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Thread: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

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    Default Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Hello Folks,

    I've been a member of this forum for a number of years and I've always dabbled in the SQ, EV4 and QS formats with varying degrees of satisfaction. Recently I got my hands on a Marantz CD-400B and I was able to team it up with an Audio Technica 12SA Shibata cartridge and voila-discrete quad. I own a grand total of 3 CD-4 albums; Joni Mitchell-The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Seals & Crofts-Diamond Girl and a Harmon Kardon test LP. I just ordered Carly Simon, so that should be here in a day or two. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it all sounds and how simple the setup was, considering the horror stories I've read. All three albums track fine and the carrier beacon stays lit from beginning to end and separation is wonderful. I have a ton of SQ albums and 1 QS album-that being Carole King-Music. I've enjoyed my Lafayette SQW decoder for quite some time, so I'll continue to play my matrix albums. I decode the 1 QS album on the composer A setting and it sounds ok. I'm sure I could get more out of it with the right QS decoder but there doesn't seem to be enough QS material out there to chase one down and then figure out how to patch it in with all of the other separate units. Here's what I have all working together:

    1. My first acquisition from 27 years ago-a 1972 JVC VR5551 receiver with SEA equalizer.
    2. A 1972 Lafayette LA64 4 channel amp with built in half logic decoder (I actually have 2 of these but only use 1-I'll post another story about them at some point).
    3. A 1972 Lafayette RK84 4 channel 8 track player.
    4. A 1973 Lafayette SQ-W full logic decoder.
    5. A 1972 JVC SEA-10 outboard equalizer for the back channels.
    6. A 1973 Marantz CD400-B CD-4 demodulator.
    7. A 1972 Philips Hi-Fi Labs 312 turntable.
    8. A 2008 Polk Audio HD receiver.
    9. A 2001 Sony CDP-C215 CD changer.
    10. A 2007 Sony TCWE-475 dual cassette deck.
    11. A 2014 Rocketfish Bluetooth receiver.

    All of this is neatly concealed in a Bombay Company stereo cabinet, so nothing is seen when the doors are shut. I'll post a photograph of all of it soon. It is also fun that I've connected a Bluetooth receiver, which allows me to stream Internet and stored music through the system. I also have an audio out feeding an FM transmitter for whole house and back yard coverage.

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Enjoy!
    Pablo Roufogalis L.
    (The Ambiance Pariah)

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Where are you in Jersey? If you ever get to the Lancaster PA area on a weekend I can beef up your CD4 collection considerably for cheap. I'm sure I probably have 40 of them you can have for a song. PM me if you care to make arrangements. John S.

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Well now I'm listening to the Carly Simon No Secrets album in CD-4. It sounds pretty good. There are baroque style strings in the rear channels of "The Right Thing to Do" I've never heard those before. For some reson I'm not able to upload pictures though.

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    When you get CD-4 set up properly, and you have a good LP, it's the best quad LP listening hands down. When I had people over in the '70s for quad demo's I always used a WB Quadradisc like "Gorilla" or "What Were Once Vices are now Habits" to show off the quad. You didn't get separation like that from SQ or QS.

    So go forth and find more LPs. There are many out there that will sound like crap because they have been trashed over the years, or used with shitty turntables and cartridges, but you ca still find a few lightly used few gems. Good luck!
    :-jon

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    When you get CD-4 set up properly, and you have a good LP, it's the best quad LP listening hands down. When I had people over in the '70s for quad demo's I always used a WB Quadradisc like "Gorilla" or "What Were Once Vices are now Habits" to show off the quad. You didn't get separation like that from SQ or QS.

    So go forth and find more LPs. There are many out there that will sound like crap because they have been trashed over the years, or used with shitty turntables and cartridges, but you ca still find a few lightly used few gems. Good luck!
    Gorilla (w/ Lowell George on Angry Blues and many guest artists throughout the album )was one of my favourites in CD-4 , and yes any of the four CD-4 titles from the Doobie Bros. will demo a system like a well set up one for Quadradiscs.

    Hissing Of Summer Lawns is well done mix, in fact I would further recommend most of the Asylum Quadradiscs , most especially Joni , Jackson Browne, and Dylan/The Band .





    aaaah, nostalgia and the 70's discrete quad , guess I just miss my quad copy of "Gorilla".

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    When you get CD-4 set up properly, and you have a good LP, it's the best quad LP listening hands down. When I had people over in the '70s for quad demo's I always used a WB Quadradisc like "Gorilla" or "What Were Once Vices are now Habits" to show off the quad. You didn't get separation like that from SQ or QS.
    Yes, the Warner Brothers CD-4 Quadradiscs created by Tom Nishida at the JVC Cutting Center in Hollywood are all very special Quad treats.
    Among my favorites from the '70s Quad era to be sure!

