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IMPORTANT 5 More Vocalion Surround SACD Releases - Earth, Wind & Fire, O'Jays, Harold Melvin & Blue Notes, Miracles, Helen Reddy (Jan 2020)

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mwhealton

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OMGs. This forum is worth supporting just on the basis of these heads up notices on new releases! 2 Quad Earth Wind and Fire albums and other great Soul Music to boot! Ordered all but the Helen Reddy yesterday - I realized I missed the October release of Copland Conducts Copland Appalachian Spring so that grabbed the 5th spot. The Copland was a well-loved LP of mine in the early 80s.
 
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sjcorne

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
2,316
Location
Southern NY
Got a chance to preview the O’Jays disc before my copy arrives - I think “blown away” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I'm so thrilled D-V got this one out as a) I love the music and b) there never were discrete Q8s of these albums, only SQ matrix-encoded LPs.

I had a bit of fun comparing my old conversions (the LPs decoded with a Fosgate Tate II decoder) with the new SACD. I'm of the opinion that SQ can sound decent with a good decoder and good turntable/cartridge, but this is one of those cases where the differences between the two are striking.

Take for instance, the opening track of Survival - “Give The People What They Want”. It opens with the hi-hat panning right-to-left, just like the stereo mix. On the SQ decode, it sounds almost as if the pan starts in right front, then passes through the rears ending in front left. This new SACD reveals that the pan is restricted to the front channels, and the rears are silent!

"Give The People What They Want" (Decoded SQ):
Give The People - SQ.jpg


"Give The People What They Want" (Discrete SACD):
Give The People - SACD.jpg


Another moment that took me by surprise is the intro to one of my favorite tracks on the Family Reunion LP- “Livin’ For The Weekend”. The song starts with bass followed by the entrance of a very dramatic piano riff. On the SQ decode, the piano sounds almost as if it’s coming from almost every direction at once, with a reverberant trail in the rear channels. The SACD reveals that the piano riff and its reverb are fully isolated in the front channels; all that’s present in the rears is a bit of tambourine in the right rear channel.

“Livin’ For The Weekend” (Decoded SQ):
Livin - SQ.jpg


“Livin’ For The Weekend” (Discrete SACD):
Livin - SACD.jpg


Perhaps the most notable difference between the two is that the backing vocals are now firmly rooted in the rear channels. Shut them off, and the chorus vocals in tracks such as “You And Me” and “Give The People What They Want” will completely disappear.

Why do these two quad mixes fare so poorly (IMO) in SQ LP form? My best guess would be because they are mixed in a very “modern” surround style - rhythm section in stereo across the fronts, with the rears deployed for supporting elements such as backing vocals, rhythm guitar, horns, and strings.

Based on my own experiences working with old quad gear, it seems that the hardware SQ decoders of the ‘70s were much more accurate at placing hard-panned mono elements in their intended locations within the 4-channel space than they were with stereo images. I would guess that the folks at CBS understood this, as many of their quad mixes have extreme separation between the four speakers with no stereo elements present - presumably to cover the flaws of the system.

Bottom line - I’m thrilled the engineers at PIR went for the modern approach, even if we had to wait almost 50 years to hear it properly. Don't hesitate to pick this one up!
 

4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
10,707
Got a chance to preview the O’Jays disc before my copy arrives - I think “blown away” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I'm so thrilled D-V got this one out as a) I love the music and b) there never were discrete Q8s of these albums, only SQ matrix-encoded LPs.

I had a bit of fun comparing my old conversions (the LPs decoded with a Fosgate Tate II decoder) with the new SACD. I'm of the opinion that SQ can sound decent with a good decoder and good turntable/cartridge, but this is one of those cases where the differences between the two are striking.

Take for instance, the opening track of Survival - “Give The People What They Want”. It opens with the hi-hat panning right-to-left, just like the stereo mix. On the SQ decode, it sounds almost as if the pan starts in right front, then passes through the rears ending in front left. This new SACD reveals that the pan is restricted to the front channels, and the rears are silent!

