Comparing the various quad decoders

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jaybird100

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It's possible that the V3, which I understand is in the works, could have those suggestions built in. 🙂
They have said that the LED's won't be as bright, and the unit will also have an optical digital input. I can do without the digital in, and I cope with the LED's; in fact, I've gotten used to them. I didn't buy mine for its looks, rather, for what it does. As a single decoder that covers all the matrix bases, I'm very happy with its performance. It also does a great job with stereo recordings, too. I would have liked to see a master volume control on it, but since my SM is connected to the analog multichannel inputs on my Marantz receiver, it's all good.
 

gvl_guy

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They have said that the LED's won't be as bright, and the unit will also have an optical digital input. I can do without the digital in, and I cope with the LED's; in fact, I've gotten used to them. I didn't buy mine for its looks, rather, for what it does. As a single decoder that covers all the matrix bases, I'm very happy with its performance. It also does a great job with stereo recordings, too. I would have liked to see a master volume control on it, but since my SM is connected to the analog multichannel inputs on my Marantz receiver, it's all good.
I assume you just connect it through a 4 channel tape monitor?
 

jaybird100

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I assume you just connect it through a 4 channel tape monitor?
No. It's a home theater receiver, and I use the multichannel external inputs to feed the SM through it. I use a switchbox to select my CD recorder, turntable (with external phono stage), and auxiliary connection into the SM. It sounds great.
 

doity

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They have said that the LED's won't be as bright, and the unit will also have an optical digital input. I can do without the digital in, and I cope with the LED's; in fact, I've gotten used to them. I didn't buy mine for its looks, rather, for what it does. As a single decoder that covers all the matrix bases, I'm very happy with its performance. It also does a great job with stereo recordings, too. I would have liked to see a master volume control on it, but since my SM is connected to the analog multichannel inputs on my Marantz receiver, it's all good.
You are right mostly, and I didn’t mean to come off like I was putting their product down. To even be manufacturing such a device nowadays has to be partially a labor of love as their intended audience cannot be that big. But most of us are pairing the SM with vintage gear that did put some emphasis on looks. That is a large part of the appeal of the old stuff.......that it looks great as well as performs great. Not that my system is all that but still.

It is just that I think that if they put some more emphasis on looks and maybe some modern touches like touch screen menus, output displays, etc., it would be worth spending over and beyond what they are charging now. I took another look at the newer version today after posting my comment and from first looks it kind of looks like a guitar effect box that you might see next to a wah-wah or a volume pedal. Yes, the QSD-2 had a similar small footprint but it has a ‘classic’ look to it that wouldn’t seem out of place next to most vintage pieces.

I do hope that they keep refining the SM and I look forward to buying another one down the road.
 

jaybird100

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You are right mostly, and I didn’t mean to come off like I was putting their product down. To even be manufacturing such a device nowadays has to be partially a labor of love as their intended audience cannot be that big. But most of us are pairing the SM with vintage gear that did put some emphasis on looks. That is a large part of the appeal of the old stuff.......that it looks great as well as performs great. Not that my system is all that but still.

It is just that I think that if they put some more emphasis on looks and maybe some modern touches like touch screen menus, output displays, etc., it would be worth spending over and beyond what they are charging now. I took another look at the newer version today after posting my comment and from first looks it kind of looks like a guitar effect box that you might see next to a wah-wah or a volume pedal. Yes, the QSD-2 had a similar small footprint but it has a ‘classic’ look to it that wouldn’t seem out of place next to most vintage pieces.

I do hope that they keep refining the SM and I look forward to buying another one down the road.
Sure, they could do all those things, but it would drive the cost of the SM way up, possibly to a level that would make it too expensive for most. Even now, I'm in awe of what you get for your money.
 

doity

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Sure, they could do all those things, but it would drive the cost of the SM way up, possibly to a level that would make it too expensive for most. Even now, I'm in awe of what you get for your money.

I had to edit my reply because I found an article from 1983 that quoted the price of a Fosgate 101A at $300, not the $500 that I mentioned before. That must had been the ‘original’ retail price before reality set in. Then how about this then. Say that somehow Involve could produce two versions of the SM.....one as it is now for $600 but with no 5.1 output, and one that was their “statement” piece. They could equip it with 5.1 output, 4 VU meters side by side (preferably blue), a center channel indicator, and a different form factor (preferably something longer and sleek more like a stereo component). Also maybe more controls for tweaking the audio also. They then could charge accordingly and give people the option to trade up down the line or if they were happy with the quad one they could stay put.

I know that the quad community is probably just happy that they are making them but there are always gonna be people (like me) who say “we want more!” Well let’s hope that it comes to fruition but in the meantime I will stick with what I have. Ok, I am done falafelsizing and will not bring it up again. I promise.

