High end speakers close to the wall

Antheus29

Member
Apr 7, 2021
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Hi everyone,

I'm very interested by starting the acquisition of a high end (second hand) system.

I'm reading a lot, listening as much as I can but I have a recurrent problem with the speakers.

It seems that the majority of speakers have to be placed at a certain distance from the wall. That's very understandable but if I don't have a dedicated room and I have a 40 sqm living room, which it's for me a quite good size, I can't place my speakers at 2 meters from the back wall. I would lose a lot of place considering that my listening position must be at an appropriate distance from the speakers.

So my question: is there high end speakers who works very well at a reasonable distance from the wall..like 1 meter?
 

tmallin

WBF Technical Expert
May 19, 2010
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First, consider listening near field, say six feet or less from the speaker drivers to your ears. That would allow you to have the speakers far away from the walls and still be at an "appropriate" distance from the speakers. Because of listening room size and wanting to keep both the speaker and listening position as far as possible away from walls, I have used near field listening for years. In my current set up with the Sanders 10e speakers, my ears are about 55 inches from the electrostatic diaphragms.

One speaker brand which works exceptionally well with near-field listening is Harbeth. I've owned the Monitor 40, 40.1, and 40.2. Any of these can be listened to from as close as 20 inches without hearing out the separate drivers as long as your ears are placed an inch or two below the tweeter axis. The smaller speakers in the Harbeth line are also excellent for near-field listening.

Then there are speakers actually designed for use near the wall behind them. The Dutch & Dutch 8c, which I still own and used before the Sanders, are best used no more than 40 inches from the wall behind them and ideally only about a foot or so from that wall. Another line of speakers designed for near-wall placement is Larsen which has been favorably reviewed by REG of TAS.

Actually, the designer of my Sanders 10e speakers, as well as many users, like the sound of those speakers pushed right up against the wall behind them. While I don't agree, apparently many listeners like the sound resulting from this approach.

Of course, if you happen to like Klipsch speakers, those and many other horn-based designs can sound their best either against or near the wall behind them. The Klipschorn, Cornwall, and La Scala are classic examples of such speakers.
 

Folsom

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You just need speakers that are more directional. Horns, larger drivers, that sort. But you may never achieve total 3D effect.

If you like natural sound, lots of old speakers don't need to be out from a wall.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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So my question: is there high end speakers who works very well at a reasonable distance from the wall..like 1 meter?
Tannoys and AN-E can go back to the wall
 

XV-1

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May 24, 2010
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bonzo75

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Audio Note prefer corners right?

You can put it either in corners or just against the wall. Corner loading is not essential. In fact only time I liked them were when they were not in the corner and being run with all Ayre electronics.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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The smaller model of Audio Machina are excellent back to the wall, and give a very powerful well integrated sound.
 

Hear Here

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Feb 14, 2020
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Portsmouth, UK
You just need speakers that are more directional. Horns, larger drivers, that sort. But you may never achieve total 3D effect.

If you like natural sound, lots of old speakers don't need to be out from a wall.
I agree regarding horns. They are probably the most flexible TYPE of speaker available. Mine are mid-room with 10+ ft from any wall, but I've placed then almost touching the rear wall in my previous room. You are looking used "high end" so perhaps consider Avantgarde speakers. Current XD versions (and the next generation just being introduced) are costly but used Unos (avoid ones with 7" drivers) or Duos are sensibly priced. Plenty of bass and oodles of "goosebump factor" music when carefully set up. Duos would be ideal for your room size, but Unos good too.

I'd advise against electronic speakers close to the rear wall
 
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Antheus29

Member
Apr 7, 2021
11
3
5
49
Very helpfull guys.
I¨m interested by Diesis speakers but not sure if they are the best solutions.
I'm gonna check Tannoy and ANE.
I'm afraid that the design of the Avantgarde is a bit extrem for my wife.
 

Holli82

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Jun 7, 2010
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Von Schweikert VR-33, VR-22 work well close to the wall.

 

microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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Hi everyone,

I'm very interested by starting the acquisition of a high end (second hand) system.

I'm reading a lot, listening as much as I can but I have a recurrent problem with the speakers.

It seems that the majority of speakers have to be placed at a certain distance from the wall. That's very understandable but if I don't have a dedicated room and I have a 40 sqm living room, which it's for me a quite good size, I can't place my speakers at 2 meters from the back wall. I would lose a lot of place considering that my listening position must be at an appropriate distance from the speakers.

