2- Channel is Stiil King; In My Book! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 172 Old 02-04-2017, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs up 2- Channel is Stiil King; In My Book!

I have a fair report, for all of you 2-channel lovers out there. I auditioned ATMOS today at a fine local audio shop, and was not impressed at all.

I watched/listened to 6 demo things, and a few multi-channel audio tracks that the salesman recommended, and none of it sounded natural at all. No intrinsic transparences, all very faux.

The price tag on their flagship system, installed as demonstrated, $28, 000.00. WOW, its sounded like a 3K surround sound system.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with my 2-channel brothers.

PS: As I was leaving, he asked me what my buying objection was; i replied: "I am not into faux sound effects." He then asked" "What do you mean?". I responded by asking if he had time for a coffee, and called my bluff, and said yes. So we sat in their lunch room and had a coffee. I preached for about 20-minutes, then we went to the 2-channel section, and spent another hour together. He made a $300.00 sale on a pair of headphones that he sold me. I felt bad, i had to buy something.

I think I converted him, back to the music!

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post #2 of 172 Old 02-04-2017, 09:19 PM
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A good 2 channel system can sound sublime.

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post #3 of 172 Old 02-05-2017, 09:52 AM
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I am a 2 channel guy for the most part but is some cases the surround versions add more to the experience. In the fist case I have the Doors LA Woman on LP, CD and DVD Audio surround. The stereo mixes are very good but the surround version w/the lighting coming overhead adds to the overall mood. I would also include Pink Floyd Endless River and Queen A Night AT the Opera. If you have 5 identical speakers that would be optimal. I know my local dealer has told me he has a few clients that purchased 5 Klipsch Heresy's for a surround set up. One other option I heard some years back was the Meridian Tri-Field sound. The 3 speaker set up had one of the best 3D sound stages I ever heard.
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post #4 of 172 Old 02-05-2017, 02:35 PM
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All of my music is in 2 channel format. I've played DVD-A stuff borrowed from a buddy. While I liked the sound well enough I guess I'm set in my ways. I like 2 channel audio coming out of a pair of speakers. Since buying the Yamaha A5000 I've warmed up to the idea that a multi-channel processor can play 2 channel well. I finally got tired of integrating a 2 channel preamp with the HT stuff - too many wires - too many remotes - no room for anything I might want to add to the audio rack.

IMO the A5000 does a very credible job with 2 channel music. I stream music from the HTPC Linux box - it sounds every bit as good as all those 2 channel preamps & integrated amps I've owned over the years. I may change gear out but none of it will be limited to 2 channel audio.

Works for me and makes for a simple setup that is easier to use.

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post #5 of 172 Old 02-05-2017, 04:12 PM
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My system is used for 80% music, 15% Concerts and 5% movies, Therefore 80% of the time it sits in Pure Direct Mode (stereo!)Marantz 7008 AVR and Klipsch Reference Speakers.






I tried 5.1 music and it reminded me of Bose "surround the room no actual soundstage" speakers they tried to sell me in the 70's.
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Music, more music.
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post #6 of 172 Old 02-05-2017, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jady Jenkins View Post
I have a fair report, for all of you 2-channel lovers out there. I auditioned ATMOS today at a fine local audio shop, and was not impressed at all.

I watched/listened to 6 demo things, and a few multi-channel audio tracks that the salesman recommended, and none of it sounded natural at all. No intrinsic transparences, all very faux.

The price tag on their flagship system, installed as demonstrated, $28, 000.00. WOW, its sounded like a 3K surround sound system.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with my 2-channel brothers.

PS: As I was leaving, he asked me what my buying objection was; i replied: "I am not into faux sound effects." He then asked" "What do you mean?". I responded by asking if he had time for a coffee, and called my bluff, and said yes. So we sat in their lunch room and had a coffee. I preached for about 20-minutes, then we went to the 2-channel section, and spent another hour together. He made a $300.00 sale on a pair of headphones that he sold me. I felt bad, i had to buy something.

I think I converted him, back to the music!
Cool story bro!
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post #7 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 03:23 AM
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I'm exclusively two channel for everything music and movies. I have a pair of Salk supercharged song towers, sans sub. I also use a multi-channel AVR for these and it does a fine job with 2 channel music. I like a lot of the feature sets and room correction which very few integrated amps have.
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post #8 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 06:39 AM
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I will share my two pennies...

