Up against the wall!

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In an earlier post Lucky enough, we talked about how most of us aspire to have a dedicated listening room but don't have the real estate to build one. Instead, we have the shared living room to work with. Problem with this is the need for the loudspeakers to be placed 1/3 the way into the room, as discussed in The rule of thirds. So, I got to thinking - why is it we need to place speakers so far into the room for best sound? Surely this is a holdover from a purist's approach that the hi fi system comes first, everything else second. Is it really necessary? Naim Audio, a British high-end audio company, has built and been a proponent of wall hugging loudspeakers for years - and while there may be others, they are certainly in the minority. PS Audio's Hong Kong distributor, Radar Audio, has been a Naim dealer for years and every time I vist Michael and the boys in HK, I ask to hear the Naims, so fascinated am I about speakers that go against the rear wall. I have never considered these stellar performers but they certainly are good and, perhaps more importantly, show that designers can apply technology to build speakers that can image while up against the wall. I am not a speaker designer. But if I were, I would start to figure out how to make this the new standard for all loudspeakers I produced at my company. Not only would it differentiate my company from the rest of the pack, but it would solve a growing problem in our industry. But it would take guts. Visualize a new era of high-end loudspeakers that were designed to be placed one foot from the rear wall and sound as good or better than anything out there today. It's a great vision, right? I reject the notion that one cannot get as good an image and performance up against the wall, if designed properly. Of course, I am ignorant of the technological challenges involved. If you have a favorite loudspeaker company, I encourage you to forward this post on to them. My guess is it'll be rejected out of hand by most because "it can't be done" but, as I have written in the past, if you think it can't then it won't. I could do it. :)
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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