Solid wall behind SBL's

I have a modern suspended floor and plaster board wall behind my SBL’s and they still sound very good but I have been thinking if I’m getting the best from them and if there was anything that could be done to improve them further.

I have my SBL’s on Mana Bases which are then on granite plinths.

I’ve always wondered if you could just loosely place either one or two rows of bricks behind the speaker’s up to the height of the top of the speaker.

  1. Do you think this would work?

  2. How far each side of the speaker do you think the wall would have to go?

SBLs want to be close up to a rear wall, if you are doing that then happy days. I can only imagine a bunch of unstuck bricks will look like crap and take away from the overall ambiance of your situation.

If you think SBLs are not working in your environment then flog them on and get something else.

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Hi Y,

I have seen several examples where people have modded what is behind the SBLs and reported good results.

I have just spent ten minutes going through google images for a couple of photos I remember, but no result.

Worth spending some time doing a bit of digging on some threads.

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I can’t answer your questions about changing the surface behind them.

You report that the SBLs ‘still’ sound very good which I am pleased about. When I had them I had a similar wall but a concrete floor.

I wonder what the Mana and the granite slabs are doing for you. For instance, have you tried them without? And if so, how did they sound?

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I tend to agree with Gary here. To work at their best SBLs need a solid brick wall - it’s part of the design - and ideally a concrete floor. I’d say it’s enjoy them as they are or try something else. You could always try alternatives anyway and see how it works out.

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What matters, I assume, is that they are radiating nominally into only 1/4 of a sphere. (in simplified terms, at low frequencies where essentially non-directional a speaker hanging in mid air radiates into a sphere, one on the floor away from walls into half a sphere, and one on the floor against a wall into 1/4). It is that limited radiation that enhances bass frequencies, undesirable in speakers not designed for wall placement, but essential for those that are.

So, a wall immediately behind and just the size of the speaker will have no effect, one the height of the speaker and a good proportion of the width of the room, probably will have a significant effect, but possibly not as effective as a full wall.

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Did I mention when you were here that the right speaker has less solid wall behind it than the left? Sl2s of course as you will remember (SBLs before) - but nobody has ever said that they noticed a problem / imbalance. Which is perhaps unhelpful except to say maybe you don’t need to worry too much?

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That’s very, very nicely explained. The answer, clearly, is to move house.


Having had sbl’s and moved rooms from, solid floor and wall to solid floor and stud wall, in my experience the bass had less weight to it and for me it began the end for them.
I tried to make the stud wall better with thick insulation and an extra 2 layers off sound board, it made it slightly better but still didn’t cut it for me.
So ended up selling them and getting ovator s600, which were too big and too bass heavy for the room and so once again sold them lol, now have pmc fact 12, and happy

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Perhaps the application of authentic textured interior brick cladding would solidify a plasterboard wall enough to give the Sibbles the well tempered sound?

They can certainly look good


That is a matter of taste…!


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