SO, I have a fairly decent (decent!) 2 channel setup, and listen to FLAC, vinyl, etc... and it is DIVINE! I LOVE IT with every inch of my being. Sometimes, I spend HOURS listening to music and lose track of time.

I also have a nice headphone rig, and some higher end phones like the Audeze LCD-XC, Senn. 800, etc... ALSO, amazing. A different experience, for sure, but WOW does it sound awesome!

Last, I have a home theater with a Dolby Atmos/DTS:X 7.1.4 array, and it is MINDBLOWING. To me, object based sound is the greatest advancement of my personal enjoyment in home theater in 20 years. Astonishing sound can be heard with the proper array, setup, etc.

So, while you are entitled to your opinion, I'm not quite sure WTF you heard that sounded so bad? Not an indictment on you or your opinion, but potentially on the set up you heard?

Anyhow, I love ALL THREE of my rigs. All for different reasons. That said, you couldn't pay me to watch a movie in my theater in STEREO vs. the dynamic, immersive Atmos/DTS:X format. No, Sir. To me, that experience (for movies) is MAGIC!

Cheers!
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post #9 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 09:20 AM
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I don't go into expensive audiophile stores anymore, I don't need to.

The good news is with today's electronic components and speakers, you don't have to spend very much money to get good sound. I learned that the hard way.

Back in the 90's, I thought I had to spend a lot of money on audiophile 'bling' amps to get the best sound. I was wrong.

Currently, I use a regular AV receiver that sounds fabulous when listening to 2-channel stereo sources. And I hardly spent anything on my bookshelf speakers as well and they sound just as fabulous for pennies on the dollar.
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post #10 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wired1 View Post
I will share my two pennies...

SO, I have a fairly decent (decent!) 2 channel setup, and listen to FLAC, vinyl, etc... and it is DIVINE! I LOVE IT with every inch of my being. Sometimes, I spend HOURS listening to music and lose track of time.

I also have a nice headphone rig, and some higher end phones like the Audeze LCD-XC, Senn. 800, etc... ALSO, amazing. A different experience, for sure, but WOW does it sound awesome!

Last, I have a home theater with a Dolby Atmos/DTS:X 7.1.4 array, and it is MINDBLOWING. To me, object based sound is the greatest advancement of my personal enjoyment in home theater in 20 years. Astonishing sound can be heard with the proper array, setup, etc.

So, while you are entitled to your opinion, I'm not quite sure WTF you heard that sounded so bad? Not an indictment on you or your opinion, but potentially on the set up you heard?

Anyhow, I love ALL THREE of my rigs. All for different reasons. That said, you couldn't pay me to watch a movie in my theater in STEREO vs. the dynamic, immersive Atmos/DTS:X format. No, Sir. To me, that experience (for movies) is MAGIC!

Cheers!

I'll never sit down and watch a movie in 2 channel mode because to me that deviates from the impact of the sound and visual impact of it. However, I find listening to music in multichannel mode a distraction because it just doesn't sound natural to me. Give me two speakers and maybe a subwoofer anytime for two channel audio.


Enjoy The Music!

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post #11 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 10:22 AM
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I like two channels for two-channel audio and many channels for multi-channel audio.
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post #12 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
I like two channels for two-channel audio and many channels for multi-channel audio.
Seems quite logical.

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post #13 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 11:16 AM
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What you all said
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post #14 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 02:39 PM
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I too can't stand music on my 7.2 system even though I have nice speakers and plenty of power for it all the way around. Something is just not right with music on that rig. Even most SACD's. Movies, yes, but music seems to spread-out or something I can't really put my finger on.

I do have a massively powerful pro-audio rack in another room with separates (Amps, Compressors, and equalizers) all the way down the path using balanced connectors the entire way. I use a Yamaha analog mixing board for all my gear and I can get music sounding pretty much like you are there at a concert. My wife says it's always too loud, but if nobody is trying to talk nearby, why not loud?

