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Thread: GRT Q8 C/H question

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    Default GRT Q8 C/H question

    Several of you talked about the different mixes that graces the GRT Q8 with a C prefix or a H suffix.
    IIRC the artist involved were Grass Roots, Steely Dan and Jim Croce.

    Now i've spotted Tommy James & the Shondells: white cart version has the C prefix, blue cart has the H suffix.
    Someone knows the differences between the two releases, if any?

    (Images infos: C version is mine - with graphics restored for dvd-a coversion, H version is from Ebay).
    Last edited by winopener; 09-20-2007 at 12:27 PM.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    I'm collecting all the GRT's I can!! I'm watching a Jim Croce on ebay that has an H suffix, while the tape I have has a C prefix.

    The two pairs of tapes I currently have are by Joe Walsh and The Grass Roots.
    With the Grass Roots tapes, the mixes differ and the "black dot" version has the left channel error fixed. With the Joe Walsh tapes, the mix is identical, but again, the black dot version fixes the left channel error the other tape has.

    I'm going to watch that Tommy James tape! I want it

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Grass Root may be the only one, and the C/H shows a channel misplacement that has been corrected?
    On my tape Mony Mony has TJ vocals on rear left... doesn't seems quite right; got to check it with a dts cd.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Here's a picture of the one I'm going to eBay in a few weeks. It's different in color than the white one above.........
    Attached Images Attached Images
    :-jon

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Jon: Wanna sell it right now outside ebay?

    Winopener: I have a DTS version and TJ's vocals on Mony,Mony come from front left only.

    This would be a THIRD example then that the C/H on the cat. # corrects a channel location issue.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    The Grass Roots' Twins and the Joe Walsh Twins.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Oh my God... there's *another* variation for the Joe Walsh cart: i do have the H version but this time isn't a C corrected with black letter, it's Printed as H.
    Scan coming soon.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Here it is.
    So... H is the definitive quad mixes and C is a wrong one for some reason?
    Last edited by winopener; 11-21-2006 at 07:17 AM. Reason: no graph uploaded

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Will it show now?
    Last edited by winopener; 06-29-2007 at 08:45 PM.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    I have some other's that have the black dot with H prefix.
    Count Basie - ABC command quad.
    Focus - both have the black dot on mine.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Too bad there's no production date on each tape. We could figure a timeline as to when each one was printed.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    This info is wrong, but I am leaving this post here for archive purposes. See post #20 below for the correct response!

    I think you guys are looking for something that is not there.

    Just like the Columbia LPs, the difference between the CQ-3xxxx and the PCQ-3xxxx is merely the list price.

    I believe that the difference in these GRT carts has also to do with the list price. The earlier, non-dotted carts were probably listed at $6.99, and the later carts listed at $7.99. By placing the DOT on the existing stock, they could raise the price, just as Columbia put the stickers with PCQ over the CQ numbers.
    :-jon

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Jon,
    when happened the CQ/PCQ change?

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    About 1974, I think. They put stickers over the CQ number, as shown below.

    :-jon

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    But the fact is that there is no difference between the Columbia discs content-wise. They are identical no matter which version. With the GRT tapes, there IS a difference in content.

    The way I guess we could prove your theory Jon, is to find original wrappings with price stickers on them.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Looking at the GRT-side of things, the best way to clarify thing will be to list what has been released in both C/H format, and when.
    My Arista/GRT carts are all H.
    Jim Croce 3 C carts, "Photographs" H
    Four Tops all C
    Synergy H

    So it may be a "price" issue, because all C carts are between 70-74 and all H are later issue. A single Arista C cart would prove wrong that, since all Arista are from 1975/1976.
    Remains to explain why the different mixes between C and H. Maybe the more incoming from the sale price difference made it worthwhile to fix a bad mix.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Quote Originally Posted by winopener View Post
    Looking at the GRT-side of things, the best way to clarify thing will be to list what has been released in both C/H format, and when.
    My Arista/GRT carts are all H.
    Jim Croce 3 C carts, "Photographs" H
    Four Tops all C
    Synergy H
    Grass Roots C/H
    Joe Walsh C/H
    Tommy James C/H
    Jim Croce "I Got a Name" both C/H

    Thus far, the "H" ones seem to be the "fixed" versions. I hope to win the bid on the Jim Croce "I got a Name" [H] tape and compare to the [C] I already have.

    Quote Originally Posted by winopener View Post
    So it may be a "price" issue, because all C carts are between 70-74 and all H are later issue. A single Arista C cart would prove wrong that, since all Arista are from 1975/1976.
    Remains to explain why the different mixes between C and H. Maybe the more incoming from the sale price difference made it worthwhile to fix a bad mix.
    It could be a bit of both, not only identifiying which tape has the "correct" channel assignment and that since they had to go back and fix the error, they're now charging $1.00 per tape extra to compensate for the extra time involved.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    I suppose this is the first release, white shell and label
    Last edited by winopener; 06-29-2007 at 08:45 PM.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Just bringing an old post back from the dead. I'm fairly certain now I have solid proof about the GRT C or H cartridges:

    Three Dog Night - Hard Labour doesn't count. It's the only N in my collection so far.

    Grass Roots 16 Greatest - C swapped, H not.
    Joe Walsh - Smoker You Drink - C swapped, H not.
    Jim Croce - I got a Name - C swapped, H not.
    Jim Croce - Don't Mess around w/ Jim - C swapped, H not.
    Jim Croce - Life & Times - C swapped, H not.
    Focus - Moving Waves - C swapped, H not.
    Focus - Live at the Rainbow - C swapped, H not.
    All Three Steely Dans - C swapped, H not. (Though on Pretzel Logic, can anyone really tell? )

    That's a lot of tapes! I've seen (but do not own) several Donna Fargo & Roy Clark Q8's with the Dot's and H's as well. So there seem to be a LOT of tapes out there with either a channel error or the correction. Suffice it to say, if it's got the black dot and an H, or simply the H - it's a proper quad mix.

