Asymmetrical toe-in is working wonders


#1

I have a boundary wall and corner about 3 ft to left of my left Triton 3+.

I am getting exceptional instrument separation and very natural vocals with the left Triton pointed to about a foot in front of me while the right (which is open) points directly at my right ear.

I’ve tried every variation of symmetrical toe in and in each case the stage pulls towards the boundary and I can’t get good instrument separation. On tracks where there are 2 guitars or 2 violins, they blend together. Also, it always seemed that the midbass would blend with the vocals and ruin it.

Well I tried extreme toe-in for the boundary speaker and it works wonders. There is a constant interplay however, sometimes when you reduce toe in on one side you have to compensate with the other. Basically I used an acoustic guitar track and kept tweaking till the 2 guitars sounded like they weren’t coming from speakers anymore :slight_smile: and separated from each other. On my journey I tried extreme toe-in of the right and it does not work, it collapses the stage.

If anyone wants to try this realize you will likely pass through a toe-in angle that sounds worse first until you hit a spot where it is better and then of course too much it will regress again.

Anyone have similar experiences? I find it extremely useful that I have subs in the towers and can combine differential bass adjustment with the asymmetrical toe -in.


#2

CXP, what track did you use exactly? I have a similar room situation and want to give your method a shot.


#3

I used Hated by Beartooth. Be sure to use the acoustic version.

For violins I used In the Garden by Max Richter.


#4

Fantastic. I will give it a shot and report back.


#5

OOOne thing you can do that I found useful as well is set the balance to one speaker and then listen to the other. I find that you tend to get close when the timbre of your boundary speaker starts to sound similar to the other.

Oh and as you toe-in your boundary speaker don’t be afraid to increase the width. I moved mine over 2 inches to kind of compensate for the increased angle. And it appears to me that with more of an angle you may have to push the boundary speaker 1/4 to 1/2 inch back towards the rear wall since the angling will move the drivers towards you.

You should notice a widening of sweet spot and as you deviate around your sweet spot, timbre should change less dramatically.


#6

Thanks for writing about your experiences there. It goes to show that execution of our hobby can be far more involved than just connecting it all up, sitting down, and you’re done.

I have divested myself of such effort. I’ve been using Magico speakers for a few years now and they are very accommodating of the room and where you point them. I haven’t felt the need to experiment with toe-in (etc) at all.


#7

Also would you believe my corner sub (Triton tower) is turned up higher than the open side?

Sounds like the corner has 20-40 and a possible null around 60, while the open side lacks the really low stuff and sounds to have more of the 60ish + range.


#8

It’s most unlikely that the best position for a subwoofer is also that of the main speaker. Together with the energy that gets injected into the speaker cabinet by a subwoofer contained within the same enclosure which detracts from the performance of the other drivers. I have never owned a main speaker with a built-in powered subwoofer for those reasons.


#9

I am a prime example where I am using a living room so I don’t even have many options for sub placement. Either a possible sub would go in the corner even further or would go in between the speakers.

The towers work together really well with bass, I am really impressed so far. I do not find it as much a compromise as people tend to think. I am hearing a difference between towers but when combined don’t sound obviously lacking in any way; I really think they work synergistically.

I do plan on getting Gaia isolators to help reduce cabinet/floor resonance.


#10

Golden Ear Triton get good reviews, not that I take much notice of many reviewers now. I do use Golden Ear Invisa MPX for my surround speakers, driven by Halcro power amps.


#11

I have found asymmetrical toe-in and speaker placement necessary whenever the space itself and/or system location is asymmetrical.


#12

Nice to see this thread. I just moved to a new condo and my room is very oddly shaped (living room open to dining room and kitchen and front hall, 25’ ceilings til about halfway into the room then normal ceilings), and placement of my speakers limited to an area where the right speaker is in a very open place but the left speaker is about 2-3 feet off a corner wall, and there’s a large concrete column about 3 feet out from where that speaker sits.

To compensate I’ve been playing with asymmetrical toe-in, mostly to avoid having the speaker faced toward the column in any way, but also because my typical seating position is very slightly off-center as well.

Gotta keep messing with this arrangement, it’s still not sounding ideal. Got it to a good place but based on past experience it should be sounding better.


#13

In my previous house the room was L shaped, had one wall that was essentially all glass, cathedral ceiling… I set my system up diagonally at about 30 or 40 degrees from the long wall just to avoid bad reflections, etc. The speakers were still symmetrical to the listening position but not to the room. Many guests were surprised that that sounded good at all, let alone that they didn’t perceive room effects. Sometimes you just have to try things…


#14

I actually would describe the sound I have found now as having less room character and more of an effortless presentation. With standard setup the midbass was blurry everywhere but now midbass.bass is tightly associated with the instruments and is more seamless.

You hit a certain combination of angles and you are like holy #$%^. Its just like cooking… too little salt and blah, too much and its over seasoned. But when you hit the sweet spot, it really works.

I found that increasing the width slightly by a few inches with the toe in really helped with the blending. If I didn’t have powered subs in the towers i’m not sure I could get it to sound this good. It really helps to tweak both a bit.

Also, no fuse or cable change, magnet on the wall, ethernet cable, DSD or PCM … came anywhere in the ballpark to what this did to the entire system.


#15

As i’ve mentioned befored width between speakers is a big help in my case. I have decreased the amount of asymmetry along with moving them apart another few inches. Boundary speaker now points at my nose to an inch in front and open side points right at me.


#16

I think moving speakers around and trying different, seemingly bizarre configurations, is under appreciated. Probably so because no one can make a buck, well some do with their ‘magic’ formula or it goes against the old lore of it must be symmetrical to sound good.

I have a symmetrical setup and the more useable/livable asymmetric setup.

I find that the speaker that is closer to the side wall/corner needs to be pulled more forward and toed-in more than the speaker further from the boundaries. I’ve been able to get the 3D image deep and wide that I rarely setup in the symmetrical layout any longer. A few 2’x4’x2" panels that can be easily stored in a closet help with the worst reflection points too.

I prefer having subs separate from mid-bass on up. Subs freqs work well in a different location than does everything else. You’re stuck if they’re all in the cabinet. My opinion of course, your mileage will vary.


#17

I just came off Road to Escondido - JJ Cale and Clapton to listen to Hated by Beartooth! Wow! There are some great mid-bass grooves in there!


#18

‘the space itself and/or system location is asymmetrical.’

Seems obvious when you say it like that
:wink:


#19

Toe in and placement is certainly not a one and done solution.

I just migrated from cable internet to fiber so I moved a modem/router out and replaced with a switch (new router is in another room 25 feet away and separated by a wall.)

I am getting significant SQ upgrade with my Ultrarendu and better sound on my Roku as well. I’m thinking the old modem/router was a significant source of RF pollution.


#20

Want some good string bass ?

“The idiot Kings” by Soul Coughing