I am there with you brother!
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post #15 of 172 Old 02-06-2017, 03:48 PM
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Whatever the source material is, it typically sounds better in it's original format.
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post #16 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 09:03 AM
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Forget listening to music on Processors they all sound lifeless and boring. Not even the super expensive 30 grand types can compete with a Pure Analog Setup with a high end Pre-Amp and Power Amp that has been matched carefully.


For 2 Channel I run Classic Audio Loudspeakers T1.5 Field Coil Horn System, With Atma-Sphere New Amplifiers (Nirvana) Not yet posted on their site as I am the first owner in Asia. The Pre-Amp I have is a Fully Loaded Atma-Sphere MP-1 MK3.3 with all the upgrades available.

I run a AVID Acutus Turntable, Playback Design DAC. In the process of getting Modwright CD Players. The Playback DAC and Computer Server is my digital front end. I am a big fan of Tube Systems which are balanced well.


No processor iv encountered so far has able to touch a well setup 2 channel rig. I don't think they ever will. Processor Manufactures are more interested in Room Correction and output of a gazillion speakers and totally forget about focusing on the Analog Output stages within the pre-amp.

I'm waiting for that day which we will get a Processor that can do equaly well with both movies and music.

The Current Processor I'm playing with Acurus ACT 4 Sounds more like a high end pre-amp than a processor. to my opinion it has outclassed my Solid State Pass Lab Pre-amp but not my Atma tube based pre-amp.

Multi Channel Musical formats obviously do sound good but still don't have that Analog Sound that feels more emotionally involving. I don't know maybe I'm just talking Crap :-)
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Last edited by Phantomaudio; 02-07-2017 at 09:57 AM.
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post #17 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomaudio View Post
Forget listening to music on Processors they all sound lifeless and boring. Been in this industry for many years to realise that no Processor not even the super expensive 30 grand types can compete with a Pure Analog Setup with a high end Pre-Amp and Power Amp that has been matched carefully.


For 2 Channel I run Classic Audio Loudspeakers T1.5 Field Coil Horn System, With Atma-Sphere New Amplifiers (Nirvana) Not yet posted on their site as I am the first owner in Asia. The Pre-Amp I have is a Fully Loaded Atma-Sphere MP-1 MK3.3 with all the upgrades available.

I run a AVID Acutus Turntable, Playback Design DAC. In the process of getting Modwright CD Players. The Playback DAC and Computer Server is my digital front end. I am a big fan of Tube Systems which are balanced well.


I mean no processor so far has able to touch the above Pre-amp. I don't think they ever will. Processor Manufactures are more interested in Room Correction and output of a gazillion speakers and totally forget about focusing on the Analog Output stages within the pre-amp.

I'm waiting for that day which we will get a Processor that can do equaly well with both movies and music.

The Current Processor I'm playing with Acurus ACT 4 Sounds more like a high end pre-amp than a processor. to my opinion it has outclassed my Solid State Pass Lab Pre-amp but not my Atma tube based pre-amp.

Multi Channel Musical formats obviously do sound good but still don't have that Analog Sound that feels more emotionally involving. I don't know maybe I'm just talking Crap :-)
Just curious... what do you think of the new MQA?
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post #18 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 09:59 AM
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Iv not touched MQA so cant comment on it.
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post #19 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jady Jenkins View Post
I have a fair report, for all of you 2-channel lovers out there. I auditioned ATMOS today at a fine local audio shop, and was not impressed at all.

I watched/listened to 6 demo things, and a few multi-channel audio tracks that the salesman recommended, and none of it sounded natural at all. No intrinsic transparences, all very faux.

The price tag on their flagship system, installed as demonstrated, $28, 000.00. WOW, its sounded like a 3K surround sound system.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with my 2-channel brothers.

PS: As I was leaving, he asked me what my buying objection was; i replied: "I am not into faux sound effects." He then asked" "What do you mean?". I responded by asking if he had time for a coffee, and called my bluff, and said yes. So we sat in their lunch room and had a coffee. I preached for about 20-minutes, then we went to the 2-channel section, and spent another hour together. He made a $300.00 sale on a pair of headphones that he sold me. I felt bad, i had to buy something.

I think I converted him, back to the music!
Like everything, it is a matter of taste. I personally , have a dedicated "Stereo" system and 3 multi channel systems. Some times I use one or the other, and mix up sources and programs. There is no right or wrong way, just preference.

