HiRez Poll Guess Who, The - BEST OF THE GUESS WHO [SACD 4.0]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the SACD of The Guess Who - The Best of The Guess Who

  • 10 - Excellent Surround, Excellent Fidelity, Excellent Content

    Votes: 12 15.6%
  • 9 -

    Votes: 16 20.8%
  • 8 -

    Votes: 33 42.9%
  • 7 -

    Votes: 11 14.3%
  • 6 -

    Votes: 3 3.9%
  • 5 -

    Votes: 2 2.6%
  • 4 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 - Poor Surround, Poor Fidelity, Poor Contact

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    77

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
16,853
Location
Connecticut
Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2015 SACD release from Audio Fidelity of the album "THE BEST OF THE GUESS WHO", which includes the original quadraphonic mix from the 1970's.

PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION THREAD: LINK

Guesswho front.jpg
guestwho back.jpg
 

Q-Eight

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,349
Location
Castlegar, BC, Canada
Not one of my favorite "Quad" albums, but it is one of my favorite albums! I mean, it's the Best of the Guess Who.... it's the quintessential Guess Who album. Even folks that don't necessarily like the Guess Who have this album. The clarity of this disc is striking. After putting up with the hissy Q8 for years, this disc breathes new life into the songs. The levels are properly balanced this time (unlike the Q8) and seems a little back-heavy to me. Almost would've made sense to flip the whole gig around and put the drums in the front. 'Bus Rider' still lacks any semblance of separation. I'm being a little biased towards this title as I know what's on the multitracks and I know how much better the mix on this album could've been. However, I will say that AF's transfer of the original tape is spotless. They're doing their job properly! Maybe one day, Burton Cummings will allow a remix of this one.
 

rtbluray

Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
QQ Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
8,720
Location
Middle TN
This mix is definitely a product of its time when it comes to panning...

First track "These Eyes" is one of the Guess Who's best songs for sure, but I would have preferred the drums to be in the front rather than in the right surround corner.
Same goes for the next song "Laughing", drums in the right surround corner, but the kick is on the left! I know that's the way it's supposed to sound cause that's what the stereo mix sounds like on headphones, but still, it's so weird…you would never mix like that nowadays or you would be fired!
"Undun" is a highlight even though the panning is still a little strange by normal standards, still it's a bit better than the first two tracks.
"No Time" has the drums on the left this time! Still the immersion of the guitars on this one is really quite nice.
I'm missing that great acoustic intro on "American Woman", but like "No Time" the immersion from the guitars is quite good.
"No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature" might be my favorite on the disc so far! Drums sound great on this cut, and the backing vocals move around with great ease.
"Hand Me Down World" is not as impressive in surround as it is in stereo, and a lot of that has to do with how the vocal sounds on this mix, a little more buried and out of place.
"Bus Rider" has a very psychedelic guitar solo that goes all over the place. This track lacks the energy and excitement that it should though with the drums being a lot more buried than they should be.
"Share the Land" is another immersive guitar mix, and it's another favorite like "No Sugar Tonight…". Same goes for "Do You Miss Me Darlin". Both songs also feature a nice spread of the backing vocals.
The disc ends with the funky "Hang On To Your Life" with the backing vocals panning all around you in a very psychedelic way, and that's all she wrote.

Overall, this is a good disc, but it's a little disappointing after BS&T, which was a revelation! Therefore, I will vote as most people have so far and give this one an '8' as the '9' and '10' votes are more for really stellar modern surround mixes.
 

Clint Eastwood

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
Messages
12,620
Location
Int Space Station
I'm giving this disc a 9. It is dated but the content is just so good it makes up for some minor flaws. I'm more impressed with this release than the self titled BS&T disc. I just can't penalize this disc for the technology employed at the time of it's initial release. This is hands down the best version these songs have ever sounded. If you want something that sounds "authentic" from this time period you would be hard pressed to top this release. I'll play this disc much more than Child Is Father To The Man... which is a superb sounding disc... but falls short in the content department...I would strongly recommend this disc to anyone that truly appreciates the music of this period...and of course for any fans of the Guess Who..
 

