Need Speakers to be Close to Wall $10k budget

I've been enjoying my Audio Physic Avanti III speakeres for a few years now, powered by Joule Electra Grand Marquis 160 (160wpc OTL monoblocks). I currently enjoy the speekers in a large room that allows placement pretty far into the room, which suits the speakers. However I'm moving to a new place this weekend and space is more constrained - I'll need to have the speakers closer to the wall, and perhaps just a few inches away from the wall. This won't be an ideal setup for the Audio Physics, so I'll likely need to change to something more suitable. I can spend a bit more too this time. I'll be buying used and my budget would be in the area of $10k, though would be happy to spend less.

I'd prefer not to have to sell/swap out my amps but might consider it if absolutely necessary. I'm much more inclined towards tube amps, but could possibkly spring for something like Bryston 28BSST for the Magico's if the ss match was deemed essential.

I was thinking maybe Magico Mini II or Wilson Sophia II or perhaps Rockport Mira or MBL 116. These are speakers I'm a bit familar with (other than the Magicos) and I like what I've heard - I listen to a wide range of music and watch a lot of movies too. I've a Velodyne DD18 sub on hand too, so the speakers don't need to go that deep necessarily.

I'd welcome any suggestions. Thanks!
Ad3dd209 f1c2 428b 9060 a6e7ac9e0ed0outlier
Try the speakers you already have first. To do otherwise would be foolish.
Look at the VS VR33 or VR35.
Listen to ZD542, his advice is wise...

The Audio Physics will not have quite the same kind of imaging close to the wall as it is capable of in a more free standing location, but, that would be the case with ANY speaker that must be located nearer to a back and/or side wall. Because the Avanti's are NOT excessively heavy in bass response, I would bet that you can make it work so give it a try.

For speakers designed for relatively close to the wall location, you should look at the Gradient Revolution. It is extremely flexible, in terms of placement, and sounds quite good. Another possible candidate would be an Audionote speaker--these are all specifically designed for near corner locations.

I don't know about the specific MBL model you are looking at, but, the speakers I've heard from that line all seem to be quite touchy about location and all sounded best quite a bit away from all walls. That might be tough to work with.

The Rockport Mira and Wilson Sofia are not that much different from your Avanti's in terms of position requirement--all sound best away from walls, particularly the back wall, but they are nice sounding speakers so they might be worth investigating anyway.
Audiokinesis and Audio Note would be worth looking into but as stated earlier you have nothing to lose by trying out the Audio Physics speakers to see how they would work.

Deal disclaimer: I am an Audiokinesis dealer.
You might check out the New Vapor Audio Joule Black or White. New at the 2013 RMAF.
Obviously the easiest would be if you are happy with the Audio Physic in your new space. However, as noted, Audio Note are designed to be placed near to the and, ideally, in corners. VR22, VR33, or VR35 that are designed to be placed near to the wall and listened from an off-axis position. My Zu Def 4s are inches from the back wall; all Zu speakers are easy to place. Audio Note and Zu speakers are SET friendly.
In my experience, omnis and other polydirectionals (such as bipoles and dipoles) that bounce a lot of energy off the wall behind the speakers do not work well up against the wall. Those reflections need a much longer time interval before they arrive in order to be beneficial rather than detrimental.

On the other hand, the additional reverberant energy (if spectrally correct) adds a great deal to soundstaging and the overall sense of realism if it arrives fairly late. And in this context, the fuzzy line where "fairly late" begins is about ten milliseconds. This is the sort of time delay the rear bounce of a dipole speaker will have if it's about five feet out in front of the wall. That's not a hard and fast cut-off point, but in general owners of dipole speakers find they sound better with a fair amount of space behind them.

Okay, back to the problems of up-against-the-wall speakers. The soundstage depth is naturally pancaked by the wall being so close... I think the ear/brain system can hear how far away the wall is from the sound source by the reflections off the wall, and generally won't let the image depth extend any deeper beyond the wall than the speakers are out in front of it. So if the front of the speaker cabinet is 12 inches in front of the wall, on a good recording I think you might get the soundstage to extend 12 inches behind the wall. If the front of the speaker is 5 feet in front of the wall, I think you might get the soundstage to extend another 5 feet behind the wall.

But, what if we do a polydirectional speaker that ends up delivering a much longer time delay, by firing the additional reverberant energy off in another direction? That mask the relatively short distance to the wall behind the speakers, and result in greater soundstage depth.

We could fire the additional energy to the side, if the sidewalls are far enough away. I built such a system in 2010, but was not the first - ESP did it before me.

Or we could fire the additional energy up, so that it takes a long bounce off the ceiling. Richard Shahinian did it first, but imo Jim Romeyn did it best, and I've licensed his configuration, and showed it at RMAF 2013.

Finally, we could use an enclosure that allows the woofer and midrange backwave energy to bounce around inside the box a bit and emerge with the spectrum well-preserved after a decent time delay, thus simulating to a certain extent the presentation of a dipole out in the room several feet. I showed a speaker that does that at RMAF 2013 (yes, I was crazy enough to show two systems in one modest-sized room).

