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I see. I might not pay for a CD quality streaming service were it not for Tidal offering a military discount. I get the HiFi stream for $12/mo. I have about another 6 months to decide if Roon is worth it. I do really like it.
We have extremely similar setups—probably the same Pioneer floorstanders and surrounds, and my Onkyo receiver is probably just a little later incarnation of yours. I agree—sounds wonderful for not a real big cash outlay. I do have the two subwoofers though—it does seem to make a good bit of difference. Can’t you buy a second one and just tell your wife it’s a new coffee table?
I had a Onkyo 676E, now i have a Onkyo RZ830. Speaker system i have an Teulel Ultima 40 MK2 - 5.1 system.
Usually, I listen from Spotify, directly from the receiver, so at 320kbps. I have a few Flac's, 16-24 bits and i can't listen to the difference (unless i am focused 100% on the music and on very specific very demanding parts), so i'm absolutely please with and the audio chain.
I also use the Dolby Surround upscaler, since the DTS Neural X, makes some weird dips and bumps between 120 and 200 Hz.
The multi-channel music idea is really appealing and I’ve now go the set-up from NAS / JRiver to multi-channel USB DAC to FL, FR, SL, SR plus 2 x subs working. That said, the surround speakers are quite different to the front speakers and I don’t have a centre speaker. The option of replicating the FL / FR speakers for SL, SR, Centre isn’t viable in terms of cost and space so I’m seeing two options: (a) sell existing speakers and spread budget over 5 identical speakers or (b) find affordable SL / SR speakers that are similar in nature to front speakers acknowledging that this means no centre channel.
My assumption is that the right path depends on the importance of stereo vs multi-channel music with, if both are important, one going down the path that isn’t an option to me of 5 identical hi-end speakers. I get that it’s a judgement call but it’d be good to get any insights on where to land on the 5 identical speaker option for multi-channel music. So, by way of example, does the inherent nature of the format give great results with, say, 5 x JBL 308 Mk 2 speakers? I guess that I see this as an option given that the format solves issues such as sound-stage and envelopment.
So, over time, I'm finding that whilst up-mixing stereo to multi-channel provides some nice ambience it is, ultimately, is less compelling that stereo for me a result of the lack of focus on the front sound-stage. I'm not sure if this is a result of the specific up-mixing algorithm (JRiver JRSS), lack of a centre channel, music or other factors .... That said, the native multi-channel music samples that I've tried are a whole different ball game