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Linn Owners

Time To Enjoy Surround Music And Movies Again

Paulssurround

Space Explorer
Wammer
Oct 11, 2018
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Vancouver
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Is it worthwhile to build a surround system in 2022?

Hasn’t that format died?

The answer is an absolute no, the format is alive and well!!! Surround has evolved and still very popular indeed.

Around the year 2000, a lot of 5.1 music albums were released by many popular musicians and groups, and DVD movies were all the rage. I know I bought at least 1 or 2 DVD’s every week, and picked up every SACD and DVD Audio disc I could get, from groups I loved, over many years.

There was an abundance of 5.1 SACD’s, DVD Audio and DTS discs available from some of the biggest acts, with many of their top selling albums. Countless 5.1 movies were released, that you could play on your DVD player, and eventually many of us moved over to the newest format, the BluRay player. Many brands of BluRay and DVD players allowed you to play 5.1 SACD, DVD-Audio and DTS discs. I remember going to my favourite Linn dealer in Vancouver, going into the home theatre rooms to hear the latest surround systems, many of which had astronomical price tags, but I was fully immersed in the action of a good action film. Big screens and subwoofers were king.

Over time, it got harder and harder to source many of these great formats in SACD, DVD-Audio and DTS. However, the music format has not died, it has thrived, but in the background. There are still many people that are dedicated to music in 5.1 and we can still find many new releases of music in surround. Many of the 24/96, 24/88 and 24/192 bit albums that you and I listen to, are sourced from the original SACD and DVD-Audio album recordings.

But why would anyone consider building a surround system in this day and age?

It turns out you can still buy and download hundreds of 5.1 music albums, even a surprising number of brand new releases. Steve Wilson has remixed many classic rock and progressive rock albums from the late 60’s and 70’s, which you can buy from Burning Shed, for example.

The biggest adoption of surround material available now, is the countless TV shows and movies you can stream through your HDTV box from your provider, from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and so on in 5.1 and even Atmos. Many of my favourite TV shows are in 5.1, as are the commercials. Watching a sporting event in surround from my TV brings me so much closer to being at the stadium or arena and part of the live action.

I am also able to stream 5.1 music and Atmos through Tidal, although it is not an extensive list at the moment, and I think you can do the same through Apple Music.

Fortunately, I still have my 5.1 disc collection, which I am able to stream through my OPPO, or play the original discs.

‘’Surround content has exploded in availability and I am so grateful that I have immersed myself in Surround music, movies and TV with a Linn surround system. Simply sublime!!! 😊
 
Last edited:

Newton John

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Oct 13, 2018
377
654
113
69
Cumbria, UK
AKA
John
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
  2. No
I agree, Paul. Surround sound has a lot to offer for both TV and music.

It’s almost taken for granted that surround is potentially beneficial for TV and movies, but there is less enthusiasm for music in quad, 5.1, etc. There was a recent thread on surround music at the Steve Hoffman Forums. The majority view there seemed to be along the lines of “I have no interest in surround music because it’s a gimmick.” I hope people here are more open minded on the topic. As might be expected, those at QuadraphonicQuad think the anti-surround arguments are dumb.

Those of us with Linn Exakt systems have a head start with surround because all we need to do is add extra Exakt speakers and maybe a DSM Linn Surround Processing Module. With Komris or 350s, it might even be possible to manage without a centre channel and subwoofer in a quad system. That’s the way I have gone with my Komris at the front and 520s added as surrounds.

There were challenges to overcome in terms of space/aesthetics, cost, finding a suitable source and availability of surround material. I won’t go into lots of detail here, but it has been an enjoyable journey. Possibly, too involved for some.

The main limitations of my system are that I haven’t got a surround source that competes with the sound quality of a Klimax DSM or surround speakers that match the Exakt Katalyst Komris. I can’t see me improving the surround speakers anytime soon because my priority is to upgrade the Komri Exaktboxes to Organik. Although I consider my surround experiment a success, I still regard stereo as paramount. I might be encouraged to invest more in surround if Linn DSMs are ever able to support surround FLAC files.

Edit. My oldest son was at home on his own over the weekend watching a horror film. He wasn't aware of the surround speakers until a particularly loud sound came from the rear. It frightened the life out of him.
 
Last edited:

Paulssurround

Space Explorer
Wammer
Oct 11, 2018
3,412
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148
Vancouver
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I agree, Paul. Surround sound has a lot to offer for both TV and music.

