Imaging and Soundstage improve with no toe in?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob_A, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    I was wondering if any of you have found that imaging and soundstage improved noticeably when using no toe in. I had been using a slight toe in with my Def Techs...then I decided to toe them out a little (so that they were pointing directly ahead, with no toe in)...and guess what, the soundstage because really huge and the imaging because quite a bit better. Also the sweet spot became much bigger. Maybe I don't need any toe in because I have only 4 feet of space in between my speakers...
    Anyone found that using no toe in works best for them?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    With only 4' between them, I would not toe them in.
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  3. Steve T

    Steve T Stunt Coordinator

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    Like you said, the spacing between speakers may have something to do with it. I do not toe-in my front speakers much, if any, and they are about 6 feet apart. Too much toe-in and the soundstage decreases and imaging is not as focused.
     
  4. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    Maybe yes, maybe no [​IMG]
    Many find that they benefit from toeing in their speakers, but there are many speakers that the maker suggests not toeing in (like Vandersteens). You just have to experiment. It's a combination of speaker characteristics and room characteristics, so there is no rule...
    If you are refering to multi-channel HT sound and are using a center channel, then I would strongly suggest that you experiment with it's placement as well - in particular try to get the center channel substantially farther away from you than the L/R mains, perhaps above and behind the monitor. This can enhance a realistic soundstage in many applications.
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    [Edited last by Scott H on August 16, 2001 at 03:22 PM]
     
  5. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    BobA,
    Great question. I have DefTech's (BP10B) as my front mains, and have them positioned just a few inches to the sides of my 65" Mits (65907) in a room approx. 14' wide (component rack on one side of room, sub on other, so can't really spread the speakers much more). So, I guess the spkrs. are about 4 to 5 feet apart from each other. The front of the speakers are on the same plane as the C1 center channel and the front of the RPTV. I had the same question about toe-in a couple of months ago and tried the same experiment.
    I had always had my DefTech's pointing straight ahead (no toe-in) and then for experimental purposes I toed them in a little bit. The difference was remarkable. The loss of soundstage was obvious to me immediately. It was as if the room was cut in half! I put them back to their original position (no toe-in) and they regained their sense of airiness, with a really wide soundstage. When I toed them in, it pointed the rear drivers more towards the corners of the room, and I made the assumption that was the reason for the loss of soundstage (sound waves were not allowed to work off of the back wall and create the diffuse atmosphere the DetTech's are famous for). I don't know if technically that is in fact why it didn't sound as good, but as I said, the difference was very noticeable.
    As some other posters have pointed out, it could be due to the fact that I have them pretty close to each other - I'm just not sure about that.
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    Scott
     
  6. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    When I first started getting into home theater, I was told by a friend (and this may or may not be true) that you should only toe your speakers in if the position of the speaker puts it further than 30 degrees from the center of your wall as you face it from your listening position. His rationale for this was that 30 degrees was the point where you lose significant focus from being off-axis from the speaker.
    After fiddling with placement in my room, I've found that theory to be basically sound. I have my mains at 20 degrees to either side of my listening position, which gives it a nice wide soundstage and a sizeable sweet spot.
     
  7. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    My Axiom front towers are about 7-8 feet apart. How should I work the toe-in...should both speakers be aimed/pointed directly at me while I'm sitting in the sweet spot or slightly wider than that? Also, where should my surrounds (1 foot behind me and 6 feet to the left/right) be pointing...towards the center of the room or aimed more towards my ears? Is there any cost effective way to accurately measure toe-in? I remember asking a home theater installation guy about this once and he told me about a gadget that some sort of levelling device attached to a laser beam. He said that all you do is line up the device with the backside of the speaker and the laser points in the direction that the speaker is aimed. Pretty nifty, but when I asked where to get one, he seemed reluctant to answer and said that he got it from a home theater distributor of his. I'd imagine something like this is pricey, but there's got to be a cheaper way...
    Thanks,
    Ron
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  9. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    Experiment with everything!!!!!
    I have Infinity RS-5s in front and rear. The rears are 18" behind, 6' appart and facing eachother. The fronts are roughly 6' apart and 9' from the sweet spot. Since I'm always in the sweet spot, and to heck with anyone else in the room, I prefer the fronts toed in - about 3 inches in front of my nose. My sub (Infinity HPS-1000 = down firing with dual passive radiators) is in the front right corner rotated so the front also faces the sweet spot (the rotation smoothed out the bass wonderfully). It may be my room (18x13x7 with a 8' opening on one end = listening over the small side), but this sounds the best for me?
    I haven't "played" with my speakers at all in about 8 months (actally, I've been afraid to try anything else since the whole room sounds so majical and I can hear a sound field change if any speaker (sub included) is moved as little as 1/4" in any direction. Maybe my placement, or brain :) are too sensitive, but I can pull it back in to perfection quickly.
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  10. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Saurav,
    Hey, thanks for the help! The link you provided proved fruitful as it linked me to a web site that sells laser levels. For anyone else that's curious, it is:
    http://www.innovam.com/ret2/ll2an.html
    Is there someplace locally that I can find one of these...maybe Home Depot or something? I can't imagine that they're only used by freaks like me for setting up speakers!!!
    Much obliged,
    Ron
     