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    There is nothing that comes close to CD-4 as far as an LP experience. Discrete Reel to Reel delivers the same or better but media is difficult to come by, at least at a reasonable cost.

    You have a great hardware set up. I am a huge JVC fan too and own a couple of their quad receivers. You should consider dropping an Akai 280D-SS (quad reel) onto your system. They are a great looking deck, not a bad deck by any measure, but don't command the price. Dirt cheap on Ebay at the moment (saw one for under $100 a few weeks ago). Only other sound that will match Q8, whether Akai or someone else.
    Dave

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDHndrsn View Post
    There is nothing that comes close to CD-4 as far as an LP experience. Discrete Reel to Reel delivers the same or better but media is difficult to come by, at least at a reasonable cost.

    You have a great hardware set up. I am a huge JVC fan too and own a couple of their quad receivers. You should consider dropping an Akai 280D-SS (quad reel) onto your system. They are a great looking deck, not a bad deck by any measure, but don't command the price. Dirt cheap on Ebay at the moment (saw one for under $100 a few weeks ago). Only other sound that will match Q8, whether Akai or someone else.
    Dave
    One can get a good quad R2R deck for $100?

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    When you get CD-4 set up properly, and you have a good LP, it's the best quad LP listening hands down. When I had people over in the '70s for quad demo's I always used a WB Quadradisc like "Gorilla" or "What Were Once Vices are now Habits" to show off the quad. You didn't get separation like that from SQ or QS.

    So go forth and find more LPs. There are many out there that will sound like crap because they have been trashed over the years, or used with shitty turntables and cartridges, but you ca still find a few lightly used few gems. Good luck!
    Good to know. And with the advancement of tick and click repair we should be seeing more conversions that top a good reel to reel even for Fidelity.

    Working from vinyl is a real art that few really grasp. Everything from handling and cleaning - stylus condition and weight, and of course condition effect the playback and the decode of quad vinyl.

    As a young teen at my friends house with Marantz quad rig we never got it to correct separation with the test record and turning that screw driver in the slot. How hopeless it was then.

    I'll tell you, if AF quits quad, and Warners does not follow up with something good and Sony does not give us considerably more from the vaults, I just might jump into the exciting world of CD-4 decoding / transferring.

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksrt View Post
    Good to know. And with the advancement of tick and click repair we should be seeing more conversions that top a good reel to reel even for Fidelity.

    Working from vinyl is a real art that few really grasp. Everything from handling and cleaning - stylus condition and weight, and of course condition effect the playback and the decode of quad vinyl.

    As a young teen at my friends house with Marantz quad rig we never got it to correct separation with the test record and turning that screw driver in the slot. How hopeless it was then.

    I'll tell you, if AF quits quad, and Warners does not follow up with something good and Sony does not give us considerably more from the vaults, I just might jump into the exciting world of CD-4 decoding / transferring.
    some of us are hopelessly turning the screw to this day..

    genuinely, the screw turning continues chez moi..!

    despite feeling like I'm now getting the best performance out of the current demodulator (Grundig Quadro) and cart (Denon DL110) combination since I started farting around with CD-4, I still find the format at turns frustrating, underwhelming., surprising, impressive, disappointing, exciting, annoying, etc., the whole gamut of emotions can be elicited by just one play of one side of a CD-4 record!

    there are days when it all comes together, it all sounds good, no distortion, no amplified crackles and pops, vocals and stuff that shouldn't be in the respective channels (comparing to a discrete tape/SACD version) magically don't appear to be emerging back there and it is as amazing as some rave about..

    then there are other times I'm on the brink of putting a hammer through it all..

    SQ & QS may not have the separation of CD-4, absolutely no way.. but the matrix LPs are, for me, just less stress and hassle.. I can put on an SQ or QS record in minty nick, run it thru the Surround Master and know I'll get through a side without encountering any pops or distortion etc.

    I so hope Involve can sort my CD-4 woes once and for all.. although it may be I'm yet to set any of the gear I do have up properly and it could all be my fault it's not as spectacular sometimes as I was hoping it would be.. one of the most nerve-jangling things the last year or so of CD-4 fiddling, is recording a demodulated CD-4 in, it all sounds good in Quad.. and then play any of the 4 tracks back individually, in isolation.. and weep when you detect traces of vocals etc in the rears or front channel distortion/hash from the cancellation process that just aren't there on the Q8 or the Quad Reel.. back to square one and more screw turning!

    all that said, I'm very happy for those here & elsewhere who have CD-4 licked (and a tad envious!) ....maybe one day, my screw turning can come to an end!
    "Surround Sound From The End of the World to Your Town"
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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by fredblue View Post
    some of us are hopelessly turning the screw to this day..

    genuinely, the screw turning continues chez moi..!

    despite feeling like I'm now getting the best performance out of the current demodulator (Grundig Quadro) and cart (Denon DL110) combination since I started farting around with CD-4, I still find the format at turns frustrating, underwhelming., surprising, impressive, disappointing, exciting, annoying, etc., the whole gamut of emotions can be elicited by just one play of one side of a CD-4 record!

    there are days when it all comes together, it all sounds good, no distortion, no amplified crackles and pops, vocals and stuff that shouldn't be in the respective channels (comparing to a discrete tape/SACD version) magically don't appear to be emerging back there and it is as amazing as some rave about..

    then there are other times I'm on the brink of putting a hammer through it all..

