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?

Ian McMahon's picture

I changed up to suround sound to go with my DVD`s. By carefull selection of gear, the sound in normal stereo is exactly as good as top end hi-fi.

Scott Higgins's picture

Blended a home theater into the main rig utilizing a processor pass-through on the preamp. Using my older amps & speakers on hand (except the center-speaker investment), I was able to go multichannel with a relatively modest investment in a Sony TA-N900es A/V preamp. Haven't been very impressed by the multichannel audio discs I've purchased though!

charles calkins's picture

I can't understand what all the fuss is over surround sound. When I go to a live concert I don't hear any surround sound

Rich V's picture

My two channel system is more than adequate to fill the room with sound and effects

Bob Haddard's picture

I've always had two systems, at least since '92. All of the music that I enjoy is in stereo so why do I need 5.1 speakers (and amps). But if you want to watch movies you gotta hear the soundtrack, right?

Otto Fabricius's picture

What is it we want—musical involvement or entertainment in a circus?

Larry Drouillard's picture

If properly set up, a good two-channel system can re-create better ambience than most surround setups.

Andrew Johnson's picture

Why not? I can't have dedicated listening room and the five channels makes just everyday TV/movie watching more enjoyable...

Tim Eyre's picture

With my electrostatic loudspeakers, placing two channels is tricky enough! However, it would be narrowminded to dismiss multichannel out of hand. Video doesn't really interest me.

Greg M.'s picture

I use to have the audio system in the living room and a minimal home theatre with surround in a small den. I got frustrated with separate systems because some components were better in the audio system, e.g., speakers and amps, and some better in the home theatre system, e.g., surround preamp. I combined both systems into one so all my listening is now done through a surround processor (Lexicon DC-1) and five speakers. The surround sound is subtle but it does add a presence. My only regret is that I had to move my main speakers to a less than optimal room location (closer to the front wall) to integrate the TV and center channel.

Sam Rifat's picture

I am not convinced that adding more speakers will add to my musical enjoyment. In fact, I am concerned that it will negatively affect it.

Jonathan Goldberg's picture

I don't want to get in during the gimmick stage. Also, finding room for more speakers in my living room will be a challenge.

pissed off john's picture

and i mean hell no would someone please tell me why these faggots instist on screwing up a good thing

Peter Klucken (Germany)'s picture

Sorry, but I have only two ears, so two channels forever!!!

Gerald Neily's picture

Yes, multichannel is here to stay. At this point, setting it up with taste and subtlety is more important than spending a lot of money on equipment that will soon be obsolete. I'm using an old Yamaha DSP-100 processor that has ambience channels for both the front and rear. The front ambience channels provide a complementary effect to the rear channels, which allows you to bypass the processor completely for the main front channels. So there is no downside—the main left and right channels remain pristine and unadulterated by the processor, while the ambience channels (sometimes) extract a nice surround ambience.

Anonymous's picture

Connected the TV output into the aux input of our 2 channel amp. Since the TV is stereo, put it into mono mode so the TV acts as a center channel. Main speakers are omnipolar and sound great from any position. Since our room is small, sattelite speakers are not missed. Nor is subwoofer. Great movie sound for the disposable liquid asset deprived.

jvink99@hotmail.com's picture

I have been in the audio business for over 10 years. I design custom theater and automation systems for a living. I have always owned two-channel systems myself. I have rarely designed a system for home theater that rivals two-channel for music only. The theaters I have designed range from $50k to over $500k. Last November I made the change. I have been married for 9 months. My wife and I listen to music regularly, but spend most of our time watching movies. I own a system that is great for two-channel and perfect for theater. I'll put my system up against almost anybody's.


I think that 5.1 A/V systems are suited for movies, and I prefer a two channel system for music.

Anon's picture

If done well (I've taken the Meridian route), this can be a worthwhile step up. I don't feel like I've lost much purity to gain surround's significantly greater degree of involvement.

TED BACA's picture


Tony Moeda's picture

1-I'm not a video fan 2-5 good quality speakers is a lot of money. Perhaps, with the same amount you can buy 2 high quality speakers. 3-It seems to me artificial. In a live event you are in the hall not in the bandstage and you don't have any instruments behind you.

John Lum's picture

If I can't get the two channels right, why would I want three more?

Bruce W.'s picture

I have a high-end 2-channel system and a not-as-high-end video system. I intend to update the video system to surround in the near future (when I build my new entertainment center), but I will not change the high-end system. That may or may not be a great decision, but I just have so much fun listening that I don't want to mess with it. Movies, on the other hand, are something I can sit back with and let the gimmicks of the special effects take the driver's seat and go with the action. Somehow it's the same but different.

Tom M.'s picture

I have yet to hear music on a surround-sound system that created the slightest temptation to abandon two-channel. Given the enormous advances in CD technology in the last 15 years, however, it may be that someday surround-system technology will advance to the point that it will strike me as having more to offer than good-sounding explosions in action movies. I'm keeping my mind open, but I'm not holding my breath.

Steve Thomas's picture

I have tried to listen to every possible situation out there, and there is nothing like 2-channel for music and 5-channel for movies. You really need separate rooms for good sound of each.

toan's picture

I've added a mid-fi surround sound system but not for music for movies

2-channel for now's picture

We have $12k tied up in a sound system in the living room that also has a $60 used Sony 13" TV in the corner. We have a 27" Sony in the sunroom hooked up to an early-'80s Kenwood receiver hooked to really small RadioShack speakers. With music, you can read and be involved in the music, if you really listen. TV does not require much thinking. It is great for movies, but I'd rather listen to music in the listening room.

Martin O'Malley in WA's picture

Maintaining a balance between the *size* of the sound and the picture is important . Thus, spread the L and R fronts no more than 1.5 times the diagonal measure of the TV . Unless the screen is huge, this placement will not suit stereo listening ..., e.g., who wants Martin Logan SL3's 5 ft. apart for stereo ? The best is to do seperate systems ...

Alan Richey's picture

Mostly used for movies, but am enjoying it immensely!

D.P.'s picture

Yes and then immediately back.