CD-4 - The thin line between success and failure, but still in the fight!

QuadraphonicQuad

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

edisonbaggins

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
9,646
Location
Wherever I May Roam
Personally wouldn't use an elliptical stylus for CD-4. My preference would be simply an Audio Technica w/Shibata for the simplest most trouble free setup. Quad D's AT recommendation is a sound one.

Not sure if these explain everything, since I've only skimmed them. We had a 3D display at Pacific Stereo (CBS inc.) provided by AT. It had a crystal model of each stylus type, 4" tall, and circumference like a thick permanent marker.

We were AT's largest dealer, with 110 stores. AT's Precept line was created for us. We had exclusives in our regions. You couldn't buy it anywhere else in Chicago.

Carried all the cartridge brands, incl several audiophile lines. We sold ADC, Shure, Empire, Pickering, Stanton, Dynavector, Ortofon, Grado, AT, Ortofon, Micro Acoustics and more. May have forgot a couple...

I use a conical for old 78's
AT & Ortofon Shibatas or fine line for all else.

Elliptical is oval.

I would be sure to buy something with a nude diamond. Most cartridges use bonded. That is a metal shank attached to the cantilever and a diamond tip glued to it. Glue fails, and you've got a blunted hunk of metal playing LP's. Nude diamond is one piece mounted directly to the cantilever.

Shibata, fineline (or microline, etc.) are modified oval. They are mostly the same, EXCEPT a Shibata has a "squared off" back end, fineline is rounded. Slightly less record wear on fineline and no "squared off" back end, which could break if it gets severely worn. Shibata was designed to do less record wear than elliptical and trace the groove better w/less damage to the carrier signal.

Found some good info & explanations at Crutchfield:


AT:

Can you recommend certain fineline styli? I'm leaning toward buying a new AT cartridge (of those listed in the CD-4 Cartridge Recommendations thread). Will any fineline work with any of those cartridges?
 

kfbkfb

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
1,466
Location
Midwest USA


Looks like LP Gear is a good source for A-T cart items (including the Shibata stylus), I recommend trying to get an actual Shibata stylus rather than another type of fineline/line contact stylus shape (a Shibata will bridge a damaged record groove and play the undamaged part, another type of fineline/line contact may not do this).


Kirk Bayne
 

edisonbaggins

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
9,646
Location
Wherever I May Roam


Looks like LP Gear is a good source for A-T cart items (including the Shibata stylus), I recommend trying to get an actual Shibata stylus rather than another type of fineline/line contact stylus shape (a Shibata will bridge a damaged record groove and play the undamaged part, another type of fineline/line contact may not do this).


Kirk Bayne
Thank you
 

jupp369

Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
36
Location
Berlin
Sandpaper distortion is actually the carrier detection circuit switching on and off as it gains and loses the carriers in rapid succession. It is not a function of that actual noise coming from the groove. It is a function of the demodulation process if it's not going right.

The "breaking pencils" or "explosions" aspect only happens if the CD-4 system is not set up correctly. Scratches or dirt sound no different from two channel records in my system. As I have stated elsewhere, I have heard the various CD-4 distortions and actually did have some of them in my system when I re-entered the CD-4 world many years ago, now, but they were corrected, mainly through tracking adjustments.

Doug
Hi Doug,
The carrier has a small Elyth buffer, like in radios. I will check it, making that capacity bigger, but will take some month. Now I have to rebuild my new JVC GX-500.
But as we said: good calibration is all.
Have also some records where songs will never be really good. While recording I saw many breaks where the carrier suddenly drops low for a few milliseconds, or drops smooth on one side, than the other. I think about the tapes they had, not always perfect. But with Audacity it's possible to repair a lot.
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
9,525
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
1) What is the best (or several best) TT(s) to acquire?
2) What is the best cart (or several best) cart(s) to acquire?
3) What is the best demod (or several best) demod(s) to acquire?
Some good questions, Mike. You may think I'm dodging your questions. I haven't time this morn to reread all your posts. Have a busy day planned. Hence, I have questions. I'll let the guys here help you go through the nuts & bolts with you. Likely you or they might think of a few I haven't posed.

1- What turntable are you using, or wanting to upgrade to soon? Different tonearms and cartridges have varying compliances from model to model. Which leads me into, is tonearm a separate purchase? If so, which tonearm. The cartridge s/b optimally matched w/tonearm. That, not the turntable's motor is the determining factor.

