Anyone who would willingly take nearmono over surround would surely reach past the T-Bone steak for the hamburger.
Anyone who would willingly take nearmono over surround would surely reach past the T-Bone steak for the hamburger.
Let me use a different analogy: 2 Filet Mignon beats 4 crappy sawdust hamburgers. Perhaps I'm restating what OppoFood said. I would rather listen to 2ch seperates through 2 speakers than a Home Theater in a Box. I sold HTIB and have one that I inherited. Even QUALITY MONO trumps 4/5/6 transistor radios filling the room with slop.
There are over 500 Quad LP's, over 200 Q8's (semi slop) and several hundred digital 5.1 mixes in my collection. There are others here that are as rabid as I am. I doubt anyone is more rabid about software. Thankfully, I have dozens of modes to synthesize Quad/5.1. Yet, NOTHING beats the real McCoy.
Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. More is not better. Lifelike is better. The typical 21st Century "hi-fi" is ear buds or computer speakers. Most people today have no clue that music can sound real. You CAN have it all! Killer fidelity in 4/5/6 channels. If modern seperates are beyond your budget, buy some vintage Quad gear. It's better than ALL the entry level modern stuff. Or would you prefer 4 computer speakers?
Hehe. I guess when I started this thread, I didn't envision myself becoming hungry while reading through it.
Except hungry for more quad.
I am going to my mother's today and I just know there are some T-bones there waiting to be grilled...
Good posts here in this thread.
I think the main difference between 2 ch folk and surround folk is that 2 channel is the "default".
A lot of people I know think surround sound in music is a one off novelty.
I know people who have a real music collection and for whom listening to music is a part of everday life that for example have never heard of the SACD format.
I think surround fans are those that show an interest in what is available both in terms of hardware (equipment) and music ( formats etc), from this position of knowledge and experience we then have decided that we generally prefer surround to stereo, when given a choice.
Firesign theater! I actually had a legitimate dvda of theirs. Listened to it a couple of times and sold it.
My theories about this is that the difference between "nearmono" people and true surround officianados is that surround officianados actaully listen more for the detail in music, or like to hear individual instruments - I think quite often because we have a music background in one way or another, e.g. having been in a band (or played an instrument) makes us more consciously (or unconsciously) listen to what the other instrument were doing...
Because the very first time I heard quad, I thought, "That's IT!" And it really wasn't so much a thought as an instinct kicking in. And, like boondocks, even before I heard it, I remember reading about it and thinking, "Wow! Four amps and four speakers!"
I knew that's the way it HAD to be and immediately started working toward having it.
The term "Quadraphonics" became a magic word.
Oh, and another good point Mr. Morris... I mean LizardKing.
That's also how you become a surround fan without really being around, due to age, for the Quad era.
There is no logic. The same person who will enjoy the full multichannel sound experience at the cinema or on DVD/Blu-Ray at home seems to have no interest in audio-only MC. Simple as that.
I've been saying that since I joined QQ. I've seen it firsthand in selling this stuff. With Quad, the reluctance came from either the expense or competing formats. Everyone said wow and was interested. Back then, ALL our custmers loved music. That's the difference.
Perhaps the name of this thread should be "what's the difference between 2ch and mono people?" One post might cover it: NOTHING. World gone mad.
On a surround (4.0-5.1) system the stereo should sound equally good. The front L+R are the corner stones of every decent music listening setup. You can compromise on the size of rears to a certain extend if the (room) situation calls for it.
Once you have that surround setup for music, you will enjoy films (movies) a lot more too. In my opinion a center and sub are not mandatory for music (as long as you stay somewhere in the sweetspot) if you have good FL+FR, but I prefer to have a center speaker (especially with movies).
Conclusion: surround people can have it all.
DKA, I hope I didn't seem to imply one had to be around during the original quad era to be hit by multi-channel because I didn't mean it that way. Your experience is exactly what I was talking about. Stuff coming out of those back speakers makes your head spin around and you say to yourself, "That's what I want!" It's a delight!