    SQ & QS may not have the separation of CD-4, absolutely no way.. but the matrix LPs are, for me, just less stress and
    hassle.. I can put on an SQ or QS record in minty nick, run it thru the Surround Master and know I'll get through a side without encountering any pops or distortion etc.

    I so hope Involve can sort my CD-4 woes once and for all.. although it may be I'm yet to set any of the gear I do have up properly and it could all be my fault it's not as spectacular sometimes as I was hoping it would be.. one of the most nerve-

    jangling things the last year or so of CD-4 fiddling, is recording a demodulated CD-4 in, it all sounds good in Quad.. and the
    n play any of the 4 tracks back individually, in isolation.. and weep when you detect traces of vocals etc in the rears or front
    channel distortion/hash from the cancellation process that just aren't there on the Q8 or the Quad Reel.. back to square one
    and more screw turning!



    all that said, I'm very happy for those here & elsewhere who have CD-4 licked (and a tad envious!) ....maybe one day, my screw turning can come to an end!



    My dissapointment with CD-4 most assuredly came to a minor annoyance......when I acquired a Matrix SQ Encoder .
    Well of course now I could take those discrete tracks and feed them through the Encoder (and somewhat cleaned up, fwiw )
    and listen to Quad via my Fosgate Tate ll .

    All those extremely good WEA , RCA discs finally had a satisfactory cure. Not perfect-but nothing ever is.
    And it was fun to play with this new toy I have to admit.

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksrt View Post
    One can get a good quad R2R deck for $100?
    A few months ago you couldn't give a quad Akai 280D-SS away on ebay. Saw multiple listings, buy-it-now, for under $100. Admitedly those listing are not there today. What I can point to are a near mint, perfect working order Akai 280D-SS I bought a year ago for $27. I have a backup twin in need of a head cover (otherwise working) I picked up for $35. I have a Sony 855-4 ... well, that one cost me a few bucks. Paid $288 for it. And I needed to restore it to running condition The Sony 366-4 I run cost $92 and needed cleaning only, otherwise working. All needed calibration but that goes the territory.

    Let I forget, my JVC 4ED-1205U 8-track quad recording deck cost $47 and my Wollensak quad 8054 8-track deck (really like that deck) cost me all of $56. The Wollensak I bought about 3 months ago. Didn't even need belts.

    It's a crap shoot. That said, a quad R2R or 8-track deck can be had for under a $100 if you're patient.
    Dave

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by fizzywiggs41 View Post
    My dissapointment with CD-4 most assuredly came to a minor annoyance......when I acquired a Matrix SQ Encoder .
    Well of course now I could take those discrete tracks and feed them through the Encoder (and somewhat cleaned up, fwiw )
    and listen to Quad via my Fosgate Tate ll .

    All those extremely good WEA , RCA discs finally had a satisfactory cure. Not perfect-but nothing ever is.
    And it was fun to play with this new toy I have to admit.
    bit confused, how did that work FW?
    do you mean you had to get at least one successful play through of the CD-4 LP thru a demodulator first then SQ encode those 4 demodulated channels?
    or you just used the Tate to synthesise faux Quad from the CD-4 record played back in 2-ch.?
    "Surround Sound From The End of the World to Your Town"
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    138 CD-4, 133 Audio-DVD, 117 DualDisc, 113 BD-A,
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    6 MultiCh DL

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    Default Re: Finally-Having the CD-4 Experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by fredblue View Post
    bit confused, how did that work FW?
    do you mean you had to get at least one successful play through of the CD-4 LP thru a demodulator first then SQ encode those 4 demodulated channels?
    or you just used the Tate to synthesise faux Quad from the CD-4 record played back in 2-ch.?
    How'd it work, how'd it work,? Well quite well actually.
    CD-4 through the Encoder and recording cassette at the same time . So you can monitor what you record , adjust your encode if required , and stop record if needed , such as making minor adjustments to CD-4 playback/record .
    And you hear your encode through the Fosgate , so you know how it's working and observe how unique the encode results are.
    Lot's of fun btw , Encoders are a unique quad toy with super fun results, imo.
    Listening to titles-discrete only, but now Encoded is a large part of the thrill.
    And that's why I have been trying to convince you to purchase one if you can. (Outboard of course )


    Given that we now have Surround Masters of both QS and SQ this becomes a wanna do type project.

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