Speaker "toe-in" with laser pointer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Newell, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. Newell

    Newell Extra

    Dec 6, 2001
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    I recently bought the Vienna Accoustics Bachs (front), Maestro (center), Haydns (rears) with a REL Storm III subwub (sounds awesome to me and very musical in addition to KA in HT...I used to have the Acoustats 1 + 1s when I was in my music mode...got the HT bug, bought Def Tech PC 100s, liked them on HT, but not for music, then got NHT SuperTwos and Ones and now the VAs and probably more "stuff" to come).

    When reading various posts from Patrick Butler (Sumiko rep) on another site, there was considerable discussion about toe-in (about 18" above centered above your listening position)...after some libations, I thought it was a great idea to use the laser sight on my pistol to more accurately determine the focal point of my mains in relation to my seating area (others may choose, or not, to use a more benign laser pointer such as one from Office Depot)...no, this story does not have some morbid end (like I shot a hole in my wall).

    In any event, I thought this is an idea I would share with y'all (I'm Southern). Perhaps we could all get together and market this idea...such as the "Accurite Laser Aligning System Tool" (ALAST) or some other catchy name.

    FWIW and, oh well, have a nice evening.
  2. John H

    John H Second Unit

    Nov 27, 1998
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    I constructed an inexpensive laser alignment tool several years back.
    I affixed a laser pen along one side of a 90ยบ angle. I rest the other straight edge against the face of my speakers cabinet with the pen directly over the tweeter.
    Whe selecting a pen lay it on a flat surface and project the beam on a wall. Roll the pen and observe the beam. It should draw a flat line and not small circles. It may take a few attempts to find a suitable subject.
    M&K sells a precision laser alignment tool for around $90
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Aug 3, 2000
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    I can't you where I got this info, but you're not supposed to toe in your speakers 100%.
    What I do, is to toe them in half way.
    For example, no toe in = 90 deg. (Perpendicular to the front wall, parallel to the side wall.) If I toe them in so that the drivers exactly face me at my listening position, let's say that's 60 deg. I have found that the sound for me, *and others in the room* is best if I toe them in 75 deg. 1/2 way.
    But you have to judge what sounds best to you... [​IMG]
    (I do it with a piece of string and a compass. Just kidding...)
  4. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

    Jul 27, 2001
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    I asked the same question a while back and the people on this forum were extremely helpful!
    Anyway, I constructed mine similar to the way John H did. Here's what I did...through this forum, I found out that Radio Shack used to sell an inexpensive laser level, but it had since been discontinued. I searched around my area and finally found a store that was able to get two of them for me. I believe they originally sold for $40, but now they were a mere $7 or so...what a bargain! Once I got it, I headed over to Home Depot for a metal "L" bracket. Then, using a quality bonding compound, I affixed the "L" bracket to the back of the laser level. I then lined the entire inside of the "L" bracket with felt so as not to scratch the finish on the top of the speaker. I attached the pointer so that when the "L" rests against the back of the speaker, I align the front of the laser pointer with the tweeter and voila...a straight line to the sweet spot! This minor, inexpensive tweak helped a great deal, but you'll have to do some searching in order to keep it low-cost. If you can't find a Radio Shack laser level around, you may want to try a "LaserMark 8" Laser Torpedo Level" at the following website:
    I believe that they're around $70.
    You might also want to search this forum for previous threads. I'm sure you'll get some other ideas as well.
    Good luck!
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Yes, the cheap laser pointer idea has common suggestions around here for years. One of our members (Saurav) was even written up in a magazine for suggesting it.

    There is not one answer for everyone about how much toe-in to do. The standard "Music" setup is to make the L/R speakers focus about 1-2 feet in front of the primary listening position. Some people prefer to focus exactly on the listener, and others like the speakers to focus 1-2 feet behind the primary listening position.

    (In my system I use the "focus 1 foot behind the listener" for my bipolar speakers and mainly HT system).

    You just have to try all 3 and decide what sounds best for you with your room and speakers. (It really depends upon the throw-pattern of sound from your speakers.)

    Good Luck.

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