Speakers that can be placed close to the back wall

Downsizing and need ideas for speakers that can be placed close to the back wall. New room size 20' W x 15' L x 9' H. Have lots of power to drive the speakers.
Nothing rear ported.
Linn speakers work well near walls.
None Dude worst sound!!
The Vandersteen models that can be tuned to the room.
Wisdom speakers. You didn't mention a budget. Good Luck
a few
Linn, Naim, North Creek, Audio Note, Totem
do a search, you'll find more
I really liked the Jordan JX92 based wide baffle transmission line speakers when placed close to the wall (I owned a commercial model the Konus Audio Essence) but there are plenty of DIY plans out there if you have the skills or wish to have a pair built for you
Harbeth P3ESR or Spendor 3/5. Had both and no problem. They are both sealed!

see R7 review in STEREOTIMES #25

in http://www.stereotimes.com/speak022306.shtml

pertinent extracts:

" ...Like many speakers built for UK and European listening rooms, the R7’s can be placed near a rear wall without exaggerating the bass response..."

" ... 34-years’ experience in the audio world have taught me that the most common system building error is mismatching the speaker to the room. Place a mini-monitor in too large a room and you get the bass-shy “squawk box” syndrome. Far more common in the US is buying a speaker whose bass response is more than the room can handle, resulting in various manifestations of boom, thud, and rhinocerine mud-wallowing. It’s more than a simple matter of room dimensions and overall volume: wall and floor construction also play a crucial role. It’s been my general experience that if you can get clear and tight response down to 40 Hz in-room, stop and count your blessings. And think very hard about pursuing response into the bottom octave. One is more likely to screw up everything achieved in the musically useful range of 40 Hz and above. While my own reference speaker, the Sound Lab Dynastat, is flat to 20 Hz in my large basement listening room, the number of times I’ve absolutely needed that bottom octave for musical reasons in the last two years is zero. While the lowest range of the organ might be majestic in a large cathedral, mismatched bass-heavy speakers that literally shake the house on its foundations are more likely to induce vertigo and viscera displacement than aesthetic satisfaction. So how do you walk the line between bass-shy mini-monitors and elephantine bass heaviness in the “normal” room? Enter the new Rega R7 loudspeaker...."
Any Audio Note speaker, some Linn speakers, and Von Schweikert Audio VR-35 are designed specifically to placed close to the back wall. I have my Zu Def 4s close to the back wall and they sound great.
The most important factor in choosing a speaker that's going to live close to walls is how the bass is tuned. Walls/boundaries will boost bass, possibly by a large amount. If you have a typical QB3/flat bass tuning and put that speaker close to a wall, you'll end up with 6db or more bump in the bottom couple octaves ... end result is a thick, muddy sound.

The ideal tuning for near wall placement is an Extended Bass Shelf. Even sealed boxes aren't always ideal for near wall, and can suffer the same effect as I said above, because there's no way to replicate an EBS curve with a sealed enclosure.

Unfortuantely most manufacturers don't tell you what type of tuning they employ. Instead you have to rely on anecdotal evidence like "I have brand x close to a wall and it sounds great", or the manufacturer marketing speak without any explination of why.
ATC sealed -- they love high power, too!
Vapor1 A question: Do any of your speakers use the EXtended Bass Shelf? I thought that technique only used front ported designs? Could you explain more in detail? Thanks!
Hey Chuck, yes we use the EBS alignment on some of our designs and it definately helps make boomy bass a non-issue. Front ported or rear ported, makes no difference ... it's the length of the port and size of the cabinet that determines tuning.

One of the major reasons why most manufacturers don't use EBS tunings is because they typically require about twice the cabinet volume. However, that's one of the benefits to using AudioTechnology woofers, Per Skaaning will build them custom to our specs - so we're able to get a woofer that can tune to an EBS alignment in a .75cu/ft cabinet. Normally that's impossible with a 7" woofer.

To show you a bit more about what an EBS alignment actually is, look at this image that I found quickly using google


That's not a 'real' EBS, but close enough for illustration. The green line would be your standard QB3 alignment, grey would be an EBS-3, and red and EBS-6. The -3 and -6 mean just that, down 3db and 6db from flat. We use EBS-3 alignments because -6 is too much 'shelving down' in our opinion.

You can see how in a real room where bass is boosted, if the tuning is flat, you will end up with a bump. However if you start with the grey line, that bump will be much more benign and overall in-room response will be closer to flat. You can also see how EBS alignments actually give more bottom end extension.

The downside to an EBS alignment is you give up a bit of power handling.
Vapor1. Interesting that you're focusing below 100 Hz instead of more typical diffraction loss or BSC below 500 Hz with, say, a 9 inch wide baffle. Something to do with the speaker depth?
Front ported or sealed
Search for this: Guru QM-60
Always put a smile on my face and it can play loud too.
Typical boundary reinforcement from placement close to the wall would be roughly +3 dB per octave. So I like to aim for roughly -3 dB per octave rolloff across the lower part of the bass region when the speakers are going close to the wall. I call this "room gain complementary" - or RGC - tuning. It's not quite the same thing as extended bass shelf - or EBS- tuning, but they are variations on the same theme. RGC tuning usually calls for a bit smaller box than EBS tuning. And as has been mentioned, port location doesn't really matter, though I personally think the argument can be made that rear porting offers a couple of potential small advantages when tuned properly.

Here's a more lengthy look at room gain complementary tuning, if anybody's interested:


Having a wall right behind the speaker will affect any midrange energy that wraps around the baffle and then bounces off the wall, introducing peaks and dips in the frequency response as the wall bounce energy goes in and out of phase, depending on the distance and wavelength. This can be minimized by blending the speaker into the wall as much as possible (perhaps via a very shallow enclosure), or by using drivers that are inherently strongly directional and/or using a wide baffle so that relatively little midrange energy wraps around the baffle and bounces off the wall.

Imo, ime, ymmv, etc.

Any Allison, Guru qm10 bookshelves both designed to be against wall.
Von Schweikert VR22 and VR33 are designed to be placed close to the wall.
Marten and Avalon can both be placed close to rear walls. That is due to their down-firing ports and crossover tuning. Marten actually advertise the fact their speakers have been designed to be placed close to rear walls. Avalon perhaps a bit less so because of their cabinet design and dipole-like sound characteristics, though the Avalons would still be more room friendly than true dipoles or speakers with rear-firing ports.