Most audiophiles focus on the best possible sound system configured exactly as recommended. But there are several unexamined assumptions when trying to achieve these goals. Sound reproduction, like gourmet food, interior design, musical traditions, and automobiles have always been a matter of taste.
We sometimes hear the assertion that sound should be reproduced exaclty as intended by the manufactuer or professional expert. In the case of surround sound, however, there is no objective truth because the spatial experience is very dependent on the listening environment, which is controlled by the user, not the equipment designer. Hence, regardless of our goals, we are always functioning as aural architects.
In order to understand the issues involved in creating a sound experience at home, one must place these choices into the context of aural architecture. Throughout history, cultures have experimented with multi-media audio-visual experiences, beginning with cave art in pre-history.
If you want to understand the larger picture, take a look at my recent book, Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture. You can get more information at the web site www.SpacesSpeak.com where you can find podcasts, articles, reviews, discussions, and several chapters for downloading.
Liberate yourselves from "truth" to become an aural artist!