Need help ID'ing "quadraphonic" LP

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ProgRules

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I saw an offer for a quad vinyl of Ricki Wakeman's Six Wives of Henry VIII on SHTV for $1 plus shipping, so I jumped on it, figuring someone here would want it. My post showed no interest. Regardless, I am confused by what this is.

I know little of true quad, being a digital MCH guy. But I thought quad LP's were "encoded" w/ some proprietary process. This LP merely says quadraphonic. The album is an official A & M release and looks identical to the stereo vinyl inside the gatefold. The front and back cover are slightly miniaturized duplicates w/ a 1" blue border, wherein the word quadraphonic appears in each corner. Under the small A & M logo is the tiny number QU-54361.

The inner sleeve is very heavy paper stock lined in clear plastic w/ cutouts for the LP's labels. The labels themselves show the track listings in a gray rectangle, surrounded again by blue and 4X the word quadraphonic. The A & M logo and the same number as the cover are on both labels.

One side of the sleeve is blank save for a design in each corner and A & M's address. The other side has "Quadraphonic" emblazoned across the top and the following text on the bottom:

NOTE: This A & M record has been encoded for true compatible quadraphonic playback. The original multi-channel tapes were mixed and mastered to reproduce the finest possible quadraphonic sound when played back though a matrix decoding device. This record is pressed on an anti-static vinyl, developed for A & M records, to ensure low surface noise, reduce record wear and prolong record life. A rigid quality control standard has been maintained in all phases of manufacturing to insure its faithful sound reproduction. It can also be played on conventional stereophonic equipment with excellent results. (Emphasis mine)

So, my question is: just what kind of "matrix decoding device" was this meant for? Any info on what this is will be appreciated.

I gave it a spin and checked stereo against DPL II Music mode and a mode on my Denon called Matrix. Both processing modes produced some very discreet results. It was a very valid surround experience IMO, marred only by a bit of noise at times and what seemed a slightly off-balance mix on some songs (more info on right, both front and back). Very interesting. The parts that sounded good sounded really good.
 

bmoura

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I saw an offer for a quad vinyl of Ricki Wakeman's Six Wives of Henry VIII on SHTV for $1 plus shipping, so I jumped on it, figuring someone here would want it. My post showed no interest. Regardless, I am confused by what this is.

I know little of true quad, being a digital MCH guy. But I thought quad LP's were "encoded" w/ some proprietary process. This LP merely says quadraphonic. The album is an official A & M release and looks identical to the stereo vinyl inside the gatefold. The front and back cover are slightly miniaturized duplicates w/ a 1" blue border, wherein the word quadraphonic appears in each corner. Under the small A & M logo is the tiny number QU-54361.

The inner sleeve is very heavy paper stock lined in clear plastic w/ cutouts for the LP's labels. The labels themselves show the track listings in a gray rectangle, surrounded again by blue and 4X the word quadraphonic. The A & M logo and the same number as the cover are on both labels.

One side of the sleeve is blank save for a design in each corner and A & M's address. The other side has "Quadraphonic" emblazoned across the top and the following text on the bottom:

NOTE: This A & M record has been encoded for true compatible quadraphonic playback. The original multi-channel tapes were mixed and mastered to reproduce the finest possible quadraphonic sound when played back though a matrix decoding device. This record is pressed on an anti-static vinyl, developed for A & M records, to ensure low surface noise, reduce record wear and prolong record life. A rigid quality control standard has been maintained in all phases of manufacturing to insure its faithful sound reproduction. It can also be played on conventional stereophonic equipment with excellent results. (Emphasis mine)

So, my question is: just what kind of "matrix decoding device" was this meant for? Any info on what this is will be appreciated.

I gave it a spin and checked stereo against DPL II Music mode and a mode on my Denon called Matrix. Both processing modes produced some very discreet results. It was a very valid surround experience IMO, marred only by a bit of noise at times and what seemed a slightly off-balance mix on some songs (more info on right, both front and back). Very interesting. The parts that sounded good sounded really good.
You're correct. Six Wives of Henry VIII is an SQ Matrix encoded 4 Channel Quad Recording. Using Dolby Pro Logic II and other Matrix decoders will give some good results. Best results would be with an SQ decoder.
 

ProgRules

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You're correct. Six Wives of Henry VIII is an SQ Matrix encoded 4 Channel Quad Recording. Using Dolby Pro Logic II and other Matrix decoders will give some good results. Best results would be with an SQ decoder.
Thanks for the prompt response. Curious why there's no reference to SQ anywhere. Do you just know that's the encode A & M used?
 

bmoura

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Thanks for the prompt response. Curious why there's no reference to SQ anywhere. Do you just know that's the encode A & M used?
When the album was originally released in the Quad era, it did have an "SQ" sticker on the shrink wrap. A used copy may have no SQ markings on it.
But the album number is a giveaway. See the Wakeman listing at http://www.surrounddiscography.com/quaddisc/quadpall.htm#W

How did I know? I had the SQ Quad album back in the '70s. And I helped research the Quad Incorporated catalog in the '70s, which is now at http://www.surrounddiscography.com
 

Quad Linda

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No doubt the lack of markings was A&M knowing it would be moving on from having CBS (SQ's inventor) press ALL their vinyl. Someone else would soon fulfill their pressing needs. Wakeman's next album was the first CD-4 Quad, and only CD-4 to use the blue label, albeit with CD-4 printed at the top. At this point, A&M switched to RCA to press ALL their vinyl. All other CD-4's used an identical label to RCA-pressed A&M stereo releases, with the Quad catalog # and Quad CD-4 logo.

