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Stereo or surround?

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by leroyyid, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. leroyyid

    leroyyid Member

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    Do you listen to to music in native stereo or do you use one of the many different surround sound modes found on AV amps?

    I used to listen in stereo but lately I am quite liking some of the surround sound options, especially classical music.
  2. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall Active Member

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    Stereo - anything else is just wrong:lesson: :laugh:
  3. leroyyid

    leroyyid Member

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    So people say :thumbsup:
  4. Theo Maxtible

    Theo Maxtible Member

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    Nowadays, i.e. since owning a multi-channel receiver, I listen to all music sources (i.e. mono, stereo or multichannel) through multiple speakers. I only use two of the effects on my Arcam AVR350 for "mono" and stereo sources, which are as follows:- "Party" if I want background music, as the music outputs equally over all speakers - or if I'm actively listening to music, I use the "Music" mode, which is the most discrete of the effects - processing the signal only minimally.

    I generally prefer though multi-channel music, if I have the choice, which means playing DVD-As or SACDs - of which I have a reasonable collection. I believe multi-channel music is important for all music typres/genre. Bearing in mind that most classical/orchestral music is far more complex than the average pop/rock, multi-channel and particularly high definition adds enormously to the enjoyment of this.

    Not all of us think the same though - and we almost certainly don't hear the same. Always good to try things out though - and decise for oneself.

    Main thing is though - enjoy the music!:thumbsup:
  5. english_bob

    english_bob Member

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    Stereo, with normal bass just coming through the two main speakers and not the sub.

    Some Multi-channel mixes sound great, such as Floyds DSOTM and the new WYSH SACD's, and the Who's "Tommy" was exceptional. However not all music sounds great in multi, for example Talking Heads did some, supervised by Jerry Harrision, and they absolutely awful!
  6. Dony

    Dony Active Member

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    I see you are a new member so you can be forgiven for not having a separate listening room.......yet :smashin:
  7. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall Active Member

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    I don't really get the multi channel music thing - tried a few DTS mixes of SACD's in the past and they sound OK but since upgrading my speakers to something half decent everything now sounds like it's coming from all over the room with normal stereo recordings.
    I don't think I understood what a soundstage was until I got my Epos speakers.

    My point is - good quality components make more of an improvement to your music sound than any processing can :smashin:
  8. Theo Maxtible

    Theo Maxtible Member

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    Yes, there's a lot of truth in that - I believe.

    SACDs though, don't have dts mixes. It's only the lossy part of DVD-As that might, or of course - dts CDs.

    I agree with a previous poster that not all multi-channel mixes are good - but then, not necesarrily all stereo ones are either. By the same token, some hi-res albums sound terrific, other not particularly. The same applies to CDs. So much seems to depend on the quality of the recording - and I often ask myself how much chance (magic?) is necessary to bring all the tiny bits together to make a "perfect" recording.
  9. Goldenbone

    Goldenbone Member

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    I use straight stereo (with bass management / sub) normally. I do really love the sea change multi channel mix by beck, wish way more music came out in proper good multi channel mixes.
  10. Manmc

    Manmc Member

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    Possibly worth mentioning Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree who has for more than a decade been putting out excellent and award-winning 5.1 mixes of PT and solo and other artists ( King Crimson , Anathema , Jethro Tull , Opeth and others ) Whether Stereo or 5.1 the bulk of the audio should indeed come from the front soundstage and it is only occasionally that pingponging from speaker to speaker can be appropriate ( eg. Flaming Lips )

    Don't forget too Hi-Res Stereo tracks which can be brilliant through Lexicon's Logic 7 or Meridian's Trifield modes .

    Anything except flipping ' Mastered for iTunes ' :D)

    ~M~
  11. windhoek

    windhoek Member

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    I bought my first AVR about 10 years ago and remember trying out it's surround modes for music. Although I wasn't blown away by the experience, I was certainly intrigued and subsequently bought a DVD player with SACD/ DVD-A playback. The first SACD I bought was Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds which to my mind, fwiw, is the best 5.1 album out there. Over the last few years however, I've started buying vinyl and really enjoy what that medium has to offer.

