Originally Posted by jmschnur
What mode do you listen to two channel music if not stereo? Listening to some Indian ragas right now via my squeezetouch and stereo seems best .
Originally Posted by fitzcaraldo215
The answer is that for the past 3 years since discovering Mch classical music I simply do not listen to stereo recordings any more, only Mch ones. It helps that I am a classical music afficianado, where Mch music is reasonably available. Unlike stereo, Mch provides a way, way better replica of the live concert hall experience than stereo ever can, to my ears. I have heard a fair number of very pricey, highly praised stereo systems costing hundreds of $thousands. A good friend is a prominent equipment reviewer, and I have heard some of the outrageously priced stereo stuff he has gone ballistically over the top about. Frankly, I would not swap what I have for any of them. Some high enders roll their eyes about my 80.2/Oppo BDP-83 front end, but it is me who has the last laugh. A few of them have become convinced of that upon hearing my system.
Purist that I am, if I were to listen to stereo sources, it would be in plain stereo. But, a good classical music friend who bought my 80.1 is very pleased with some of the surround modes on his large library of stereo recordings on his hard drive.
I am mostly a movie watcher, and I certainly don't have the critical ear of Fitz, but nevertheless I am inclined to completely agree with his point of view, and I never listen in the Stereo listening mode.
I have started buying multi-channel Blu-ray and HD DVD concerts and classical music, and in my home theater it definitely sounds superior to stereo.
Fitz will probably cringe when I say this, but on those rare occasions where I want to listen to a stereo recording it always sounds better when upconverted to multi-channel. It should be pointed out that the ideal acoustic environment for listening to two-channel is different than the ideal environment for multi-channel. Two channel requires a fairly lively acoustic environment to supply ambiance via room reflections. In contrast multi-channel recordings supply the ambiance via the surround channels and it is therefore better to have a relatively dead acoustic environment to permit us to hear that ambience without being unduly colored by room reflections.
Since my home theater was designed for multichannel movies it is rather acoustically dead. Therefore, playing just two channels results in a presentation that lacks spaciousness and liveliness. Upconverting two-channel recordings to 7.1, while not perfect, nevertheless greatly improves the quality of the sound.