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Yes, I have listened to multichannel SACDs for a while.
try those new DSD recording (after 2002) on classical music SACDs, they are amazing:
You never know until you do A/B comparsion. You need to make sure:
1) setup all your spks are full range spks; 2) the center channel spk and amp are just as good as your mains; 3) use ITU guide for your spk positions, your rare spks shall place > 100 degree (as suggested by ITU 110 degree). 4) if you can, make sure the central channel get mod done too while geting your SACD player mods. I have all tube system setup in my listen room, really enjoy. Now I realized the 2-channel system will not reproduce "live music" -- as people claimed they have.
There is no reason it can't sound as good. This is just another "audio myth".
Sure a multichannel integrated with 5 channels that costs the same as a monoblock single channel power amp is quite unlikley to out perform the power amplification prowess of the monoblock on any one indvidual channel...but you would expect that.
I used to have Dreadnaught II, and then switched to BAT 75 SE, and I'll venture a thought, that BAT is significantly better for music reproduction. Actually BAT makes MC amp VK- 6200, and coming from VK himself, " many people bought it strictly for 2-CH systems". I haven't heard it myself, though.
From my personal experience I can say, that I found a dedicated high quality stereo system ( 2-ch preamp with HT bypass, mono blocks for the front channels), integrated into HT set-up (HT pro-, MCH amp for the front and rear channels), to be a more flexible and capable solution.
I also owned the Dreadnaught II as well as other multi-channel amps from Conrad Johnson and Krell. I can tell you that emphatically none of these could compare to a large number of equally priced and even lower priced two channel amps in terms of stereo (2-channel performance). The Dreadnaught lasted two weeks in my system before I sold it, to a guy where it lasted one week - due to its performance in 2-channel operation. I bought into the rave reviews on this amps claim to perform in 2-channel, as did the guy who bought it from me.
Is it a bad amp? No, but there are a large number of 2-channel amps at a fraction of its new price that will outperform it in 2-channel mode. This is not a knock on just the Dreadnaught though, this has been my experience with all the multi-channel amps to date. Of course, the rest of your system will help determine the performance in both HT and 2-channel operation (as a note, I am also a believer from experience that the pre/pros cannot perform in 2-channel mode at or near the same level as two channel preamps - having gone through many pre/pros [McIntosh/Acurus/B&K/Krell/etc. .] and preamps [Aesthetix/Cary/BAT/ARC/Jeff Rowland/etc. . .]).
The Gilmore Dragonfly Look interesting. If it performs as well as my Raven in 2-channel, it would be an excellent choice.