Speakers that can be placed against the wall?

I have finally decided to do something I promised myself I would do when I got out of college (just took about 20 years to make it a priority)...Get an upper-end stereo system. My problem is I live in a small house and need to be able to place the speakers against the wall. The room is about 18' x 13' with the speakers located against the long (18') wall. I will be able to keep the speakers away from the side walls but they need to stay close to the back wall. I like Jazz, don't usually listen at loud volumes, but would like to have a speaker that will sound good with most types of music (not asking much, am I?). I don't want to spend more than about $4-5K for the speakers (I'll probably buy used). This is the first component I want to buy for my system. I'm probably going to use a tube preamp and solid state amp (or monoblock amps). Any recommendations for speakers that can be placed against the rear wall, in a smallish room that can give good soundstage and imaging? Or should I take up knitting?
Look at Audio Note site. AN/E's can be placed in corners, free standing, on longside etc. They look ugly but they sound & image first class. Better then most of the competition out there. Also available in DIY kits. If you can find someone to build it for you you can save a lot of $$$. They prefer tubes and you don't need a lot of power.
Audio Note J/SPe with SET amp.
GURU speakers were a hit at the 2007 Stereophile Home
Entertainment show in NYC.
Go to this link and scroll down for a summary:


I heard them myself and was amazed. The most talked about speaker at the show.
Among older designs, NHT speakers were designed to be placed against the wall and are very good sounding speakers. Can be had for a song used if you find them.
Provided you like the Naim "sound", you'll get perfect fits with:
Naim Allae (should be within your budget even new)
Naim SL2 (I've seen these being offered used for appr. EUR4k, don't know what they go for in the US)

Something different, should you consider bookshelf:
Sonus Faber Auditor Elipsa

Good luck
Magnepan makes an entry-level wall speaker, it is sold direct
If you want to start in high end, get the Magnepan's. The MMG-W sold direct, if you check out the reviews, you will be shocked that any consumer item can be so universally praised. Also, they are dirt cheap. A half-way decent subwoofer is s must with them, and you will need a reciever with some juice (over 100w min) that can crossover the sub/speakers (try 110hz to start).

Good luck.
Forget the AN Kit speaker.

AN speakers are not ugly.
In wall paradigm 40's - if prefer a slick look and great sound.

Sealed box satellites with a high end sub would probably be the safest choice though. You should avoid ported speakers.
The Devore Fidelity Gibbon 8's are front-ported and work extremely well near the wall in my living room, which is almost the same size and shape as yours. They were designed by a New Yorker with small living spaces in mind. The next speaker up in the line, the Super 8, sounds incredible and is within your budget but are rear-ported.
In general if you can get the speakers at least 12" away fom the walls, most will do OK.
Front ported speakers work best in close to wall placement.
Linn, Audio Note, Naim, Nort Acoustics all mke good choices.
Some Linn, Klipsch, and some high end home theatre speakers too, such as Thiel, Vandersteen, etc... Check the archives.
The Kitty Kat from North Creek Music Systems is a speaker that is made to be placed with in a few inch's of the wall. They can be built as a kit or ready made and use very high quality drivers [ Scan Speak ] woofers and a choice of tweeters a North acoustics or Scan Speak .
Save some $$$ get great sound and excellent support and have a look at Phase Tech's Premier collection... even the older PC series is a good thought as the company can and will refit any or all of that series drivers, x overs etc. if needed. I have one pair thaty went well over 20 years before needing anything... another pair that is now about 11 years old and needs nothing and all can sit quite close to a wall. Actually it's prefrferable for them to be within 18 inches.

you'll need only about 30 or 40 watts per to run 'em with. More is better though, but not a lot more. They've played very well indeed with 60wpc tube power amp at about half of it's power band.
Aerial 6's worked quite well up against or near the wall, but require power. Beautiful finish, in my opinion, with excellent build quality. May be a bit bass shy...as it was for my tastes. I seldom see them on the used market.
I would second the Audio note suggestion and will also add the new KCS SEAS Exotic to this this...Just got a pair and they are terrific...being sealed box you can get them pretty close to the back wall without too much sacrifice
Klipch makes a speaker called the Cornwall which is the combination of terms 'corner and wall'. They are extremely efficient and have developed a following outside of the US in combination with SET amps. I spent some time with these being driven by solid state electronics and they were very articulate, but also a bit edgy. Might be worth checking into.
Polk SDA's work best a few inches from the rear wall.
If you can find some North Creek Eska's or Kitty Kats, they were specifically designed for close-to-wall placement. They use fantastic drivers and over-built crossovers with incredible parts quality (ScanSpeak tweeters/Vifa woofers, etc.)

The Cornwalls is an interesting suggestion. They are a bit colored by modern tastes, and they're relatively HUGE, but can sound really sweet with good low-power tube equipment. Like even a Dynaco ST-70 will sound fantastic.

I love Maggies, but the MMG's mentioned above won't give you good results close to a wall. They like to be a few feet out. Great bargain/fantastic sound tho.

To be more specific regarding Unsound's comment, consider a pair of Vandersteen VSM speakers with a pair of Vandy subs. The VSM was designed as a surround speaker for home theater, thus voiced for on wall placement. Just as with any audio brand, not everyone likes the Vandersteen sound but there are strong similarities between models so if you appreciate their strong points, the VSM can be a real space saving option. One version of the VSM can be painted, it that helps with WAF. And the subs can be located fairly close to the wall.

Unfortunately for situations such as yours, very few speakers sound decent when placed against or close to a wall. To work well, that must have been an objective by the designer. Also remember that some speakers may be so large (for example the Cornwall) that a smaller speaker might not sit further into the room, while having 12-18 inches behind it.