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  • Stereo or Surround Sound?

    Posted by speaker-builder on June 29, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    I’ve always preferred stereo sound over the home theatre surround sound.  

    Recently I completed a system with a friend. Basically it’s an HTPC directly feeding a stack of three Crown XLS1002 amps with Fluance speakers.  Everything is done in the HTPC’s software and the result is a killer system, more than enough to make me rethink my long standing preference. But when I come home and power up my rather humble little stereo setup, it still feels right, comfortable, familiar… So it’s a bit of a quandry.

    So what do we think… Stereo or Surround?

     

    shrub0 replied 2 years, 11 months ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • 123toid

    Administrator
    June 29, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    That is a great question.  I personally prefer SS over stereo.  However, I do enjoy both.  But I really got into this first for movies, so I think that is where the affinity for SS started.  And I have never really departed from that.  In fact when I test speakers, I test both music and some of my favorite movie scenes just to see how they perform.  SO if they are being used as surrounds, I use them as surround in my movie test.   

  • speaker-builder

    Administrator
    June 29, 2019 at 5:35 pm
    Posted by: 123Toid

    That is a great question.  I personally prefer SS over stereo.  However, I do enjoy both.  But I really got into this first for movies, so I think that is where the affinity for SS started.  And I have never really departed from that.  In fact when I test speakers, I test both music and some of my favorite movie scenes just to see how they perform.  SO if they are being used as surrounds, I use them as surround in my movie test.   

    Test scenes? … The opening credits in “The Jackal” (1997) … Holy #$@&!!! 

    Mind boggling in Stereo.

  • 123toid

    Administrator
    June 29, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    I have a few favorite test scenes. The opening of Transformers, the beginning of Now You See Me 2 and even the beginning of Mad Max Fury Road.  Just to name a few.  Even the scene in Interstellar where he is trying an impossible dock.

  • speaker-builder

    Administrator
    June 29, 2019 at 6:48 pm
    Posted by: 123Toid

    I have a few favorite test scenes. The opening of Transformers, the beginning of Now You See Me 2 and even the beginning of Mad Max Fury Road.  Just to name a few.  Even the scene in Interstellar where he is trying an impossible dock.

    Don’t know about Transformers or Fury Road… but Now You See Me has some really good music in both episodes and the docking scene in Interstellar is pretty good …

    But just wait till you hear the opening credits from The Jackal … The sound just rolls across the room at you, pretty amazing.  Also the house explosion in “Paul” (2011)… Daymn!

    So our count seems to be 1 Stereo and 1 Surround … 

     

  • lionelc

    Member
    July 3, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I love to watch movies with surround sound, but for music Stereo all the way. I am with you, stereo just seems better and comfortable in a lot of ways. 

    Seems to be that a lot of people think one or the other, and most audiophiles will say you cant use a surround sound receiver for listening to stereo music, but I do. It is what I have room for, and budget for. 

     

     

    LionelC

  • speaker-builder

    Administrator
    July 3, 2019 at 4:02 pm
    Posted by: LionelC

    Seems to be that a lot of people think one or the other, and most audiophiles will say you cant use a surround sound receiver for listening to stereo music, but I do. It is what I have room for, and budget for. 

    LionelC

    Hey Lionel, thanks for the reply.

    You would be amazed how often I used to get called in to service home theatre setups and there on the side wall was a complete, isolated, stereo setup. After a while I took to suggesting that people should combine the two systems to give their music the benefits of a sub-woofer and their movies the benefit of high end front speakers. Many were quite surprised to hear you could do that… in their minds movie sound and music are two different things.  Kind of like computers and music were in the 90s.

    In fact, one of the best upgrades you can do for a home theatre is to improve the front L and R speakers.  Both movies and music are going to sound better.

     

  • hawkcigar

    Member
    August 11, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I’ve always been a stereo guy because I’m mostly into this for the music.  Maybe it’s partly because the movies I typically watch are older and don’t really make use of surround.  That being said, I certainly do appreciate being immersed in the surround sound experience when I’m watching a movie that utilizes it.  

  • bjaurelio

    Member
    August 14, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I’m a surround sound person. I like music, and most music is in stereo. However, the upmix algorithms are pretty good now and create a more enveloping listening environment with more balanced levels in the room. In the new house I will only have surround in the media room. The living room will be relegated to stereo because my wife doesn’t want a lot of speakers downstairs. At least I’ll have my own room to do whatever I want with for speakers and acoustic treatments I made and have been without for a few years now.

  • cap

    Member
    August 15, 2019 at 2:50 am

    I skipped over all the posts but I like stereo as opposed to surround when it comes to music. The reason being is that music is mixed in stereo. Since most video is mixed in surround, I prefer video in surround. I wish music was mixed in both aspects so you could have a choice.

  • 123toid

    Administrator
    August 15, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    @cap

    Great point.  I still have an Eagles DVD that was mixed in DTS.  It is really awesome to hear how they mixed it.  I know there used to be SACD, but that has gone by the wayside as well.  I am with you though, I would love to see music mixed in surround or even Atmos. That would be something else when done correctly.  I willa dmit, that when I listen to music in the theater room (rarely, I actually enjoy putting it on 7 channel stereo.  Just to have the sound all around me.  

  • shrub0

    Member
    August 28, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    I’ve always been a stereo guy. Music is the priority for me. I’ve recently acquired a 5.1 channel reciever so I might give surround sound a shot.