"If your out there right now. How many surrounds do you have on line? Are you running surrounds or just your mains?"

I've got a sepp. surround amp and I just kept if off. I figure it'll only confuse these tests to have them on.

"If all DVD-A’s REPEAT track inform across the 3 front’s channels of a 6-channel recording, you will not ever have the issue except to a minor degree. What you miss from disabling your center track is repeated in the L/R so you get the info anyway. IF that is HOW all DVD-A’s are recorded."

That's too wierd?! That Alanis DVD-A just shouldn't be recorded like that? It must be SO diff. from the CD.
How can someone get a sharp center image of her standing there singing when her voice is almost as dominant in the mains? Must be like a giant wall of Alanis or something?

"I do know now that our ears are on the same page."

Ok. Great! So now I know that your DVD-A would sound totally different than what you and I did w/ the DPLII tests. Cool.

"On the ‘Under Rug Swept’ disc, given the choice (after hearing both) of running my center or not, I did feel I lost a certain fullness without the center on line, but it was nothing compared to
DPLII gutted."

Wow! I'm just shocked it was so subtle. I REALLY thought the two tests would end up the same-ish or similar. Wow!

"I’m really thinking of HT DVD-video’s on this. I just can’t imagine running ‘The Matrix’ etc. without the full compliment, (however I’m never actually TRIED it, so I guess I should, - to really know what I’m talking about)."

Heh... but you HAVE tried it! Every time you listen to CD's you have a phantom center.

The Matrix IS an awesome surround disc without a doubt, and you lose nothing when the center is mixed into the mains 'info-wise'.

Some people don't have a very good main speaker set up though and there's a cloudy 'gap' to the center image compared to an actual center, but that 'gap' (or blurriness) will be there on CD's too so even if people reject a phantom center for DVD's they'd still benefit from the improvement w/ their CD's.
You of course still need you surrounds on for the Matrix, but you might be suprised by the fact that CD's can sound exactly the same as having a rear pair of surrounds (though they can't ever phantom a rear center).

If you like Pink Floyd..., you should check our Roger Water's CD Amused to Death (as good as Dark Side or The Wall). It's recorded in Q-Sound.
If you're sitting dead center (like we all do when critically listening)... there's a ton of sound effects and voices, etc.. that sound like they're coming ONLY from the surround speakers.

If you turn your head to look at your surrounds the sounds pops back into the mains. Same if you sit slightly off center. There's a lot of CD's that do this but that CD's a must have IMO too.

"-that you probably have a few selections that would always be optimal running with a center. (Not major, just some improvement) Vs the times (when you have choice) that the mains can spread the soundstage more favorably in the way you prefer."

Hmm... it sounds like you think my phantom center spreads the center chanel info out making it wider than it would be with an actual center speaker?

If that's what you mean... I swear to you that it doesn't do that at all.

I wouldn't like it if it did that (I've own center speakers in the past, and heard many great set ups in hi-fi shops from Linn, Revel, B&W, etc..).

When a person is talking in the center it sounds like it's coming from a center speaker that doesn't exist. Not at all like the voice comes across from a wide soundstage. The image is sharp and 'person-sized'. As in not spread out.

"I think I perceive the preference for not dealing with a center much better after purchasing the new Beethoven’s, (before I might not have understood)."

The Vienna Acoustics Beethovens? Yes, GREAT speakers. You should try a phantom center with the Matrix to hear what it does. 100% solid open soundstage. I think you'll really love esp. if you have a less capable center than the VA's quality.

My Newform Research use the same Scan-Speak drivers as in the VA Mahlers (but with a 45" ribbon tweeter).

Did you buy a matching center for the Beethovens already? If not, you might save thousands if it's just you and your husband sitting in the center (as my wife and I do).
Saving $ on a center speaker/center amp can get you into a higher priced/quality set of mains.

This sounds like what you got for yourself (if you didn't get that matching center yet 'cuz it's a lot of money).

"You’ll have to forgive ME, I tweak ‘people’, but never out of ‘meanness’ (I’m not that sort)."

No. No. Not at all. Everyone here knows you never say anything mean.

And I think you know my mouth it quite large and I (at times) DO say things out of meanness! hehe

Thanks for adding to this too Sanjay!

Sanjay wrote,

"Having listened to a few discrete multi-channel music discs, I agree with you that this is not an easy thing to determine...."

MAN! This really shouldn't be this hard! These jerks really need to label these discs and player companies need to tells us what the heck their players are actually doing!

Can't wait for Outlaw to get into a universal player. I'm sure we'd know 100% what it's doing. Don't wait for the 'digital output' guys. If your player sounds great we'd just need a multi-chan preamp for it.

I've found some albums to be mixed so that the vocals are only in the centre channel; others are mixed so that the vocals are spread gently across the front three channels; yet others have the vocals only in the front L/R channels with subtle instrumental fill in the centre channel."

Downright WACKY! What are all these crazy engineers doing!?!

Then of course there's the DVD-A of Natalie Merchant's 'Tigerlily', where you can hear her from all the channels.- I'm sure this made sense to someone, somewhere."

Not us though right!?! Who are these people in the recording studios!?! And to think... here we are trying to carefully recreate the goofy things there're coming up with!

"Meanwhile I'll try to find a DVD-A disc that has exclusive centre channel content in order to test whether downmix is occuring."

That's be great! Too bad someone can't just burn a DVD-RW in MLP with JUST a center chanel recorded. Then we'd all know for sure what's going on here.