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  • Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

    How to construct the competition; surround versus stereo.

    Venue requirements and larger group participation.

    1 listener at a time;

    It is best that the systems use a common speaker, ie the surround system is based on the preferred stereo pair.

    When the stereo system is a seperate amplifier and preamplifier from the surround processor then care must be taken with the wiring to not reveal what system is playing.

    The room must be closed off from other waiting participants.

    Systems will not be switched back and forth during the individual listening session.

    Listeners will have 2 seperate sessions making subjective notes on each system playing the same music selections.

    Music will not start until the listener is seated and the listener's may not move from the seat until music stops.



    These are some basics parameters that have worked in the past when there were to be 5 or more participants/ listeners and determining which is system sounds better.
    “Never ask people about your work.”
    ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

  • #2
    Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

    For this competition to be conclusive, or even instructive, for ME, I would need to see the following requirements as well:

    1) All 5 speakers should be the same TM to negate any differences between speakers or orientation - 2 channel proponent can place the stereo speakers and subwoofer as he wants, then surround proponent places the remaining 3 speakers

    2) A single AVR should be used - each competitor should have sufficient time to set up his respective mode including levels, delays and EQ

    3) ONLY stereo recordings should be used as it appears that we are all in agreement that 5.1 recordings sound amazing in 5.1

    I don't have a dog in this race, but I am curious and I do like a good competition. I think I could learn something if this goes down.

    Dan
    _____________________________
    Tall Boys
    NRNP Computer Sub
    The Boxers
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    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

      Whew,
      Been following this. I think stereo is far superior for music. I believe it convey's the artists message more effectively and most multi channel mixes are terrible representations of actual music.

      What I see bruin' here is a good ol "Pepsi Challenge". I believe for most, the 5.1 will make a better one song demo. Having listened to both quite a bit I would wager quite a bit on it. However it says nothing of the long-term listenability of enjoyablility of it. Many people love their new car for the first couple of months until the little things drive them crazy, a sip of Pepsi make Coke re-formulate which almost cost them their lively hood, and digital was suppose to be the death of vinyl, which we know is the opposite.

      This will prove Nothing, Nada, Zilch, Zip.

      The only thing this will show is something I think everyone here, n00b and veteran alike knows:

      Multi-channel and Stereo both sound good.

      ....I have my bucket of popcorn and await the results!
      .

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

        Unfortunately for this whole test, mess, whatever, and I hate to spoil the proceedings. But one can't have a surround system that's 'similarly priced' to a 2 channel system and yet use the same speakers in both the Stereo and Surround tests.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

          Originally posted by speekerbldr View Post
          Unfortunately for this whole test, mess, whatever, and I hate to spoil the proceedings. But one can't have a surround system that's 'similarly priced' to a 2 channel system and yet use the same speakers in both the Stereo and Surround tests.
          Similarly priced per speaker is sufficient for this comparison. Exact same speakers is even better.

          Dan
          _____________________________
          Tall Boys
          NRNP Computer Sub
          The Boxers
          The Hurricanes
          The Baronettes
          Conneccentric
          UX3

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

            Originally posted by DanP View Post
            Similarly priced per speaker is sufficient for this comparison. Exact same speakers is even better.

            Dan
            Got to be same speakers and same SPL at the listening position.
            http://www.diy-ny.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

              This should be entertaining...

              Originally posted by DE Focht View Post
              How to construct the competition; surround versus stereo.

              Venue requirements and larger group participation.

              1 listener at a time;

              It is best that the systems use a common speaker, ie the surround system is based on the preferred stereo pair.

              When the stereo system is a seperate amplifier and preamplifier from the surround processor then care must be taken with the wiring to not reveal what system is playing.

              The room must be closed off from other waiting participants.

              Systems will not be switched back and forth during the individual listening session.

              Listeners will have 2 seperate sessions making subjective notes on each system playing the same music selections.

              Music will not start until the listener is seated and the listener's may not move from the seat until music stops.