"Give The People What They Want" (Decoded SQ):
View attachment 45312

"Give The People What They Want" (Discrete SACD):
View attachment 45311

Another moment that took me by surprise is the intro to one of my favorite tracks on the Family Reunion LP- “Livin’ For The Weekend”. The song starts with bass followed by the entrance of a very dramatic piano riff. On the SQ decode, the piano sounds almost as if it’s coming from almost every direction at once, with a reverberant trail in the rear channels. The SACD reveals that the piano riff and its reverb are fully isolated in the front channels; all that’s present in the rears is a bit of tambourine in the right rear channel.

“Livin’ For The Weekend” (Decoded SQ):
View attachment 45315

“Livin’ For The Weekend” (Discrete SACD):
View attachment 45316

Perhaps the most notable difference between the two is that the backing vocals are now firmly rooted in the rear channels. Shut them off, and the chorus vocals in tracks such as “You And Me” and “Give The People What They Want” will completely disappear.

Why do these two quad mixes fare so poorly (IMO) in SQ LP form? My best guess would be because they are mixed in a very “modern” surround style - rhythm section in stereo across the fronts, with the rears deployed for supporting elements such as backing vocals, rhythm guitar, horns, and strings.

Based on my own experiences working with old quad gear, it seems that the hardware SQ decoders of the ‘70s were much more accurate at placing hard-panned mono elements in their intended locations within the 4-channel space than they were with stereo images. I would guess that the folks at CBS understood this, as many of their quad mixes have extreme separation between the four speakers with no stereo elements present - presumably to cover the flaws of the system.

Bottom line - I’m thrilled the engineers at PIR went for the modern approach, even if we had to wait almost 50 years to hear it properly. Don't hesitate to pick this one up!
Wow, Jonathan, you really whetted my appetite for this January batch of Soul/Funk Music.

As steeyldave alluded to in another post, those SQ/QS and CD~4 vinyl 'replicas' of the Quad master tapes with all their eccentricities and decoding faux pas really only hinted at what was on those original QUAD masters.

If all those artists who are opposed to releasing their back QUAD catalogues could only hear the Dutton~Vocalion remastered SACDs on a modern system, they'd be begging their labels to re~release them.

It's really a shame that the original limitations of QUAD Vinyl playback was so shoddy back in the day or we'd have a LOT more QUAD masters from that period gracing our lives. It just wasn't impressive enough to convince artists/labels that QUAD WAS THE NEXT BIG THING!
 
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fredblue

QQ Supporter
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Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
22,185
Location
London, England
Got a chance to preview the O’Jays disc before my copy arrives - I think “blown away” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I'm so thrilled D-V got this one out as a) I love the music and b) there never were discrete Q8s of these albums, only SQ matrix-encoded LPs.

I had a bit of fun comparing my old conversions (the LPs decoded with a Fosgate Tate II decoder) with the new SACD. I'm of the opinion that SQ can sound decent with a good decoder and good turntable/cartridge, but this is one of those cases where the differences between the two are striking.

Take for instance, the opening track of Survival - “Give The People What They Want”. It opens with the hi-hat panning right-to-left, just like the stereo mix. On the SQ decode, it sounds almost as if the pan starts in right front, then passes through the rears ending in front left. This new SACD reveals that the pan is restricted to the front channels, and the rears are silent!

"Give The People What They Want" (Decoded SQ):
View attachment 45312

"Give The People What They Want" (Discrete SACD):
View attachment 45311

Another moment that took me by surprise is the intro to one of my favorite tracks on the Family Reunion LP- “Livin’ For The Weekend”. The song starts with bass followed by the entrance of a very dramatic piano riff. On the SQ decode, the piano sounds almost as if it’s coming from almost every direction at once, with a reverberant trail in the rear channels. The SACD reveals that the piano riff and its reverb are fully isolated in the front channels; all that’s present in the rears is a bit of tambourine in the right rear channel.

