General questions for a quadraphonic setup with some modern elements

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Kodaline

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Hello,

I currently have a decent stereo and am collecting components for an addition to make it quadraphonic, and I have some general level questions. More specific questions I'll put in the sub-sections. I'll briefly describe what I have going on, what I intend to have going on, then ask a few questions.

The current setup is a stereo receiver with two phono, two tape loops, one aux, and a tuner of am/fm. It pushes 2 speakers wired into the A connections, with nothing in B. The sources include two turntables and a CD player in the usual places. I have a cassette tape deck in loop one, and a program route selector holding a stereo 8 track player, a blue tooth receiver, and a seldom used equalizer. I have a third turntable, unused, which matches my other two (I had a pair, then bought this third one recently).

This started me on the quad route. Since then, I have acquired a CD-4 demodulator (which can do the CD-4 and 4 channel aux in), and a quadraphonic pre-amp. The pre-amp is of the design intention to sit in a tape loop of your stereo receiver (thus accepting sources/sending front channels out to/from it) as well as a stereo out to a separate amp, as well as having multiple sources of its own: a 2 channel tape recorder in/out, a 4 channel tape recorder in/out, and 4 channel inputs for CD-4 or aux. Condensing all that; I can have CD-4, two 4 channel inputs, whatever I send it from the stereo receiver plus one more two channel input, and 2 and 4 channel outs. The pre-amp can do discrete and matrix quad as well as stereo out the rear.

The plan is to acquire a SACD player for the 4 channel aux in. I could pursue a Quad 8 tape deck, and a Quad 4 tape deck. Considering how little even the professional recordings are around, I doubt anyone personally records to either format any more, so both of those would be for playing media (although my stereo 8 track is a recorder, I have never seen a Quad 8 recorder.)

Now, for the questions:
1. A SACD player will need to have 4 channel analog out, and those are not longer made, I believe, so I will look for good used. I do not know if they can be old enough for 4 channel analog out, yet USB in (see question 2). Could I hear some recommendations of a good SACD player with hopefully both 4 channel analog out and USB in?
2. It doesn't seem like there are audiophile DACs for Quad like there are for Stereo. It looks like there are two methods, USB to a DAC in a SACD player that has 4 analog out, or have a good sound card in a PC you can set up to 4 channel analog out. I can handle the sound card end of things. Am I correct in assuming there are no 4 channel analog out stand alone DACs?
3. It also seems like there are no ADCs that do 4 channel other than a full blown mixing board. Ideally, I'd get a great cd-4 record and capture it to 4 channel digital to a PC, then burn to a SACD or just keep it on the hdd or both for normal listening. Am I correct in that conclusion?
4. Am I correct in thinking no one records personally quad 4 anymore? I know of some people recording stereo R2R.

Thank you for recommendations.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Now, for the questions:
1. A SACD player will need to have 4 channel analog out, and those are not longer made, I believe, so I will look for good used. I do not know if they can be old enough for 4 channel analog out, yet USB in (see question 2). Could I hear some recommendations of a good SACD player with hopefully both 4 channel analog out and USB in?
2. It doesn't seem like there are audiophile DACs for Quad like there are for Stereo. It looks like there are two methods, USB to a DAC in a SACD player that has 4 analog out, or have a good sound card in a PC you can set up to 4 channel analog out. I can handle the sound card end of things. Am I correct in assuming there are no 4 channel analog out stand alone DACs?
3. It also seems like there are no ADCs that do 4 channel other than a full blown mixing board. Ideally, I'd get a great cd-4 record and capture it to 4 channel digital to a PC, then burn to a SACD or just keep it on the hdd or both for normal listening. Am I correct in that conclusion?
4. Am I correct in thinking no one records personally quad 4 anymore? I know of some people recording stereo R2R.

Thank you for recommendations.
Welcome to the forum.

1. Look for a used Oppo 103, 105, 203 or 205. The 103/105s have the advantage of being able to rip SACDs. All of them can be set to a 4ch mode by disabling the center and subwoofer. Those two streams are then mixed into the front main channels. There are two new models you can look into as well, see below. Each has analog outs, but the Tascam does not play SACD. I'm unsure of the USB feature as well. I believe most here will recommend the used Oppo route.
Tascam BD-MP1
Reavon

2. Check MiniDSP for standalone DACs. They wont be exclusively 4 channel, you just don't use the channels you don't need. There are other MC DACs. But they are high end and expensive. Exasound E68, Okto DAC8
The Exasound will also decode SACD

3. You are correct, and there are many on the forum that digitize the legacy formats. I believe you either have to go with a PC sound card or pro equipment. Others here are more qualified to give you better direction on this.