ClarkNovak

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
963
Location
San Diego
I gave it an 8. I am so glad to have this-- as noted previously, the Q8 in various incarnations has been available for a few years now, but there's only so much fidelity you can get from, and so much correction you can apply to, a 1/4" 8-track running at 3 3/4. And yes, the mix is a product of its time for sure - when the wah-wah phase pan hits at the end of "New Mother Nature", I can't help grinning and shaking my head, but that's the way the original engineers did it. I could have wished for a bit more discreteness in the placement of the instruments, but again - that's the way they did it. And on the songs that are less dense, like "Undun", the guitar and vocal separation is pretty darned wide.

This is classic music and there's no fault at all in the remaster. The sound is clear and clean, the authoring is faultless, and I am super glad to have this on disc at long last.
 

GOS

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Messages
15,736
Location
Central Illinois
I gave it an 8. I am so glad to have this-- as noted previously, the Q8 in various incarnations has been available for a few years now, but there's only so much fidelity you can get from, and so much correction you can apply to, a 1/4" 8-track running at 3 3/4. And yes, the mix is a product of its time for sure - when the wah-wah phase pan hits at the end of "New Mother Nature", I can't help grinning and shaking my head, but that's the way the original engineers did it. I could have wished for a bit more discreteness in the placement of the instruments, but again - that's the way they did it. And on the songs that are less dense, like "Undun", the guitar and vocal separation is pretty darned wide.

This is classic music and there's no fault at all in the remaster. The sound is clear and clean, the authoring is faultless, and I am super glad to have this on disc at long last.
Well said....and makes sense to me....
 

stormchaser

600 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
679
Location
Kansas
I haven't heard the quad mix of this album before, so I don't have the experiences to bring to this release that other reviewers above do. I can say that I belted out "American Woman" far too many times in my Karaoke days. I really like most of the songs on this compilation, but the fidelity is a bit mixed (I don't know the stories behind the various recording sessions for each track). I also found myself wincing at times with the forced panning in the quad mix. While I love aggressive mixes, the choices to pan across speakers need to be done in conjunction with the music. Not so much here. I haven't listened to the stereo mix yet, but I think there is a decent chance I might listen to that more than this quad mix. In any case, I'm happy with the purchase and give this a 7.
 

Odys

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
720
Location
SW Florida
My biggest surprise on this disc was how much I enjoyed the songs. I've never been a Guess Who fan and this is my first purchase of any of their material. There were a number of songs I knew from the radio growing up that I had no idea were the Guess Who. Maybe it's nostalgia, but it was fun. The surround mix wasn't that great, I'll have to give the stereo mix a listen. 7.
 

Clint Eastwood

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
Messages
12,620
Location
Int Space Station
My biggest surprise on this disc was how much I enjoyed the songs. I've never been a Guess Who fan and this is my first purchase of any of their material. There were a number of songs I knew from the radio growing up that I had no idea were the Guess Who. Maybe it's nostalgia, but it was fun. The surround mix wasn't that great, I'll have to give the stereo mix a listen. 7.
I think your statement about not knowing this band did some of those songs is spot on...I hear that a lot...for me hearing Undun and No Time with this sound quality was a game changer...don't know how many times I have listened to These Eyes...a classic song...love the content of this disc
 

Which_One_Is_Pink

800 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
826
Location
Shoutin' bamalama
Always a big fan of the Guess Who, always thought Burton Cummings had one of the best voices in the biz and the music of course is great. I understand the issues some have with some of the quaddy panning and placements used but for me it just keeps things little different and sounds fine. Would be great to have a modern 5.1 surround version à la Steve Wilson, but in lieu of that happening I am vary happy to have this Quad SACD of "The Best Of The Guess Who". Having said that, I do miss the intro to American Woman" AnyWho still gets a 9 from me.
 

Larry Geller

900 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
947
Location
Bayside, NY
This was the first quad album I ever heard. I still remember standing in Lafayette, listening to No Time circle around me on the 8-track. Over & over again--I was hooked for life!
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
16,853
Location
Connecticut
When listening to this SACD, you have to consider the time and the source. This was once of RCA's early quads, issued only on Q8 and Q4 (as CD-4 wasn't ready yet) and the panning and spinning was done to really drive home the fact that you were listening in QUAD. RCA was more of a classical and country label at the time, and their rock/pop acts were far and few between. This was one of their most popular acts, so they knew the Q8 would be a big seller. At the dawn of quad, the record company view was to "wow" the listener to get them to buy the hardware and software to get into quad.

