Edit: Quote removed, as my post was not meant as a direct "reply" to the quoted post(er)
My preference is for multi-channel stage perspective (as opposed to rear speakers only providing ambience). I like the music all around me, with the different instruments coming from different speakers. AIX stage perspective DVD-As are my preferred format. Ditto the Tacet "real suround" recordings.
That said, there are stereo recordings that are so well-mixed, engineered, whatever, they stand out from the crowd. I have a couple of Deutsche Grammophon (stereo) recordings that provide that "in the room with you" feeling of presence that is what I am after.
To people who go on about only having two ears, and where do you sit when you go to a concert, my reply is my two ears can tell if sound is in front of me, on either side or behind, and back in the days when I pretended I could play a trumpet in a band, I loved hearing the other musicians all around me. I want to be there, not down in the concert hall with the band 50 metres in front of me.
So, "stage perspective" surround. But done well, not as a gimmick. I have some stereo recordings where the engineer seems to have gone too far in "separation" so that it seems most of the sound is coming from one speaker.
I want "presence". Anybody got the Rise album from Anoushka Shankar? That is only a stereo cd, but boy, does it have presence, and a wide sound stage and it fills my (reasonably large) listening room. Maybe with help from my "holographic imaging" AR m5 front speakers.
I do not, generally, use my reciever to re-process stereo recordings, I listen to them as stereo. When I do occassionally "reprocess" I use the advanced stereo setting (with front and back only, no artificial centre, no sub) rather than any of the dolby pro logic options.
I have my two front speakers probably way further apart than most people seem to recomment (a fraction over 4 metres) and my listening position is about the same distance (virtually an equilateral triangle) with about 1.7 m of space behind me.
I suppose what I am saying is what a lot of others have said, the biggest issue is the quality of the original recording - that shows whether the final presentation is in stereo or surround.
Last edited by madaudio; 08-14-2014 at 08:33 PM.