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admin's picture
Last seen: 2 days 11 hours ago
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2 channel stereo verses multichannel Home Cinema amplifiers

Looking at prices for multichannel units that have higher power, many more facilities and inputs etc., I see that they are often not much dearer than 2 channel units.


Would I be right in thinking the 2 channel units offer much higher quality in terms distortion, frequency response and listening quality?


Also, if I connect a CD player to a multichannel unit, will the output only be on the 2 front left and right speakers, i.e. normal 2 channel stereo?


Sorry if these sound very basic questions but I’m new to all this and am trying to decide which way to go!

Andrew Everard's picture
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 30/05/2007 - 12:34
Posts: 28828
Re: 2 channel stereo verses multichannel Home Cinema amplifiers

Yes, in general terms a two-channel amp will offer better sound quality than a multichannel receiver at the same price.

And yes, using a CD player into a surround receiver will only give you front left and right channel output as standard, but you could, for example use Dolby Pro-Logic IIx Music processing to give a surround effect from stereo discs.

It's not purist, by any means, but it can be quite subtle and involving.

radovantz's picture
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 25/07/2008 - 03:47
Posts: 326
Re: 2 channel stereo verses multichannel Home Cinema amplifiers

Some new receivers like Denon and Onkyo can produce better stereo quality than the rest. They also have "Pure Direct" mode. Although the 2ch stereo amplifiers always win, they cannot deliver multichannel sound format from music dvds. Talking about dvd, you must never downmix multichannel audio into stereo. It sounds bad.

For benefitting both stereo and multichannel sound, it is better to find a best multichannel receiver in the market. Listening to music in multichannel sound format is much more exciting than just stereo. (not Pro-Logic or Neo:6). I do believe that the future of music industry will produce albums in multichannel audio format, i.e. Dolby, DTS, or PCM. 


Anonymous's picture
Re: 2 channel stereo verses multichannel Home Cinema amplifiers

Depends if music or DVD is your main thing.

 However starting with a nice telly and a nice stereo set-up is:


requires less speakers

So you can get better quality kit for the same budget. You can always add multichannel (with more good quality speakers) when funds allow.

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