Front ported vs rear ported speakers

bartlett23

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I'm looking to move and upgrade my speakers (see photo). Positioning isn't ideal but it should be better than my current set up. Considering PMC Prodigy 1s as they're front ported and fairly unfussy about positioning. But the shop has also suggested B&W 707 S3s, which are rear ported. The speakers will sit about 20cm from the rear wall, will there be much difference?
 

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Integralista

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Hi,

how big is your nice room? If it is in range of 20-25 m² you may consider PMC Prodigy 5, which is even better value than Prodigy 1. B&W play different soccer league (sorry). I think, currently there are not better speakers for 2000pounds on the market than this sexy PMC column. But you need care in selection of your iron (amp, source, cables, rack, power filter...), on those speakers you will hear any tiny step forwards/backwards. BR.
 
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bartlett23

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Hi,

how big is your nice room? If it is in range of 20-25 m² you may consider PMC Prodigy 5, which is even better value than Prodigy 1. B&W play different soccer league (sorry). I think, currently there are not better speakers for 2000pounds on the market than this sexy PMC column. But you need care in selection of your iron (amp, source, cables, rack, power filter...), on those speakers you will hear any tiny step forwards/backwards. BR.
Thanks! Room is just over 4m x 4m, so approx 16 square metres. No room for floorstanders sadly, or would have gone straight for the Prodigy 5s. What do you mean by B&W playing different soccer league? The 707 S3s are pretty much the same price.
 
I would suggest the Prodigy 1s or even the the small floorstanders should be fine. More importantly, what amp are you planning to power the speakers? With wooden floorboards I would guess your amp would need to be quite smooth, otherwise it could be fingers down a blackboard.

A home demo is essential. As regards front or rear ported, that's the least of your concerns at this early stage.
 

Gray

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...will there be much difference?
I can only tell you my experience.
The difference between front and rear ports has been the difference between useable and unusable.

At 20cm from what's known as the front wall (the rear wall is behind you when listening) it would be front ported or sealed box for me.

I think Prodigy 1 may well be a good choice.
But then I would say that, as I own their old twenty21 model.

I did have a very brief listen to the Prodigy 5, well out from the front wall of the demo room.
There was slightly overblown bass - which I'm putting down to one or both of two distinct possibilities.
1) The fact that I'm too used to the sound of standmounts.
2) The difference between my Cyrus and the Rega amp used for the demo.

For me, two things would count against the Prodigy 1 - the lack of any choice of finish other than black and the extra £99 cost of the grilles.
But let us know......I bet their sound will make you buy them 👍
 

bartlett23

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I would suggest the Prodigy 1s or even the the small floorstanders should be fine. More importantly, what amp are you planning to power the speakers? With wooden floorboards I would guess your amp would need to be quite smooth, otherwise it could be fingers down a blackboard.

A home demo is essential. As regards front or rear ported, that's the least of your concerns at this early stage.
Cheers. Arcam A15 and a Cambridge MXN10 streamer. Speakers will literally be on a (solid) bookshelf annoyingly.
 

bartlett23

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I can only tell you my experience.
The difference between front and rear ports has been the difference between useable and unusable.

At 20cm from what's known as the front wall (the rear wall is behind you when listening) it would be front ported or sealed box for me.

I think Prodigy 1 may well be a good choice.
But then I would say that, as I own their old twenty21 model.

I did have a very brief listen to the Prodigy 5, well out from the front wall of the demo room.
There was slightly overblown bass - which I'm putting down to one or both of two distinct possibilities.
1) The fact that I'm too used to the sound of standmounts.
2) The difference between my Cyrus and the Rega amp used for the demo.

For me, two things would count against the Prodigy 1 - the lack of any choice of finish other than black and the extra £99 cost of the grilles.
But let us know......I bet their sound will make you buy them 👍
Much appreciated, thanks. The finish or the grills are defo not a problem. Looking forward to the demo! And the guy in the shop trying to convince me to get the B&Ws 😂
 
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Fandango Andy

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I'm looking to move and upgrade my speakers (see photo). Positioning isn't ideal but it should be better than my current set up. Considering PMC Prodigy 1s as they're front ported and fairly unfussy about positioning. But the shop has also suggested B&W 707 S3s, which are rear ported. The speakers will sit about 20cm from the rear wall, will there be much difference?

It's all down to the demo, but front ported can be more forgiving. I have (front ported) Mission 701's in my bedroom, the back of the speaker is only about 10cm from the wall and they are totally off-centre within the room. They sound fantastic. Moving them to the optimal position only improves them a little. I swapped them of of my main system with Tannoy Mercury M1's that are great when properly positioned but really fussy about placement. They sounded terrible in my bedroom.


