Ortofon - a miserable failure for CD-4

QuadraphonicQuad

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gene_stl

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Many of the titles that were released in the "original" media , never (yet) have been rereleased on digital and may never be. These media have limited number of plays. CD-4 seems especially susceptible to groove wear. (I was watching a Great Courses DVD about the Beatles which I picked up, and the lecturer from University of Indianna stated that as a young fellow he wore out his copy of Revolver. I used to use my stereo a lot but never have really damaged a vinyle disc very much. But I was a very early adapter of the AR-XA turntable and a good Shure cartridge :rolleyes: ) Tape also does deteriorate with both time and playings so it is good to preserve them. (I admit a selfish motivation. At this late stage I am not going to start collecting the original formats, only files where I can get my feeelthy paws on them)

I find it interesting that some folks get very up in arms about file sharing digitally. I don't recall anyone back in the day saying "You shouldn't make a cassette copy of an LP because you are screwing the artists." I didn't do any of that but my best stereo buddy loved the cassette format. He copied many of my records, and then would play the cassettes for me without telling me to see if I noticed. I never did. He got a laugh out of that.
 

Grajay

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I've had it up to here with the myths. Supposedly Ortofon MC cartridges are capable of CD-4 playback. After years and multiple attempts at trying to achieve this, I've decided I'm done playing the game of insanity of trying to do the same things over and over again and expect some miraculous magical different results.

I declare right here that I am 100 percent confident, without any doubt in my mind, that nothing Ortofon has ever made has the capabilities of playing back CD-4 properly, and anyone who says otherwise likely needs their ears checked.

I know files float around that claim to use some mythical Ortofon setup - does anyone know where they really came from? Has anyone seen the equipment do this? File labels are just that - file labels. Who knows what the hell are on those files.

I've decided I'm done with Ortofon as a company for life after dealing with what feels like years of abuse! I've had it!!!

Research begins NOW on suitable replacements, and I'll be selling it all off. I'm done with them, and their years of false claims that littered the webs with lies, costing me years of countless money and hours to find no truth in!

Sick and tired of advertisers cluttering the world with lies that we have to sort through to find any truth.



TLDR: I spent hours yet again swapping a cartridge, playing with tiny screws, protractors, and tiny tools, and even had to resolder a fucking wire that won't play nice, to determine that yes - the $200 fucking dollar Panasonic demodulator performs equally shitty as every-fucking-thing-else!!!!!!!!!!!


I hate CD-4. Format never did anything good for me! Nothing but a money drain with no payoff!
I've had it up to here with the myths. Supposedly Ortofon MC cartridges are capable of CD-4 playback. After years and multiple attempts at trying to achieve this, I've decided I'm done playing the game of insanity of trying to do the same things over and over again and expect some miraculous magical different results.

I declare right here that I am 100 percent confident, without any doubt in my mind, that nothing Ortofon has ever made has the capabilities of playing back CD-4 properly, and anyone who says otherwise likely needs their ears checked.

I know files float around that claim to use some mythical Ortofon setup - does anyone know where they really came from? Has anyone seen the equipment do this? File labels are just that - file labels. Who knows what the hell are on those files.

I've decided I'm done with Ortofon as a company for life after dealing with what feels like years of abuse! I've had it!!!

Research begins NOW on suitable replacements, and I'll be selling it all off. I'm done with them, and their years of false claims that littered the webs with lies, costing me years of countless money and hours to find no truth in!

Sick and tired of advertisers cluttering the world with lies that we have to sort through to find any truth.



TLDR: I spent hours yet again swapping a cartridge, playing with tiny screws, protractors, and tiny tools, and even had to resolder a fucking wire that won't play nice, to determine that yes - the $200 fucking dollar Panasonic demodulator performs equally shitty as every-fucking-thing-else!!!!!!!!!!!


