HiRez Poll Doobie Brothers, The - QUADIO [Blu-ray Audio]


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Rate the BDA of the Doobie Brothers - QUADIO

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Oct 31, 2008
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Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2020 Blu-ray Audio box set that collects together all of the Quadraphonic mixes of the Doobie Brothers together in one box set!
The four albums included are 1972's "Toulouse Street", 1973's "The Captain and Me", 1974's "What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits", and 1975's "Stampede".

These discs were mastered using the original 4-track Quad mixes as the source material.



"Toulouse Street" Blu-Ray Screen:

"The Captain and Me" Blu-Ray screen:

"What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits" Blu-Ray screen:

"Stampede" Blu-Ray screen:
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Got the set at 2.30 this afternoon. Got off early from work. Immediately very impressed with the quality of the packaging well done Rhino/Warners.
Put Toulouse Street on and wow everything is so crisp and spacious. Bass is tight and at times punchy.
Came into this set only knowing the singles , wow have I missed out for 50 years, love the sound of the album tracks. After listening to all 4 albums am absolutely stunned by how good the mixes are .
Automatic 10
It’s finally here! I doubt anyone expected otherwise, but this was absolutely worth the wait. Four great albums in a well-put-together and value-priced package. As with the Chicago set, the detail in the individual jackets and disc sleeves shows this is a real labor of love for Rhino. Plus, it’s nice to not have another big box to put in the closet.

If you haven’t heard the quad mixes before, be prepared for what can only be described as a full-on surround experience. The Chicago quads were mixed in a semi-modern style with the rhythm section upfront and elements like guitars and horns in the rears. These mixes have a completely different vibe. The rear channels carry just as much audio if not more than the fronts at times, and you'll frequently find full-range information like the drums or bass guitar back there. There are even a few passages with the lead vocals in the rears! Having the bass guitar suspended directly behind your head on most songs might seem a bit odd at first, but I think it really works.

Since I'm already familiar with the quad mixes, the only concern I had going into this set was Craig Anderson’s mastering. The Chicago set was by no means bad-sounding, but it wasn’t quite a slam-dunk either: I found that the lead vocals frequently tended to get overwhelmed by the blaring horns in the rear channels, even though this wasn’t the case on the old quad LPs and tape versions of those albums.

Aside from the occasional moment where I felt the rears were maybe a touch too loud (“Sweet Maxine” on Stampede), I’m really happy with how these discs sound. The tonal balance here is far superior to any conversions I’ve heard of these four albums. The front center-panned vocals and instrumental lines really ‘pop’ and actually sound like they’re coming from the center speaker, which is exactly what one would hope for in a good quad remaster. Perhaps it’s due to EQ or just the reduced noise floor, but I found myself frequently noticing new details that weren’t as audible even on the 7.5 IPS reel-to-reel transfers. It’s crazy hearing the epic acapella trade-off section in “Black Water” with a completely silent background.

My only critique is that The Captain & Me isn’t quite as good as the other discs from a fidelity standpoint. Obviously YMMV with this, but to me it almost sounds like they set up the EQ for one of the acoustic-dominated songs (“South City Midnight Lady”, “Clear As The Driven Snow”) and ran the entire album through that same curve, resulting in the harder-rocking tunes like “China Grove” and “Without You” sounding a bit too shrill at high volume. Elliot Scheiner's 5.1 mix on the old DVD-Audio will remain my go-to version of that album.

If you enjoy surround music, there’s really no reason not to add this to your collection. I'm tempted to dock a point for Captain, but the other albums sound so good that I can't vote anything less than a 10.
I originally bought this not because I was a Doobie Brothers fan but because everyone waited so long for this box set and wanted to support the cause and hoped Rhino Records would continue doing these. I knew the hits that's about it.. I put on Toulouse Street and the sound kind of threw me for a minute or so. My reaction was there is openness and amazing separation in the mix I really liked how Toulouse sounded. I have to say what I enjoyed most was the music I was surprised how good this was. I can't rate it since I have 3 more discs to listen to but if the rest are as good as Toulouse all I can say is wow!

