HiRez Poll Azteca - AZTECA [SACD]

QuadraphonicQuad

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the SACD of Azteca - AZTECA

  • 8:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Poor Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9

sjcorne

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
5,005
Location
Washington, D.C.
Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2022 Multichannel SACD from Dutton-Vocalion of Azteca's self-titled album
This Multichannel SACD features the first official release of the original Quadraphonic mix since the 1970s!
The Quadraphonic mix is also available to stream in Dolby Audio via Apple Music:

(Please note that this SACD also features the album "Pyramid of the Moon" in stereo only)

AZTECA
LP KC 31776 (1972) STEREO/CQ 31776 QUADRAPHONIC
1 LA PIEDRA DEL SOL (Harrell; White)
2 MAMITA LINDA (Dondelinger; Vincent)
3 AIN’T GOT NO SPECIAL WOMAN (Harrell; Reyes; Pearson)
4 EMPTY PROPHET (Vincent; Canoff)
5 CAN’T TAKE THE FUNK OUT OF ME (Jackson)
6 PEACE EVERYBODY (DiQuattro; P. Escovedo)
7 NON PACEM (Nuñez)
8 AH! AH! (Puente; P. Escovedo)
9 LOVE NOT THEN (Nuñez)
10 AZTECA (Bent)
11 THEME: LA PIEDRA DEL SOL (Harrell; White)

Arrangers: Coke Escovedo, Tom Harrell
Recorded at Columbia Studios, San Francisco, September 1972
Recording engineers: Glen Kolotkin, George Engfer
Remixed in quadraphonic at Columbia Studios, San Francisco
Quadraphonic sound supervision/remix engineer: Glen Kolotkin
Producers: Azteca and Coke Escovedo

Remastered from the original analogue tapes by Michael J Dutton

Multi-Channel/Stereo
CD 1, tracks 1–11 available in stereo and multi-channel

CD 2, tracks 1–9 available ONLY in stereo

SACD
These Hybrid CDs can be played on any standard CD player

2CDSML8579

Azteca Front.jpeg

Azteca Back.jpeg

Pre-release thread for all shipping/ordering queries and non-poll related posts:
 

par4ken

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
2,414
Location
NW Ontario
I've never owned the original SQ quad LP but have listened to OD's conversion a few times. It's not a recording that I have been very keen on but you just have to support DV's efforts as much as possible.

Despite all the comparisons to Santana, Azteca is not Santana. Santana much more rock infused/influenced. I find that Azteca is much less focused. The album switches between latin to a hint of jazz and a hint of rock maintaining bit of a muddy sound quality all the way through.
It also delves into a sort of pre-disco funk as well, reminding me of latter day Chicago more than of Santana.

Surround wise it is very good deserving an 8 or 9. I'm giving it a 7 because of the muddy sound quality and that I just can't warm up to it content wise.

The second disc "Pyramid of the Moon" I did rather enjoy. Now it sounded more like a fusion of Santana and of Chicago. It decoded nicely in Stereo Enhance mode of the S&IC. Too bad that it wasn't mixed for Quad as well.
 

ar surround

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
3,954
Location
New Joisey
...maintaining bit of a muddy sound quality all the way through...
I found the music (quad album) to be very enjoyable as well as the mix. However as noted by par4ken, the sound isn't the best. The sound quality of the vocals is not up to that of the instrumentation, as if recorded in a different studio or with different equipment. Also, the instrumentation has a good bit of presence while the vocals are relatively reticent. These two characteristics of the vocals make them seem disjointed from the mix.

I don't know what the stereo layer sounds like...if it has that same disjointed vocals quality to it.

I too would rate this higher if not for the vocals issue, so it lands as a 7. However, I would still buy the set.
 

fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
26,940
Location
London, England
this to me is an absolute out and out "10", all day long.

here's 10 reasons why;

1.) the Quad of "Azteca"
sounds better on the new SACD than my SQ Quad LPs and Quad Q8 8-track tape,

2.) the Quad of "Azteca" sounds better on the new SACD to me than the Dolby Audio offering streaming on Apple Music,

3.) Superb liner notes, i thoroughly enjoyed reading them while listening along,

4.) Great Value for money, especially from a Quad perspective, the old "Azteca" Quad LPs and tapes cost me £90 in total with shipping (!!), by comparison the SACDs a relatively paltry £23.99 (+ p&p),

5.) the Quad mix of "Azteca" is, for me, one of the all-time Classic Quad mixes and one of Columbia/CBS' "Surround Sound Spectaculars" back in the day, its a personal thrill to see it getting such reissue/repackaging and wonderful remastering treatment,

6.) I've never owned the "Pyramid Of The Moon" album before in any form,

7.) I love the music on both albums, it is all very much my musical cup of tea 😋🎶☕💘

