more speaker the better
post-193884
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taoster

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While most music listeners have a preference for their 2 speaker setup.
the rest of the world seems to have gone the other route, the more speaker, the better.

Is it a gimmick or are audiophiles slow and stubborn with changes.
 
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Joe Bloggs

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Well... I would think that it's easier (cheaper) to get 2 good-quality speakers for your audio setup than to get 5.

Other than that I don't know anything where 2 would be better than 5... although I know nothing about speaker positioning... maybe it's harder to position 5 speakers in a coherent way?

What, 7 speakers now??? Where?
 
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Nick Dangerous

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2 speaker stereo configurations are best for music.

5.1 Dolby Digital/DTS/THX configurations are best for video games, movies, and television.

Each is superior to the other in its native specialty... i.e. neither can do it all. I took the 2-channel path because realistic music reproduction is my primary interest.

I'll admit that I occasionally miss the immersive experience of a full 5.1 system during movie time, but there's no way I would trade what I have for one. My system is preferable to many expensive 5.1 systems when it comes to music.

It is important to search within your soul and discover whether you are a music or home theater type of person and stick with it. Ideally, we would have enough space for each!!
 
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Joe Bloggs

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Can't you just add 3 speakers and a sub and turn them on for when you are watching movies?

Anyway, in what way is 2-way superior to 5-way for music? Other than the fact that most recordings were simply designed for 2 channel playback
 
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Joe's asking a very good question. I myself am reconsidering the whole strategy of tone-matched speakers -- though I'm thinking there might be a need for Stereo/Center/Sub coherence. But really, the speakers in the back are for gunshots and sound effects. What's the use of picking up rear speakers of exceptional quality? And how are KHT 2005s going to sound better for fronts than an old pair of NS-10Ms, musically speaking?

I myself am opting for a dual-room setup. Funny thing, though -- the bedroom movie/nightmusic setup, which is supposed to be cheaper and less exacting in quality than my living room music-only setup, is requiring lots of research. I'm thinking of getting a NAD T752 or 751 receiver (good for music, I'm told) and a few speakers for now and calling it a day. I'm thinking about using my old NS10-Ms for fronts in the movie setup so that I can get a pair of B&W DM 602 S3s for my music room.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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I could add rears for sound F/X fun stuff... but that's it. No dice on the music. I'd also need a surround processor and additional amps and cabling. Definitely not worth it at this point.

I heard an expensive 7.1 system play Hotel California, and it suffices to ask the question:

"Why are the cymbals coming from under the sofa?"

Speaker placement is fussy enough with two speakers as it is. Finding the optimal locations requires a lot of trial and error. Differences of a centimeter can be heard. I have yet to hear a 5.1 (or 7.1) system throw a believable soundstage. The audio is all over the place. It's fun, it's BIG, it surrounds you, but it doesn't quite image correctly. I find this distracting during my listening sessions.
 
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kelly

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While I agree that home theater and music for me excel with conflicting values, number of channels is not one of them.

My view with multi-channel audio is the same as with any other platform--show me software to care about and I'll consider the hardware. Peter Gabriel has announced that he'll be releasing a multi-channel version of his new album, "Up". If anyone in rock music has high standards of production value and innovation, it is Peter Gabriel. I look forward to seeing what he does with this.

For the most part, our current software selection is made up of original 2 channel recordings with funky mixes done by some monkey in the studio who had nothing to do with the original artwork and seems more intent on getting an "oooh neat" response from someone with freshly installed rear speakers than in maintaining the message of the original artwork. THIS I have no desire for.

I like Chesky's philosophy with regard to multichannel but have yet to hear how they sound. Their theory is to record from "10th row center" and use the rear speakers only to fill in the ambient sound that occurs in a natural venue. It seems that this could be worthwhile.

I don't have a DVD-A source but my SACD player does have multi-channel output. Unfortunately, my old receiver does not have main-ins. So, although I have "adequate" home theater speakers (that do have matched drivers), I won't be able to hear multichannel in my system until I purchase a new pre/pro. And with the current software selection, it's not exactly my top priority.
 
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Calanctus

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Plenty of former icons of stereo music now firmly believe, and state, that multichannel music is the closest we have yet come to the 'absolute sound' of live music. These people include J. Gordon Holt (founder of Stereophile, who now writes a column on multichannel for The Absolute Sound), Robert Harley (editor of the Absolute Sound) and Kal Rubinson (reviewer for Stereophile).

The key is in the execution: the recording has to be mixed for real music reproduction (not for sound effects or 'cymbals under the sofa'), by an engineer competent in multichannel mixing (there are probably very few at this early stage of development) and played back over a well set-up system (which is a more difficult goal with multichannel music systems) with high-quality components (better than those in low-end home theatre systems).

That said, there's very little good multichannel music out there yet. Buying the components for a good multichannel system would be much more expensive than equivalent components for stereo. Fewer people have enough room for a good multichannel setup.

Still, if you want the very best....
 
