recommend the Anthony Gallo Strada 2. They need to be very close to a wall to get the mid-bass reinforcement required. Read the 6Moons review for a detailed description of the sonic qualities.
Clue came to mind. Never heard them, just what came to mind...
Gallos are something I'll eventually try in my audio journey!