Leaning Back CLS/II/IIz For Improved Focus

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Dan Osib

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2005
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To achieve maximum focus and clarity from the CLS, fit long spikes at the front of the speaker and a short one for the rear. This in effect makes the speaker tilt backwards a bit. Make sure you point the very middle/centre of the panel directly at your ears for the optimal effect (CLS's must also be toed in). To adjust the speaker tilt/lean you should pop a coin or two under the rear spikes if these spikes are not height adjustable. As a bonus you should hear a slight increase in bass, because by tilting them backwards you are bringing the bottom rear portion of the speaker closer to the ground, thus boosting the bass response. You can get the different sized and adjustable spikes from WWW.OREGONDV.COM


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CLS improved clarity

I got increased clarity by doing the exact opposite.
I have no tilt,they are the same distance to the wall behind them from the top of the speaker to the bottom.
Ditto for toe in,mine are straight ahead,the left and right edges of each speaker are the exact same distance from the wall behind them.
I don't see where tilting them back would increase the bass,it probably reduces the treble response to your ears and it is the loss of treble info that is tricking you into hearing more bass.It's just less treble.
These are not like box, multiple driver systems that need to be time aligned (woofer closer to the ear than the tweeter is the rule there).I am not so sure the CLS need any kind of positioning if you can sit in the sweet spot with them facing straight out,no back tilt.
You have to have a largish size room(I do) and the need to "tilt & toe" disappears.
I spent years fussing and playing all the angles in the tilt and toe game and for me the no tilt straight ahead set up is the best.
Members are urged to try this at home.
I disagree. In my case my seating position is fairly high up because of a tall sofa, and my speakers are about 2.5 metres in front of me toed inwards slightly, so the speakers have to be tilted back slightly for the middle/centre of the panels to be aimed directly at my ears.
Because the middle portion of the panel is pointed directly at my ears there is no reduction in treble response, the exact opposite is happening and I am hearing maximum treble response as well as detail. Treble tends to increase slightly. This is because the treble/midrange/bass is evenly aimed directly at my ears. You will hear slightly clearer musical details if the speakers are toed in towards the listening position than compared to having them wide apart and pointed straight ahead (not directly at your ears).
Think about it like this, you are sitting in the centre of the room with the speakers in front of you spaced wide apart firing directly ahead but not at the listening position. What sounds clearer:- 1).SPEAKERS TURNED OUTWARDS AIMED AT THE SIDE WALLS or 2). SPEAKERS TURNED INWARDS SLIGHTLY & POINTED DIRECTLY AT THE LISTENERS EARS. The answer is obviously number 2 because the sound becomes clearer the more precisely the speaker is aimed at the listening position and less clearer the more you point them away from the listening position. This is true in every case regardless of whether or not the room is large or small.
Bass definitely increases slightly if the rear lower portion of the bottom of the CLS is brought closer to the ground (caused by tilting the speaker backwards). I use an electronic room correction Tact Preamp connected to my PC and it registers this very slight increase in bass response on a chart viewable on my computer when I do a room measurement.
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Leaning back

In my case I do not sit close to the speakers.
There is a seven foot space between the inner wood left and right panels of the speaker,they are five feet from the wall behind them and four feet from side walls and fifteen feet from my chair.I am pretty much in the centre,sweet spot.I think you only need to toe the CLS if you listen in the near field field to get the image to lock in.But when I try this,something just doesn't gel.
I find the wave launch is more coherent from my chair in my configuration,everything is reaching my ears at the same time from all the panel surfaces.Also the tilting back of the speaker further blurs the image,again messing with the wave launch and resulting in a loss of clarity.
Perhaps in your room you have found what best suits you.
Having initially set my speakers up in the conventional tilt and toe,I was amazed at how much better they sound in my room when I stopped doing so.
I have tried your way,have you tried mine?
I didn't realise you were sitting 15 feet away from the speakers which is a huge distance. In this case I don't think you will benefit from tilting back the CLS, as this means even the slightest backwards tilt of these speakers will aim the central portion of the panels at an area of space in the air well above your head height (possibly at somewhere near the ceiling) and away from your ears. It appears that in your case with your CLS's set up with no tilt, you are so far away from the loudspeakers that the central portion of the panels are already more or less aimed directly at your ears. Also when you are so far back there usually is no benefit from toeing in as you should already be hearing an even distribution of bass, midrange and treble because again the panels are pointed more or less directly at your ears because of this long distance between yourself and the speakers. But when the CLS's are in considerably closer proximation to the listener than 15 feet (lets say for example roughly half that distance) you can definitely benefit from a slightly more precise sound with the tilt back and toe in. I am living proof of this. Even my friend who runs a long established hifi store here (KJ West One) recommends this tweak to his customers, many of which have praised him for it. Remember as long as the centre of the panels are firing directly at your ears you are squeezing the maximum focus/clarity etc etc possible from your CLS's. I have tried firing my CLS IIz's directly ahead instead of directly at my listening position (which is a lot closer to the speakers than yours) and definitely noticed a slight reduction in clarity and so did my friends and family. The only other time the tweak wouldn't really work is if the CLS's had an excessively strong treble which would just end up irritating your ears. But then these loudspeakers have an exceptionally balanced treble which means this isn't a problem.