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Toe in

Posted on October 16, 2023 at 11:16:49
Posts: 32
Joined: March 8, 2023
I'm just curious, in a general sort of way, if the traditional process of toeing in a pair of speakers is still desirable. My room is 10H X 12 x 16. They are Quad dynamics 2 way. I placed them straight-on this week and I honestly believe they sound better. They are about 8 feet apart and are on the brass footers for the spikes.


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Maybe yes? Maybe no?, posted on October 16, 2023 at 12:49:50

Posts: 9349
Location: Fort Worth
Joined: May 17, 2000
April 5, 2002
All I can tell you is to try positioning nd repositioning until it suits you. Listen for a week or two and see if it still lights your fire. Rinse and repeat until you find IT.

Me? I toe-in slightly. I probably went for a year periodically futzing with placement of my ESL's until I found the spot where I felt no more compulsion to screw with it. Trial and error is the name of the game.


RE: Maybe yes? Maybe no?, posted on October 16, 2023 at 13:29:14
G Squared

Posts: 8237
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
Joined: November 16, 2004
May 23, 2023
Good advice - in addition to tonal balance I focus on the balance between the illusion of soundstage size and the realism of centered performers when evaluating toe in. In my main system my Maggie LRS are best no toe in while my big ProAc monitors like just a touch of tow in. YMMV.


RE: Toe in, posted on October 16, 2023 at 13:38:47
Industry Professional

Posts: 1791
Location: Dallas, TX
Joined: August 12, 2022
Every room is different, various speakers have various dispersion patterns, different people have different music listening habits, etc., etc.

As a result, there is no 'rule' regarding toe-in. There ARE some approaches which help some speakers, but they vary depending on the speakers and the room. So, place the speakers the way you like the sound, and call it a day.


We are inclusive and diverse, but dissent will not be tolerated.


RE: Toe in, posted on October 16, 2023 at 19:59:42
Chris K.

Posts: 387
Location: West Central Florida
Joined: August 15, 2001
I'd say that what sounds best to you after placement experimentation is the way to go. Apparently Quad recommends "angled slightly inward," but much depends upon the room, treatments, etc. KEF suggests that my LS50 Metas face forward or toe-in of up to 15 degrees. I've pretty well settled on slight toe-in of 6 degrees which gives a bit better focus and soundstage depth. Listening with a variety of recordings can help narrow down your most favorable setup.


RE: Toe in, posted on October 16, 2023 at 20:53:10

Posts: 4220
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
I suspect it depends partly on position voicing and design of the speakers as they were being designed. It seems most speakers were designed for toe in since it puts the tweeter with narrow dispersion on a more direct path to the ear. But I had a friend who designed speakers pointed straight ahead and they were best either that way or with slight toe in(for a bit more highs, especially for us old guys).

It is nice when a manufacturer gives advice on toe in and how much. But that's mainly a good starting point for your room and taste. But it sure gives a head start.


RE: Toe in, posted on October 17, 2023 at 05:33:32

Posts: 2301
Joined: September 27, 2004
It should be easy enough to "suck it and see". Move the speakers with a variety of toe-in angles and distance from back and side walls. If looking for best imaging, probably full toe-in is best, but at the coat of sweet spot size. If mostly listening on your own, high toe-in likely best.

Also consider spikes vs vibration absorbing feet such as IsoAcoustic Gaia. This may depend on your floor material, but spikes are now less popular than in the best. In my case, I get significantly improved bass detail with Gaias - not louder but instruments are more easily identified in the bass range.

A tip if you have difficulty moving your speakers if heavy and on spikes or sticky feet. Place a tea towel or similar under the speakers and they will slide easily over a smooth floor - but use spike protectors of course!


RE: Toe in, posted on October 17, 2023 at 06:11:51

Posts: 7566
Joined: September 21, 1999
Some manufacturers (Thiel and Reference 3a come to mind) recommend always firing their offerings forward with no toe in. I had a pair of Grand Veenas a few years ago and I can attest that unless they were fired straight ahead, they lost all the magic. Even a slight toe in changed things for the worse. I'm not sure what Quad recommends with your speakers, but it's probably worth asking.
Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill


RE: Toe in, posted on October 17, 2023 at 08:53:05

Posts: 23
Location: CA
Joined: January 2, 2023
IME 8' is a long way in a room that size


RE: Toe in, posted on October 17, 2023 at 11:57:53

Posts: 2965
Location: New York City Area
Joined: February 21, 2001
I'm in the straight ahead camp. I was surprised to see that Paul McGowan on one of his PR youtubes said he aso favors straight ahead for his newest speakers.

One of the things that toe in can be used for is as a tone control, as tweeters typically fall off if at an angle. But there are meny other ways to alter tone.

I find that straight ahead gives me the widest soundstage. As long as the center image is strong and pronounced, straight ahead works.


RE: Toe in, posted on October 17, 2023 at 14:08:30

Posts: 868
Joined: March 1, 2002
In my case it seems to be amp dependent. I'm using a pair of Totem Metal V2s and if I use my Jeff Rowland class D integrated amp I like the speakers firing straight into the room. If I switch to my tube gear, I prefer the speakers further apart and toe-ed in.


RE: Toe in, posted on October 17, 2023 at 15:18:51
Chuck Y

Posts: 4374
Joined: August 31, 2001
Toe in can solve problems folks have with 1st reflection points on the adjacent outside walls. Important in a small room where the speakers are placed close to the walls.


Room, listening distance, and speaker dependent, posted on October 17, 2023 at 17:56:31
peppy m.

Posts: 2127
Joined: February 19, 2021
Try different things out for yourself in order to satisfy your curiosity.

Wide-dispersion speakers and narrow dispersion speakers like different amounts of toe-in, generally speaking.

Listening in far-field and listening in near-field require different amounts of toe-in.

Speakers placed against the long wall of a rectangular room might require different toe-in than speakers placed against the short wall of a rectangular room.

But after all is said and done, your preferences in sound should dictate the *ratio of direct to reflected sound* that you like to hear at the primary listening position(s) in your room. Each type of speaker arrangement has strengths and weakness, pluses and minuses.


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