8.) its a physical standalone release.

its not one Surround album in a big overpriced boxset full of toot i don't need or want. yes, its a 2-fer and that may bug some people but for me its a win-win because i've always wanted to hear the 2nd Azteca album which is very scarce in digital form,

9.) its in my favourite Surround disc format and configuration.

i can readily make backups of SACDs and play them on the Computer etc., plus the packaging is my preferred kind, simple, uniform; regular jewel cases i can easily stash on shelves with the rest of the CDs/SACDs etc.,

10.) The SACDs were released on my Birthday, which made a sweet package all the sweeter! yum yum! 💘🎁🎂

470AE5C4-3E53-4D2A-B29B-523E826BA202.jpeg
 

4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
20,807
this to me is an absolute out and out "10", all day long.

here's 10 reasons why;

1.) the Quad of "Azteca"
sounds better on the new SACD than my SQ Quad LPs and Quad Q8 8-track tape,

2.) the Quad of "Azteca" sounds better on the new SACD to me than the Dolby Audio offering streaming on Apple Music,

3.) Superb liner notes, i thoroughly enjoyed reading them while listening along,

4.) Great Value for money, especially from a Quad perspective, the old "Azteca" Quad LPs and tapes cost me £90 in total with shipping (!!), by comparison the SACDs a relatively paltry £23.99 (+ p&p),

5.) the Quad mix of "Azteca" is, for me, one of the all-time Classic Quad mixes and one of Columbia/CBS' "Surround Sound Spectaculars" back in the day, its a personal thrill to see it getting such reissue/repackaging and wonderful remastering treatment,

6.) I've never owned the "Pyramid Of The Moon" album before in any form,

7.) I love the music on both albums, it is all very much my musical cup of tea 😋🎶☕💘

8.) its a physical standalone release.

its not one Surround album in a big overpriced boxset full of toot i don't need or want. yes, its a 2-fer and that may bug some people but for me its a win-win because i've always wanted to hear the 2nd Azteca album which is very scarce in digital form,

9.) its in my favourite Surround disc format and configuration.

i can readily make backups of SACDs and play them on the Computer etc., plus the packaging is my preferred kind, simple, uniform; regular jewel cases i can easily stash on shelves with the rest of the CDs/SACDs etc.,

10.) The SACDs were released on my Birthday, which made a sweet package all the sweeter! yum yum! 💘🎁🎂

View attachment 84109
A MAGNIFICENT review ADAM but you forget #11

But the polls don't GO TO 11!

A Ten for me, as well.

Simply MAGIC!
 

ar surround

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
3,954
Location
New Joisey
Track 9, Love Not Then, Wendy Haas' lead along with the backing vocals are skewed to the left. This is not the case on the stereo layer. If the location of the vocals on this quad track was intentional, it was quite an odd choice.

Also, the vocals on the stereo layer have that same "early transistor" sound to them.
 

fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
26,940
Location
London, England
Track 9, Love Not Then, Wendy Haas' lead along with the backing vocals are skewed to the left. This is not the case on the stereo layer. If the location of the vocals on this quad track was intentional, it was quite an odd choice.

Also, the vocals on the stereo layer have that same "early transistor" sound to them.
well i just checked that track on the SACD in MultiCh and double-checked it in Dolby Audio on Apple Music and the lead vocal was upfront and Centred in both instances.

might i suggest there maybe something potentially a little off with regards to the Quad aspect of one's setup, resulting in Centre Front imaging being a tad skewed to the Left?

i say this respectfully and with absolutely no malicious intent whatsoever 🙂🤗

anyway thank you for the prod to "play it again, Sam"! :smokin😂 i'd forgotten i'd set my little Sony UHD player to Bitstream DSD via HDMI so i'm spinning the SACD in that mode for a change rather than via 6-ch Analogue through my trusty Cambridge Audio BDP and blow me down it sounds even more superb-er-er than i remembered! 🤯💘

ok, i need that "11" now 4-earredwonder ? come on! 'and it over! 👏🧐😋😹

447682B4-1CCA-4947-90AC-1259A6E9A2AC.jpeg
 

ar surround

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
3,954
Location
New Joisey
well i just checked that track on the SACD in MultiCh and double-checked it in Dolby Audio on Apple Music and the lead vocal was upfront and Centred in both instances.

might i suggest there maybe something potentially a little off with regards to the Quad aspect of one's setup, resulting in Centre Front imaging being a tad skewed to the Left?

i say this respectfully and with absolutely no malicious intent whatsoever 🙂🤗
I checked the waveform. The volume of the fronts appear to be skewed to the left by 1.5dB:

