(1973-05) Billboard - No SQ/QS Matrix Merger

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par4ken

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I mostly agree with Ben and he wasn't even condemning CD-4, just pointing out the problems and noting that it was technically rather premature. He did however condemn QS a bit unfairly IMHO. QS's real strength in my opinion was with stereo enhancement, so for that reason alone it was desirable that it coexist with SQ.

The Electro Voice Universal Matrix was what seemed like a good idea but in practice was not. A good system is not made by taking two or three different systems each with their own strengths and weaknesses and then through compromise develop a new system with no strengths left!
 

furui_suterioo

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"We feel that any sort of compromise would degenerate the SQ system" (Ben Bauer)


The Electro Voice Universal Matrix was available by this time, but isn't mentioned in this article.


Kirk Bayne
There is an article in there about a ban on an 8-track cart duplication machine and drug-use related song lyrics, kind of humorous from today's perspective.
 

kfbkfb

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Interestingly, in 1973, CBS bought a JVC Mark 2 1/2 speed CD-4 mastering system and several WEA group titles were mastered by CBS (sometimes one side at CBS and the other side at the JVC Cutting Center).

I don't recall any statements by Mr. Bauer about CD-4 after the problems were solved [in ~1975] (playing time same as stereo/mono LPs, cutting level same as stereo/mono LPs, the 2 big issues early in the [USA] CD-4 timeline).


Kirk Bayne
 

par4ken

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Interestingly, in 1973, CBS bought a JVC Mark 2 1/2 speed CD-4 mastering system and several WEA group titles were mastered by CBS (sometimes one side at CBS and the other side at the JVC Cutting Center).

I don't recall any statements by Mr. Bauer about CD-4 after the problems were solved [in ~1975] (playing time same as stereo/mono LPs, cutting level same as stereo/mono LPs, the 2 big issues early in the [USA] CD-4 timeline).


Kirk Bayne
Many of the problems were solved (or reduced) but not all of them. The limited frequency response (< 15Khz) for one could never be "solved" without a major redesign of the system.

Even with CD-4 improvements the system was far too finicky for the average person.

Playing time improved but yet with the latter releases they seemed to avoid cutting far into the inner grooves. In an attempt to eliminate the sandpaper effect.

The half speed mastering system along with the super vinyl would prove to be useful in the production of "Audiophile" vinyl releases, the spin-off effect of CD-4 development.
 

Doug G.

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The preservation of LF - RF 20 dB separation with SQ as compared to QS was the main argument for SQ and one I agree with. Compromising that specification was a mistake.

If I switch to regular matrix from SQ on my decoder, the collapse is too apparent.

Doug
 

kfbkfb

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Mr. Bauer does make a good point about the Quad to Mono folddown of SQ as compared to QS, for some reason, BBC 1 music radio was on AM until the late 1980s (AFAIK, AM stereo wasn't tried there).


Kirk Bayne
 

Doug G.

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It was interesting to read about Bauer's attitude toward CD-4 and how he didn't condemn it. I guess maybe he wasn't one of the ones telling lies about CD-4 back then.

:D

Doug
 

kfbkfb

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...CBS Records had a Mark II system in their NYC studios. YES - the SQ people! And they knew how to use it, too - I remember processing some of their lacquers into test pressings on our CD-4 vinyl, and their cuts were excellent.


Maybe Mr. Bauer didn't want to offend potential customers of another division of CBS, so he went easy on CD-4.


Kirk Bayne
 

MidiMagic

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Left-to-right separation was the forte of SQ. It's weakest point was hall ambience (3 dB max, and killed by the F-B logic).

Recording hall ambience using a matrix was the forte of QS. The weak point was no large US backing.

Stereo enhancement was the forte of EV-4.

Equal separation between all 4 channels (4.8 dB all 6 ways) is the unnoticed forte of EV-44. Lack of such recordings was the weak point.

CD-4 to me was like nailing a tuba to a tornado (or a camel as a kludged attempt to make a horse).

Dynaquad was the budget version for those without money.
 

kfbkfb

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A 1965 LP my parents had: "IMPORTANT! RCA Victor's...stereophonic...must be played on phonographs equipped for stereophonic reproduction"

I haven't researched this issue of stereo LPs played on mono record players, but this is similar to requiring a CD-4 phono cartridge, clean CD-4 records and stylus (and correct demod setup).

My point is is that transitioning from mono LPs to stereo LPs required additional procedures as did/does the transition from stereo LP to discrete quad LP.

Sansui did specify a "mono broadcast" mode for QS encoded content, a 90 degree phase shift between Lt and Rt (I haven't worked thru the QS encoding equations to see if Lt or Rt is given the 90 degree shift).


Kirk Bayne
 

Doug G.

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Well, to get discrete quad from CD-4 records, you had to have quad equipment but, it didn't harm the records if you had reasonable 2 channel equipment. Stereo records could be damaged by old, crystal cartridges having no vertical compliance.

BTW, I have the "Calypso" record. I'll have to look and see if it's mono or stereo. Looked. Mine is an LPM mono.