    After seeing the Quad master of that Three Dog Night album, I've come to the conclusion that those at the reproducing plant did not pay attention to channel assignments. Not a big deal in stereo, BIG deal in Quad.

    On the TDN master, channel assignments were:

    T1: FL
    T2: BL
    T3: FR
    T4: BR

    If someone wasn't paying attention, and mapped track 2 to front right, track 3 to back left and track 4 to back right, well that my friends explains the classic GRT channel error!

    *Takes a bow* Thank you, Thank you.

    I have yet to find 'corrected' versions of the Best of Mountain or Chuck Berry's Q8. I corrected the Chuck Berry one myself with a DTS conversion.
    The voices in my head come from Right Rear only!

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Here is my 2 cents for what it's worth. The GRT customer back in the early days were listening in their autos. The classic speaker configuration was two small speakers up front and two 6x9 speakers in the rear. This worked great for stereo. When GRT started receiving quad masters they discovered that most of the bass was from front channels and they surmised that they would not sound good in the auto due to speaker configuration. So GRT decided to fix the problem by swapping two channels. This solution worked great in the car because now you had one of those front bass channels in the back using that trunk as a baffle. They decided to label these tapes with a C for car mix. After a while more people started listening to these tapes in the house so GRT stopped the practice of swapping channels and left them alone. These had the H on them for home mix. To save money they relabeled all the C carts at one time by covering the C with a black dot and adding an H. Problem was they did not correct all of the actual tapes so that is why not all H carts are corrected. A great example is Tommy James and the Shondels Greatest Hits. The C cart is swapped so there is always something happening in the rears. On the H cart or home mix the first minute or two of Crimson and Clover has dead silence in the back as it should.
    Phil.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip Spinner View Post
    Here is my 2 cents for what it's worth. ....... Phil.
    Phil,

    That's one of the best posts I've ever seen here. Great job. I never knew that, and I've seen plenty of 'C's and 'H's over the years, and the ones with the black dots as well. I always assumed that they were for a price increase.

    I am sticky'ing this thread.

    Great job! Hope your Christmas is a great one.
    :-jon

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Hi Jon. To clarify I don't know if any of this is true. Just my belief all these years. I seriously doubt all those swapped channels were mistakes. There was some reason for their madness.
    Phil

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    it's an interesting theory, but I do want to point out it's very possible all those swapped channels were mistakes, since there were 3 different standards used in track assignment for quad. The GRT tapes are the most notorious of track assignment errors, but I've seen several other examples out there. Heck, I've found all 3 standards used among the Mike Robin reels, it seems within Columbia's vaults they couldn't agree to a single standard in their quad masters. And you can't even get the professionals today to take 10 minutes to verify things, as we've had channel assignment errors on the Gentle Giant Freehand and Ten Years After DVDs. It basically comes down to a lack of standards, and a lack of caring among the "professionals" when preparing things for release. I somehow doubt that someone would decide to completely ruin a mix for the sake of bass in the car....but, certainly stranger things have happened.

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    A few years ago I had some communications with an eBay seller who had a bunch of GRT master tapes - not original masters, but the ones used for doing 8-track duplication. He sent me pictures of the boxes, one of which I'm including below, and they all had the same channel assignment indicated:

    Track 1: Front Left
    Track 2: Rear Left
    Track 3: Front Right
    Track 4: Rear Right

    And as we know, the track layout for quad 8-track tapes is:

    Track 1: Front Left
    Track 2: Front Right
    Track 3: Rear Left
    Track 4: Rear Right

    Which means if you do a direct track for track duplication from the master tape to an 8 track tape, you get the front right and rear left channels (tracks 2 and 3) diagonally swapped. I think this is exactly what happened, because to avoid this you'd have to have the tape deck that was playing back the master tape during duplication wired with those two channels swapped. I suspect the guys doing the duplication work either didn't know or didn't see the notations on the tape boxes at first.

    ETA:

    Looking at some of the other master tape box pictures, the channel layout is Left Rear, Left Front, Right Front, Right Rear, which would also produce the diagonal channel swap, just with the left speakers needing to be swapped. I think this just shows you that there was no consistency in the masters being delivered to the GRT duplication facility!

    695.jpg
    655.jpg

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    Default Re: GRT Q8 C/H question

    Yup, those are the 3 standards I see. The FL, FR, RL, RR is rather simple and I suppose what one would expect. The FL, RL, FR, RR made sense for consumer quad reels, because that would make the front stereo pair line up with the stereo pair of a stereo tape, making it easy for a reel deck to do both stereo and quad playback. And then there's the RL, FL, FR, RR layout, which was rather common among electronic composers, and also has a mindset of thinking of the layout as a wide stereo field.

    You know, I'm now remembering a seminar on surround sound I attended in college, so this would have been late 90s, early 2000s, and at some point the topic of track order on master tapes for 5.1 came up, and there were a few different standards there. And I recall an explanation that was given on one of the standards was to put the center channel early in the line up, because sometimes TV stations were getting masters, and would just pick the first 2 tracks to use since they were only broadcasting in stereo, which in one of the standards was laid out to start with L/R, and as a result there would be no dialog, or very quiet dialog, so changing the order to L/C/R..., if you got a TV station that did that, you'd at least get dialog, and half of the stereo front. Not sure if I remember that all correctly, or how often something like that happened, but something I remember hearing anyways.

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