Speakers that work close to a back wall

I currently have a SuperNait and NDX5 feeding into some Linn Ninkas which I have owned for a considerable time. I'm fairly happy with the sound but circumstances dictate that I need to replace the speakers with ones that work very close to the back wall (the side walls will be at least 1m away on both sides). I find that the Ninkas need at least 30cm between them and the back wall to sound at their best.

What suggestions would you make? I was thinking about a second hand set of SBLs, but I'm prepared to consider new speakers, too.

Original Post

SBLs are the obvious choice and are incredibly good value. Just make sure they are in good condition and perfectly set up. If you get the setup wrong it will have a very negative impact on their performance. A better front end wouldn't go amiss though, as SBLs and the Supernait will be very revealing. 

Just to provide an alternative, there's also those new little floor standing versions of the Neat Iotas. Haven't heard them, and I'd guess they're unlikely to be as good value as SBLs, but they deserve a mention just for being a bit different.

I wouldn't actually buy them in the OP's position, I'd go for SBLs But they're supposedly quite impressive.

The Strat (Fender) posted:

Those new Iota Alphas are superb.  Best sound at Bristol this year.

Just checked out the Review by Andrew Everard on these babies!

Andrew pointed out that they need to be placed a bit from the rear wall, due to rear porting, I imagine.

""Placed in the room, and with a bit of breathing space behind them to let the port work, the Alphas immediately impress with the focus and precision of their soundstage and imaging.""

Nice Review with Price!

Otherwise the usual old school gang!

IBL, NBL, SBL, SL2, DBL, BRIKS, can all be placed close to the rear walls, no rear porting, I imagine!

Good luck on your quest!

Allante93!

Ordered a pair of Iota Alphas yesterday for my second system also heard them at Bristol they are superb.

Will be used with a Unitilite, heard them yesterday at my local dealer on the end of a NAP300 dr they did sound rather good, amazing bass for such a small speaker.

Of similar era to SBLs and gorgeous sounding is the Heybrook Sextet. They don't go flat up against a wall like SBLs but they are very shallow which makes up for it. They need a touch of toe in and maybe 6 inches of rear space. With their ribbon tweeter they give a good alternative if the sound of Naim speakers isn't your cup of tea. Plus their mahogany finish is rather nice.

When I upgraded to Olive kit in the early 1990s I tried SBLs but they would
not work at all in my room my Epos 14s left them for dead the Naim dealer
at the time recommended that I try Heybrook Sextets and they worked a dream
fairly close to the wall.I had a Maple pair the finish was excellent well
worth a look if you can track a pair down.

Regards

Pete
Hungryhalibut posted:

SBLs are the obvious choice and are incredibly good value. Just make sure they are in good condition and perfectly set up. If you get the setup wrong it will have a very negative impact on their performance. A better front end wouldn't go amiss though, as SBLs and the Supernait will be very revealing. 

I believe the OP was 'Speakers that work close to a back wall' so why would you tell him that 'A better front end wouldn't go amiss though' apart from possibly telling WILD RUMPUS that you think his very expensive and most probably hard earned ND5XS is a bit shit what possible use is that statement to him. So back on track as a rule of thumb closed in or front ported speakers usually work better close to a back wall I also have an ND5XS and need to have speakers close to a wall which is why I choose my Guru QM10's but even these speakers especially designed and front ported to be used against a wall can still sound a bit boomy if not set up right,  so as always with speakers unless you can get them home for a demo they are always a bit of risky purchase and probably the most annoying part of a system to get right although when you do get it right the rewards are great which is why when someone finds a speaker that suits their system and their room the are forever banging on about it. Good luck and try to enjoy the search.

I have Guru QM10 II's in main system (272/200 + CD3.5/FC, TT and Tuner) and Neat Iotas in Study (Ion Obelisk 3 and Rega DAC) - Both designed for near wall, both excellent at what they do IMO. 

Much 'Bigger and Wider' noise from bigger box Gurus, but both jolly good. Folks used to look for sub when they heard bass from Gurus, jaws seem to hit floors when they hear what comes out of the tiny Neats.

Gurus are very forgiving about placement and electronics partnering and always sound like Gurus. The sound from my Neats improved massively with changing to a better/different DAC feeding amp (from Cambridge Dacmagic, not even close) and you get to vary the sound vastly and easily by fiddling with placement. down to even which way round you place them, as ribbon tweeters are asymmetric. The Neats are rear ported as opposed to being closed box.

Both were designed by very clever people I think and perform very nicely.

Bob the Builder posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

SBLs are the obvious choice and are incredibly good value. Just make sure they are in good condition and perfectly set up. If you get the setup wrong it will have a very negative impact on their performance. A better front end wouldn't go amiss though, as SBLs and the Supernait will be very revealing. 