All A&M US SQ titles were never repressed as CD-4. The CD-4 releases of the SQ albums were pressed in Japan under a separate license agreement, as they were when the Quads were originally released in Japan.

:mad:@: Confused? Check out the QQ A&M label gallery: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/aandm.htm
 

JonUrban

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A&M blue border LP graphics were neutral on purpose. Since they moved from QS to SQ to CD-4 over the quad timeline, they made the decision to use stickers on the shrink wrap instead of logos printed on the jackets so if they decided to repress in a different format going forward they would not have to reprint the album graphics.

Once the decided to go CD-4 permanently, they began printing jackets with the CD-4 logos on them.
 

ProgRules

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When the album was originally released in the Quad era, it did have an "SQ" sticker on the shrink wrap. A used copy may have no SQ markings on it.
But the album number is a giveaway. See the Wakeman listing at http://www.surrounddiscography.com/quaddisc/quadpall.htm#W

How did I know? I had the SQ Quad album back in the '70s. And I helped research the Quad Incorporated catalog in the '70s, which is now at http://www.surrounddiscography.com
Thanks for the clarification. And that discography site- very cool. All the surround ever released in one place! Great reference.
 

ProgRules

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No doubt the lack of markings was A&M knowing it would be moving on from having CBS (SQ's inventor) press ALL their vinyl. Someone else would soon fulfill their pressing needs. Wakeman's next album was the first CD-4 Quad, and only CD-4 to use the blue label, albeit with CD-4 printed at the top. At this point, A&M switched to RCA to press ALL their vinyl. All other CD-4's used an identical label to RCA-pressed A&M stereo releases, with the Quad catalog # and Quad CD-4 logo.

All A&M US SQ titles were never repressed as CD-4. The CD-4 releases of the SQ albums were pressed in Japan under a separate license agreement, as they were when the Quads were originally released in Japan.

:mad:@: Confused? Check out the QQ A&M label gallery: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/aandm.htm
A&M blue border LP graphics were neutral on purpose. Since they moved from QS to SQ to CD-4 over the quad timeline, they made the decision to use stickers on the shrink wrap instead of logos printed on the jackets so if they decided to repress in a different format going forward they would not have to reprint the album graphics.

Once the decided to go CD-4 permanently, they began printing jackets with the CD-4 logos on them.
Wow- so A & M tried all of the matrix encodes. Was all of quad's implementation so confusing? It seems surround's initial launch might have been ever more of a cluster-f*#K than the digital version's launch. This hobby has been cursed from the get-go. No wonder we're a small niche; it's like lack of info, ever-changing hardware requirements and frustration are part of the package. Makes me appreciate the relative ease w/ which digital surround works.

Thanks for the info. I know what I have now and I've also gotten a perspective on how the labels botched this from the beginning...
 

ProgRules

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SQ LP w/SQ sticker on lower left corner of jacket:
View attachment 13520

1973 Six Wives :woopie Quad ad:
View attachment 13521

Non-Quad specific ad:
View attachment 13522

Q8 (NOT SQ matrix encoded :ugham:):
View attachment 13523

PS: They suckered me in for a Q8, SQ and German CD of this one.
And the Quad Goddess has examples of it all! When I was looking at the discography site bmoura linked (and helped develop), I was wondering what percentage of all those discs QL has... I'm thinking somewhere in the 90's...

Not to be morbid, but I've wondered what plans you have made for your collection when you leave this mortal coil. I envision a library dedicated to the history of music reproduction, w/ a strong emphasis on surround. Have you started creating the foundation that will maintain and curate this amazing exhibition?
 

Quad Linda

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A&M was at the forefront of Quad. Yet, there was as much they got right as wrong. Most of their early Q8 only Quads were far from discrete mixes. They finally got it right with CD-4/Q8 titles that were mixed well and truly discrete.

The only actual A&M product that was QS was Joan Baez' Come From the Shadows. IMHO, it is her best album, Quad or non Quad. I own them all. It was the first MAJOR LABEL Quad LP I recall being released, or, at least, the first that actually touted Quad on the jacket. It was perhaps the first QS LP I recall encountering. There had been Q8's, Quad reels, DY and EV-4 matrix LP's for a year before that.

Several US Ode '70 titles were pressed as QS. Ode '70 was run by Lou Adler. The '70 was meant to differentiate it from the Ode titles that CBS distributed in '68 and '69, including Spirit and the City (w/Carole King.) The '70 was later dropped. In the late '70's, Adler sold the Ode '70 masters to CBS (US Columbia, later Sony), who distributes them to this day.

