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Not another Quad Newbie with questions

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audiomaster

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Demagnetizing.
You need a head demagnetizer. It plugs in the wall and uses the 60 Hz current to remove the residual magnetic buildup from heads and guides.
It will have two tips or poles that do the work. They should have soft rubber ,or plastic covers, or tape over them to protect the heads from scratches. When you bring it close to steel you will feel it vibrating slightly when on.

1. Remove any tapes at least 4-5 feet from the machine. Be sure the power is off on the machine or even better, unplug it.
2. With the demagnetizer several feet away from the machine. plug in the demagnetizer. Slowly (everything from now on you do slow motion) bring the demagnetizer tips in contact with each guide and each head for a few seconds and then slowly move it away to the next part. Work from left to right along the tape path. Do all the heads, not just playback. When finished, bring the demagnetizer away from the machine several feet before you turn it off.
3. Also use it the same way to remove any magnetism from any screwdrivers, tools, or razor blades you use to work near the machine. You don't need to do metal reels as they are aluminum or plastic and non magnetic.
4. If a head or guide is badly clogged from using tape with sticky shed syndrome, you can apply a little alcohol with a swab and demagnetize it while wet. This will loosen any oxide in the gap.
5. After demagnetizing the machine, do a thorough cleaning with the alcohol as you will probably have some lose particles in the tape path that the demagnetizer pulled out.

Now how do you know the process worked? There are small hand held magnetometers that can read it. Not sure who makes one now but R B Annis Co used to make them, and may be available used.
That's about it. Somebody chime in if I missed anything. Be fanatical about keeping your machine and tape path clean.
 

mlrocker

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Demagnetizing.
You need a head demagnetizer. It plugs in the wall and uses the 60 Hz current to remove the residual magnetic buildup from heads and guides.
It will have two tips or poles that do the work. They should have soft rubber ,or plastic covers, or tape over them to protect the heads from scratches. When you bring it close to steel you will feel it vibrating slightly when on.

1. Remove any tapes at least 4-5 feet from the machine. Be sure the power is off on the machine or even better, unplug it.
2. With the demagnetizer several feet away from the machine. plug in the demagnetizer. Slowly (everything from now on you do slow motion) bring the demagnetizer tips in contact with each guide and each head for a few seconds and then slowly move it away to the next part. Work from left to right along the tape path. Do all the heads, not just playback. When finished, bring the demagnetizer away from the machine several feet before you turn it off.
3. Also use it the same way to remove any magnetism from any screwdrivers, tools, or razor blades you use to work near the machine. You don't need to do metal reels as they are aluminum or plastic and non magnetic.
4. If a head or guide is badly clogged from using tape with sticky shed syndrome, you can apply a little alcohol with a swab and demagnetize it while wet. This will loosen any oxide in the gap.
5. After demagnetizing the machine, do a thorough cleaning with the alcohol as you will probably have some lose particles in the tape path that the demagnetizer pulled out.

Now how do you know the process worked? There are small hand held magnetometers that can read it. Not sure who makes one now but R B Annis Co used to make them, and may be available used.
That's about it. Somebody chime in if I missed anything. Be fanatical about keeping your machine and tape path clean.
on the demag, should I remove that plastic tip cover or not?
 

audiomaster

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SC
on the demag, should I remove that plastic tip cover or not?
Leave it on. If it is missing, you can cover the poles with some vinyl tape as long as the adhesive is not exposed.
Warning. When strangers see you doing this they assume you are performing some magical rite over the recorder. Adds to the mystic of audio recording!
 

The Quadfather

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Avoid Quantegy tape. Even old "new stock" tape. It might sound great at first, but the glue on the tape gets gummy after awhile. Quantegy is Ampex tape. Sometime in the late '70s they changed the formulation on these tapes. I hear there are other brands that exhibit the problem, but I don't know what they are. I have had good luck with Maxell, TDK, and Scotch. If that goo gets on your machine, it will seize up, eat tape, or both when that goo starts getting on the guides, heads, and capstan.. You don't need to demagnetize aluminum reels. The metal is non ferrous, it will not hold a magnetic field. Most metal reels are aluminum. I know a lot of people recommend it, but I don't do the tails out thing. I like auto rewind too much. I have never had any problems with my tape getting damaged on the edges. If you handle it right, no problems. Of course, if you want to do it, there's no harm in it. A quad reel to reel has four meters on it, and is always a four track machine. A two track machine can't be a quad machine, it can only be stereo. Most pre recorded tapes are recorded as four track tapes, stereo ones play in both directions, and quad ones play in only one direction. But quad tapes on reel to reel are expensive. I don't even have any pre-records in quad. I use my reel to reel to make party reels. Or what is often referred to as a mix tape. For about 8 years we had an annual fourth of July party, and I recorded one for each party. So, I have about 8 of them, and lots of stereo pre-records. Since the tapes are so expensive, the best thing to do is to jump into CD-4. It's a bit finicky, but when you get it right, it's very rewarding.
 

