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(1972) Matrix encoded CD-4 (proposal)

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gvl_guy

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The BBC really disliked SQ and weren't especially keen on QS. There were many reasons for this, but foremost amongst them were both formats' variously poor mono and stereo compatibility, lack of accurate image localisation and audible phase related artefacts. I'm sure you'll have read the BBC's detailed study reports into the performance of the currently available matrix systems. I don't think any other broadcaster did as much research (if any) into the subject as the BBC and I've no idea why some US stations made the decisions that they did. What the BBC really did like however, was Sansui's encoding and decoding technology, particularly Vario Matrix. They used Sansui equipment as the platform on which to to host the development of something based rather on more on QS than anything else - Matrix H.This had its own peculiarities, and quickly morphed into Matrix HJ and its subtle variants. Commercial Sansui equipment was therefore capable of being simply modified to decode Matrix H and HJ. Sansui released a couple of such decoders for sale in Europe but it was all rather too late as by then the BBC's year long on-air demo of HJ was coming to an end.
That's all the world needed.....yet ANOTHER matrix decoder to hear not-quite-perfect quad. :rolleyes:
 

par4ken

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There was nothing wrong with SQ as far as stereo compatibility goes. Centre back cancels out in mono as it does with QS but so what. What Matrix H did was throw in more odd phase shifts to preserve mono compatibility. That reminds me of "Holzer Audio Engineering-Compatible Stereo Generator system " that was used on Neil Young's first album. Yes it had better stereo compatibility in mono (no image build up) but it sounded bad. Neil had that album pulled and re-mixed without it!
 

MidiMagic

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Try that Holzer record with an SQ decoder. The stuff intended for the center in stereo comes out the back speakers. I have quite a few of them.
 

jaybird100

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CBS was initially trying to develop a carrier-based discrete system, very similar to CD-4. They abandoned the project when they realized implementing a discrete system was not going to give them the level of performance they wanted. Hence, we got SQ.
 

jaybird100

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Gotta agree with Chucky. "Perfect" isn't necessarily better. When it comes to records, we've seen how difficult it is to incorporate a true, discrete system that's trouble-free all the time. Matrix systems may compromise some separation, but let's be real here; it's much easier to implement in the grooves of a record, and with decoders that are worth their salt, that "compromise" is essentially minimized. Unfortunately, no such decoder was readily available back when it would have made a bigger difference. Had a device, such as the Surround Master, been available back then, we might not have seen quad fade from the marketplace, or at least, not as quickly. We might have also seen the industry standardize on a single system.
 

quadaholic

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Oh, yes. Shellac was used to make 78 rpm records.

Japan captured most of the sources of shellac, a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees. Since shellac is an insulator for electric wiring needed for warplanes and RADAR, shellac was rationed from 1939 to 1946 in most western countries.

This caused the following shellac-conserving limitations to appear in these countries:

- In order to buy a new record, you had to turn in a used one. It didn't matter if the used record had broken. The shellac was melted down to make new records.

- Easily worn records of Vitrolac (vinyl) were sold at reduced prices. They lasted only a few plays.

- Most record companies used good shellac for the recorded surfaces of the records and sandwiched a filler material between the recorded surfaces.

- The following materials were used for the filer materials: shellac mixed with paper or sawdust, sawdust mixed with hide glue (standard wood glue), asphalt, Bakelite, cardboard, paperboard, Masonite, Fiberglas, plastic, and even glass.

- Some record companies mixed shellac with hide glue and paper dust to extend their supply of shellac.

- Because aluminum was also rationed, lacquer masters were made with a glass substrate.

These records made of substitute materials broke more easily. The record changers of the 1930s broke many of the new records.. This was the main reason record changers stopped using knife-type record dropping and started using push-type record dropping. A few changers were made that lowered the records instead of dropping them. And the push-type changers had an s-shaped spindle to slow the record as it falls.

Most of these substitute records have become even more brittle with age. They should not be dropped from record changer spindles.

In 1947, with the development of the LP, vinyl started replacing shellac as cartridges appeared that did not damage vinyl.
This was an awesome history lesson. Thank you!
 

chucky3042

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Can you explain why you believe/believed the market needed it?
Its a bit difficult to not switch into sales mode here but I will attempt to do so!

