Speakers suitable for placement close to walls?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by stretchneck, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. stretchneck

    stretchneck
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    Presently thinking of upgrading my system - I have B&W DM601 S2 speakers which I'm relatively happy in terms of their neutral sound, with but am looking for speakers which:
    • Aren't too critical of placement and respond well to being placed close to a wall and aren't really directional (would be great if the speakers evenly fill the room with sound).
    • Have a better frequency response down to 40 Hz or so, and have more weighty bass.
    • Are no larger than about 10" by 10" in terms of foot print as I only have an average sized living room (floor standing or bookshelf speakers are fine).
    • Have a good sensitivity and are easy to drive.
    I don't have my music loud, so it's more about quality and richness of the sound at low volume levels which matters.

    Any ideas on what speakers might offer a noticable improvement?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  2. morgooni

    morgooni
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    Gradient Laura with decent subwoofer would be ideal choice near wall construction-without sub nothing works.

    MJ Acoustics has some beauties.

    Laura is closed cabinet so it does not care about walls despite open vented systems.
     
  3. ARNOLD AKIEN

    ARNOLD AKIEN
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    Hi stretchneck and welcome to the forums,

    I'm sure that one of the Real speaker experts will be along any time now but in the mean time here is a thought or two.

    That's a very tricky specification you have there. Placing the speakers that close to a wall does in my opinion demand front ported speakers. Speakers are air shifters after all and placed too close to a rear wall they usually don't have too much air to shift as it were. I expect that you will be positioning the speakers away from the corners of the room but even so I'd say that to provide decent bass you do need floorstanders .. or make up for lack of bass with a sub which of course does add to complications.

    I'd go for floor-standers and since you already like the B and W sound why not audition the 684?

    View the 684 at Bowers & Wilkins - The World's leading Hi Fi and Home Theatre Brand

    For comparison purposes theres the, much more modestly priced ...

    KEF C5 SPEAKERS ....

    KEF C5 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/4830 for details


    "The C5s are floorstanding speakers which deliver a big sound from a slim cabinet. They feature two 130mm bass drivers and 19mm aluminium tweeter with KEF waveguide technology. This allows the speakers to deliver an open, immersing and evenly dispersed soundstage which is as rich and vibrant as it is detailed. For improved bass performance, they are front ported which also makes positioning a doddle.
    Ideal for both stereo music or as part of a home cinema surround sound system, the KEF C5s are terrific performers that won't break the bank. "


    or theres the ...

    MORDAUNT SHORT MEZZO 6 SPEAKERS ...


    MORDAUNT SHORT MEZZO 6 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/4454 for details


    Though I do consider that the B and Ws would be favorites in this race. :D

    I hope that this helps but you don't really say much about what your system is for or what the rest of your equipment is ... and whether or not it is is intended to be used purely for music or intended to encompass home cinema one of these days and so recommending speakers is a bit difficult. Anyway, within the range of my own limited knowledge there is a a range of possibilities to audition.

    Arnold
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  4. stretchneck

    stretchneck
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    Gents - there are excellent suggestions! It would have taken me ages to dig out these out so I am grateful for your time - in partiqular Arnold.

    The GRADIENT Laura speakers are almost unheard of here in the UK, so they're pretty much out of the equation (also according to the website (www.gradient.fi) technically they are similar to my current B&W's - although of course they may sound much better.

    KEF C5's seem to have got a poor review: KEF C5 - review whathifi.com

    The MORDAUNT SHORT MEZZO 6 is definately a runner in addition to the B&W 684 - and they're both British so I'm happy! No dealers in Milton Keynes who can do a back to back comparison - so it looks like I'm off to Super-Fi in Nottingham!

    To answer your question, I use my system primarily for music, but I also feed my TV through for movies on occassion (this isn't my primary aim though). My current set up is a Marantz PM4000 and CD4000 - quite old now and I purposely didn't mention it as I wanted to see what speakers seemed to fit best - I think I'll change amplifier and CD alongside the speakers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  5. ARNOLD AKIEN

    ARNOLD AKIEN
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    You're welcome stretchneck,

    I did think that you'd prefer the B and W 684 and indeed it was on my short list before I settled on a pair of B and W 704 s for front left and Right of my 5.1 array on the basis that they were really good performers for music and fairly flexible in placement .. mine are only a about 9" from the rear wall and 12" from the side - plaster finish- wall of my 1930s semi that had its chimney Brest removed long ago.

    I mention my 704s because the 700 series is now being discontinued and there are probably sales room demo models to be had at reduced prices if you hunt for them.

    You may well need a specialist deal for that though so you could look one up in the B and W sites dealer finding system ...

    Find a B&W Speaker Dealer – Bowers & Wilkins | B&W Speakers United Kingdom

    Ah .. Nottingham has a Sevenoaks that does them ...

    Find a B&W Speaker Dealer – Bowers & Wilkins | B&W Speakers United Kingdom 700 Series Nottinghamshire

    " Sevenoaks Sound & Vision (Nottingham)
    597-599 Mansfield Road,
    Nottingham,
    Nottinghamshire NG5 2FW
    Tel: 0115911 2121
    Fax: 0115912 7712
    Email: [email protected]
    Web: Sevenoaks Sound & Vision

    Ranges stocked
    Zeppelin
    700 SeriesCM Series
    600 Series
    XT Series
    FPM Series
    Mini Theatre
    VM Series
    LM Series
    Active Subwoofer Series
    Custom Series "


    You would also do well to consider including an upgrade of your CD player as part of your negotiations .. I bought an Arcam CD 73T to replace my OLD and tired Denon and use it with my Denon 2808 AV Receiver with the receiver set to pure so that its the Arcams settings and electronics -through old but good Cord Cobra Analogue leads - that provides my Music.

