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Michael Dutton Talks About The Rebirth of Quad

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surroundophile

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Just got my May/June issue of The Absolute Sound, and on page 162-163 is a two page article titled "The Rebirth of Quad"! Imagine my surprise seeing this in the generally anti-multichannel Absolute Sound!
It talks about some of the recent releases of the past few years, and how new releases are increasing thanks to [the now defunct] Audio Fidelity and [yea!] Vocalion/Dutton. It also has a brief interview with Mike Dutton.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Just got my May/June issue of The Absolute Sound, and on page 162-163 is a two page article titled "The Rebirth of Quad"! Imagine my surprise seeing this in the generally anti-multichannel Absolute Sound!
It talks about some of the recent releases of the past few years, and how new releases are increasing thanks to [the now defunct] Audio Fidelity and [yea!] Vocalion/Dutton. It also has a brief interview with Mike Dutton.

They should have thanked this forum, with tick, tick, tick close to 10K in membership! :QQlove
 

bmoura

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Just got my May/June issue of The Absolute Sound, and on page 162-163 is a two page article titled "The Rebirth of Quad"! Imagine my surprise seeing this in the generally anti-multichannel Absolute Sound!
Since Andrew Quint from The Absolute Sound organized the panel on Multichannel Audio at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest last October, I wouldn't call The Absolute Sound "anti-multichannel" :)
https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/surround-sound-panel-at-rmaf-2018-in-denver.25473/

 

bmoura

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From the July 2019 edition of The Absolute Sound.
Now available on the web.

Meanwhile, the UK-based Dutton Laboratories, through its Dutton Epoch series, has released 52 four-channel SACDs that feature works by 20th-century British composers. The label also has 32 soul, jazz, rock, and prog titles, all on 4.0 surround SACDs, under its Vocalion series.

“Quad has enjoyed a renaissance, thanks largely to the rise of audiophile-level home cinema systems,” says Dutton Labs label chief Mike Dutton. “I also think that, despite the quad LP and tape cartridge having been killed off by the format war of the latter 70s, there has always been interest in quad/surround sound, mainly because, when done properly, it sounds great. My own interest in quadraphonic sound began during the early 1970s when, in my teens, I acquired a decoder and began buying Quad LPs.

“The classical recordings we make for the Dutton Epoch label are in 4.0 because in 5.1 the center channel makes the front stereo image less wide, and the use of the bass speaker affects the phase/image placement of the bass in the recording when we use a ‘Decca Tree’—a stand with three microphones that capture the basic image. Also, the center speaker is designed for speech in film, really. Many of our classical listeners like a concert-hall approach to recording, so the compromise is 4.0.”

What does the future hold for quad?

“All this is now changing with the coming of Dolby Atmos and 3D recording,” Dutton adds, “which will extend the scope of surround-sound recording in new and exciting ways.”
 

4-earredwonder

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From the July 2019 edition of The Absolute Sound.
Now available on the web.



Thanks for sharing Brian.

I find it interesting concerning Michael's assessment of 4.0 vs. 5.1 for his own classical recordings. "The center channel makes the front stereo image less wide and the use of the bass speaker [LFE channel] affects the phase/image placement of the bass in the recording."

Apparently, BIS, CHANDOS, PENTATONE, et alia, disagree and do employ the center channel for their prior/current Classical recordings but usually shy away from the LFE bass channel resulting in 5.0.

Having heard EPOCH originated Classical QUAD Recordings, I can attest that they sound as good as any I've heard. Their recent freebie EPOCH Classical Sampler RBCD was excellent [don't know if any more are available but if they are .... grab one].

And of course, it's good to know that Michael J. Dutton was and is a QUAD 'junkie" at ❤ And as we all know ..... EVERYTHING SOUNDS BETTER in SURROUND [if done right]!
 
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ubertrout

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Thanks for sharing Brian.

I find it interesting concerning Michael's assessment of 4.0 vs. 5.1 for his own classical recordings. "The center channel makes the front stereo image less wide and the use of the bass speaker [LFE channel] affects the phase/image placement of the bass in the recording."

Apparently, BIS, CHANDOS, PENTATONE, et alia, disagree and do employ the center channel for their prior/current Classical recordings but usually shy away from the LFE bass channel resulting in 5.0.

Having heard EPOCH originated Classical QUAD Recordings, I can attest that they sound as good as any I've heard. Their recent freebie EPOCH Classical Sampler RBCD was excellent [don't know if any more are available but if they are .... grab one].

And of course, it's good to know that Michael J. Dutton was and is a QUAD 'junkie" at ❤ And as we all know ..... EVERYTHING SOUNDS BETTER in SURROUND [if done right]!
A lot of classical recordings are actually (quietly) done in quad. Many of Hyperion's records, David Zinman's Mahler cycle, and more. And of course Dutton's own recording. Most of the classical audience doesn't care much, although I do enjoy having some isolation of the soloist in the center channel for concertos et al.
 

4-earredwonder

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A lot of classical recordings are actually (quietly) done in quad. Many of Hyperion's records, David Zinman's Mahler cycle, and more. And of course Dutton's own recording. Most of the classical audience doesn't care much, although I do enjoy having some isolation of the soloist in the center channel for concertos et al.
But seriously, ubertrout, the PHANTOM center, IMO, is more than sufficient and every time you listen to a STEREO source, you are actually always experiencing that PHANTOM CENTER for that three channel effect! As Steven Wilson once quipped: STEREO is MULTICHANNEL meaning THREE CHANNELS!
 