I hate CD-4. Format never did anything good for me! Nothing but a money drain with no payoff!
Ive had the same working CD4 setup since 1974-75 via a 4dd5 demodulator. very few cartridges work well (without breakups) a larger number will demodulate the outer tracks but give up on the inner tracks. The original JVC X1 was the best back then but it would start to become unreliable at about 2-300 of playing hrs, the Sonos blue also did a reasonable job but very picky with tonearms.regarding modern cartridges I eventually found ( after my last X1 stylus wore out) Audio Technica's atn440mlb stylus on one of their low induction bodies work very well with virtually no breakup at all on my old vinyl. remember as few connections as possible between the cartridge and the demodulator very low capacitance wiring as short as possible ! I use a Mayware formula 4 arm with only the demodulator phono plugs and cartridge plugs the rest I soldered out decades ago. Do it right and you will have Hot Tuna and Sabbath revolving around the room. BTW keep the stylus clean remember back then virtually everyone smoked cigarettes amongst other things so a lot of the vinyl could get pretty gummed up
 

Grajay

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Ive had the same working CD4 setup since 1974-75 via a 4dd5 demodulator. very few cartridges work well (without breakups) a larger number will demodulate the outer tracks but give up on the inner tracks. The original JVC X1 was the best back then but it would start to become unreliable at about 2-300 of playing hrs, the Sonos blue also did a reasonable job but very picky with tonearms.regarding modern cartridges I eventually found ( after my last X1 stylus wore out) Audio Technica's atn440mlb stylus on one of their low induction bodies work very well with virtually no breakup at all on my old vinyl. remember as few connections as possible between the cartridge and the demodulator very low capacitance wiring as short as possible ! I use a Mayware formula 4 arm with only the demodulator phono plugs and cartridge plugs the rest I soldered out decades ago. Do it right and you will have Hot Tuna and Sabbath revolving around the room. BTW keep the stylus clean remember back then virtually everyone smoked cigarettes amongst other things so a lot of the vinyl could get pretty gummed up
PS Also setting up a demodulator without the test record is tough adjusting the screws without the tones on the record a guessing game
regards
 

THX1136

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Yes, the spring fingers with felt pads on them were better but the adhesive dried out on them, too, and the felt would fall off, leaving the tape to be scraped along on the bare fingers, if you didn't notice.

The RCA test tapes we used at Telex always had the spring/felt arrangement, however. They also had superior capstan rollers with a softer gray rubber instead of the harder black rubber and certainly NOT the hard plastic rollers of a lot of commercial tapes.

Doug
Don't doubt your info. I have been fortunate enough to not experience that myself. Thanks Doug!
 

ar surround

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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.

That could be a topic for a new poll (Admins?): People who use a computer vs. external hard drive hooked up to a USB port on a disc player.

A question I've always had is how does one get the signal from a computer to the receiver? Is it tethered with a long HDMI cable or through WiFi? Or some other method? (How did we get here from a topic on a problem with a cartridge for playing CD4?)
 

LuvMyQuad

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A question I've always had is how does one get the signal from a computer to the receiver? Is it tethered with a long HDMI cable or through WiFi? Or some other method? (How did we get here from a topic on a problem with a cartridge for playing CD4?)
I've never used an AVR/AVP with WiFi, so I cant advise on that.

My main system connects to an AVP with an HDMI cable. Its a fanless PC... totally silent. So its located right in the equipment rack. The cable is only a few feet long. The PC is hardwired to the network where the NAS resides.

My bedroom system runs Kodi off of a Firestick. The firestick plugs right into the bedroom AVR's HDMI. It uses WIFI to connect to the NAS.

As for the thread creep, no one ever says "you cant get there from here" on QQ.
 

MidiMagic

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This brings to mind the fruits of my profession. For most of my life, I have been a computer programmer.

Of the several thousand programs I wrote in my lifetime, I would say that fewer than 100 are still in use. The rest were written for computers that are no longer in use. Most of them were written to calculate values people needed at the moment (this was before spreadsheets existed).
 

par4ken

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I find it interesting that some folks get very up in arms about file sharing digitally. I don't recall anyone back in the day saying "You shouldn't make a cassette copy of an LP because you are screwing the artists." I didn't do any of that but my best stereo buddy loved the cassette format. He copied many of my records, and then would play the cassettes for me without telling me to see if I noticed. I never did. He got a laugh out of that.
I agree! It seemed to become more of a "problem" when people were making copies of their cassettes. The sale of dual bay cassette decks and the rise in cassettes popularity may have fueled that. I was never a fan of pre-recorded cassettes but wasn't there a copy protection scheme proposed for cassettes? If memory serves it filtered out a part of the audio signal, if the deck noticed that gap in the frequency spectrum it would not record!

