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Best speakers for small-room, near-wall situation

Discussion in 'audio' started by seeformiles, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. philipiosa

    philipiosa pfm Member

    Should add I had them about 20cm from back wall and listening about 5-6ft away. As clownfish says about regular Iotas, while not shrill by any means, hey're not a smooth sound mind you, so will depend on your preference and amp pairing
  2. Hoopsontoast

    Hoopsontoast pfm Member

    If they can be placed right up against the rear wall, then the Larsen speakers are ideal for this. I had a pair of the 4.2s and they are designed for that exact scenario.
    Really good deep bass from such a small cabinet too.

    Other than that, Rega speakers tend to work near the rear walls, even the rear-ported ones such as the Alya and up to the R9s with their boundary compensation. Of that I have had, only the older Jura was not suitable, not great bass on those, too loose.

    The KEF Reference 201/2 also works well in that 30-40cm distance, again they have built in attenuation for the bass and an up-firing bass port. Probably one of, if not the best stand-mount I have heard. They are quite chunky though, depth wise.

    I like ATC standmounts, my favorite are the SCM10 but while impedance wise, they are easy to drive, they do soak up a lot of power given their low sensitivity.

    I've had a pair of Harbeth P3-ES and Spendor S3/5R and was not a fan of either, too dynamically compromised in the bass compared to the SCM10.

    Also, if you don't mind a little DIY, the flat-packed Frugelhorn kits from KJF Audio are really easy and designed to work up against a rear wall. A few different sizes to suit your room. Being single-driver they are generally somewhat efficient and easy to drive.
    TimF and seeformiles like this.
  3. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

    What’s your amp?

    I had Neat Motive SX3 around 25cm from a rear wall in a small to medium room and worked brilliantly. I demoed against a load of speakers including kef ls50, b&w 706, Harbeth P3esr and thought the Neats were the best balance between speed, bass detail etc. I was using a Brio 2017 model with them which had plenty of power for them.

    They are around 1150 new but would get a good used pair for less than 600.
    eevo1969 and Ginger like this.
  4. deserter

    deserter pfm Member

    Seconded . I have a pair in my bedroom system driven by a Nait 2 and they are great .

    A more expensive alternative ( which I have in my main system) is Shahinian Larcs, designed to sit on floor despite their size. A very different , more forward sound and more money, second had prices are around 1400. They are less forgiving on the amplifier front but actually more efficient than Iotas
    clownfish and Eyebroughty like this.
  5. seeformiles

    seeformiles Active Member

    I don't have one yet but I'm considering something like a Rega Io or Brio - solid state, small footprint, musicality, ability to get into the heart of music and present it in a balanced, cohesive way but with a fair amount of detail (also, not shrill in the upper mids). Any recommendations would be most welcome!

    Those Neats are interesting, thanks. They're not on the bright side, are they?
    the caretaker likes this.
  6. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    If you have a beefy amp? AE1Mk2s or leema xeros..
  7. the caretaker

    the caretaker pfm Member

    If you want a small amp? Try a bantam stealth power amp and use a schiit sys passive pre amp into dynaudio audience 40s or 42s...bantam amp £99, schiit sys £70 or less! How? Its bloody amazing! Dynaudio 40s about £250 spend rest of budget on lfd interconnects and speaker cables..
  8. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Look around for a 2nd hand Supernait. I think these are excellent value.
  9. seeformiles

    seeformiles Active Member

    Thank you all for the suggestions, keep them coming!
  10. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    Harbeth P3ESR then.
  11. Conan

    Conan Loop digger

    Speakers to be positioned close to the wall have been my quest for years.
    From all the ones I tried (and believe me I tried many) only 2 stood out.

    Linn Kan II Kustone and Larsen Model 4.2

    Much has been said about the Linn. Yeah they do not have much bass but God, are they fun speakers to listen too...
    The Larsen are a more all round speaker. Flat against the back wall they just deliver low bass but without unwanted resonances. I really do not know how they do it. Another plus is that due to their design, there is no sweet spot. they sound good anywhere in a room, weather you are sitting or standing up walking around. Endgame speakers they are. Looks won't suit everyone.
    I still have the Linn Kans though...
    mega lord and seeformiles like this.
  12. Jezzer

    Jezzer eats shoots and leaves

  13. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Spendor S3/5r2 work for me in a small and difficult room, close to front wall. If I wasn’t happy with them I’d buy Brian’s LS3s in the classifieds, which seem well-priced. But I think if I was listening from 6 feet away I might move up a size.

    Did the Larsens in the classifieds go?
    Brian S and seeformiles like this.
  14. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

    seeformiles likes this.
  15. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

    I wouldn’t describe as bright but can be prone to a little siblance but not fatiguing. However if paired with a warm amplifier such as the brio it’s no issue, in fact a very good match.
    seeformiles likes this.
  16. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    I too highly recommend the Larsens, I had a pair of 4.2's for almost 6 years, enjoyed them, and probably would still have them had I not purchased a pair of Duevel Venus. Another one that might work would be the Duevel Planets. Also, highly recommend Guru Juniors-if you can find them. I do think you can now buy them online, they have really gone up in price though!
    marshanp, narabdela and seeformiles like this.
  17. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    My current favourite- Spendor D1s. A step up from HLP3ESR, S3/5R, LS3/5a etc in refinement (particularly HF) and power handling. Less tubbiness in close to wall position.
    Brian S likes this.
  18. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC

    +1 for Shahinian Larcs if you can find a pair second hand.
    deserter likes this.
  19. Thorn

    Thorn pfm Member

    And another vote for the Larcs. Terrific sound and easy to site. My Moon ACE has no problem driving them,and before that my Nait XS was happy too.
  20. ramsden

    ramsden pfm Member

    @seeformiles I have MonoPulse 42A floorstanders driven by Sonneteer Campion, both for sale as I am leaving hifi for good. Each for under £400. The speakers are 25x24x107cm, down ported, using 8” Audax driver in 1st order and Morel tweeter in 4th order crossover. The drivers are time and phase aligned, efficiency 92dB. The sound is coherent, full bodied, spatious and refined, easy to listen. The Campion matches them nicely.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.

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