Lighten up. It's just a hobby. "...[S]ubjectivists have a live and let live attitude and anything that makes music sound better for someone else is wonderful."Teresa Goodwin
letter printed in WSR (page 5 of the linked PDF.) In essence: >>Playing a variety of stereo recordings, particularly with vocals, switching between stereo and three-channel mode was a night and day difference in depth. But not just to the usual degree I’ve experienced before. No, there is indeed something special going on here that is not a result of merely adding a center loudspeaker to an otherwise superb stereo system.<<
>>The center image is now as tall as the L/R, but there is also an obvious sense of depth to the vocals that was remarkable; much deeper than I hear from conventional loudspeakers driven from the same PLII processing. My theory is that the Magneplanar L/R dipoles naturally create a larger proportion of reflected energy in the room than box loudspeakers, and when coupled with direct sound from the center loudspeakers, this creates a stronger contrast between the direct and diffuse sounds, thus further enhancing the sense of depth.<<
I have to ask, though, what sort of music was used? (I need not ask whether there was a comparison with a good but more conventional speaker setup.)
I've taken the liberty of quoting a significant chunk of that link:
There's more than one way to skin a cat, and this demonstrates using another technique to achieve the results I talk of. In essence, you assist, help the ear/brain decode the information that is always there in the recording for the bigger illusion to be formed in your mind. Here extra, skillfully placed speakers with the right extract of the sound injected does the job; the other method is to make the lone stereo pair do a better job of reproducing the 2 channels. In both cases the end result is the same, fooling your brain into believing in the acoustic shadow play ...Suddenly, images became more focused and palpable while depth cues in recordings were more fully delineated and explicit. At the same time, the overall three-dimensionality of the sound improved markedly. Timbres remained vibrant and pure, while certain low-level details became easier to discern, perhaps because their “anchor points” within the soundstage seemed more precisely defined with rock solid stability. In short, absolutely all of things we normally enjoy in great stereo systems actually got better with the Tri-Center array in play.
These observations were gleaned when I sat in the “sweet spot” listening chair, but at Diller’s suggestion I repeated my listening tests while deliberately sitting off-axis and found that from off-axis the impact of Tri-Center array became even more significant. When heard from off-axis, the normally fine imaging and soundstaging aspects of the stereo pair of 3.7’s can sound somewhat imprecise with center fill images that are noticeably less palpable and convincing than when heard from the “sweet spot.” But from off-axis, the sonic benefits of the Tri-Center array, which are pretty impressive even when listening from the “sweet spot”, are if anything even more apparent. Center fill images remain vivid and rock-solid when listening from either side of the central seat, and three-dimensional soundstaging cues likewise remain sharply focused. In short, the Tri-Center array effectively expands the useful listening area, so that it makes the vaunted Magnepan sound something that a whole couch full (or room full) of listeners could fully enjoy at the same time. This is a step forward, I think.