Interconnects and Home Theater?

Bear with me folks, I'm kind of new to this game. Apologies for my ignorance in advance.

Q1) As far as I can tell there is no good reason to listen to music in surround sound as that's not the way the music is meant to be heard, correct? (Read on to see where I’m going with this, pls.)

Q2) Under that premise, then you only really need good ICs for the front channels and the center (so the timbres are matched during home theater use) but don’t really need really expensive ICs for the rear channels, correct? In that case, I can spend the majority of the money on the ICs for the front channels (to maximize musical listening sound) from the source to the pre/pro and the pre/pro to the amp, and save myself a little bit on the surround channel IC’s? Do I have this right?

Q3) Finally, do most of you try to use the same type of IC from the source all the way to the amp? I would think mixing flavors of ICs isn't desirable as you may get a compounding of weaknesses from one IC to the either (i.e. the undesirable bright qualities of one and the poor bass delivery of another).

My system is as follows: Krell HTS 7.1 pre/pro, Rotel RMB 1075 amp, Sonus Faber Grand Pianos, Solo, and Home speakers , Sony DVD/SACD 777ES, Analysis Plus Oval 9 for the front and center channel, Analysis Plus Oval 12 for the rears.

70% of the time the system will be used for 2 channel audio listening.

Thanks in advance.
1. Music is meant to be heard in a real space and (discrete) surround is a closer approach than is stereo.

2. Probably right.

3. ?? I use the same ones but not for philosophical reasons.
A1) 2 channel is my preference. Not that surround is uniformly bad. Some things sound pretty darned good in Multichannel, especially the in DTS:neo6 Music mode. Its nice for a change of pace as well.

A2) I agree. Even Multichannel SACDs dont have tons of rear-channel info. I do Bias the output towards the front though.

A3) I mix and match cables. I dont think it matters either way. There may be some "synergy" when using all one brand. Stress on "may."

Unless you have very high quality rear/side surround speakers, it's unlikely that high-end interconnects for those channels is going to make any discernable difference in sound quality. Put your best interconnects on the front channels - L, C, and R -- where you will hear the difference. I also agree generally with Distortion's comment that there MAY be a valid reason to use the same brand of interconnect for all channels, but unless there is a vast difference in the quality of the front vs. rear interconnects (e.g., using the most expensive model for the front channels, and the cheapest model for the surrounds), you probably won't hear any difference.
Hey Y'all,

I've upgraded my ICs and speaker cables slowly as I've gotten my system together. I've found that, yes, the most important cables are the front three but I also noticed that when I matched the rear channel ICs with the fronts and center, the surround effects came alive. Any and all surround effects are so real and at times can be startling. With that experience, I've decided to match all 7 channels, 2 subs included, as best I can with the same cables. I have identical ICs for every channel including the subs. I also, until very recently, have had the same speaker cables for the front three speakers and had plans to buy the same cables for the rears. I've recently acquired a pair of significantly more expensive speaker cables for an in home demo and it would be very expensive to try and match the rears with such a costly cable. I will look into buying the level below the cable I'm trying out now for the rears, but even that may be too much money. I also plan on adding the same speakers for rears as I now have in front, again to match the surround sound field and make it more involving. I guess what I'm saying is if you can match all the channels, I think it makes for a more exciting surround sound experience. But, since you will be listening to 2ch music much more then watching movies or playing surround music, you can get away with what you have in mind. I would still not skimp too much, you will definitely enjoy the surround more with as good a cable as you can afford........John