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Gino

Stereo vs All Channel stereo

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I have a 2 channel stereo system with 2 speakers.

Please elaborate and welcome.

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9 speakers and 2 subs, I noticed in all stereo the sound to be much nicer. Feels like the harsh highs get tamed, am I crazy or is that possible?

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Marantz sr 7008

Klipsch rf7ii front powered by emotiva xpa 100 (1 for each)

Klipsch r42 center powered by emotiva xpa 3

Klipsch rf 82 wide also powered by emotiva xpa 3

Klipsch rs42 surround powered by emotiva basX 300

Klipsch rf82 surround back powered by 2nd emotiva basX 300

(2) klipsch rsw15

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PWK strongly advocated using something similar in 1958 using three loudspeakers: https://community.klipsch.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=66005

 

If he had more loudspeakers, he probably would have used them:  stereo has more than the one flaw of not locking in the center of the image if you're only a small distance off-center.  It also produces a subjective dip in response at 1.8 kHz due to the spacing of the ears apart from each other (i.e., at the human hearing system instead of from the loudspeaker/room setup):

 

Fundamental Flaw of Stereo 2 kHz dip from Kemar mannequin.JPG

 

4 hours ago, Gino said:

...I noticed in all stereo the sound to be much nicer. Feels like the harsh highs get tamed...

Using the center loudspeaker locks in the phantom center image and fills in the subjective hole in response at 1.8 kHz. Using the surrounds for left and right channel adds to the apparent ambience, although you do tend to lose stereo imaging performance--sort of like a Bose wave radio, but the sense of immersion is unmistakable.  This is probably the flip side of what you describe as taming the "harsh highs".

 

Chris

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9 hours ago, Gino said:

Any comments??? I prefer all channel stereo.

My NAD pre/pro has a setting called "Enhanced Stereo" and it images about as well as any stereo setting I have ever heard.  Kind of a "thicker" fuller sound that envelopes the listener.  With that said, old fashion stereo is still king for most music, IMO.

 

Bill

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The NAD enhanced stereo doesn't do much although it does make a difference over standard two-channel, I always prefer all channel stereo utilizing all nine speakers and the subwoofers.

 

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Well, there is music out there that is being produced in surround sound. For such medias, id definitely listen in 5.1, 7.1 or however many channels its made for. However, if you're talking about the majority of music, nothing beats a proper 2 channel setup on pure direct mode. I have tried to listen in all channel stereo mode and I remember thinking that the music was really weak even when turned up and lacked the basic feeling of conventional stereo.

 

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 3:38 PM, Gino said:

9 speakers and 2 subs, I noticed in all stereo the sound to be much nicer. Feels like the harsh highs get tamed, am I crazy or is that possible?

Your problem with the highs probably stems from the brands in your setup. Klipsch speakers are generally considered to have harsh highs and emotiva power amps are also considered to deliver harsher highs. 

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I personally love all channels driven from an enhanced two channel and 5.1 source, but I dont like it more than my 2.1 set up... it's just different. One thing about all channels driven is that it is HYPER critical to get the timing/distance down to near perfect otherwise you'll be listening to an echo.

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If I am listening to a limited number of instruments/vocalists, I like stereo augmented with subwoofers.  If there are more instruments/vocalists then for me it sounds better with more speakers.  In general though, I have a 3.2 Martin Logan/Velodyne setup that I like for most all music.  But, I just spent some time with my Super Heresy and my brother-in-law had goose bumps when the stereo sound for Eva Cassidy was just about right.

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For stereo recordings, it's 2 speakers and subs for me.  If it's background music for a party, I don't mind using expanded, enhanced, or multi-channel stereo for a bit more sound coverage. 

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I have 5.1.

  • Ordinary CDs: Pro Logic II Music derives "hidden" information (due to phase phenomena) from normal 2 channel CDs, and pumps it through surround channels, while sending a mix of L and R channels to the center, and feeds the L & R with the normal 2 channels  Subwoofer is also used via "Bass Management."  Produces a better 5.1 channel simulation than I thought possible.  
  • For 5.1 Movies DTS-HD Master Audio, or Dolby TrueHD
  • For the rare 2 channel movies, there is Pro Logic II Movie.   For true stereo 2 channel movies, one gets the whole 5.1 simulation.  For mono movies with two identical channels, one gets a strong center image, instead of spooky field wide voices.
  • Multichannel SACDs: Multichannel In.  5 channels of music, often with hall ambience in the rear, sometimes with stuff happening all around, as with the QUAD version of Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon. 
  • For Parties: either All Channel Stereo (Multi-Channel Stereo), or Pro Logic II Music.

All sound good with good program material.

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8 hours ago, garyrc said:

All sound good with good program material.

 

There are systems that put Pro Logic II to shame. Oh, how I wish our product had made it to market.

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