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Sovkiller

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Not only you have to decided which is importat for you if the music or the home theater...there are a lot of technical limitations, at least to the date, the music CDs most of the times are recorded in stereo, or even binaural, (the Gabriel is laways amazing but I think this time that is bull...t) not in 5.1 or 7.1 or 100.1 and if you play them through a home theater system, it sounds pretty weird and rare, it always happen the same to me, ...."cymbals under the sofa???"......or in any other place than the center is illogical the drum set is always in the middle of the scene, unless you were positioned on the side of the hall.....I don't even heard any single surround prossesor that sounds aceptable for recorded music, I remeber once that a seller in an electronic store laughed on my face when I was returning a nice Sony $450.00 surround receiver to get one of 150.00 just stereo, and ask me why? why, because the music sounds horrible here... maybe is a great improvement if you want to watch a movie but for music there is nothing like a nice stereo setup, in a concert for example, I don't remeber to see any speaker on my back or on my side, just in the front, why try to change that, this is the magic of the music, the soundstage can be get satisfactorily with a nice stereo setup, afterall you have only two ears, not 5 or 7.....so for me I dont see the need of that 5.1 or 7.1 systems, unless for a movie theater to create the ilussion of beeing in the middle of the scene (if you like that) I don't wanna be in the middle of a battle, I preffer to watch the movie the old fashion way, with the screen and sound in front of me.....maybe for gamming or maybe I'm getting old with 35.....
 
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Dusty Chalk

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I'm with Nick D on this one -- I have yet to hear a good surround setup.

Wait, that's not true. I went to a concert by James Dashow. Most of his works are of the "Variations/Inventions/Tone Poems/etc. for ____ and Computer Generated Tape". He generates the tape from a computer using, basically, FM. He usually does it for four channel. I heard everything. I heard sounds scurrying around. I heard an entire diffuse cloud of sound coming from everywhere at once. I heard a single monochromatic tone coming from what appeared to be the center of my head.

But that was a long time ago (in the mid 80's), and since the advent of surround sound, I have yet to hear such attention paid, not just to the colorations introduced by speakers, and their consistency, but to phase, which was key in Dashow's "performances".

And I doubt I ever will. Most of the music I listen to is rock, which is inheritly non-audiophile. Most of it is produced in ProTools with little or no attention paid to this so-called "soundstage". Sure, they pay attention to frequency spectrum and blacker digital blacks, etc., but not to soundstage. These guys (the ones I listen to, mostly) would be the ones whirling electric pianos in circles around your head, buzzing you with airplanes, spreading birds and bugs and bees in a panorama of (surround) sounds, but, other than maybe a remaster of the Cowboy Junkies album, The Trinity Sessions, or some other such exceptional stalwart of true sonic reproductionism, no soundstage.

So I'll stick with two-channel. I have a cheap HT setup in the next room for the occasional novelty, but for the most part, two is good enough for me.

So, in answer to the original question (is it a gimmick), no, at it's very root, it is not, but it will be treated like one, and I will treat those clowns with the respect they deserve.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Exactly. Until a serious attitude is adopted concerning musical reproduction over 5.1 (from mike to mastering), I'm sticking with 2-channel. 100% of what I own has been recorded in stereo. The artists I like won't be recording in 5.1 any time soon, either.

Don't get me wrong, I LIKE 5.1 very much. I have lots of DVD's and a few video games that are begging for the full experience.
 
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kelly

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I just wanted to add this.

Those of you who agree the software selection on surround is currently too lacking to arouse interest--I'm with you.

Those of you who say there is no good surround hardware: I strongly recommend you visit your nearest Martin Logan dealer.
 
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Sovkiller

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No, that is true Dusty but how many peole like this guy you find in the real world today playing, (by the way who the hell is he, I never heard about this james dashow, pretty ignorant righ? sorry) when you see Ozzy or Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, or any other contemporary musicians even like Rick Wakeman, ELP, Yes, Jarre, Kitaro, etc....playing in 5.1 or 7.1 setup let us know, they use mostly the audio in stereo setup in concerts and in recordings, or sometimes even mono, for music for now stereo....maybe in the near future 20 years or so people began to record in other systems setups
 
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taoster

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
I just wanted to add this.

Those of you who agree the software selection on surround is currently too lacking to arouse interest--I'm with you.

Those of you who say there is no good surround hardware: I strongly recommend you visit your nearest Martin Logan dealer.


If the correct hardware can be had, why cant surround sound decoders be designed to decode specifically for music, optimal sound reproduction without messing up the soundstage? I agree most home theatres i had the priviliege to listen to has sounded very bad with music.

That said, for home theatre, would it be fair to say that any x.1 is better than y.1 if x is greater than y?
 
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Here's another pespective. My stereo speakers cost xxxx. There is no way I could afford a mutichannel system consisting of speakers of the same quality.

I think they will eventually get multichannel recording/mastering right. Listening to some of the new audiophile releases of early stereo recordings shows just how crude stereo technology was in its infancy. I think the recording and mastering eqiupment will have to develop along with tecniques and concepts
 
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