Silverline Preludes + TA-4650 are a match made in heaven !
24 responses Add your response
With speakers so close to the back wall, I would warn against anything that is rear-ported. Stick to front-ported models like PSB has. Otherwise you won't be able to use the speaker to its fullest potential; typically rear ports extend low frequency response by having the cabinet set a certain distance from a wall. Front ported speakers don't depend upon this as much.
I second Meiwan's recommendation. Spendor s5e amd A5 speakers have a small footprint, are attractive but understated, and sound great for their size and price. Thirty watts per channel (which I think I remember is the rating on the 4650) will be enough for normal listening, but definitely will not "rock the room." The Spendors are relatively inefficient.
These comments have been very helpful, especially the front vs. rear port comment. Many of the speakers you've mentioned are small, but still require being set out from the wall a foot or more. So now, here is where I am:
Floor-standers: Arros (great comments, rear-ported but can be placed as close as 6" to the read wall), silverline preludes (6moon says they sounded good very close to the rear wall), Aerial 6 (front-ported).
Stand-mounted: I know, I'm all over the map here, but help me out. Can I get something like Totem Dreamcatchers and wall mount them (so I don't take up floor space and don't spend lots of $$ on stands)? Can you recommend speakers that would work well here (can be close to wall, smallish, disappear sonically, etc.)?
At the moment, I'm not sure that I need to go with floor-standing instead of stand-mounted speakers, and I'm thinking I can get great HT and audio from wall-mounted speakers. Would I need a sub?
Don't know if the Dreamcatcher is ported or not, I don't think it is, but I have front-ported B&W 685s and they sound better on stands than they do on the wall. I was more concerned about music, which has a much higher dynamic range than movies, so that could have been an issue. The B&W 6 series' "bookshelf" speakers all have hooks installed on the back, so wall-mounting is an option for them. I have the 686 surrounds on the side walls.
If your speakers do not come with factory-installed hooks on the back, you face the un-savory task of turning screws into the speaker cabinet to attach mounting hardware, which makes me cringe a little. You could set them up on little shelves instead, I guess. Also keep in mind the binding posts in back require a bit of room off the wall to attach the wiring.
You can always try the dreamcatchers on top of a set of CMU, compare that to wall-mounted, if you like them on the CMU, then go buy some stands...
If I had a chance to do it another way, I'd have gone with floorstanders for the fronts. The 685s on stands look really nice, but they are a bit wobbly, its easy for a 5 year old to walk by and knock one off. That hasn't happened yet, luckily. I think floor standers would be more sturdy, and probably better for medium-to-big rooms.
Regarding subs, you can always buy one later. I don't think the sub needs to be the same brand as the front array (left, right and center), which all should be the same brand. If you buy full range floor-standers, you may not need a sub, lots of people don't use them. Depends on your listening tastes for music/movies. Lots of my music needs that low end, so I bought a HSU VTF-1, it makes the walls shake.
Update: I'm leaning toward the Arros, for the footprint, musicality, and this:
--it seems Arros are very forgiving about rear wall placement.
I also found that Totem has a wall-mount accesory for Dreamcatchers, but I think it'll look stranger than having floor-standing.
Which have a better sound--Dreamcatchers or Arros?
agree on strange-looking result when mounting box-speakers on a wall. Totem has an entire line that is designed for wall mounting and these look pretty tight:
RE Dreamcatcher vs. Arro, I would definitely say Arro because of the better frequency range, you will be using these as fronts, so I recommend something that has better low end, and bigger sound, than a bookshelf. I also recommend cutting/folding a piece of paper to the width and depth of the arro, placing that on the floor, then extending a tape measure to the height of the speaker. This will help you visualize it in your living room. They might be smaller than you think!