Quadraphonic Recordings

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sjcorne

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That's a pretty broad question - I'll do my best to give a detailed answer, but in short your best options for old quad LPs or tapes are eBay and Discogs.

The first thing you should do is check out Mark Anderson's Quadraphonic Discography, which has become a sort of bible for quad collectors. Get a feel for what's available in quad and what titles you might want to pursue.

Your QRX-6001 includes decoding circuitry for SQ and QS matrix-encoded LPs. The major downside to matrix-encoded quad is that you're hearing a somewhat inferior version of the quad mix for a given title - it's impossible to fully separate the original discrete four channels after they've been mixed together with a studio encoder, so on playback you'll hear information intended for the rear channels leaking into the fronts at something like 50-75% volume, and vice versa. How much separation between front/rear (and left/right) you get out of the LPs depends on a number of factors - how much separation was in the original quad mix prior to the encode/decode process, which matrix system was used, and how good your decoder is.

You're in good shape for QS, as the Sansui QRX-x001 units contain the circuitry for the single-band QS 'Variomatrix' decoder (also available in the QSD-2 standalone unit). The only better QS decoders are the Sansui QSD-1 and the Involve Audio Surround Master, both of which offer tri-band decoding.

For SQ, you're not in quite as good shape. The Sansui receiver has a SQ decoder with 'front-to-back' logic that won't yield much separation between the front and rear channels. The later 'full-logic' or 'wave-matching' decoders, such as the Lafayette SQ-W and Sony SQD-2020, offer more separation. The gold standard for hardware SQ decoding is the Fosgate Tate II, but those units are hard to come by and generally on the expensive side. Involve Audio's Surround Master unit also does a solid SQ decode - some say it's comparable with the Fosgate unit, but I disagree.

As for your quad reel-to-reel unit, I haven't begun collecting quad reels myself as they tend to be incredibly rare and expensive. Desirable titles from WEA such as Black Sabbath's Paranoid and Deep Purple's Machine Head have sold in excess of $300 on eBay in the past. The quad 8-track tapes are much less expensive, but there's a lot of baggage with those - obviously you'll need to invest in another piece of vintage equipment (a quad 8-track tape deck), some technical knowledge is required in repairing the internal winding of the tapes prior to playback, and sometimes the sound quality can be subpar (speed warble, wow/flutter, dropouts, etc). But the great thing about the tape formats is that you're hearing the quad mixes in their discrete form, exactly as the engineers intended.
 
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4-earredwonder

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In my VERY honest opinion, dsk3331, you are missing the boat by exclusively adhering to older technologies which are not only prohibitively expensive [Quad Open Reels, even problematic Q8s] by not simply investing in a Universal Blu Ray or 4K Universal Player capable of playing ALL digital formats which are still readily available and will offer fidelity far exceeding 1970's software technology.

And what better place to start your quest than QuadraphonicQuadForums very own Poll section https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/TabbedPollChart.htm

When you start beholding the prices for 1970's software technology and since you are only capable of presently decoding QS discs [the majority of VINYL software was SQ and CD~4], the expense of even used vinyl, QUAD Open Reels and even Q8's will be stratospheric and could easily be spent upgrading your Sansui non HDMI capable receiver and even pay for the BD/4K Universal UPGRADE, as well.
 
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sjcorne

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Two major caveats with the above post:
1) The majority of quadraphonic recordings have not been released on digital formats (only 95 out of CBS' almost 400 quad releases are available digitally), and I fear many never will be.
2) Much like the old quad software, many of the best digital surround releases are long out-of-print and command incredibly high prices

In my opinion, if content that one enjoys has been mixed into surround and released in some form, it's worth seeking out and hearing - regardless of the limitations of old technology.
 