Doug
 
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MidiMagic

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^^^
A 1965 LP my parents had: "IMPORTANT! RCA Victor's...stereophonic...must be played on phonographs equipped for stereophonic reproduction"

I haven't researched this issue of stereo LPs played on mono record players, but this is similar to requiring a CD-4 phono cartridge, clean CD-4 records and stylus (and correct demod setup).

My point is is that transitioning from mono LPs to stereo LPs required additional procedures as did/does the transition from stereo LP to discrete quad LP.

Sansui did specify a "mono broadcast" mode for QS encoded content, a 90 degree phase shift between Lt and Rt (I haven't worked thru the QS encoding equations to see if Lt or Rt is given the 90 degree shift).

Kirk Bayne
Many mono cartridges made before stereo had no vertical compliance, and so damaged stereo records. The ones found in the little 45 changers were the worst offenders.

The change to stereo cartridge in a mono player was not that expensive (compared to getting a CD-4 cartridge).

There was an easier way to get the mono compatible output from QS: Mix all 4 channels from a QS decoder together at equal levels.

Note that there is no way to just give one channel a 90 degree shift. Both channels must be given psi shifts that have a 90 degree difference between them.

Other RM systems work like QS.

UMX was even easier: Just play the record.

SQ plays in mono except center back in a normal player (with a stereo cartridge).

No other matrix had an easy way to mono play.
 

kfbkfb

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MidiMagic

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Yes, CB is part of the QS downmix for mono. All directions have equal levels.
 

Q-Eight

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I sometimes wonder if Quad should've stayed a completely tape-based medium at least until something viable were produced for the LP format. It might've helped because I know more than a few folks who dipped their toe back in the 70's and deemed it "fake" or more often "not worth the money". I always though that odd but it turns out, they jumped into LP's first, not tapes like I did. For the longest time, I would avoid Quad LP's simply because I couldn't get them to work. It took many years for me to finally get CD-4 right, and even with a Tate, SQ still does not blow me away. So I can understand their viewpoint when even I with the (arguably) BEST equipment, struggled. So, if in 1972, somebody was experimenting with a Montgomery Wards hi-fi and a Realistic SQ Decoder.... well then yeah, obviously they're not gonna have a good time.

It's a shame that Columbia Records and Sony were intertwined. Sony has ALWAYS had this kink where they must make some sort of proprietary equipment (I would assume so they can double-dip on royalties) but my god.... how many times have they tried that and fallen on their face? You'd think they'd have learned by now. I think RCA backed the right horse, but they wanted product YESTERDAY and I think put CD-4 to market way too prematurely.

But if the whole QUAD phenomena stayed a tape-based format until mid 1974 or early 1975.... the record companies may have had a chance to build popular acceptance, not had to waste the time/effort/money to make separate LP or Discrete mixes.... and artists may have gotten a little more interested since they wouldn't have their work compromised by a matrix system that couldn't deliver.

1975 brings us a new Quad LP format and hey, Phillips is letting up on their demands and here comes a Quad cassette..... next summer, Quad FM!
 
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par4ken

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Yes, CB is part of the QS downmix for mono. All directions have equal levels.
Their (broadcast) solution was to phase shift the right channel by 90°, I bet that sounded good in stereo! ;) Reminds me of CGS. Matrix H and UHJ did basically the same thing. SQ via a forward oriented encoder would be better. Even regular SQ would be better for mono compatibility as the Cb position was rarely used anyway. I think the worry about mono compatibility was overblown anyway!
 

Q-Eight

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I think the worry about mono compatibility was overblown anyway!
I TOTALLY agree with you on that!! It just seems like such a silly requirement. Only a fool would take a record labelled as QUADRAPHONIC and try to play it back on a mono system. Why would anybody BUY a Quad LP when they only have a mono system anyway?? It just seems.... silly.

But then again, I recall setting up this beautiful, 7.1 home-theatre system for a very wealthy client only to have him put on a Beatles CD with nothing but mono songs and then having to tolerate him boast about "How good the 7.1 sounds." People ain't SMRT.

I swear I must've drawn blood from biting my lip on that one.

I also just recently had a WTF moment when a fellow on the Facebook was telling everybody how much better his stereo LP's sounded in CD-4 mode.... 🤔
"What a shilly sit!" :giggle: Maybe CBS was on to something....
 

MidiMagic

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Their (broadcast) solution was to phase shift the right channel by 90°, I bet that sounded good in stereo!;) Reminds me of CGS. Matrix H and UHJ did basically the same thing. SQ via a forward oriented encoder would be better. Even regular SQ would be better for mono compatibility as the Cb position was rarely used anyway. I think the worry about mono compatibility was overblown anyway!
That was not to be broadcast in stereo. The left and the 90 phased right were to be mixed together for a mono broadcast.
 

par4ken

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I see really no point in that at all. A separate mono mix really should be used for a mono broadcast. Even a stereo fold down is not perfect for mono but still could be used for a mono broadcast. Why bother using a quad mix?
 
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