And, yes, Quad held much promise, but was a fiasco in many ways. Competing formats, early SQ (sorta Quad) decoders that barely worked, lines at gas pumps (remember those?), a recession, no FM standard, no cassette standard, and DOUBLE the equipment costs all conspired to kill it. It WAS double the equipment costs: twice as many speakers, twice as many channels of amp (2 power amps if you had true separates), and whatever costs were saved on single chassis were spent on decoders, demodulators and special phono cartridges (for CD-4.) In it's day, Quad had FAR more visibility and market share than 5.1 music had in the last 20 years. And, yet a larger percentage of US homes have 5.1 gear than ever had Quad. Too bad all most folks know is an occasional rear channel sound effect on a movie. :howl

Dolby Surround in it's original incarnation is essentially SQ, EXCEPT that FL, FR, center and rear(s) are the four channels, rather than FL, FR, RL and RR. Pro-Logic II creates separate rear channels, rather than common rears on the original Dolby Surround. So, a PL or PLII decoder will do reasonably well at decoding SQ, EXCEPT that the channel placement/soundstage can become a bit strange.
 

Quad Linda

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Right now, the collection takes up two bedrooms in my home. Likely IF my BF becomes my Husband, he will inherit it. Our love of music and wacky sense of humor is our common ground. Since he was born when I was in High School, it is highly likely he'll outlive me. There is a mountain of gear spread across five surround/Quad systems in my home.

The percentage of Quad and 5.1 pop and jazz releases in my collection are quite high, perhaps 60 - 70% of the total surround titles. Including classical, the percentages go down to perhaps 20%. The most amusing thing about these #'s are that I was a Season Subscriber to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under both Solti and Barenboim. My total classical/opera collection numbers over 1000 titles, which comprises 5% of the entire collection.

It's a SICKNESS and I DON"T WANT TO BE CURED!!

And the Quad Goddess has examples of it all! When I was looking at the discography site bmoura linked (and helped develop), I was wondering what percentage of all those discs QL has... I'm thinking somewhere in the 90's...

Not to be morbid, but I've wondered what plans you have made for your collection when you leave this mortal coil. I envision a library dedicated to the history of music reproduction, w/ a strong emphasis on surround. Have you started creating the foundation that will maintain and curate this amazing exhibition?
 

ProgRules

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A&M was at the forefront of Quad. Yet, there was as much they got right as wrong. Most of their early Q8 only Quads were far from discrete mixes. They finally got it right with CD-4/Q8 titles that were mixed well and truly discrete.

The only actual A&M product that was QS was Joan Baez' Come From the Shadows. IMHO, it is her best album, Quad or non Quad. I own them all. It was the first MAJOR LABEL Quad LP I recall being released. It was perhaps the first QS LP I recall encountering. There had been Q8's, Quad reels, DY and EV-4 matrix LP's for a year before that.

Several US Ode '70 titles were pressed as QS. Ode '70 was run by Lou Adler. The '70 was meant to differentiate it from the Ode titles that CBS distributed in '68 and '69, including Spirit and the City (w/Carole King.) The '70 was later dropped. In the late '70's, Adler sold the Ode '70 masters to CBS (US Columbia, later Sony), who distributes them to this day.

And, yes, Quad held much promise, but was a fiasco in many ways. Competing formats, early SQ (sorta Quad) decoders that barely worked, lines at gas pumps (remember those?), a recession, no FM standard, no cassette standard, and DOUBLE the equipment costs all conspired to kill it. It WAS double the equipment costs: twice as many speakers, twice as many channels of amp (2 power amps if you had true separates), and whatever costs were saved on single chassis were spent on decoders, demodulators and special phono cartridges (for CD-4.) In it's day, Quad had FAR more visibility and market share than 5.1 music had in the last 20 years. And, yet a larger percentage of US homes have 5.1 gear than ever had Quad. Too bad all most folks know is an occasional rear channel sound effect on a movie. :howl

Dolby Surround in it's original incarnation is essentially SQ, EXCEPT that FL, FR, center and rear(s) are the four channels, rather than FL, FR, RL and RR. Pro-Logic II creates separate rear channels, rather than common rears on the original Dolby Surround. So, a PL or PLII decoder will do reasonably well at decoding SQ, EXCEPT that the channel placement/soundstage can become a bit strange.
Wow- a veritable fountain of history. You should write a book. To serve as the cornerstone of the QL Foundation, a deserving kickstarter project that in the years to come helps educate the masses to the subtleties of high fidelity musical reproduction, delights hipsters and is an invaluable reference for those who wish to experience what life was like back in the days of physical media.

As long as you have the disease and revel in all it's minutiae you should spread the sickness! Seriously, between your physical artifacts and personal history/knowledge of all things surround, I can see the coolest museum ever. You're big in the volunteer world; I'd think it'd be a piece of cake for you to set up a non-profit trust that would solidify an invaluable contribution of cultural artifacts.

Just cool for me to think about and yet another example of free advice being worth every penny...

PS- that explanation of how Dolby decodes SQ explains some of the weird balance I heard on the 6 Wives LP.
 

MidiMagic

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Dolby Surround is based on the original Dynaco Diamond, not SQ. It is much closer to QS.
 
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