Same with your experience with your son, wavelength.
And Ed and Linda, I know what you're talking about too but some people these days just automatically tie multi-channel in with movies and don't really even consider listening to music that way. To me, it is a strange mindset.
They still stubbornly have that, "I only have two ears" attitude which is, of course, senseless.
Ge, you make sense too. With me, it is more of a secondary thing that I listen to movies through my quad system (and it is fantastic) but music is THE main reason for it.
I think much of the resistance to surround music and movies comes from people's resistance to stuff that doesn't 'just work' (you could say Apple has influenced that expectation somewhat). Surround done right is a complicated endeavor. With stereo you can pretty much set two speakers nearly anywhere, wedge your body in the middle of them, push play, and yer done! I love surround obviously or I wouldn't be here. But as much as I enjoyed it, I can say that the learning curve was a bit steep to get it done right. Speaker set up isn't an easy thing. There are 8 billion schools of thought on where 5 speakers should be placed, what angle they should edge toward, and if you google surround speaker set up you will see there is not a single go to formula to use. Despite loving the format, I'd say it was at least a year before I understood enough about surround to put my speakers in the right place, calibrate them accurately, ect. It was really only quite recently that all my ducks were lined up and I can safely say I don't need to set up my speakers again. It changed (the set up) my entire perception of the same material I'd been listening to. Suddenly pans were more geometric and even lossy formats like DTS and DD sounded like a more unified whole rather than a collection of sounds emerging from the speakers. I'm less concerned about how much is going on in the rears than how the whole piece sounds synergistically. Anyway I believe this is the biggest barrier. Sure consumers can and are buying HTIB's and such. But if they have one speaker on a bookshelf at 5' another at 3' and the surrounds wherever they will fit they are probably not getting that much from the experience anyway. And that is the level of the average consumer. Sure, some of the modern AVRs have the auto set up routine which does work. But if the speakers aren't set up correctly to begin with, this is not going to be very satisfying. For others their entry into the surround market comes thru cinema. Which is fine. But when the dynamic range of most movies is so far removed from the dynamic range of music we hear constantly from these folks about how they can't hear the dialogue of the movie. So they take to turning up the center which will kill the mix of some surround music. It obviously not only anchors dialogue, but also some of the phantom psychoacoustic effects in mc music. I personally think the average consumer would only conclude the whole thing to be more trouble than it is worth. I'm not sure they are not incorrect. I have a lot of surround music, but it is literally a small single digit percentage of my entire music catalog. There are a few albums that certainly justify the experience in my mind but boy what a journey to get there. It isn't as easy as buying 4/5/6 speakers and popping in a piece of music. Just saying. I personally think my Mom for example might enjoy surround music. Would she be able to set up a system to play that music? Not in a million years. And she is not alone. That said were someone to Apple-fy the experience of surround in so much that one could set the whole thing up with little user interaction, put the speakers wherever their lifestyle choices dictated, and had legacy capabilities for current material, who knows it might take off more than it has. Perhaps the object oriented stuff from dolby might be helpful. I think it more likely that surround won't take off until the actual speakers are removed from the equation. I see steerable sound arrays based on real time information about the listeners position and beamed directly to ears will be the thing that drives wide adoption. It won't be with the coffin boxes we have now. Not too many folks are willing to put speakers nearly their size in their living room simply for good bass response! Even for people who come over and are blown away by this or that surround experience I've yet to have anyone be so convinced that they went out and bought a surround system. I can't remember now why I went down that road. I'd only heard surround on matrixed computer speakers before I purchase a real system. I'm still puzzled that I had interest in the format after hearing it that way. Glad I did though. As Linda put it, it's difficult to eat sawdust after you've had food.