“Livin’ For The Weekend” (Decoded SQ):
View attachment 45315

“Livin’ For The Weekend” (Discrete SACD):
View attachment 45316

Perhaps the most notable difference between the two is that the backing vocals are now firmly rooted in the rear channels. Shut them off, and the chorus vocals in tracks such as “You And Me” and “Give The People What They Want” will completely disappear.

Why do these two quad mixes fare so poorly (IMO) in SQ LP form? My best guess would be because they are mixed in a very “modern” surround style - rhythm section in stereo across the fronts, with the rears deployed for supporting elements such as backing vocals, rhythm guitar, horns, and strings.

Based on my own experiences working with old quad gear, it seems that the hardware SQ decoders of the ‘70s were much more accurate at placing hard-panned mono elements in their intended locations within the 4-channel space than they were with stereo images. I would guess that the folks at CBS understood this, as many of their quad mixes have extreme separation between the four speakers with no stereo elements present - presumably to cover the flaws of the system.

Bottom line - I’m thrilled the engineers at PIR went for the modern approach, even if we had to wait almost 50 years to hear it properly. Don't hesitate to pick this one up!
brilliant info! 🌈🤩 thanks! 🤗

so interesting that opening track off Survival is mixed closer to the Stereo than it decoded through the Surround Master too! 🧐

i think its tracks like "I Love Music" that might benefit most from the upgrade to SACD, that one was at the end of a very full side of SQ vinyl pressed incredibly close to the label so it always sounded kinda muddy and cludgey.. can't wait to hear these puppies! just wish mah fookin' parsehole would turn up! a weeks the longest a bitchin' batch has taken to arrive chez moi, i coulda power-minced it quicker the 10-15 miles or whatever it is to the Watford Wizbit! maybe posties nicked me batch and is livin' for the weekend to my discs as we speak the cheeky Royal Male..!! 😱🤯👀🤧🤪🔫
 

MrSmithers

800 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
811
Location
UK 🇬🇧
brilliant info! 🌈🤩 thanks! 🤗

so interesting that opening track off Survival is mixed closer to the Stereo than it decoded through the Surround Master too! 🧐

i think its tracks like "I Love Music" that might benefit most from the upgrade to SACD, that one was at the end of a very full side of SQ vinyl pressed incredibly close to the label so it always sounded kinda muddy and cludgey.. can't wait to hear these puppies! just wish mah fookin' parsehole would turn up! a weeks the longest a bitchin' batch has taken to arrive chez moi, i coulda power-minced it quicker the 10-15 miles or whatever it is to the Watford Wizbit! maybe posties nicked me batch and is livin' for the weekend to my discs as we speak the cheeky Royal Male..!! 😱🤯👀🤧🤪🔫
You’re in for a treat old chap! Hopefully they’ll come through tomorrow?! They sound supersonic! Absolute belters, the best batch I’ve ever heard!

This is how I reacted when the postie delivered mine! 😎

 
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DuncanS

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Aug 30, 2012
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I'm away for work in Cyprus, so I've ordered these and hopefully they'll be waiting when I get home at the end of the week - took a punt on the Helen Reddy as I only know the '71 single "I am woman", and added the Don Sebesky from the last batch - but looking who plays on Giant Box its a who's who of some great musicians I like. The elves of Watford really do provide amazing value -11 (I think) Quad albums + stereo for less than the price of one box set!

1579447828627.png
 
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Scott65

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
685
Location
Tasmania, Australia
yeay! they're here! (..-and on a Sunday?!?? how's that for service!!) 🛩🚀🚁🛶🛸🐦🤯

i'm so happy i could.. uh oh.. too late! 😝


I am looking forward to receiving my copies of all of these, but especially Helen Reddy. I hope they release her other Quad albums too, because I would love to hear Helen 'Keep on singing' in Quad. :51QQ
 

4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
10,707
yeay! they're here! (..-and on a Sunday?!?? how's that for service!!) 🛩🚀🚁🛶🛸🐦🤯

i'm so happy i could.. uh oh.. too late! 😝


Yo, Brother Blue, hope you wore your well broken in Brazilian platform shoes, those funky paisley bell bottoms collecting dust in your closet and real cool shades while auditioning these treasures.