4-earredwonder

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Two major caveats with the above post:
1) The majority of quadraphonic recordings have not been released on digital formats (only 95 out of CBS' almost 400 quad releases are available digitally), and I fear many never will be.
2) Much like the old quad software, many of the best digital surround releases are long out-of-print and command incredibly high prices

In my opinion, if content that one enjoys has been mixed into surround and released in some form, it's worth seeking out and hearing - regardless of the limitations of old technology.
And the main caveat with your post, Jonathan......Yes, a lot of older Vinyl matrix and CD~4 and even QS titles have NOT been released in a digital format but starting from scratch as dsk3331 is, and due to the fact that even CURRENT DIGITAL SURROUND PHYSICAL DISCS ARE either ALL LIMITED EDITIONS or are OOP, shouldn't a compromise be reached so that he can at least enjoy the best of both worlds.

Conversely, a lot of CURRENTLY Remixed Discs [not from the QUAD era] are NOT available in Q8, QR or matrixed vinyl configurations including BD~A concerts, etc. and will be excluded from dsk3331's potential playlist.

And NOT a single poster on this forum after hearing a well conceived DIGITAL SURROUND REMASTER has concluded that it doesn't sound better than its QR, Q8 or Vinyl counterpart!

I rest my case.
 
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sjcorne

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And NOT a single poster on this forum after hearing a well conceived DIGITAL SURROUND REMASTER has contended that it doesn't sound better than its QR, Q8 or Vinyl counterpart!
No one is suggesting that. The OP asked about quadraphonic recordings in their original post, so that is what I addressed with my response. It is my opinion that if one wishes to fully experience all that the surround music hobby has to offer, both the analog and digital realms are worth exploring.
 

4-earredwonder

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No one is suggesting that. The OP asked about quadraphonic recordings in their original post, so that is what I addressed with my response. It is my opinion that if one wishes to fully explore all that the surround music hobby has to offer, both analog and digital releases are worth pursuing.
I agree. A little BALANCE is certainly in order to enjoy the best of BOTH worlds.

Image result for peace pipe photos
 

edisonbaggins

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I'd just chime in, that if listening to vinyl (or analog) exclusively, for whatever reasons, is the sole goal, then cool!
If quad in general is the goal, then adding a Blu-ray player, even a very cheap one can help you.
Quad mixes on Blu-ray include:

Darkside of the Moon
Wish You Were Here
Idlewild South
There's One in Every Crowd
Best of The Doors
Disturbing the Universe

And quite a few others!

And if it can play SACD, there are many dozens of quad titles.

This does assume a receiver or amp that's compatible with the Blu-ray player and some kind of monitor. I'm sure they can both be found fairly cheap though.

In any event, happy listening!
 
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sjcorne

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Quad mixes on Blu-ray include:

Darkside of the Moon
Wish You Were Here
Idlewild South
There's One in Every Crowd
Best of The Doors
Disturbing the Universe
Idlewild South is a new 5.1 mix by Kevin Reeves, not an old quad. At The Filmore East and Eat A Peach were the only two quads from the Allman Brothers Band. The quad mix of At The Filmore East is available digitally on the DTS-CD version only (the SACD has a 5.1 mix by Jeff Glixman, and the Blu-Ray has yet another 5.1 mix by Kevin Reeves), while the Eat A Peach quad mix has not had a digital release.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Being a Newbie just now getting into Quad, I was wondering where to find quadraphonic recordings that I could purchase for my system. I have an Akai GX 270D SS R2R and a Sansui QRX 6001 quad receiver.
Howdy- disc rider 🤠; is the Sansui QRX 6001 a new purchase; I don't remember you ever saying you'd found one? I seem to remember you have a Sony AVR; and if you did find that Sansui - congratulations:SB, how about some details (for us not so fortunate and still on the hunt!)
Also, I believe disc rider will be using his new rig for actual music recording also.
 

dsk3331/disc rider

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That's a pretty broad question - I'll do my best to give a detailed answer, but in short your best options for old quad LPs or tapes are eBay and Discogs.

The first thing you should do is check out Mark Anderson's Quadraphonic Discography, which has become a sort of bible for quad collectors. Get a feel for what's available in quad and what titles you might want to pursue.

