A quartet of possibly the rarest Q8's ever?

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Q-Eight

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Hahaha! Doubtful. But what a wonderful topic.

Here are four of the strangest ladies I have in my collection. As far as I can tell, these are all "One-Offs"; meaning, these are the only Q8's ever put out by this company/record label/person.

Iguana - The Winds of Alamar on Quadratrak
The Marina Strings play the Neil Diamond Songbook on 20th Century Tapes
Bhen Lanzaroni on McConnell Records Ltd.
"Boogie Woogie Session" featuring Big Willie Johnson on Duo

We have discussed a few of these titles in the past. Some of them have catalog numbers that would suggest other releases but, if they exist I cannot locate any reference to them. There were a few little bits in vintage Billboard Magazines that said more titles were on the way from 20th Century, one of which being a Barry White title. However, I doubt it exists beyond that article. The Iguana tape I doubted the Q8's existence up until very recently. In all my years of collecting, this is the only one I can remember seeing. Interestingly, if you Google the address on the back of the tape, it locates to a small, suburban cul-de-sac just outside Kensington, Maryland. I believe this "record company" was headquarted literally at someone's house.

Beyond that, I have no other information to share about these tapes. Three out of Four are nice and four-corner discrete; the Big Willie tape being Quadra-Monic. Taking an educated guess, I suspect it to be a live recording session where each microphone was set up 90-degrees out of phase to the other microphones. So if something like a saxophone appears, it will appear very loud in Front Left, and at about 50% of that level in the other three channels. Drums are mostly to the rear, and bass is mostly to the front.

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sjcorne

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Three out of Four are nice and four-corner discrete; the Big Willie tape being Quadra-Monic.
"The Winds Of Alamar" is actually four-corner discrete? The QS LP is...weird. Some songs appear to have acoustic guitars coming mostly from the rears. On others, the vocals are louder in the rears than in the fronts. Normally I'd put something like that down to matrix limitations, but QS LPs usually decode amazingly well with the Surround Master.
 

Q-Eight

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"The Winds Of Alamar" is actually four-corner discrete? The QS LP is...weird. Some songs appear to have acoustic guitars coming mostly from the rears. On others, the vocals are louder in the rears than in the fronts. Normally I'd put something like that down to matrix limitations, but QS LPs usually decode amazingly well with the Surround Master.
It's a nice mix. Very discrete, but it uses every inch of the sound stage. Center Front, Center back and Phantom Centers left and right are all used. I would imagine it was mixed 24-track and did their due diligence when it came to miking instruments. To my ears, they used two mics when capturing the acoustic guitars; like a close mic to capture the actual instrument and then a room mic or one set further back to capture the ambience. Some songs feature an acoustic guitar, that on my scope, looks like it's coming from Phantom Left, but there is a distinct difference between what's in FR versus BR. It's either very well-done studio trickery or the miking method I mention above. Close mic in FR, ambience mic in BR. There's TONS of vocals going on in each corner. Drums/Bass across the front, natch.

I guess don't think of it as a Larry Keyes-style, balls-out 4-corner discrete. I suppose an example would be one song has an acoustic guitar in BL and an electric piano in BR. Well, you can hear 10% of the acoustic guitar in BR with the piano, and 10% of the piano in BL with the acoustic guitar. I get the feeling the intention was to put the listener in the center of the performance. It's quite pleasing. It's a DENSE mix.... very similar to the BTO Quads where they've used up every track of a 24-track to capture the performance. YES, there is discrete information but there's also an ambient sound to it to avoid any silent channels or weirdness.

I like it. The music really does have a Bread meets the Eagles kinda thing going on. Like, the talent of Bread with the songwriting skills of the Eagles. :LOL:

I would imagine with so much going on, it overwhelms the QS matrix.
 

quadtrade

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I had the Winds OF Alamar on a reel with a dissertation about how it was a audiophile recording. More were coming from the company. I think they issued a couple classical titles, one i remember was melting and unplayable even after baking. I believe they used good tape for 1976 which had the oxide that melts away after a few decades. I think Bob converted Winds. I could post it if wanted.
 