SurfRinsed

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Regarding CD-4, is that also a descriptive term that covers all vinyl Quad recordings including QS, SQ as well as CD-4?

Also, alot of the pre-recorded tapes I have are all on Ampex out of Elk Grove. Did they use the same formulation on these as with their problematic blank version?
 
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quadsearcher

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Messages
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QS, SQ, CD-4 are all formats which require format-specific decoders or demodulator to be used for each, in order to hear more-or-less close to the actual mix.
CD-4 playback needs more care.

. I have not had a sticky tape problem (so far) with any prerecorded reel. I have seen sticky tape with blanks.
 

audiomaster

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Messages
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Regarding CD-4, is that also a descriptive term that covers all vinyl Quad recordings including QS, SQ as well as CD-4?

Also, alot of the pre-recorded tapes I have are all on Ampex out of Elk Grove. Did they use the same formulation on these as with their problematic blank version?
SQ and QS will work with a regular cartridge and stylus. CD-4 requires a cartridge with response to at least 30,000 hz to pick up the carrier. And usually a quadrahedrial or Shibata stylus to track the high frequencies in the groove. And the CD-4 demodulator needs to be calibrated with a proper test disc to your particular cartridge setup. It's tricky to set up but provides much more separation that SQ or QS. And playing a CD-4 record with a regular stylus or too heavy a tracking force can damage the high frequencies in the groove which are rather delicate.
 

par4ken

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SQ and QS will work with a regular cartridge and stylus. CD-4 requires a cartridge with response to at least 30,000 hz to pick up the carrier. And usually a quadrahedrial or Shibata stylus to track the high frequencies in the groove. And the CD-4 demodulator needs to be calibrated with a proper test disc to your particular cartridge setup. It's tricky to set up but provides much more separation that SQ or QS. And playing a CD-4 record with a regular stylus or too heavy a tracking force can damage the high frequencies in the groove which are rather delicate.
Actually CD-4 requires a cartridge with response to at least 45,000 Hz. 30,000 Hz is just the carrier and it's modulated (+-) 15,000 Hz, so from 15KHz to 45Khz.

Ampex pre-recorded tapes are of excellent quality, as are Vanguard. Stereotape releases were high speed dubbed so are of slightly lesser quality. I have at least a couple that are problematic to play, they squeal.
 

The Quadfather

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Regarding CD-4, is that also a descriptive term that covers all vinyl Quad recordings including QS, SQ as well as CD-4?


CD-4 refers to any record that uses the JVC subcarrier system to record four channels onto a record. They are also known by the moniker "Quadradisc". The method used to get four channels on a record which naturally only has two, because a groove only has two walls to record on, is very similar to the way stereo is broadcast on an FM radio carrier. All CD-4 records and Quadradiscs are quadraphonic, however, if a record is marked any other way, ie: quadraphonic, QS, SQ, or command quadraphonic, these are matrix records. Matrix records are recorded with four channels feeding an encoder which mixes the four channels down to two, with the four channels having different phase relationships that theoretically can be recovered by the decoder. It kind of works, but there's bleedover from one channel to the next. SQ and QS were the most prominent, and used different encoding algorithms. There were others, EV, Dynaco, and even the U.S.S.R. had one. There was a weird one out of Great Brittan called ambisonics. And of course, another weird one that was a mix between discrete and matrix called UD-4. It utilized both discrete and matrix techniques and wasn't quite as demanding on the cartridge as CD-4. They are rare. I have never seen a UD-4 record except in a photograph. Quad died commercially at the end of the '70s, and the pinnacle of matrix quad is the Tate decoders for SQ and the Sansui Variomatrix decoder for QS. SQ was Columbia's system, and QS belonged to Sansui. RCA promoted the JVC system in the U.S.. I have little doubt that if quad had commercially survived, the modern decoders would have been very good by now. CD-4 was good, and cartridges continued to improve, with the advent of the microline stylus, which was a refinement on the old Shibata type. CD-4 records play clean and discretely, which means that there is very little bleed over between channels. You can probably guess that I prefer CD-4 to other vinyl formats. A CD-4 record requires a CD-4 demodulator to get the goodie out of the record. It also requires a CD-4 capable cartridge and turntable. (the turntable has to have low capacitance wiring) Most quad era vintage high quality turntables are CD-4 capable. Each of the matrix formats require their own kind of decoder, but you can get away with playing SQ records on a QS decoder. They work well with some stereo records as well. Playing a stereo record through a CD-4 demodulator just gives you double stereo. So that's the newbie rundown. Of course, you probably have more questions now.
The Quadfather
 

