Rvpiano > I find with other record companies the sound of the options vary as to what sounds better. I thought the 5.1 was designed for a multi-speaker surround setup. Can anyone explain what’s going on?
Blindjim > spacial cues designed for six loudspeakers, being down mixed into four less speakers seems prudent enough for a general answer.
Yes, 5.1 audio info is designed to be best reproduced using a sub and 5 associated speakers arranged more or less in a semi circle of sorts. Often the surrounds are used as rears. Its not cast into stone and no one will come to arrest you if you differ.
Craming all six ch into two ch has wiered effects at times.
And yes, different discs, or lables, or productions will sound differently as will different devices doing those down mixes. Some may just eliminate the ancillary channels altogether! Some devices may throw them all into the stereo presentation. This depends.
Bottom line is if you dig a thing a certain way, or a particular thing done differently, super! Just super! It is BTW, your stuff and your enjoyment and or entertainment.
The ‘hard & fast’ rules regarding what MUST be done are few in audioland. I’ve not yet seen any regarding the way we listen amounting to anything beyond personal preffs. Nothing wrong with that at all. Personal preffs drive the industry.
For the next bump up the audio fascination hill, add a sub. Or not. The cops won’t come either way. Unless you bug the neighbors with excessive volume..
Be well. Have fun.