You are the guy with the Vandersteens in a 12'x12' room. The answer to your question is no. If you can invent room treatment that creates distance between the wall and speakers you will be rich.
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ooooooh, WOW, my apologies, that was from a long time ago when my audio direction was different. I had forgotten completely about that post! No, no, this is a separate situation. I still have those speakers and audio set up, although they are unused at the moment. The Thiels are a much more revealing and truthful speaker, though sometimes this isn't always a good thing (but mostly is), and my wife let me put the Thiels in the living room because they are closer to sculpture than the Vandersteens. My only problem is that pulling them out from the wall more than 2' puts them in the the walkpath of the living room, and more importantly the walkpath of the 5 year old.
You have three options: Pick another room, live with them near the wall, or move them out when you want to listen and put them back when you are done. It is the back wall and side wall reflections that generate the sense of space. Absorptive materials would just deaden the sound. I think my CS6 speakers are 38" or so from the back wall and >5' from the side walls. With some vinyl, the soundstage expands to the full 24' width of my room. With CD, not so much.
"The Thiels are a much more revealing and truthful speaker, though sometimes this isn't always a good thing (but mostly is), and my wife let me put the Thiels in the living room because they are closer to sculpture than the Vandersteens."
I have owned both and Vandersteens are every bit as truthful as Thiels if not more. They are both good speakers and benefit from high quality electronics and a proper listening room. With your situation you may be better off with monitor speakers on stands with a subwoofer.
I think you misunderstand my situation. My Thiels are in the living room (large room) and my Vandersteens were in a small bedroom (12 x 12), though I have brought my Vandys into the living room for comparison. On my system and my particular set up the Vany's just don't compare with the inner detail and depth of the Thiels. At least not the 2ce versions I have. But, hey the Thiels are at a much different price point. I find the Vandys are more laid back and forgiving. Not to say they don't sound good, they do, but I definately "hear more" with the Theils and the sound stage is much clearer, more defined and bigger. The bass goes a tad deeper on the Vanys but the bass is a tad more accurate on the Thiels. Not that looks are super important, but the I don't think anybody will putting the Vandersteens in a sculpture museum anytime soon. The Thiels on the other hand are like pieces of fine furniture. Also room acoustics and placement play a large part in all this and my set up may just favor the Thiels.
Just an idea but can you rotate your system and furnishings 45 degrees so that your speakers straddle the corner? While their outer edges may still be 2 feet close to the nearest wall, their inner edges will be further away, plus now you have the added depth of the corner between the speakers . . .
Ike I said just an idea . . .