Speakers to beat wife-factor ?

I'm looking to replace my Klipsch Forte's with something more refined, but wife-factor requires placement very near rear brick wall, in a 12x14 room (England). Child-factor requires floor-standers -- boxes on stands wouldn't survive. Would like a Maggie-flavored sound, but is there anything that can deliver with its back to the wall and its feet on the ground? I want to keep the solid bass I have now with the Forte's, but want to improve the rest of the sound. Is my quest impossible?
NHT 3.3 is the only hi-end speaker that comes to mind as working well against the wall. It's floor standing, with a very wide frequency spectrum. It has relatively discreet looks (wife factor) and would be a big step up from your Forte (my old speaker). There is a scaled down version which may better suit your room size and is also less expensive - NHT 2.9. Whatever speaker you choose (and there isn't many that work well against a wall) make sure you put some kind of treatments (ie rug) on that brick wall.
Since you like Maggies, another option is to get them. Go with 1.2 or 1.6 to keep the size down. For backround music you can keep them close to the wall, for serious listening you can bring them out into the room. If you need better bass, add a subwoofer in one or both corners.
Forget the wooden boxes! Check out the "Avantgarde".If she doesn't fall in love with them... well you are on your on. I have a phone number, they will send you a catalog. 1-800-944-9537 (i saw them in the latest "stereophile")
You would not get Forte like bass from the Magnepans or any panel speaker ... they just don't produce bass the same way. A good box speaker that allows placement relatively close to the rear wall is the Aerial Acoustics Model 6. It is small (for a floor stander) and quite handsome. Unfortunately the UK price is probably high compared to the US price. Good luck!
I have a similar problem with my martin logan quest z's (for which a minimum of three feet from the wall is recommended. I placed ASC studio traps (www.tubetrap.com) behind each with good results. However, the speakers are still about two feet away from the wall. You might be able to get the Maggies closer than that. Good luck!
The Gradient Revolutions are supposed to sound great next to a wall - I have not heard them, though. I would avoid having to move speakers all the time, if I were you. To me, the NHT 2.9s sounded like crap the one time I heard them (at hi-fi '98). I don't like Meridian speakers either, but some people do - and they have built in equalizers so that you can ajust them for wall placement.
I'm with Sksnyder - maybe there is a way you can use the Maggies. I've gotten decent results with 1.2's one to one and a half feet out from front wall and as close as possible to side walls, tweeter to the inside. Toe them in. More. More still. If the sound is too bright you may find a way to put some Sonex discreetly behind the panels, perhaps on a small frame. If you want, you can remove the iron "feet" on the 1.2's and bend them a little so that the panels lean back a bit more. This makes them more physicially stable and kidproof, and gives tall standing adults a better chance at hearing the highs. Imperfectly set up Maggie 1.2's or 1.6's are still going to sound better than any comparably priced box speaker, or my name isn't Captain IMHO.
Get rid of your wife.Music is more important.And children can be tought to stay away from adult things.Give it a try,it'll work.
The new (Canadian) PSB Alpha speakers can be used quite near a wall, are magnetically shielded for video placement, and perform remarkably well for their low price. They don't go very low, but their lows are clean and they mate well well with any number of subwoofers. Your situation seems to cry out for a subwoofer, and there are some very effective small ones (e.g, the new 9" Sunfire cube, PSB's match for the Alphas) Their mids and highs should be at least the equal of your old Klipsch Fortes (although not similar to the Maggies). I'm familiar with all three brands--my neighbor has Forte's, several friends have had various Maggies (and I've tried them in my listening room), and I use the PSB's in my home theater (with a small JBL powered woofer). You'd be taking a chance with the Maggies--they're very fussy about placement, need to be away from the wall, and benefit from a good subwoofer, too. I haven't heard the Gradient Revolutions, but they're definitely high-end audio and are designed for wall placement. You might also consider good quality in-wall speakers such as the B&W's.
Sorry I didn't address the speaker stand issue in my first note--the PSB's can be placed on wall shelves or even fireplace mantels--they don't need to be on stands. When our kids were young, I had a satellite-sub system with the satellites on stands I built to resist toppling (heavy, wide base, speakers firmly attached). Despite bumps and crashes, the kids never tipped them.
The naim intro speaker **requires** that you place them up against a wall. Not perfect on bass but amazing clarity. And since it is on its own stand you may not need to worry about the floor. I also like hales but they do require an intense battle in speaker placement.
I was a Maggie man once and they do sound best with them out from the wall. But experiment I am sure you will find the right spot. Wall treatment is also important. Have fun.