Cheers
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post #20 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomaudio View Post
Forget listening to music on Processors they all sound lifeless and boring. Not even the super expensive 30 grand types can compete with a Pure Analog Setup with a high end Pre-Amp and Power Amp that has been matched carefully.
.................................................. .................................................. ................................

Multi Channel Musical formats obviously do sound good but still don't have that Analog Sound that feels more emotionally involving. I don't know maybe I'm just talking Crap :-)
There's no need for a processor even for multichannel. My sources are hi-rez multichannel files which I simply feed from my DAC to a multichannel analog preamp. If I choose to (and I usually do) I can insert filters for roomEQ but it is not necessary.

Of course, if you are insisting on analog sources, there are none, afaik, in multichannel.
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post #21 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomaudio View Post
Forget listening to music on Processors they all sound lifeless and boring. Not even the super expensive 30 grand types can compete with a Pure Analog Setup with a high end Pre-Amp and Power Amp that has been matched carefully.


For 2 Channel I run Classic Audio Loudspeakers T1.5 Field Coil Horn System, With Atma-Sphere New Amplifiers (Nirvana) Not yet posted on their site as I am the first owner in Asia. The Pre-Amp I have is a Fully Loaded Atma-Sphere MP-1 MK3.3 with all the upgrades available.

I run a AVID Acutus Turntable, Playback Design DAC. In the process of getting Modwright CD Players. The Playback DAC and Computer Server is my digital front end. I am a big fan of Tube Systems which are balanced well.


No processor iv encountered so far has able to touch a well setup 2 channel rig. I don't think they ever will. Processor Manufactures are more interested in Room Correction and output of a gazillion speakers and totally forget about focusing on the Analog Output stages within the pre-amp.

I'm waiting for that day which we will get a Processor that can do equaly well with both movies and music.

The Current Processor I'm playing with Acurus ACT 4 Sounds more like a high end pre-amp than a processor. to my opinion it has outclassed my Solid State Pass Lab Pre-amp but not my Atma tube based pre-amp.

Multi Channel Musical formats obviously do sound good but still don't have that Analog Sound that feels more emotionally involving. I don't know maybe I'm just talking Crap :-)

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Last edited by Scotth3886; 02-07-2017 at 11:33 AM.
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post #22 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 01:22 PM
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I’m a 2 channel music guy also; my 5.2 system is used about 80% of the time for music. But if you haven’t listen to the Beatles Love DVD in multichannel audio you haven’t listen to the Beatles in their full glory…
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post #23 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Whatever the source material is, it typically sounds better in it's original format.


^^^ I could not agree more. 2 channel stuff sounds best played out of 2 channels. Multi-channel sounds best in multi-channel. There are excellent examples of each. Most 5.1 music sounds a bit gimmicky to my ears, however, movies are often more enjoyable in 5.1 or even 7.1.
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post #24 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 06:36 PM
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What is it I gain from Surround Sound over 2-channel -

Subwoofer - you get the impact of a Subwoofer.

Well, I have a 2-channel stereo system, though admittedly I'm using 4 speakers in front, and I've had bass impact so intense it -

- caused by pant legs to move
- caused the upholstery on my chair to flex
- caused my hair to ruffle

So, what is it again that I am missing?

Volume - Surround Sound can get loud.

During the last Hobbit movie, I hit 110dB peaks with no noticeable distortion. Well, the meter pegged at 110dB, so it might have been higher. I think I'm good.

Surrounded by Sound
- There is a reason they call it "Surround Sound" because it surrounds you.

Again, admittedly this was in illusion, but during the "Hobbit" I swear I heard sound behind me and to the left and right. I was literally surrounded by sound - illusion or not.

Cost - this doesn't really fit in, but I'm adding it anyway. I concentrated my money on two amps (amp channels) and two speakers. The alternative is to dilute my money on 5 or 7 or 9 or 11 channels, and just as many speakers. So, for Surroud Sound, I either dilute my money, or I dilute my equipment. For a fixed amount of money, I would rather concentrate that on a Stereo, rather than dilute it into a Surround System. Though should I win the lottery, I'm have BOTH. But I would never be without a Stereo. If one or the other has to go, then the Surround Sound goes without question.

