How bizarre, I had noticed the exact same thing (the horseshoe effect) on The Immaculate Collection. Kind of embarrassing, but I always check out "Like a Prayer" from this CD to evaluate new equipment's effect on soundstaging. Now I'm curious to hear Amused to Death and other Q-sound releases. With my Alon Model 1s, I hear sound coming from the sides and even from behind me on many of the tracks on the second half of the Madonna CD. My latest discovery, and the thing that has swayed me towards passive pres recently, is how most of the active preamps I've used squash the soundstage into a more conventional left-right up-down space. The galactically spacious presentation is in full bloom with the passives I have used, including the Creek and my current favorite, the Luminous Axiom, which is just a stupendous bargain. Having read a lot about them on the forums here, I'm curious to try a TVC design next. I wonder if the TVC preserves the same 3-D soundstage. Guess which CD I'll be using to find out!