Neat Motive SX2, struggling with toe in or not


I have Neat Motive SX2 speakers which suits my taste, livingroom and acoustics good. They are easy to set up, but one thing i couldn’t get a final grip on is toe in. The SX2 manual stated a toe in of 15-20%, i think the mean 15-20 degrees of toe in?

I have tried the following toe in (both same distance to rear wall), first the extremes:

  • No toe in: sound is wide and lively but focus is lacking and channelbalance favours the right channel a bit bacause right speaker is in corner and bass can be fuzzing/booming. But in general there is a typical Naim wall of sound signature.
  • 20 degrees of toe in: tweeters firing straight to my ears, focus is rock solid, channelbalance is spot on in the middle, sound is smooth and clean but after a while i notice a lack of jeu de vivre, just as if there is less energy. More direct sound less reflective sound. With some music (especially electronic music like disco/house etc) 20 degrees of toe in sounds best but with other music not. Also the turntable favours less with toe in than digital sources to my ears.
  • About 2-5 or 7-8 degrees of toe in: precision is good and focus rock solid, but…hmmmm… i don’t know they is something lacking in the fun department.

Did not try other degrees of toe in.

Which tracks do you use to get the toe in right?

Cant help directly but do you have any flexibility with spacing behind or on either side of each speaker?

I might change the position ie bit further away or nearer the wall with no toe-in or very little to see if that helps. One variable at a time if course.


How far apart are your SX2’s…? Should be around 2 metres.

The further apart they are, the more you may need toe-in… :neutral_face:

My experience is that speakers closer to each other is better and/or easier to get to ‘work’.

The SX2 are 192 cm apart between both woofer centres, as regarded the acoustical centre.

Distance to rear wall at 37 cm from back panel gives fine deep and clean bass. So that distance is not gonna change.

Here a picture

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I’ve played around quite a bit with toe in of my SX3s. I always end up being able to see a bit of the inside face of mine. They’re definitely not pointing straight at me, and definitely not straight ahead. They probably cross somewhere behind my head. I cannot put my finger exactly on what sounds right about this amount of toe in, it just seems to sound best that way.

Image blurred to protect the innocent! :innocent:

Ideally… you should have nothing between the speakers. And space around them.

Sorry… but your arrangement may be the problem… :thinking:


I’ve seen so many systems including expensive ones where the kit is plonked in between the speakers. And then compound this error further by sticking the turntable next to a speaker. :thinking:


Well… thats not how my system is… :crazy_face:

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My Neats are set on a slight toe in and work well however I haven’t fiddled around with them much so I don’t know if there’s any improvement in experimenting.

Now set them 2 metres apart with 20 degrees of toe in. Gonna try this for at least one day.

The speakers are about 10 cm in front of tv cabinet and between the tweeters and my ears there are is no furniture. The salon table between the speakers and couch acts like an absorber :grinning:

I have to integrate my set up in the living room. It is not possible to put the brawns and brains in the kitchen and only the speakers in front of me :wink:, like in many houses.

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I think it depends on speakers… I have found ideally there should be nothing between the plane of the baffles, but behind the baffles or speakers it can be advantageous as it breaks up reflections.
I guess also it depends if you have setup, or the speaker manufacturer has optimised for free space setup.

But I agree looking at the OPs image I would look at more space around the speakers, perhaps bring forward 12 inches or so.
Failing that I would look at absorbing panels to the side and rear walls where the speakers are. I suspect the mids (below cross over) are quite confused as they tend to radiate around the speaker… and adding smear and killing some of the timing … which is sapping that vitality and ‘jeu de vivre’ the OP mentions which I think was the point you were alluding to?


Good Move. It might tell you something - or not.

Abso-bloomin-lutey. Something like Linn Kans being so small, are probably the easiest to sort out and fit in. It seems these days that ‘big’ speakers are the thing to have - which makes the problem of fitting them in… worse.

All of my speakers have been relatively small. Linn Kans (on their stands) & Royd Doublets were withing mm or each other in all dims. My current Kudos X3’s are my biggest ever - but still fit in the same space that my Doublets were in.

Small Speakers Rool… :crazy_face:

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I still have fond memories about the Neat Motive SX2’s paired with a Uniti Atom … there was really a fun part in this setup. I would not consider these large speakers btw.

Now set them far more in the room with rear panels at 56 cm from rear wall with right speakers 60 cm from side wall and about 195 cm between them with about 2 degrees of toe in. Distance to the couch is about 220 cm.

Yes a more bright and holographic sound but thinner and less warm sound, not to my likings. I like a bit of couloration/ resonance in a good way :grinning: