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

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

MidiMagic

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
997
I sometimes wonder if Quad should've stayed a completely tape-based medium at least until something viable were produced for the LP format.
Then nobody could have played those albums except on a quad player. That was the one thing I wanted removed from quad (a reason I supported matrix).

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.
Then those of us who avoided tape when we could (due to high failure rates) would have had no quad and those who wanted quad had to spend a lot.

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.
Part of the problem is the way they cut corners when making quad. They tried to use the same recording for both the discrete tape and the matrix record. The matrix record sounds MUCH better if the mix were made with the matrix in mind. But they usually created a 4-track discrete mix, and then accepted whatever matrix performance came out of the 4-corners encoder.

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.
CD-4 is also a proprietary equipment need, as are Q4 and Q8. You can't play it without the equipment.

RCA lost my business precisely because its records were not compatible with older equipment.

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.
Maybe they did that because they wanted that album with that music and those musicians, and it was only available as a quad (Elvis "Aloha via Satellite" comes to mind). If there is nothing sold but a CD-4 LP and a Q8 tape, how do you buy and play the album without spending a lot of money to go quad?

Think of college students on limited budgets. That's what I was when quad appeared. No money to play with. I passed by a lot of quad releases I would have liked to have just because I didn't have the money. I bought a lot from used record stores (Imagine buying a used CD-4 and wondering if the carrier was. OK).

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 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....
This DID work with the matrix systems. Many of my LPs DID sound better in Dynaco Diamond, Dynaquad, EV-Stereo-4, and QS. This was another reason I preferred matrix.

And then there is the fact that I can make my own matrix recordings. CD-4 is out of the question for a home studio. I made my first matrix recording in 1970 with stereo equipment I already had.
 

MidiMagic

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
997
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?
So the mono (e.g. AM) radio station could play an album released only in QS. What if a mono mix is not available???

People listening to the radio are more interested in hearing certain musicians or a certain song than they are in the form the recording was made in. When they call up to make a request, they ask for a song they want to hear.

Some radio station copies of records were made with stereo on one side and mono on the other side in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I have a few of those I got in a used record store. But what do you expect the station to do if the record the promoter sent was in QS, or if no other versions were made? This was a possible solution you could connect up in the radio station.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,578
Location
NW Ontario
So the mono (e.g. AM) radio station could play an album released only in QS. What if a mono mix is not available???

People listening to the radio are more interested in hearing certain musicians or a certain song than they are in the form the recording was made in. When they call up to make a request, they ask for a song they want to hear.

Some radio station copies of records were made with stereo on one side and mono on the other side in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I have a few of those I got in a used record store. But what do you expect the station to do if the record the promoter sent was in QS, or if no other versions were made? This was a possible solution you could connect up in the radio station.
Even in the seventies and eighties many promo 45's were made for radio stations with one mono side and one stereo side. I have a number of those. As for QS I don't think that there were an awful lot of QS single inventory recordings that any mono AM station would want to play. If Quad would of took off (as it should have) then things might be different. With regular playback of QS in mono only Cb would completely disappear, front sounds would dominate but I don't think that would be a serious issue. Recordings with ambiance in the rear would actually sound better with that reduced in level for mono playback.
 
Last edited:

MidiMagic

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
997
Even in the seventies and eighties many promo 45's were made for radio stations with one mono side and one stereo side. I have a number of those. As for QS I don't think that there were an awful lot of QS single inventory recordings that any mono AM station would want to play. If Quad would of took off (as it should have) then things might be different. With regular playback of QS in mono only Cb would completely disappear, front sounds would dominate but I don't think that would be a serious issue. Recordings with ambiance in the rear would actually sound better with that reduced in level for mono playback.
Right. But the assumption that QS would take off was the reason such a connection was publicized. And Dolby Surround did take off. This trick works for DS recordings too.
 

fizzywiggs41

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
5,260
Location
wpg, mb
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
Well in Billboard May 26th 73 Bauer stated no to a QS/SQ merger , however he did say"maybe"to an SQ/CD-4 MERGER.

No doubt the early CD-4 Backers , JVC , RCA (71,72), and WEA ( 73), would have baulked at that notion.

That's really too bad because Nippon Columbia's - UD-4 (in 74 ) , went ahead with their Discrete w/matrix albums promotion , however short lived it was.

Personally , I would have preferred the matrix mergers . Len Feldman did try with his new Universal EV-4 Decoder (EVX- 44?)
But that move was stymied with poor SQ decoding by that Electrovoice gadget. What they needed and didn't have..... was full cooperation with Ben Bauer and CBS for some much improved SQ/EV-4 PLAYBACK .
 

fizzywiggs41

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
5,260
Location
wpg, mb
Right. But the assumption that QS would take off was the reason such a connection was publicized. And Dolby Surround did take off. This trick works for DS recordings too.
I don't know midi , it took a lot of time. At least not in the 70's quadraphonic era and early 80's surround/quadraphonic era.
Dolby matrix music (MP) didn't seem to obtain acceptance until music videos were encoded for the audio consumers. .....,and then much later , in the late 80's early 90's with music labels issuing MP Matrix or Dolby Surround via CD ,(also cassettes.)
 

kfbkfb

800 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
885
Location
Midwest USA
Yes, as part of their CD-4 announcement, the WEA group stated that they considered matrix quad to be stereo and a half, so there didn't seem to be much hope of a matrix/CD-4 disc.

Is the quad to stereo folddown/downmix really that important?

It's the quad mix that's important, IMHO, it's just a convenience that most of the quad content continues to be audible when played in stereo or mono, similar to color TV shows viewed on B&W TVs, there was probably a cursory check when the show was produced to see how it looked in B&W, but it was made for color, so B&W was an afterthought.


Kirk Bayne
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,578
Location
NW Ontario
If the Tate system would of been available (and at reasonable cost) in the early to mid seventies it would of been game over for CD-4!
 

kfbkfb

800 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
885
Location
Midwest USA
How did/does the Lafayette SQ-W Full Logic w/Wavematching SQ decoder compare to the Tate SQ decoder?


Kirk Bayne
 

fizzywiggs41

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
5,260
Location
wpg, mb
The Tate SQ Decoders , Tetrasound or Fosgate ,pretty much blew the older SQ Decoders "out of the water ".o_O

I never had a Lafayette , but my Sony SQA 2030 had pretty much the same type of that latest SQ decoding .(waveform matching SQ)
 

MidiMagic

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
997
All of those with the original front-back logic (including the Lafayette SQ-W) pounded any hall ambience in the recording into inaudibility.

SQ was the worst offender at hiding hall ambience under the music, and the front-back logic just made it worse.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,578
Location
NW Ontario
All of those with the original front-back logic (including the Lafayette SQ-W) pounded any hall ambience in the recording into inaudibility.

SQ was the worst offender at hiding hall ambience under the music, and the front-back logic just made it worse.
The SQ-L had front to back logic, the SQ-W is full logic. I still have an SQ-L, but sold my SQ-W after recapping it. The Lafayette was noticeably better than decoders using the Sony chips. I was using mine because my Tate was malfunctioning. Now I have two S&IC's both working great. Still there is no substitute for Tate decoding of SQ and it's great for stereo enhancement as well.

My Lafayette didn't have vari-blend (the latter version did), the Sony decoders (at least those that I have seen) didn't have it either. I think that vari-blend was a very important development for SQ. It not only improves centre front to back separation of SQ but helps with the retrieval of ambiance.


How did/does the Lafayette SQ-W Full Logic w/Wavematching SQ decoder compare to the Tate SQ decoder?


Kirk Bayne
So to answer Kirk There is no substitute for Tate decoding, although Involve SQ is very very good. The Lafayette SQ-W has long been rated ater the Tates, but ahead of the Sony chip based decoders. IMHO the Motorola chip decoders worked better than the Sony ones and had no fiddly adjustment. Many/most SQ decoders didn't have vari-blend, which was a great improvement IMHO over fixed or no blend decoding. The fixed blend often used in lieu of vari-blend by Sony and others, impaired SQ's greatest strength and has always been very audible to me.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,578
Location
NW Ontario
@par4ken

Ken,
How Would you rate the Tate SQ (S&IC Tetrasound , FOSGATE 101a) against the Involve Decoder w/SQ ?
Just curious ??

