From Tom Fine: +ACI-...My own take on surround audio is that it's a neat/fun gimmick but it's not necessary to enjoy
high-fidelity music recordings. Very few people I know are willing to sit in a sweet spot -- and
most of their wives will have nothing to do with 5 large speakers and a subwoofer in the listening
I think surround was incompetently marketed BOTH times. When stereo first came out, your first experience of it in a store was a complete knockout. When quad came out few stores could demo it and frankly everything but classical was very very poorly recorded and in too many cases running the stereo version through a matrix sounded no-brainer better than the quad version did. Many of the same marketing bozos made the very same mistakes all over again with 5.1.
Another part of the story is that I think the concept of repurposing entertainment media is fatally flawed. What we create is a very fragile illusion that is always intended for one primary form of playback. Production decisions made for mono didn't work for stereo and production decisions made for stereo don't work for surround.
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined+ACE-