Challenging speaker placement; What speaker?


Novice Member
Hi all.

My current speakers are Spendor S1s from 2000 and they have alas been repaired on the woofer rim. This has taken some of the low frequency definition and power out of them, when I play at low volumes, and therefore I'm considering new speakers.
I consider both stand mounts and floorstanding and the budget is approx. 1000-1500 pounds. the speakers are placed in the corners of a niche on each side of our tele, but the room is quite wide and big (50sqm) beyond that and they are 2 meters apart and 2 meters from the listening position. I've had a look at the Dynaudio X14 or X18, the Epos K2, MA Silver 8 and Sonus Faber Venere 1.5.
The question is given the proximity to back and side walls I need a speaker who is definitiely not fussy about placement. They need to "disappear" and provide good stereo imaging, decent detail, particularly good at transients, and decent bass. And foremost they need to give good details and stereo imaging at low volume levels.
Should i go for forward firing floorstanders or plug the vents of a backward firing speaker? and which speaker would you recommend?
If you recommend active speakers bear in mind the amp quality in the speaker, at my budget, compared to my current amp.

I run a vintage Quad 44 and Quad 405-2 pre/power amp with NAD 1050 DAC for streaming and CD/Blue ray sources.

Thank you very much in advance for your advice.


Novice Member

I'm not too hooked on going active. I'm just not hooked on the looks and they'll go into the living room som wife must nod as well.

I looked into some speakers that I really like:
Sonus Faber 2.0 or 1.5
Audiovector QR 1
Dynaudio Excite X14

Anyone who've heard some of these? I heard the Sonuses and really liked them.


Member 769353

Previously davidf
The tricky thing is getting speakers against a wall to "disappear", as you put it. You generally only get that from a well designed speaker when it is free (or relatively free) of a room boundary, as visiting any hi-fi show will illustrate. An easy demonstration of this is if your sofa is against your back wall - play some music and sit back. The closer your head is to the rear wall, the more bassy and muddy sounding it becomes, but start moving your head forward and the excessive bass starts disappearing, detail starts returning, and the soundstage becomes far more three dimensional.

My recommendation would be to audition some floorstanders and compare how they sound away from a wall and then against. Those that show the least amount of difference will work better, even if they're not ideal. Avoid bass heavy speakers. Get the best speaker you can that works in those conditions, and then you can use the tone controls on your Quad 44 to suppress the bass a little - but not too much, as you don't want to drastically change the output the speaker designer has intended, but just to dial the bass back slightly. Worst comes to worst, you'll need to look into digital room EQ to help them "work".


I'd try from the likes of Atc and pmc if I were you, both brands I rate. Sorry I'm a bit biased I must admit on pmc. I must be honest that I haven't heard the sonus fabers but I agree with David as I suppose if your head is near a back wall it's what the bass will be bouncing off, so coming forward a bit could reduce the bass.

I think most decent speakers at the price you state will do what you want and good speakers aren't fussy about placement.

I can share my experience about my pmc speakers, not that they are the be all and end all of all speakers of course, and nor would I impose them on anyone, but are good decent ones at present. Something like the twenty5 21 would be a bit over budget but have forward facing transmission line ports and I'd expect the twenty5s 21s if like my 25-23s, will be very good with bass, have very good detail and mids and with the transmission line loading pmc say they sound good at low volumes and sound doesn't degrade as you turn the volume down. This is definetely true. With the atl port forward facing maybe you won't get more bass reflections off the back wall as you would with rear ported speakers especially if you have them near a wall.

I'm really very much rating the twenty5 series but then I would!!


Distinguished Member
Since you're using the Quad 44 and 405-2, I'd have thought some Quad Z Series (Z Series | QUAD | the closest approach to the original sound), specifically the Z-3 to be have been the match made in heaven, had it not been for your budget. Perhaps you can stretch a bit?

Plugging the vents of a backward firing speaker is generally a bad idea. A closed box design will probably work best for you.

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