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Controversial speaker placement (or not?)


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Greetings to all.

 

For some years now, I've had my large Thiel CS6 s facing straight down the room and, every now and then, I experimented with a slight 'toe in' of only a few degrees.

Last w/end having nothing better to do, I decided to try something really drastic with them, and I do mean drastic!

 

I toed them in by 45 degrees (!) and I now have their tweeters cross-firing almost 1 mtr in front of my listening position! (I use a laser beam to establish that).  The results are ....stunning!

Huge depth in the soundstage, great imaging with very well defined location of voices and instruments and a noticeable increase in clarity.  Also, ....the speakers disappeared!  It almost sounds like surround sound. Quite amazing.

 

The room is  7 mtrs long x 5 mtrs wide and 2.5 mtrs height, uneven in shape with openings to the kitchen and hallway areas. Acoustically it's not very live, carpeted floor and brick walls and plaster ceiling. Soft furniture and not treated in any other way.

The speakers are about 3 mtrs apart and 3.8 mtrs from the listening chair.  The wall behind them is roughly 1.70 mtrs away and, the wall behind the listening spot, perhaps 2.50 mtrs.

 

Has anyone else tried such an experiment and, if yes, what kind of results did you have?  

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Greetings to all.   For some years now, I've had my large Thiel CS6 s facing straight down the room and, every now and then, I experimented with a slight 'toe in' of only a few degrees.

I believe Ken Ishiwata used to use this extreme toe-in setup at shows. There's a few write ups about it. It supposedly allows for many more people to experience a more sweetspot-like presentation at t

Ken Ishiwata (a Marantz "ambassador" and engineer) used to recommend this crossed axis set-up and used it at demonstrations and shows. He said it reduced the effects of the room and gave a larger swee

Did similar with a pair of Maggie 1.7r crossed over each ear was best . 

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I believe Ken Ishiwata used to use this extreme toe-in setup at shows. There's a few write ups about it. It supposedly allows for many more people to experience a more sweetspot-like presentation at the same time 

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Ken Ishiwata (a Marantz "ambassador" and engineer) used to recommend this crossed axis set-up and used it at demonstrations and shows. He said it reduced the effects of the room and gave a larger sweet spot.

I used it to good advantage with my SGR CX4F and will definitely give it a try when my MT3.2s arrive.

(@sakabatou: you beat me by seconds!)

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2 hours ago, Arthur K said:

Has anyone else tried such an experiment and, if yes, what kind of results did you have?  

 

Yes..

 

It's not at all controversial.... although won't work with all speakers, only ones which have relatively constant directivity.    It has a lot of merit / advantages.

 

It can work even better with speaker with a narrower response, eg. horns/wavguides/openbaffle/dipole.

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I just tried this and think I quite like the result.

 

20210401_202337.jpg.9c5ab12d8ad316a7ab4596a93ce6c490.jpg

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I used extreme toe-in with my PMC MB2se’s for quite a while.  Very interesting effect and worth a try in difficult rooms.

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The look is going to take some getting used to! It looks bloody odd ?

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Thank you all for the replies!

It makes me feel better as, if someone as famous as Ken Ishiwata of Marantz practiced this, it means I haven't gone bongus ....yet!

 

It's a totally new experience in sound, almost like a pair of different speakers!  In fact, before this event, I was playing with the idea of downsizing to good quality stand mount speakers, in an effort to make them disappear. Common wisdom has it that, smaller speakers do that 'trick' much easier than large floorstanders.

After trying this, I think there's no need for such move.  The big Thiels are doing the (disappearing) act just fine!

 

Thanks to all answering my question, it seems there's always room for experimenting, before we start blaming the equipment and think of upgrades.

 

Finally, I thank the moderator(s) that shifted my posting to the appropriate area of the forum.

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9 minutes ago, aechmea said:

Further reading for dipole owners http://rtaylor.sites.tru.ca/2013/07/17/optimal-toe-in-angle-for-a-dipole-loudspeaker/

 

[Look who made a comment.]

 

Never had 'dipole' speakers but his analysis makes a lot of sense.

AND, it seems to be true for 'normal' monopole speakers as well.

Thanks for posting it.

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i tried the extreme crossover positioning this morning for a hour or so and for my situation crossing over 1m and at my nose created a smaller sound stage and instrument separation was congested. imo this is cause of my small room. i can see it working in mid and large size rooms.

 

i have been playing around with toe in for the last week and for my room and system so far its a little past my shoulders.

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2 hours ago, genkifd said:

i tried the extreme crossover positioning this morning for a hour or so and for my situation crossing over 1m and at my nose created a smaller sound stage and instrument separation was congested. imo this is cause of my small room. i can see it working in mid and large size rooms.

