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Decoding SQ Classical Records

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Sonik Wiz

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Finally found it

However the Phase Bug link in that post is dead. This is all I can find instead:


Maybe someone can verify if this is the correct one?
 

jonmchugh

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OK I've done a quick comparison and I think the Lucanu script has slightly better front rear separation but OD's final script has less phase distortion/artifacts. My preference would be for OD's Final script.
 

par4ken

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OK I've done a quick comparison and I think the Lucanu script has slightly better front rear separation but OD's final script has less phase distortion/artifacts. My preference would be for OD's Final script.
I found almost the exact opposite, but use what works best for you. It might just be that I personally like a bit of phasyness. I have noticed some artifacting with OD's script and even more so with some of his latter more advanced decodes. I liked using the session method as well, but still not sure what produced the best result, it would take more trials and listening tests to confirm.
 

jonmchugh

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Indeed we all perceive sound differently, that makes music a complicated art.

To add to my frustration I've been comparing SQ decodes of a classical recording I have on LP and on CD that has the same master and there is no straight answer as to which is best. The CD has slightly better left-right separation but no difference on front-rear, also the CD has advantages on dynamic range that show through on the very loudest of passages where the LP is just at the point of distortion. However I was able to pick up a number of instruments that stand out as being more realistic and noticeably clearer, possible the CD was cut when the master tape was older and worn? I also found the LP to be more artistic and have more life to it, probably due to the warmth of the surface noise, I'm not talking pops and crackles here, i edited them out.
I think if I had to choose my preference would be for the LP rip but I burnt both versions so I can listen to both.

LP - https://www.discogs.com/Richard-Strauss-Rudolf-Kempe-Dresden-State-Orchestra-Alpine-Symphony/release/8048698
CD - https://www.discogs.com/Richard-Strauss-Staatskapelle-Dresden-Rudolf-Kempe-Orchestral-Works/release/5400914
 

jonmchugh

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I have now changed my opinion, Having spend more time listening to these decodes I can report that decoding from digital sources produces a more stable surround soundfield than from an LP, The importance of phase accuracy to the decode process I guess, this I think outweighs the benefits of the nice vinyl sound. Although if your only available source is an LP don't worry too much as it's pretty dam close.

We're quite lucky with the EMI / Angel records recordings that almost all of them are available digitally with the SQ encoding intact, Look for the CD releases that say they were digitally remastered in the 1980s. I've seen some remasters done this century that have been messed around with and corrupted or somehow stripped the encoding, probably using some sort of NR or EQ process. Although I have seen a 2019 remaster of Q4ASD3002 in 96/24 where the SQ encoding is completely intact.

Regarding the scripts used, Its a close call between Lucanu's and OD's scripts but I'm hearing an advantage in side-wall imaging using OD's SQ*Final script.
 

The Auroran

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It is possible to improve the quality of decode from LP to that of its digital counterpart, but it takes some initial time to allow the ability of creating a stable source. The benefit is, of course, the wider bandwidth (if 96k sampling is used) allowing for a more accurate representation of the master.

The SQ*Final script, although being far from perfect, was reasonable as an SQ decoding process at the time it was made available, but it could do with updating now.
 

jonmchugh

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There is also a discrete 4.0 DVD-A from EMI.
Thanks, I was not aware that existed, it's expensive and hard to find so I won't bother because I'm sure I will be disappointed with it. Reason is I already own an EMI 4.0 DVD-A from the same year of 'The Planets' ASD3002 and it is not the same mix as the SQ releases. The DVD-A is mixed more like a modern 5.1 SACD classical where the the soundstage is all up front with very little noticeable ambiance from the rears. The SQ is proper quad where all speakers play an 'almost' equal role.

I have 4 releases of Holst - The Planets, Andre Previn LSO 1974 by EMI.
LP Quad (SQ) 1974 - Original and was the best until 2019 digital release.
DTS-CD 5.1 1998 - Pretty good effort for 1.2mbit lossy compression, Mix is close to the SQ decodes.
DVD-A 4.0 2001 - Not the same thing.
Hi-Rez Digital (SQ) 2019 - The new king.

The DTS-CD is very much like the original SQ release in that the rears are almost as active as the front and put you right in the middle of the orchestra. In order of preference the Best is the SQ Decoded Hi-Rez digital, followed closely behind by the SQ decoded LP, The DTS-CD is pretty good too, The DVD-A is a disappointment. (Just my personal Opinion/ Preference you understand)

I have now decoded the Hi-Rez AGAIN this time using the new Auroran script and this is big leap forward in terms of audio fidelity.

PS. I'm afraid the poor old SQ logic decoder I spent a month building does not get much love these days, gone back in a draw in the garage.
 
Last edited:

Kal Rubinson

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Thanks, I was not aware that existed, it's expensive and hard to find so I won't bother because I'm sure I will be disappointed with it. Reason is I already own an EMI 4.0 DVD-A from the same year of 'The Planets' ASD3002 and it is not the same mix as the SQ releases. The DVD-A is mixed more like a modern 5.1 SACD classical where the the soundstage is all up front with very little noticeable ambiance from the rears.
Yes, it is and that's probably why I like it.
 

The Auroran

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Thanks, I was not aware that existed, it's expensive and hard to find so I won't bother because I'm sure I will be disappointed with it. Reason is I already own an EMI 4.0 DVD-A from the same year of 'The Planets' ASD3002 and it is not the same mix as the SQ releases. The DVD-A is mixed more like a modern 5.1 SACD classical where the the soundstage is all up front with very little noticeable ambiance from the rears. The SQ is proper quad where all speakers play an 'almost' equal role.

I have 4 releases of Holst - The Planets, Andre Previn LSO 1974 by EMI.
LP Quad (SQ) 1974 - Original and was the best until 2019 digital release.
DTS-CD 5.1 1998 - Pretty good effort for 1.2mbit lossy compression, Mix is close to the SQ decodes.
DVD-A 4.0 2001 - Not the same thing.
Hi-Rez Digital (SQ) 2019 - The new king.

The DTS-CD is very much like the original SQ release in that the rears are almost as active as the front and put you right in the middle of the orchestra. In order of preference the Best is the SQ Decoded Hi-Rez digital, followed closely behind by the SQ decoded LP, The DTS-CD is pretty good too, The DVD-A is a disappointment. (Just my personal Opinion/ Preference you understand)

I have now decoded the Hi-Rez AGAIN this time using the new Auroran script and this is big leap forward in terms of audio fidelity.

PS. I'm afraid the poor old SQ logic decoder I spent a month building does not get much love these days, gone back in a draw in the garage.
Thanks for the nod to the script ;)

Read you views on the Previn version of The Planets regarding the difference between the DVD-A and the DTS-CD/SQ encoded version. Will have to check that out.
 

par4ken

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Sad to see the Auroran script is gone, I did get a copy of it and will try it out at some point. Not sure what happened, a lot of angry words from all sides, then the thread was removed altogether. Thankfully that type of behaviour is rare in this form.
 

watsontr

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Sad to see the Auroran script is gone, I did get a copy of it and will try it out at some point. Not sure what happened, a lot of angry words from all sides, then the thread was removed altogether. Thankfully that type of behaviour is rare in this form.
Was the Auroran anyone that we know?
 
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