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Do you believe in evolution? Stereo to multi channel home theater


Tom05
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For years I was a two channel audiophile guy , about twenty years ago I expanded the hobby to home theater , now I use the equipment more ,and I  can still do stereo if I want , win win for me . What’s your opinion?

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My path has been something of a circle. Two channel to home theater, and now back to two channel. However, I do run my TV through my two channel set up using HDMI ARC. More for the ability to hear dialog than for theater-like sound, though.

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Yes, my enjoyment of recorded music has evolved from audio-only/stereo-only to hi-res-multi-channel-audio/high-definition-video.    However, my enjoyment of music has NOT “evolved” from tube to solid-state.  For details, read on.

 

For the classical music that I love, there are countless modern performances/recordings (i.e., performances recorded in the last 15 years or so) that were captured and mastered in multi-channel hi-res digital (e.g., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered on a disc featuring DTS-HD MA 5.1 (e.g., Blu-ray, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray), or an SACD disc that features multi-channel DSD.  

 

Moreover, Blu-ray classical music recordings often include high-definition video.   High-definition video is particularly relevant for ballet and opera (i.e., seeing the actors, singers, dancers and scenery).  Another major benefit of Blu-ray audio/video discs (Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray) is the ability to see the libretto of an opera on the HDTV screen. (For example, providing an on-screen English translation of an opera sung in Italian.)  Additionally, I think that high-definition video is very enjoyable for classical symphonic concerts (i.e., seeing the conductor, musicians, and concert hall).  

 

I enjoy modern Blu-ray classical music recordings much more than vintage technologies such as CDs and LPs.  IME, modern Blu-ray recordings do a better job of creating the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house.   Here’s just a few examples of modern symphonic performances delivered on Blu-ray that feature DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, and high-definition video:

 

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There are many modern opera and ballet performances available on Blu-ray, and a few on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

 

I employ my Oppo UDP-205 (x2), BDP-105, and BDP-95 universal players’ internal audiophile grade DACs and 5.1 analog audio outputs.   Because the rear channels in classical recordings have little content (mostly audience applause), I combine them via a Y-cable.  (Oppo has verified that this is OK.)   One vintage stereo tube amp drives the main left & right speakers.  Another vintage stereo tube amp drives the center and single rear speaker.  My approach may be unorthodox, but it works great in 4 of my 5 hi-fi systems.  And – most important – it sounds fabulous for the classical music and opera that I love.

 

For me, the evolution of recorded music involves Blu-ray, but not AVRs.

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2 hours ago, robert_kc said:

Yes, my enjoyment of recorded music has evolved from audio-only/stereo-only to hi-res-multi-channel-audio/high-definition-video.    However, my enjoyment of music has NOT “evolved” from tube to solid-state.  For details, read on.

 

For the classical music that I love, there are countless modern performances/recordings (i.e., performances recorded in the last 15 years or so) that were captured and mastered in multi-channel hi-res digital (e.g., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered on a disc featuring DTS-HD MA 5.1 (e.g., Blu-ray, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray), or an SACD disc that features multi-channel DSD.  

 

Moreover, Blu-ray classical music recordings often include high-definition video.   High-definition video is particularly relevant for ballet and opera (i.e., seeing the actors, singers, dancers and scenery).  Another major benefit of Blu-ray audio/video discs (Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray) is the ability to see the libretto of an opera on the HDTV screen. (For example, providing an on-screen English translation of an opera sung in Italian.)  Additionally, I think that high-definition video is very enjoyable for classical symphonic concerts (i.e., seeing the conductor, musicians, and concert hall).  

 

I enjoy modern Blu-ray classical music recordings much more than vintage technologies such as CDs and LPs.  IME, modern Blu-ray recordings do a better job of creating the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house.   Here’s just a few examples of modern symphonic performances delivered on Blu-ray that feature DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, and high-definition video:

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

There are many modern opera and ballet performances available on Blu-ray, and a few on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

 

I employ my Oppo UDP-205 (x2), BDP-105, and BDP-95 universal players’ internal audiophile grade DACS and 5.1 analog audio outputs.   Because the rear channels in classical recordings have little content (mostly audience applause), I combine them via a Y-cable.  (Oppo has verified that this is OK.)   One vintage stereo tube amp drives the main left & right speakers.  Another vintage stereo tube amp drives the center and single rear speaker.  My approach may be unorthodox, but it works great in 4 of my 5 hi-fi systems.  And – most important – it sounds fabulous for the classical music and opera that I love.

 

For me, the evolution of recorded music involves Blu-ray, but not AVRs.

Sounds  like a nice setup .Thanks for the comments, I learned something new. I’ve noticed that some Blu-ray movies also seem too have very high quality music ,like it was remastered and cleaned up , better than cd as you say.