Doug, I've had the ability to play movies in surround for 30 years. I don't do it often. I own perhaps 300 DVD's and 100 Blu-Rays. Only a handful are movies. Of course, the rest are all about music.
Bleedink, you made some EXCELLENT points. My philospohy in setting up the speakers is to first adjust the image with only the fronts on, ala binoculars. Once the image is in focus, I'll set up the rears as close to that as the primary listening area allows. It works. To have speakers at different heights, or some horizontal and some vertical simply creates a mess. My two main systems are floor standing, so the "toe-in" is the main concern. Although four of the same speakers aren't necessary, I do advocate it where possible.
Most people who buy HTIB think they're buying something great. They're the equivalent of '70's compact systems. Mid-fi at best. I have a Sony HTIB that I inherited. I never play it. It does play SACD, although surround and compatibility are the only real benefits.
Many people assume that they can play their 2ch CD's and have them come out as surround on their home theater. Or, it's close enough. I've been sold on synthesizing since '71. Yet, that pales in comparison to a great discrete mix.
Sorry to say that a small percentage of my collection is surround. Yet, I own nearly 1000 Quad/surround audio-only titles. I have ALWAYS bought EVERYTHING I enjoy in Quad/surround. Often, that means buying something for the second, or even the tenth time. Record labels LOVE me! Even if the surround mix is just echo, I've always had the option of playing the title as 2ch, which I do with many rear echo titles. I ALWAYS play "discrete" mixes as surround.
DKA, although "you shoulda been around back then" is great nostalgia, it isn't necessary. It does provide a few things like a good reference point, an understanding of what a good Quad mix is (what most 5.1 engineers have missed), and experiencing Quad being "all the rage" for a short while. Doug is correct. You don't need that point of reference to understand and enjoy surround sound. So, sit back, pour a microbrew, or whatever you like, and enjoy surround in all its' glory.
A friend got a surround set-up a while back - but unfortunately only with satellite speakers . They got it for movies - I'd been trying to convince them about getting into surround music. I helped them calibrate it, and brought over a few discs. I spun up Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and they were blown away!!! I think once they heard it in their environment - they really listened for the first time.
i believe main reason 'cause very low awareness of the masses about an existence of music in surround format.
no one here would argue that consumers, who's hunting down surround titles, pretty small percentage of general
consumer base and mainly consist an older generation, from which even smaller percentage still have interests for
majority of present consumers consist younger generation which for most part indifferent to musical genres of
60-70-80th. but top sellers at the moment from main stream of genres in fact doesn't offer anything to their fans
in surround or even stereo but well mastered in HiRes formats. they know that chances to remain on top for long
time pretty slim and have single motivation - make as cheap, as possible and grab the cash as much as you can.
the music industry also did nothing in past neither present to educate consumers. so we have the loop which led
us to nowhere.
http://KeepOnTrackin.webs.com Obsolete Audio Technology For A New Millennium
I read thru all the answers and no one has stated the obvious. quad people have 4 ears. and stereo peole have only two.
The divorce was my fault, I just couldn't get along with her boyfriends.
I think I fall somewhere between two chairs. I own, listen and enjoy all of the following systems, mono, stereo, orthoperspecta and quadraphonic. Mono and 2-channel stereo are missing the depth, so the last round is between orthoperspecta and quad. Orthoperspecta has one front speaker and two side (not back) speakers. Because of mono front channel it is obviously missing the left-right difference and it is working perfectly only with stereo records recorded by MS microphone setup. But depth and ambience is there and side speakers doesn't sound unnatural, they are only doing what they are supposed to do, creating the depth and space. Quad is also nice, but sounds from behind doesn't sound right in music (IMHO, of course). But when there's no direct sound coming from the back speakers, only reflections from the concert hall walls etc. then quad is like better version of orthoperspecta with stereophonic front channels.
Last edited by mikko1200; 05-07-2012 at 07:08 AM.
Sansui QRX-7001, Salora Stereo 3000 Orthoperspecta