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Thread: Speakers suited to “free space”?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2019

    Location: Lewisham

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    I'm Ian.

    Default Speakers suited to “free space”?

    Hi all. Back in the 90s, before it went seriously downhill, WHF, in its review listings, used to state whether a speaker was suitable for wall placement or free space. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent source of advice nowadays. Or was it all just bollocks?

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2011

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    I'm Robert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Neds View Post
    Hi all. Back in the 90s, before it went seriously downhill, WHF, in its review listings, used to state whether a speaker was suitable for wall placement or free space. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent source of advice nowadays. Or was it all just bollocks?
    I'd say not bollocks at all.

    Some speakers do not perform at their best, placed close up against a wall. From what I know that can apply more so to some rear ported speakers.

    Front ported speakers are said to perform better close to a rear wall than rear ported speakers.

    My Mission 752 Freedoms had a port at the bottom rear and a row of small ports at the front - see here https://www.gumtree.com/p/speakers/m...ers/1321947536 and image 6 here http://audiophilemusings.blogspot.co...ewood-for.html

    Probably why they seemed so easy to place - excellent speakers.

    Also, placing speakers too close to side walls can have a negative effect on some as well, depending on what suits your ears in terms of bass etc.
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Sep 2009

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    I rather like verity audio speakers that can be front ported or rear ported depending on the room. Fascinating design and very flexible.
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  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2016

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Most of the speakers I own, or have owned, have benefitted hugely from being in open space away from room boundaries. My current main speakers are dipoles and perform optimally at least one metre away from the rear wall. In fact, they seem to be at their best when they are around 2/5th's of the length of the room. Being dipoles they are not that sensitive to being close to side walls as most of the energy is radiated front and back. I used to have my Rogers LS3/5a's on 24" stands about 4ft away from the rear wall and about 3ft away from side walls. In that position, with a slight toe in, the imaging was holographic.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2013

    Location: Rotherham

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    I'm steve.

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    It depends a lot on the size of the speakers, there aren’t that many large floor standers around that work well backed up to a wall, in fact I can’t think of one, 30 or so years ago I had a pair of Mission 753s which were designed for near wall use but designers of speakers these days don’t seem to make them anymore. Small speakers and particularly front ported ones are generally fine near walls, in fact many benefit from such positioning. A lot of small speakers these days have rear ports which can be problematic to have very close to walls although some, like Q Acoustics supply foam port bungs to use if near wall positioning is needed.


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  6. #6
    Join Date: Jun 2014

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    I'm Steve.

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    Although my speakers don't have front or rear ports, and instead have four "slots" in the base which enable some bass tuning by altering the gap between the speaker base and the floor, I do like to have a couple of feet between them and the rear wall. It gives me a sense of the performers being behind the plane of the speakers. Dunno if this is "correct", I just like it that way.

    I think that the distance of the listener from the walls is very important too, and this should be experimented with, although obviously there are often practical considerations - for instance the missus may not like you being seated in front of her like you're on a bus I found my favoured seated position is about five feet in front of the plane of the speakers, but it is like I'm driving a taxi and she's my passenger (not that there's anything wrong with role-playing games) Unless you're lucky enough to have a decent size dedicated room, there will always be compromises.
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  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2014

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    See if there are any non ported or acoustic suspension designs around. They are a rare species these days.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jun 2019

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    I'm Ian.

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    Sorry, when I said bollocks, I meant the WHF variety. I'm fairly sure that some of their free space/ wall ratings were at odds with other reviews of the same speakers. I currently listen to Concept 20's, on the matching stands, but can't use wall reinforcement for the lower frequencies, so I'm half heartedly looking out for something of the same size that was specifically meant to be used out into the room. I can't have floorstanders, as it creates a bass boom at my listening position, so I've got a Ruark Vita 50 sub to warm up the bottom end

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2013

    Location: Rotherham

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    I'm steve.

    Default Speakers suited to “free space”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Neds View Post
    Sorry, when I said bollocks, I meant the WHF variety. I'm fairly sure that some of their free space/ wall ratings were at odds with other reviews of the same speakers. I currently listen to Concept 20's, on the matching stands, but can't use wall reinforcement for the lower frequencies, so I'm half heartedly looking out for something of the same size that was specifically meant to be used out into the room. I can't have floorstanders, as it creates a bass boom at my listening position, so I've got a Ruark Vita 50 sub to warm up the bottom end
    I’m a little surprised you are finding your Concept 20s lacking in bass, I have a pair in my bedroom setup (Concept 40s in the living room) and I had to pull them out away from the wall as there was a little too much bass for my liking, I have them about 18” from the back wall which gives a nice balance. Although as you can see from the photo they part back on to alcoves. It’s obviously a bit dependent on your room size, my bedroom is about 4x3 metres with 8 foot ceilings, when I tried them in the living room which is 4.5x4 metres with 9 foot ceilings the bass was a little lacking with them in free space.


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  10. #10
    Join Date: Jun 2019

    Location: Lewisham

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    I'm Ian.

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    Hi Steve. My situation is more like your living room. When my daughter had her stuff piled up between the speakers to go back to Uni, it made a small wall, which seemed to boost the imaging and presence. I’ll try to attach a photo of what it looks like now365BB5F2-3641-4088-BC9C-5D0A6CB69C8B.jpg365BB5F2-3641-4088-BC9C-5D0A6CB69C8B.jpg

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