Do you use your system for both two-channel and 5.1 or 7.1?

Do you use your system for both two-channel and 5.1 or 7.1?
I've only got a two-channel system
41% (155 votes)
I have one system that does both two- and multi-channel
49% (183 votes)
I have two systems: one for two-channel, one for multi-channel
10% (38 votes)
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 376

Multi-channel music releases may have slowed to a trickle, but with home theater still going strong, reader Greg Abarr is curious: "How many people use their systems for both two-channel and 5.1 or 7.1?"

Daniel Emerson's picture

I neither have the space, the money nor the inclination to go into surround-sound. I've been impressed with what little I've heard of genuinely good multichannel music, but it isn't quite enough to persuade me to take that step.

Dirk DeTaey's picture

I have a two-channel and a multichannel system, using a two-channel preamp with a passthrough connection for seperate digital pre-processor, in order to be able to use my two-channel speakers as front speakers. Furthermore I have a separate DVD, multichannel SACD/DVD-Audio player and a two-channel CD/SACD player

Erik Vermeulen's picture

If there was always the choice between multichannel and stereo I'd never buy another regular CD again. It sounds that much better.

John H's picture

Still only have two ears. How someone could have the time and money for high-end music and movie systems is unfathomable to me. I have no TV.

A consumer's picture

More vendors need to focus on making their systems flexible. This is what they mean by "convergence": any type of audio-video content, digital or analog, from any live or recorded source, stored in any manner, mastered and delivered in two or more channels, while retaining all of the music, video and other information that comes with it. Oh, and it has to seamlessly integrate with all of the networks already in the house (computer, cable, etc). So, is that too much to ask?

macksman's picture

Stereo, two-channel only with vinyl emphasized, and plenty of tubes employed. In the '70s I took my TV apart and planted ivy where the picture tube had been and I'm considering doing it again. "Television don't go to my head." More like get out of my head.

Jacob's picture

I have several sound systems with multi-channel capabilities, all but one run in 2 or 2.1 channels. The system in the bedroom runs 5/7.1.

df's picture

I tend to listen to many of my CD's and other stereo sources through Yamaha's excellent "6 Ch Stereo" DSP mode, for faux surround. I also have a nice collection of multichannel DVD Audio and SACD discs. Of course, there are those prized two-channel SACD titles that get just the stereo workout. Movies and TV in surround of course.

Antonio G.'s picture

I've connected my Blu-ray player to my two-channel audio system for improved sound from my movies (compared to the built-in speakers on my plasma). I'm not ready to invest in a home theater since I enjoy music more than movies and my family seems content with the two-channel solution for now.

craig's picture

Two channels provide the best bang for the buck and is a lot easier to set up to boot.

mike eschman's picture

small room + economics of good equipment + multichannel just sounds weird.

anonymous's picture

I had 5.1 system but changed in two years only to stereo. Multichannel record (if it is good recorded) is something that two speakers can't achieve never. No need to focusing on stereo image, but only enjoying that surround sound about you giving feeling that you are in another space. Problem is that quality multichannel music is real rarity at this times. So I decided to go back for stereo. For less money, higher quality, more effective investment! I am not so rich to have both: quality home theater useful also for quality stereo listening.

Stefano Lindiri's picture

I don't need more than two channels!

Nicolas Prud'homme's picture

I think if I had the chance, I would have a dedicated two-channel for music and a 5.1 home theater system for movies.

Jorge's picture

I am satisfied with the multichannel sound, but wonder whether I'm getting as good two-channel sound as I can afford.

j's picture

I have a stereo system and a 5.1 system they sit next to each other and use the same front speakers L & R speakers. How? By simply plugging and unplugging different speaker wires.

Dan Wilson's picture

Two separate systems—one just for music and one just for movies.

PSB B25 lover's picture

My mains in my 5.1 set-up do a fine job for two-channel listening.

Tunablues's picture

Both. I have the front channels of my AV receiver hooked to the tape input on my preamp.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

Two-channel can do films very, very well. If the money fairy makes a large deposit, well who knows? But for the moment two is fine for me.

Larry(Poor Audiophile)'s picture

I had a HT setup, but have returned to two-channel only.

Al Earz's picture

Due to room and budget constraints, which I guess is all budget in the end. I am using a McIntosh MX135 as a pre/pro but looking to add and ARC LS26 tubed preamp as a stereo preamplifier in addition to the McIntosh. But once again $$ is a problem. However if you would like to help please send donations to or call 800-Als-Tune's to make a credit card donation.

Rob Auld's picture

Who needs cheap "effects" to enjoy movies and music? Financially, you can buy a lot more quality for less in both sound and value with two-channel. Found nothing except the cheap effects missing in movies or music over friends with multichannel systems and in fact much more detailed sound in both for half the investment.

OvenMaster's picture

Two speakers and 100Wpc are enough in a 120 square foot room.

Doug Bowker's picture

My two-channel was built up over years, and since 100% of my recordings are stereo, mostly LPs, that's the focus. My 7.1 is actually pretty good at this point, but a good deal of it is previous components from my two-channel system! Plus, we have a big 55" TV and that could not work in any way with my two-channel set-up. They just are different animals for me.

Dave's picture

I originally used my home theater set-up for two-channel and multichannel listening but have since begun investing in a dedicated two channel set-up.

Bob S.  in Stokesdale, NC's picture

Out of economic necessity, I have the one that does both.

sal's picture

I have a stereo system and a surround system that are joined at the hip, so to speak. I love music in surround and hope to see more releases in either SACD or DVD Audio. In fact, Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree fame) will be releasing his first solo recording next January in both stereo and 5.1.

Mike's picture

I did the surround receiver thing for a while but came back to my stereo roots and am glad I did. If I had a dedicated movie room and a sh**load of cash I might be tempted, one day, to give surround another go, but not for now.

Glenn Bennett's picture

I have a small Klipsch 2.1 "iFi" system for the flat screen TV. I don't even want to think about airplanes coming at me from behind! If I turn around I see my living room so why would I want sounds from a movie coming at me from behind? Two-channel rules!