The above applies to a Subwoofer too. Every time I consider Floorstanding with a Sub, I just remind myself of how much better floorstanding I can get for the additional price of that Sub.

Movies -
I love movies, I watch them all the time, and trust me, short of a few fancy effects, I'm not missing anything. It is completely immersive.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do see and understand the immersive encompassing effects of Surround Sound for Movies. I'm just not willing to pay to get it. Like I said, if I have to choose one, then I choose Stereo.

I'm fond of saying -

If you want a Music system, then get a Music system; meaning Stereo.

If you want a Movie system, then get a Movie system; meaning Surround Sound.


Each will do the other, but each does what is was designed for best.


Now there is something of a threshold. I heard some Focal Speakers in Stereo but on a $2200 AV Receiver. Can't imagine that that amp would not do what I need done. But it was $2200. I could get the Parasound Halo Integrated for just a bit more than that.

Slice it and dice it anyway you want ... I'm a 2-channel guy.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 02-07-2017 at 06:43 PM.
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post #25 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 06:42 PM
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I have played around with 2 channels and adding subs/audyssey/eq

I ended up spending alot of time trying to get the subs and audyssey/eq to sound like 2 channel...kinda was a waste of time since I usually revert to 2 channel.

for movies I always use eq/audyssey/subs
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post #26 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
"With Atma-Sphere New Amplifiers "

Congrats! So you know Ralph?





Who needs a furnace with these in the house!


That's the MA3 they were shipped to Africa. They are too large to handle and the heat from those amplifiers will have to be dealt with properly.

The ones I have are the New Nirvana Amplifiers. Cost a Little more than the MA-2. Ralph said these are the best amplifier he has built everything right down to the wire used is the nth degree.
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post #27 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 06:50 PM
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2 channel can sound great, but of course, it's better if done in the way it was originally intended, before marketplace and other non-pure audio quality considerations took precedent; with 3 or more front speakers.

In other words, stereo ≠ two speakers.
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post #28 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
2 channel can sound great, but of course, it's better if done in the way it was originally intended, before marketplace and other non-pure audio quality considerations took precedent; with 3 or more front speakers.

In other words, stereo ≠ two speakers.
thats like unpasteurized milk
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post #29 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
What is it I gain from Surround Sound over 2-channel -

Subwoofer - you get the impact of a Subwoofer.
Irrelevant. You can get good bass with or without it.

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So, what is it again that I am missing?

Volume - Surround Sound can get loud.
Irrelevant. You can get it loud either way.

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Surrounded by Sound[/B] - There is a reason they call it "Surround Sound" because it surrounds you.

Again, admittedly this was in illusion, but during the "Hobbit" I swear I heard sound behind me and to the left and right. I was literally surrounded by sound - illusion or not.
Irrelevant. Try an accurate discrete music recording and you will hear (if you really care) that the recreation of the performers and the performance space is fundamentally improved. If you aren't interested in making the music more realistic, that's on you.

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Cost - this doesn't really fit in, but I'm adding it anyway. I concentrated my money on two amps (amp channels) and two speakers. The alternative is to dilute my money on 5 or 7 or 9 or 11 channels, and just as many speakers. So, for Surroud Sound, I either dilute my money, or I dilute my equipment. For a fixed amount of money, I would rather concentrate that on a Stereo, rather than dilute it into a Surround System.
Irrelevant. More costs more.

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If you want a Music system, then get a Music system; meaning Stereo.
If you want a Music system, then get the best one you can afford.

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Each will do the other, but each does what is was designed for best.
Yes. My multichannel system was designed for music and music only.

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Slice it and dice it anyway you want ... I'm a 2-channel guy.
I wish you continued happiness.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #30 of 172 Old 02-07-2017, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomaudio View Post
That's the MA3 they were shipped to Africa. They are too large to handle and the heat from those amplifiers will have to be dealt with properly.

The ones I have are the New Nirvana Amplifiers. Cost a Little more than the MA-2. Ralph said these are the best amplifier he has built everything right down to the wire used is the nth degree.

"the heat from those amplifiers will have to be dealt with properly"

That's the understatement of the evening. (84 output tubes)

And btw, I haven't seen or heard Ralph's new amp.
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