Now back to the issue at hand. How the heck can I see the video? 😡
 
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Lance7489

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His comparison was excellent. I don't know of any other record that is more capable of enabling that type of comparing the systems as the "Quadrafile" album. For those not familiar with it, and I'd be surprised if anyone here wasn't, it's four sides of identical program material, differing only in how they're encoded. SQ, QS, CD-4, and UD-4 are represented here. His scope told all, and all decoders used did a fine job. But what I found really interesting was how the latecomer in the group, the Surround Master v.2, pretty much equalled, or surpassed, the performance of the Tate II, for SQ, and the Sansui QSD-1000 for QS. When I bought my S&IC, in 1980, it was twice the price of what the SM sells for now, and it couldn't do QS. The particular Sansui decoder he used, I don't recall ever seeing offered for sale in the US, but it's possible I missed that. Its SQ was the equivalent of partial logic. That had to be an expensive decoder in its day. Adjusting for inflation, that Tate decoder would be around $3900.00 in today's dollars. The SM, at US$599, given its low price and high level of performance, is a no-brainer.
Have the original surround master & recently purchased the SM "V2". They are great, especially for the price. Wish they would come up with something for CD-4.
 

gvl_guy

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Have the original surround master & recently purchased the SM "V2". They are great, especially for the price. Wish they would come up with something for CD-4.
I wish there was a "new" CD-4 demodulator out there, too. But the reality is that a matrix decoder can be used by anyone, even non-quad folks, to do a great job at simulating multichannel from anything stereo - even streams. A new CD-4 demodulator will only be good to decode albums that are likely already in our collections.
 

ummagumma

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I sure hope they don't put superfluous, annoying features like a touch screen on the SM!

you can't beat knob-per-function IMO and it's especially good for longterm reliability. I would refuse to buy anything where I need to rub my fingers across a screen, on a piece of audio gear. Much easier to turn a knob
 

Doug G.

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I sure hope they don't put superfluous, annoying features like a touch screen on the SM!

you can't beat knob-per-function IMO and it's especially good for longterm reliability. I would refuse to buy anything where I need to rub my fingers across a screen, on a piece of audio gear. Much easier to turn a knob
Boy, you can say that again. I'm not about to be swiping my audio equipment, either.

Doug
 

ummagumma

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although I would have no problem swiping someone else's quad equipment: especially if it was something like a QRX 9001 :D
 

doity

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I sure hope they don't put superfluous, annoying features like a touch screen on the SM!

you can't beat knob-per-function IMO and it's especially good for longterm reliability. I would refuse to buy anything where I need to rub my fingers across a screen, on a piece of audio gear. Much easier to turn a knob
Well I was just throwing out ideas on that. Maybe a LCD screen with menus and a remote then? I don’t know, I am just a sucker for high tech gimmickry I guess. Love me some flashing displays and such. My car has the first touch screen ever in a car and it controls all audio, HVAC, diagnostics, etc., and is still working some 35 years later. I love Nixie tubes, oscilloscopes, and generally all things that look flashy and impressive.

I even have one of those hanging world clocks that is a map of the earth with backlighting that constantly moves and shows daylight/sunset at any given time. Can’t think of the name offhand but they are very expensive. Mine needs repairing though as the motor is giving out, but thank god the only place that services them is close by.
 

ummagumma

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how about something cloud based, that only works if you have an internet connection?

and craps out if your neighbour turns on their microwave

and uses an OS that will be unsupported by any hardware in 2 years

updates will only work if you can stand on one foot while reciting Shakespeare backwards and simultaneously pressing a thumbtack into a tiny hole in the back, that is invisible and awkward to reach
 

doity

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how about something cloud based, that only works if you have an internet connection?

and craps out if your neighbour turns on their microwave

and uses an OS that will be unsupported by any hardware in 2 years

updates will only work if you can stand on one foot while reciting Shakespeare backwards and simultaneously pressing a thumbtack into a tiny hole in the back, that is invisible and awkward to reach
I know that you are being funny and it was kind of funny. But you can’t act like anything that I suggested is not in widespread use in modern electronics now. And cheap and effectively. I have an old 486 computer in my basement right now that had sat unused for probably 20 years or so. A couple months back I turned it on for the first time in decades and it booted right up. And doesn’t Involve have an amplifier with remote and on screen menus now?

I might be speaking only for myself, but I think it would be great to have a piece of modern equipment with all of the modern touches to pair with near 50 year old stuff. Kind of a juxtaposition between new and old but both essentially doing the same thing.
 

doity

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The super surround pre amp will be around $1500- $2000
See. That is what I am talking about. Considering inflation, some of the higher end quadraphonic receivers would be at least that now or higher. It can be done cheaply nowadays and it is not like what I suggested is “cutting edge” or anything. Even the lowliest of cars have a lot of high tech packed in.

Another thing that I thought of is that a LCD screen could double as a menu for the different surround settings AND also as a graphic representation of the output. Nothing too fancy but something to show people that “Hey, it’s working” kind of a thing. My 35 year old car has fancier tech than that so it is not like it is out of this realm.
 

chucky3042

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LetsRecapVintageHIFI

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Overall, the Surround Master did the best job if you only want one decoder. Excellent in both SQ and QS. But yes, the Tate was outstanding for SQ.

I have a Sansui 9001 without the blend resistors, so I'm actually happy seeing what it can do for QS and, to a lesser extent, SQ. Bob made me a happy camper. :giggle:

Did you see the CD-4? Wow. Perfection from an LP.

(I'm still thinking about a Surround Master, though.)
The Sound Master V2 has SQ on faceplate, and is void of any QS mentioning. But I keep finding articles that it decodes QS. Why is the QS decoder function not part of the advertisement? Any further explanation on this void in QS being mentioned by Involve would be helpful.
 
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