Originally Posted by InstantRebate
In relation to my primary question are they truly no devices that can give a realistic stereo effect over more than two speakers (yes i know stereo means two but you know what I mean)
For a start, stereo does not mean two... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereophonic_sound
I happen to like my Yamaha's '7ch stereo' mode for 2ch playback.
Each additional channel can be adjusted from 0 to 100 in 1% increments, so it is very tunable to get the amount of ambients one desires. At present I run the centre channel at 30% and the surrounds of my 5.1 setup at 60%.
I get good localisation of individual instruments and the main vocals still only take up the right amount of space in the centre (i.e. the singer's head doesn't sound like it's ten feet wide) yet backup singers can float all around and above you. Instruments still appear to mostly come from the front of the stage, but with good separation and space between them and some sounds like a piano or brass instrument projecting its sound well out and up into the room.
I like 2ch so much this way that I don't worry about tracking down multichannel SACD's so much any more.
It has however taken over a year of a lot of work to get right. Speaker choice and placement and room acoustics and AVR settings etc.. I also used a good quality dedicated 2ch system as a benchmark/reference to make sure I was making the music sound better.