Originally Posted by thebland
I gave up critical listening ......
If listening to stereo with two speakers is considered critical listening, I, too, am giving up critical listening.
At the recommendation of a new audio acquaintance (someone I "met" on AVS), I very recently tried one of the Neural Surround modes on my SSP while listening to stereo. What a HUGE improvement in listening pleasure...and while it is only my opinion, I also consider it a much more realistic "visit" to a performance.
Regardless of the abilities of a two channel system to throw a wide soundstage, the sound, at best
, always comes from 180 degree area in front of and to the side of the listener. When I attend the symphony (Season tickets for the last 20+ years) or even a live concert, the sonic signature is MUCH more enveloping than that.
Whether it is more "accurate" or not may be arguable, but the fun factor is far superior. It does not do much for really dry studio recordings (like the last cut on the Diana Krall CD - Live in Paris), but for most everything else, much more enjoyable
I'm not going back.
Sorry for the off-topic jump.