So my question: is there high end speakers who works very well at a reasonable distance from the wall..like 1 meter?

IMHO 1 meter is not exactly close to the wall. Are you measuring from the back or front of the speaker?

Depending on room dimensions and acoustics many speakers play excellent at such distances - Sonus Faber Amator, B&W Silver Signature SS25, Sonus Faber Guarneri, some ProACs.

Can we know the exact dimensions of the room?
 
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Antheus29

Member
Apr 7, 2021
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49
IMHO 1 meter is not exactly close to the wall. Are you measuring from the back or front of the speaker?

Depending on room dimensions and acoustics many speakers play excellent at such distances - Sonus Faber Amator, B&W Silver Signature SS25, Sonus Faber Guarneri, some ProACs.

Can we know the exact dimensions of the room?
Well, for me1 meter is the acceptable limit but you're raising a good point..shall I measure from the back or the front of the speaker?
I can't give you a dimension because i'm gonna move in few months..my new installation will be for the new appartment. But with the reality of the market I know that I won't have a 70m2 living room
 

Cellcbern

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Jul 31, 2015
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Washington, DC
Hi everyone,

I'm very interested by starting the acquisition of a high end (second hand) system.

I'm reading a lot, listening as much as I can but I have a recurrent problem with the speakers.

It seems that the majority of speakers have to be placed at a certain distance from the wall. That's very understandable but if I don't have a dedicated room and I have a 40 sqm living room, which it's for me a quite good size, I can't place my speakers at 2 meters from the back wall. I would lose a lot of place considering that my listening position must be at an appropriate distance from the speakers.

So my question: is there high end speakers who works very well at a reasonable distance from the wall..like 1 meter?
Speakers are placed varying distances away form the wall behind them in order to mange the impacts of sound waves reflecting off of that wall. If you put DHDI ZR Acoustics ("zero reflection") panels behind them you can put any non-dipole speaker as close to the wall as you like (several inches from the wall in my system - see photo and reviews below) and it will perform optimally while the panels eliminate reflections and their negative effects. In terms of speakers you might be able to find used that were designed to be placed close to the wall I would recommend Von Schiewkert's VR-33 or VR-35 speakers.




 

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Solypsa

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Jun 7, 2017
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Seattle
www.solypsa.com
This might be too radical, and certainly not costly enough to be high end, but I am now testing the NNNN Comium 30 which is designed to be, and sounds best, mounted on the wall. And not as a lifestyle product but is a serious speaker. Jus sayin ;)


Just came yesterday so will have more to say about it in coming weeks...
 

wbass

Active Member
Jul 12, 2020
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This might be too radical, and certainly not costly enough to be high end, but I am now testing the NNNN Comium 30 which is designed to be, and sounds best, mounted on the wall. And not as a lifestyle product but is a serious speaker. Jus sayin ;)


Just came yesterday so will have more to say about it in coming weeks...
Very curious about these NNNN speakers. Keep us updated on your experiences, Erik?

I might have to go back to speakers against the wall in whatever flat I find in London. Klipsch Forte III did okay about a foot from the wall.
 

Solypsa

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
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Seattle
www.solypsa.com
@wbass for sure!

I forgot to mention that the Comium 30 comes in three versions:
•Active, biamped
•Passive, no network, for external crossover and biamp
•Passive, with network ( not quite ready yet ) for external stereo amp(s). This was my request so they they can slot into typical hifi easier...

The demo set I have are active...
 

Antheus29

Member
Apr 7, 2021
11
3
5
49
Speakers are placed varying distances away form the wall behind them in order to mange the impacts of sound waves reflecting off of that wall. If you put DHDI ZR Acoustics ("zero reflection") panels behind them you can put any non-dipole speaker as close to the wall as you like (several inches from the wall in my system - see photo and reviews below) and it will perform optimally while the panels eliminate reflections and their negative effects. In terms of speakers you might be able to find used that were designed to be placed close to the wall I would recommend Von Schiewkert's VR-33 or VR-35 speakers.




I never thought about acoustic panels but it seems to me to be a very good solution to my problem

Many thanks for your help
 

dan31

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2010
939
290
453
SF Bay
I would look at the Sanders as they can be equalized and adjusted per the manufacturer for near wall placement. If that doesn’t work Audionote UK in the corners. Or like me, headphones and don’t worry about the room.
 

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