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#171309 - 06/28/07 05:53 PM 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer?
ereed Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 145
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Do you guys prefer 2 channel music or multichannel music better? Cds, HDCD, DVD-audio, SACD. Which do you prefer? I do not want to take 2 channel recording and listen to them in multichannel unless it was recorded in multichannel. I do not want to buy both versions, just the ones that are supposed to be better. Is one better than another, or is it just personal preference?
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Axiom M60s, VP150, QS8s, EP500 -- Rotel 1075 & 1068 -- Denon 1600 dvd player -- Toshiba 50HDX82 HDTV

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#171310 - 06/28/07 06:14 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I've had more "oh wow" moments listening to multichannel discs (SACD and DVD-Audio) than to normal CDs. I think a major problem is that most of the music I listen to doesn't really use recording and mastering quality as a point of pride. My showcase material ends up being music I'm not quite as into, but on the other hand, it's a nice change of pace. Currently, SACDs seem to sound the best on my system, using my PS3 for playback. I have an Oppo, but I'm not as satisfied with it, which I attribute to using its analog outputs (not enough HDMI inputs in my receiver). So DVD-Audio playback suffers. In an older incarnation of my system, I favored DVD-Audio. I've really had fun with concert DVDs, but only a select few. That's a major flaw I've found with putting together a better and better system. Bad recordings abound, which forces me to try to appreciate new kinds of music simply because they've reviewed well in that respect.

Anyway, I've said all that to say that I don't have an easy answer. There's no consistency in quality in any of the formats, but I like having the ability to play each one just in case there's a must-have.
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#171311 - 06/28/07 09:17 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
The only multi-channel recordings I have are all DVD-music. And the only outstanding one is The Eagles: Farewell I Tour. ELO is good too but certainly not in the same league.

If every multi-channel recording could be like The Eagles, I would say eliminate 2-channel and bring on multi-channel. Alas, like most 2-channel recordings, it appears to me that most multi-channel recordings are sub-par.

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#171312 - 06/28/07 10:17 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I definitely prefer listening to music in multichannel. My favorite is SACD, followed closely by DVD-A and DTS music discs. I even listen to stereo redbook music CDs in Dolby Digital PLIIx music. Just my preferences. YMMV
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"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#171313 - 06/28/07 10:33 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Eric, assuming that I'm listening on a setup with an HT receiver or processor and surround speakers, I never listen to CDs or other 2-channel material without taking full advantage of the surround processing(DPLII, etc.)and surround speakers. It isn't a matter of 2-channel material being "intended" to be listened to with just front speakers(as is sometimes said), but that there was no choice available in the past. The reflected ambience that came from the sides and other directions besides the front had to be mixed in to the front channels because there was no place else to put it. The DPLII or similar processing extracts this surround sound from the front channels and sends it to the surround speakers where it belongs, making the listening experience a little more realistic. If you don't have a multi-channel recording of a particular piece you shouldn't let that stop you from enjoying your full setup.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171314 - 06/29/07 02:36 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
I have 2 Multichannel music systems - Toshiba SD9200 DVD Audio and Philips SACD 1000. (No universal yet) For kicking back, I prefer 2 channel, in particular, a SET tube amp sourced by either an Ah Njoe Tjoeb tube output CDP or Scott tube FM tuner. a bit of 12 year old Laphroaig and water ... 2 channel.

I gave up smoking so I don't spend much time with my 2 channel garage system, but the Kenwood KA9100 integrated amp (silver faced beautiful looking, beautiful sounding), Dahlquist DQM 905 speakers, veoldyne subwoofer, Sony CA9ES 5 disc CDP is a great sounding 2 channel system.

I've listened to music on my 5.1 and 7.1 systems. They just seem too much ... unfocused, keep wanting to make it louder in order to get it to sound better. Ultimately, I'm not impressed with multichannel for music. For movies and blowing things up, there's nothing like multichannel.

