Originally Posted by gregorio
I keep talking about 5.1 in theatres for movies for 2 reasons: 1. It is what 5.1 sound was invented for, it was never intended to be a home audio format and 2. You are the one who said: "You are supposed to calibrate to Dolby or THX standard, the same way movie theaters do. So you start by calibrating for movies and get that right first."!
You misunderstood what I was talking about. I was talking about balancing a system to sound good with both movies and music. Decoding of movies are not adjustable like DSPs for music are. So you start by adjusting the global settings to suit movies first. Then you adjust the DSP settings for music second. I wasn't talking about music being secondary in importance. Just in order of how you go about balancing the two sets of settings when one affects the other... especially because of the sub not being adjustable within the DSP. (That's why parallel parking is required to balance.)
Music is of primary *importance*, because once you get it tweaked out for music, anything you play on it... movie, concert, CD... everything sounds better than a 2 channel system.
As for 5:1 not being for music... well, you must only listen to rock music, because 5:1 is a very established standard in classical music and opera. And there, the center channel acts as a third main up front, it isn't reserved for dialogue and effects. The front is a clear soundstage that matches the action on the screen, and the rear is hall ambience and audience sounds. I have a bunch of jazz blu-rays that are mixed that way too. Aalong with a projection video system, it can really clarify the soundstage, open up the perceived size of the room and give a realistic concert hall feel.
5:1 is definitely a medium that suits music well... SACDS, DVDs, Blu-Rays... there are lots of recordings that are designed specifically for naturalistic presentation of music. It does take a different sort of approach to setup than a strictly movie based 5:1 system though. That's what I'm trying to explain to you, but you keep missing the fact that I'm not talking about a typical 5:1 cinema setup. I'm talking about the modifications you make to it to make it handle music as well as it handles movies.
The reason that people think 5:1 doesn't sound good for music is twofold... 1) most systems are designed for movies with dialogue in the center, a booming sub and rears that have rocket ships and bullets whizzing over your head. And 2) most people who own really good 5:1 movie systems that are theoretically capable of being good music systems too have had them set up by installers who haven't a clue how to adjust them for music because they've never heard a system set up that way. Apparently even some people who engineer 5:1 sound don't know much about that!
By the way, the reason the center channel is there for music is so you can spread your mains twice as far apart and still maintain the recommended 8 foot space between each speaker. This makes for a larger soundstage.
Edited by bigshot - 11/17/13 at 11:06am