2- What % of the time will you be listening to vinyl? This and your budget will determine how much to invest. For a heavy vinyl listener, the cartridge is the biggest determinant of realism, just as speakers are on this and every other source. You'll likely get the most bang for you hi-fi buck if you spend a higher proportion of the total expense on speakers and phono cart. Still, the right gear might be needed to "support" these pieces.

3- Will you be using another cartridge for 2ch listening, or is the CD-4 cartridge going to be used for everything?

Hopefully, this will give you and my compadres work out what is right tor you. Knowing your budget, other gear and examining these issues will greatly increase your value and enjoyment.

Hi-fi salons like ours are dinosaurs. We would have examined those issues with you and taken a half hour or more to properly set up the turntable & cart the right way. Free of charge. Even for CD-4 gear. Mail order and big boxes can't come close in offering value-added! I constantly advocated to be the customer's go-to expert friend.
 

edisonbaggins

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
9,646
Location
Wherever I May Roam
Some good questions, Mike. You may think I'm dodging your questions. I haven't time this morn to reread all your posts. Have a busy day planned. Hence, I have questions. I'll let the guys here help you go through the nuts & bolts with you. Likely you or they might think of a few I haven't posed.

1- What turntable are you using, or wanting to upgrade to soon? Different tonearms and cartridges have varying compliances from model to model. Which leads me into, is tonearm a separate purchase? If so, which tonearm. The cartridge s/b optimally matched w/tonearm. That, not the turntable's motor is the determining factor.

2- What % of the time will you be listening to vinyl? This and your budget will determine how much to invest. For a heavy vinyl listener, the cartridge is the biggest determinant of realism, just as speakers are on this and every other source. You'll likely get the most bang for you hi-fi buck if you spend a higher proportion of the total expense on speakers and phono cart. Still, the right gear might be needed to "support" these pieces.

3- Will you be using another cartridge for 2ch listening, or is the CD-4 cartridge going to be used for everything?

Hopefully, this will give you and my compadres work out what is right tor you. Knowing your budget, other gear and examining these issues will greatly increase your value and enjoyment.

Hi-fi salons like ours are dinosaurs. We would have examined those issues with you and taken a half hour or more to properly set up the turntable & cart the right way. Free of charge. Even for CD-4 gear. Mail order and big boxes can't come close in offering value-added! I constantly advocated to be the customer's go-to expert friend.
1. I recently acquired a Marantz 6150, for the purpose of Quad vinyl play. It happened to come with an ADC ZLM cart (unsure about the exact stylus).
It's supposed to be CD-4 ready, in terms of the tonearm impedance, and available controls and adjustments.

2. I listen to vinyl A LOT, these days. Around 100 CD-4 records. About as many matrix. 500-600 stereo/mono records.
The Quad system speakers are Klipsch KG 5.5s up front and 5.2s in the rear. The Surround Master can also utilize the matching vintage ('92) Klipsch sub, when it is in 4.1 mode.

3. I have a separate system for 2-ch. The pioneer PL-400 is equipped with a Pickering XV15/625E. I like it. I might rotate the ADC over there, to compare. Someday. If I get free time to burn!

Budget? Some folks have been recommending carts in the several hundred $$ range. That is ok. $5k is NOT ok.
 

kfbkfb

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
1,466
Location
Midwest USA


Looks like the AT 15 CD-4 cart is the best value (the AT 14 [JVC 4MD-20X] doesn't seem as good).


Kirk Bayne
 

edisonbaggins

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
9,646
Location
Wherever I May Roam


Looks like the AT 15 CD-4 cart is the best value (the AT 14 [JVC 4MD-20X] doesn't seem as good).


Kirk Bayne
Do AT carts get "better" as the model number increases?
Like, is an AT20 better than an AT15? What about an AT912?

And... is there a clear winner between SS, SA, SLA, ML etc.?

In terms of CD-4 playback, of course.

**edit: per the worldradiohistory article above, yes. Higher number, is better, at least from 14 to 15 to 20.
 

Doug G.

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
2,596
Location
Austin, Minnesota
Yes, generally, the higher the model number in any manufacturer's line, translated as more expensive, the better. The AT20s are hand selected AT15s with slightly better specs. The AT14 should fine because the AT12 is. The AT912 is just a later version of the AT12. And there lies the exception to the higher number rule. The base number "12" is still it with the AT912.