I concur with SKSnyder's response (10-10). Using SMGa for over a decade, they sound fine for background music even near the wall. For serious listening pull them forward. My wife, and many other women who have visited our homes through the years, love the panel look (and sound). What wife factor? Most women I know despise boxes unless they are in the wall or on a shelf. Besides, most boxes work better away from the wall, too, and many require stands. At that point the footprint is similar to most panel speakers. Go for the Maggies, you won't be sorry.
My wife fell in love with the Sonus Faber Concert Grand Piano's in black. She wouldn't even consider any of the B&W Nautilus designs after that.
A suggestion to consider is a pair of Wilson Watts/puppies. My wife has endured my hobby for over twenty years. She has seen me wheel in Rogers, Dahlquist, Accoustats, Magies, Quads, Infinity's, Crobsy Quads, and Magies again. Many produced SAT sound. We some how missed doing the Sound Labs. Finally, the Wilson Watt3/Puppy2 in Asian Pearl won on by all accounts with us. She says these are the best speakers we have owned (still purring since 1990). We love the music and their small size and finish compliment our living decor. Watt/Puppy are readily available on the used market at reasonable prices. Since settling on these, I have been fine tuning what feeds the speaker in an orderly plan for improvement over time, which has been very satisfying. The music produced is truly SAT. Just you might want to hear what worked for both of us. cheers, Gerrym5
I think if I had to deal with the wife and child factors in that room, I'd just go with headphones. I really love mine, and I'm as yet unmarried...Maybe I love audio a little too much, for now...Someday I'll have a mansion like other rich guys on here, and have a dedicated room that would make Buckingham palace envious. What I have now isn't too shabby, but it doesn't quite look like the interior of George Vanderbilt's house in Asheville, NC, heh heh...BY THE WAY, THE FOCAL TWEETERS IN WILSON'S LINE ARE FLAWED BY DESIGN. THEY RING WELL WITHIN THE AUDIBLE RANGE, AT 16 KHZ. Go buy something with the Scanspeak Revelator tweeter (Nova, PBN, Chairo, Sonus Faber). Or else get Maggie 1.6's, or 3.6's...Or if you've got sevaral pounds, some used Genesis 200's, and damp the hell out of your rear wall with ASC traps and Frescoes that "match the decor". Just tell the wife that you heard Prince Phillip remarking about how "far too many British homes have too much slap echo these days, my dear fellows..." I believe they can make them the color of brick, or most any color.
I had a wife-factor problem, and managed to discern that she did not like the speakers to be very tall or wide (in that order, and that she did not like them in the middle of the room. Then a dealer said to me you should really try the Martin-Logan Aerius i, which I did. She loved them! Tall yes, but she saw them as having some style, and therefore a right to be seen, as opposed to the likes of Maggies or boxes. And the Aerius can work well in a small room as close as two feet from the wall, but you have to make sure there is not much by way of reflecting objects on the wall between them. Fortunately I liked them too. Having said that, my real recommendation is to take home on demo the speakers that YOU want. First, you never know, she may like them. Second, she probably fails to appreciate that all speakers do not sound alike, and therefore she is being quite logical in saying to you that she wants small unobtrusive speakers - without thinking much about you. Therefore, take home the ones you like and then tell her how much you love them. You never know! Third, since the speakers you want are probably big and ugly, when you bring in the next best thing and it is smaller, it will look all the better to her.
I am lucky that my wife does love music, and has shared in my hobby. What has worked well for us finally is a pair of Wilson Watt3/Puppy2 in Asian Pearl White. They are small, a nice shape, and the color reflects the living room decor colors. They sound great. I have been able to tweek to get magical sound I really settled down to these speakers and got off the speaker for the year tour. The Wilson's are very available on the used market. You might consider them. Good luck, and your smart by showing some consideration of your wife's interests. A great marriage is way better than any pair of great speakers. cheers, Gerrym5
i suggest that you dont beat the wife to incur her acceptance of your speakers
Please review ProAc 2.5 Speakers, Totem Forest and the Soliloquy 5.3 Speakers. Also Vienna Acoustics Beethoven (3.2)and Joseph Audio RM25si. good luck.
You can go 2 ways, A small heavy speaker or one very large speaker. I beat my wife with a small heavy speaker so my arm doesn't get tired. Did I understand the question?
Avalon anything, gentlemen. And they perform!
Buy a wall mount speakers. The kids will screw you up if you have floor standing speakers. They will open the grill and screw your drivers. That's my experienced