|I think that 2 channel is inferior, though, of course, my ears and reason may be mistaken.|
The obvious reason, I am thinking, it is that two channels are less representative of infinity (live music) than 3, 5 or 7, etc. This is the case even if the transducers, amps & speakers, and room acoustics, are perfect (dream on...) in the 2-channel mode.
In my own system, two Revel M-20s as center channel, vertically arrayed, with Revel M-50s on either side, there is the occasional CD (jazz is my thing) that sounds better in stereo, than with 5.1 processed sound, but this is rare. Most sound better with the center channel prominent (either in Dolby Standard or Music modes).
It's possible that I simply need better equipment.
But then why do I find that the best sound (in my system) is from digital sources, e.g. DVD, Blu-Ray, SACD, whether the sound reproduces music or movies. Would better equipment neutralize (and even flip) this negative comparison of stereo to multi-channel reproduction? If so, what is the explanation?
What I find in particular (for music and movies) that is that digital sources in multi-channel mode give full breath and focus to the center channel, placing this important sound component exactly where it should be: precisely in the center of the room. And giving the other channels 'room' to shine (though, in my system, given the amplification available, this should not problem).
What am I missing in theory?