Planar close to a rear wall? Quad for example?

In my room I have about 1 foot clearance for a speaker from the rear wall. Can this be done with one of the new Quads or is this just a pipe dream?

IMO, for the newer 2905/2805, or older 989/988's they need to be further out from the wall than a foot. Some suggest 3-6 feet (check older threads -- some good info). They do better with some rear breathing room and a sound panel on the back wall.
Pipe dream (if you want to get the best out of these spks).

You may want to consider a hybrid like the VMPS RM-30's. They sound nice, and can be placed like that. I mention the VMPS because I've heard them set up that way.....I'm sure there are lots of others too.

I have dipole panels, however mine are placed at 62 inches out.

you could put QUADS in the middle of the room or very near the side walls but the rear wall is a killer

NO sorry
I have to agree- Dipolar radiators just DO NOT do well close to the rear wall.
If you can completely absorb the backwave, it would probably work. Unfortunately I don't think that's realistically possible. The problem is, the two-foot round-trip path length difference (imparting a 2-millisecond delay) before the backwave energy arrives at the listening position puts it right smack in the time zone where the ear is most sensitive to coloration and loss of clarity from reflections. On the other hand, 10 milliseconds of time delay (corresponding to Sogood51's five-feet-out dipole speaker positioning) is long enough that the reflections will add richness and liveliness with minimal detriment.

I build monopole and bipole versions of essentially the same speaker. If I had a customer with the same positioning constraints you have, I'd advise him to go with the monopole version. That would be my advice to you DrKen - go with a monopole speaker for now. I don't think Quads or other dipoles are going to work well for you.

You might want to consider Gradient Revolutions. They are designed to work very well when placed close to the rear wall. More than one reviewer has likened their sound to Quads. They do, however, require large amounts of high current power.
I heartily endorse Onhwy61's recommendation. I've only heard the Revolutions at shows (CES several times), but in every instance, the Gradient sounded terrific in small rooms and backed up to the wall. It is specifically designed to accomodate difficult placement and is very flexible in the way it can be configured. A good looking, good sounding, and easy to place speaker. Downside? It is not terribly efficient, but then again, if it is placed in smaller rooms, a lot of power will not be needed.
a number of years ago, i visited a technician who repairs quads. as i walked into his house, i noticed a pair of quads
set up in his kitchgen. the speakers were very close to the wall, probably, no more than 1 foot.

while there was a loss of depth, the naturalness of timbre was evident.
a poorly set up pair of quad 57 is preferable, to my ears, to any cone design.

hi duke: why don't you design a pair of electrostatic speakers to compete with the sound labs you sell ?

Come to think of it, the original Quads have a felt pad that absorbs the tweeter's backwave. Hmmm... I hadn't taken that into consideration, but that would probably give them them a much better chance of working close to the wall than other dipoles.

As for designing an electrostat to compete against the SoundLabs, well thanks for the vote of confidence but that's out of my league!

FWIW, re backwave, in my initial frustration setting up Quad 63's I put heavy felt on the back of the speakers. As far as I was concerned all of the supposed benefits of using dipoles disappeared with the 'unmanagable' backwave.

The speakers didn't begin to sound good (open up and sound clear) until I got them out 4 1/2 ft from the wall behind them and using diffusing materiels was still very beneficial. In my experience the down side of the close placement to the wall wasn't just the loss of depth that was the problem so much as loss of clarity. But then I like to sit about dead center in an orchestral hall usually in rows D E or F where clarity is very evident.

Interesting how we all value the same things so differently.
hi newbee:

i too owned quad 63's. having owned stacked quad 57's for 7 years, i would say, the 63's are more inaccurate, timbrally speaking. my experience with quad 57s placed close to the wall does not confirm your experience with the 63's reagrding loss of clarity. when i owned the 63s, they were placed 5 feet from the rear wall. i can't say that clarity was a salient aspect of its performance. i liked the speakers for their absence of brightness, boxlessness and listenability, not because of transparency.

then again, you and i probably used different amp, pre and digital components.
Mr T my point was not to differentiate the 63's from the 57's, although not often spoken about, one of the huge differences between them, which is obviously not important to you, is the point source imaging nature of the 63's which is markedly absent in the 57's. The 63's were in fact one of the earliest electrostats or planar speakers to do this little trick. This exact feature may coinside with your 'rear of the hall' sonic preference because the 57's will always have a more blended sonic presentation than the 63's or later speakers as well as cone or horn designs.

What I was referring to was nothing more than what Duke has been talking about. The back wave needs greater seperation from the front wave than close wall placement will give it if you are seeking clarity. And, this clarity is what gives it a greater sense of 'depth of image'. I think it goes without saying, but I will anyway, if you like rear hall sound, clarity and its byproducts cannot be a big issue for you. I've never been in an orchestral hall where in the rear lower or upper sections I heard any direct sounds that were not greatly changed or influenced by hall size including reflections, reverberations, acoustic treatments, and the size of the audience.

Courses for horses. Or is it horses for courses. :-)

Having played with a pair of Quad 989’s for over a year now, I would have to say you will be losing a lot of what makes a Quad, a Quad.

In my room, which is 23x21, with a sloping ceiling going from 9 feet to 16 feet and one side of the room open 16 feet ( from a foyer ), I have had to place the 989’s 5 – 6 feet off the back wall, and 5 feet off the side walls. Placing them so close to the wall will waste your money. This would hold true for any dipole speaker as well. There are plenty of good speakers out there that might be OK up against a wall. As a general rule of thumb, almost any speaker sounds better if kept off the back and side walls. Results and effect will vary with each brand and model of speaker.

You may very well find a different brand or type of speaker that will sound better that the Quads in your set up, even though they might not sound as good as the Quads if both were set up in open spaces.