Today I listened to the Captain and me but before going into it I have to say listening to a quad through a 7.1 system is very interesting experience you have music and sounds coming out in places you don't expect them. I found that true in Toulouse Street and a little in the Captain and me which seemed to be better mixed and except for a few areas in China Grove where the background vocals jumped out from my back speakers quite loudly it made my dog jump lol, other than that it really sounded like a 5.1 Now I am not going to get in trouble by the Quad police for saying that ? Lol I may of missed this group in my early years but I am sure enjoying them now even their hit sounds which I remember getting tired of sound fresh. I have to say I am thrilled what I heard so far and looking forward to hearing the rest
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I think astounding might be the word I have to go with here. There were a few times where I had to remind myself that these are quadraphonic mixes and not 6-channel. I found myself looking over at the sub a few times expecting to see the light on, like when listening to 'Cotton Mouth' on Toulouse Street. The detail and the bass response was incredible on that one, to my ears. Same thing with the impression of phantom center in many of the tunes. I honestly feel that the surround mixing here outperforms many, many 5.1s that I've heard. If the vast majority of surround mixes were this good, I think we'd be living in an ideal surround world.
Some standout mixes for me were: 'Cotton Mouth', 'Black Water', 'South City Midnight Lady', 'Another Park, Another Sunday', 'I Cheat The Hangman' and 'Rockin' Down The Highway'. I know there's definitely a correlation between how much you love certain albums/songs, and how you view surround mixes of those albums/songs - it's very hard to be objective about it. I just felt that there were so many different cool things going on surround-wise within many of the songs, that I just can't think of any where I thought, 'well, they definitely could've handled that one better'. A couple that really got my attention were 'South City Midnight Lady' and 'Another Park, Another Sunday', in that it seemed like during roughly the last minute of each song, the effect of the surround mix seemed to intensify somehow and I'd sit forward in my chair and think, holy shit! And I know that as I give these another run-through, there'll be other things I'll notice as well. I'm looking forward to it. To give this anything less than a 10 would just be a matter of being willfully disagreeable, the way I see it... so it's a 10.
Just received my copy today and played Toulouse Street, and now The Captain and Me. Similar to @Elad my motivation was more the forum anticipation and supporting surround initiatives than being a Doobies' fan. Same for the Chicago set when that came out. Impressive separation on Toulouse Street. I'll keep listening and vote after I've heard the whole set.

I am most familiar with The Captain and Me. I've owned the dvd-a since it came out in 2001-ish and that dvd-a has been and will still be one of my all time go to listens. It will compliment this set nicely. Most of my listening was to go to familiar and beloved songs like China Grove, Dark Eyed Cajun Woman, South City Midnight Lady and my all time favorite DB song, Clear As The Driven Snow. ON all albums and especially TCAM, I definitely feel as if I'm hearing instruments - horns, strings, drums, percussion and sharper, cleaner guitars (Johnston and Simmons) that maybe were not as clear or pronounced as what was on the dvd-a. That does not downgrade the dvd-a in any way, it just speaks volumes for this very different but yet very familiar mix. I may have wanted a bit tighter, punchier bass, but that may be a side effect of not having a .1 for low bass frequencies to go to the subwoofer (I have full range speakers but am of the mind that the subwoofer needs to do the heavy lifting not the speakers). If I change from direct mode to dts 6.1 and let the AVR bass manage, the result is wonderful, seat vibration bass.

The fidelity is outstanding throughout all 4 albums and these are likely to be the best sonically we will ever get of these albums. Imaging is incredible to create the phantom center and harmonies are spread across the backs and seamlessly blend to the fronts to truly place you squarely in the center of the band playing "live" in your room.

I do like the box these discs came in, although I would have preferred the Chicago Quadio box type, but beggars can't be choosers. Especially sweet is the individual sleeves each album comes in. Nice album reproductions, faithful to the original LP releases, the sleeves show the Quadradisc diagrams and the discs themselves, come in plastic sleeves for extra protection from scratches and have a cool overlay of artwork on them.
If you haven’t heard the quad mixes before

Just curious. Is the Quadio collection essentially using the original final quad mix and cleaning it up after-the-fact with modern methods. I'm assuming the Chicago Quadio was produced the same way since we can't count on having original masters from so long ago.

Also, I can't help notice the compression (some tracks more than others). I love the Doobies and it is great to hear them in 4.0 but nothing beats the clarity/brilliance of the Templeman 2.0 versions.
Just curious. Is the Quadio collection essentially using the original final quad mix and cleaning it up after-the-fact with modern methods. I'm assuming the Chicago Quadio was produced the same way since we can't count on having original masters from so long ago.

Also, I can't help notice the compression (some tracks more than others). I love the Doobies and it is great to hear them in 4.0 but nothing beats the clarity/brilliance of the Templeman 2.0 versions.

They transferred the 15 IPS, half-inch four-track tapes that the quad mixes were originally printed on to 192/24 PCM and remastered them in the digital domain. The fact that they chose to reissue the quads rather than create new surround mixes is not an indication that the multitrack masters are somehow unavailable. The Doobies' The Captain & Me and Chicago's II, V, and X were all remixed to 5.1 from the original multis almost twenty years ago.

Regarding the sonics - Captain sounds a bit trebly to me, but I'm really happy with the other three albums. Which tracks sound compressed to you?
Regarding the sonics - Captain sounds a bit trebly to me, but I'm really happy with the other three albums. Which tracks sound compressed to you?

Mostly on Toulouse...Rockin', Cotton, Don't Start, Disciple (some). Mainly in areas where louder instruments seem to be tamped down. I don't know if this is a pure result of compression or if it just sounds that way within the quad mix. I don't know. Update: I just listened to Vices all the way through and didn't hear anything but greatness compared to some of the louder Toulouse tracks.

Still fully exploring the other discs. I look forward to comparing 4.0 Captain with 5.1...
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OK, so the bottom line for me is that, even though it is not my all time favorite music ( therefore I will NOT detract any points for this, which I find a bit puzzling as to why some people do, but , hey..) , I DO find it very enjoyable and since it was done with the utmost care and respect (AND QUALITY), this is a MOST DEFINITE 10!!!