              These are some basics parameters that have worked in the past when there were to be 5 or more participants/ listeners and determining which is system sounds better.
              I fail to understand the reasoning behind most of these requirements. I would suggest that:
              -the same electronics be used for both presentations.
              -I don't understand why you would not allow someone to switch between the two systems. This is my main event when tuning speakers, trying to determine if a crossover needs adjustment, etc. I apply some EQ with a DSP, then turn it on and off to determine whether or not I prefer the "before" or the "after".
              -not allowing one to move while listening is just nonsense. Remember Defocht when you tried to defend my "head in a vice" statement. Back that up by letting people move about as they would in a normal listening environment. I suggest dancing around playing air guitar, but you can do whatever you like.

              Originally posted by DanP View Post
              For this competition to be conclusive, or even instructive, for ME, I would need to see the following requirements as well:

              1) All 5 speakers should be the same TM to negate any differences between speakers or orientation - 2 channel proponent can place the stereo speakers and subwoofer as he wants, then surround proponent places the remaining 3 speakers

              2) A single AVR should be used - each competitor should have sufficient time to set up his respective mode including levels, delays and EQ

              3) ONLY stereo recordings should be used as it appears that we are all in agreement that 5.1 recordings sound amazing in 5.1

              I don't have a dog in this race, but I am curious and I do like a good competition. I think I could learn something if this goes down.

              Dan
              1 - This I feel would be an ideal setup, however I actually don't think this setup is representative of most surround installations. I would like to see a comparison that includes what most people have in their home.
              2 - as stated above, same electronics used for both demonstrations to keep as many apples and as few oranges as possible ;). However I'm not sure how I feel about the EQ. I'd be inclined to say "no EQ" to keep the comparison more equal. It is a comparison of stereo vs pro-logic surround, not on one's ability to tune a system with EQ. At the very least, the stereo pair should have the same EQ applied for both demonstrations, so Defocht can fix the downfalls of pro-logic with EQ :D
              3 - yes, stereo recordings, true 2 channel playback vs surround ambience processing.
              "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
              exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                Originally posted by speekerbldr View Post
                Unfortunately for this whole test, mess, whatever, and I hate to spoil the proceedings. But one can't have a surround system that's 'similarly priced' to a 2 channel system and yet use the same speakers in both the Stereo and Surround tests.
                In the past when I had access to much more equipment than I do now I would often bring equipment 1/10th the system price than the stereo system I was comparing it too. But this was about showing audiophiles with $5000 cables what 5 DIY speakers and 2 DIY subs with a well selected receiver could do to some tube amp esoteric Axpona BS system.

                But this is not about the equipment, this is about Fake 5.1 using 2 channel recordings versus 2 channel playback.

                So I agree so far with using the same speakers as it will simplify the procedings greatly.

                They can be DIY, If I have to I will make 3 of the selected speakers to round out the surround system.


                Very good suggestions so far.
                “Never ask people about your work.”
                ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                  Originally posted by dcibel View Post
                  I fail to understand the reasoning behind most of these requirements. I would suggest that:
                  -the same electronics be used for both presentations.
                  -I don't understand why you would not allow someone to switch between the two systems. This is my main event when tuning speakers, trying to determine if a crossover needs adjustment, etc. I apply some EQ with a DSP, then turn it on and off to determine whether or not I prefer the "before" or the "after".
                  -not allowing one to move while listening is just nonsense. Remember Defocht when you tried to defend my "head in a vice" statement. Back that up by letting people move about as they would in a normal listening environment. I suggest dancing around playing air guitar, but you can do whatever you like.
                  Dude you're killing me!!!

                  You're not supposed to know if it is surround or 2 channel when you are listening.

                  That is why the listener cannot get up and see if the center channel is on or off or the rears etc.... has nothing to do with head in the vice LOL!!!

                  In my experience 2 channel guys get very angry when they discover they like surround, allowing people to determine what they are listening too will bias them greatly.
                  Sure some may figure it out but I'd like to make it somewhat difficult.

                  BTW switching from surround back to stereo, is a big loser for stereo. It sounds pretty bad when you do this.

