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Anna123
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Joined: Nov 13 2021 - 6:13am
Surround 5.1 for Stereo

I bought new speakers including a pair, a sub, and a center channel. They sounded great. Then, as an experiment my son hooked up my old stereo set as surround front and placed them next to the main pair. When listening to music through our new receiver set on surround, we both believe stereo recorded music sounds more satisfying, as opposed to 3.1, or even the setting that uses all speakers as stereo.

Any thoughts on why we are hearing it this way? Everywhere I look serious audiophiles seem to prefer stereo or stereo plus sub for stereo recordings.

Kal Rubinson
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Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
Well, I don't know what

Well, I don't know what "surround front" means or exactly how these additional speakers are connected/related to the rest of your system so I cannot comment on exactly what you are hearing. However, it is true that the vast majority of audiophiles prefer (or are restricted) to stereo but that is not absolute. There is a slowly growing core of multichannel audiophiles who relish the expansion of a realistic soundstage beyond what plain old stereo can do.

Take a look at my (now discontinued) column, "Music in the Round," here on Stereophile's website. There are 100 articles on the topic, the equipment and the music. Begin at #1 (https://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/854/index.html) to get the motivating idea.

BTW, the recent rise of "immersive" media may breath some new life into multichannel music.

Anna123
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Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
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I have started reading your

I have started reading your column, very interesting so far!

Sorry, I meant Left Surround and Right Surround for the two extra speakers, placed next to the Left and Right speakers. (no room to put them further out.) This is leaving the center speaker and sub in also.

We are using a Dennon AVR S650H which has a setting that converts stereo recordings into their version of 5.1' for music, which I understand is not close to something that was mixed for surround, yet still it sounds more pleasing most of the time. I thought maybe it is just having more speakers involved but the setting that retains stereo does not sound as good.

Kal Rubinson
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All that makes sense. I hope

All that makes sense. I hope you can get to experience real discrete multichannel soon, perhaps even with the speakers where they belong. Each step should be rewarding.

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