New Surround Master v2 - Pre-Order Roster Discussion Thread

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Sonik Wiz

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You hit the nail on the head about the Tate having a warmer sound, I find that the SM (I have the evaluation modules) has a bit of what I would call upper midrange glare. I like to hear that the Sound Master bypasses the signal when turned off, that's what I like to do in my DIY projects, I've even added such relays to some equipment for others.
Funny how subjective,well, subjective evaluations can be! I had plenty of time with my Fosgate Tate 101A along side my Sansui QSD-1000. I remember my long lasting impression is that the Fosgate always sound a little bit bright like it might on the verge of harshness. The Sansui was the opposite sound a bit dark again just on the verge of a bit muffled.

Or to put it another way quoting J. Gordon Holt: "there are only two forms of audio distortion, commission or omission." I prefer to call it additive or subtractive. Additive is when noticeable distortion is there, or an increase in freq response,etc compared to neutral. I consider the Fosgate to fall into this camp. Subtractive would be when detail resolution, bass impact or bass/treble is lessened. I would put the Sansui in this category & not just the D-1000 it seemed an overall characteristic of Sansui VM.

The Surround Master is more neutral and detailed than any matrix type surround sound decoder I've ever heard. It is of course the beneficiary of updated technology & a fresh look at matrix decoding so it should be. I really find it hard to detect a signature that would put it into either add or subtract group.

RE: stereo bypass. Yes it is a straight through by relay on the SM when 2ch is selected. Unfortunately there's maybe a 10 dB drop in volume level compared to surround output when doing this. Maybe this is a time a little more circuitry to match levels would help!
 

J. PUPSTER

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I KNOW FULL WELL THAT PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE .... BUT I'M NOT VIRTUOUS!
I believe you'd be better served with this upcoming beauty:

The anticipation is strong with this one!

ISP Front Panel Concept 10.png


Just imagine all the old Quads that will come alive once again that will never see the light of day with a digital release (TT with quality accoutrement and associated vinyl needed; along with some assembly required!)

Like bringing forth this fine Sea Shanty LP, you'll then be a proper Quad Barron once more and regain the Fever, the Sea Fever...

SEA FEVER.jpg
 

4-earredwonder

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I believe you'd be better served with this upcoming beauty:

The anticipation is strong with this one!

View attachment 62527

Just imagine all the old Quads that will come alive once again that will never see the light of day with a digital release (TT with quality accoutrement and associated vinyl needed; along with some assembly required!)

Like bringing forth this fine Sea Shanty LP, you'll then be a proper Quad Barron once more and regain the Fever, the Sea Fever...

View attachment 62529
JP, it looks absolutely delicious but I'm committed to my ALL Meridian system!


See the source image
Meridian 861 V.8
 

Sonik Wiz

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I believe you'd be better served with this upcoming beauty:

The anticipation is strong with this one!

View attachment 62527

Just imagine all the old Quads that will come alive once again that will never see the light of day with a digital release (TT with quality accoutrement and associated vinyl needed; along with some assembly required!)

Like bringing forth this fine Sea Shanty LP, you'll then be a proper Quad Barron once more and regain the Fever, the Sea Fever...

View attachment 62529
The hunt begins. Sea Shanty's in surround. DV?
 

par4ken

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Funny how subjective,well, subjective evaluations can be! I had plenty of time with my Fosgate Tate 101A along side my Sansui QSD-1000. I remember my long lasting impression is that the Fosgate always sound a little bit bright like it might on the verge of harshness. The Sansui was the opposite sound a bit dark again just on the verge of a bit muffled.

Or to put it another way quoting J. Gordon Holt: "there are only two forms of audio distortion, commission or omission." I prefer to call it additive or subtractive. Additive is when noticeable distortion is there, or an increase in freq response,etc compared to neutral. I consider the Fosgate to fall into this camp. Subtractive would be when detail resolution, bass impact or bass/treble is lessened. I would put the Sansui in this category & not just the D-1000 it seemed an overall characteristic of Sansui VM.

The Surround Master is more neutral and detailed than any matrix type surround sound decoder I've ever heard. It is of course the beneficiary of updated technology & a fresh look at matrix decoding so it should be. I really find it hard to detect a signature that would put it into either add or subtract group.

RE: stereo bypass. Yes it is a straight through by relay on the SM when 2ch is selected. Unfortunately there's maybe a 10 dB drop in volume level compared to surround output when doing this. Maybe this is a time a little more circuitry to match levels would help!
It's odd that the Fosgate would sound harsh, from what I understand (I might be wrong) it uses TL074 op-amps in the audio path the same as the Audionics. Circuits built with those (and I've used that op amp in most of my DIY projects) are IMHO sonically neutral, what goes in comes out. Audionics runs the op-amps in class A by means of 2.2K pull up resistors, which I'm sure can't hurt the sound but I can't say that I've ever noticed any sonic difference in circuits without them.

The Sansui does sound a bit dark, a bit grungy which I'm sure is due to the bandpass filters on the input and possibly the way the three decoder outputs are recombined, could cause abnormalities in the frequency response. Single band QS decoders sound cleaner to me, replacing the electrolytic coupling capacitors (with film types) helps improve the sound in all decoders to some extent. I did replace most of the capacitors in the QSD-1 with film types, so it might sound a bit better than stock.