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Thanks for your kind words about my hi-fi set-ups.


Following is a description of my current systems that are capable of multi-channel (i.e., 4.2, 4.1, and 3.1).  (I could implement 5.1 or 5.2 with tube amps, but I’m satisfied with a single rear channel, or none.)  I don’t claim that these are the best systems in the world, but I’m happy with them, and with 3 of the systems I can tinker around with trying different amps.

  • TV room:  Main front left & right speakers are Klipsch Palladium P-37F.   Center:  Klipsch RC-64III.   Single rear:  Klipsch RP-502S.   Subwoofer:  Klipsch P-312W.  The source is an Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACD, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings.  I generally use vintage tube amps for music:   Scott 399, Fisher X-1000, Scott 299C, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC240 or McIntosh MC225.  I use solid-state amps for movies (and summertime):   NAD C375BEE, and an NAD D 3045.    A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and Niles AXP-1 RCA selector switches connect the Oppo to the amp.   HDTV is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 to play audio from broadcast TV via the hi-fi.  Chromecast connected to the HDMI input of my UDP-205 for streaming video.   Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD C375BEE for internet radio.
     
  • Basement:  Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch RF-7 II.  A single rear speaker is a Klipsch RF-7.   Subwoofers:  SVS SB16-Ultra and Klipsch R-115SW (connected via Y-adaptor).  Source:  Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings.  Amps: Scott 272, Inspire “Fire Bottle” SE Stereo Tube Amplifier HO, Scott 222C, Fisher KX-200, Scott 296, Pilot SA-260, Scott LK150, Altec 353A, Kenwood KR-9050.   (This system also has a Schiit Loki tone-control.  I can connect the power amps direct to the Oppo, or insert the Loki.)  A patch panel allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo, and a power amp to the Loki if I choose to do so.   Chromecast Audio is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 for internet radio.
     
  • Living room:  Stereo speakers are Snell Type CV.   Center:  Klipsch RC-64III.   Single rear:  RP-502S.   Subwoofer:  Klipsch P-312W.  The source components are Oppo BDP-105 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs (and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings), and Dual 1249 with Stanton 681EE equipped with a new Shibata stylus.  Amps include a pair of McIntosh MC30s, Scott 296, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC275, a pair of Pilot HF-56 mono receivers, an NAD pre-amp and Acurus A250 power-amp for movies, and a McIntosh 2155 that can drive the center channel and single rear speaker or JBL L830s in the kitchen / dining room.   A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and a F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo.   Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD pre-amp for internet radio.
     
  • Bedroom:  Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch WF-35.  SVS SB-2000 Pro subwoofer.   Source is an Oppo BDP-95 for playing Pure Audio Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings.  (No TV.)   Fisher 500C drives the left & right speakers.  Fisher TA 500 (AM/FM mono receiver) drives the center speaker.  Chromecast Audio for internet radio.

I know that my taste in music differs from most members of this forum (though we do have a few other classical music lovers), so I’ll post just 2 YouTube excerpts from Blu-rays that I own.  (Of course, the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio and high-definition video is much better quality than the YouTube video.)   For anyone who wasn’t aware of Blu-ray classical music recordings, these excerpts may serve as an introduction.

 

In the following recording of Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” performed by Pepe Romero, I particularly like the Adagio that starts at 6:47.

 

 

Here’s Elīna Garanča performing "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix".

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

Thanks for your kind words about my hi-fi set-ups.


Following is a description of my current systems that are capable of multi-channel (i.e., 4.2, 4.1, and 3.1).  (I could implement 5.1 or 5.2 with tube amps, but I’m satisfied with a single rear channel, or none.)  I don’t claim that these are the best systems in the world, but I’m happy with them, and with 3 of the systems I can tinker around with trying different amps.

  • TV room:  Main front left & right speakers are Klipsch Palladium P-37F.   Center:  Klipsch RC-64III.   Single rear:  Klipsch RP-502S.   Subwoofer:  Klipsch P-312W.  The source is an Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACD, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings.  I generally use vintage tube amps for music:   Scott 399, Fisher X-1000, Scott 299C, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC240 or McIntosh MC225.  I use solid-state amps for movies (and summertime):   NAD C375BEE, and an NAD D 3045.    A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and Niles AXP-1 RCA selector switches connect the Oppo to the amp.   HDTV is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 to play audio from broadcast TV via the hi-fi.  Chromecast connected to the HDMI input of my UDP-205 for streaming video.   Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD C375BEE for internet radio.
     
