Stereo sounds better than 5.1?

I don't think so !!! More speakers, if done right (ie. the right pre-amp), you get, better imaging, better clarity, better everything. Nobody that has any "Good" audio experience can disagree with this. If you do disagree, YOUR WRONG. I feel sorry for all you are missing. End of story.
For movies i agree 100% but for music i beleive if they could get it right and make it sound natural,which has NOT happened yet that would be great,but no one now can tell if my center channel is on when i play two channel,not even someone with golden ears,and this is with the speaker sitting 5ft behind the other two as i only place the center were it belongs when watching an ocasional movie. There has been no dts,dolby digital ect recorded music that sounds right in the rear channels although there is an intial wow factor it turns to this does not sound right after a while,besides there is a lot less information on dd,dts than there is on cd,not to mention audible distortion.I bought an sacd player a while back and love the sound but multi channel has a lot to prove to me.Ibeleive in the future maybe there will be a viable multi channel format such as sacd,but for now your the one that is wrong IMHO.
I agree with Ears. I have a 5.1 system and movies are great, but as far as music, even the DTS DVD of The Eagles "Hell Freezes over" while it sounds great, it just has the placement of some of the instruments all wrong. instruments all wrong. I have several DD and DTS music videos, and while I very much enjoy the visual/sonic experience, they still do not come even close to good 2 channel stereo for imaging. Unless they standardize on just how to mix a 5.1 correctly, then I don't think you can help but get instrument misplacement just because someone decided it sounded kool there. Then when you are watching the band on stage (DVD) and you hear the lead guitar come from behind you, it just blows the experience. Just my opinion.
Hello urban I am not sure what you are trying to say but everybody has there own opinion and you are not the supreme authority. I am sure you feel that your multi-channel set up sounds better based on your multi-threads started about this subject, how about you post a question with out including an answer you might find that everybody here will be more then glad to give reasons why they feel the way they do about "inferior stereo" maybe you should try to diversify and understand where others are coming from before you start barking audio gospal at us, Thanks a bunch.
Three channel is great for music, but 5.1 is f#^%&#$ stupid.
Follow up:From thread author.
Let me explain further, I'm also saying I would rather listen to the stereo surround version extracted from 2 channel over just the regular stereo version. Notice I said, "If properly set up". The new surround versions out today can drastically improve upon "Normal stereo". I'm not trying to start any fights, just trying to spark some passionate dialog about listening to 2 ch. over 5.1 ch. I'll bet most people that have a high end processer will say the same thing, they listen to the stereo surround version over regular stereo everytime. Ears is right about the center channel, when I listen to a stereo version, I to will swear the center channel is on, thats called imaging and my system does that well, but add alittle to the surrounds and now you have an accurate sound stage, more natural sounding. That's the point here. More comments ?
Anyone agree ? For the Tireguy, I question your experience when you say an Adcom pre-amp is one of your favorite componets. You might as well say you like Bose speakers too. Lets keep it friendly now, I just said I question you experience.
Pardon me but I NEVER claimed to favor an adcom pre-amp you might want to get your facts straight before you start spreading rumors. I agree that a "good" multi channel set up is nice, I have seen and heard of abbey road studios I do not live in a cave. But 5 B&W Nautilus 801 and 5 Chord amps hardly seems reasonable to me but I guess I do not have the kind of money that you do. I would appreciate it if you would get your FACTS straight before you try to put me down, I do not have all of the anwers I just try to make educated decisions based on the FACTS in front of me and share the knowledge that I gather with those whom share the passion of HI-FI:>)Tim The Tire Guy
Interesting thread, but I can't buy into the premise that 5.1 sounds better than stereo. Perhaps it's because I'm use to listening to two speakers not 5.1. For me, I hear more image focus, detail and timbre correct resolution in stereo. The soundstage appears more balanced and the presentation is more musical and satisfying.

