While we were interviewing Peter Lyngdorf about the Steinway Lyngdorf Model B, we started talking about the upgrade of the Lyngdorf MP50 to MP60. This means more dedicated surround channels that can be individually processed. He started laughing and said that he loves to demonstrate surround with only 4 speakers. I was so intrigued and if you hear or read his explanation..it actually makes sense!

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Panoramic imaging

Because of our room perfect and bass management and so on, I actually like to demonstrate our multichannel systems with only 4 speakers: left, right and left and right surround. If you are anywhere near the center of the room you have absolutely full surround. Then of course you can add something by having sealing speakers or Auro speakers at the height level. It’s good but I’ll say, if the system is really good you don’t need that many speakers because you have panoramic imaging between the speakers. 

Peter Lyngdorf – Founder Steinway Lyngdorf

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Less is more

There are some people you know like for big theaters and so on they think you can only have it sound like a certain direction if you actually have a speaker in that direction. But that is total rubbish you know, you can have perfect imaging between speakers. It just requires that you do everything right: the speakers are a good design, the amp is a good design, correction is a good and bass management is good. Then you really don’t need that much speakers. We have done a lot of Atmos and Auro systems and that is typically with eleven channels. But of course when you have a very large room you may end up using more channels. Overall, I don’t see much use of going from twelve to sixteen. I’ve set up the eleven channels system for a show and it’s a lot of work, it is a lot of speakers. For music I think four channels is actually enough. We have quite a few customers, if they have a big screen that have elected not to have a center speaker because it would have to be behind the screen and that is not so good for the sound. As long you sit very close to the middle of the room you don’t have any need for a center speaker. 

Peter Lyngdorf – Founder Steinway Lyngdorf

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Quality of the speakers

You can get greater in envelopment, but I always say better to have four really good speakers then to have a whole bunch of not so good speakers. So, make sure the quality is right -that’s step number one- and then you can add more channels if you can afford it. But the important thing is to get really, really good sound. There is no substitute from a really good sound coming from every speaker. More speakers don’t give you a better listening experience, if they are not really good speakers. It is interesting that if you make really good recordings you can get a lot of height information in the recording already. I like the Auro system and for music I heard it sounds really good with elevated side speakers. So that is a good solution, but it is also a very expensive solution. If you can afford it, bingo! Then it’s good. But I think you get eighty percent of the way with just four speakers.

Peter Lyngdorf – Founder Steinway Lyngdorf