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etc6849

Anyone else using Multi-channel stereo instead of stereo?

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I've mainly listened to 5.1 DVD-A recordings on my Marantz AV8801, but recently I've been using the Multi-channel stereo setting with stereo tracks.

 

I'm pretty sure Marantz/Denon just copy data from the front and send it to the rear for this multi-channel stereo mode, but the sweet spot sounds better.  I definitely can here more depth.

 

However, is this because of the loudness increase and purely psychological?  Or does having the stereo image come from multiple speakers somehow reinforce the sound-stage and help my mind better drown out any reflected images?  

 

I should point out I have no room treatments, but bought an Audyssey Pro kit from ebay and calibrated my system.  I'm still using the system in my avatar for most listening: two pairs of LS II's + dual RT-12d's (but have removed the RC-64 entirely).

Edited by etc6849
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For me it depends on what kind of music I am listening to. If i want a really clean soundstage in which I can 'see' Bradley from Sublime or Frank Sinatra then I will always go with 2 channel direct on my Denon AVR. But if I am listening to electronic music like Tech House etc sometimes I like that enveloping surround sound. I would definately invest in some acoustic treatment. Try taking a bath towell and pin it to your wall on the primary reflections points and it will give you a good idea on what kind of improvement it can make. The best way to find these is to sit in your listening spot and have a buddy hold a small mirror on the wall between you and the speaker. Have him move along the wall until you can see the front of the speaker in the mirror and that is where you will want the dampening.

 

This will take some patience and some beer payment but it really makes a difference. The voices and instruments will be much clearer because you hear only the sound from the speakers. When that sound bounces off the wall and hits you you are hearing both the speaker and the wall but the wall sound took longer to reach your ears so its a faint echo that makes the music sound muddy. You will eventually want to get something better but a towell or a curtain is a good start to see how the mechanics work.

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Thanks TWK.  I've been putting off building room treatments since I'm moving in the future,  but agree the lack thereof is the biggest weakness in my system right now.  For others, this is a great video to check out on acoustics:  

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I am sure the slight increase in loudness is a factor.  Even though most of our ears stick forward, he, he, we still pickup things from the sides and rear.  I can easily see why so many like uning all ch. stereo.

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I've been listening to all my music in this format lately. I have Cornwall II mains, Heresy rears and a Heresy center. The multi speaker stereo sound is incredible.

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I am sure the slight increase in loudness is a factor. 

 

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/153719-question-on-interesting-51-output-for-stereo/

 

I could agree some with the volume boost but with my NAD pre/pro's "enhanced stereo" mode, it just feels "thicker" and enveloping and still maintains pretty spot on front imaging.  When I apply the NAD's house EQ curve, it gets even better.

 

Bill

Edited by willland

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I prefer the  2 ch mode with both of my AV preamps, Rotel RSP 1068 and Adcom GTP550

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Since ai moved my home office desk into my HT, I find myself using the multi-channel mode for digital music because I move around the room some--everywher becomes a sweet spot in the room. I swith over to 2 channel on a tube amp in the HT when I am running vinyl.

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I listen almost exclusively to multichannel mode with the rear channels trimmed back several levels. Sometimes when it is just me listening I'll run two channel direct but multi channel just sounds so much more enveloping to me, especially when I'm moving around or if I have company over and the volume is toned down and serving more as background music.

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I've been doing this with a DynaQuad since 1976.  Even the latest logic steering circuits don't do remotely as good a job on 2 channel material.  All natural, donchaknow...

 

Dave

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The wall of sound or the image of sound, both have viability and desirability.

I think, as already stated above, for modern enveloping compositions I prefer the wall of sound. For other forms of music, jazz and rock, I prefer better imaging of 2 channel...

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On 11/22/2014 at 9:33 AM, etc6849 said:

I've mainly listened to 5.1 DVD-A recordings on my Marantz AV8801, but recently I've been using the multi-channel stereo setting with stereo tracks.

 

I'm pretty sure Marantz/Denon just copy data from the front and send it to the rear for this multi-channel stereo mode, but the sweet spot sounds better.  I definitely can hear more depth.

 

However, is this because of the loudness increase and purely psychological?  Or does having the stereo image come from multiple speakers somehow reinforce the sound-stage and help my mind better drown out any reflected images?  

 

I should point out I have no room treatments, but bought an Audyssey Pro kit from ebay and calibrated my system.  I'm still using the system in my avatar for most listening: two pairs of LS II's + dual RT-12d's (but have removed the RC-64 entirely).