There is a lot to be said for the new home theater sound format. I'm sure it will eventually become the standard setup for some. The 5.1 format is dynamic and dazzling with movies and some musical source material. That's just fine by me but when I want to really hear the music two speakers is all I'm ever going to need. That's just what I like and what is "best" to me. Regards; -Jerie
For the cost of doing 5.1 right, you can do 2 channel way better. I prefer the stage to be in front of me, not surrounding me. Movies are another story, but for music my vote is for 2 channel. You tell Tireguy to keep it nice right after you qestion his ability to hear? Wasn't the Adcom 750 rated class A? You should write Stereophile and enlighten them to your all mighty knowledge. It is a pretty big blanket statement to say that anybody with any REAl audio experience will have to agree with you. I would say there are lots of folks here with plenty of experience. Maybe believe it or not beyond yours even that will disagree. It is the same as posting CD'S are the better than records, if you don't agree than you can't hear. It's just asking for a fight.
On the scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 being the greatest, the 5.1 is exactly being to 5.1 in this scale!
Stereo for music hands down. I do have a very good processor: EAD ovation with Martin Logan monoliths and Logos with Levinson, Krell, and Classe amplification. I have done quite a bit of experimentation in this area. Steely Dan's 2 against nature DTS is very good in 5.1, but these songs in 2 channel stereo are much better. Better soundstage and far more natural. Now, downmixing a 5.1 channel to 2 channel--the 5.1 sounds better--it was designed to be played back at 5.1. But compare it and the same material that was recorded for and played back in 2 channel--the 2 channel wins hands down--that is if your 2 channel playback is set up properly. I have found that 5.1 channel can compensate for deficiencies in 2 channel set-ups. For example, speakers too close to a wall that can't create an image properly in 2 channel set-up, sound fine in 5.1 because the center fills in and the rears create some soundstage. (This would also hold true for speakers that don't image very well--I had this experience when I owned Klipsch speakers). So if you are experiencing an improvement of 5.1 over 2 channel, you might spend some time on improving the 2 channel set-up--sounds like your missing some really great music.
5.1 is pure digital manipulation and fine for movies; But the technology is not there yet. 2 Channel music is light years better. Even the sound field (stage) does not work in 5.1 -- Imagine yourself sitting in the center of the New York Philarmonic, in a circle, with them all facing you while playing. There are certain sounds created by the orchestra playing together. This is destroyed in surround sound, because the instrument are coming at you from all directions. While very very interesting to listen to from a technical standpoint, it would grow tiresome quickly because it isn't "Music", just sound IMHO.
I would not consider that I have yet heard a great 5.1 system, while have heard some great stereo systems, so I guess that my final judgement on this will have to be up in the air for a bit.

As to my systems, I have integrated my HT setup with my stereo system. The stereo side of the system is decent, imaging is great, soundstage is beautiful, and overall I find it a joy to listen to.

The HT side of the system is on the high-end of low-end; speakers are different brand and lesser than front left and right. It is adequate for movies, actually better than many I have heard. But for music, it is just not there.

So I would be very interested in hearing some idea of what a reference 5.1 system would look like... What electronics, what speakers, what placement, room size etc.

Well Urban at first I thought you might have been looking to have fun w/the 2ch guys. But know I realize that maybe your 2ch is just "well not to be rude, but your 2ch is not great." I for one thing think/know I have a very good surround system. DC-1/Bat vk200/All martin logans/pioneer elite dvd/cd and a sub. And believe me the ht is unreal. But when it comes to music my 2ch is better and then the surround (hands down). I love my ht, just as much as music. That's why very soon I will be adding a Bat vk30 tube preamp to the setup, for better 2ch. Right now my 2 channel sounds like surround. Yes 2 preamps give you the best of both worlds. O did I mention when I play 2ch everyone who comes over thinks its in surround mode, NOT. And I too have the hell freezes over DVD. And it is better in 2ch.. I think your 2ch needs alittle help. But have fun, this is what its all about.
I'm not going to say the YOU'RE WRONG, because different people have different things they listen for.

I agree that digital manipulation does assist movies. I've heard the full bore vandersteen signature surround system. I thought it was nice and did make movies and Hell Freezes Over more enjoyable. Unless you have a huge room and bank account where your screen is 6ft+ behind your peakers and you can have your surround sound system FEED your reference two channel setup, you will be compromising your music quality. Spending equal dollars, two channel far outperforms surround. I've heard 5-6 surround sound setups, the vandersteen setup being the best. I have yet to hear one that approaches the magical qualities of good 2 channel, especially a tube setup. I think a good two channel setup actually places images in a more solid three dimensional space than a home theater setup. Truthfully, I don't like surround sound for watching television/movies. I feel that it is just Too Much Sound being pressed at me and I find it tiring. I prefer having a small two channel setup on my television with TV supplied SRS.

By the way, on the topic of Adcom. I've owned the adcom 750, the pass labs aleph P, and the Audio Research Reference 1. I've also a/B compared these (in my system) to the vk30SE, and the audible illusions 3a. The 750 definitely earned its class A rating. It was not embarassed by any of these preamps. I preferred the adcom to the audible illusions. The pass labs is a little better. Some people get so snobby about names.....
Urban's response to these can be found on "multi-channel better than stereo" thread. Sorry I got 2 going on the same topic. Long story short "I screwed up", when it comes to computers I'm not the brightest bulb on the Xmas tree. From now on if you don't mind, just post on the other one.
Thank you and sorry.