Many of these songs were recorded on equipment that was really meant to crank out a disposable song, get it out on AM radio, and hopefully sell a lot of 45's. That being said, they are not going to sound like a modern recording (obviously), and no amount of tweaking or remastering would make them sound much better than they do here.

A few years ago no one at this forum would have ever thought that we'd be able to purchase an SACD/DVD-A/BluRay/DVD-V of 40+ year old quadraphonic mixes in a store or via the web (other than hobby conversions), so the fact that Audio Fidelity is actually doing this is quite remarkable.
 

MyCuff

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
686
Location
Connecticut
I prefer this one slightly to the BST sacd, but still an 8 for me. Great songs, of course...
 

blue.monk

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
1,016
Location
Atlanta, GA
Wow, this stuff takes me back to some of my earliest FM radio memories. And the music holds up quite well I think! The quad mix is enjoyable but, as Jon mentioned, is one of RCA’s earliest so a comparison to modern mixes would be unfair. Still I give the disc high marks in appreciation for AF making the quad available once again and including another quality Steve Hoffman stereo mastering. Keep ‘em coming AF! This is a terrific series and I will happily continue to support it. 8+
 

ar surround

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
2,563
Location
New Joisey
It finally arrived in the mail today. As with many greatest hits albums that span a length of time, the sound quality of these songs varies and improves with the later material. I found These Eyes and Laughing not very listenable until I experimented a bit. I got better results on these two cuts by turning off the surrounds (Mine are very large floor standing speakers.) and then juicing up the much smaller rears by 3 dB. I turned the surrounds back on for the remainder of the album. There is a lot of content here that was somewhat buried in the stereo mix but comes to life with these quad mixes.

No Time is one of those songs that I always enjoy, whether it be the single version or the original version on the Canned Wheat album. For a month before I retired, I played it about five times each day on my commute to and from work. The quad mix of the hit single version has a lot of impact and detail that the stereo version lacks. For me, this one song alone in quad is worth the cost of the disc.
 

John Svensson

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
1,857
Location
Lititz, Pennsylvania
Ah, this one is a pisser.....crazy old school quad mixes. I personally love it, its a 10 for me......"No Sugar Tonight/Mother Nature" is a standout of the genre.
 

DuncanS

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
5,905
Location
UK
This turned up this afternoon, I'd only ever heard the track "American Woman" before (they play it lot on Planet Rock). I do like the mix, things move about but in keeping with the music and era, so a 9 here. Its an old recording so I didn't expect super high fidelity, and its not bad at all (the drum sound gives its age away!), so a 7-8 for that. I like half the tracks, the others will grow on me I think, so 7. So its an 8 overall from me.
 

arnold_layne

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
342
I have this album on Q8. I've even done a digital transfer of the Q8. It always sounded muffled to me. I figured it was the tape. After listening to the quad mix on the SACD, I see it's not the tape, but that's how it was mastered. The stereo mix is clearer. Also noticed American Woman has the full intro missing on the quad mix. Overall I give it an 8
 

oxenholme

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
484
Location
NW England
I was living in Gloucester Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire when this album was released and working for a computer software house in central London as an IBM PL/I programmer.

I've heard American Woman on a budget RCA various artists LP. I've never heard any of the other tracks before.

While I was working in London several of those CBS and Island sampler LPs got released, introducing me to all manner of acts, very few of which appealed to me. The likes of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Al Kooper among others.

Al Kooper and B,S & T do nothing for me. Vaguely alright in 5.1, but they'll most likely remain on the shelf.

This one is different. I cannot abide the first two tracks. Then it gets going. There are a lot of tracks that I love. I love the bass heavy sound. I love the laid back top end. I love that it can be cranked up without any listener fatigue. I love the sheer amount going on in the rear speakers and I love the nomadic nature of the occasional guitar or vocal.

The tracks that I do like, the gorgeous sound and the rear-heavy mix make it an easy 10.
 
Top