SurfRinsed

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Messages
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Thank you Quadfather!

Concise and encompassing.

I just received my first CD-4 Album. My favorite Classical piece - Debusy La Mer, Ormandy - RCA Quadradisc. Going to spin it tonight with a glass of wine. It's going to be interesting turning the CD-4 separation knobs on the front of the receiver. I suppose I'll take post it notes for each album and write down what worked best.

My other titles, it will be fun to look back on this some day.

Handel - Water Music, Royal Fireworks - Skrowaczewski - Turnabout/Vox - QS
Brahms - Piano Concerto No.2 - Kempe, Royal Philharmonic - Connoiseur Society - SQ
An Introduction to the World of Quadraphonic Sound Compilation - Columbia - SQ
Boulez conducts Bartok, The Miraculous Mandarin - Columbia - SQ
Miles Davis - Live/Evil - Columbia - SQ
Willie Dixon - Catalyst - QS - Ovation records

Reel to Reel: All 7 1/2 ips Discrete
Pipe Organ Plus, Symphonic Fireworks, Lampertz and the Nord Deutsche Symphonie - Audio Spectrum/Alshire 1972
Piano Music by Geroge Gershwin - Nonesuch - 1973
The Fantastic Philadelphians Vol 1. - RCA 1972
Early American Vocal Music, The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble - Nonesuch -1972
 

SurfRinsed

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Messages
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Atmospheric Conditions...Cannot be overlooked. (Almost a double entendre)

Santa Ana's (Low Humidity conditions in Southern California from hot desert wind blowing to the coast) hit this evening.

Not a good time to throw on a Classical Record. Actually the worst time. The quiet lows, especially with how Debussy uses them in his compositions, are problematic to records, even in the best conditions. Records were the furthest from his mind, that would be decades later. Live - he, like other musicians, know condtrolled conditions. Especially such as how a band or conductor can control an audience. It was always Live. I'm sure they deal with these problems too.

Snap, Crackle, Pop. I thought it just may have been the record...nope, I bust out my favorite Floyd albums, and it was there too. So much so I inspected my stylus, Magic Erasered them, Ionized Gun'd them, wiped them down. It was just one of those nights. Why Fight It?

I almost wanted to give up on records completely...then the Yang hit, those deep notes...nothing is ever perfect, we just have to remind our mind about it.

Tomorrow...next week..is another day.

I do sense I'm getting closer to Reel to Reel only with Classical music, and then maybe on the horizon, try out digital quad.
 

Colin London

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Brighton England UK
Sansui is Great I still have a working C-55 PreAmp allows a Guitar into it. (has Mixer central , 2 or all inputs) Around 1980 I think, Sansui went Quad Great. Amazing Japan Company, I miss them.
 

SurfRinsed

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Messages
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Location
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You want to tape hiss to your list of woes?!
Alright, I’ve been debating skipping the reel to reel step. The precorded stuff is expensive. It has been an interesting novelty for me. I do like the tactile feel and complete removal of anxiety, making me play the reel to the end and listening. ADHD supressant. I have ‘t experienced hiss, only the light scraping of tape on the side of the reel sometimes.

I still enjoy vinyl and always will but I need your help now.

How do I go digital quad?

I have a Sansui QRX 8001 and a Yamaha AV receiver both hooked up to a speaker switch so I can go back and forth. I can do 4 speakers and have a small sub on the Yamaha. The Yamaha can go to 7 but not Atmos. The Yamaha is an Adventage so the DAC is good but of course not audiophile.

