What method do you use to toe in speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by EdNichols, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    How do I(other than eyeballing) determine where my speakers are pointed? I have read where some people say their speakers sound best when they are toed in to fire a foot in front of them or a few inches behind them. How do I do that? What method do you use?
     
  2. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    Eyeball it, use string or a laser guide. Any of them work. I eyeball it, then play with the toe until I like the sound the best and leave it there.
     
  3. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Also make sure you tape measure each inside toe corner (or outside corner of speaker.. your choice) of your three front speakers (for center measure from tweeter) to your "sweet spot" listening position. If the exact distance is not the SAME, then move your speaker(s) to make it so..

    If the distance of your front speaker trio is not the same then it is not seamless. That simple. My guess is that most centers are too close. Measure... eyeballing is guessing. As a guage, think tweeters of front trio must be of equel length to your sweet spot. Place some tape on the chair/sofa/seat directly behind where your head is located in the sweet spot. That is the point where the distances of the front trio must all match.

    BOK
     
  4. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    For distance, I measure. Measuring and eyeballing just gets into the ballpark, you need to listen to get them right. JMO.
     
  5. Darrin W-G

    Darrin W-G Extra

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    I set my speakers up using the Golden triangle method.

    Tools: Tape Measure, String, Push pins, Plumbob, 180 degree Protractor

    Tip: Use either cellotape or Blutack to a plumbob on a string to the top of the center speaker, so it falls down the middle of the tweeter.

    180 degree Protractor to toe - in my speakers to 30 degree's
    and then used the string/push pins to find the X-over point to where I sit.

    At the X-over point,I ran a string at 90 degree's down the middle of the triangle to the measuring tape to create another x-over point to align the hanging plumbob..

    That's all she wrote.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    I am familiar with the triangle method and use measuring to get it right. And I understand about getting the tweeter adjusted in height to ear level but I am still unsure of how to use the string to get the toe in. Do I attach a string to the top center of the speaker and pull it tight across the room to where I am sitting to see where the speaker is pointing? I am having trouble picturing this in mind.
     
  7. Keith Hyde

    Keith Hyde Stunt Coordinator

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    I sit in the sweet spot and turn in the mains until I can just barely see perfectly down the plane of the outside edges of the mains. Seems to work fine as a starting point. These are such simple adjustments, its no pain to try every which way until you like what you hear.

    Another thing that helps me is to off all the lights and fine tune in the dark. No ambient lights - maybe a night light in the adjacent room so you don't hurt yourself. Take away the visual part of this affair and you can focus more on what's important.
     
  8. glenn.arsenault

    glenn.arsenault Stunt Coordinator

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    First set reference level and verify phase. Then, I start out with them not toed in and listen to a stereo source that will produce a good center image (I like the Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman CD for this). I then listen and adjust the toe-in until the center image sounds right. I then listen to the Harry James, The King James Version CD and check the entire soundstage (this cd is good for it because the recording was made with a single microphone and the liner notes provide a layout of the instrument locations). When all sounds good, I then tweak the toe-in with final measurements (tape & string) to make sure the speakers are like aligned for the toe-in.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I go by my ears. Adjust until I like the way it sounds. When I can close my eyes and "see" the center image, I'm happy.
     
  10. JohnGil

    JohnGil Stunt Coordinator

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    I start off with them facing forward. Then I start toeing them in, in 1/2 increments untill Tracy Chapman is dead center. Once that has hapend I start to adjust the spikes in one turn increments untill her voice is floating about 5' off the ground.
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Similarly: start with them facing straight out, then vary the angle until you prefer one over the other. Got to use your ears in that your speakers in your room might be different from mine in my room. [​IMG]

    But ... with my last 3 sets (Def Tech BP-30s, Vandersteen 2CE Sigs, and now Mirage OM-7s), I found that toe in about 1/2 way works the best. If I toe them in such that they intersect at me ("all the way") or in front of me (more than "all the way"), I find that the soundstage sounds too narrow. With them only ~1/2 in, I seem to get a wider soundstage. Sort of counterintuitive, but that's what I found for my room and placement.
     
  12. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    Your room will have a great effect on how your speakers sound and where you need to place them. I feel measurements get you close. But with out the listening and tweaking you wont get the best out of them.
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I like the laser-pointer technique. But each room/speaker combo is different. Try these 3 different amounts of toe-in and pick which sounds best to you:

    A) The L/R speakers intersect about 2 feet in front of the primary listening position (This is the classic "Music Alignment" that tries to create a central image).

    B) The L/R speakers intersect exactly on the primary listening position

    C) The L/R speakers intersect 2 feet behind the primary listening position.

    If your primary use is 2-channel music, you just try all 3. Chances are option A will work best for you.

    If you use your system for movies you dont need a central image from the L/R speakers (you have a center after all) But getting all the speakers adjusted is a bit more complex. Try this:

    - Adjust the L/R speakers to A or B or C with a laser pen
    - Use a SPL meter to get the L/R speakers to match the others
    - Que up a good chapter with sounds that move from speaker to speaker. Put it in a A-B repeat loop
    - TURN OFF THE TV
    - Listen

    You are trying to find the amount of toe-in that pulls your attention as sounds move around, but does not leave a "gap" in the sound field. (It takes a few minutes before you are sensitive to this. Turning the TV off helps you focus on your ears to determine position, not your eyes).

    You should also sit in the secondary seats and listen to positions A/B/C. Pick the toe-in that sounds good in both locations.



    When I did the A/B/C toe-in, I found that option C worked best with my DefTechs as well. It might have something to do with the bipolar speakers.
     
  14. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    I like the laser pen idea. How do you make sure that the pen is pointing exactly right? Do you lay it on the top center of the speaker then tape it down? I guess you measure the distance from each top corner to make sure the pen is correct?
     
  15. Philip>L

    Philip>L Stunt Coordinator

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    I use my ears.

    Every speaker is different, and you have to play with what you've got to find out what's best for your speakers AND listening room.

    Toe in too much and you'll hear it, out too much and you'll hear that too. Once I get the speakers to where they sound right, I measure from the back corners of the speaker to the back wall and make sure they match. Sometimes a little give and take is required.
     
  16. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Eyeball. I aim them at the centre seating position. Some people don't like toed in speakers. My room is small and if the speakers aren't toed in, the people next to the speakers kinda only hear the speaker pointing right at them. Toeing in the speakers gives everyone a bit more stereo without hurting the sweet spot. Time-intensity trading [​IMG]
     
  17. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Simple: hold the laser pen against the outside edge of each L/R speaker and see where the beam goes. You dont care up/down just the amount of toe-in

    For the center, just hold the pen on the top of the speaker and see where the beam hits in the up/down direction.
     

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