I am not familiar with B&W 707 S3s, but general experience of B&W, they are extremely fussy about placement and need lots of room to breathe.
 
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Stuart83

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I've found that rear ported speakers only become too boomy in a smaller room.

I have rear ported speakers in a larger room too close to the wall according to the general rule without problems and contrary to popular belief find them better with the foam bungs out.

I managed to sidestep the whole issue of placement in my smaller room with large speakers using the rarer type of downward firing ported speakers.

I now get the benefits of ported speakers without any of the potential drawbacks.
 
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Deliriumbassist

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The only real consideration for placement with rear ports is that they should be placed at least twice the width of the port away from the wall - so a 2" port width would need 4" of clearance, for example. And even then, you can typically block the ports when putting closer to the wall (which can actually work even better, as you would get closer to a second order roll-off behavior, which can work very well with room gain).
 
I've only ever bunged one speaker, and found it sucked the energy out of the music. I'd avoid, and be guided by the manufacturer's suggested breathing room - with a degree of allowance for room size. The room doesn't look particularly big, so it's better to get this right from the off than live to regret it. Front-ported would seem the sensible option provided it ticks the boxes in terms of sound.
 

bartlett23

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Cheers guys. Sounds like people have had quite different experiences of front and rear ports. It's going to be a fascinating demo tomorrow! Feels like the guy in the shop is really pushing the B&Ws, but I've always had my eye on the PMCs. Think it will all come down to suitability of speaker placement.
 

bartlett23

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I've only ever bunged one speaker, and found it sucked the energy out of the music. I'd avoid, and be guided by the manufacturer's suggested breathing room - with a degree of allowance for room size. The room doesn't look particularly big, so it's better to get this right from the off than live to regret it. Front-ported would seem the sensible option provided it ticks the boxes in terms of sound.
Front ports do seem to make most sense in this case. My current speakers are front ported, and despite the crappy positioning sound pretty good!
 

bartlett23

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The only real consideration for placement with rear ports is that they should be placed at least twice the width of the port away from the wall - so a 2" port width would need 4" of clearance, for example. And even then, you can typically block the ports when putting closer to the wall (which can actually work even better, as you would get closer to a second order roll-off behavior, which can work very well with room gain).
Interesting. Like I say, I need to have an honest chat with the salesman to make sure he's not just trying to flog me the B&Ws, even if they do sound better in the shop. Can't see there being much between them and the PMCs though.
 

bartlett23

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It's all down to the demo, but front ported can be more forgiving. I have (front ported) Mission 701's in my bedroom, the back of the speaker is only about 10cm from the wall and they are totally off-centre within the room. They sound fantastic. Moving them to the optimal position only improves them a little. I swapped them of of my main system with Tannoy Mercury M1's that are great when properly positioned but really fussy about placement. They sounded terrible in my bedroom.


I am not familiar with B&W 707 S3s, but general experience of B&W, they are extremely fussy about placement and need lots of room to breathe.
Cheers, and interesting about B&W speakers being fussier. The PMCs seem more forgiving generally. A What Hifi review of the 707 S3s would be helpful if you're listening! :)
 

Stuart83

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I've only ever bunged one speaker, and found it sucked the energy out of the music. I'd avoid, and be guided by the manufacturer's suggested breathing room - with a degree of allowance for room size. The room doesn't look particularly big, so it's better to get this right from the off than live to regret it. Front-ported would seem the sensible option provided it ticks the boxes in terms of sound.
I found the same.

There was a strangled choke effect on the pitch and with the diluted bass inherited from taking away the booming effect as it's described.

Afterall that's exactly what foam bungs do to reduce the overall port output.
I agree the right speakers should be chosen originally to prevent the problem occuring to begin with

I like the downward firing port design which sidestep all the inherint problems of ports and gives all the benefits that ported speaker give.

I find the sound from the fyne audio f501/f502s downwards firing port was a lot better behaved, with smoother and deeper roll off, and more detail in the bass.

Ive always seen foam bungs more of a less desirable "workaround" option if speakers have to be moved from their original intended positions.

I've only had problems with with front ported speakers once in a tiny bedroom as a kid with chuffing but it's was inevitable given that I was only just over a meter away.

I've had booming issues once in rear ported speakers because of the prior mentioned reasons.
Having to move large speakers into a small room close to the wall caused a hall effect in which the supplied foamed bungs did solve but also took away the characteristics of the speaker with the mentioned choking effect.
 
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