Love Not Then.jpg

Perhaps something went sideways (yes that's a bad pun) with the rip / wav conversion / flac conversion. Need to check the disc. It's odd because nothing else on this disc, or any other quad I played today, had anything other than a dead center pinpoint image.
 

humprof

Junior Senior
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,946
Location
NoCal
I won’t vote on this album, and I also won’t try to convince anyone to like something that just doesn’t speak to them. But I do feel like I want to speak up in support of Coke Escovedo’s musical vision. Before I started researching the liner notes for this release, I didn’t know Azteca well at all, and I guess I casually subscribed to one of the common critical raps against their debut album—that it’s a dog from every town, by a band that can’t find its “sound.” But after learning about Azteca’s roots and spending more time with its music, I can hear the continuity in the variety. For me, the smart arrangements and the immaculate musicianship are the constants. What Coke had in mind was a band that would showcase the diversity of Bay Area music—especially Bay Area Latin music—and the versatility of its musicians. They won’t settle into one style precisely because they’ve got such range. That can make them tough to peg for a record company or a radio deejay or even a listener, but it’s still pretty impressive. To me, it sounds like the same band of musicians from track to track, even if they’re often trying on something new. And I think the overall sequencing of both albums makes for a nice program.

As for the “muddy” sound: that’s absolutely how I’d describe the Q8 and SQ transfers that we were stuck with before. But I’m with @fredblue: Michael’s new mastering is crystalline by comparison, and I think it lets you hear the precision and complexity of the arrangements above all. It’s all relative, I guess. Yeah, it could be still sharper and brighter, but I don’t think it sounds any worse than, say, the first couple of Santana albums, and I’m willing to cut those all kinds of slack. Same with this one. I dearly wish Pyramid had a quad mix, but I’ve already heard a Penteo upmix that sounds pretty convincing. SurroundMaster, anyone . . .?
 

Clement

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
4,340
Location
Turtle Island
I won’t vote on this album, and I also won’t try to convince anyone to like something that just doesn’t speak to them. But I do feel like I want to speak up in support of Coke Escovedo’s musical vision. Before I started researching the liner notes for this release, I didn’t know Azteca well at all, and I guess I casually subscribed to one of the common critical raps against their debut album—that it’s a dog from every town, by a band that can’t find its “sound.” But after learning about Azteca’s roots and spending more time with its music, I can hear the continuity in the variety. For me, the smart arrangements and the immaculate musicianship are the constants. What Coke had in mind was a band that would showcase the diversity of Bay Area music—especially Bay Area Latin music—and the versatility of its musicians. They won’t settle into one style precisely because they’ve got such range. That can make them tough to peg for a record company or a radio deejay or even a listener, but it’s still pretty impressive. To me, it sounds like the same band of musicians from track to track, even if they’re often trying on something new. And I think the overall sequencing of both albums makes for a nice program.

As for the “muddy” sound: that’s absolutely how I’d describe the Q8 and SQ transfers that we were stuck with before. But I’m with @fredblue: Michael’s new mastering is crystalline by comparison, and I think it lets you hear the precision and complexity of the arrangements above all. It’s all relative, I guess. Yeah, it could be still sharper and brighter, but I don’t think it sounds any worse than, say, the first couple of Santana albums, and I’m willing to cut those all kinds of slack. Same with this one. I dearly wish Pyramid had a quad mix, but I’ve already heard a Penteo upmix that sounds pretty convincing. SurroundMaster, anyone . . .?
Wait! YOU wrote the liner notes!? They are a thing of beauty–simply stellar! Thank you SO very much for your craft! I look forward to more of your prose! Stay Surrounded, Comrade!
 
Last edited:

ar surround

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
3,954
Location
New Joisey
Before I started researching the liner notes for this release, I didn’t know Azteca well at all, and I guess I casually subscribed to one of the common critical raps against their debut album—that it’s a dog from every town, by a band that can’t find its “sound.” But after learning about Azteca’s roots and spending more time with its music, I can hear the continuity in the variety. For me, the smart arrangements and the immaculate musicianship are the constants.
Despite my complaints about the vocals, this is all top shelf stuff. Oh, and the more "dogs" the better. Alan Parsons does it, and there is a guy out there named Santana that snagged every dog from every town to make Supernatural and Shaman.
As for the “muddy” sound: that’s absolutely how I’d describe the Q8 and SQ transfers that we were stuck with before. But I’m with @fredblue: Michael’s new mastering is crystalline by comparison, and I think it lets you hear the precision and complexity of the arrangements above all.
I had never heard this album until hearing this DV quad. I'm glad that the contrast between what was previously available and this new release is so great. As I've noted before, I often skew my vote keeping in mind what came before.
 
Top