JMO
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Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#171315 - 06/29/07 11:03 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: 2x6spds]
ereed Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 145
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Well, my rotel prepro will take DPIIx, etc and my denon dvd player has dvd-audio. But the cds I have are regular cds which I only listen in stereo mode. I've never tried the DPIIx and didn't know what it was for, thought it was movie thing, not music. I haven't bought any DVD-audio yet and was just wondering if it was just hype or worth getting or just keep buying regular cds which happens to be hdcd now if its a good recording. So do you guys use DPIIx for all regular 2 channel cds? Honestly I have no idea what diff sound modes are for and how or when I should use them, such as DPIIx, DTS music, and other surround formats. I only know Stereo, DTS, and DD for movies. ha ha I'm just now starting to listen to music more now and would like to expand my collection and get the best out of my system.
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Axiom M60s, VP150, QS8s, EP500 -- Rotel 1075 & 1068 -- Denon 1600 dvd player -- Toshiba 50HDX82 HDTV

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#171316 - 06/29/07 11:31 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Eric, the full DPLIIx expands two or five channel material to seven speakers. Since you don't have a 7.1 setup, DPLII is what would be used to expand 2-channel material to the side surrounds, as described in my previous reply. For 5-channel movie material just the regular DD or DTS would be used, because there aren't any back surrounds for DPLIIx to expand the side surround material to.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171317 - 07/01/07 07:00 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
ereed Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 145
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Ah, thats where the x comes in. Thought it was just updated version of DPII. I'll play with some music today and see how I like it compared to standard 2 channel.
_________________________
Axiom M60s, VP150, QS8s, EP500 -- Rotel 1075 & 1068 -- Denon 1600 dvd player -- Toshiba 50HDX82 HDTV

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#171318 - 07/01/07 10:00 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Regarding the use of PLIIx: music and Neo6: music, I've enjoyed them on very few works. Others on this forum say that they use the formats to listen to all 2-channel pieces but I just don't find the same value and I wish I did. Maybe this has to do with my room. If some of you out there could have a look at my room on the wall of fame and give me your opinion, I'd appreciate it. I sit about 12 feet away from all of my surrounds and 8 feet from the fronts.

Now having said that, I was experimenting with the Oscar Pererson: We get Requests album the other day and was simply blown away by Neo6 with some tweaks. As I've mentioned before, this is excellently recorded with a wide soundstage, great imaging and dynamics. With Neo6, the stage gets even further expanded. But I went a step further and tweaked my fronts and center. I adjusted my fronts to minimum volume (-12 on my Denon) and then turned the center up to -9.5. Wow! The soundstage remained wide and tall but now it got very, very deep with no loss in imaging. And it still sounded like it was all happening in front of me rather than beside or behind me. It was stunning and this is now going to be one of my favourite ways to demo my system.

So then I tried Clapton: Unplugged and no matter what I did, it sounded best on 2-channel. PLIIx and Neo muddied it up. Ditto with a few others that I tried. Then I tried Dead can Dance: Into the Labyrinth and as I reported on another post, track 3 sounds like you are in a huge cathedral on Neo which is exactly what it's supposed to sound like. I can't get that same effect in 2-channel. It was simply incredible.

I haven't quite figured out why yet but perhaps these multi-channel modes work better when close-miking techniques aren't used. Close-miking apparently contains minimum ambience. I don't know much about the recording process but it sounds to me like the Oscar Peterson CD I mentioned is not close-miked and maybe that's why Neo works so well. And ditto with track 3 of Into the Labyrinth.

I've read on many posts that people can't tell the difference between PLIIx and Neo6 but there's no mistaking it on my system. In my set-up, PLIIx wraps the soundstage around me while Neo6 expands it in front of me. I don't know if that has to do with my receiver, the room or both. PLIIx does not sound natural to me with music because music doesn't "wrap around" like that in a natural setting.

And then there's Logic7 on the Harman Kardons. Everyone raves about this and I wish I had it so that I could try it out. Maybe one day HK will license this to others.

I want to figure out how to make more use of these surround modes so any comments on any of this would be greatly appreciated.

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