I believe the OP was 'Speakers that work close to a back wall' so why would you tell him that 'A better front end wouldn't go amiss though' apart from possibly telling WILD RUMPUS that you think his very expensive and most probably hard earned ND5XS is a bit shit what possible use is that statement to him. So back on track as a rule of thumb closed in or front ported speakers usually work better close to a back wall I also have an ND5XS and need to have speakers close to a wall which is why I choose my Guru QM10's but even these speakers especially designed and front ported to be used against a wall can still sound a bit boomy if not set up right,  so as always with speakers unless you can get them home for a demo they are always a bit of risky purchase and probably the most annoying part of a system to get right although when you do get it right the rewards are great which is why when someone finds a speaker that suits their system and their room the are forever banging on about it. Good luck and try to enjoy the search.

I will say what I like in my posts, thank you very much. The OP can decide if my comments are helpful or not.

Frenchnaim posted:

PMCs work well close to a back wall, but not flat up against the wall, obviously. I've found them totally unfussy as far as placement is concerned. The Twenty or Twenty5 series.

This is true but the PMC are quite deep which is why I refrained mentioning even though I myself use them. A 23 closeish to a wall still comes out into the room twice as far as SBLs or Sextets.

Hi new to this site and also to Naim, I recently got a Unitiqute 2 and needed to upgrade my speakers. The location is in an alcove and needed to be very close the the walls, after a good audition in which I tested some very costly speakers I settled on Rega RX1's which put some of the others to shame and are only a couple of inches from the wall.

LOndoner100 posted:

Hi new to this site and also to Naim, I recently got a Unitiqute 2 and needed to upgrade my speakers. The location is in an alcove and needed to be very close the the walls, after a good audition in which I tested some very costly speakers I settled on Rega RX1's which put some of the others to shame and are only a couple of inches from the wall.

Welcome to Naim,  you are in for an interesting & very pleasant ride.  

Re close to wall;   my son has the same speakers & for various reasons also has them close to the wall.  However during his experiments he found they are best balanced when about 25 to 30cm out from the wall.  In his prefered/wanted position close to the wall they are a bit bass heavy,  to fix that he uses foam bungs in the ports to good effect.  Not sure were he got the foam from,  but the foam is large open cell (open cell means you can easily blow thru it.)    Yes I agree they are nice sounding speakers.      

yeti42 posted:

The only question with Dibbles is how am I going to fit a pair of wardrobes in the livingroom?

Come on, don't be negative! Actually, although DBLs are undoubtedly large-ish, they're only a cm or so deeper than SL2s. At least ,that's what I told SWMBO...

Neat Motive 2's are also pretty easily placed close to the back wall. They have their bassport at the bottom of the speaker so they're quite forgiving in that respect. Soundwise they're sort of comparable to PMC's (GB1). Also they're supersmall, so good WAF. If you're looking for monitor speakers I'd try something with frontside bass ports. I have a pair of Acoustic Energy Classic monitors in my secondary system (I use them mainly for reference listening when mixing in my home studio), they work pretty well close to the wall. Also, adjusting the speaker size/type to the room you're gonna use them is always going to make placement easier.

2nd hand SBLs would make the most sense here. I understand HH's point about the source being a bit light for the rest of the system. If you can see yourself buying the XP5XS or upgrading to the NDX then that would make for a more balanced result, but the ND5XS on its own is pretty good already and the result should work well.

If new is really what you're after, Rega's speakers work rather well close to the wall.

Frank.

I currently have a pair of Larsen 6.2 speakers on a home dem from MCRU, I'm very impressed - they seem to do everything very well - very deep and tuneful bass from a fairly small speaker, they are very revealing and they do the PRAT thing too. I may have found my new speakers....

Wild Rumpus posted:

I currently have a pair of Larsen 6.2 speakers on a home dem from MCRU, I'm very impressed - they seem to do everything very well - very deep and tuneful bass from a fairly small speaker, they are very revealing and they do the PRAT thing too. I may have found my new speakers....

Interesting - having recently suffered an unintended toddler/speaker interaction i may need to consider changing speakers to flat to back wall friendly items.

Doesn't seem to be many UK dealers at the moment though 

Wild Rumpus posted:

No, there aren't many dealers - but MCRU posted them to me for a home demonstration (they are around 200 miles from my house).

 

Ok thanks for that. I'll take a look at MCRU's website (bought stuff from them before). Enjoy the rest of your demo.

James

I would try a set of SBLs , I have a pair of mk2 against a solid wall and they work great , I was advised by plenty of people (non Naim owners) that they are crap and I would be disappointed , what do they know , one of the best speakers I have heard for the price , my friend is running some twenty series PMCs and the SBLs give a much more engaging sound IMO

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