 

i have been playing around with toe in for the last week and for my room and system so far its a little past my shoulders.

 

I suspect it may also have to do with 'near field' listening, as it is in my case, and plenty of free space around the speakers.

The room is rather large at 7 mtrs and I am only sitting 3.5 or 3.8 mtrs away.

 

Your Hulgich Duke speakers would, more than likely, give you a different 'picture' in a large room.

 

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16 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

Yes..

 

It's not at all controversial.... although won't work with all speakers, only ones which have relatively constant directivity.    It has a lot of merit / advantages.

 

It can work even better with speaker with a narrower response, eg. horns/wavguides/openbaffle/dipole.

 

Well, the Thiels use Coaxial ( 'Coherent Source' ) midrange and tweeter drivers. In doing so, it seems the tweeter is somewhat loaded with the midrange cone around it.

I am just wondering if this has something to do with the 'effect' I am experiencing.

....and warm greetings to lovely Hobart!

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The old Bose 401 speaker had exactly that setup from the factory with a bit of a twist - a 45 degree angled setup on the "front" face and a sideways firing speaker.  An acquired taste (personally I love mine) but they need a *big* space or they sound weird due to the reflections from the side firing speakers.  Very sensitive to the rear port spacing too, if too close to the wall it kills the bass.  Also sound a bit stupid with an under powered amp (have these paired with an old Yamaha receiver so no problems there).  Also, not terribly nice looking (my black ones have been banished from the lounge).

 

https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/bose/401.shtml

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30 minutes ago, Arthur K said:

 

I suspect it may also have to do with 'near field' listening, as it is in my case, and plenty of free space around the speakers.

The room is rather large at 7 mtrs and I am only sitting 3.5 or 3.8 mtrs away.

 

Your Hulgich Duke speakers would, more than likely, give you a different 'picture' in a large room.

 

totally agree there if i had a dedicated large music room the toe in would be different. sitting 2.9m away i wouldnt call that near field listen.

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4 minutes ago, Old Man Rubber said:

The old Bose 401 speaker had exactly that setup from the factory with a bit of a twist - a 45 degree angled setup on the "front" face and a sideways firing speaker.  An acquired taste (personally I love mine) but they need a *big* space or they sound weird due to the reflections from the side firing speakers.  Very sensitive to the rear port spacing too, if too close to the wall it kills the bass.  Also sound a bit stupid with an under powered amp (have these paired with an old Yamaha receiver so no problems there).  Also, not terribly nice looking (my black ones have been banished from the lounge).

 

https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/bose/401.shtml

LOL!  Well!..  This put the cat among the pigeons Dave!

 

Among audiophilia, Bose enjoys a reputation of being "controversial", to say the least.

So, after all, toeing the traditional Thiels by 45 deg. enters the controversy territory.  But if luminaries like Ken Ishiwata has done this, I think it's safe to experiment and evaluate the results.

 

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1 hour ago, Arthur K said:

Well, the Thiels use Coaxial ( 'Coherent Source' ) midrange and tweeter drivers. In doing so, it seems the tweeter is somewhat loaded with the midrange cone around it.

I am just wondering if this has something to do with the 'effect' I am experiencing.

 

A little bit....  it helps (a little bit) the speaker to have more even frequency response vs angle..... which mean that you can listen to them on an angle and not get the "wrong" frequency response.

 

1 hour ago, Arthur K said:

....and warm greetings to lovely Hobart!

Thanks.... it is warm here today, relatively speaking.

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4 hours ago, Arthur K said:

LOL!  Well!..  This put the cat among the pigeons Dave!

 

Among audiophilia, Bose enjoys a reputation of being "controversial", to say the least.

 

 

I have long recognised my ears don't work like other peoples ?

 

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Not sure if or how my ears work either - but tried this approach on ZZ Top and it doesn't sound half bad.  Might keep it toed in for a while and see how other music sounds ....

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Everyone here should also consider speaker height as an important factor.

 

Try listening with your tweeters at ear height and adjust accordingly.

 

If not practical maybe you could try adjustments to MLP height.

 

Either way expect differences in presentation. ?

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24 minutes ago, Mutatis Mutandis said:

Not sure if or how my ears work either - but tried this approach on ZZ Top and it doesn't sound half bad.  Might keep it toed in for a while and see how other music sounds ....

 

Τhat's my plan too!

 

Sounds too good to disturb.  ....and here's a thought that never crossed my mind before:

 

Why isn't there a kind of a solid rotating platform made by some manufacturer and controlled by calibrated remote so, a listener can adjust the 'toe - in ' without leaving the 'hot seat'?

