With the discussion proceeding regarding whether SACD is dead or alive, I read Keith Howard's article detailing the history of surround formats and the viability of Trifield processing as the next great advancement in multichannel surround. Is it really? First, is the consumer market ready for another surround format? Are the music production and retail industries ready for another multi-million dollar investment? To what end? From KH's writings my impression of the Trifield format is that its best implementation would be with simple microphone and production techniques very much like what made the DynaQuad system work well. With more channels of information now available to the production engineers will they willingly revert to the simplest methods of yersterday when costs are minimized by the current production techniques? If multi-mic'd recordings are the norm (with their attendant phase problems that defeated the old DynaQuad set up), what future does Trifield have in that world? Has Gerzon spent decades perfecting the better horse drawn carriage just when the world is switching to hydrogen? What is the "promise" of surround sound formats? What would Stereophile's readers prefer to hear from multichannel formats? How many channels would be required to reach a level of believability beyond what we now experience? Have any of the present formats truly transported you to the venue or brought the musicians to your listening room more effectively than another recording technique?
Trifield can be synthysised from stereo via DSP.
It gives very coherent images with absolute precision
Don't need surround, just 3 speakers.
Very revealing of your library.
As I'd hoped to explain, Trifield is not a 'surround format' - it is a method of improving the reproduction of two-channel material which does not involve rear channels. Indeed, the whole article - even when rear channels were invoked - was about enhancing playback of 'legacy' two-channel material. Trifield requires no investment whatsoever within the recording industry and, were it to be belatedly implemented in replay equipment other than the Meridian surround processors, would require little investment there either in terms of either licence payment or DSP power.
I have yet to hear a playback system that actually transported me to the venue or brought the musicians to my listening room. Reviewer hyperbole aside, I doubt we will ever succeed in fooling ourselves to this degree.
I have heard a recording made with three spaced omni directional microphones played back on three identical speakers. It was superior to stereo in terms of weight and soundstage evenness.
I have Trifield processing on my old Meridian SS processor, but since I only use the device for HT, not for hi-fi, I rarely use it, favoring, for better or worse, the 5.1 format available on DVDs.
However, I used to experiment with a variety of rear/side channel add-ons to enhance the stereo experience. At one point, I was achieving very good results, believe it or not, using a pair of Quad ESLs (a/k/a 57's) as my front channel speakers and a modest set of bookshelf speakers to the rear, driven through a digital delay line. One of my purist friends who came to listen to the system back in the day asked me to turn the rear thingie off, then very quickly asked for it to be reactivated- it added to the overall immediacy of the system, despite the legendary coherence of the Quads as a stereo pair.
I would love to hear the Dynavector SuperStereo set-up but it appears to be discontinued and no units readily available
I must admit after being the only adopter of SQ Quad in the 70's in my circle of friends, and an enthusiastic one at that for a few years, I discovered that which was obvious. I preferred Stereo.
99% of the Live events I went to had TWO Speaker Banks in typical stereo setup. Just the way I listen to music at home in my listening room. 99% of the music I listen to is performed this way Live. I listen to little classical.
I have no room or desire for another 3-5 speakers and 2 Subs.
When I want to listen to a surround sound music CD, on a stereo setup, I listen to Amused to Death, by Roger Waters.
Its recorded in Q Sound. Plays on stereo yet manages to place dogs barking in my neighbours back yard. Has a horse and sleigh ride right around me in a 360 circle. The Album doesn't over do the surround sound effects at all, and never ceases to catch out visitors and first time listeners who look out behind their shoulder for the barking dog.
All from Stereo. Pity Q Sound wasn't used more on the type of music that could benefit from a good mixing hand.