Your QRX-6001 includes decoding circuitry for SQ and QS matrix-encoded LPs. The major downside to matrix-encoded quad is that you're hearing a somewhat inferior version of the quad mix for a given title - it's impossible to fully separate the original discrete four channels after they've been mixed together with a studio encoder, so on playback you'll hear information intended for the rear channels leaking into the fronts at something like 50-75% volume, and vice versa. How much separation between front/rear (and left/right) you get out of the LPs depends on a number of factors - how much separation was in the original quad mix prior to the encode/decode process, which matrix system was used, and how good your decoder is.

You're in good shape for QS, as the Sansui QRX-x001 units contain the circuitry for the single-band QS 'Variomatrix' decoder (also available in the QSD-2 standalone unit). The only better QS decoders are the Sansui QSD-1 and the Involve Audio Surround Master, both of which offer tri-band decoding.

For SQ, you're not in quite as good shape. The Sansui receiver has a SQ decoder with 'front-to-back' logic that won't yield much separation between the front and rear channels. The later 'full-logic' or 'wave-matching' decoders, such as the Lafayette SQ-W and Sony SQD-2020, offer more separation. The gold standard for hardware SQ decoding is the Fosgate Tate II, but those units are hard to come by and generally on the expensive side. Involve Audio's Surround Master unit also does a solid SQ decode - some say it's comparable with the Fosgate unit, but I disagree.

As for your quad reel-to-reel unit, I haven't begun collecting quad reels myself as they tend to be incredibly rare and expensive. Desirable titles from WEA such as Black Sabbath's Paranoid and Deep Purple's Machine Head have sold in excess of $300 on eBay in the past. The quad 8-track tapes are much less expensive, but there's a lot of baggage with those - obviously you'll need to invest in another piece of vintage equipment (a quad 8-track tape deck), some technical knowledge is required in repairing the internal winding of the tapes prior to playback, and sometimes the sound quality can be subpar (speed warble, wow/flutter, dropouts, etc). But the great thing about the tape formats is that you're hearing the quad mixes in their discrete form, exactly as the engineers intended.
Pretty thorough and detailed. Thank you.
 

The Bushmaster

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Over 100+ titles in quad records recorded on tape using a Dual 721 turntable decoded using JVC 4DD-5 or Sony SQD 2020. Cleaned up using two KLH TNE 7000A (Transit Noise Eliminator) on to an Akai GX 270D SS.

You did select a fine tape deck.
 

jimfisheye

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Echoing some of the above posts. Even if the main goal here is the experience of using the older technology and how it affected the sound of the recordings. You owe it to yourself to listen to some surround recordings in full quality as the artists/engineers intended just because you can. We DO live in this golden age of audio now with surround mixes available in full discrete lossless 24 bit HD. At least grab some standards like Dark Side of The Moon and Bitches Brew from the HD digital editions.

Having said that, there are surely too many older surround recordings that are only to be found as troubled production copies in the old formats. If you're setting yourself up to truly reproduce these to the highest degree, helping to preserve these to 24 bit HD digital along the way would be very welcome!

Getting a system setup and dialed in to reference level is not just trivial but a very doable thing with a little care. The amps and speakers are the main equation. The input formats for the old technology are the bitch. Once you have amps and speakers (and the expense that comes with doing that seriously), might as well listen to some 24 bit perfection with boutique DA converters. (Spending high end on the DA converters is trivial after the expense of amps and speakers.) Once that's up and running, then start going after the old tech input formats. Each one will be an adventure of coaxing it to optimal performance and actually realizing the recording it contains to the highest quality possible.
 

MidiMagic

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Being a Newbie just now getting into Quad, I was wondering where to find quadraphonic recordings that I could purchase for my system. I have an Akai GX 270D SS R2R and a Sansui QRX 6001 quad receiver.
I got quite a few on eBay.
 
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