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Toe-In Effect On Base and Sound Quality


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As usual I made too many adjustment at one time, adding Isoacoustics Gaia 3's to my Akudoriks, new power cord for conditioner and reduced toe-in to zero. The impact on sound quality was significant. 

Base has improved significantly as has the texture of the music, timbre, transparency. I dare say its more organic (KDSM2 BTW). Quite a improvement in my opinion especially at low volume although I haven't cranked it much. It has taken the detail, which was always there, but added significant texture to voices, instruments, base. Quite thrilled really, it really sounds good. In no big hurry to upgrade to newest KDSx. Wonder which change created such an improvement.

As an aside, I heard a member comment that some forum enthusiasts think because its a LINN, improvements cannot be made, its as good as it gets within a certain class of gear. Not sure I agree with that.

Anyways, wondering what your thoughts are on:

1) Toe-in on base and whether toe can actually cancel base from the other speaker if not correct.  

2) Soundstage and specifically depth more so than width. What are the effects of toe-in here, and whether the listener position in terms of close to rear-wall creates more depth. I wonder because I can't quite get the depth I want and whether this is due to my rear-wall being quite far back from listening position. Other systems I have listened to with a rear-wall right behind listener seems to have more depth, but it could be my imagination.  

3) Speaker designers and electronic engineers. Wonder if they design equipment with a rear-wall distance in mind.

Cheers

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1) No. Don't think so. In the bass register the speaker is more or less omni directional, and thus not sensitive to toe-in.

2) More likely the toe-in has an effect on soundstage but in my view on the width. I think the distance between the speaker and the wall behind the speker has an effect on the depth of the soundstage. Furthermore I think it is beneficial not to sit too close to the wall behind you.

My five cents.

I think your Gaias are to "blame" for the improvement on sound quality.

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A few thoughts:-

1) Toe in won’t affect the bass. It’s mostly about the directionality of the mids, upper and especially high frequencies.  Imagine the tweeter as a torch with a beam of light - you’re aiming it by tweaking the toe-in.  Bass is scarcely directional, and it’s most affected by boundary distance. 

2) The rear wall does affect the sound you hear, but it is complex relationship to the overall room size.  Curtains are often better for a rear wall than glass, as you don’t really want reflections.  It’s far easier to experiment than explain, so simply move your seating position to and fro until you like it. It’s worth adding that the depth we seek is essentially fake, an illusion we enjoy but somewhat unpredictable.  A mid-range dip gives more depth perception, for example, but it’s just an audio illusion.  

3) It’s nothing to do with electronics.  And speakers can’t take account of a rear wall, as it’s best to assume it has no influence. Therefore all we can do is not sit with head almost resting on wall - typical narrow modern rooms in the UK.  

To isolate the changes I guess you can swap cable back, but I doubt it’s significant.  Do you use SO, because toe-in is set in that?

Edited by Nopiano
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Yes, think cable is insignifant as conditioner is also regenerator.

Yes SO was konfig'd for both toe and no toe scenarios. I heard Akudoriks were designed for wide dispersion and quite forgiving, i.e. toe is not necessary.

An audio illusion, makes sense, ill take the blue pill.

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In my case toe in reduced bass boom. Toe in does get you more focus but narrows the stage. I can’t remember who advised me to keep my 242’s exactly parallel to the front wall and that really worked. I’m down to the mm in distance to front wall and also by in mm. The more precise you are the wider the stage You get. Now that they’re dead straight I had to bring them out another 2-3cma to reduce the bass boom to a degree that I can live with.

I’m some cases toe in has helped raise the central vocals in height.


Adsm/3 >> Akurate 4200/1 >> Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K200

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11 hours ago, Craigas said:

As usual I made too many adjustment at one time, adding Isoacoustics Gaia 3's to my Akudoriks, new power cord for conditioner and reduced toe-in to zero. The impact on sound quality was significant. 

Base has improved significantly as has the texture of the music, timbre, transparency. I dare say its more organic (KDSM2 BTW). Quite a improvement in my opinion especially at low volume although I haven't cranked it much. It has taken the detail, which was always there, but added significant texture to voices, instruments, base. Quite thrilled really, it really sounds good. In no big hurry to upgrade to newest KDSx. Wonder which change created such an improvement.

As an aside, I heard a member comment that some forum enthusiasts think because its a LINN, improvements cannot be made, its as good as it gets within a certain class of gear. Not sure I agree with that.

Anyways, wondering what your thoughts are on:

1) Toe-in on base and whether toe can actually cancel base from the other speaker if not correct.  

2) Soundstage and specifically depth more so than width. What are the effects of toe-in here, and whether the listener position in terms of close to rear-wall creates more depth. I wonder because I can't quite get the depth I want and whether this is due to my rear-wall being quite far back from listening position. Other systems I have listened to with a rear-wall right behind listener seems to have more depth, but it could be my imagination.  

3) Speaker designers and electronic engineers. Wonder if they design equipment with a rear-wall distance in mind.

Cheers

In my experience, a lot of the improvements in sound quality you describe, with improved bass, texture, timbre, as well as Organik properties are a direct result of you installing the Isoacoustic Gaia’s 

‘Improvements in transparency and more detail at lower volumes are probably a result of the new power cord for the power conditioner/regenerator

Reduced toe-in having a beneficial effect is room shape and room feature dependent, as well as speaker and speaker placement dependent. I would suggest that it would not be wise to make a sweeping statement that no toe-in is beneficial for all Linn speakers in all rooms and all setups. Philbo has stated in the past, on the Linn Forum,  that in many circumstances, toe-in can be beneficial for Linn speakers

‘I fully agree with you, Craigas,  that Linn components and speakers can benefit immensely from well chosen tweaks and upgrades, and would strongly disagree with whomever states otherwise.

