Do you want surround-sound in your audio system?

Stereophile's picture
With the proposed DVD-Audio format comes the opportunity for multiple channels of high-quality sound. But would you even consider adding more speakers to your two-channel system?
Do you want surround-sound in your audio system?
I want it now!
12% (35 votes)
Sounds like a good idea
14% (40 votes)
I'll wait and see
30% (89 votes)
Not so interested
28% (84 votes)
Never!
16% (47 votes)
Total votes: 295
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Comments
Adam Leppert's picture

CAN Dolby Digital decoding better a good stereo pair? I'll wait to see it myself...

Brent Bersin's picture

I intend to always keep separate my two-channel dedicated audio system from my home theatre system. I have designed the audio system solely for the high-end reproduction of music; the home-theatre system can deal with the explosions, car crashes, etc.

Jim Wentworth's picture

When I go to a concert, I don't sit on the stage or in the orchestra pit, so why would I want to at home?

Mike Andrews's picture

Give me 7.1 channels now. It would be less expensive to have a total experince with multiple channels than shelling out megabucks for truly 3D speaker systems. More people could afford it and it would be a gateway to more people getting that high end sound.

Bruce Martineau's picture

Multi-channel audio provides many opportunies to ruin a perfectly good performance. Two channel recordings yield widely varying results. Multi-channel recordings will need a well defined standard to avoid an even wider variance.

Roland Levesque's picture

I have yet to hear any multiple channel systems that are an improvment over two channels. Its a neat trick for about 30 seconds. I have also been to very few live performances where one 1/3 of the performers are behind me. In 1972 I had a quadraphonic system with quad 8 track,turn table, and a really cool joy stick for panning. It was a neat trick for about 30 seconds.

Gregg Fedchak's picture

I don't have enough room for two speakers. What'll I do with more?

Steve's picture

Ditto!

Brooks Shannon's picture

This is one of those things I'll have to ride out for a while, for one basic reason: money. To experience GOOD sound out of all five channels, not to mention the subwoofer, I'd need a powerful, clean amp and a set of five good speakers. I'll be putting myself through college soon, so it may very well be a few years before I can be enveloped in intense music in my own home.

Jeremy Close's picture

I haven't yet heard a demonstration of 5 channel audio that wasn't noticeably worse than the same electronics driving only the two front speakers. I'll wait until I upgrade to five ears and listen again :-)

Jim Stokes's picture

SQ in the '70s was amusing.

AJ Goldman's picture

It sounds like a great innovation, but I'm loathe to replace my CD collection with something that may or may not gain widespread acceptance.

Mariusz Pawlicki's picture

Just wondering: First, is the recording industry really prepared for truly music-oriented surround-sound? I am not really sure if all the extra channels really help to convey the MUSIC to one's ears. Second, I am also afraid that the first generations of multichannel recordings might contain oversimplified, synthesized surround information.

Gary Ang's picture

Having heard a high end multi-channel music playpack system demo, I do think the future of audio playback lies in multi-channel. However, I still maintain that a multi-channel MUSIC playback system be separate from a home theater setup.

T.  Billman's picture

I've listened to some pro-logic samples (Delos) and really enjoyed the Organ selections. However, it just didn't seem right for the other types music on my sample disc.

lance's picture

stereo means solid, not two speakers. The object of the game, as I see it, is to receate the live listening experience to the greatest degree possible.

Anonymous's picture

I have heard some of the DTS music that is currently available. I was unimpressed. Very unnatural. I don't want to be in the middle of the band. I want to be in front of it, as though I were watching the performance.

Rob Malcolm's picture

I feel there is no need for surround sound in music. Three front channels would be nice though.

David Laloum's picture

Issues with tonal matching of both amps and speakers raise their (interesting) heads . . . What center-channel and surround speakers will match Quad ESL-63s? I await with bated breath the upcoming releases from Quad in the hope that an all-Quad and all-electrostatic system will be possible!

David S Dodd's picture

I listen to multichannel on my "home theatre" system & while this provides a great deal of added pleasure to the visual experience, I have yet to sit up and take notice of the music reproduced. I don't feel that extra channels on my music-only system would do anything but detract from the intense listening pleasure I experience with 2 channels. (Although I suppose similar comments were in abundance when stereo reproduction first hit the scene!)

Chris Sandvick's picture

Do to space considerations my hi-fi is already a home theatre. I'd would be nice to see a mulitchannel hi-end audio format.

N.  Khalidi's picture

It would be more of a novelty item than a real stereo tool. Kind of like applying Pro Logic decoding to a CD. What would be put into the surround channels? Applause from the audience?

Ed Pugacz's picture

I've wanted 3+ channels for a long time, primarily to eliminate the "sweet spot" and allow more than one person to hear a proper soundstage. Three channels of full-range for the front with two lower-bit-rate ambience channels would be just the ticket. As a matter of fact, I've put off buying any new electronics in anticipation of this sort of thing materializing within the next couple of years. Gee, we might FINALLY be able to hear those three-track masters from the '50s properly reproduced, only 40 years late! Manufacturers and software suppliers, stop arguing and let's go!

Al T.'s picture

I have tried the hafler four channel system that plays the difference (L-R) in the rear channels, after a few minutes I end up reducing the level. Not long after that I switched it off. For music no thanks.

Federico Cribiore's picture

It seems like a good idea, but it would be nice if some of the higher-end companies would start making 5-channel amps. The day that BAT makes a 5-channel tube amp, I will consider the switch. Also---it seems like, unless recording studios start encoding recordings with the 5.1-channel system, it is pointless to go 5.1-channel unless you are into videos or DVDs. I do admit, though, that it does feel like the next step in music, and I like the idea of surround-sound recordings being done with a distinct listener placing in mind. Can't wait until recording studios and high-end companies get on the ball.

Todd Arola's picture

There needs to be a marked improvement in sound quality and imaging before I'll seriously consider buying more serious gear. (I do listen to movies in DPL, about once a month, and I use mid-fi equipment for that.)

Scott Mallonee's picture

I praise Meridian and Aerial for having vision in the multichannel-for-music field. Multichannel is not just for movies! The Meridian Digital Theatre plays stereo recordings in synthesized surround that is GLORIOUS! I have also heard Meridian gear teamed up with Aerial speakers to similar effect!

Josh Tarnow's picture

I think my system sounds incredibly lifelike as it is . . . though I still feel it could be better. I will wait to hear a multichannel audio system, and then decide if it's worth the investment.

Neil Berry's picture

I'll spend more than enough time trying to figure stereo out.

Steve Thomas's picture

I have listened to a number of surround sound systems. They work well for movies, but the audio/HiFi only it just does not sound right.

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