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I have decided I don't need surround sound, ever

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
I don't think I framed my thoughts very clearly. It amounts to this.

Imagine a room with a nice big sofa out in the middle of a room. If you have an ideal set of stereo speakers, the person sitting in the middle will get that amazing enveloping sound Franklin describes with nothing more than that. If that same person moves off-axis, the entire illusion disappears and he is left with a very nice sounding front soundstage. If he is not too far off axis, he may still get some imaging. A person on one end of the couch may hear all of the dialog in a movie coming from the closest speaker.

Imagine the same room with a traditional 5.1 setup. The person in the sweet spot will still get the best sound. The difference is that the people who are sitting off-axis will still get the benefit of enveloping sound, thanks to the speakers behind them. They will also benefit from the existence of the center channel, which anchors dialog in the middle, even when you are sitting way off axis.

That is all I'm getting at. The laws of physics preclude the existence of a system that will sound equally good all over a room.

I see your point.... and to some extent I agree with it. But, does it really matter? The story-telling will be the same without the surround effect. It will also be great without the virtual center effect - as long as one can clearly understand the dialog (which isn't hard with a stereo). The bass impact won't be different off axis unless there are incredibly terrible room node extremes, which would be present even with a 7.2.5 system. So, I think the "least worst of all worlds" isn't as advantageous as the best of all worlds for one person.

But maybe I am biased as I never can truly get lost in a movie or tv show to this extent unless I am alone. If I am with another, I cannot help but spend mental energy on thoughts about the other(s) in the room and how they might be reacting. The whole "lost in the content" goes away when there are others in the room.
 

jomari

War Never Changes
Famous
my wife constantly ask questions when watching a movie, so i get my surround and atmos experience from her.
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
Another moment of magic as I was watching "The King" on Netflix. At about the 31 minute mark, the scene is in the kings chamber as he dies and his son is yelling, knocking things or people over, and trying to get into the chamber. It is a brief moment, but the crashing noises and yelling of the son clearly appear to be coming from the rear left of my head, as the camera angle switches, those rear sound switch to the right. The immediacy of the placement is palpable - but I am still doing it with just two channels of absolute joy.
 

TitaniumTroy

Well-Known Member
Since I worship at the house of imaging/soundstage, I find that truly impressive. Bravo Franklin, or maybe I should be congratulating Flint Acoustic's your speaker manufacturer.
 

Snake Doctor

Active Member
I don't think I framed my thoughts very clearly. It amounts to this.

Imagine a room with a nice big sofa out in the middle of a room. If you have an ideal set of stereo speakers, the person sitting in the middle will get that amazing enveloping sound Franklin describes with nothing more than that. If that same person moves off-axis, the entire illusion disappears and he is left with a very nice sounding front soundstage. If he is not too far off axis, he may still get some imaging. A person on one end of the couch may hear all of the dialog in a movie coming from the closest speaker.

Imagine the same room with a traditional 5.1 setup. The person in the sweet spot will still get the best sound. The difference is that the people who are sitting off-axis will still get the benefit of enveloping sound, thanks to the speakers behind them. They will also benefit from the existence of the center channel, which anchors dialog in the middle, even when you are sitting way off axis.

That is all I'm getting at. The laws of physics preclude the existence of a system that will sound equally good all over a room.

Haywood, I must agree with you on this. Even with an excellent surround system there is a variance in sound if you are off center of axis. It took me years to build the system that I have and it is very good. I have spent hours moving speakers a foot here or there, how far do I tilt the standing speakers toward center or should I leave the facing straight? I have used a sound meter, used the system that came with my prepro to make sure every note, word, crash, explosion, music be it jazz, country, oldies, quartets, comes out clearly, exactly as it was produced.

What I have isn’t perfect but I work at it. Flint, I am pleased for you if what you have built makes you happy. Also, I am smart enough to know I am not smart enough to setup what you have. But, I have an extremely difficult time believing what you now have is better then what you had, or that you get the sound Haywood and I do without exception.

just my two cents.
 

