Ortofon - a miserable failure for CD-4

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fredblue

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I got surprisingly good results, on test record rear channels identification was clear and distinct from front. So far, I am finding less problems than expected on CD-4, I got Grace F-9 and several Grado vintage ellipticals (Special Grado stylus) that work, even V15 III works in my setup, not best separation but no distortion also. Blue sounded OK on CD-4, my issue with this Ortofon is more the basic Blue sound is not my taste, not the inability to play CD-4 well.
sounds great! (y) πŸ™‚
good luck with it all, it sounds like its going really well πŸ₯³
 

fredblue

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I have one torture CD-4 record, totally worn out Doobie Brothers Captain and Me (ebay VG condition...:)), and AT VM540 just sails through it like it is a normal record. That is where it earned my respect. I never tried vintage AT's from the CD-4 era, so I can't say how they compare.
I don't use AT as my primary cart. though, I prefer the sound of other cartridges I have.
there are a number of CD-4 discs i'd label torture under any circumstances, including but not limited to Barry Manilow's "This One's For You", Stanley Turrentine "Pieces Of Dreams" and Duke Ellington "New Orleans Suite", if you can get all the way through those with minimum distortion and maximum separation you're a winner of life in Surround!! πŸ₯³πŸ€©πŸ†
 

J. PUPSTER

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i've used one of the VM540ML's predecessors, the AT440MLb, for CD-4 for years and while its not bad at all and perfectly serviceable it isn't a match for a proper vintage AT CD-4 cart and Shibata stylus. fwiw i use an old AT15Sa for CD-4 now and prefer it to the 440, it is less forgiving of discs in rougher shape than the 440MLb but on a good disc its a marvel and outperforms it imho.
You read my mind 🧠 or versy vice

there are a number of CD-4 discs i'd label torture under any circumstances, Stanley Turrentine "Pieces Of Dreams"
That's got a weird mix IMO, heck I like it better with the Fronts & Rears swapped YMMV
:QQlove
 

fredblue

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You read my mind 🧠 or versy vice


That's got a weird mix IMO, heck I like it better with the Fronts & Rears swapped YMMV
:QQlove
yes, Mister P! its our telepatheticness at work again!! πŸ’‘πŸ’™πŸ’‘ 🐢

tbh i think that's the main problem with it, the mix doesn't play to the strengths of CD-4 at all; you've got the dry lead instrument in the Rears and that same lead instrument at similar volume level but reverbed in the Fronts (the total opposite of what you'd expect!) creating a kind of lead instrument all-round mix but with a super-delicate balance in all directions.. its beautiful music but a bizarre mix.. if everything isn't setup 100% (and i mean absolutely everything!) everything turntable-related, demodulator levels, channel output levels,.. all the way to your speaker levels and distances, even your listening position (the works, you name it!) that mix will output as skewed, with the lead instrument either feeling off to one side or too much upfront or behind you.. and then there's the distortion.. keeping that at bay while juggling the separation balls is the challenge.. its an unbelievably finicky disc to get right. tbh i'm not sure i ever have but that doesn't stop me playing with it! πŸ˜‚
 

fredblue

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Thanks......test record is critical, without that it would be much harder.
true, fwiw though some CD-4 adjustment discs were recorded faulty at the factory and totally useless.
i can't remember the catalogue number off the top of my head, i'll check later but at least one of the JVC 7-inch 45 variations and any derivatives thereof are no good for setting up a demodulator.

tbh if you have one of the later auto carrier lock models (e.g. Marantz CD-400B, Braun Quadro. i have both) you don't really need a setup disc, although they can still be helpful for fine-tuning, if you just put on the first track from the Doobies "Toulouse Street" or the first track from The Spinners' Self-titled album with the Front Channels turned off and turn the separation pots until the lead vocals all-but (not totally) disappear from the Rear channels and you're (hopefully!) in business! 🀩
 

Quad D

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true, fwiw though some CD-4 adjustment discs were recorded faulty at the factory and totally useless.
i can't remember the catalogue number off the top of my head, i'll check later but at least one of the JVC 7-inch 45 variations and any derivatives thereof are no good for setting up a demodulator.

tbh if you have one of the later auto carrier lock models (e.g. Marantz CD-400B, Braun Quadro. i have both) you don't really need a setup disc, although they can still be helpful for fine-tuning, if you just put on the first track from the Doobies "Toulouse Street" or the first track from The Spinners' Self-titled album with the Front Channels turned off and turn the separation pots until the lead vocals all-but (not totally) disappear from the Rear channels and you're (hopefully!) in business! 🀩
I use the Quadradisc CD-4 test record, it has the channel orientation test with voice and test tone to test the separation. If the voice clearly comes from the speaker it is supposed to, without coming from other speaker as well (usually on the same side, L or R), decoding is good. The less the spillover front-back, the better the cartridge. It was difficult at first, but now I got the hang of it. Sometimes I use headphones to fine tune levels left-right in both front and back (separation knobs affect it, especially for the fronts). Also, carrier level often affects high frequency reproduction (higher level-less treble), so it is better not to rely on distortion free test tone on carrier test, but to keep it as low as possible or little bit higher to have the CD-4 light reliably illuminated.
 

