• QuadraphonicQuad welcomes you and encourages your participation! Treat all members with respect. Please keep all discussions civil, even when you have a strong opinion on a particular topic.

    Do not offer for free, offer for sale, offer for trade, or request copies or files of copyrighted material - no matter how rare or unavailable to the public they might be. We do not condone the illegal sharing of music. There are many places on the internet where you can participate in such transactions, but QuadraphonicQuad is not one of them. We are here to encourage and support new multichannel releases from those companies that still provide them and as such the distribution of illegal copies of recordings is counter-productive to that effort. Any posts of this sort will be deleted without notification.

    Please try to avoid discussions that pit one format against another. Hint for new users: make liberal use of the search facilities here at QuadraphonicQuad. Our message base is an incredibly rich resource of detailed information on virtually all topics pertaining to surround-sound. You will be surprised at what you can find with a little digging!

Q8 Tape Player Gallery!

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
15,796
Location
Connecticut
Quad Tape, either 8 Track or Reel, and CD-4 LPs are the only discrete legacy quad systems. With these 3 formats, the 4 channels remain separate throughout the entire audio route from the playback source to the speakers.

SQ, QS, RM, DY, etc, the 'matrix' systems, which could be used on LP, tape, cassette, or any other medium, take the 4 independant channels, encode them to stereo, then put them on an LP or tape or whatever as a standard 2 channel stereo track. When played back on a 2 Channel playback device, a matrix decoder then takes the encoded stereo audio, which is really the ixed up 4 channels crammed into 2 channels, and attempts to split them back into the 4 original channels. No matter how good the encoder and decoder were, in the 1970's, the 4 channels would never and could never be again totaly separated to the point that they were before they were encoded. In the late '70s, improved SQ decoders were sold (Tate, Audionics, etc), but the source material still suffered from the limitations of the early matrix encoders. You could never improve the encoding without reissuing all of the released titles again using a new improved encoder. That never happened.

So, not considering the audio playback fidelity, (because an SQ LP obviously will have better audio fidelity than an 8 track tape), the matrix systems never gave the listener "quad" that was as good as the discrete systems. It was the nature of the beast.

The following visual example of the Dark Side of the Moon saga on Q8 shows what I mean. The US Q8 was sourced with a decoded martrix mix, while the UK Q8 was totally discrete

uk_ds.jpg
us_ds.jpg
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
15,796
Location
Connecticut
So Quad 8 cartridges being both discrete and lacking the problems associated with the CD-4 system should be a quad format superior to any of the vinyl ones?

:confused:
Superior in QUAD, not superior in fidelity.
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
My apologies, Hepcat. I didn't answer your entire question. I also took your question to infer that one would be decoding quad tapes, which I fear you hadn't intended. Yes, you'd be correct about separation between channels. You're part right, and part wrong. Here's a more complete response:

1- Any Quad tape, Q8 or Q4 should offer BETTER channel separation than matrix vinyl Quad formats. You were correct in this aspect. The only exception is a Q8 that was first decoded from an encoded source, which are rare. The US Q8 of Dark Side is derived from an SQ encoded source and was decoded before being dubbed to the Q8. It's separation would be equivalent to the UK SQ vinyl. The UK Q8 is dubbed from a discrete source. The UK Q8 only would provide superior separation.

2- Q4 reels generally have better fidelity than Quad vinyl. Q8's always have inferior fidelity to Quad vinyl. The frequency response of the 8 track format is less than vinyl. There are also other issues that come into play such as wow & flutter, or speed variation. Tape hiss, or the noise threshold is worse on Q8 than Quad vinyl. The alignment of the tape head can also create anomalies on a discrete Quad tape, although not as severe as on a matrix encoded tape.

Back in the day, Q8 was my preferred format, being discrete, and having the widest selection of titles. Many weren't available on Quad vinyl. Fewer were available on Q4 reels. In early 1979, after the Quad era, I began to listen through separates (preamp, power amp(s) and a moving coil phono cartridge. A couple years later, I managed an high end hi-fi salon. My consciousness was raised, and I became a far more critical listener. Truly, Q8 could never approach that kind of fidelity. Hence, I began to reacquire all the titles I owned on Q8 on Quad vinyl, where the Quad vinyl existed. Yes, the Quad vinyl has some inherent compromises: Less separation on matrix. A more limited frequency rage (15k) on CD-4. Still, through high-end equipment or even most components, Quad vinyl is superior in fidelity to Q8.