4. I know of no one recording Quad. 5.1 is the closest standard. Though there are many 70's Quad releases on modern formats, especially SACD. See here

Your best bet may be digital playback from a hard drive for a lot of what you are thinking. Good luck.
 

Kal Rubinson

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2. Check MiniDSP for standalone DACs. They wont be exclusively 4 channel, you just don't use the channels you don't need. There are other MC DACs. But they are high end and expensive. Exasound E68, Okto DAC8
The Exasound will also decode SACD
Agreed. However, note that the Okto will also decode SACD as will the predecessors of the e68, the e28 and e38, which may be available on the used market.
 

jimfisheye

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Computer -> audio interface with at least 6 output channels -> amps/speakers of your choice.

That gives you access to all digital formats at their highest quality. You'd also be able to record if you had interest in preserving old analog sources. SACD is still the ringer that requires a stand alone disc player to rip. All other discs can be ripped with very affordable optical drives for desktop or laptop.

This can be slick:
Computer -> thunderbolt to HDMI cable -> HDMI AV receiver

Watch out for netbook style computers with only HDMI outputs that are restricted to video only. Also watch out for AVRs with restricted HDMI inputs. (Some products suck.)

This always works:
Computer -> USB connected audio interface with the outputs you need -> amps/speakers of your choice. (Could be an AVR with analog inputs. Could be separates.)

You probably already have a computer and some amps/speakers. Might only need an audio interface with the I/O you need.

If you want to rip SACDs and physical discs speak to you in general, the advice above might be more comfortable.

There are a new crop of products out there now too. Stand alone Linux running media center devices. BrightSign is a company I've seen comments about recently. I haven't researched these. The idea is someone programs it for you initially and then the Luddite receptionist at the art gallery can hit play and not get confused.
 

Kodaline

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I think I shall pursue a used Oppo or the bigger of the two Reavons for the SACD. I may also use it as a DAC for digital files from a computer (which I don't mind doing as I have extras and can build a new one if needed). The 4 channel DAC (or more) does seem to be high end, so having a player do double duty makes sense on the wallet.

I will look into a separate sound card with the correct inputs for the 4 channel capture. The preamp (Marantz 4000) does have 4 channel tape out, so it can go there.

I do like hard drives, but CDs are my favorite for longevity. I do like the older formats of all tape formats and records, and if I could get new R2R tape I'd give it a shot, but I think I'll have to settle for 0 processing high sampling digital conversion and storage. This is a ways off as I am still acquiring the components. Probably a year or more.

Thanks for the advice.
 

gene_stl

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This is cheaper than some of the aforementioned units at $150

You could use it to try things out. D/A only You might want to use it with a USB isolator and power supply.

Also if you don't want to start out with the price of an Oppo or the Reavon, there are many DVD players that will play SACDs and have analog outputs.
They also will play CDs and many will play DVD-Audio discs. They won't play Blu Rays and many don't have usb inputs. I bought a Yamaha DVD 1700 for $40 locally and it does all the above and has analog outputs. Like CDs and their players they are available in large quantities on the used market. One needs to check the model for whether or not it will play SACDs or DVD-As or both since there were some format wars. But many will do almost all of it.
 
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Kodaline

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Hello again, I have done some research and I think I will buy a used Oppo. This will not be a video system, or, if it were, it would be a DVD of the movie of The Wall, or Tommy, or the Pulse DVDs, or like that, all of which does NOT need 4k video, so the 205 is not needed (to the great relief of my wallet.)

I have heard the 5 series has a better DAC than the 3 series. The 105 appears attractive.

I have a choice. I want to: play physical media through the transport and use the onboard DAC to make 4 channel sound, as well as play digital media off a PC through a USB cable to a DAC to make 4 channel sound. Ideally, I would like a disc player with a competent enough USB interface to use its onboard DAC as my DAC for the USB files, but I could get a cheaper Oppo AND a separate 4 channel DAC for the USB as an alternative.

My question: Can the Oppo 105 receive digital files, like a ripped SACD, in 4 channel via USB from a windows machine, and run it through its DAC to make 4 channel audio in the correct fashion?

Thanks.
 
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