Have you converted your two-channel system to surround sound?

Have you converted your two-channel system to surround sound?
No! Two-channel forever!
36% (118 votes)
No, but added a separate video system to our house.
22% (70 votes)
Yes, we've added several speakers.
21% (69 votes)
Will wait for new surround audio formats to settle out.
14% (44 votes)
7% (23 votes)
Total votes: 324

With multichannel DVD-Audio and SACD promised and the increasing pressure to add high-quality 5.1 audio to video systems, has the number of channels in your listening room increased?

Craig Copeland's picture

Two's company, three (or more) is a crowd.

Craig Learoyd's picture

Dolby Digital is a vast improvement over the old Pro Logic, but I would love to see more DTS material!

Teresa Goodwin's picture

Stereo gives you a more lifelike image of real music IF you position your speakers correctly. Surround sound can never match the depth, the layering, the precise imaging and soundstaging of correctly recorded stereo. I mean recordings such as Reference Recordings, Telarc, Delos, Mercury Living Presence, PopeMusic, Water Lily, etc.—those companies that take the time and trouble to correctly record the CONCERT HALL as well as the music. Audiophile stereo forever. Can hardly wait for the affordable stereo-audio-only SACD players to come out this fall. Let the masses have their multichannel major-label muck; I'll take audiophile stereo, thank you!

thad6000@hotmail.com's picture

Hell no! Fine for movies, but not for music. Vinyl is two-channel.

Marshall Otwell's picture

My two-channel system sounds doggone good! But since it's based around a pair of Aerial 10T's adding speakers is not a problem (at least not sonic-match wise, also not a problem in the pocketbook for Michael Kelly, et al)

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

For the price of five good speakers I can get two VERY good speakers. For the price of fove very good speakers I can get two fantastic speakers. Five fantastic speakers I simply cannot afford.

Dan Landen's picture

I tried ordinary Dolby Surround when the Yamaha DSP-1 came out, but later sold it in favor of the purity of two-channel sound. I found the DSP-1 colored the sound even more. Still, Yamaha makes some of the best surround fields, and it is quite impressive once set up correctly. The Pro Logic and digital formats are still to be incorporated into my system. I still watch movies with ordinary stereo, and some of my friends ask if it's surround sound. They are surprised when I tell them it isn't! Which, again, just goes to show how far good stereo components can go even with movies. I really don't NEED surround. I just want to try it out with the digital formats someday, but not today.

Keith Myers's picture

I've been 5.1 channels enabled for over five years now. The only problem is that the software ( formats and artistic creation ) have yet to catch up to the hardware.

deletraz@bluewin.ch's picture

At the risk of repeating myself for the Zth time, I say to all of you music lovers that 2-channel systems is the right choice for now and the future. Maybe in 1000 years, when we'll have 4 or 5 ears, surround sound would be good. Now repeat after me: "When I go to the concert, I don't sit in the middle of the orchestra." Apart from that, I'm not biased about 5.1-channel for movie shows. The image is poorly reproduced 2D, so some exaggerated sound effects can help to re-create the missing reality . . .

Federico Cribiore's picture

I am in the process of converting using a Vantas DPA-S50 as the center of my surround system. I really like the fact that it allows me to not touch my 2-channel tube system but still use it for my left/right channels.

Paul Van Dyck's picture

Before I expand the audio system to 5 channels, I want to see +2000 DVD-A or SACD titles in the shops. This will make me understand how the 5 channels are going to be used. If I like it maybe I will go for 5 channels. But whatever happens, 2-channel audio will remain very important because I have so many CDs.

Ray Hainsworth's picture

What's the hurry? Most of my listening consists of jazz CDs or vinyl from the classic mono era, or else classic or contemporary rock. In the former case there is no real surround, and in the latter the recording quality is usually so poor that it's not worth the bother and cost. However, for what it is worth, I find HDCD-encoded CDs add significantly to my listening experience, at least as much as is likely to follow a move to multichannel reproduction.

Grant's picture

2 Channel for music, but may go to multi-channel eventually for home video.

G.  Smith's picture

A good "front end" still makes good music, and the surround fills ambiance very nicely. Perhaps not quite the same level of detail, but more natural overall.

David S.  Dodd, ddodd@aug.com's picture

Our multichannel system (tied to the television) makes for a highly enjoyable visual/aural experience, particularly with movies, but my preference for serious music listening remains with 2-channel Nevertheless, it's almost certainly a matter of cost/quality, as my entire A/V system cost less than my (music-only) preamp!

Paul LaNoue's picture

Sound for movies and music reproduction ain't the same animal.Not even close! Two systems are needed.

Lloyd W.  Lints's picture

Front-B&W 802's Back-B&W 804's center-B&W HTM1

stephen simons phx's picture

Stereo is already 3D. Any way I just have two ears. The center channel is mono anyways so stereo can do that. four channel may add dept, but so can a spacealizer or delay. Two good speakers and amps will beat 5 cheaper speakers and amps. Not to forget the two good speakers and amp are all the same kind,size,high and price. So surround sound has stereo,mono and quad all in one.And instead of loudness button, a sub.Its realy all about what realy important and what you think is important.To some more is never enough, but it is impressive when cranked up.

Jim Thomas's picture

I am too broke to upgrade!

DEAD's picture

i'm not a big movie guy but maybe when stuff settles and i buy a dvd player free of region codes and the like, i'll invest in surround.

DJW's picture

Multichannel audio is a long way from getting into my listening room. One day it will be right and I'll step right up.

Dave Habcker's picture

i am still with 2 channel and have no desire to change, but I probably will have to in the future

Peter/Dusty's picture

I have two separate systems -- I upgraded my stereo to surround (Sony, et al), but I also added a second, stereo, entry- level high-end separates system.

Eric W.  Sarjeant's picture

Although it's really starting to look like things have settled down; an investment in a THX certified surroud sound home theater setup is right around the corner for me. Dolby digital (AC3) all the way.

Jose Garcia's picture

First I convert my two-channel system to a home-theater system by adding a digital receiver to my existing gear. Now I'm constructing a new house with a listening room and decided to separate the HT from the stereo system. Not that I don't enjoy the HT, but I need some privacy and peace from the Pokemom movies that keep rolling every day.

Woody Battle's picture

I can't really afford the quality I want in a two-channel system, but I'm hopeful. I couldn't even pretend to afford the same level of quality in a 5.1 system.

Chuck's picture

Contrary to the belief of Gordon Holt, you can have your cake and eat it. I have an outstanding 2-channel system (Dunlavy SC-Vs + custom Dunlavy subs + Mark Levinson, etc.), and have added Dunlavy HRCC center and SC-IVas for rears. My two-channel sound is in no way compromised, and when I want the "movie thing" I turn on the rest of the system. Now tell me why that is a bad thing???

Alex Taylor's picture

Well, yes, sort of. With some cunning furniture placement, I've got a reversible listening room: main (i.e., music) speakers, uncompromised by a big TV in the middle, which become the surrounds when you face the other way. So the surround placement isn't perfect, but it's the music that matters!

geno's picture

Surround sound seems to throw a veil over my normal stereo sound. My solution was to use my original stereo for the front and the surround for the rear.

Dr.  John Isquenderian's picture

No, and then no again!