    To bring it all up to a point relevant to the thread, I think 2 channel music works no matter what - even if the music itself sucks (imo)! I do think however, that some albums are more suitable to multi-channel playback than others. War of the worlds and Pink Floyd's DSOTM and WYWH (and The Wall when that's released) are extremely suitable because they're either telling a story (with or without words), are busy albums and/ or are musically dynamic; that's also why classical music is usually suitable. Early Bob Dylan albums on the other hand, aren't suitable for multi-channel because I don't want to hear a guitar in one channel, a harmonica in another and Bob's vocals in the remaining three!

    Stereo works. AVR music surround modes works too, but not as well as SACD/ DVD-A 5.1 surround sound. If I had listen to WOTW in each of these three modes, SACD multi-channel would be my preferred choice, stereo next and lastly, AVR surround mode.
  12. Theo Maxtible

    Theo Maxtible Member

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    That matches what I'd be tempted to say also, whether we're talking about multi-channel classical/orchestral music - or the War of the Worlds SACD and the preferred mode of listening.

    For the information of a previous poster, there are absolutely loads of classical/orchestral SACDs available (and still being released) with multi-channel mixes. This genre certianly isn't being overlooked - just don't expect the same type of mixes as other types of music, e..g. Pink Floyd or Kraftwerk!
  13. windhoek

    windhoek Member

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    I know what you mean about classical music SACDs. I bought a few thinking they'd be like War of the Worlds or Dark Side of the Moon and was somewhat disappointed to find the rear speakers only get used to provide a sense of being in a hall rather than having the sound of violins or harp whirling round the room or something like that. That's why I said classical music is suitable for multi-channel audio, but until they start mixing it like WOTW or DSOTM, it remains a genre with 5.1 potential.

    p.s. Do you know something about Kraftwerk SACD releases I don't? :confused:
  14. Theo Maxtible

    Theo Maxtible Member

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    I can't imagine I know something you don't, particularly if you're into SACD, but I own the Krafterk double-SACD album "Minimum:Maximum Live". Are you aware of this release? It's tremendous. Obviously - at least in my opinion - the music is well served by MCH audio, and it's fantastic also how the sense of being at the concert is presented, with the crowds cheering etc.

    With regard to classical orchestral MCH mixes, they're the sort I really love - where one gets the sense of being at the venue. I have quite a few DVD-As and SACDs like that. That's when they're at their best.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. windhoek

    windhoek Member

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    There's a Kraftwerk SACD? Damn, I never knew that :eek:

    I think Kraftwerk are great and would love to hear them in multi-channel audio. I just hope the SACDs still being printed and I'm now off to search for it on the web...:smashin:

    EDIT: Double damn...it's OOP:facepalm:
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  16. Theo Maxtible

    Theo Maxtible Member

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    Oh - sorry to be a bringer of bad (good?) news. I think you may find it hard to find at a reasonable price (whatever that means). I think the thing to do is constantly scour eBay sites (and perhaps various Amazon Marketplace sellers) for someone selling. Other than that, I've only seen this album up for ridiculous prices. I've had mine for probably 4 years now - possibly a bit longer. I paid £18, which for a brand new double disc release I consider OK. Be aware that there are varioous versions of this album available, i.e. standard CD and DVD-V.

    Do you ever use the website forum sacd.net? It's well worth using.

    Good luck in your search!:smashin:
  17. windhoek

    windhoek Member

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    I saw that about its prices. There a few listed on Amazon Market place for £200-£300 and that's way too much for me. The most I've ever paid for an SACD is £32 for Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (imported from Japan).

    I've used SACD.net in the past to read reviews, find out if the release is multi-channel etc and I agree, it's an invaluable site. When The Wall is released in SACD (hopefully this year), I'll definatley buy that as I'm sure once it goes OOP, second hand prices for it will also rocket! :smashin:

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