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What is your favorite sound mode for listening to music?

  • All Channels Stereo

    Votes: 6 8.0%
  • Full Mono

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pure Audio

    Votes: 5 6.7%
  • Direct

    Votes: 11 14.7%
  • Stereo

    Votes: 31 41.3%
  • PL II Music

    Votes: 17 22.7%
  • NEO6 Music

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • THX Music

    Votes: 4 5.3%
  • Orchestra

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hall

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Unplugged

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Studio-Mix

    Votes: 1 1.3%

  • Total voters
    75
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a receiver with several different listening options for music and I prefer studio-mix if i want all speakers driven...or stereo (my mains are too small to work well without subs IMO).

What is your favorite sound mode for listening to music?
 

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Most of the time I listen using stereo but I also use Direct as well. I do prefer to have the sub working with my mains
 

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Looking at your equipment list it appears you also have an 809. Have you tried all channel stereo? I use that often and find it quite enjoyable for music.
 

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I tend to listen to music in stereo, and to concert BDs in the best multi-channel format available on the disc.

My AVR has several Audyssey settings: Audyssey (a.k.a. "full on"), Flat, Front, Custom and Off. For music, I use "Off" or, if the recording is a little anemic-sounding, "Front". For concert BDs, I like "full on" Audyssey.
 

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As a recording guy, I wish everyone would listen to whatever format is on the disc--the one that it is intended to be heard in. I get bummed finding out that people listen to something I did in a way that it was not mixed for. All the work that went into the image is just utterly destroyed.

Still, listening in a discombobulated fashion is better than not listening.

Dan
 

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I listen to music in stereo, but when people come to my home and want some background music, I will use all channel stereo to create a nice ambiance
 

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I chose direct because, although I listen to stereo sources in stereo, I listen to MCH in the native format.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looking at your equipment list it appears you also have an 809. Have you tried all channel stereo? I use that often and find it quite enjoyable for music.
I have, but if i want to listen to multi ch i prefer the studio mix. However i do use all ch stereo if i am say doing housework where i am moving around alot.
 

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I am always moving about when I listen to music. On occasion the wife and I have "concert night" and when we do I leave the sound in the native multi channel mix.
 

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I use surround processing, similar to PIIx, when listening to 2-channel music. Centre mixed sounds, like vocals and instrument solos, maintain imaging stability at the middle of the soundstage (no matter where I'm sitting). Mono sounds, like the human voice, sound more like what I hear in real life (compared to a dual-mono phantom image). Stereo information spreads across the soundstage and recorded ambience comes from around me (like I'm used to at live events) rather than in front of me.
 

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Sanjay, what you bring up makes me wish that stereo wasn't the de facto standard. Paul W. had it so right so long ago. Maybe better yet would be the Ambiophonics folks. That way a 2 channel media could be used.

Dan
 

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For Cds I generally prefer stereo (I augment stereo input with a 2-channel tube buffer) . For SACDs and DVD-As I generally use 7 channel direct.
 

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Sanjay, what you bring up makes me wish that stereo wasn't the de facto standard. Paul W. had it so right so long ago. Maybe better yet would be the Ambiophonics folks. That way a 2 channel media could be used.
Dan, keep in mind that "stereo" (from the Greek 'sterios') means solid, as in three dimensional (as in a stereo microscope, which allows you to see in 3D). It has nothing to do with 2 channels, 2 speakers or 2 of anything. When Bell Labs was inventing stereo in the early 1930s, they found that a minimum of 3 channels/speakers were needed up front to create a realistic and stable soundstage. And indeed, lots of early stereo recordings were done in 3 channels. The problem was that there was no way to deliver 3-channel content to consumers, since the popular delivery media of the time (vinyl records) could barely separate 2 channels, let alone 3. Which is why "stereo" has come to mean "2-channel" over the decades since.

Surround processing can be divided into a couple of categories. Those that generate ambience (Concert Hall, Jazz Club, Audyssey DSX, Yamaha DSP modes, etc) and those that extract ambience (Dolby PLII/x/z, DTS Neo, etc). The former generates early reflections and reverb (that weren't in the original recording) in order to do room simulation (make it sound like you're listening in a larger space), whereas the latter relies 100% on information in the recording itself and steers content based on intensity & phase.

If you make a 2-channel recording where you've mixed certain sounds equally in both channels so that those sounds image at the centre of the soundstage, then am I deviating from your intent if I extract that dual-mono content and send it to a speaker at the centre of the soundstage? It's still coming from the intended direction, just made more stable so that listeners outside the sweet spot still hear those sounds as coming from the centre of the soundstage. Unless it is the intent of recording engineers that the soundstage collapse to the nearest speaker for listeners outside the sweet spot?

Same with recorded ambience in 2-channel music. If I have a choice of hearing those sounds from in front of me vs hearing that same ambience from my four surround speakers, then I will always choose the latter. Having said that, no surround processing is perfect, so I can understand if some listeners don't like the results. For me personally, it just sounds more natural than having everything come from a pair of speakers in front of me, which doesn't resemble the way I hear things in real life.
 

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You get my drift as far as the media goes. You elaborated on it nicely although I wasn't trying to use any accurate historical definition that next to no one would use today.

If the image was just made more stable I'd be all for it. The center by default made smaller. That's really just the tip of the iceberg, but the important thing to me is that people listen to music. to listen as intended would be the icing on the cake. I love multichannel(meaning more than 2 here), but most people are listening through a stereo(well, iPod ear buds now)--not your historical reference "stereo".

Dan
 

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Sanjay, sorry I wrote that first reply while at lunch and it is not very clear. If you take two channels and cut them down to one, you'll make the source appear smaller. Some of the imbedded ambiance will also become distorted--not as in Harmonic Distortion.

Technically, off axis listeners could still get a center image with the right speakers, but no one is producing commercial loudspeakers capable of it. That work was done a long time ago--like 20 or 30 years. So it is possible.

The beauty of a crosstalk cancellation has been realized by some locals here in Sunnyvale. Check out jawbone's Jambox. There are several ways to do this sort of thing. Ambiophonics was on to it b4 I was born.

Dan
 

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I listen to whatever format the source puts out...although I voted for "STEREO" since that is 99% of my recordings.

If it is 2-channel, my AVR automatically goes to "STEREO." With multi-channel recordings, my AVR automatically switches to "PLIIx."
In any listening mode my sub is still used with my mains (even for stereo).
 

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Stereo when alone with cd. For the appreciation of recordings as it was meant to be.

Prologic when wife / family / friends are around.

PLIIx movies for Movies other than concerts.
PLIIx music for concerts and musicals.

Direct/auto when I know the recording is native 7.1ch.

Upgrading center speaker to a 'better' / newer with updated drivers than my LR. Anticipating that I'll be using multichannel a lot more.
 
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