Does mounting a speaker to the front or back of the baffle affect the sound or dispersion?

I'm looking to build a pair of speaker with vintage Altec components including a 416 woofer in a 620 enclosure.  The early 416-8A could only be mounted to the rear of the baffle, but when Altec re-designed the frame, it could be mounted either way and from then on they were front mounted, along with nearly all the other speakers I saw or listened to since the 1970s.  Does a front mount have a sonic advantage or is it to simplify the building process?

I ask because some guitar players will mount their speaker to the front or rear of the baffle based on the sound they are looking for, including Altec's 417 musical instrument speaker.  I understand this is a single speaker with an electric guitar played through it (or organ, bass, acoustic, etc.), but was wondering if mounting a 416 for listening purposes would also have different sound or dispersion characteristics.  Can't find a thread for this outside of instrument use, and the consensus is it makes a difference, so was wondering if anyone has experience with this for listening purposes.  If it makes a difference, I will get a latter 416 version that allows for either mounting.

Thanks for your help.

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why not build a removable  baffle and make one mount from the front and one from the back  and experiment?
I have built quite a few large Altec speakers with cabinets of my own design and the Altec sound just gets better with cabinet volume and playing around with the venting.
I have A7's to compare too and Klipsch Khorns, the Altec sound just can't be beat only improved when going for hi end sound.
I use  stout corner bracing and good strong cross bracing from side to side.