Originally Posted by greg_atlanta
Onkyo receiver from late 80s, newish Sony DVD player, decent Cerwin Vega speakers.
I'm planning to buy a 5.1 or 7.1 surround receiver in a year or two but I care more about music than DVDs. Does stereo (2 chan) music sound weird on a surround system if all the speakers are turned on? Or is it best to use only the front speakers?
I'm wondering whether to spend big money on the front speakers and get cheap stuff for surrounds/center chan/sub or spend equally on all the speakers?
I prefer to listen to 2-channell recorded music in 2.1 mode (left, right and sub) which is easily switchable on the receiver.
Originally Posted by Andre Yew
If you're using good matrixing algorithms (eg. DPLIIx or Logic 7), and your speakers match in timbre and are set up correctly, matrixed 2-5 or 2-7 can sound significantly better than just 2-channel.
Spend the most money on your front 3 speakers and a good sub. You can cheat a bit on the surrounds.
I agree with Andre. You generally do not want to skimp on the center channel or you may have difficulty understanding spoken dialogue in movies. Timbre matching is important to get a seamless transition when a sound moves across the front soundstage.