Dollar for dollar, you won't get better than Vandersteens. I would call Richard or your local Vandy dealer and discuss the issue. I don't think it is as much of a problem as you think it is. The dealer may very well let you bring home a pair for audition
Get a pair of Great Plains Audio 604-8H-II (or III) coaxials or a pair of Iconic 704-8A (same speaker) and build a pair of Mass Loaded Transmission Line cabinets for them; add the Jeff Markwart crossovers. All plans are available free for personal use. You can put them in the corners or right up against the wall and in fact they sound best that way. Footprint is not small, though: roughly 26 W x 20 D inches (depending on the thickness of the cabinet walls. Or you can buy the same design new from Serious Stereo. And you won't really need a sub, except perhaps for home theatre purposes.
For a smaller footprint in a speaker that also is designed to sound best against the wall or in corners, try the Audio Note AN series, available in kit form or ready made, in a huge range of prices.
Hope this helps.
Audio Note speakers sound great in the corners but do not need subwoofer in most cases
I've auditioned Vandersteen speakers and loved their transparent warm sound.
The problem is the side door opens towards my speakers and the Vandy's are too wide. If they only made them thin and deep it would be perfect. The Quatros are configured like this but I just can't afford to spend 8 grand. I almost thought about a used pair of Thiel 1.6's or the PSB synchrony 1's or 2's.
Have you looked at the Totem speakers? Their floor standers (they call them "Columns") can be placed as close as 6" away from the wall and you can tune the bass by mass loading a chamber inside the speaker with sand. Totems are known for their great dispersion and broad sweet spot. The manufacturer claims they can be placed up to 12' apart.
Depending on how big your room is you might be able to get away with the Arro, in which case you would have a great sounding slender little tower that is only about 5" wide by 7" deep, and your sub can be used to provide some umph on the bottom end. But even their "bigger" column speakers are pretty small compared with the amount and quality of sound that comes out of them. High WAF too across the range if that matters to you...
Those Gallo 3 sig's are a superior speaker all around, IMO. I installed a pair for a client who was replacing some original Vandy 2c's with some 2ce Sig's, then on to these finally. My impression was that they offered not only stronger dynamics, the Gallo's did, but they offered a much faster sound, while a more open and less colored sound than the original 2c's.
While they're not as completely transparent as say a pair of Wilson's, they are pretty darn good overall, and better than any Vandersteen IMO. (and I've sold and dealt with most of the speaker offerings out there over the years)
And, yes, they have a small narrow footprint, and slimmer build. Worth a look/listen, IMO.
Might be worth looking into
Consider a custom built loudspeaker. Would solve your problems.
Here's a strong second for the Gallo Ref. 3s. Mine are sitting about 8 feet apart and I still get a good center image even when I'm sitting directly in front of either of the speakers. And yes, indeed, they are "fast", transients are very quick.
Thay can be had for $1500 or so right here on Audiogon...
You do not state your budget or your ideal footprint size. I use Zu Definition 2s (footprint 12x12") within 4" of the back wall in my main rig and Celestion SL700's within 12" of the back wall in my bedroom. Both like to be "farther" apart.
Audio Note speakers are designed to go in corners, but (I am told) also work well agains the back wall, but not in corners. Other British speakers (older Linns) are designed to be placed near the back wall.
PSB platinum T-6 can be placed near wall and have no rear port. The new PSB is nice but I think it has rear port,
>>Dollar for dollar, you won't get better than Vandersteens<<
That's an opinion of course and many people feel the same about their particular choice.
The best dollar for dollar value is purely subjective.
I just spoke to a fellow at Music Direct today and he pointed out their Focal JM Lab Profile series speakers were on clearance for 50% off. A pair of Profile 928's were priced at $2745.00. A nice chunk of change still but for a $5500 pair of speakers maybe it's a bargain. They have a very nice footprint for my application and they have great looks. Does anyone on this forum know much about these animals? Their specs show they would be an easy load for an amp. Would a Sunfire 600 amp be overkill on these things?
No overkill. Buy them. Or these:
Uhm, you guys realize those Gallos have a built-in subwoofer, right? Speakers with an attached sub don't usually fit the request of the OP, espcially since he already has a sub.
Spendor SA/1 just received glowing reviews in Hi Fi+ and it was stated they work superbly against a wall. They are a 2 way sealed box that makes them easier to successfully integrate with your subwoofer. Nice looking speaker too!
The Gallos do not have a built-in subwoofer, they have the ability to hook up an additional amp to power the second voice coil, but it is not needed in many applications and the Gallos hit low just fine without them imho. The Gallo's should work very well in that room with a very small footprint.