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  1. #1
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Multichannel Playback - ideas and music?

    Hi guys, wondering how you all are running multichannel rigs and what format you're enjoying?

    Like others have expressed, I also wish there were some way to integrate multichannel into the Squeezebox system. Awhile back I remember that if I tried to play a 5.1 song through SqueezeServer/LMS, it would hang the system and put up a bug tracker tag. I hope this bug has been fixed.

    Although I have both SACD and DVD-A players, I've ripped the collection and serve the multichannel FLACs these days through foobar running on the HTPC in the room connected to my NAS server (in adjacent room so I don't hear it). Controlled on my tablet with "FoobarCon Pro" on Android. HDMI audio sent to Onkyo and decoded there... Preamps out to my stereo end and the Onkyo amps to drive center, rears, and feed sub. Works generally OK although on occasion I may lose the first couple seconds of a song or foobar gets confused with audio output device.

    Are you folks doing multichannel streaming/playback like this? Still playing SACD/DVD-A/Blu-Ray directly?

    Any favourite albums on multichannel?
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

  2. #2
    Member Audiotic's Avatar
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    Hmm, I do not use the Squeezebox for multi-channel at all. I use the SACD and DVD / BluRay - way for this. I have a lot of DSD files that in principle are multi channel files but have the 2 channel in them. This is played through Audirvana and a USB connection. As stereo.
    My DAC can only handle stereo, the DAC in my pre-amp can decode multi-channel but that's only used for movies :-)
    Marantz NA-11S1 PCM/DSD streamer with Squeezebox Touch front-end - Marantz UD9004 / AV8801 / MM8003 & CI Audio D-200 MkII (front only) - Nubert NuVero & R.E.L. R-528SE - Siltech & ProLine custom made Silver & Gold, XLR where possible

  3. #3
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Yeah, just to clarify. No Squeezebox in the multichannel pathway for me either. The only place the signal intersects with the stereo gear is thru the preamp in home theater pass through mode to play the front channels.

    Sounds good.

    If anyone hasn't done so, check out some of the upsampled DTS conversions from stereo CD (you can find some as SPEC conversions). Little Feat's 'Waiting for Columbus' is a good one. Sounds almost like a pro mastering to me!
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    The only way to get multichannel is ac3 or dts files compressed as flac or wav .
    Thats what toslink or spdiff supports

    But with so many third party players aviable with hdmi capable hardware ,
    Maybe its time to support 5.1 flac files ?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Rasbery PI digi+ MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
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  5. #5
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    I am not a fan of multichannel. Ok for movies.
    Check it, add to it! http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/

    SB Touch

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pascal Hibon's Avatar
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    I'm not interested in multichannel music. I don't care about multichannel for movies either.
    The hassle of the increased number of cables and speakers just doesn't justify it for me. I prefer a decent stereo system, even for movies. I find a good quality recording way more important than multichannel music. The industry seems to have a lot of difficulties of providing good quality recordings. I would prefer they would focus more on that part instead of high res and multichannel.
    Cambridge Audio 851D-S -> Focal MP1200 -> Focal Electra 1028 Be
    1 x SB Boom, 1 x SB Radio, 1 x SB Touch and 2 x RPI 2B
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    I do have a lot of DVDA in 5.1 it does really sound good , some mixes are gimicky but there are good ones like the discs AIX put out a decade ago .

    As i have a Meridian system i have well functioning surround modes even for 2ch music I often use these they enhance the experience in some situations .

    I think even paul klispsh was onto it in the 50's or something with an idea of a center fill channel for stereo .

    Even if things are recorded with 2 ch does not necesarily mean that you must play them back with 2 ch .
    I dont think these things are mutually exlusive , for example combining home theater and hifi .

    And I only did 2ch rips of my DVDA discs , I have no way of playing back discrete 6 ch files . I guess i'm open to suggestions on what to use for that , do you guys use a htpc or something and what software ?

    My experience is that video and music demands completely different strategies and tagging and also browsing software . Whats good for films and tv series might not be ideal for music .
    Would be nice if multichannel where supported by LMS and if the software players supported it ,it could be used with a wandboard or similar .
    But I realise that downloads in 6ch and hirez is an even rarer thing than real music in DSD , so maybe it's not worth anyone’s time unless for the fun of it .

    I think my old pile >100 DVDA is what could have been and history , but music bluerays is a thing , but they often come with video too ?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Rasbery PI digi+ MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
    Loggia: Raspi hifiberry dac + Adams
    Bathroom : Radio (with battery)
    iPad with iPengHD & SqueezePad
    (spares Touch, SB3, reciever ,controller )
    server Intel NUC Esxi VM Linux mint 18 LMS 7.9.2

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  8. #8
    Senior Member ralphy's Avatar
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    I use linux and the process described on the wiki which uses spdifconvert.py to encapsulate ac3 or dts into flac. There's a link to download the script on the wiki.

    To avoid a blast of static on a stereo only setup, make sure you tag those flac files as multichannel, I use GENRE=multichannel, and exclude that genre from automatic mixes, in my case SmartMix, for players that aren't connected to an amp that supports AC3/DTS decoding.
    Ralphy

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    I use linux and the process described on the wiki which uses spdifconvert.py to encapsulate ac3 or dts into flac. There's a link to download the script on the wiki.

    To avoid a blast of static on a stereo only setup, make sure you tag those flac files as multichannel, I use GENRE=multichannel, and exclude that genre from automatic mixes, in my case SmartMix, for players that aren't connected to an amp that supports AC3/DTS decoding.
    Yes that's a good idea to keep them out of the mix, I also have some ac3 files and know the static blast .
    Also keep volume at 100% for this to work and be carefull when syncing , another opurtunity for static
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Rasbery PI digi+ MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
    Loggia: Raspi hifiberry dac + Adams
    Bathroom : Radio (with battery)
    iPad with iPengHD & SqueezePad
    (spares Touch, SB3, reciever ,controller )
    server Intel NUC Esxi VM Linux mint 18 LMS 7.9.2

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  10. #10
    Senior Member ralphpnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archimago View Post
    Hi guys, wondering how you all are running multichannel rigs and what format you're enjoying?

    ......

    Are you folks doing multichannel streaming/playback like this? Still playing SACD/DVD-A/Blu-Ray directly?

    Any favourite albums on multichannel?
    To answer your questions:

    I have a home theater set up which uses an older Marantz HTR (which still works fine) with front, center and rear speakers plus a subwoofer. Playback is via either an Oppo blu-ray player (for SACD, DVD-A, DVD and blu-ray) or through a SB Touch (for DTS encoded flac files)

    Multi-channel for the most part is pretty much a joke - for movies and videos the rear channels have almost no content except for sound effects or crowd noise (sports broadcasts). About the only good thing is the center channel which does provide for nice clear dialog. For music it's pretty much equally useless with the rear channels just providing a little ambiance, which is more often than not barely audible.

    As for favorite multichannel albums I've heard one that actually uses the extra channels with any degree of artfullness: Björk's Medulla (on SACD). On Medulla any and all of the front, center or rear channels can be used as the primary point of origin for the music. Gimmicky? Yes but at least the rear channels get to do something besides play some barely audible "ambiance".
    Living Rm: Transporter-SimAudio pre/power amps-Vandersteen 3A Sign. & sub
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