 

What you have discovered is part of why we now have surround sound - first explored in quadraphonics in the early 70s then significantly upgraded since in Dolby Surround ("Dolby Stereo") and then THX, et al.  The following figure from pg. 297 of Floyd Toole's book Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms (a highly recommended book for answering the type of questions that you have) will tell you a little about how surround sound layouts affect the subjective listening quality called "listener envelopment" (LEV).  Higher scores are better in this graph:

 

Figure 15-5.GIF

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This arrangement right here is why a typical cinema sounds like it does, and why when people setup their surround system according to standard HT guidelines (ITU 5.1) it's not quite the same.  :sad:

 

post-40059-0-75220000-1416758936.png

 

When I read that section a few years back, I had to run the experiments myself. Sure enough, I was humbled by the realization that placing the "surrounds" as shown and ~10 degrees above the ears does indeed correlate with the published data.  :emotion-21:

 

The placement sounds spectacular for movies, just like the cinema or better even, but is borderline unicorn territory to pull off correctly in a multi-purpose setup.  :emotion-45:

Edited by Quiet_Hollow

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I guess you might have uncovered why I posted that particular plot - because it pulls the reader toward the essence of sound field reproduction (necessary but not sufficient topics: LEV and how movie and music recordings are miked and mixed).

 

To all that might have missed it: this plot shows the relative psychoacoustic performance of stereo, quadraphonic, and various surround sound arrays in terms of listener envelopment (relative to a 24-loudspeaker surround array).  It says a lot - and also points out why the bottom line of sound reproduction in listening rooms for the future will continue to shift toward surround sound and why stereo (i.e., non-binaural two channel) will continue its path toward shrinking market share. 

 

This also shows that there is more than one answer to 5.1 (ITU 5.1)--like Atmos and other configurations.  Atmos (~ configuration "b" in the figure) is even now entering the market and has some chance of supplanting ITU 5.1 in the future. 

 

I can understand why Dolby Atmos might make big inroads into cinema sound in the near future:  most of the loudspeakers that matter are at the front (and ceiling) of the room, where reflection delays and timbre differences can be dealt with, unlike current surround sound configurations - like Dolby Surround and THX, etc.  Couple this with the insight that all theaters that are surviving today are installing very expensive digital projectors (about $100K+ per theater) - a market move that has put many small theaters out of business recently, and has created a market for new cinema sound installations.

 

To the OP: I'm actually focusing on your original questions--which is the reason why I quoted them in my original reply above.  You asked a darn good question--one that I believe deserves a fair amount of information and data to answer (found in the referenced Floyd Toole book in greater detail) and not just personal opinion--because even if it is "all subjective"...it's still measurable.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris A
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Atmos (~ configuration "b" in the figure)
I wouldn't go so far as saying that. 

 

Yes, certainly more than one option, but inferring that arrangement "b" and Dolby Atmos have anything in common tends towards misleading.

 

Arrangement "b" is the basic, acoustic analog (to the ears) of a standard cinema....sans Atmos. 

 

Contrary to what's shown the photo below (because it's neglecting to show polars), the ears simply dump whatever is playing to the rear of the listener....ie. we end up locking onto the mains, center, and whatever two surround channels happen to be to immediately in front of us, respective of our choice seating position.

 

Surrounds-Figure1-at-tech.jpg

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Perhaps this is closer to what I was implying (specifically the 7.1 configurations), not just Dolby Atmos:

 

audyssey-diagLG-1.jpg

Edited by Chris A

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Hi Chris,

 

Sorry for not responding sooner.  For some reason I thought I had clicked follow this topic, but didn't!?!  Rest assured your thought provoking response is greatly appreciated and the OP did finally read it!  I also like book recommendation.  BTW, I found this older podcast of Floyd Toole on home theater geeks:  http://twit.tv/show/home-theater-geeks/14

 

I really want to hear for the first time Neo X or Audessey DSX; let alone Dolby Atmos.  I have read countless posts from folks that say wide channels make a huge difference.  I'm looking forward to moving to a bigger place where I can add more speakers - and some Jubscala's.

 

I can understand why Dolby Atmos might make big inroads into cinema sound in the near future:  most of the loudspeakers that matter are at the front (and ceiling) of the room, where reflection delays and timbre differences can be dealt with, unlike current surround sound configurations - like Dolby Surround and THX, etc.  Couple this with the insight that all theaters that are surviving today are installing very expensive digital projectors (about $100K+ per theater) - a market move that has put many small theaters out of business recently, and has created a market for new cinema sound installations.  

...

To the OP: I'm actually focusing on your original questions--which is the reason why I quoted them in my original reply above.  You asked a darn good question--one that I believe deserves a fair amount of information and data to answer (found in the referenced Floyd Toole book in greater detail) and not just personal opinion--because even if it is "all subjective"...it's still measurable.

 

Chris

Edited by etc6849

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Marantz- SR 6005

I love Multi Channel Stereo

and had been using it for music with the subwoofer on.

For some reason the subwoofer no longer receives signal in this mode.

I double checked my config and subwoofer is enabled and works on other modes.

Input has always been Apple Airplay- which is only stereo.

Any settings that may disable my subwoofer? In channel level adjustment it's not displayed either so I know it's not mechanical but rather a setting in the machine.

Edited by boenmoen

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