  11. John H

    John H Second Unit

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    I have been using a homemade laser tool for speaker aiming for a few years now.
    I located an inexpensive laser pen that projects a straight beam in relation to it's handle. I attached it to one side of a 90º angle. For my mains I place the other straight edge horizontally against the face of the speaker with the pen directly inline with the tweeter. For downward tilt on the center I place the straight edge in a vertical position.
    As for toe in. I use a pair of BP2000TL's for mains. They are spaced 9'3" between tweeters. 14" from the back wall and 33" from the sides. This places the mains 12' from the listening position I am restricted on placing them closer together due to RPTV and component cabinets.
    They are toed in so the tweeters are aimed directly at the listening position.
    I used original BP2000's for several years and used the same positioning.
    I have listened to them with no toe in and various degrees of toe in. This configuration produces the best sound to me in my room.
    John
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    Bedroom Based Theater
    [Edited last by John H on August 16, 2001 at 11:14 PM]
     
  12. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    Here's my Toe-in tool (sorry for the bad color/low-light/cheap digital camera):
    [​IMG]
    It doubles as an excellent effects enhancer for battle scenes [​IMG]
    For my room, my speakers are 8'8" apart, listening position 10 feet from the center line, and I've found optimal toe in so each speaker points about 1 1/2 feet to either side the prime listening location. This optimal toe-in has changed both with speakers and amps when I upgraded and demoed different brands and models.
    BTW, yes, there is a laser sight on that Glock for those that think I'm shooting holes in my walls.....
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    [Edited last by Steve_D on August 16, 2001 at 11:18 PM]
     
  13. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Must be interesting to sit in the sweet spot with a gun aimed at you... or aimed 1 1/2 feet to the side of you, to be more precise [​IMG]
     
  14. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I've tried to find a laser level at both homedepot.com and lowes.com for an in-store pick up, but have been unsuccessful. Are there any B&M chain stores that carry them? What are it's other applications so that I may look under specialty stores in the Yellow Pages? I'd like to pick one up at a B&M rather than ordering over the Web.
    Thanks!
    Ron
     
  15. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    the width of the soundstage will shrink greatly if you toe them in too much. I had my speakers positioned with no toe in and the soundstage was wider, more open. However at the expense of the high end. I had to toe them in more for better sounding music and sligthly sharper imaging. I have mine where they would meet 3 feet behind my head on the back wall.
    I have Def Tech Pro Tower 400 direct speakers. Mine are 5feet apart. It does not really matter how far apart they are if you should toe in or not, it does matters how far you sit away from them. I only sit 5feet away from each speaker so there is a nice wide soundstage with clean highs with slight toe in. If I sat say 7feet away even less to no toe in would be needed.
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  16. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Ron, I picked mine up at Radio Shack.
     
  17. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the help, Jeff!
    For anyone looking at doing the same thing, I inquired at Radio Shack and was told that the level has been discontinued back in February. However, supposedly there were still a few floating around the area at the Radio Shack "bargain price." Seeing as how they were going for something like $50 previously, I thought it would be worth checking out at the bargain price of $9.99! Not bad... And hey, if it's a piece of garbage, I'm only out $10.
     
  18. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    John,
    I picked up my inexpensive laser level from RS the other day and followed your directions on attaching it to another 90 degree level. As it turns out, the toe-in was somewhat close to where it needed to be, but definitely could have used some tweaking. After adjusting the toe-in (which takes all of a minute with this "tool"), I found that the front soundstage noticeably improved. I mean, I could really tell a difference. Not bad for a total cost of around $12!
     

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