And now we know for sure there's a soul train which travels from Watford to London....and beyond!Teddy Pendergrass Damn Straight!

See the source image

"ALL ABOARD THE DUTTON~VOCALION SOUL EXPRESS FROM WATFORD > LONDON and beyond"

See the source image
 
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djstephan

Well-known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
132
Location
Heraklion, Crete
Still waiting for my December order to arrive...grrr..ordered it on Dec 20 it's been one month exactly..saw the post(woman) today, she said there a huge backlog of stuff in Athens(Greece) from Christmas!! I live on the island of Crete, so I'm not holding my breath...And at this rate/pace , not sure when the Funk/Soul batch will arrive...second grrr...Enough venting...all of you that have received these, especially the Funk/Soul batch, please share your impressions.
 

bmoura

Super Moderator
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
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Messages
9,197
Location
Redwood City, CA
Still waiting for my December order to arrive...grrr..ordered it on Dec 20 it's been one month exactly..saw the post(woman) today, she said there a huge backlog of stuff in Athens(Greece) from Christmas!! I live on the island of Crete, so I'm not holding my breath...And at this rate/pace , not sure when the Funk/Soul batch will arrive...second grrr...Enough venting...all of you that have received these, especially the Funk/Soul batch, please share your impressions.
Hmm, the shipping of this group appears to be on track in the US. My order of 3 is in LA as we speak. Should be here in a few days.
Hopefully your order will show up soon so the listening can begin!
 

djstephan

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Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
132
Location
Heraklion, Crete
Thanks !
I grew up listening and adoring the Philly Sound and love all the Gamble and Huff stuff, so to have these quads finally see the light of day is a dream come true. Can’t thank DV enough, we are truly lucky to have them around!
Hmm, the shipping of this group appears to be on track in the US. My order of 3 is in LA as we speak. Should be here in a few days.
Hopefully your order will show up soon so the listening can begin!
 
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4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
10,707
There's a nice write-up on these titles over at The Second Disc. Nice to see a music blog giving DV some love.
It's so gratifying to hear that Michael Dutton's HERCULEAN EFFORTS are finally getting the respect and positive press he so justly deserves.

When Audio Fidelity shuttered its doors I think we all thought THIS IS IT. No more gravy train. And then out of the wild blue yonder and beyond our wildest imagination a few SACD QUAD titles trickled out of Watford UK from a smallish company that heretofore released quality easy listening, jazz, classical and world music on RBCDs.

And what began as a trickle escalated into a bonanza of steady QUAD SACDs, affordably priced beyond our wildest dreams from the majors who had kept these titles under lock and key.

It might've taken almost 50 long years, but as we ease into a new decade, a combination of Jon Urban's insightful brainchild, QQ Forum, it's dedicated moderators and posters and a reawakening that there was/is indeed a market for uber quality surround titles is coming FULL CIRCLE.

Sorry to unabashedly GUSH over D~V's efforts, but Michael Dutton, IMO, is a genius. And the immense work he has put into each and every release, rummaging through those old QUAD master tapes to ascertain what is releasable, sealing deals with the majors/artists and ensuring that each and every QUAD release is mastered to perfection including newly annotated liner notes ........ what else can I add?

Thank you Michael and all the hardworking staff of Dutton Vocalion in that once sleepy city of Watford UK!

We indeed have a new CITY of ANGELS!

See the source image
 
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Sixtyten

Active Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
67
Location
OWC
While drawing the line at Helen Reddy - which one of these discs new discs (EWF / The O'Jays / Harold Melvin / The Miracles) is the best? I've no clue about the music on any of them contain, or their relative quality but my curiosity has been piqued. Which one should I get?
 
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