It’s almost taken for granted that surround is potentially beneficial for TV and movies, but there is less enthusiasm for music in quad, 5.1, etc. There was a recent thread on surround music at the Steve Hoffman Forums. The majority view there seemed to be along the lines of “I have no interest in surround music because it’s a gimmick.” I hope people here are more open minded on the topic. As might be expected, those at QuadraphonicQuad think the anti-surround arguments are dumb.

Those of us with Linn Exakt systems have a head start with surround because all we need to do is add extra Exakt speakers and maybe a DSM Linn Surround Processing Module. With Komris or 350s, it might even be possible to manage without a centre channel and subwoofer in a quad system. That’s the way I have gone with my Komris at the front and 520s added as surrounds.

There were challenges to overcome in terms of space/aesthetics, cost, finding a suitable source and availability of surround material. I won’t go into lots of detail here, but it has been an enjoyable journey. Possibly, too involved for some.

The main limitations of my system are that I haven’t got a surround source that competes with the sound quality of a Klimax DSM or surround speakers that match the Exakt Katalyst Komris. I can’t see me improving the surround speakers anytime soon because my priority is to upgrade the Komri Exaktboxes to Organik. Although I consider my surround experiment a success, I still regard stereo as paramount. I might be encouraged to invest more in surround if Linn DSMs are ever able to support surround FLAC files.

Edit. My oldest son was at home on his own over the weekend watching a horror film. He wasn't aware of the surround speakers until a particularly loud sound came from the rear. It frightened the life out of him.
You have fantastic surround system, with Komris up front and 520’s as surrounds. Must be fantastic. I agree about having Exakt surround

I have focused on surround for a long time, and it has evolved over time from a Movie Classik, to a Unidisk SC, to AEDSM and now a Klimax Hub, as the source.

My first surround system was Ninkas, Trikan and Katans, then Magik Isobariks, 112 centre with 109’s, and now full Katalyst surround, with Exakt Akubariks, 225 centre and Akudoriks.

Last night was another 5.1 music listening session, and then TV in surround.

It always brings a big smile to my face, and an evening well spent
 

CounterTenor

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Mar 3, 2022
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HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I am looking forward to hearing Paul’s system next week. Since I was last visiting him, he has added a number of upgrades, including the Klimax Hub. It will be a real treat.
 
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Paulssurround

Space Explorer
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Oct 11, 2018
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Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I am looking forward to hearing Paul’s system next week. Since I was last visiting him, he has added a number of upgrades, including the Klimax Hub. It will be a real treat.
Looking forward to seeing you

Yes, there have been many changes since you visited here. Hopefully an improvement.
 

d88

Newbie
Wammer
Dec 2, 2020
85
77
38
Scotland
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Is it worthwhile to build a surround system in 2022?

Hasn’t that format died?

The answer is an absolute no, the format is alive and well!!! Surround has evolved and still very popular indeed.

Around the year 2000, a lot of 5.1 music albums were released by many popular musicians and groups, and DVD movies were all the rage. I know I bought at least 1 or 2 DVD’s every week, and picked up every SACD and DVD Audio disc I could get, from groups I loved, over many years.

There was an abundance of 5.1 SACD’s, DVD Audio and DTS discs available from some of the biggest acts, with many of their top selling albums. Countless 5.1 movies were released, that you could play on your DVD player, and eventually many of us moved over to the newest format, the BluRay player. Many brands of BluRay and DVD players allowed you to play 5.1 SACD, DVD-Audio and DTS discs. I remember going to my favourite Linn dealer in Vancouver, going into the home theatre rooms to hear the latest surround systems, many of which had astronomical price tags, but I was fully immersed in the action of a good action film. Big screens and subwoofers were king.

Over time, it got harder and harder to source many of these great formats in SACD, DVD-Audio and DTS. However, the music format has not died, it has thrived, but in the background. There are still many people that are dedicated to music in 5.1 and we can still find many new releases of music in surround. Many of the 24/96, 24/88 and 24/192 bit albums that you and I listen to, are sourced from the original SACD and DVD-Audio album recordings.

But why would anyone consider building a surround system in this day and age?

It turns out you can still buy and download hundreds of 5.1 music albums, even a surprising number of brand new releases. Steve Wilson has remixed many classic rock and progressive rock albums from the late 60’s and 70’s, which you can buy from Burning Shed, for example.

The biggest adoption of surround material available now, is the countless TV shows and movies you can stream through your HDTV box from your provider, from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and so on in 5.1 and even Atmos. Many of my favourite TV shows are in 5.1, as are the commercials. Watching a sporting event in surround from my TV brings me so much closer to being at the stadium or arena and part of the live action.

