1st Post Intro & Ramblings

Hi all, I have been a member for about 10 years and never posted anything although I do read a lot. Figured at some point I would, 10+ years later......

 Profession, Audio Visual Tech 22 years. I mostly work in house corporate, conventions and trade shows. Spent some time building clubs, worked a few concerts and home audio has been more of a hobby for a very long time and I have designed and built a few very high end setups years ago. I always hated working professionally on home audio, the customers and sales people are either to cheap or knee deep in marketing and cannot take advice from professionals. My experience has led me to be more aware of the budget, a vast majority cannot spend $10-20k on a stereo and yet some of us spend that on a just 1 component. 
I think that will suffice as an introduction, next I will post some of what I have learned along the way. Keep in mind, most of my recommendations come with a budget mindset instead of $$$ all out performance $$$.
I most likely am not wording it correctly. Using a movie as your source, Pay attention to how sound from a center channel stays locked in, it’s a mono channel. Now listen to it in stereo (again, assuming it was recorded correctly).
There are so many ways to bring out the best from a system. First consider the outlet in which power conditioners and amps are plugged in directly. I replaced mine w/Leviton MRI82/83's Hospital Grade. What a difference from the $2 Leviton outlets. Dedicated circuit. Use the best conductivity plugs as well. I've found bare wire speaker connections sound the best. (If you're worried about copper corrosion, try silver plated copper. QED Revelation.) Recapped my Arcam Alpha 10 int. amp w/Kendeil. Superb!  It will take a while before all components will blossom w/trial and error. I've finally reached the point in my reference system where I'm satisfied. Took many years! With effort, you can put together a very nice system w/little funds. Every detail matters and hopefully everyone finds "it" at some point. 
A couple of things:
1) quite a few audiophiles have dedicated rooms, most people buying cheap systems don’t, they set them up in living rooms/family rooms that are shared with a tv usually.
2) nobody can correctly setup a room in 10 minutes like millercarbon claims. Millercarbon thinks he’s a gift to us all on knowing everything audio which he is not. The pros take hours and sometimes a couple of days to setup a audiophile system. It’s not just positioning the speakers, it’s room acoustics, listening seat position, and if you get time aligned speakers like Wilson’s, it takes hours just aligning them. If you take millercarbon’s system, it might take only a couple of minutes because you can only get so much out of it3) speaker positioning is an art. There are many recommendations on how to start. You can use the 1/3 or 1/5 start, the Cardas starting location, or Jim Smith’s, all each a little different. Also, these formulas differ depending on the type of speaker you are using. 4) I use Jim Smiths formula for seating distance which isn’t equal to spacing between the speakers
5) most families spend a few thousand on a stereo setup, but the real quality systems cost much more. If you think you can get a top notch system for $2500, save your money and get an apple HomePod. I have 5 systems throughout my house ranging from a HomePod, to wireless peachtree speakers, plus a couple of quality small speakers powered by ps audio sprout 100 integrated amps, but all pale to my much more expensive (50-60x more) dedicated audio system. You can get an enjoyable system for a few thousand $$$$ and I think it’s impressive how some manufactures can build a smaller quality speaker that sounds big, like raidho’s and Wilson’s for example.

Theater sound has not been about creating a larger stereo image since the 70s. Surround sound is about trying to put the viewer into the scene with sounds appearing to come from all around like in real life.

The center channel is not to widen the stereo image it is to lock the position of dialog with wide theater or home seating. It is not a simple left/right summation. For one or two this is why you can eliminate the center and have good results but still need the surround channels for the intended experience.