I would disagree that 2 channel is the Holy Grail is a Holy Grail meant to reproduce live performance. It depends upon the genre and the particular recording. Popular music in particular is highly processed and artificial, a creature of whatever the mixing engineer is cooking up. Different parts may be recorded on different days and different continents. A multichannel mix is not inherently more artificial than a standard 2 channel mix. My preferred genre, Classical, isn’t immune from assorted gimmickry either, but. MC recordings that primarily just add some resonance and a small amount of reverb can actually enhance classical recordings.
I have 5.1 systems in addition to my 2 channel. Both currently feature Anthem 520 AVRs. One is in the living room and the other is in the basement. These areas are separated by one floor but have the identical layout. The living room has in walls for surrounds and small bookshelves and center channel. This is because my wife controls this space. The basement below has tower speakers and better surrounds and center channel . Both areas have a rectangular shoebox configuration and it is interesting to note that when paired with proper ancillaries the AVR can provide excellent sound, even in 2 channel
. I bought a Technics 1500 Direct Drive turntable last year and because I didn’t have room for it in the 2 channel I placed it in the basement system (with Cambridge Audio mm phono preamp). This was going to be temporary until I made room in the 2 channel but I like it so much where it is that I’m leaving it there. The room acoustics are probably a major contributor here but the point is that the Anthem can sound pretty good in 2 channel