Will the QS8 rear speakers work well for music playback?
Q. I love the sense of surround envelopment that I get from my QS8 rear speakers with movie soundtracks, but I've read that the new DVD-A and SACD multichannel music formats are mixed using direct-radiating speakers at the rear. Will the QS8s work well for music playback?
A. Most of us do not have room to install two types of surround speakers—multipolar types for movie playback and direct-radiating speakers for surround music playback. A few A/V receivers have outputs for two types of rear speakers to meet this need directly, but experience suggests that for many rooms and setups, a multidirectional-type surround will function admirably for movie surround or music playback. In real life, much of the ambient sound reaching our ears in clubs, auditoriums and concert halls comprises a rich mix of reflected sound, and given that most domestic rooms do not have the dimensions to generate this melange of reflections, a multipolar surround is the preferred choice. This subject remains somewhat controversial. However, if you have the budget and the space, then four or five identical tower speakers in very large rooms would duplicate the conditions under which these recordings are mixed.
About the Author
Alan Lofft was, for 13 years, Editor in Chief of Sound & Vision, Canada's largest and most respected audio/video magazine. He edited Sound & Vision (Canada) until 1996, when he moved from Toronto to New York to become Senior Editor at Audio magazine.
Lofft has been writing about hi-fi and video professionally for over 20 years, ever since his first syndicated newspaper column, "Sound Advice", began appearing weekly in The Toronto Star, Canada's largest-circulation daily newspaper. In the late 1970s, he became a contributing editor, columnist, and equipment reviewer at AudioScene Canada, the leading national consumer electronics magazine at the time.
He also wrote on consumer electronics for Maclean's magazine and made occasional appearances on TV on "Canada AM," the national CTV morning show, and on June Callwood's national afternoon TV talk show.
In 1983, he was appointed editor of Sound Canada magazine, which he relaunched in 1985 as Sound & Vision, incorporating video content and reviews as well as hi-fi and audio features. He also became a contributing editor to Stereo Review in New York, and an audio columnist for Music Express, a Canadian rock magazine.
An audio and electronics enthusiast from childhood, Alan began building vacuum-tube hi-fi gear for his father, who was an audiophile in the 1950s. Lofft's passion for audio continued through college, during which time he hosted and produced "On Campus", a radio show taped on location (on a portable Ampex 650 open-reel recorder) at Wilfrid Laurier University and broadcast locally in Kitchener, Ontario.