  • Basement:  Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch RF-7 II.  A single rear speaker is a Klipsch RF-7.   Subwoofers:  SVS SB16-Ultra and Klipsch R-115SW (connected via Y-adaptor).  Source:  Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings.  Amps: Scott 272, Inspire “Fire Bottle” SE Stereo Tube Amplifier HO, Scott 222C, Fisher KX-200, Scott 296, Pilot SA-260, Scott LK150, Altec 353A, Kenwood KR-9050.   (This system also has a Schiit Loki tone-control.  I can connect the power amps direct to the Oppo, or insert the Loki.)  A patch panel allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo, and a power amp to the Loki if I choose to do so.   Chromecast Audio is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 for internet radio.
     
  • Living room:  Stereo speakers are Snell Type CV.   Center:  Klipsch RC-64III.   Single rear:  RP-502S.   Subwoofer:  Klipsch P-312W.  The source components are Oppo BDP-105 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs (and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings), and Dual 1249 with Stanton 681EE equipped with a new Shibata stylus.  Amps include a pair of McIntosh MC30s, Scott 296, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC275, a pair of Pilot HF-56 mono receivers, an NAD pre-amp and Acurus A250 power-amp for movies, and a McIntosh 2155 that can drive the center channel and single rear speaker or JBL L830s in the kitchen / dining room.   A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and a F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo.   Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD pre-amp for internet radio.
     
  • Bedroom:  Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch WF-35.  SVS SB-2000 Pro subwoofer.   Source is an Oppo BDP-95 for playing Pure Audio Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings.  (No TV.)   Fisher 500C drives the left & right speakers.  Fisher TA 500 (AM/FM mono receiver) drives the center speaker.  Chromecast Audio for internet radio.

I know that my taste in music differs from most members of this forum (though we do have a few other classical music lovers), so I’ll post just 2 YouTube excerpts from Blu-rays that I own.  (Of course, the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio and high-definition video is much better quality than the YouTube video.)   For anyone who wasn’t aware of Blu-ray classical music recordings, these excerpts may serve as an introduction.

 

In the following recording of Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” performed by Pepe Romero, I particularly like the Adagio that starts at 6:47.

 

 

Here’s Elīna Garanča performing "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix".

 

 

 

 

Wow , there’s a whole other world out there in music , maybe I need to explore a bit.  6:47👍

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Maybe you have better equipment but I found a 2 channel integrated amp sounded better, but I like changing the dsp processing depending on the movie/tv program so I have both...a stereo for music in a spare room and an avr for tv/movies in living room.

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9 minutes ago, mjcmt said:

Maybe you have better equipment but I found a 2 channel integrated amp sounded better, but I like changing the dsp processing depending on the movie/tv program so I have both...a stereo for music in a spare room and an avr for tv/movies in living room.

 

My Oppo universal players are capable of pseudo-surround-sound (DTS Neo:6 Mode) generated via DSP from stereo recordings, however I don't use this feature.   

 

My Blu-ray and SACD classical recordings were recorded and mastered in hi-res-multi-channel, and the discs include a multi-channel (e.g. 5.1) audio track (in addition to a stereo track).  I much prefer modern hi-res-multi-channel Blu-ray and SACD discs to CDs or LPs.   

 

I can play these modern hi-res-multi-channel recordings via traditional tube or solid-state hi-fi amps (as you can see in my earlier post) - no AVR involved.
 

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34 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

 

My Oppo universal players are capable of pseudo-surround-sound (DTS Neo:6 Mode) generated via DSP from stereo recordings, however I don't use this feature.   

 

My Blu-ray and SACD classical recordings were recorded and mastered in hi-res-multi-channel, and the discs include a multi-channel (e.g. 5.1) audio track (in addition to a stereo track).  I much prefer modern hi-res-multi-channel Blu-ray and SACD discs to CDs or LPs.   

 

I can play these modern hi-res-multi-channel recordings via traditional tube or solid-state hi-fi amps (as you can see in my earlier post) - no AVR involved.
 

Sorry you intercepted my response. I was responding to Tom005 posting.

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On 1/12/2022 at 7:26 AM, Tom05 said:

For years I was a two channel audiophile guy , about twenty years ago I expanded the hobby to home theater , now I use the equipment more ,and I  can still do stereo if I want , win win for me . What’s your opinion?

Many modern AVRs automatically select either 2 channel playback or the ideal surround sound mode depending on the input source information. Or with the press of a button, you can select your preference. I usually listen to music in 2 channel.

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21 hours ago, robert_kc said:

In the following recording of Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” performed by Pepe Romero, I particularly like the Adagio that starts at 6:47.

Nice recording of the individual instruments and of the entire orchestra.

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2 hours ago, Khornukopia said:

Nice recording of the individual instruments and of the entire orchestra.

 

This recording of “Concierto de Aranjuez” is from the following Blu-ray box set:


71K+xzY7iWL._SX385_.jpg


Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting the Danish NSO

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1–9
  • Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
  • Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
  • Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233

Excellent DTS-HD MA 5.0/5.1 audio, and 1080p video.

 

IMO this box set is an excellent value – i.e., a lot of music for the money.
 

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