Jim Power's Toe-in Technique

MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum

Help Support MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


former MLO owner/operator
Dec 27, 2004
Reaction score
Rancho Mirage, California
Jim Power's Toe-in Technique
Sent in by Ken Henegar - as told to him by Jim Power of ML.
Posted on March 13, 2003

My technique for ideal toe-in is pretty low tech but extremely accurate. Get a flashlight. Sit in the listening seat. Hold the flashlight directly above the top of your head. Aim the beam of light at the electrostatic element of each SL3. You will see a vertical streak of light reflected off of the film inside the grid. It will be a very narrow and distinct vertical streak. As you change the toe-in of the speaker, the vertical streak will move across the front of the speaker. Toe the speaker until the light streak is between 1 ½ to 2 inches from the edge of the wood trim on the inboard side. In this position, the SL3s will be aimed past you to the outside. In other words you will not be facing the dead center of the speakers. You will be facing the inner 1/3rd of the panels curve.

This technique works extremely well regardless of the distance to the speakers or even between the speakers. It will also provide you with the flattest response across the bandwidth.
Hope it works for you, jp
I did this flashlight thing this weekend.

I really helps.

I followed the 1/3 rule which if I'm not mistaken is almost twice the distances mentioned - and I have the narrower Aerius.
Last edited by a moderator:

will the same rule apply to larger panels like the Odyssey?
Happy listening
Thank you, yet again Jim Power...

Well I tried Jim Powers technique in my HT and it worked great! Thanks Jim Power... :D Now I have one more reason to be a Jim Power fan... :D I'm thinking about starting a 'Jim Power - Fan Club'... :D


Damn it actually worked!!! Great Tip would recommend to anyone to give it a try.
Tried it, but found a more aggressive toe in better sounding. Room plays a lot into this whole toe-in business methinks.
I've been reading your other link about your new system and how you found the best toe-in for your system. I have used the "Jim Power" technique and really enjoy the sound and imaging. I'll have to try your method once I get back home. If it works, I'll be the first to offficially call it the "Joey toe-in" method.....
It does work and sounds great but I'm too close. People on the left or right of a three seat couch get dominated by the ESL on that side.

I think though, if I were almost twice as far away (16-18ft instead of 9ft) it would be amazing.
this is exactly how the ML factory recomended I set mine up...and that was 4-5 years ago.
Well don't I look like dork.....

I was doing the flashlight trick down in the listening room. Then my wife came in and saw me with the lights out and a flash light strapped to my head...she finally thinks I flipped!!

ps. it does work well....eventhough my wife does not understand.
This method works as well as any, and better than most techniques that I have used since 1994. Highly recommended.

Back to the top with this thread !!

Agree with Joey V. The flashlight method works great for ~95% positioning, but I also found that slightly more aggressive toe-in provides a fuller sound stage and more precise imaging.
I am a little confused about the flashlight tweek. I have a pair of CLSIIA's which have a much wider panel. The video says to get the reflection at the inner third point of the panel. This would be 7 inches from the inside wood edge, correct? The panel is 21 inches wide, so a third would be 7 inches. Should the reflection be at the "middle" of the inner third, (i.e at 3 1/2 inches) or at the 7 inch mark?

I read quite a bit on this site before I started setting them up and used C.A.P.'s set up method for the most part. His CLSI's are only toed in 1 inch from straight on, according to his diagram. That's where I had mine, but wanted to try the flashlight method. Now they are like 4-5 inches toed in? My ears and brain are really confused at this point. I'm not sure what I like better?:confused:
This works well. There is a video of how to do this on youtube. Just type in martin logan and it's one of their "instructional videos." Definitely improves the sound dramatically vs having the panels pointed directly at you as most people would set up out of the box.