Surely, with so many other (useful and some totally useless) devices in the 'high end' world, something like this would be a useful tool when trying to "lock" the perfect imaging and soundstage out of a set of speakers.

 

I know it may sound extreme but I suspect some well heeled audiophiles would invest in one..

 

 

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21 minutes ago, JohnL said:

Everyone here should also consider speaker height as an important factor.

 

Try listening with your tweeters at ear height and adjust accordingly.

 

If not practical maybe you could try adjustments to MLP height.

 

Either way expect differences in presentation. ?

 

John,  you're right about tweeter height, however, in my case the Thiels are too large and - by design - the mid and tweeter drivers are a bit higher than ear level when seated.

The only other way this can be adjusted is by tilting the cabinets forward by a few degrees... which, I may try!  Thanks!

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3 hours ago, JohnL said:

Everyone here should also consider speaker height as an important factor.

 

Try listening with your tweeters at ear height and adjust accordingly.

 

If not practical maybe you could try adjustments to MLP height.

 

Either way expect differences in presentation. ?

 

Many speakers have significant errors (peaks and cancellations) in their vertical coverage pattern.

 

This can effect (in the extreme) the direct sound, but also how those errors are reflected to you from the room.

 

So it will sound very different when you change the height, etc.... but not something that should be experimented with in any extreme way (as it will be "different => bad"

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3 hours ago, Arthur K said:

 

John,  you're right about tweeter height, however, in my case the Thiels are too large and - by design - the mid and tweeter drivers are a bit higher than ear level when seated.

The only other way this can be adjusted is by tilting the cabinets forward by a few degrees... which, I may try!  Thanks!

 

 

Ummm ... or get a different (higher!) chair to sit in.  :)

 

Andy

 

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6 hours ago, Arthur K said:

 

Why isn't there a kind of a solid rotating platform made by some manufacturer and controlled by calibrated remote so, a listener can adjust the 'toe - in ' without leaving the 'hot seat'?

 

 

 

 

That's what mates are for!!!!........?

Edited by JohnL
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Ummm ... or get a different (higher!) chair to sit in.  :)

 

Andy

 

 

LOL! .. Now!..this will look ODD and my daughter will certainly 'certify' me when she visits.  She may even put it down to 'old age insanity' setting in... ☹️

Edited by Arthur K
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3 minutes ago, Arthur K said:

 

LOL! .. Now!..this will look ODD and my daughter will certainly 'certify' me when she visits.  She may even put down to 'old age insanity' setting in... ☹️

If there is a market for auto toe-in turntables for your speakers, surely an audiophile gas-lift chair should be on the cards.  Must only be the purest nitrogen under pressure, audiophile grade sorbothane feet, leather hyde from cows that have had their hearing tested by an approved audiologist and oxygen free copper for the frame ?

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8 hours ago, JohnL said:

 

That's what mates are for!!!!........?

 

Hmmm... good idea but, most of mine are fast approaching geriatric status and, at 80 kg each cabinet I don't think I'll get many volunteers John. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Old Man Rubber said:

If there is a market for auto toe-in turntables for your speakers, surely an audiophile gas-lift chair should be on the cards.  Must only be the purest nitrogen under pressure, audiophile grade sorbothane feet, leather hyde from cows that have had their hearing tested by an approved audiologist and oxygen free copper for the frame ?

 

LOL! LOL!... You DO have a "creative" imagination Dave!  Be careful because, some may take such advice seriously..  Food for thought for the 'snake oil' merchants.

Edited by Arthur K
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My first audio sherpa (Ken Bennet, now of Steve Bennet Hifi in Geelong) referred to this method as "wearing ‘em like headphones" :) 

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Ken Ishiwata advised me to do this with my original LD50's back in the 80's. Because of where I had the speakers, it worked a treat.

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1 hour ago, RankStranger said:

My first audio sherpa (Ken Bennet, now of Steve Bennet Hifi in Geelong) referred to this method as "wearing ‘em like headphones" :) 

Had a mate who used a pair of Quad 57's in headphone position.

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10 hours ago, frednork said:

Also recommended by Duntech

Do you mean, Duntech promoted this 45 deg. toe in with their speakers?

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Interesting! 

They firing their tweeters straight at the 'hot seat', and that's the only difference from my configuration.

I have both tweeter axis's crossing each other about a meter in front of my head.

So when looking at my speakers I can just see the outside part of the cabinet, but only just.

I've used two laser beams to get the exact crossing point.

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13 minutes ago, Arthur K said:

So when looking at my speakers I can just see the outside part of the cabinet, but only just.

That's what I ended up with, the view plane of the outside face is about 1cm.

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