The older NHT's were designed to go up against the back wall - the 3.3's and 2.9's. They're a big, somewhat uniquely shaped speaker, but even so only extend into the room so far, certainly not further than most speakers when set out in front of the front wall.
The Allison Model 3(?) is designed to go directly in the corner. Never heard them, but they're certainly friendly to the room :-)
24" may be enough for Dunlavy's.
Not knowing your price range I'll suggest the FJ Om's. The most musical speaker I have owned and can be placed a minimum of six inches from the rear wall.
I think Eggelestons do well close to the "back wall". It is a little confusing but I think it should be called the "front wall." Can anybody confirm this?
It depends on how much you are willing to spend. For less than $1000 I recommend Von Schweikert VR-1s. No actual rear port, bass to 50 Hz in room, beautiful mid-range and a quick coherent speaker. They can actually sit in front of or in bookshelves.
With a good EQ, just about any speaker can be close to back wall.
THere's another thread on just this topic a few days ago. Wilson has some new at CES speakers that can go right up against the wall (and on bookshelves). Having not been at CES, I haven't heard them
What ever you decide make sure it's sealed , transmission line or a front ported speaker. You never mentioned what types of music you listen to. This should make recommendations a little easier.
Totem Arro's can be placed within 12 inches of the back wall. Totem Acoustics has other speakers that can be within 24". See their web site and select the FAQ section for the minimum distances.
Totem Arro's sound great even when placed close to a back wall.
Began a similar thread years ago, and settled on the Gradient Preludes. However, if I could have afforded it, the Combak Bravo would have been ideal.
Soliloquy's. Sat-5 great, check KEF
Stay away from rear ports....
My Cain Abbys are within 2 feet of the back wall and work incredibly well. If the 6 feet size is not a problem, they are some of the most amazing speaker around. Huge soundstage and images, relastic portrait of instruments, smooth and full sound.
Otherwise, I listened to the Totem Arro a while back and they do profit from close placement to the wall. Some speakers in the Totem lineup might work well for you.
And both work well with tube amplifications if you plan to use your current CJs. Are you going to replace your Gershman Acoustics speakers or is this for a second room?
Disclaimer. I'm one of those Magnepan nuts.*smile*
I would not put an ported(front or rear)speaker close to a wall;I would stick to a sealed box.
Checking your system for a price range,I'd checkhttp://www.northcreekmusic.com
and link through to the "Okara" page,and check that model and its upgrades.
Thanks for all the replies. I listen to just about all types of music excepting hard rock. I'm not familiar with some of the brands/models mentioned, so this will keep me busy for a while. Would need to stay under say $3,000 (used price) for speakers.
my Audio Note model E is rear ported and they are designed to be placed near the wall and they sound terrific. This is a counter point to all the warnings for rear ported speakers
If you're looking used, the Linn Isobariks were designed to placed within a couple inches of the wall. In good condition, a fine sounding loudspeaker.
The materials and kind of wall construction will be crucial to making this work in my experience, regardless of speaker. You need to avoid unwanted vibrations from the wall itself that will muddy or enervate the sound. A modest wall treatment might be the best investment you can make. I've had some speakers as close as 12" with good soundstaging and bass balance. I'm no acoustic expert, but if you are interested in this issue, let me know and I can share my experience treating the wall.
It's hard to guess what will work in a specific location, but certainly speakers designed to work close to the wall should be the focus of your search.
In the relatively high efficiency group, I've heard and liked the sound of Audionote speakers. The cheaper models are very good for the money, the more expensive models are better, but the declining marginal return is steep with this line.
In the less efficient group, I like the Gradient Revolution. I've only heard it at two CES, but they sounded great in rooms/locations that had to be hard to work with.
Having a front or rear port location doesn't matter once you get more than a few inches out from the wall.
Within the ports operating range the sound waves are _very_ long (28 feet at 40Hz), wrap arround the speaker like it wasn't there, and the speaker isn't at all directional.
Except for dipoles, horns, and cardioids all speakers are going to have a substantial (like 5dB) bass boost below 70Hz when placed within 2' of the wall.
I find that objectionable; if you do too you'll want either a speaker specifically _designed_ for on or in-wall placement or a parametric equalizer with a shelving high-pass filter.
Smaller Dunlavy (SC-IV or smaller) or Duntech (Princess or smaller) speakers will work OK as you mention, you'll lose a little depth and might get a bit more bass than otherwise specified in the measurements but otherwise you can be OK. The best close to wall speakers I have ever heard are the Snell Type A-IIIs, designed to be placed up against the wall and terrific speakers. I think there's a used pair up for sale on the 'gon now. Particularly good with classical music, and good bass extension. Only problem is that they're no longer in production, don't know about how well they can be serviced/repaired.
Have you checking into the Allison speakers which are designed go into corners and against a wall literally. One of their models was reviewed in TAS last year I believe.
My Eggleston Works Fontaines sound awesome at less than 24" from the wall (to the back of the speaker). But you'd have to find a pair used for your budget.