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Rate the SACD/BDA of The Doors - BEST OF THE DOORS

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Active Member
Jun 28, 2019
Scottsdale AZ
Just received my copy of The Best Of The Doors Blu-ray last Saturday and heard it that same night. The only other Doors surround mix I have to compare it to is an older DVD-A of The Doors - L.A. Woman from I think the year 2000. I was very excited about the Blu-ray version since I've never heard a Quad mix in my life except for the movie "Tommy" (1975) which is close since it's in Quintophonic Sound (5 channel stereo.) Of course I've heard other mixes in 5.1 from other bands, but never anything that was actually released as Quad. "Tommy" is even closer (even though it has 5 channels) because it was mixed during the heyday (if not towards the end) of Quad.

My very first impression of the Quad Doors Blu-ray is it sounds very 1970s. Not only in the way of the mix, (which is refreshing by the way) but mostly with the fidelity. It's very good! However, let me share with you some of my thoughts. This is a direct copy from the original Quad mix for the release of the Quad album (and Quad tapes) from that era. The Quad mix comes directly from the master multi-track tape...which in itself (the Quad master) is a copy of the multi-track master. A tape recording of a tape recording...so that makes the Quad master a 1st generation tape of the original multitrack recording of the band.

Regarding known limitations of cutting audio tracks onto a record (now more known as vinyl,) limited dynamic range, RIAA equalization curve not to mention encoding, decoding, stylus tracking, wear, tear and more, The Best Of The Doors Quad records according to those within this thread sounds great and I don't doubt that at all. Now take that same master Quad tape, make a direct high resolution digital copy of it and place it directly onto a digital disc which is capable of playing back each and every one of those tracks in their full bandwidth, resolution and channel separation. Just as others have said, we now have a chance to hear how it was intended, or at least how it was originally mixed.

A side note: Intended is a tricky word for me. Was the original Quad tape mixed a certain way (because of the known limitations of the equipment of the day) so that the final use of the product (the Quad LP) would have a certain outcome? Or was it mixed as originally intended on the Quad master tape itself only to let the audio fall where it may during it's playback in people's homes? I would have to say, at least with this Doors Quad album, the master Quad tape was certainly originally mixed to be the final product and heard as such. Of course today we truly have that opportunity and again, I think it sounds really good.

Being more used to the DVD-A of The Doors - L.A. Woman, "Love Her Madly" and "Riders On The Storm" are the two songs that are on both the DVD-A and the new Blu-ray Quad mix that I can compare. As others have said, (obviously) what one likes more has to do more with personal preferences. Like others in this forum, there's some songs I find preferable as a 5.1 mix, and others as a Quad mix. "Riders On The Storm" I happen to like both ways. The 5.1 mix has Jim's voice directly in the center channel (it's mostly that way throughout the songs on the DVD-A) while there's a phantom center channel effect going on for Jim's voice for the Quad mix. I find the echos of Jim's voice in the rears of the Quad mix somewhat distracting to me (at first) mainly because that version is new to me...along with that bongo playing being reproduced from the rear left speaker. However once I let my mind go, I realized the whole vibe of the Quad mix of "Riders On The Storm" is a totally different experience. That bongo playing to me is like a throwback of a hippy/beatnik (beat generation literary movement hence Jim's poems) generation, and those echoes could be Jim's voice from beyond. All this best experienced of course in a darkened room, a black light and some black light posters (see attached images.)

The audio fidelity is better on the DVD-A of The Doors - L.A. Woman. Again, let me share with you some of my thoughts about that. There is a advantage with digital in the sense that one can make a high resolution digital copy of the original multitrack analog master tape. Once that multitrack master is in the digital domain, any resulting digital mix-down is like working directly from the original multitrack tape...in other words the digital copy eliminates the 1st generation. The resulting mix-down is the near full quality (the best high resolution sampling digital can provide) of the multitrack master tape in a 5.1 mix; giving us an opportunity to experience the audio that is one generation closer to the original...basically listening to the original.

The fidelity from the multitrack master tape is certainly better when compared to a 1st generation tape. The original Quad tape was created using equipment from the very early 70s. The DVD-A 5.1 mix was created digitally (with the original master multitrack tape) with electronics almost 30 years advanced from when the original Quad tape was created. The Blu-ray version of the 1973 Quad mix used electronics that's about 45 years advanced from when the original Quad tape was mixed. Certainly the Blu-ray copy provides the best possible recreation of that original Quad tape, but there's no way getting around the fact that the Quad tape is still a 1st generation, But does any of that matter?

It would be really cool if someone could take a digital copy of the original master tapes and recreate the exact same Quad mix of that album using today's state of the art recording technologies. I'm sure that won't happen, however it can be done...the quality of the audio would be one generation closer to the original, and the newer electronics would allow for less altering of the original signal. I'm afraid however the resulting sound of that mix would sound different. It would be better fidelity wise, but I'm sure there would be those who would argue the resulting mix looses a certain feeling, possibly a certain sound that they were used to. Maybe it's a type of electronic distortion, or some type of characteristic of a 1st generation tape. What ever the topic of discussion would be, I'm simply very happy that I've had a chance to finally hear and fully enjoy for the first time using today's technology; resulting in a better than the then new 1973 experience of The Best Of The Doors.



Well-known Member
Jan 27, 2018
Warsaw PL
Found this locally for $75 still sealed and could not help myself, had to get it. There are not that many bands that I enjoy listening to that released their albums in quad, many quad releases were just to bland to my tastes, but this is certainly not the case here. The material is an absolute classic. It is an easy 10 for me, although, as everyone else already said, they should have just skipped the live track. There was period in my life when I was fascinated with The Doors so listening to this original quad mix on SACD was simply spectacular.



1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Nov 2, 2015
Tasmania, Australia
. The material is an absolute classic. It is an easy 10 for me, although, as everyone else already said, they should have just skipped the live track.
I like the live track but agree it could have been replaced with something else. Pity they didnt make it a double album back in the day.


Active Member
Oct 12, 2018
About the Blu-ray. Is it Audio only?
There's another picture appearing just before the menu... see bottom left (I filmed the TV screen).

The mix is as good as it can be... Except on Love Her Madly and Love Me Two Times, where Jim is in all four channels.
That's the main problem with the Creedence Gold mix. (But bass in the fronts and drums in the rears is just like the Gold mix)
A "The Doors Gold" would probably include When the Music's Over and The End, but only have 8 tracks. :unsure:

Is that Ray singing Hello, I Love You (solo) in the rears?

The original 1973 release said: This Four-Channel Discrete QUADRADISC is fully compatible. All rear channel information will sound in the front speakers when played in stereo. đź‘Ť (This doesn't work for Creedence Gold... The lead vocal is too loud in "stereo".)

Doors quad picture menu.jpg

Rob Bills

QQ Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
Adelaide, South Australia
Hi. Just a quick question. Just haven’t seen an answer to my question. As these are “The Singles” in Quad - is the version the “short” singles version, or the original “long” debut version from their first album of 7 Mins something?
similarly, are all the Quad mixes, the original studio album versions? Thanks


Mar 28, 2016
Brisbane Australia
I will have to go back and check, but IIRC, the surround on Strange Days isn't as bad as he maintains. I agree with his summation of the ST album, but you can't do much with 2 tracks.