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
Haywood, I must agree with you on this. Even with an excellent surround system there is a variance in sound if you are off center of axis. It took me years to build the system that I have and it is very good. I have spent hours moving speakers a foot here or there, how far do I tilt the standing speakers toward center or should I leave the facing straight? I have used a sound meter, used the system that came with my prepro to make sure every note, word, crash, explosion, music be it jazz, country, oldies, quartets, comes out clearly, exactly as it was produced.

What I have isn’t perfect but I work at it. Flint, I am pleased for you if what you have built makes you happy. Also, I am smart enough to know I am not smart enough to setup what you have. But, I have an extremely difficult time believing what you now have is better then what you had, or that you get the sound Haywood and I do without exception.

just my two cents.
You need to hear his speakers. They might just change your mind. For a single listener in the sweet spot of that room with those speakers, you probably don't need anything more. I did not watch any video content with them, but the soundstage I heard listening to music was massive and enveloping. They are hands-down the best speakers I've ever heard.
 

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
I want Franklin's Statement speakers in a full-blown, completely over the top Dolby Atmos system. Of course, all the speakers need to match...
 

Snake Doctor

Active Member
You need to hear his speakers. They might just change your mind. For a single listener in the sweet spot of that room with those speakers, you probably don't need anything more. I did not watch any video content with them, but the soundstage I heard listening to music was massive and enveloping. They are hands-down the best speakers I've ever heard.
Seriously? I would like to hear them. You did say, “for a single listener in the sweet spot of that room”, doesn’t set limit?
 

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
Seriously? I would like to hear them. You did say, “for a single listener in the sweet spot of that room”, doesn’t set limit?
There is no point in having great speakers if your room acoustics suck and stereo imaging is inherently based on sitting in the sweet spot.
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
No amount of speakers can compensate for poor listener to speaker placement and poor acoustics. If you have a perfect stereo system with an absolutely ideal sweet spot, the sound-field and stereo image can easily virtually simulate sound coming from anywhere in the room. I've heard it and listen to it every time I watch TV or a movie. If you put 15 speakers in a room in various surround locations yet sit somewhere outside of the center location and have lots of reflections, echo, and reverb decay, then the illusion of an enveloping surround will be just okay, at best.

I've posted about moments where sound seemed to be coming from right next to my head - how many times can someone with a 7.2.5 systems can claim they could have sworn a sound was right next to their head? Those systems make sound that comes from any direction, but it sounds like it is 8 to 15 feet away from them. I've heard sounds smoothly move to specific locations between the speakers with such accuracy that I could point to the location exactly 5 degrees off center in front of me with my two channel system. I've never heard a surround system with a center channel speaker pull that off, including my old perfectly matched surround system I was so proud of owning.

In my experience, damn near every multi-speaker surround system has failed to perfectly simulate sound locations other than exactly where the speakers are located. The few exceptions have been in dedicated surround sound mixing rooms where each speaker is the exact same state of the art studio monitor with perfect acoustics and the listener (mix engineer) is seated perfectly in the center of the speakers. How many home theaters have that setup? I haven't seen even one.

So, what makes for a more perfect listening experience? Spending $20,000 on a surround sound system with semi-matched speakers spread around the room with okay acoustics and sitting slightly off center? Or, spending $20,000 on a pair of damn near perfect stereo speakers with great acoustics and sitting perfectly dead center in the absolute sweet spot?

I'd rather have a perfect stereo system which is merely okay when I have guests watching with me sitting in less than ideal seating locations than have a merely okay surround system which is always merely okay no matter where I sit.
 

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
Dolby Atmos now supports up to 34 speakers. At that point, isn't the room essentially made from speakers. Hey, there's an idea. 34 Flint Statement speakers. You won't need acoustic treatments, because there's no room for them!
 
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