kap'n krunch

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about the OP, funny that your Ortofon stylus is not working cause IIRC it's Ortofon stylii that are the industry standard when CUTTING the original lathe...
as you guys know I am an Ortofon freak and my OMP30 (a $300 fine line)is still alive and well after DOZENS of LP sides and I LOVE its sound, bright but not brittle and quite the experience!
The thing is that I have never bothered with CD-4 mostly because of the 15K cutoff and I LOOOve those cillia tingling high frequencies!!! I am more of an SQ/QS man...
There is a member who has done MIRACLES with CD-4 LPs which has led me to believe that you need to invest a lot of dough and time to do it right!
 

fredblue

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I use the Quadradisc CD-4 test record, it has the channel orientation test with voice and test tone to test the separation. If the voice clearly comes from the speaker it is supposed to, without coming from other speaker as well (usually on the same side, L or R), decoding is good. The less the spillover front-back, the better the cartridge. It was difficult at first, but now I got the hang of it. Sometimes I use headphones to fine tune levels left-right in both front and back (separation knobs affect it, especially for the fronts). Also, carrier level often affects high frequency reproduction (higher level-less treble), so it is better not to rely on distortion free test tone on carrier test, but to keep it as low as possible or little bit higher to have the CD-4 light reliably illuminated.
most adjustment discs suggest turning the Fronts down first, then adjusting the separation controls to remove Front channel information from the Rears only and it does seem easier than having all channels active at once but there's definitely more than one way to skin the CD-4 cat and if you have a method you prefer that's great.

the CD-4 carrier is a bit of a red herring i think at least on the JVC 4DD-5 demodulator because i've had that 30kHz tone beeping away clear as a bell and then actual discs with music on demodulated like heck and other times its been squawky and distorted and music discs have demodulated well πŸ™ƒ
 

J. PUPSTER

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hope it's not too far off topic, but I'll also mention something I've wondered about CD-4 LP is; could there be some stampers that just had some (relatively) imperfect surfaces that would cause some of the sandpaper type issues? If that is so, then certain LPs might have the issues at similar points; where as one person with the same run would have those issues like another person at that spot on the LP?
Anyone do studies of anything like this? Or I could be completely off my rocker here! :unsure:
 

Quad D

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hope it's not too far off topic, but I'll also mention something I've wondered about CD-4 LP is; could there be some stampers that just had some (relatively) imperfect surfaces that would cause some of the sandpaper type issues? If that is so, then certain LPs might have the issues at similar points; where as one person with the same run would have those issues like another person at that spot on the LP?
Anyone do studies of anything like this? Or I could be completely off my rocker here! :unsure:
Most of sandpaper effect comes from the inability of stylus to track ultrasonic information in the groove, and distortion overwhelmes the demodulator, especially if it is cut unreasonably loud on the LP.
 

fredblue

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about the OP, funny that your Ortofon stylus is not working cause IIRC it's Ortofon stylii that are the industry standard when CUTTING the original lathe...
as you guys know I am an Ortofon freak and my OMP30 (a $300 fine line)is still alive and well after DOZENS of LP sides and I LOVE its sound, bright but not brittle and quite the experience!
The thing is that I have never bothered with CD-4 mostly because of the 15K cutoff and I LOOOve those cillia tingling high frequencies!!! I am more of an SQ/QS man...
There is a member who has done MIRACLES with CD-4 LPs which has led me to believe that you need to invest a lot of dough and time to do it right!
in terms of fidelity they have achieved absolute wonders, not taking anything away from them at all, however once you dig into the individual channels, you can see in terms of separation and cross-channel cancellation, there's not much more than a common or garden demodulator and turntable setup could achieve. i think this is largely because they have reached the limitations of the CD-4 spec and mainly of many domestic CD-4 pressings.

that said, some of the U.S. CD-4 LPs are quite impressive given the times and quality control therein (especially if you don't compare them to some of the later Japanese-only discs!)

ahh.. i used to be able to hear 15kHz but i doubt i can nowadays. thank you Gloria Gaynor for knackering my eardrums - and my kneecaps!! ah well it was fun puttin' on ma ma ma ma ma boogie shoes! to hell with the mobility, the hearing, the cash.. you can't take it with you! πŸŒˆπŸŽ‰πŸ’ƒπŸΎπŸ˜…
 

fredblue

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hope it's not too far off topic, but I'll also mention something I've wondered about CD-4 LP is; could there be some stampers that just had some (relatively) imperfect surfaces that would cause some of the sandpaper type issues? If that is so, then certain LPs might have the issues at similar points; where as one person with the same run would have those issues like another person at that spot on the LP?
Anyone do studies of anything like this? Or I could be completely off my rocker here! :unsure:
i don't know but you might be onto something! "Godspell" was one of the Arista's where several of us encountered skips in the same places.

however, if you try out multiple copies of the same CD-4 album (as i am accustomed to πŸ™ƒ ) you can get different distortions in different places from copy to copy!

even sealed CD-4's can play worse than used discs of the same title! (this is after multiple cleanings and multiple plays through and with no changes made to turntable or demodulator setup between discs)
 

Wathen1955

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Interesting topic and conversion. I have all my original equipment from the 70's:
Pioneer SX-525 (don't laugh)
Pioneer QL-600 (as shown in my avatar)
JVC_4DD-5
Audio Technica AT-12s
I actually 2 Audio Technica AT-12s. I kept one that was never used in the 70's when I had my equipment working. When I got married, I pretty much boxed up all my equipment until 2020 when I retired. When putting it back together, my original stylus was broken (i.e. the tip had broken off). Probably due to all my moving when I was young and foolish.