Despite all the sales talk in the media stereo is still in 2020 the number 1 most dominant format and by far the most understood from kids to old folk, its in records, cassettes (love them), MP3, Youtube, radio, TV , Foxtel, you name it its everywhere, When it comes to surround basically it adds complication right down to the spaghetti city of additional wires in the back of the "receiver" (hate them) and the "solution" the wretched and completely crap HDMI. Then once you got all that hardware in place and connected you then need to set up your DVD and "receiver" for your desired surround format.

This is all starting to sound like history repeating of the late 1970's where there were a number of competing non compatible formats adding complication, confusing the market - and now ATMOS with its myriad of speakers etc. Much of the market is returning back to stereo.

In my biased opinion we really need to go back to the future and adopt a completely universal stereo surround system that everyone can just grab the media and press play. I say the way to go (plug time) is our INVOLVE Stereo record format. All tests we have conducted indicate it smells, tastes, looks and sounds exactly like stereo with no image compression as with the old QS/ RM but decodes into surround that is not perceived by the listener to be inferior to discrete formats. Witness the Suzanne Cianni recent quad release that was recorded in INVOLVE format.

We say there are no losers -perfect stereo- "perfect" surround- simple connections
Y4V3_RENDER_1.24.png


Oh we use an external HDMI adapter - to avoid upgrade changes and the $20,000 fee per year!

Stereo in - surround out (we do not need center channel- separate discussion)

Ok I know its not discrete, well actually read the attached study we conducted in house on 11 test monkeys when we arranged the same discrete recording on an instant A/B with no clues given vs INVOLVE encode/ decode. I also include the reasons the test monkeys chose their preferred format.

In short:
Subjects were asked if they had a preference for either system. The results were as follows:

Involve: 5
No Preference: 4
Discreet: 2

So at the worst case its very close, there is a reason more preferred INVOLVE (will tell later if asked!).
I give you my word as a rouge and a scoundrel that the tests were extremely unbiased and "dead pan" with no hints given. Just the words A/ B were used in random order.

Just sayin

Chucky
 

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kfbkfb

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Any listening tests done with a Surround Sound system that
had a Discrete (at least 12 dB in all directions at all times)
frequency range (a la UD-4, with a ~3kHz Discrete frequency
range) with the rest of the frequency range handled by a
Matrix system?

Such a UD-4 type system could be used on (Stereo):
Vinyl (a low bandwidth FM carrier above ~21kHz)
Tape (some high end Compact Cassette recorders
had a bandwidth of ~25kHz, enough for an above
~21kHz FM carrier)
FM (another FM carrier above the SCA carrier, no
need to move SCA)


Kirk Bayne
 

Doug G.

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I just like good ol' plain and simple CD-4 without any added accoutrements.

I also insist quad failed not because of the different formats but because of cost and husbands whose wives would NOT allow all the extra equipment in the living room. It's lucky if they even allow two channel in. Man caves were rare to non-existent back then.

Doug
 

proufo

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I also insist quad failed not because of the different formats but because of cost and husbands whose wives would NOT allow all the extra equipment in the living room. It's lucky if they even allow two channel in. Man caves were rare to non-existent back then.
At the time speakers for audiophiles were huge boxes. I would love to see a 5.1 system based on KEF LS50s (perhaps both passive and wireless) plus a subwoofer. That should be very non-intrusive and sound very good.

Ditto for the Involve system.
 

chucky3042

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Quad failed for many reasons:

1 Market confusion on multiple non compatible formats
2 The sweet spot issue that it only really worked well in the one seat- band aided by the addition of the center channel (boo hiss)
3 Too many wires/ boxes (yes big boxes did effect the WAF factor)
4 Many formats could not be broadcast at that time
5 The additional channel and boxes reduced the "hifi" quality of the systems at any give price
6 A lack of clever use of surround by the musicians/ recording "engineers" of the time
7 Movies had not standardized on any surround format and music begun its slow decline to the shit we have today from the early 70's
8 A lack of an independent unifying brand to pin a standard format on - DOLBY
9 CD 4 was very fiddly prone to squeaks and squawks and increased record / stylus wear and required special cartridges and again had issues due to bandwidth for broadcast transmission at the time
10 Cassettes became a dominant format in early 70's and were not well suited to discrete
11 CD's were introduced in around 1980 and again at the time bandwidth did not allow discrete and the public was well over surround by then .
12 The 1980's CD boosted the market interest back to serious STEREO HIFI
 

chucky3042

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I think I have understated the importance of DOLBY in the evolution of our current surround mess. DOLBY made their name as the unifying standard of noise reduction for cassettes when Nakamichi and then Harmon Kardon became the first to adopt their system around 1970. DOLBY became the first "INTEL inside" type logo/ label. They were seen to be brand independent and got rid of a lot of market confusion.

