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Ideal yardstick/reference to setup quality?

Alien

Active Member
I like to listen to music in 2 channel just much as movies in surround in my theater.

I have some concert DVD's with 2 channel mixes included. Comparing the mixes though actually leaves only a few differences...in 2 channel gone is the elevated bass of LFE but it's just as enveloping a sound field. You can barely tell really. 2 channel CD's aren't as good as that except for a couple of them that are meant to be "audiophile" grade.

Does that mean my 2 channel setup is about as good as it's going to get, I mean when it seems much like surround?
 

Yesfan70

I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv
Famous
have you played around with your speakers positions? it could be as simple as moving in/out to/from the walls a bit and toeing them in toward the sweet spot. Other things like room treatments will help too.

Also, do not let the "lack of bass" be an indication of poor 2 channel performance. Chances are, your sub levels may be running a bit hot in 5.1 mode, and they are at a lower level or all the way off in stereo mode. Some receivers also totally leave out the sub channel when in stereo or "direct mode" so, double check your bass management settings for 2 channel listening.

Many of my DVD-As seem to have tons of bass when in 5.1 mode, but sound no better than the remastered CD in stereo. Over time, I much prefer the stereo mix, bass lacking or not.
 

Alien

Active Member
What I mean is that my sound staging/imaging for 2 channel doesn't differ much any more from full 5.1...hence not a problem but is that a reference to proper to 2 channel setup or is it too diffused?
 

jamhead

Well-Known Member
I would say "no" alien as there are too many variables. The 5.1 mix on the concert DVD could suck. Or, the 2 channel mix could suck. Different mixes...so cannot compare at all.
 

Zing

Retired Admin
Famous
If someone has their speakers positioned properly, and their listening position in the right place, they should be able to hear sound eminating from 7 distinct locations up front: outside left, left, inside left, center, inside right, right and outside right. That creates a pretty wide and detailed stage. The only thing missing is the ambiance in the rear. Still, the subtlties of that ambiance may come through, if not imagined.

So for a recording of a live concert, I think a properly set up system and room would make it harder to discern the difference between 2-channel and multichannel.
 

Alien

Active Member
Thanks that's what I was wondering. I gotta get some pics uploaded on here worth looking at...last time I tried it got over exposed or whatever plus I'm kinda shy about what I built.
 

jamhead

Well-Known Member
Alien said:
Thanks that's what I was wondering. I gotta get some pics uploaded on here worth looking at...last time I tried it got over exposed or whatever plus I'm kinda shy about what I built.
What you built? Ohhh, I gotta see this.

To expand a little on Zing-a-ring's response....a great 2 channel listening experience depends on many factors, but mainly, the recording. A good recording should give you pinpoint locations of each instrument in space.

Supertramp's Crime of the Century remastered is a great recording/mixing. At one point, Soundhound posted an imaging test tone compilation (bascially, a series of white-noise traveling from left to right, and back again, which pauses into distinct, rapid stops, at 5 different locations.) Left, left-center, center, right-center, right. The idea was to ensure the rapid stops are very sharp and that each stop is in it's proper location (if that makes sense).

I used this disc to help me set up my main speakers.

I don't remember where those test tones are located now, but, if you want, PM me your address and I can send a copy to you.
 

Alien

Active Member
Yeah I remember that test! I forget what happened exactly but I remember not being able to play it on what I downloaded it to for some reason...a file association problem or something.

I built a dedicated theater in my basement from scratch. I had some beginning photos a couple years ago on S&V when I used a stupid username mjl777 or something like that.
 

Yesfan70

I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv
Famous
Zing said:
....So for a recording of a live concert, I think a properly set up system and room would make it harder to discern the difference between 2-channel and multichannel.

I agree 50/50. A lot of it also depends on how the concert was mixed for 2 channel vs 5.1. A good example is the Two Against Nature DVD by Steely Dan. I think the stereo track sounds more realistic, as the musicians are all upfront and not also to the sides of you as in the 5.1 mix.

Both versions do sound great, but if the 5.1 had been mixed where the surrounds had mostly audience ambiance and echo/reverb from the musicians, then I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two.
 
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