‘Regarding distance from the rear wall, it is usually beneficial to have some space behind the listening position and the rear wall, so you are not seated directly up against the rear wall, to allow the sound that bounces off the rear wall, to diffuse away from the listening position. However, IMHO, the depth of the sound stage is dependent on many factors. At the moment, I have the deepest front to back sound stage I have ever experienced in my system. I attribute much of this to my room acoustic treatment, my toe-in, my new network switches and Ethernet cables, all contributed to a deeper sound stage

I have had my speakers in exactly the same toe-in and distance from the front wall for at least 7 years, with the same distance of the listening position to the rear wall. With my latest tweaks and upgrades, I have been able to greatly improve the width and depth of my soundstage.

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12 hours ago, zee9 said:

In my case toe in reduced bass boom. Toe in does get you more focus but narrows the stage. I can’t remember who advised me to keep my 242’s exactly parallel to the front wall and that really worked. I’m down to the mm in distance to front wall and also by in mm. The more precise you are the wider the stage You get. Now that they’re dead straight I had to bring them out another 2-3cma to reduce the bass boom to a degree that I can live with.
 

I think, that might have been me. Historically I always had my speakers with a slight toe-in, because I also found that it reduced bass boom and made the bass line easier to follow. When I recently moved to a new apartment, I placed the speakers roughly as they had been positioned in my old apartment and it sounded pretty good.

Since the floor in my new apartment is rather wobbly (long wooden planks, house > 100 years old), I was hoping that the Gaias would be even more effective. I had two trusted friends with good ears over for a loudspeaker placement session and the big breakthrough came, as we reduced toe-in from 1,5 mm to 0 mm. The difference was really quite remarkable, the kind you normally pay thousands of Euros for. After moving them away from the wall in small steps, we arrived at perfect solution. My Akubariks have never sounded so good, and this is even without Space Optimization , no need for it!

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Paulssurround said:

‘Regarding distance from the rear wall, it is usually beneficial to have some space behind the listening position and the rear wall, so you are not seated directly up against the rear wall, to allow the sound that bounces off the rear wall, to diffuse away from the listening position. However, IMHO, the depth of the sound stage is dependent on many factors. At the moment, I have the deepest front to back sound stage I have ever experienced in my system. I attribute much of this to my room acoustic treatment, my toe-in, my new network switches and Ethernet cables, all contributed to a deeper sound stage

I have had my speakers in exactly the same toe-in and distance from the front wall for at least 7 years, with the same distance of the listening position to the rear wall. With my latest tweaks and upgrades, I have been able to greatly improve the width and depth of my soundstage.

Having heard your system Paul, I can agree that your sound stage depth is massive. Elderboys is also large and both of your systems have rear wall quite close to listening position, hence my questions on this topic. Obviously room size, placement, etc, have a large impact on sound stage.

Wondering if others with lots of free space behind listening position also have a deep front to back sound stage?

Edited by Craigas
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Wonder also about the relationship between how close together the speakers are and its effect on depth and width. Obviously it impacts width but as distance of speakers decrease does depth increase?

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3 minutes ago, Craigas said:

Wonder also about the relationship between how close together the speakers are and its effect on depth and width. Obviously it impacts width but as distance of speakers decrease does depth increase?

I’m still waiting for my invite over to your home to hear your Linn system in your new home.  😄

‘Let’s see if we can get improvements in sound quality?

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2 minutes ago, Craigas said:

Yes, its time, lets get this arranged Paul.

That would be great. Thank you

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4 hours ago, Craigas said:

Wonder also about the relationship between how close together the speakers are and its effect on depth and width. Obviously it impacts width but as distance of speakers decrease does depth increase?

I can't see a logical reason that it would? 

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Increasing distance between the speaker and the wall behind will typically increase the illusion of depth. More toe-in will make instruments and vocals easier to localize but decrease the width of the stage as the percentage of direct sound increases vs. reflected sound - at least that is my experience.

Of course whether this results in an improvement or not is also depending on the speaker design. Some manufacturers use similar volume for high‘s and mid‘s and then they recommend some toe-in (as the high‘s ‚beam’ on axis would not reach ones ears and therefore high‘s volume would be too low). Others increase high‘s volume compared to mid‘s, then toe-in would lead to overemphasized high‘s.

You got to listen, no way around it. There is no easy and universal answer to that question. 

Personally I prefer the illusion when I can almost ‚grasp‘ the artist. So my 350s have a few degrees of toe-in and they are also in more than a meter distance from the rear wall as I love the illusion of depth as well (think of a Verdi opera with chorus). the distance to the side walls should be different from the distance to the rear wall (at least by 1/3) in order to avoid unwanted reflections/amplification of some bass frequencies.

But again, all of these are rule of thumbs that work in my room and not necessarily in others and also our tastes may be different as well - so just listen.

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On 27/08/2021 at 12:28, Craigas said:

Yes, its time, lets get this arranged Paul.

Hi Craig: I will be out visiting Paul on the 22-27 of September. I hope you have an invite for me: looking forward to hearing your system in your new home with the additions you have made to improve the sound. :)

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