I never understood why the industry was so concerned about file sharing of low quality MP3's! What is the difference between that and just listening to the radio?
 

gene_stl

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Well my friend was enough of an audiophile that if he wanted two of something he would have done two needle drops. He never had a dual cassette
and I can't imagine him doing a cassette copy of a cassette. He did make his own cassette of a concert I taped on R2R.
Copy protection schemes never work. There are always those who regard them as a challenge. The two complete ,well known SACD copying schemes prove that that is still the case.

And many people now want to lift files to put them onto their NAS even if they have purchased the physical disc.

I have heard rumblings about blockchain use as a copy protection method.
 

barfle

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A question I've always had is how does one get the signal from a computer to the receiver? Is it tethered with a long HDMI cable or through WiFi? Or some other method? (How did we get here from a topic on a problem with a cartridge for playing CD4?)
I can’t tell you what other people do, but I have a drobo 5N NAS that is mapped as a drive to my PC, so I can store files on it just as though it were a drive IN my PC. I actually nave three devices in my system that can read the music files on that NAS; my OPPO 105, my Marantz 7701, and my Roku plus. I generally prefer the sound from the OPPO, but the Roku offers “shuffle.” Additionally, I can copy files to a thumb drive and play them through either the OPPO or the Marantz. That is actually the only way I can play DSD files.

Some find the operating system of the OPPO to be beyond what they can tolerate. I find it cumbersome, but useable.
 

Imbobman

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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.



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!
..and when the HDD crushes, all is lost😥
 

The Quadfather

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Hey, Army of Quad, Wow! A lot of anger and disgust in that thread. I love CD-4. As I recall, a Marantz CD400 is a JVC 4DD5 circuit board cased in a fancy wooden box. But that's fine because the 4DD5 is one of the best demodulators out there. You just need a good cart. I have used an Audio Technica AT440MLa for about 15 years now. It plays the CD-4 records just fine, Often, if you were in another room, where you can't hear the separation, you might not even be able to tell the demodulator is even turned on. The AT440MLa is no longer made, but from what I hear the AT440 MLb is just as good, and can still be had, albeit a bit more expensive than it used to be. They both have the microline stylus which is an improvement on the Shibata design. But be aware, in the advertised specs, you would never guess it was capable of playing a CD-4 record in quad. The bandwidth specs just don't make sense. 20KHZ max. But believe me, it will do the trick. Also, from what I hear, Audio Technica has a newer cart that is similar, that is more widebanded, and has the microline stylus. Haven't tried it though, but it looks promising. Plus, as a bonus, the stylii are long lasting. I'm on my second one with no sign of it wearing out. Happy Listening!
 

Quad D

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Hey, Army of Quad, Wow! A lot of anger and disgust in that thread. I love CD-4. As I recall, a Marantz CD400 is a JVC 4DD5 circuit board cased in a fancy wooden box. But that's fine because the 4DD5 is one of the best demodulators out there. You just need a good cart. I have used an Audio Technica AT440MLa for about 15 years now. It plays the CD-4 records just fine, Often, if you were in another room, where you can't hear the separation, you might not even be able to tell the demodulator is even turned on. The AT440MLa is no longer made, but from what I hear the AT440 MLb is just as good, and can still be had, albeit a bit more expensive than it used to be. They both have the microline stylus which is an improvement on the Shibata design. But be aware, in the advertised specs, you would never guess it was capable of playing a CD-4 record in quad. The bandwidth specs just don't make sense. 20KHZ max. But believe me, it will do the trick. Also, from what I hear, Audio Technica has a newer cart that is similar, that is more widebanded, and has the microline stylus. Haven't tried it though, but it looks promising. Plus, as a bonus, the stylii are long lasting. I'm on my second one with no sign of it wearing out. Happy Listening!
It is the VM540ML, I tested it for CD-4 and it works very well.
Happy listening!
 

boondocks

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Well the only cart /stylus I ever owned for CD-4 was made by Audio technica and was purchased in the early '70's, although my daughter drug the tone arm across a record and killed the original shibata type stylus, which I was able to replace from a SEWING SHOP with a sign on the door that they also sold TT gear. lol.
Don't remember the model numbers of anything, but it worked perfectly with my Kenwood AVR with the rear slide-in demodulator.
The demodulator was a real bitch to keep balanced, however and required frequent adjustments, this I do remember, but when it was set up right it worked perfectly. For a while, anyway.
 
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