Originally Posted by MLM
What works best, I think, is to use the music mode (one led) and minimize its effect to the point where any artificiality is negligible.
MLM, you mean one should use "music" surround mode but at the same time turn down surround-strength?
i had tried that too. i had it turned down to -10 and music sounded better. but unfortunately surround strength is an overall setting, which means it is active for all inputs. if i want to watch a movie i would need to turn it up again every time, this is a bit stupid. there is some customization possible for each input, but only regarding surround-mode and EQ, not bass strength, night-mode, surround strength etc... this is a pity, but we have to live with it i think.
at the beginning i welcomed the fact, that you could use the slimstage also with additional speakers, but meanwhile i think this is hardly possible.
the rear-output is much too low in reality. you can turn it up to +10 but it is still too low. i was trying to use some of my active speakers at home as rear-speakers, and all of them were hardly hearable although i cranked them up to the max. if i turned the speakers up to the max i could already notice buzz and hiss from the slimstage and every time i start or stop a movie i get a clicking noise.
the best solution so far was the mainstageHD as rear-speaker (unfortunately the one i bought from ebay stopped working properly). but also with the mainstageHD i had to crank up input gain to the max in order to get an adequate rear-volume. at the same time the input-gain boosted the clicking noise, which can become a really loud "pop".
another problem with rear-speakers i found was that rear-volume is not consistent with front-volume. it is ok with main volume set to 20 or higher, but rear-volume starts to fade more quickly with main volume at ~15 or lower. if you turn volume to 10 there is hardly any sound at the rear anymore.
the only way to deal with this would be to reduce input volume somehow, so that you can compensate with main volume again (not sure if there is a negative input gain). the other way would be to use night mode, which is what i am doing all the time. with night mode you are forced to turn the slimstage a bit louder, so most of the time i am above 15 or 20 if watching a movie.
to me it seems that there is hardly any support from soundmatters, they write back all the time, but when i told them my mainstageHD was broken and i needed to fix it, they couldn't help me, they wanted the original receipt, which i scanned for them, but so far i got no response anymore.
jim, one of the support-guys wrote me once that "for now we are not in home theater game" which for me says it all to tell the truth. they don't seem to be really serious about their products. the only product they are selling is their FoxL but even this one is out of stock all the time.
ps. i just asked soundmatters about the possibility of a firmware update. the slimstage has this HD15 VGA-type interface which is meant for "factory programming" according to the manual, so maybe some problems can be fixed afterwards as well. let's see what they answer.