Dumb question about Speaker Positioning

I have one room that is a dedicated dual purpose music room - 2 channel and Home theater. Virtually all of my home theater use is for Music DVD (concerts)and I probably 10-15% of my time in the room is video, the remainder all 2 channel listening. I need to simplify (and hopefully upgrade) my equipment in the room by installing a new 2 channel preamp with HT passthru.

Here's the question: If I optimize the positioning of the front main speakers for 2 channel music, is there any reason this wouldn't also be optimized for music video 5.1? If not would there be much compromise in the HT quality?

thanks in advance!
Acoustically speaking, I would think the ideal position of your speakers based on 2 channel performance, would work equally well with all sources, as the proper positioning controls very critical sonic considerations such as bass response (flat - no boom), 1st reflections, and a good sense of space. In fact, I would think that the introduction and of extra speakers and multichannel recordings would have a greater potential for damaging the sonic's of a 2 channel system than the opposite.
I second Newbee's response.
IMHO a really good 2-channel setup - two good speakers, well placed and backed up by good electronics - obviates the need for additional speakers; with the possible exception of a well integrated subwoofer.
"I second Newbee's response.
IMHO a really good 2-channel setup - two good speakers, well placed and backed up by good electronics - obviates the need for additional speakers; with the possible exception of a well integrated subwoofer."
I very strongly agree, although not everyone would. For example, one person gave the example of hearing the helicopters coming from behind him (i.e. thru the rear speakers) before they appeared on the screen in the movie, "Cliffhanger." Obviously impossible in a two channel set-up. I wouldn't really care. Others would.
Two Channel- IMO- Absolutely......Getting yourself set up in the front will give you a great perspective on where you want to go as far as "surround"...My room has been treated sonically and everything else is pretty darn good- with that in mind, i hear the "dog barking behind the shed", the "dinosaurs doing back flips"; it's all there: two channel....If you feel, hopefully after your room is treated, that you need more- then add more...

I say this without knowing the sonics in your room... Cheers, Brent
I've optimised the placement of my front LR speakers for stereo, and I have a center speaker and two surrounds lateral to our seating position. CD and SACD disks are played in stereo, most DVDs in 5.1. Frequencie below 80 Hz are shunted to a Velodyne HGS-15 whether in stereo or 5.1 -- I suppose stereo might be termed 2.1.

I see no reason for an either or decision in this matter; you can have both. I find that by shunting LF to the sub, the LR speakers sound a bit more open and transparent in stereo, and the sub integrates seamlessly so you would never point to it as a source, and it can deliver the subtle vibration you feel when you attend a live pipe organ recital. I like to experience the canons wizzing over my head when watching Master and Commander, so when 5.1 is available for movies or some TV shows, especially CSI: Miami which is so spectacular in HDTV, I tend to use it. But I have found audio DVDs more of a novelty than an enhancement.

thanks everyone for the input . . . I somewhat fully subscribe to the 2 channel school of thought, but I'm still intrigued by some of the more well recorded 5.1 videos. I'm not ruling out clearing out the multi channel equipment at some point, but since I have another pure 2 channel room, I want to continue playing with the multi-purpose media space.
db--A very helpful post, in my opinion, and for what it's worth.
I agree with all of the above but would add that while speaker position will be optimal for both, seating may need to be changed a little so that you'll listen to 5.1 a few feet closer to the front than for 2ch audio. The idea is to be "surrounded" by the rear speaker effect in 5.1 while you want to benefit from a complete soundstage in 2ch audio. I do not know if it makes sense the way I describe it but in practice: wherever you seat for 2ch audio, move your chair a couple of feet toward the front for 5.1. Listen and forget about this if you do not like it!!!
Interesting point Boheme. I recently moved my seat forward to set up more in nearfield listening. I found that move really improved things so I plan to try it out even closer but need to make some furniture changes. This is for 2 channel. Given this would you still suggest moving closer?

To describe my room - it's approx 21x13. My fronts are 4 1/2 ft from the wall, rears are 1 ft from the rear wall. My seat is about 9 1/2 ft from the fronts (measured at my ears), leaving about 5 ft from the rears to my seat.

thanks, Brad G.
Hi Brad:

It seems like we may have a similar size room and speaker set up. And with my recent acquisition of the Mani’s the same front speakers assuming you’re using your Mani’s in this room. I also watch/listen to a lot of music video’s and as much as I’ve tried listening to them in surround, particularly if it’s a DTS recording, I find myself always coming back to 2 channel for any type of music CD or DVD. It just sounds better that way. Movies are another story. I still like to hear the helicopters behind me. So I think your speaker placement should be driven by 2 channel only. I also think that trying to optimize a surround system for primarily music listening would be counterproductive, and that you would end up loosing more than you could ever hope to gain. I also have found that the placement of the rear speakers is far less critical for a decent movie experience, another reason to concentrate on the placement of your front speakers. Your comment that you are considering a new pre with HT pass through seems to imply that you may be listening to music through a pre/pro. If that is the case the best improvement you could make would be the addition of a good 2 ch. preamp. I have yet to listen to a pre/pro that comes close to a good 2 ch. preamp for music. You could then run your DVD player directly to your pre via a separate set of rca cables when you listen to music videos, assuming there is a PCM option on the disc. Movies (or for that matter music DVD’s) would still go through you digital out into your pre/pro. This would also give you an easy way to A/B music videos through your pre vs. surround through your pre/pro and probably come to the same conclusion as I did that music always sounds better in stereo. Hope this helps.

Regards, Mark
thanks Mark, I posted a great deal more about my setup on my other thread (HT Passthrough Options). I actually had 2 separate complete systems in this room. Both of which have been changing frequently over the last 2 years. The HT to this point has been a total experiment, and the catcher of any hand me down speakers from my 2 channel system upgrades.

I've finally gotten to the point I'm done experimenting. I was trying to decide if I should have an all Totem, or all Von Schweikert speaker system. The VSA won out not because I like them more (I'm actually fanatical about both brands) but because it turned out to be easier and more economical to use VSA's.

The Mani-2's will be moved to a dedicated 2 channel room where I'm sure they will be very happy, as will I.