I hope this more thoroughly answers your questions. You were partly right and partly wrong. So, I should apologize. Obviously, if you had intended to infer that Q8's are encoded, rather than discrete, that would be incorrect.

So Quad 8 cartridges being both discrete and lacking the problems associated with the CD-4 system should be a quad format superior to any of the vinyl ones?

:confused:
 

Q8Quad8

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
10
Why not? What's wrong with them?

:confused:
I personally found that the Akai was and is a better robust all a round deck not to say that the 855 is lacking but time is their worst enemy on the caps now if one was to spend the time to totally recap the unit the sound would be much better with that said it still has the weak motor issue.
Just my own opinion.

CC
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
I'll second that on the Panasonic. I have owned them and sold them. The panasonics are nice, but the Akai has a far more powerful motor. Refer to my earlier post in this thread.
I personally found that the Akai was and is a better robust all a round deck not to say that the 855 is lacking but time is their worst enemy on the caps now if one was to spend the time to totally recap the unit the sound would be much better with that said it still has the weak motor issue.
Just my own opinion.

CC
 

Hepcat

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Toronto
Now my understanding is that these Q8 decks would still need to be fed into a quadraphonic amplifier such as this one whose picture I lifted off the net:



Would they also work well with present day multi-channel receivers?

:confused:
 
Last edited:

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
They will only work with today's MC receivers if the receiver has 6ch analog inputs. Adding tape, decoders, and a demodulator to modern gear will provide the best of both worlds. I'm doing that on my two main systems. Connect to FL, FR, RL and RR connections. Leave the center and sub connections empty.

That Sansui is a beauty! It's both rare and one of the few black pieces from that era. 2 Quad tape inputs, 2 phono, 2 aux & a 2ch tape input. What is its' power rating? Is the level set control for the tape loops?
 

Hepcat

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Toronto
That Sansui is a beauty! It's both rare and one of the few black pieces from that era. 2 Quad tape inputs, 2 phono, 2 aux & a 2ch tape input. What is its' power rating? Is the level set control for the tape loops?
Sadly it isn't mine. I just lifted the picture off the net.

They will only work with today's MC receivers if the receiver has 6ch analog inputs. Adding tape, decoders, and a demodulator to modern gear will provide the best of both worlds. I'm doing that on my two main systems.
Are you really sure you're getting the "best of both worlds" with all that stuff all hooked together? Would not one 1980 vintage quad amplifier designed for precisely that job do it better?

:confused:
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
Maybe you're right. Anyone want to trade an old Electrophonic Quad compact for my B&K 7.1 THX Ultra preamp, 2 power amps, 4 Mission full-range towers and REL sub? If you have a color organ and/or black light, I might throw in my SH-3433 scope, CR-80DSS, SQD-2020 and 4DD5. I'm not sure that I do want to trade, but i'm seriously entertaining the idea. :smack:

Are you really sure you're getting the "best of both worlds" with all that stuff all hooked together? Would not one 1980 vintage quad amplifier designed for precisely that job do it better?

:confused:
 

Hepcat

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Toronto
Come on. You know as well as anyone that more expensive doesn't equate to "better" when it comes to audio equipment. There's only a tenuous relationship between the two concepts. The proof of the pudding is in the listening and in this case you would want to compare a 1980's amp designed for precisely that purpose against a modern amp supplemented with a demodulator, adapter and whatever else in a blind listening test.

:phones
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
You must be right. All the other gear I sold in the quad era and the modern 5.1 era are all better than my main system now. It must be the worst of the 5 systems I currently own, and worse than the 20 systems that I've owned over the years. You're right. My ears are bum and I'm just some stupid woman who doesn't know any better. Perhaps I'll compare it to the Sony home theater in a box I inherited from my Dad. It will surely sound better than my separates.

Although this is a beautiful, very nice Quad piece, I find it ludicrous that its' 15W x 4 will outperform my modern separates at 250W x2, 200W x3, and 300W sub. The Sansui might not sound better in the blind listening test, but it likely would in the deaf listening test.



