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Toe-in vs only tilting backwards

Hi,

I have a little question, related to my setup (NAD C388, B&W CM10 s2 and DB4S sub).

At this moment I have the speakers toed in to the listening position, creating a small sweet spot, which is not that big a problem, but... The problem with this is, my CM10's have quite a large plinth (?) at the bottom.

In my interior it looks quite awkward to have them toed in and you could walk against these (I have kids, extra risk). The Plinth sticks out the front of the speaker and without them B&W says they can tip over quite easily (Which happened to my DM603 s3's seriously damaging them, don't want that to happen with these).

Now I follow the youtube channel of Paul McGowan and I saw his video about imaging and creating a larger soundstage. He says it could work fine to not toe the speakers in, but tilt them a little backwards. I have Soundcare Superspikes under my CM10's. Just because I already damaged the floor (now under the couch) with regular spikes which slipped of the base. The spikes on the back I can screw in fully and at the front I can take them as high as possible without getting loose.

Has anyone tried to not toe them in but only tilt backwards and what is your experience with them?

Many thanks!

Re: Toe-in vs only tilting backwards

Reply #1
I don't know anything about those particular speakers.   

You can certainly try it!  They are your speakers and your room and your sound system is for your enjoyment and you should do whatever you like!

Typically, you want to "aim" the tweeter at your ear which means positioning the speakers with the tweeter at ear-level or tiling up or down, and angling them in.   But, it depends on the design of the speakers and the acoustics of the room.

Since those speakers are tall, tilting them up probably won't help (assuming a seated listening position).   It's hard to know...  Maybe bouncing more sound of the ceiling will make it sound better.  

Is that tweeter on top adjustable?   Or can you modify it without damaging the speaker?    Tweeters are more directional than mids & woofers, so it's the tweeter that's most important.
 
Quote
and I saw his video about imaging and creating a larger soundstage.
Those can be conflicting goals.   For example, if you space the speakers farther apart or aim the speaker for less-direct sound you'll get a "bigger" soundstage, but you'll get less precise location ("imaging") of the sounds within the soundstage.    Since there are only two speakers and all of the sound comes from those two locations (plus reflected sound) the stereo soundstage is an illusion in your mind and different listeners will experience it  differently.

Re: Toe-in vs only tilting backwards

Reply #2
My best guess is:
Tilting the speakers will affect the frequency response balance.
While toe-in will first affect the direct sound to room sound ratio (and the frequency response balance).
Kevin Graf :: aka Speedskater

Re: Toe-in vs only tilting backwards

Reply #3
It seems you are conflating soundstage "size" with "sweet spot" size. Totally different things.
Unsurprisingly, most audiophile Youtube blatherers have no clue what they are talking about, but lucky for them, their audience know even less.
Toe-in creating a wider sweet spot works for controlled directivity speakers,  due to intensity stereo. The more one moves off centerline, the more one in on axis with the opposite speaker and off axis with the other. Specifically due to controlled directivity, the L/R intensities will remain relatively consistent, keeping the image/soundstage relatively centered and not immediately collapsing to the near speaker. That can't work for uncontrolled directivity wide dispersion speakers like your B&W.





Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: Toe-in vs only tilting backwards

Reply #4
Thanks for your answers.

So this means that aiming the speaker makes less of a difference on wide dispersion speakers, so the toe-in has less of an effect on my setup?

From a W.A.F. standpoint this is positive news. It really saves space and looks a lot better than all those squares toed-in.

I still don't have that much of a clue what the different designs (wide vs controlled) exactly are, but I'll look into that. From what I understand Controlled Dispersion has a smaller (sweet spot) and is aiming at a specific point while Wide Dispersion speakers have a wide range where the frequency response if accurate.

Interesting :)

Re: Toe-in vs only tilting backwards

Reply #5
Thanks for your answers.

So this means that aiming the speaker makes less of a difference on wide dispersion speakers, so the toe-in has less of an effect on my setup?
Regarding sweet spot aka, where one sits size, yes. The illustrations above should help. The bottom graph is the off axis of a B&W design like yours. The one above is a so called CD speaker, which shows far more even off axis.
"Soundstage" size, aka the 3D stereo construct, is a different thing. Keeping you speakers pointed straight can increase the strength of the sidewall reflections and expand the "width" a bit, perhaps at the expense of a bit of preciseness of the image. It's a balance and very room dependent.
Tilting the speaker back will create a hole in the on axis response at the tweeter/mid XO
https://www.stereophile.com/content/bw-802d-loudspeaker-measurements

This could effect the image by pulling say vocals back, perhaps giving a sense of enlarged soundstage, even though it isn't.

From what I understand Controlled Dispersion has a smaller (sweet spot) and is aiming at a specific point while Wide Dispersion speakers have a wide range where the frequency response if accurate.
No, the exact opposite.
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: Toe-in vs only tilting backwards

Reply #6
Thanks a lot. Clearly there's a lot to learn about this for me. I still don't understand everything quite right, but I'll read into it and try to understand everything better.

 
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