Remember, a great top dog speaker sounds great because it is set up correctly, and yes there is a correct and incorrect way to set up and speaker. A great speaker that is set up incorrectly, may sound worse, that a lesser speaker that is set up as intended. Example. In my room I really wanted to place the Quads on the long wall. That wall has a wonderful view to the outside, with two large ( 7 foot x 7 foot ) casement windows, and a fireplace in the middle of the wall ( total of 23 feet ), the opposite wall is open 16 feet. Tried as I wanted, and the Quads just sounded to bright and brittle when placed this way. By the way this position was the best for furniture setups as well. We are now looking for custom drapes that we can use on those two windows. My thought is that I might be able to get away with placing the speakers in the position I want, and use the drapes as a sound control item. Open for casual listening, and close for serious listing. This would probably limit the serious listing to the dark hours, since closing the drapes during the day makes the room way to dark.

Recently I walked into one of the national audio chain stores, but not a big box store. I noticed they had a room with a small pair of Martin Logan’s and a Krell amp. I asked if I could hear the set up. I had a few CDs with me that I knew well. The set up was awful. Based on that set up ( close to the wall, and only six feet apart ), I would never, ever, considered buying those speakers. A few weeks later I was in another store ( in the same town ), who come to find out, had the whole Martin Logan line up. I sort of joked with the manger how I had already heard the small ML’s in another store. He laughed. He said that I had not heard them set up correctly. I was game, and had the same selections of CD’s with me. Boy was I blow away. It was a night a day change. Based on hearing them correctly set up, I recommended them to a friend. I them when into their big home theater room and listened to the ML Summit’s, and again was floored. Based on being able to hear the speakers set up correctly, I am thinking about maybe buying the Summits and selling the Quads, ( yes I miss the visceral bass about 50 % of the time )

Give us an idea of your room size and why only one foot off the wall ??
It will just not work. Not a foot away from the wall.
A waist of great speaker. IMO
hi mjstark:

it is too bad you were not with me when i heard a pair of quads set up in a kitchen. i di not think it would work either. i played an orchestral selection--ravel's alborado del graciso conducted by ansermet.

although depth was not ideal, the timbre of the instruments was quite impressive.
Owning stats for a number of years makes me wonder -HOW???
If its not common knowledge than it should be: all planar speakers need to be a minimum of 5 feet from the rear wall!

Any closer results in tonal colorations, the most pronounced being in the bass. Oddly, the only speaker I have seen that worked at all well at distances closer was indeed the '57, but invariably the owner was using a transistor amplifier, which cannot play bass on the speaker. Nevermind- the backwave reinforcement 'sort of' takes care of that. But put a good tube amp on a setup like that and the owner complains of too much one-note bass.
I used to have my Apogee Stages 18 inches from the wall
and they sounded fine--not boomy or compressed at all.
Maybe the soundstage was a somewhat flat but the tonality
and realism of the Stages was so awesome that I didn't care. I don't have them anymore because the left one's woofer broke.
I had to sell the Quad 63's I purchased from QS and D several weeks after I bought them as I couldnt pull them out more than 3.5 feet or so from the front wall.
Thought this would be enough before I bought them-- I had heard 3-6 feet was "ideal."
Once I had them in-house-- I realized it wasnt ideal whatsoever. No matter what position I tried them in or how much toe-in etc.-- couldnt get them to sound like I know I've heard them sound in a good set-up. Not even close. Dont waste your money until you've got the space.
Magnepan MC-1's are made to mount on the wall. I am running a pair on a wall that frames a picture window in front of my desk. I have the speakers about 5 feet apart and 4 feet from my listening position. Sandwiched between the speakers and the wall are acoustical panels (BAD) that are 18 inches by 48 inches high. I am supplementing the base with a quad sub. The tonal quality is very good but I struggle with imaging being so close to the speaker. Voices are good, but instruments tend to be smeared to the sides. It is not ideal but I cannot think of anything better given that I want to sit so close to the window/wall for the view while I work. I tried a pair of Gallo Due bookshelf speakers and they were waaay to "hot" sitting that close. The MC-1's are not too agressive at all, I just miss the imaging and depth.
Thanks for this Quad discussion and to Drken for starting it off. I was very favorably impressed by the musicality and dynamics (surprised is more accurate) of the new 2905 demo at the CES. A local dealer is adding the Quad line and I look forward to a more complete audition of both the 2805 and 2905 once he is set up.

The five feet minimum spacing from the front wall makes sense given the recommendation for at least a 10 ms delay between direct and first reflected sound arrival (I'm discounting floor bounce since we hear that anyway with speech or live music).

Mrtennis continues talking about his experiences with the 57, a different speaker from all later Quads because of radiation patterns and the heavy felt backing. I wouldn't question that he was impressed by a near-wall placement, but that is not relevant to the "new Quads" that Drken is asking about.

Overall, this is educational and fun reading.
If you can completely absorb the backwave, it would probably work. Unfortunately I don't think that's realistically possible. The problem is, the two-foot round-trip path length difference (imparting a 2-millisecond delay) before the backwave energy arrives at the listening position puts it right smack in the time zone where the ear is most sensitive to coloration and loss of clarity from reflections. On the other hand, 10 milliseconds of time delay (corresponding to Sogood51's five-feet-out dipole speaker positioning) is long enough that the reflections will add richness and liveliness with minimal detriment.

Another great post from Duke. There ought to be an audiogon "stickies" for great advice such as this. This is the same issue as side wall reflections or the nearby coffee table right in front of the speaker...nearby reflections cause a collapse in soundstage. Above 5 Msecs things start to improve significantly and at 10 millisecs you are in the "safe" zone for reflections.

The reverse applies too....don't sit within 5 feet of a wall if you can help it!
How close can you sit to the Quads?