What type of player do I get? And what type of Discs? Or should I just go full download to laptop.

My preferred music. Classical (Debussy, Ravel, Violin, ballet music, and pretty much everything Reiner and Boulez recorded :) ). Blues (Mississippi Delta) Jazz (Coltrane) Rock (Floyd, Roger Waters, Who, Dylan, Dead, 70’s folk rock with the likes of Gerry Rafferty, etc)
 
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4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
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Messages
12,372
Alright, I’ve been debating skipping the reel to reel step. The precorded stuff is expensive. It has been an interesting novelty for me. I do like the tactile feel and complete removal of anxiety, making me play the reel to the end and listening. ADHD supressant. I have ‘t experienced hiss, only the light scraping of tape on the side of the reel sometimes.

I still enjoy vinyl and always will but I need your help now.

How do I go digital quad?

I have a Sansui QRX 8001 and a Yamaha AV receiver both hooked up to a speaker switch so I can go back and forth. I can do 4 speakers and have a small sub on the Yamaha. The Yamaha can go to 7 but not Atmos. The Yamaha is an Adventage so the DAC is good but of course not audiophile.

What type of player do I get? And what type of Discs? Or should I just go full download to laptop.

My preferred music. Classical (Debussy, Ravel, Violin, ballet music, and pretty much everything Reiner and Boulez recorded :) ). Blues (Mississippi Delta) Jazz (Coltrane) Rock (Floyd, Roger Waters, Who, Dylan, Dead, 70’s folk rock with the likes of Gerry Rafferty, etc)
You definitely want to go SACD multichannel since the majority of SACDs are CLASSICAL with some spectacular performances and sonics to match. Buy a used OPPO if you can find one at the nice price. Reel to Reel was great in the early 70's but they were hissy unless dolby b was applied and even then they're UBER expensive and maintaining those older decks is a royal PITA!

Here's your 'one stop shop' for all things SACD. If you use their 'search' engine [upper right hand corner] and type in your favorite classical composers or conductors, you'll find exactly what you want: https://www.hraudio.net/music.php

They also list jazz and popular titles as well in the SACD/blu ray audio formats. And any UNIVERSAL player will play ALL of these formats.
 
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SurfRinsed

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I have been on a reel to reel buying tear these last few months. I’m a sucker for punishment.

Mostly all 4 track 7 1/2 ips but one new quad. My favorite piece, Debussy La Mer by Ormandy. It sounds phenomenal! It is so nice letting the whole thing play through. Just a touch of minute hiss here and there.

I’m still not yet ready to go digital...I have to suss the reel stuff out a bit longer. Reels do take up alot of storage fast.

Next step is to start recording my records to tape...ended up getting a Pickering XUV 4500 that is apparently NOS, but don’t really believe it.

I do need to get a Dolby Adapter for my Sansui QRX 8001, though the built in Sansui high filter works quite good.

Loving the sound.
 

The Quadfather

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Basically what Dolby does is boost the high end during soft passages in the music during recording. When the music is loud, it pulls back to normal and allows the loud music to mask the tape hiss. During play back, it attenuates the high end during the same soft passages, attenuating the tape hiss at the same time. Since the high end was boosted during recording, it is now reduced to normal. During loud passages, the Dolby bows out, allowing the music to be as it was recorded, which will be normal level. The playback end is designed to track the record end precisely. Thus yielding a recording with reduced tape hiss, but normal levels across the band. Also, keeping your head demagnetized will help keep tape hiss at bay. A lot of times, pre recorded tapes will not have been recorded with Dolby, so you wouldn't use it during playback. Well, you can, but it wouldn't sound as good as if it was recorded with Dolby. It will still tamp down the tape hiss, but there won't be hot treble on the tape, so it gets tamped down too.
 

The Quadfather

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As far as how to do 5.1 with vintage gear, I went with two Sansui AU717 stereo amplifiers when I went quad, so when 5.1 came along, I just added another AU717. You can do it with a quad receiver and a stereo amplifier, you want the amplifier to match the power per channel output of the receiver. The extra amp provides for the center speaker and the woofer. I paralleled 2 speakers with large woofers and put them under my front left and front right speakers. I hooked both to the same channel, and hooked the other channel to the center speaker.
The Quadfather
 
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