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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
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Nyal, with the back row 4-5 inches from the back wall, my main concern was that the rear speakers not be a constant distraction to those listeners. In-walls mounted lower would be very close to their ears. Hence the suggestion to have bookshelves fire over their heads.
Also, with that row being so close to a wall, I figured it would be used more how Alan described a few posts up, as overflow seating rather than for critical listening.
As for off-axis response, the speakers can be tilted and/or toed-in towards the listening area. My side speakers are around ±80° from centre, mounted 6 feet up (to clear the heads of most guests) and pointed at the listening area (actually, cross-toed to the person at the opposite end of the couch).
If you've got alternate suggestions, now is the time (before the OP starts nailing speakers to the wall).