Issue is with the death of cassettes due to the CD in 1980 DOLBY's revenue as plunging but the name was still out their. They reinvented themselves with the introduction of the worst surround system of all DOLBY PL1 but it facilitated the subwoofer channel (that reduced the big boxes) and reintroduced the concept of the center channel. Same time the movies standardized to their format - as music was dying and the big boom boom thud movies were happening (star wars etc). Just clever marketing and perfect timing. Nothing to do with hifi.
 

Doug G.

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Quad failed for many reasons:

1 Market confusion on multiple non compatible formats
2 The sweet spot issue that it only really worked well in the one seat- band aided by the addition of the center channel (boo hiss)
3 Too many wires/ boxes (yes big boxes did effect the WAF factor)
4 Many formats could not be broadcast at that time
5 The additional channel and boxes reduced the "hifi" quality of the systems at any give price
6 A lack of clever use of surround by the musicians/ recording "engineers" of the time
7 Movies had not standardized on any surround format and music begun its slow decline to the shit we have today from the early 70's
8 A lack of an independent unifying brand to pin a standard format on - DOLBY
9 CD 4 was very fiddly prone to squeaks and squawks and increased record / stylus wear and required special cartridges and again had issues due to bandwidth for broadcast transmission at the time
10 Cassettes became a dominant format in early 70's and were not well suited to discrete
11 CD's were introduced in around 1980 and again at the time bandwidth did not allow discrete and the public was well over surround by then .
12 The 1980's CD boosted the market interest back to serious STEREO HIFI
Well, you listed all the factors discussed many times before. I gave the chief, overwhelming one. To this day, I bet there aren't that many surround systems set up in living rooms, in spite of satellite systems, etc.

Doug
 

jaybird100

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Quad failed for many reasons:

1 Market confusion on multiple non compatible formats
2 The sweet spot issue that it only really worked well in the one seat- band aided by the addition of the center channel (boo hiss)
3 Too many wires/ boxes (yes big boxes did effect the WAF factor)
4 Many formats could not be broadcast at that time
5 The additional channel and boxes reduced the "hifi" quality of the systems at any give price
6 A lack of clever use of surround by the musicians/ recording "engineers" of the time
7 Movies had not standardized on any surround format and music begun its slow decline to the shit we have today from the early 70's
8 A lack of an independent unifying brand to pin a standard format on - DOLBY
9 CD 4 was very fiddly prone to squeaks and squawks and increased record / stylus wear and required special cartridges and again had issues due to bandwidth for broadcast transmission at the time
10 Cassettes became a dominant format in early 70's and were not well suited to discrete
11 CD's were introduced in around 1980 and again at the time bandwidth did not allow discrete and the public was well over surround by then .
12 The 1980's CD boosted the market interest back to serious STEREO HIFI
Some points here: CD's could have handled surround in a linear fashion (not DTS, for example), but playing time would have been cut in half. That would have, essentially, gone against what Akio Morita wanted for the system, as it would have taken two discs to do what can be done with one in stereo, support Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

CD-4 had a lot of quirks, and broadcasting those discs in a discrete format was definitely one of them, since the Dorren discrete quad system hadn't been approved until quad was all but dormant. Slip-cueing would have definitely been a problem, since no CD-4 capable cartridge I know of could have been used for that. Also, bandwidth was a problem for anyone using the format, since the top end of the audio spectrum that could be reproduced topped at about 15 kHz, to avoid interfering with the carriers. Many radio stations that broadcast in quad had encoders for either QS or SQ (more for QS, as I remember reading), and did the transfers themselves. One local station in my area, WSHE, pushed quad all the time. They were encoding in QS, and were happy to tell anyone who asked how to properly decode their broadcasts. They sounded great in stereo, too.

Quad cassettes could have happened, but Philips put the kibosh on that. They claimed they designed the cassette to be mutually compatible for stereo and mono. To add quad to that, they would have had to go with 8 tracks. That tape was narrow enough with stereo; quad would have been problematic for a number of reasons. Some matrixed quad cassettes were released, but head alignment was sometimes a bugaboo that threw things off... way off!

Chucky, you nailed the "NIMLRYD" factor. ("Not in MY living room, you don't!"... suddenly it's HER living room!) Stereo was bad enough, but QUAD? FOUR big boxes??? And she'd never let you turn it up above a whisper!
 
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