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GRT Q8 C/H question

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JonUrban

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Here is my 2 cents for what it's worth. ....... Phil.
Phil,

That's one of the best posts I've ever seen here. Great job. I never knew that, and I've seen plenty of 'C's and 'H's over the years, and the ones with the black dots as well. I always assumed that they were for a price increase.

I am sticky'ing this thread.

Great job! Hope your Christmas is a great one.
 

Philip Spinner

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Hi Jon. To clarify I don't know if any of this is true. Just my belief all these years. I seriously doubt all those swapped channels were mistakes. There was some reason for their madness.
Phil
 

ArmyOfQuad

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it's an interesting theory, but I do want to point out it's very possible all those swapped channels were mistakes, since there were 3 different standards used in track assignment for quad. The GRT tapes are the most notorious of track assignment errors, but I've seen several other examples out there. Heck, I've found all 3 standards used among the Mike Robin reels, it seems within Columbia's vaults they couldn't agree to a single standard in their quad masters. And you can't even get the professionals today to take 10 minutes to verify things, as we've had channel assignment errors on the Gentle Giant Freehand and Ten Years After DVDs. It basically comes down to a lack of standards, and a lack of caring among the "professionals" when preparing things for release. I somehow doubt that someone would decide to completely ruin a mix for the sake of bass in the car....but, certainly stranger things have happened.
 

steelydave

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A few years ago I had some communications with an eBay seller who had a bunch of GRT master tapes - not original masters, but the ones used for doing 8-track duplication. He sent me pictures of the boxes, one of which I'm including below, and they all had the same channel assignment indicated:

Track 1: Front Left
Track 2: Rear Left
Track 3: Front Right
Track 4: Rear Right

And as we know, the track layout for quad 8-track tapes is:

Track 1: Front Left
Track 2: Front Right
Track 3: Rear Left
Track 4: Rear Right

Which means if you do a direct track for track duplication from the master tape to an 8 track tape, you get the front right and rear left channels (tracks 2 and 3) diagonally swapped. I think this is exactly what happened, because to avoid this you'd have to have the tape deck that was playing back the master tape during duplication wired with those two channels swapped. I suspect the guys doing the duplication work either didn't know or didn't see the notations on the tape boxes at first.

ETA:

Looking at some of the other master tape box pictures, the channel layout is Left Rear, Left Front, Right Front, Right Rear, which would also produce the diagonal channel swap, just with the left speakers needing to be swapped. I think this just shows you that there was no consistency in the masters being delivered to the GRT duplication facility!

695.jpg
655.jpg
 

ArmyOfQuad

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Yup, those are the 3 standards I see. The FL, FR, RL, RR is rather simple and I suppose what one would expect. The FL, RL, FR, RR made sense for consumer quad reels, because that would make the front stereo pair line up with the stereo pair of a stereo tape, making it easy for a reel deck to do both stereo and quad playback. And then there's the RL, FL, FR, RR layout, which was rather common among electronic composers, and also has a mindset of thinking of the layout as a wide stereo field.

You know, I'm now remembering a seminar on surround sound I attended in college, so this would have been late 90s, early 2000s, and at some point the topic of track order on master tapes for 5.1 came up, and there were a few different standards there. And I recall an explanation that was given on one of the standards was to put the center channel early in the line up, because sometimes TV stations were getting masters, and would just pick the first 2 tracks to use since they were only broadcasting in stereo, which in one of the standards was laid out to start with L/R, and as a result there would be no dialog, or very quiet dialog, so changing the order to L/C/R..., if you got a TV station that did that, you'd at least get dialog, and half of the stereo front. Not sure if I remember that all correctly, or how often something like that happened, but something I remember hearing anyways.
 

quadtrade

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Here is one about to ebay. It is one which they blotted the C and added the H. It may be a repaired channel swap ( I doubt that very much) or just a price change. I just do not see them going thru a whole bunch of tapes and reissuing with a new label, unless it had to do with making more $. I do see them spending a few cents redoing some labels to make more dough.

100_3912-002.JPG
 

Q-Eight

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Well, I own nearly the entire GRT collection now, I'm only missing about 7 tapes. Of them all, the "H" versions have proper channel layout.
Pure speculation on my part, but I think this is how things went down:

Tape "X" was released in 1972 with the (at that time, normal) C prefix in the catalog number. Tape "X" was released with an incorrect channel layout.

Tape "X" proves to be a popular title and GRT decides to print up another batch. However, by this time, it's 1974 and tapes are now sold for a dollar more and use the "H" suffix.

However, this later duplication run doesn't feature an incorrect channel layout.

I'm not saying that ALL "C" tape feature a bad layout, but it certainly seems that MOST of them do. Having said that, I can also safely say that MOST "H" tapes feature a good layout and that I have yet to have an "H" tape in my collection that does have a bad channel assignment.
 

Q-Eight

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I just do not see them going thru a whole bunch of tapes and reissuing with a new label.....
You'd be surprised. As winopener mentioned in an earlier post, there are THREE variations of the Joe Walsh slicker. One with "C" and red Q8 symbols, a black-dot "H" version with red Q8 symbols, and a third with the "H" printed on the label and the vertical red on white "Quadraphonic" pills on either side of the art.

There are also three variations of the Grass Roots tape as well and at least two variations of some of the Dot Records titles. I've seen many identical titles that have both the Red Q8 symbols and the Red on White Quadraphonic pills.
 

Philip Spinner

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From my research back in the 70's I came to the conclusion that all C tapes are swapped. I have yet to come across one that was not. Has anyone ever seen a C tape with correct channel assignment.
Phil
 

Philip Spinner

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You'd be surprised. As winopener mentioned in an earlier post, there are THREE variations of the Joe Walsh slicker. One with "C" and red Q8 symbols, a black-dot "H" version with red Q8 symbols, and a third with the "H" printed on the label and the vertical red on white "Quadraphonic" pills on either side of the art.

There are also three variations of the Grass Roots tape as well and at least two variations of some of the Dot Records titles. I've seen many identical titles that have both the Red Q8 symbols and the Red on White Quadraphonic pills.
I suspect that the reason for 3 different versions of these titles is because they were good sellers and they threw more money into them.
Phil
 
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