Come on. You know as well as anyone that more expensive doesn't equate to "better" when it comes to audio equipment. There's only a tenuous relationship between the two concepts. The proof of the pudding is in the listening and in this case you would want to compare a 1980's amp designed for precisely that purpose against a modern amp supplemented with a demodulator, adapter and whatever else in a blind listening test.

:phones
 

Hepcat

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Toronto
Then I scored my Akai for $75. I thought something was odd when the auction mentioned "The rubber drive wheel has melted away".

Wait a tick, 8-track players don't have rubber drive wheels! I bid, got it and as I suspected, somebody had at one point in time shoved in a tape that self destructed. Cleaned out a TON of gunk, a lot of old tape, threw on a new belt and it's been golden ever since. Records GREAT too.
Good thinking! Great score.

(y)
 

Hepcat

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Toronto
You must be right.
About what? I've made very few statements on this page.

All the other gear I sold in the quad era and the modern 5.1 era are all better than my main system now. It must be the worst of the 5 systems I currently own, and worse than the 20 systems that I've owned over the years. You're right. My ears are bum and I'm just some stupid woman who doesn't know any better. Perhaps I'll compare it to the Sony home theater in a box I inherited from my Dad. It will surely sound better than my separates.
Sarcasm will get you nowhere. Neither will deaf listening tests. A blind listening test would be interesting though, particularly at a comparable price point.

Although this is a beautiful, very nice Quad piece, I find it ludicrous that its' 15W x 4 will outperform my modern separates at 250W x2, 200W x3, and 300W sub. The Sansui might not sound better in the blind listening test, but it likely would in the deaf listening test.
Might not the fact that the Sansui wouldn't need a demodulator, adapter or whatever else serve as an equalizer? Should not less massaging of the input lead to a less "muddy" sound?

:confused:
 

fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
23,232
Location
London, England
You must be right. All the other gear I sold in the quad era and the modern 5.1 era are all better than my main system now. It must be the worst of the 5 systems I currently own, and worse than the 20 systems that I've owned over the years. You're right. My ears are bum and I'm just some stupid woman who doesn't know any better. Perhaps I'll compare it to the Sony home theater in a box I inherited from my Dad. It will surely sound better than my separates.

Although this is a beautiful, very nice Quad piece, I find it ludicrous that its' 15W x 4 will outperform my modern separates at 250W x2, 200W x3, and 300W sub. The Sansui might not sound better in the blind listening test, but it likely would in the deaf listening test.
your system must sound AMAZING..!!!

what models are your Mission floorstanders?
I had some little Mission 760i standmounters back in '92 that were incredible for their size!

my current subs an REL too and is really excellent, with nice punchy bass without ever sounding overblown.. but its just a 50W job as my listening rooms too small for much more oomph! your 200Watts one must be incredible!

I don't see why you would ever need to upgrade again! Perfecto! :D
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
I'm rarely sarcastic toward anyone here, if ever. I'm often sarcastic in describing software, etc. Your comments seem to imply that you're an expert. Regarding what's available at the moment, or conversions, many guys here are far more expert than I. Regarding software, and technical aspects of gear in the Quad era, I'll match my knowledge to virtually anyone on this forum. I believe there are more than a few members that would agree with that statement. Disclord probably knows more about Quad and 5.1 decoders than anyone on the planet! A listening test, blind or otherwise is something that is always telling. Your comments appear to be based in a deaf listening test, namely no test at all.

I simply think that comparing pieces that are tens of thousands of dollars apart is ridiculous. Even if the expensive stuff is not a good value for its cost, which the B&K separates are a good value, it still would outperform something that cost a few hundred dollars forty years ago.

The Sansui is NOT an '80's piece, as you purport. It was in their line from '73-'76, the height of the Quad era. I was a Sansui dealer back then. I sold and/or have owned virtually every Quad piece ever made. Likely you had no idea of that. And I've A/B'ed most of them. I also sold modern 5.1 systems and designed custom A/V systems in some of the most lavish homes in Chicago & the Northern suburbs. I was trained & certified specifically for that.

