I prefer to listen to 5.1 sound reduced to two channel stereo. I find sound coming at me from all directions very disconcerting. It confuses my ageing ears.
Originally Posted by EricW
With good speakers I don't need a centre channel when sitting directly in front of a telly in a relatively small space.
This observation, of course, is quite a separate issue from the acceptable use of a 5.1 AV amp in two channel stereo mode for playing music.
Those who do enjoy 5.1 sound can, I believe, with the proper choice of products use the same system for excellent two channel stereo.
Well, a couple of topics in this thread: First, my old Arcam integrated buzzed unless I bypassed the tone controls. I replaced it with a 10 year old (at the time) McIntosh integrated, and that amplifier was dead silent.
Second, I agree with the posts about 5.1 being overkill. I like systems that invite you into the music or soundtrack - surround sound is fired at you like a game of dodgeball. Finally, back to the original post - a cool test would be to level match the PS3 with the Rega, and compare them. IMO using a PS3 with an outboard DAC is a better investment, as the PS3 is a much more versatile piece of gear, and a DAC can accept other devices as well...
I like that concept of being "invited" to enjoy something (rather than being bashed over the head with it).
Originally Posted by cornelius
In fact, I may be wandering off-topic here, but this thread makes me wonder if there isn't another possible definition for "natural" sound (at which Harbeths of course excel). One definition may be the accurate reproduction of sound events as they occur in nature, whether human voice, an acoustic musical instrument, or something else (I think the magazine "The Absolute Sound" was named after this concept). But one objection to that idea is that so much of what we listen to these days is either electronically generated or electronic processed - how can such sounds be said to be "natural"?
Which leads me to a second proposed definition, i.e., that "natural" sound is sound, however generated, that does not harm or offend or stress the human auditory or perceptual system, but works with it rather than against it. An analogy may be certain "natural" foods that do not occur in that precise form in nature (because there is some processing required to create them, e.g. miso, which is made from fermented soybeans), but are still accepted as healthy foods by the body, in contrast to processed snack foods, which are designed to zap the human sensory apparatus with intense primary tastes (salt! fat! sugar!), but which will harm you in the long run if you overconsume them.
Harbeth: the healthy loudspeaker.
Personally, i can't get on with Home Cinema sound. If I watch a film, I don't want to be in the middle of World War 3, it makes me agitated and as for musiic, I don't want to be in the middle of the band.
Some years ago, as a dealer, we stocked high end Home Cinema from the likes of Proceed, Levinson, Lexicon, Parasound, Denon (Limited) etc, which was about as good as it gets. We sold quite a few megabuck systems but were never satisfied with the reproduction of music, even with the sophisticated two channel throughputs etc. Great for films but not for music.
Since those days, a few of our customers have drifted back to two channel. They usually start by dispensing with the centre channel and then the rears. After that, the processor goes and they're back to good ol' stereo for films and music. They've never been happier.
Me i had 5 sets of home theather, from Bose to Yamaha, Klipsch,Paradigm, etc. I must say Movies in our time right now are made for surround, I mean action movies, horror, cartoons,.. i have tested all, and 7.1 is much better than 5.1. well for the feeling.
And i watching in stereo for old movies. And listen the music with my Harbeth.
I'll go surround sound after I grow 3.1 more ears.