I am also able to stream 5.1 music and Atmos through Tidal, although it is not an extensive list at the moment, and I think you can do the same through Apple Music.

Fortunately, I still have my 5.1 disc collection, which I am able to stream through my OPPO, or play the original discs.

‘’Surround content has exploded in availability and I am so grateful that I have immersed myself in Surround music, movies and TV with a Linn surround system. Simply sublime!!! 😊
I'd concur with your views on this. My Linn 2 channel system is in another room, while in the main room with the TV, I have a very modest 7.1 system set up, with a Denon AV, Dali Oberon speakers and an SVS subwoofer. Mainly this is for films/streaming services although occasionally I do play music taking advantage of Tidal surround. I still prefer my Linn for pure music listening, however, for films etc even with a modest 5.1/7.1 set-up, it can bring another dimension to the experience.

When I first set up my AV speakers etc, my wife was to be polite, not overly enthused. After a few films that took advantage of the sound effects and extra dimension of the sound stage, even she came around. So yes, even a modest surround sound set up in this day and age is worth it, providing of course you would get use out of it.
 
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Paulssurround

Space Explorer
Wammer
Oct 11, 2018
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Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I'd concur with your views on this. My Linn 2 channel system is in another room, while in the main room with the TV, I have a very modest 7.1 system set up, with a Denon AV, Dali Oberon speakers and an SVS subwoofer. Mainly this is for films/streaming services although occasionally I do play music taking advantage of Tidal surround. I still prefer my Linn for pure music listening, however, for films etc even with a modest 5.1/7.1 set-up, it can bring another dimension to the experience.

When I first set up my AV speakers etc, my wife was to be polite, not overly enthused. After a few films that took advantage of the sound effects and extra dimension of the sound stage, even she came around. So yes, even a modest surround sound set up in this day and age is worth it, providing of course you would get use out of it.
Sounds like you have 2 great systems. Lucky guy to have a Linn HiFi system and a Home Theatre, with the wife’s approval.

I am a bit late to the party, and have recently been watching a lot of Netflix content over the last few months, with all of it in surround.

I have Tidal HD but have not done much exploration for surround content. Thank you for the heads up. I will check it out now.
 
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d88

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Dec 2, 2020
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Thanks, my AV set-up is nothing special in regards to pure music listening, (that's why I have the Linn DSM)however, for AV purposes I'm more than happy with it. We like to watch the Star Wars/ The Mandolarian/Marvel type films and it really helps to bring out the sound effects.

The system was built on a relative budget with most items bought in sales or discounted and doing that enabled me to get decent Dali speakers and the Denon AV. If you are patient and do your research, you can get a decent enough setup for reasonable money. The only exception was the SVS subwoofer, although I'm glad I pushed the budget out a bit as a 'proper' subwoofer is a worthwhile investment if you want to get the most out of your AV set up.

Tidal- to clarify I've just checked and it is 'Atmos', the library is limited so I wouldn't get too excited, although It has been a while since I last checked so it may have expanded since then.
 
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Paulssurround

Space Explorer
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Oct 11, 2018
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Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks, my AV set-up is nothing special in regards to pure music listening, (that's why I have the Linn DSM)however, for AV purposes though I'm more than happy with it. We like to watch the Star Wars/ The Mandolarian/Marvel type films and it really helps to bring out the sound effects.

The system was built on a relative budget with most items bought in sales or discounted and doing that enabled me to get decent Dali speakers and the Denon AV. If you are patient and do your research, you can get a decent enough setup for reasonable money. The only exception was the SVS subwoofer, although I'm glad I pushed the budget out a bit as a 'proper' subwoofer is a worthwhile investment if you want to get the most out of your AV set up.

Tidal- to clarify I've just checked and it is 'Atmos', the library is limited so I wouldn't get too excited, although It has been a while since I last checked so it may have expanded since then.
Sounds like you had fun putting together a surround system, and all the satisfaction that comes with that.

Last night I was exploring Tidal and found the surround albums under the section, Dolby Atmos.

’However, when I tried playing the music it was only in stereo.

A Google search found that you need a HiFi setup that is specific for playing Dolby Atmos.
 
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Paulssurround

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Oct 11, 2018
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Paul
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A friend of mine just sent me this photo.

This looks like the most immersive music HiFi system I have ever seen 16570CAD-6CB6-4D60-BD7B-39A1E6B928E7.jpeg