As far as a definitive "which is better", among the different suffixes, I don't think there is. They should all be capable of picking up the carriers and sending them along to the cantilever.

Doug
 
Last edited:

Doug G.

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
2,596
Location
Austin, Minnesota
@Doug G. Can you compare the XUV-4500Q to a VM95SH?

I can't because I don't have a VM95SH but I do have an XUV-4500Q and it is excellent. It was one of the top CD-4 cartridges back in the day and has a real refined, broad response sound, in addition to being able to dig out the carriers on even less-than-perfect discs. Of course the crux, as always with CD-4, is to make sure you have a stylus in excellent shape, something which has become more difficult, with the classic cartridges, in these days long past quad's halcyon days.

I lucked out with my XUV. A guy had it on eBay, several years ago, for 71 bucks and I saw it and said to myself, "SOLD!" I didn't really know the stylus condition other than the seller said is was in excellent shape with hardly any use on it. When I got the cartridge, it played every CD-4 record I had perfectly ,so, that answered THAT question.

Doug
 
Last edited:

edisonbaggins

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
9,646
Location
Wherever I May Roam
I can't because I don't have a VM95SH but I do have an XUV-4500Q and it is excellent. It was one of the top CD-4 cartridges back in the day and has a real refined, broad response sound, in addition to being able to dig out the carriers on even less-than-perfect discs. Of course the crux, as always with CD-4, is to make sure you have a stylus in excellent shape, something which has become more difficult, with the classic cartridges, in these days long past quad's halcyon days.

I lucked out with my XUV. A guy had it on eBay, several years ago, for 71 bucks and I saw it and said to myself, "SOLD!" I didn't really know the stylus condition other than the seller said is was in excellent shape with hardly any use on it. When I got the cartridge, it played every CD-4 record I had perfectly ,so, that answered THAT question.

Doug
I'm watching one on the bay with supposedly 200 hrs on it.
Question: how can a diamond wear out, just by contacting vinyl?
 

Doug G.

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
2,596
Location
Austin, Minnesota
Same principle as water wearing away rocks. mass and quantity. You have those tiny little spots of diamond against all those miles and miles of vinyl.
 

kfbkfb

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
1,466
Location
Midwest USA

Quad D

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2022
Messages
61
Location
NYC
^^^
Q&A for AT-VM95SH at B&H Photo web site:
Q: Is this cartridge fully capable of playing CD-4, QS, SQ, and other 4 channel quadraphonic records?
A: This phono cartridge cannot be used for this type of multi-4 channel vinyl record...(meaning CD-4)


Seems like the best option is to obtain a 1970s CD-4 cart.


Kirk Bayne
I don't know who answered that question at B&H web site, I personally tried the VM95SH and it played the most difficult CD-4 tracks with no problem. Manufacturer does not know, because they certainly did not test for CD-4 at this day and age, so they are probably just saying it offhand (that it is not designed for that). AT probably does not bother to claim or measure freq. response higher than 25 kHz, it is simply not needed today. But that does not mean cartridge is not capable of going much higher if principal design allows it.
 

kfbkfb

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
1,466
Location
Midwest USA
I just happened to find the B&H answer just before I posted the link.

I too am considering getting an AT-VM95SH for CD-4, the FM limiter in the later demods (QSI 5022 IC) will bring up the level of 45kHz to a usable level, but poor channel separation above 15kHz can be a problem.

In the other thread, I posted the titles of 3 known "problem" CD-4 discs, have you tried these CD-4 discs with the AT-VM95SH?


Kirk Bayne
 

Quad D

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2022
Messages
61
Location
NYC
I just happened to find the B&H answer just before I posted the link.

I too am considering getting an AT-VM95SH for CD-4, the FM limiter in the later demods (QSI 5022 IC) will bring up the level of 45kHz to a usable level, but poor channel separation above 15kHz can be a problem.

In the other thread, I posted the titles of 3 known "problem" CD-4 discs, have you tried these CD-4 discs with the AT-VM95SH?


Kirk Bayne
No, I did not do that much testing, I compared it to Shure M24H and it was equally good, and that was good enough for me to recommend it for $200. Is it state of the art for CD-4? Probably not, but than few cartridges are and they are vintage and much harder to get.
 
Top