Anyway, when I got it put back together, it brought back memories of getting the alignment correct which is a fucking PITA to say the least. I still have "some" noise from the discrete LP's including very faint cross-talk, but when I was in my 20's, it sounded great and kicked ass.
 

Imbobman

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And when you die, your relic-tives take it all to a pawnshop. So much for posterior.
I will 2nd that!
I don't want to sound like a real downer here but as bleak as that statement by MidiMagic may sound, that's the reality, or something close to that, in many, many situations.
There was a time I bought into the 'posterior sake' sort of thing but no longer. It's more wishful thinking.
Enjoy it now while you can because You can't take it with you or even send it a head..... & often times the next of kin are ignorant of a things 'True worth' or just overwhelmed by it all.... Yes, I know it's sort of sad.
I speak from first-hand experiences.....
 
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fredblue

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I will 2nd that!
I don't want to sound like a real downer here but as bleak as that statement by MidiMagic may sound, that's the reality, or something close to that, in many, many situations.
There was a time I bought into the 'posterior sake' argument but no longer.
Enjoy it now while you can because You can't take it with you or even send it a head..... & often times the next of kin are just overwhelmed by it all....
I speak from first-hand experiences.....
so so true... πŸ‘
i've barely mentioned it on QQ over the years because its only been relevant to the conversation here once or twice but alongside all the music i've hoovered up in my life, i've amassed a fairly sizeable games collection (incl. Sega MegaDrive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx, Super Nintendo, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation 1-3, Microsoft XBox & XBox 360, UK/European, American and Japanese titles, that kinda thing). i've never stopped to count but there's got to be over 1,000 games in all. i've no-one to leave it to and no desire to play any of it again so i'm thinking this might be the time to flog it all off while its worth something,
before i croak it and it all gets unceremoniously chucked on the skip! πŸ˜‚ the music will probably go the same way, so balls i'm making the most of it now! let's Rock!! πŸ₯³
 

Quad D

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I hope everyone who goes to all the trouble to collect the ancient formats, and tease the correct performance out of 40 and 50 year old hardware to play them, is making sure to make discreet multichannel rips and needle drops for posterity. and send them to me please!!! :LOL: :LOL: :rolleyes:
You got me to think, what would be the medium to store these needle drops for posterity? Let alone that I don't know how to make discrete multichannel digital recordings (two channel is easy). YouTube can make things immortal, but I don't think there is a way to upload multichannel content in discrete form (put aside the copyright issues for now). And who has the ability to play discrete multichannel recordings on PC, I would guess only slightly larger number of people than the numbers listening CD-4 quad directly :D .
 

Sonik Wiz

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You got me to think, what would be the medium to store these needle drops for posterity?
That has changed over the years based on my experience at QQ. Go back far enough & people were using 4 ch R2R to preserve their quad LP's. But a real breakthrough was DTS software that let a user save MCH analog audio in a discrete digital format. Probably the preferred format today would be 24 bit at 48/96 sample rate FLAC. I use a Delta 1010 box to convert needle drops but most people here will use a newer USB interface box like MOTU or Behringer.

And who has the ability to play discrete multichannel recordings on PC, I would guess only slightly larger number of people than the numbers listening CD-4 quad directly

Most people do not use a PC for play back of these files. I don't. More commonly they are saved to an external HDD or put on a flash drive or stored a NAS. This then hooks up to the USB port on a disc spinner like an Oppo or Sony, and the files are played back through that device.

There are many, many, posts on this topic ready for you to read & soak up. The search tool is your friend!
 

MidiMagic

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hope it's not too far off topic, but I'll also mention something I've wondered about CD-4 LP is; could there be some stampers that just had some (relatively) imperfect surfaces that would cause some of the sandpaper type issues? If that is so, then certain LPs might have the issues at similar points; where as one person with the same run would have those issues like another person at that spot on the LP?
Anyone do studies of anything like this? Or I could be completely off my rocker here! :unsure:
Actually, that would be a sign of a stamper wearing out. They get noisier as they continue to be used.
 
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LuvMyQuad

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Most people do not use a PC for play back of these files. I don't. More commonly they are saved to an external HDD or put on a flash drive or stored a NAS. This then hooks up to the USB port on a disc spinner like an Oppo or Sony, and the files are played back through that device.
This is debatable. There are many here that use a PC (or apple or Android device) for playback, often running Foobar, Kodi, Jriver and/or other media players. I could never go back to the rudimentary OSD and navigation capabilities of something like an Oppo.
 
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