Speakers- to toe or not to toe? That is the question!

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Ok, I’ve been pondering this for a while. The question is……

Apart from Mission, have you ever come across hi-fi speakers that were not improved sonically by the application of some degree of toe-in positioning?[/b]

All things being relative, I profess to being a moderate hi-fi enthusiast [:$]. Over the past 25 years of pursuing my enthusiasm, (Missions apart) I don’t ever remember reading or hearing a speaker that didn’t appear to sound better with a toe-in position.

Now, I have been amazed by the knowledge and experience of members of this site regarding speaker makes and models; some are truly encyclopaedic! [:D] So to scratch this little itch, I’m genuinely interested to hear if any of you have experienced the above.

Cheers,

Nick
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
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I agee with Steve wholeheartedly that toe in is ugly. Love the symmetry of straight firing speakers. However, I do toe in all my speakers. I think they image better. Some speakers that are on the bright side probably benefit from zero toe in.
 

Tom Moreno

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Nov 30, 2008
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Don't speakers with ribbon tweeters ussually recommend zero toe-in? I know Dali recommends that no listening position should be 100% on-axis because of the ribbon HF driver. Does Monitor Audio offer similar guidance on their platinum range?
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Spendor. They like to work pointing pretty straight on.

With most speakers, it's personal preference. Toeing in too much can rob the system of width, and not enough can end in a lack of central image. It really is trial and error in most cases.
 

scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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As with most things in the audio world, it depends. It depends on the speakers (rear port boominess can be reduced by toe in, stereo imaging can be tweaked), it depends on the room, it depends on the placement of the speakers in relation to the walls (speakers near side walls can benefit from toe in as it reduces side reflections), it depends where you are sitting in relation to the speakers and, finally, and probably most importantly, it depends on personal taste.

I've got my monitor audios toed in about 7-8o and I think they sound great. In my previous house I had them dead square, and preferred that. Same speakers, same listener. Room geometry and size change.
 
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Anonymous

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I have experimented with my T+A's and found that having them firing straight forward results in the best sound. cant say if this is typical of all T+A speakers though...
 

audioaffair

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Feb 21, 2009
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Many speakers are more effective in your "average" living room when toed in. Having said that there are room considerations to take into account and more often the exception to this rule is electrostatics. Experiment a little for yourself and find a position you prefer. If you have to state a rule of thumb for this, generally a good position for many speakers is in a triangle or slightly elongated triangle with the speakers pointed almost at the listener.

Its also really worth considering some level of acoustic room treatment. It isn't practical (or sometimes permissable as I've found
) in many living rooms to put massive sound traps in all corners of the room etc, but even something as simple as a few Advanced Acoustics panels on the wall (some of which can be wrapped in an image and simply look like a canvas) can make a massive difference in absorbing sound waves where necessary to avoid unnecessary deflections and echo if present.

It takes some time and experimentation but this is an often overlooked aspect of system sound that can can have big benefits.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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FrankHarveyHiFi:Spendor. They like to work poiting pretty straight on.With most speakers, it's personal preference. Toeing in too much can rob the system of width, and not enough can end in a lack of central image. It really is trial and error in most cases.

Hmm, mine are toed in at around 20 degrees at a rough estimate. They are firing across my lounge which is not very deep - all of about 6ft from my listening position, and about 5ft apart. I found the imaging to be slightly improved in the very small 'hotspot' They have been like that for a while now - I am going to experiment again!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have a lot of toe-in with my rear port floorstanders, helps with keeping bass under control at higher volumes.

I got over the "look" thing, it seems I am the only one that notices.

edit: just saw steves post and I think mine are around 20 degrees as well
 

audioaffair

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Feb 21, 2009
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SteveR750:
Hmm, mine are toed in at around 20 degrees at a rough estimate. They are firing across my lounge which is not very deep - all of about 6ft from my listening position, and about 5ft apart. I found the imaging to be slightly improved in the very small 'hotspot' They have been like that for a while now - I am going to experiment again!

You should be able to get the "sweetspot" or "hotspot" but toeing in the speakers a little - not quite in a triangle into the hotspot but almost all the way in works well with some speakers.

Still can be very room and speaker model dependent which is why some experimentation is a must.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Hmmm, ok they are now firing "straight". Imaging is less seat position dependant, and the bass has reduced, but I had to move them further away from the wall, now at least 2ft away from the rear wall, and about a 1ft either side of my protruding hearth / fireplace. Don't mind the loss of bass, as I have a papier mache 3rd party wall with my neighbours.
 

DavieCee

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Aug 19, 2010
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Mine are around 5 feet apart, 18" away from back wall & toed in around 10-15 degrees (pointing just behind the listener). Any more gives more focus but less soundstage and vice versa. I don't have to worry about listening position as I always sit in the sweet spot and no other listeners in my digs.
 

steffy72004

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Jan 25, 2009
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From personal experience changes with speakers models. Previously with Tannoy and Acoustic Energy I had the best results with toeing in directly at my ears, on the contrary now with Rega I use them almost firing straight, with very slight toe in.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
A very interesting set of replies and I must say, more diverse than I expected. Quite a number of people who have experienced a speaker which sounds better when positioned 'straight on'. Although, I guess not surprisingly there appears to be an amount of personal preference regarding the speakers positioning (to toe or not to toe!) versus delivered sonic performance.

Scene - interesting point regarding the number of variable dependencies (besides the speaker and listener).

So, question answered and I've learnt that there appears to be quite a few speakers which (depending on your preferences) can improve sonically without the addition of a little toe!


Thanks to all,


Nick
 

DavieCee

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Aug 19, 2010
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Fortunately it is one of these things you can adjust to your tastes and leave it.

Until you think a bit more soundstage would be nice, or a bit more focus...........
 
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Anonymous

Guest
FrankHarveyHiFi:Spendor. They like to work poiting pretty straight on.

With most speakers, it's personal preference. Toeing in too much can rob the system of width, and not enough can end in a lack of central image. It really is trial and error in most cases.

In my experience I've noticed that Spendors do much better with toe-in than many others. I wouldn't go for crossing at the listener as the soundstage reduces too much.
 

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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I have my 805's toed in, gives a very solid central image that is about 6ft tall nice. Unfortunatley reading this now I cant help wondering if I changed them a little I may get a slightly wider stage .....................

Must resist the temptation to play ...... must resist ... must ..
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I once had a pair of Dali Concept 1's and the manual specifically stated that the speakers had been designed to be positioned without toe-in. The speakers were also marked 'left' and 'right'. Dali explained that this made it easier for the speakers to be literally used as bookshelf speakers. Having them straight forward firing did indeed give the best results in my opinion. Had a great soundstage those little Dali's

Jack
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I gave up with toe-in, much preferring the far wider soundstage firing straight ahead, or on occasion, even toe-ing out from time to time, which makes for a very pleasing and room-filling sound. Good detail with that which surprised me and as a consequence, it feels as if the musicians really are in the room.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
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Also, do Stand mount speakers benefit from the angle of toe-in more than floor standers or is it same for both? No matter how much I try I am unable to get rid of the sharpness of high frequency delivery by my CM9s :( Same set up sounds great and much better with my 601S3 stand mounts so I keep wondering the effects of toe-in on stand-mounts vs floor standers.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
FrankHarveyHiFi:Spendor. They like to work pointing pretty straight on.

With most speakers, it's personal preference. Toeing in too much can rob the system of width, and not enough can end in a lack of central image. It really is trial and error in most cases. Beat me to it David, and here,s me thinking my room, layout, sofas etc were perfectly positioned
Can,t beat the A6s, they get better and better.
 

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