Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman
A high quality 1.0 setup beats a crappy 11.1 setup right?
Even a crappy 1.0 set-up will give me the most important aspects of music: rhythm, melody, emotion
. Watching 'Toy Story 3'
on an old TV with a tinny mono speaker will still have most people laughing and crying at the appropriate moments. I'm not going to laugh/cry harder by using more speakers or better speakers.
A high quality 1.0 set-up will let you hear greater fidelity, to whatever extent it is in the recording. But it can't do things that an 11.1 set-up (even a crappy one) can do: soundstage, imaging, spaciousness, directionality (front/back, left/right, up/down), etc. The best speaker in the world can't be in more than one location simultaneously.
Of course each of us has to decide where to strike the balance between speaker quality and quantity. One is not a substitute for the other. Do you spend your budget on 2 or 5 or 11 speakers? Each will result in a different presentation. I'm just glad modern gear lets us implement those various options.