Of course getting decent soundstage depth is not the only challenge facing up-against-the-wall placement; the bass response is boosted, and if that isn't taken into account by the designer, can easily be overbearing (Audio Note and Zu and the Gradient Revolution mentioned above all address this issue well, and ime Audio Note in particular does a superb job of taking advantage of the resulting boundary reinforcement). We can end up with over-emphasis in the lower treble region if the radiation pattern has a flare in that region, in which case the likely result is eventual listening fatigue. We can get a comb-filter notch from the bounce off the wall behind the speakers, which the ear/brain system would normally tend to ignore, but if it coincides with the floor-bounce notch, it could be an audible problem.

I didn't set out to get deep into up-against-the-wall speaker design, but in the course of pursuing what I believe to be room-friendly concepts, it just sort of happened.

In a good used up-against-the-wall speaker, I'd suggest the Shahinian Diapason or the Snell Acoustics Type A.

You might be able to modify conventional ported speakers for up-against-the-wall placement by lowering their tuning frequency. This can be accomplished by either reducing the port area (throughout the entire length of the port), or lengthening the port, or some combination thereof. You can also reduce the port's contribution by stuffing it with polyfill or somesuch, or even seal it off entirely, resulting in an (probably low-Q) sealed box. User-adjustable port tuning is something else I like to include in my ported designs, specifically to accomodate a wide range of room acoustic situations and amplifier types.

Speaking of which, I'm a big fan of OTL amps, and imo you might not want to trade away OTL friendliness if you don't have to.

Best of luck with your quest,

Duke LeJeune
Outlier... Check out the Wilson Duette's. They come with two sets of speaker cable pigtails and resistors that re-configure them for placement either right up against a back wall... or out in the open. Wilson recently came out with the Duette II's so original Duette's are presently being offered on AudiogoN at bargain basement prices.

Placing my speakers "out in the open" was never an option for me so I grabbed a pair of the Wilson Duette's and I'm happy... happy... happy.

Thanks everyone for the responses - all good reading. I made
my move a couple of days ago and it will take another couple
of days before my system is up and running again. I'll
definitley check if I can make the Avanti's work in the
room. I do LOVE the pinpoint imaging that these older Audio
Physic's are famous for - they really disappear (I owned the
Virgo II as well, and these were even more impressive with
regard to imaging), but will need to see if they still have
that magic in this new room and/or if other downsides
present themselves.

I did notice the Duettes on Audiogon and they do intrigue me
a bit, in that they are designed for 'hostile' environments
and they may work well in the smaller room I have. Will see.
Outlier, if your Avantis cannot work to your satisfaction I have another recommendation. And they come in fairly well below your $10K limit.

The new Janszen zA2.1 projects a large, full, and detailed musical presentation from a modest sized package. It is a hybrid with electrostatic mid/tweeter above 500 Hz and dual cone woofers below. Three things make it unusual, beyond it's sonic capabilities. First is the rear of the cabinet is enclosed, rather than open as with most dipole drivers. Therefore it can be placed closer to the front wall than many other speakers while still presenting a wide and deep soundstage. My pair sits out only 15" from the wall after careful experimentation with placement. Second is the excellent integration for a hybrid design. Any others I've heard have some level of discontinuity between the electrostatic and cone drivers, but not the zA2.1s. Third is they are easier to drive than most electrostatics. Nominal impedance is rated at 6 ohms but their load only varies from 4 to 10 ohms. And while rated at 87 dB efficiency, when the controls are increased to the top of their respective ranges (+3 woofer and 0 mid/tweeter) they are closer to 90 dB. I imagine your JEs would sound wonderful, although they provide more power than would be needed.

Anyway, good luck.
ZD542 gave good advise try out what you have first.
FYI if you find it not working
Why settle for a stylish Mini Monitor without bass when technology can work for you.
This is right where the emotion of music is.
Having great balanced foundation transitioning to the mids is priceless.
Having tuned many Vandersteen Quatros many only 4 inches off the wall,now Quatro Carbons with Seven technology ya really need to hear these anyway every room is different and their unique left/Right balancing act room compensation feature works like magic.
Cheers JohnnyR
Vandersteen dealer for over 20 years.
Go with electrostatics with low bass output. A bit of wall treatment and you'll be finer.
I have a pair of Totem Fire monitors, love the sound in my living room (13x25 or so), speakers close to the back wall (a little more bass around 80hz of so than is "natural"), so the idea of the Duettes is intriguing, they seem to be engineered for rooms like mine.

I auditioned the Duette Series 1 speakers and with some music just sounded too "shrill". Thoughts from those who've auditioned the Duette Series II?
Sorry for the late follow-up on this thread I initiated this time last year (I ran into forum login challenges). Well the upshot is that I was able to continue using my Audio Physic Avanti III speakers. After moving into the new place, I ened up being able to position the spears appropriately, away from the wall, so am good for now.

Thanks for the useful suggestions though. Hopefully the input has helped others with near-wall placement requirements.
Glad for your outcome.
Audio Note and Wilson Duettes spring to mind, as others have suggested. They are both designed to be used close to the wall, the Audionote's ideally in a corner. I do love the sound of both. The new duettes are pretty expensive, but I am not sure I don't prefer the old ones better, though I listened to them in different systems. Both are reasonably sensitive, particularly the Audio Notes and both like tubes, the Duettes Audio Research of course
If you don't mind spending less you could do a lot worse than a pr of Rega RS-7's.
If you must be back against a wall use something like a JBL DD6700 and "eliminate" ALL backwall reflection. The waveguides are fabulous. You get fabulous sensitivity and dynamics. (I know the prices pushes them out of the equation--just saying : ) .