Did you convert your system to multichannel audio? Has it stuck with you? Why or why not?

Did you convert your system to multichannel audio? Has it stuck with you? Why or why not?
Yes, I've got 6 or more channels going
6% (11 votes)
Yes, I've got a 5 or 5.1 channel system
16% (28 votes)
Yes, I've got a 4 or 4.1 channel system
4% (7 votes)
Kind of, I've got a 3 or 3.1 channel system
2% (3 votes)
No, I'm still at 2 channels
73% (130 votes)
No, I'm still mono
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 179

During the SACD and DVD-Audio heyday, multichannel audio was finding new converts. Did you convert? Has it stuck with you? Why or why not?

ritter's picture

However, I have a theater with a Meridian digital 5.1 and projector in a separate room. I will never have a multichannel music system when there are LPs.

audioful's picture

Two-channel only when listening to music. Enjoy 5.1 for movies only.

Glenn Bennett's picture

I have never sat with my back facing the band or singer so why do I need more channels?

Robert's picture

Two ears, two channels. Two-channel stereo is already a big fudge. Why anyone would want to increase the complexity exponentially (apart from movie sound effects) is beyond me. Binaural recording with headphone playback is what we should be striving for.

Doug McCall's picture

I converted with enthusiasm. But my enthusiasm gradually turned into disgust. Prices on the new media were too high and selection too thin. Sound quality, whether two channel or five, was not always that good, driving home the fact that a talented recordist who cares about sound quality is at least as important to the final result as all the technology you care to employ on a recording. The real deal killer was that you never knew what kind of a multichannel recording you were buying, audience perspective or stage. Personally, I despised the latter. Now, multichannel music seems almost irrelevent except when accompanied with video, which is where I think it will find a home. I do enjoy RAVE HD immensely. So. I'm retaining my multichannel rig in one room, and putting together a separate two-channel set-up in another, around a great sounding pair of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab OML-2 speakers. Ah, the music (and the magic) is back!

TL's picture

No, no, no! I get natural and satisfying music enjoyment from two speakers and a sub, even though I two SACD players in two separate rooms, but they play two channel audio only. Mmmm, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1…10.2, it’s getting more and more ridiculous.

Bob Lennox's picture

Once I heard quality SACD and DVD-Audio recordings recorded in surround, it became only natural to begin listening to regular two-channel stereo in various surround formats. I still listen to many CDs in two-channel mode,but more often than not I prefer to hear them in Neo6 surround. Another factor is that surround sound recivers have greatly improved over the last several years, and deliver the clean power, punch, transparency and 3 dimensional depth that the best two-channel amps can provide. With all options at my command with a click on the remote, and the ability to assemble one high quality system for both music and movies, multichannel was the only way to go for me. Next up this year, new higher resolution multichannel formats from Dolby and DTS which hold the promise of the highest quality digital sound first promised 25 years ago.

Michael Chernay's picture

I maintain two systems, 7.1 channel home theater and a dedicated two-channel system. Even though the 2 channel system easily trumps the multichannel system. The theater is still a joy to listen to no matter if it's two channels or seven channels of sound.

Charlie be Wise's picture


Carter's picture

My home theater system comprises a 26 inch regular color television and my old college stereo. Perhaps when we finally put a plasma unit on the wall, and with the plunging prices that could be soon, I'll go multichannel in there. For my main music system though, it will forever remain two channels. I am not sure I can go all the way to a single channel ala Sakuma san, but it might be fun to at least go hear his stuff sometime.

Dave C's picture

I still have my multichannel system setup but unfortunately it is only used for movies now. I'm very disappointed in how the SACD/DVD-Audio formats were left to die by the record companies.

Bill Dodd's picture

I've used a Hafler-effect set up since the early '80s, so the conversion to surround for HT and SACD was easier for me. I still do not use, nor am I likely to use a center channel—because of space, voicing, and wife acceptance. There are some recordings I prefer to hear two-channel, and I think that some MC recordings have too much information in the rear—but I'd hate to go back to a flat two channels for everything.

Tom Warren's picture

No, I’m still at two channels, 37 years now and going strong with mostly vinyl. Never bought into SACD or DVD.

J C Hogg's picture

You must be kidding! It took me 15 years and bags of hard-eanred money just to get two channels right. Besides, stereo hasn't plateaued yet.

Jason Stroud's picture

I only have two ears.

tavares's picture

Multichanel for movies stereo for music.

michael t's picture

you gota be kiddin STEREO/phile

Richard Diamond's picture

To have the quality that I want, two-channel is all that I can afford.

Joe Hartmann's picture

I purchased a multichannel processor and dvd/cd player in February of this year but the system is still not setup because surround speakers just arrived. I read the manual and this looks like work.

tim's picture

I owned both SACD and DVD-Audio players but wasn't impressed enough to stick with it. Also, finding software was a real pain.

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