Originally Posted by tallnick
Since getting my 80.2 I've been getting more and more into 2 channel listening. I'm a digital sources only guy, either from my oppo 93 or my squeezebox touch. Now I'm wondering if I will get significantly better 2 channel sound by buying a separate 2 channel set-up (maybe dac, preamp, amp) or possibly an integrated amp with ht passthru. Any thoughts on the 80.2 for 2 channel in direct mode vs reasonably priced 2 channel set-up? I don't really have the ability to test many products here in nz.
I agree with the post that suggested comparing Direct and corrected two channel sound. Once you have had room correction applied to your audio signal it is hard to go back.
I have a 'separate' two channel system for only one reason: the 80.2 does not allow the storage and recall of multiple target curves. I want to listen to music with the most neutral frequency response possible. I am trying to reproduce real instruments (and I know what they sound like in the real world) in my listening room and I do not want to add or subtract anything from that. That dictates a specific kind of target curve.
For movies, however, I want to be as immersed as possible in the story so my target curve (my preference, not reference, before anyone jumps on me) is not one that I want to use for music. Since I have never heard a bomb go off, or the sound of a 50mm gun, or dynamite or a car crashing into a building or a building fall down or a plane crash, there is no real standard to which I can realistically compare what I get from my HT system --- so I get to make up my own and as a result have chosen to create a target curve that increases the "fun factor" for me. This primarily includes a much different shape of the target curve (read: elevated bass response below about 80hz). It is totally wrong for music but very exciting for movies, particularly action movies.
So for my two channel listening, I use a TacT Audio 2.2XP which provides room correction and bass/mains integration. I use a target curve that does what it needs to do for 2 channel. It isn't ideal but I have solved the cable switching dilemma through the use of a DAC (connected to both the TacT and the 80.2) that also has analog inputs form the 80.2 so "cable switching" is done by selecting a different input on the DAC. Unfortunately, I have about 3.5 times the cost of my 80.2 in my 2 channel rig. Really dumb.
Also, I have experimented listening to 2 channel with some of the surround modes on the 80.2 and it provides (in most cases) a much more realistic presentation of what I envision the music should sound like. I give that up with the TacT.
I am waiting for someone (Lexicon or the AP20 maybe) to release a product that has what I am looking for AND a great room correction product.
My advice: Forget the separate 2 channel rig, pick a target curve on the 80.2 that works for both and save yourself some time and aggravation (and money). I am actually very close to dumping the separate 2 channel rig and taking my own advice.