Q-Eight

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I had the Winds OF Alamar on a reel with a dissertation about how it was a audiophile recording. More were coming from the company. I think they issued a couple classical titles, one i remember was melting and unplayable even after baking. I believe they used good tape for 1976 which had the oxide that melts away after a few decades. I think Bob converted Winds. I could post it if wanted.
Huh. I've never seen anything else from them. They must be exceptionally rare titles.
 

quadtrade

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Yea these were on the Sonar/Ambiphon label. Rare but not same label
 

Q-Eight

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I wonder where the studio was? If you Google the address on the back of the tape, this is the location you get. The house in the middle is supposed to be 4114 Wexford Court in Kensington, Maryland. I thought maybe it was a misprint as there's a nearby Wexford Drive, but you get an even more depressing bungalow at that address.

I'm not getting the feeling this was a large operation.


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vinylguy4

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an old auction. As i remember the reel i had was 15 ips and a large size. The 7 inch was easier to find.
The tape that got away from me.
Way back when I didn't know how rare the quad reels were, I was just a stereo record collector.
But one day I was at a garage sale in Oceanside(north of San Diego), a guy had a bunch of reels and records and at garage sale prices.
I got all the quad reels I was interested in, stereo reels and records too.
But I left some behind, just would not be something that I would play. Little did I know that the Winds of Alamar tape was among
the tapes I left behind.
quadg drove up from south of San Diego and got the rest of the quad reels and Winds of Alamar (7 inch) too.
I did borrow the tape to make a copy.
The good ole days when you could go out.
 

Arthur Bod

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Greetings, This is Arthur Bod, and I'm one of the four members of Iguana who made that recording. A friend sent this thread link over, so I thought I'd join in and answer anything you'd like to know. By the way, the tracks and later tracks added were all recorded in Nashville at Quadraphonic Sound, which is no longer around. One of the best sounding control rooms!

And yes, we're all still above ground!

Arthur
 

vinylguy4

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Of course, we would all like to know if there is any chance of getting this released on a modern format like multichannel SACD or blu ray? Or even a QS encoded LP?
 
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Arthur Bod

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Quadratrack was an attempt to get a label deal. We had been with Epic Records under a different band that broke up called Robey, Fall & Bod. So we thought let’s just go do an album on spec (2 actually) and use the quad approach for uniqueness hoping to get label attention. It did work in the end.

There was a company at the time called Ambiphon that was modifying Ampex 1/2 inch four track machines and putting quad tapes of mainly classical music.

So we thought it would be a great and new idea to record a rock album in discreet quad and have Ambiphon make the album available in tape. And those tapes sounded incredible, with each one being as close as you could get to the 2 inch 24 track master sound quality.

Alas, there are zero of those tapes available. The Cassettes were done in limited quantity, and we used those to try and entice Lincoln to provide them with their cars that had a four channel cassette player. 1976 maybe?

There are also silver LP versions in QS somewhere out there. Have seen them on eBay.
 

Arthur Bod

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Part 2.

So we had two quad albums. One by Iguana with six songs and one by Shaw Hayes who became the fourth Iguana. Two of his songs from his album, ‘Tanglewood Tales, and the six from ‘Winds of Alamar’ became the final album.

Both were done on spec. We were friends with the guys at Quadraphonic sound, but they wouldn’t release the masters without $. Ha, what a surprise.

Anyway, a production company in LA heard the music and we signed a deal with them. They paid us enough to get the masters released and then sold those to the now defunct United Artists.

UA released the album remixed for stereo. But the quad idea didn’t inspire anyone there and that died.

The masters are nowhere to be found, including the original master quad mix that was used for duplication by Ambiphon. They have to be somewhere but we’ve given up looking.

It’s nice to know there is still some appreciation for those efforts. Some of us are still making music but the Quad thing for us is over - - for now.
 
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Yes, that Winds of Alamar is one rare Q8. I didn't realize they even existed. I have seen the reels and have one. And I have seen the QS LP's.
There is one on Ebay now or just was....not sure. Here are pictures of my Q4 version. Same address on back.....:)
Mine is serial #65. Funny its Animal Hospital Music Co. Maybe it was all done at the Vets office?
Arthur Bod would know.

I like especially the song --not sure which one it is, but is has the words "Time Waits For No One" or No Man. Forget which...
 

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Arthur Bod

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The song is called ‘Eulogy’. Great song. No drums or bass but still a big sound.

We did have a couple of investors along the way and one was a veterinarian. So we named our publishing company Animal Hospital Music. Well pot does give strange ideas at times. Though I dig the name.
 

vinylguy4

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Guess I got lucky to access and copy a 6 song tape(7 inch). Playing it now.
Dream Song 5:29
Sailing Ships 6:06
Happy One - Sad One 4:20
Romancing 3:30
Eulogy 5:10
Nighthawk 4:42
 
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