    Since I haven't bought a separate Audio only amp in decades I don't know what to suggest if you preferred to go the audio only route. BUT, if I were doing that I would consider Arcam. Otherwise the 2808 is now being remaindered at around £500 and at below that price it would be a good buy.

    Try negotiating a package deal on top quality just discontinued product lines is my advice.

    I see that there is a Richer Sounds branch in Nottingham so don't forget that they will price beat against Superfi.. and anyone else in the U.K. on the Internet... they probably wouldn't have the B and Ws though since B and W do keep a tight hold on their dealer network and I don't know how Richers Sounds stands with them. Richers do have the Denon though and I seem to recall that they also do Arcam but I'm now in a hurry to go out and so can't look it up for you.


    Happy hunting,

    Arnold.
     
  6. stretchneck

    stretchneck
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  7. ARNOLD AKIEN

    ARNOLD AKIEN
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    On near wall placement of the 704s ... mine are about about 9" from the rear wall and 12" in from the side walls in spaces that would have been alcoves to either side of a chimney breast if that breast hadn't been remove long before I bought my pre war semi. I asked about those 'bungs' when the speakers were installed by Lintone Audio and was advised to leave them out and just let the speakers settle in over normal use with my Denon 2808.

    My 704s sounded pretty good right out of the box and they improved in imaging and tautness of the Bass as time went on ...Terrific on bass in small group jazz played on my Arcam CD player through cord cobra analogue leads and with Denon 2808 set to 'Pure ' so that the 704s are a stereo pair .. and they work very well with my HTM61 center and 685 rears with BK sub for 5.1 surround sound ... do audition a similar combination with the 'Diva Sings ' episode of the remastered edition of 'The Fifth Element ' for a wonderful mix of opera /female voice gunfire Alien grunts/Kung Fu and special effects switching rapidly in perspective.

    The 704s have ports front and back and so the back one could be ' bunged ' if needs must be but I think that they'd need to be hard up against the rear wall before that became necessary.


    I did come upon this dealers offer whilst doing a little research on 704 availability for another thread ...

    " the leicester h-fi company
    6, Silver Walk, ST. MARTINS SQUARE, Leicester. Est. 1971
    A Member of the British Audio-Visual Dealers Association


    " Marketplace: Bowers & Wilkins 704 Rosenut


    Model: Bowers & Wilkins 704 Rosenut
    List: £1,400.00
    Status: ex-demo

    Price: £999.00 2.5 way Floorstanding loudspeaker " "



    http://www.badaweb.co.uk/show.php?site=leicesterhifi&vehicleid=1113


    It has been a while since I posted the info and the OP would have pounced upon them by now if he had wished to.


    Speaker placement is so dependent upon the room in which the speaker array is located and the furnishings and furbishments of that room reviewers and AV specialist are, in my own opinion, bound to play it Very safe in recommending placement ... they know that many users will place their speakers hard in against the corner of a smallish room and then grumble fiercely about bass Boom and so on.

    Since the 704s are now discontinued it might be a bit easier to borrow a dealers demo pair to try out in in your own room ... you'd need to have pretty solid references and make a hefty cash deposit though. :devil:

    Note that many dealers would have the top end of the 800 series on demo ... I seem to recall being told that B and W actually Audition the dealers Audition Room and are pretty demanding about it being WORTHY of the Speakers.:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  8. ellison

    ellison
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    The mordaunt short mezzo 6s are both front and back ported.The back port has a foam bung that can be removed to improve bass,and is located at the top of the speaker.I currently have them in a 12ft by 12ft room.The midrange and high frequencies is more their strong point than the bass.If single wired then wire to the LF speaker posts rather than the HF which is suggested in the manual.There really is a big difference (imo).The quad 22ls which i have for sale in another thread are rear ported and give much more bass ,however they are placement and amplifier sensitive,but only need to be about a foot away away from any walls to produce rich bass.
    By the way many "British" speakers are made in china such as quad and the MS mezzo6s however they are done to a high standard.
    ellison
     
  9. ARNOLD AKIEN

    ARNOLD AKIEN
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    They are indeed .. which makes a bit of a non-sense of Protectionist Notions of Buying British.

    Alas ' Buying British ' - even in the hope of supporting a cottage industry - just doesn't work all that well anymore and in those few cases where it does you do pay a price in terms of reliability in these fraught economic times .. you just can't rely on the likelihood of a small manufacturer surviving to provide spares and service.
     
  10. stretchneck

    stretchneck
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    Test drove the B&W 683 and smaller 684 today, also threw in a pair of 685 speakers as a reference for my current system.

    The difference is quite marked for the floor standers over the 685, but for me the larger 683's really hit the spot - there was definately more bass there than the 684's. The detail in the bass was something I hadn't experienced before - I always thought bass was just a 'thud', but in some of the tracks I played the bass actually modulated and made the track sound new and fresh. With Jazz music like Diana Krall the separation of each instrument was amazing. So whilst the 683's tended to recieve slightly poorer scores off hi-fi critics compared to the 684's I definately prefer them.

    Thanks for the feedback on the mordaunt short mezzo 6s - sounds like they're not well suited to level of bass I'm seeking.

    So I guess, now it's over to what AMP and CD player to match them.
     
  11. stretchneck

    stretchneck
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    Am also debating the 'potectionist' thing - very apt and a complex question at the moment!
     

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