Fizzy-(being kinda Fuzzy)🙄
Fiz, I've answered this basic question several times but here I go again. I don't have a Tetrasound or 101A to directly compare to the S&IC, although I have listened to some decodes that were done with the Fosgate. The positive thing about both Fosgate units was the interface circuit, it was said to be faster than the Audionics. Other than that I think it's fair to say that the S&IC sounds much better. The Composer runs the audio stages in class A, it has a soft clip circuit and with the electrolytic coupling capacitors replaced with film types (as I've done to my units) the unit is sonically neutral. That is to say what goes in comes out with no noticeable coloration. All other decoders seem to alter the sound a little bit in some way or another. One thing that I always notice about the S&IC is the rock solid bass, many other decoders including the Fosgate seem to skimp on the coupling capacitors using slightly too low values, resulting in some bass rolloff. Listening to my vinyl rip of Mahavishnu Orchestra "Birds Of Fire" via the S&IC made me (almost) wonder why I bothered at all with the AF and Sony discrete SACD's!

I have the Involve SQ evaluation board and it does work well but I still like the Composer better. The Involve has a bit of harshness or edginess to it's sound (upper midrange glare). I'm sure the SM ver.3, will sound better though. I would have to say that the Involve's sound is less colored than that of most vintage decoders. I placed the Involve inside my Sony SQD-2010 and so was able to flip back and forth between the two of them. The fixed blend of the Sony was very audible pulling the apparent sound sources inward. With the Involve there is almost zero breakthrough of centre front (vocals) in the rear.
 

fizzywiggs41

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
5,260
Location
wpg, mb
Oh , I'm sorry Ken.

You have the Audionics S&IC . :oops:
And here I thought you had the Tate Tetrasound , for some reason ?

OK well ,I think I understand what you are trying to say (in layman's terms). The new Involve V2 sounds a bit mechanical? (If I can use that word).
As in a comparison to a Tate Decoder , be it SQ via the Audionics , Fosgate ,or earlier Tetrasound units.



On a separate Decoder question, ......Have to ever wanted one of the three Aphex SQ Decoders ?
APHEX AVM 5000, AVM 6000 and AVM 8000 .
Or at least hear one ?
"Shadow Vector DES" SQ ,I do believe . But quite expensive for anyone to start out with , seeing as how they appeared for sale in 1985 - 88 or even1989 with their last Decoder . They were distributed by AKG in Canada.
I thought no way for this quaddie , at the time . But sure would love one now if the price was right.

wishfull thinking ,Fizzy🧞‍♂️
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,578
Location
NW Ontario
Oh , I'm sorry Ken.


On a separate Decoder question, ......Have to ever wanted one of the three Aphex SQ Decoders ?
APHEX AVM 5000, AVM 6000 and AVM 8000 .
Or at least hear one ?
"Shadow Vector DES" SQ ,I do believe . But quite expensive for anyone to start out with , seeing as how they appeared for sale in 1985 - 88 or even1989 with their last Decoder . They were distributed by AKG in Canada.
I thought no way for this quaddie , at the time . But sure would love one now if the price was right.

wishfull thinking ,Fizzy🧞‍♂️
While I've heard of Aphex, I have never seen nor heard one. If memory serves they were useless without the remote control, I think I remember seeing one for sale without the remote on eBay some years ago. There should be a tread about it someplace, I think that they were sold under another brand name as well?

Shadow Vector, was being developed by Lynn Olson of Audionics. It made it to the prototype stage using something like ten interconnected circuit boards. When the Tate chips became available Audionics pulled the plug on Shadow Vector and reassigned Lynn to the design of speakers. There is a thread about it with a number of very interesting post from Lynn. Others have been working on a multiband software version of the Shadow Vector, many more posts about that in the same thread. Early literature from Audionics says that they were going to produce both decoders and at a cost of around $200 each!

One of the treads about The Space And Image Composer, has a number of posts by Steve Kennedy of Audionics, they are a very interesting read as well!
 

MidiMagic

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
997
I have schematics of the various SQ decoders. (SQ-L, SQ-W, and SQ-V).

I would have preferred the variblend alone over any of them. All of them had the front-back logic, which I do not want.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,578
Location
NW Ontario
I have schematics of the various SQ decoders. (SQ-L, SQ-W, and SQ-V).

I would have preferred the variblend alone over any of them. All of them had the front-back logic, which I do not want.
Audionics disliked the logic circuits available at the time but had the intention of making logic available as an add on to their decoder when an acceptable logic system became available. We had to wait until the very late seventies to get the S&IC! Audionics had blend as a switchable option, 30% rear only, a better choice than the more common 10-40 blend option IMHO.

I would suggest now that the SM ver3 is available someone will be selling their ver2, or the original SM at a more affordable price. No matter how limited my budget was I would scrape together enough cash for a decent decoder!
 
Top