                  I never add regular EQ to the satellite speakers, just the subwoofers. The 2khz 5khz and 7khz filter used on my preferred surround processor for the rears will not be needed and using a surround processor of that caliber unnecessary. Prologic II is adequate and most people have access to it.
                  “Never ask people about your work.”
                  ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                    The argument is where 2 channel is better VS multi. Better to me means, more life like.
                    So, the only thing that can change is the number of speakers and processing. Total summed SPL needs to remain the same as well as the speakers (but not the number of). Blind testing is also a necessity.
                    I would also suggest that for the sake of "better" or life-like argument, experienced listeners are chosen. Meaning, listeners that often visit life venues (classical/jazz and so on).
                    I meet too many audiophiles and experts who never went and listened to an orchestra. Not a good listener/reference.
                    http://www.diy-ny.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                      Well you'll use the same exact speakers, basically switching between surround and stereo modes on the receiver. Most human beings will be able to tell the difference. This competition is moot. Your dick is bigger and you can pee farther. Does that make you feel better?

                      I'm just trying to make a point here. Surround is good, if the music was recorded for it. Stereo is good if the music was recorded for it. They're both good. They're both good.







                      They're both good.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                        Originally posted by r-carpenter View Post
                        The argument is where 2 channel is better VS multi. Better to me means, more life like.
                        So, the only thing that can change is the number of speakers and processing. Total summed SPL needs to remain the same as well as the speakers (but not the number of). Blind testing is also a necessity.
                        I would also suggest that for the sake of "better" or life-like argument, experienced listeners are chosen. Meaning, listeners that often visit life venues (classical/jazz and so on).
                        I meet too many audiophiles and experts who never went and listened to an orchestra. Not a good listener/reference.

                        Level matching definitely.

                        Maybe we have some thread later on music programming selections. If we know how many participants we can scale the time to suit.
                        “Never ask people about your work.”
                        ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                          Originally posted by greywarden View Post
                          Well you'll use the same exact speakers, basically switching between surround and stereo modes on the receiver. Most human beings will be able to tell the difference. This competition is moot. Your dick is bigger and you can pee farther. Does that make you feel better?

                          I'm just trying to make a point here. Surround is good, if the music was recorded for it. Stereo is good if the music was recorded for it. They're both good. They're both good.
                          They're both good.
                          You might be surprised to find out that less than 5% of the people I have done demos for where they were listening to CD's they brought with them knew they were listening in surround.

                          This is hundreds of people over many years. The 5% is mostly Asian dudes/ Japanese & Koreans I always have to tweak the system for them....damn

                          Stereo CD's played back with DPLII is fabulous. Symphonic music.....crazy good.
                          “Never ask people about your work.”
                          ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                            Ok , what are you going to do if you do do the comparison and you still can't agree on witch sounds better ? What sounds good in a test environment may not work as well in your home . And then there is personal taste witch there is no accounting for . Just saying .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Surround versus Stereo Make recommendations on Venue and Participation

                              This all sounds like a good time, but this isn't what I agreed to at all on a bunch of different levels. This was DE Focht's original statement...

                              Originally posted by DE Focht View Post
                              You are welcome to setup a comparison with whatever caveman 2 channel system you would like and I will club you like baby seal with a similar surround system.
                              Making both of us use the same speakers isn't at all what was said here^^, and I made the statement that I wouldn't be using a surround preamp. A 5.1 system is hardly the same price as a 2 channel system, the speakers alone are generally 3x more expensive for surround over 2 channel. Not only that, but that also gives the option of a subwoofer in the 5.1 system that I wouldn't have in the 2 channel system. Plus, making one person sit in one spot for the demo is exactly the reason I don't do surround for music, I don't want to be locked in a vice listening to music. I could tailor this the same way to favor a 2 channel system.

                              I have $2k into my 2 channel system, you can show up with your ~$2k surround sound system and we'll demo both in front of the audience attending whatever show this is at using a Redbook CD track that we both agree on.

                              I understand and agree that if you really wanted to know what sounded better that you guys have a good idea, but this isn't what I agreed to so I won't have any stake in this, I can do this^^ in my own living room.
                              "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
                              "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

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