In my Audionics units I'm using 10μFd polyester film capacitors bypassed with .01μFd Wonder Caps. There are better dielectrics than polyester but such capacitors are usually too large to easily mount. I never believed the Wonder Cap hype (expensive audiophile tweak) but wanted some all the same for my prized decoder.
 

jfloftin

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I use a switchbox to select between my turntable (with external preamp) and the analog outputs of my CD recorder. The box feeds the SM. The only problem is that, since I don't use a subwoofer, I think I'm losing the low bass because the SM wants to send it to a sub. When the SM is switched off and is being bypassed, the bass is there. Oh. Great Chucky, what is the answer?
This is exactly how my setup is. I also recently purchased the software, "Stereo Lab Audiophile". It does a very good job of processing raw encoded QS or SQ audio and separating it into discrete channels. Don't get me wrong, I always use my Surround Master for everything. I just wanted to see what some of my recordings looked like after decoding. Also, it decodes everything in the picture below. The version I purchased is the Mac version, I don't know if there is a Windows version or not...


Screen Shot 2021-02-01 at 3.44.19 PM.png
 

Sonik Wiz

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It's odd that the Fosgate would sound harsh, from what I understand (I might be wrong) it uses TL074 op-amps in the audio path the same as the Audionics. Circuits built with those (and I've used that op amp in most of my DIY projects) are IMHO sonically neutral, what goes in comes out. Audionics runs the op-amps in class A by means of 2.2K pull up resistors, which I'm sure can't hurt the sound but I can't say that I've ever noticed any sonic difference in circuits without them.

The Sansui does sound a bit dark, a bit grungy which I'm sure is due to the bandpass filters on the input and possibly the way the three decoder outputs are recombined, could cause abnormalities in the frequency response. Single band QS decoders sound cleaner to me, replacing the electrolytic coupling capacitors (with film types) helps improve the sound in all decoders to some extent. I did replace most of the capacitors in the QSD-1 with film types, so it might sound a bit better than stock.

In my Audionics units I'm using 10μFd polyester film capacitors bypassed with .01μFd Wonder Caps. There are better dielectrics than polyester but such capacitors are usually too large to easily mount. I never believed the Wonder Cap hype (expensive audiophile tweak) but wanted some all the same for my prized decoder.
Your right, Jim Fosgate was fond of using TL074 chips. He also made heavy use of them in the Model 5 & I don't know where else, but I can verify not the series of 360 Space Matrix Decoders. These chips were a major step forward in audio fidelity ot the time, and even TL084 wasn't bad. But except for input impedance the LM4562 that Involve uses exceeds '74 quality quite a bit. Since most of what I might do DIY is either 2ch or 6 ch this would be my choice for future projects.

I don't think the borderline harshness of the Fosgate was due to the analog chips uded. The Tate DES system is so significantly different from VM that most of the sonic signature lies in that realm. The Tate DES "simply" cancels cross talk & has more direction sensing points than the Sansui system which simply looks at the front/back & left/right ratios. Sansui VM sharpens in one direction while blurring sub-dominant directions & that makes for a smoother soundfield, but not as sharp as the Tate. Also the Tate had faster attack/decay values than the Sansui which is a bit less forgiving on distortion. The Sansui simply had symmetrical attack/decay on the control voltages which is the QSD-1 could take advantage of differing smoothing values in each frequency band.

Not mentioned too often is that the Sansui QSD-1000 while being single band like the QSD-2 had a much different variable attack/decay circutry. For that reason, and a few others, I gotta say the D-1000 is the smoothest most detailed single band decoder I've ever heard.

Edit: I also did cap upgades where important on my D-1000. One of the noce things about this unit is it used bi-polar power supplies with discrete component complimentary coupling stages. That meant there was no DC value (most of the stages) & input/output caps could simply be bypassed.
 

par4ken

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Your right, Jim Fosgate was fond of using TL074 chips. He also made heavy use of them in the Model 5 & I don't know where else, but I can verify not the series of 360 Space Matrix Decoders. These chips were a major step forward in audio fidelity ot the time, and even TL084 wasn't bad. But except for input impedance the LM4562 that Involve uses exceeds '74 quality quite a bit. Since most of what I might do DIY is either 2ch or 6 ch this would be my choice for future projects.

I don't think the borderline harshness of the Fosgate was due to the analog chips uded. The Tate DES system is so significantly different from VM that most of the sonic signature lies in that realm. The Tate DES "simply" cancels cross talk & has more direction sensing points than the Sansui system which simply looks at the front/back & left/right ratios. Sansui VM sharpens in one direction while blurring sub-dominant directions & that makes for a smoother soundfield, but not as sharp as the Tate. Also the Tate had faster attack/decay values than the Sansui which is a bit less forgiving on distortion. The Sansui simply had symmetrical attack/decay on the control voltages which is the QSD-1 could take advantage of differing smoothing values in each frequency band.

Not mentioned too often is that the Sansui QSD-1000 while being single band like the QSD-2 had a much different variable attack/decay circutry. For that reason, and a few others, I gotta say the D-1000 is the smoothest most detailed single band decoder I've ever heard.

Edit: I also did cap upgades where important on my D-1000. One of the noce things about this unit is it used bi-polar power supplies with discrete component complimentary coupling stages. That meant there was no DC value (most of the stages) & input/output caps could simply be bypassed.
I still have a Fosgate Dolby Surround decoder in my shed or garage, it used TL084's. There are definitely better op-amps out there now but my point is that for ordinary signal processing, buffering ect., the TL0 series sound about as good as anything. I did replace some with the AD713 in my original S&IC and they worked and sounded fine.
Replacing the transistor circuitry of the QS decoder with directly coupled op-amps I'm sure would improve the sound. An analogue pre-synth could be added to the soundmaster without any sonic penalty, I'm sure.
 

chucky3042

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If I place an order for the V2, what is the expected ship time?
Complicated answer

Pre COVID19 it was say 10 days, right now I would allow up to a month. Only problem is I think we are either out of stock or very close to. I know our distributor in USA has some and he should be able to get you a unit within 2 weeks depending on the cold weather there!

Regards

Chucky
 
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