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ar surround

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I find it interesting concerning Michael's assessment of 4.0 vs. 5.1 for his own classical recordings. "The center channel makes the front stereo image less wide and the use of the bass speaker [LFE channel] affects the phase/image placement of the bass in the recording."
But seriously, ubertrout, the PHANTOM center, IMO, is more than sufficient and every time you listen to a STEREO source, you are actually always experiencing that PHANTOM CENTER for that three channel effect! As Steven Wilson once quipped: STEREO is MULTICHANNEL meaning THREE CHANNELS!
Regardless of 4.0 or 5.0, it all comes down to good execution, doesn't it?
 

LuvMyQuad

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But seriously, ubertrout, the PHANTOM center, IMO, is more than sufficient and every time you listen to a STEREO source, you are actually always experiencing that PHANTOM CENTER for that three channel effect! As Steven Wilson once quipped: STEREO is MULTICHANNEL meaning THREE CHANNELS!
Everything you say is true, but only in respect to placement. The other advantage of multichannel, regardless if its 4.0 or 5.1, is the increased clarity one perceives when the sounds of various instruments are separated out from the 2 stereo tracks and placed into the other channels. Theoretically what would happen more often with 5 mains than it would with 4, but its hard to say how significant the effect actually is across the front soundstage. There are many times I listen to 4.0 material and don't miss the center channel one bit.
 

fredblue

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From the July 2019 edition of The Absolute Sound.
Now available on the web.



...i want this man's babies!! (don't tell his wife!!) the Rock, the Pop, the Jazz and especially the R&B ones.. alright, even the Classical ones! 😉 if its Quad and he's doing it (in the words of my hero Freddie) "i want it all and i want it... nowwwwwwwwww!!!!!" ❤
 

ubertrout

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Also, he makes a few classical errors - Pentatone released over 100 Philips and DG quads (probably about 200 including double albums on one disc), but the program ended last year after about 15 years - here's conversation about it starting: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/pentatone-quad-remix-series-latest-multichannel-sacd.576/; and of it ending: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/pentatone-remastered-classics-series-is-now-complete.24808/

The Bernstein Beethoven symphonies is as I understand it a modern 5.0 mix from the live multitracks. The other DG quad issue is of Bernstein's recording of Carmen, previously released by Pentatone.

And re Naxos/Vox, who knows? I've asked about the possibility here, but there's no motion. MoFi did the only Vox reissues. There's also the Vanguard catalog of quad issues, currently held by Concord.
 

JonUrban

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If only labels like AF and DV started ten years earlier doing this stuff, imagine all of the stuff that they might have had access to that cannot be obtained at this point in time.

I used to have a quad reel somewhere that sums this all up very well "Be Thankful for What You Got" :)

41650
 

4-earredwonder

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If only labels like AF and DV started ten years earlier doing this stuff, imagine all of the stuff that they might have had access to that cannot be obtained at this point in time.

I used to have a quad reel somewhere that sums this all up very well "Be Thankful for What You Got" :)

View attachment 41650
Ten Years earlier, Jon, was only a few scant years after DVD~A and SACD's failed launch by the majors. I only wish that DTS Entertainment who produced a lot of eclectic Surround titles from the majors [and minors] and matriculated to DVD~A continued to produce product. Perhaps with DOLBY's ATMOS proposed 'launch' they will take up the banner abandoned by rival DTS.

If ONLY current artists themselves would get on the bandwagon and start releasing Surround titles conceived from scratch our niche format might have more gravitas....but they're too busy touring and basking in celebrity to even bother.

And as far as I'm concerned, this love affair with VINYL releases/reissues is definitely taking the steam away from interest in Surround as 'seemingly' every major artist and label has taken the 'bite!'

They say that youth is wasted on the young ...... likewise, modern technology [like the Universal Player] with all its advances has taken a back seat to a format still riddled with deficits [ticks, pops, warpage, etc]...and lacking the ability to do surround as effectively as digital!
 
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keywhiz

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Ten Years earlier, Jon, was only a few scant years after DVD~A and SACD's failed launch by the majors. I only wish that DTS Entertainment who produced a lot of eclectic Surround titles from the majors [and minors] and matriculated to DVD~A continued to produce product. Perhaps with DOLBY's ATMOS proposed 'launch' they will take up the banner abandoned by rival DTS.

If ONLY current artists themselves would get on the bandwagon and start releasing Surround titles conceived from scratch our niche format might have more gravitas....but they're too busy touring and basking in celebrity to even bother.

And as far as I'm concerned, this love affair with VINYL releases/reissues is definitely taking the steam away from interest in Surround as 'seemingly' every major artist and label has taken the 'bite!'

They say that youth is wasted on the young ...... likewise, modern technology [like the Universal Player] with all its advances has taken a back seat to a format still riddled with deficits [ticks, pops, warpage, etc]...and lacking the ability to do surround as effectively as digital!
I think most current music artists are concerned with getting a mix that sounds good on a mono Bluetooth speaker or an iPhone, TBH.

But the advent of Atmos does give us some hope!
 

Perpendicular

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I think most current music artists are concerned with getting a mix that sounds good on a mono Bluetooth speaker or an iPhone, TBH.

But the advent of Atmos does give us some hope!
Good point! I may start to like these current artist’s music better if it was presented in Atmos. On second thought, hell, no!
 
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