Perhaps when you made your intial comment, you were unfamiliar with the equipment I own. That may be understandable. I truly feel that your comments had insulted my intelligence and expertise. I'm sure you didn't mean to. Likely I've done more A/B's and blind comparisons than you'll ever do in your lifetime, even if you do 10 a day for the rest of your life. So, yes, I understand the purpose of listening tests.

Is the preamp in my main system the best ever made? Of course not. Is it better than any Quad equipment ever made? Absolutely. Can it decode better than any Quad decoder ever made? Not with what's built in. With the best Sansui, Tate or Sony full-logic decoder, it will decode at least as well as any Quad piece ever made. I owned a Marantz 4400, which is considered by many to be the best Quad receiver ever. My current system runs rings around that in every way, except the SQ decoder. My Sony SQD-2020 would be equivalent to the full logic Marantz SQA-2 module, which I have installed in another Marantz piece I currently own.

In the Quad era, there were better separate power amps than I own now, though very few. And none of them were made expressly for Quad. No Quad preamp or integrated amp will outperform my modern $3000 preamp. Lots of modern surround ones will, and they are all at least $6000.

In conclusion, gather whatever gear you think is best, and visit American Sound of Toronto, Toronto Home of Audiophile, Audio Excellence, Living Sound Stereo, Planet of Sound, Hifi fo fum, Great Metropolitan Sound or any of the quality hifi dealers in and around Toronto. Bring in your Marantz, Monitor Audio, Thorens and Ortofon gear (all of which is very nice, BTW), and see what outperforms it.



Sarcasm will get you nowhere. Neither will deaf listening tests. A blind listening test would be interesting though, particularly at a comparable price point.
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
Thanks, fred,

It's all listed on my profile. The Missions are 4 775 towers, w/a timbre matched center. The REL is a T-9, 300W, w/an active and a passive 10". Like much of my software, I bought the REL the first day it was available. I had auditioned several other subs before choosing that. I had a Mission AS-300 sub before that, but the REL goes lower and is far more linear in its response. You're right, never overblown. British speakers are the best, although other Euro, US and Canadian speakers are pretty hot, too. I've been using Ortofon moving coil for 35 years. Many say it's bright, and that's true. It is as warm in the mids as anything I've heard.

I hope to upgrade to a better Ortofon MC cartridge, and either a VPI Scout or Rek-o-Kut transcription turntable soon. And a dedicated phono preamp, most of which I need to sit and seriously evaluate. On the advice of my friends at Music Direct, and many of the guys here, I think upgrading my Sony Blu-Ray to an Oppo is in order. The hifi addiction never stops.

your system must sound AMAZING..!!!

what models are your Mission floorstanders?
I had some little Mission 760i standmounters back in '92 that were incredible for their size!

my current subs an REL too and is really excellent, with nice punchy bass without ever sounding overblown.. but its just a 50W job as my listening rooms too small for much more oomph! your 200Watts one must be incredible!

I don't see why you would ever need to upgrade again! Perfecto! :D
 

fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
23,232
Location
London, England
those Monitor Audio's that hepcat has are superb speakers!

I was over at a friend of the families a couple of weeks ago and they had a 7.1 system comprising of the same MA rs8 silver floorstanders at the front, the matching centre, 2 pairs of the rxfx's (or whatever they're called that looked very neat with their bipole/dipole arrangement!? not sure which!) and a pretty compact MA sub..

the whole thing was a powerhouse!

slightly wasted (imho) on their Sony ES receiver but still it sounded terrific! certainly not bass-shy! effects were flying all over the room with those clever little rears!

the speakers looked rather pretty too, which is no mean feat for monsters like those RS8's, so many bigger speakers look so fugly!
 

Quad Linda

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
8,206
Location
DROP YOUR WAD ON QUAD Chicago, Illinois
Absolutely right, fred, and I said is much about Hepcat owning nice gear. My issues were that old Quad gear is not automatically better than everything. Much of it is superb and still works well. The build quality on most of it is better than anything reasonably priced that's been made since. Yet, there is some incredible sounding, well built gear today, especially at the higher price points.
those Monitor Audio's that hepcat has are superb speakers!
 
2
Group builder
Top