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REVIEW: I've Got Four Ears to Hear You (Price Guide)

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JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
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Today I received my (purchased) copy of a new Quadraphonic Record and Tape Price Guide, written by Tasmin Darke (real name? QQ Member?), which was referenced in a recent Goldmine article about quadraphonic records of the '70s. It's not very expensive ($11) so I ordered one to check it out. It's published by Lulu Press, which is a print-on-demand publisher, and it arrived quickly and well packed. It's got a glossy full color front and back and looks and feels like a store bought softcover book. Very nice!

The book begins with a brief overview/introduction and clearly states that it's not intended to be a discography of all quadraphonic releases, but more of a focused list of popular rock/pop/soul/R&B and Jazz titles that are in demand in the collectors market.

At one time, price guides were all the rage, as collectors of everything from Pez dispensers to spoons needed some sort of reference to not only find out what their items were worth, but what items exactly were out there, made and sold but not well known. This was before the internet, of course, where today everything is available to anyone on their phone, laptop, or voice controlled device. Still, since I am from that time, I have a soft place in my heart for price guides, so I read through this with interest.

First off, as the author states, it's far from a complete listing, but the major stuff is in there. As for the pricing, well, it's very hard to nail down a price on a recording these days. Almost every quad title has been digitized by fans and shared around the community in one way or another, so the pressing need to buy a title for the material on the disc is no longer as important as it was in the '80s and '90s. Of course, there are still collectors looking for the physical product, and that's who this book is intended to target.

So, if the book lists a title as being worth $100, it's best to use that as a comparison marker to a different title. For example, the author lists Jackson Browne Late for the Sky at $125 for the CD-4 LP in Mint/Near Mint condition. And of course, there are people who might pay that for a sealed or mint copy. But this album can be found on eBay for $30 at times, so it's all relative, as it is with all price guides. But if you use that $125 number and compare it to another title that is valued at $75, the collector who is not savvy in this kind of thing will know that the Late For the Sky is rarer and in more demand than the $75 listed title. Like I said, Price Guides are GUIDES, not bibles.

Scattered throughout the price listings are label scans of selected quad albums and Q8's, as when there is no Quad LP version of an in demand title (like the Moody Blues albums), the values for the Q8's are listed. There are also notations if an import (to the USA) exists on LP, as in the case of the Moodies "Seventh Sojourn" CD-4 from Japan. Another nice touch is that if a listed title has been recently released on SACD by Audio Fidelity or Dutton-Vocalion, that information is given as well.

You can nit-pick this guide if you like. There are releases you might wonder why were excluded, and others you might wonder why they were included, but as a first ever quad price guide, this is a pretty nice little softcover book. If you are a master quad collector who knows every catalog number of every label and have memorized Mark Anderson's Surround Pages and Larry Cliftons Quad Incorporated, than this book is not for you.

If you are new to '70s quad and want a quick reference that you don't have to boot up or log into at a moments notice, then this is a very nice place to go to check and see if a title exists and how relatively rare it might be.

So, I think it's pretty cool. If any of you go ahead and get this, post in the thread and let us know what you think. And if the author is a member here, or a lurker, post a hello in this thread. No need for hiding! :)




40653


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Tamsindarke

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And if the author is a member here, or a lurker, post a hello in this thread. No need for hiding! :)
Hi Jon - thank you for the review and for the invite to the forum. I'm very happy that you enjoyed my book

So, if the book lists a title as being worth $100, it's best to use that as a comparison marker to a different title.
My original thought (this was for my Bowie price guide) was to avoid actual values and do some kind of rarity code - A for common, AA for harder to find, etc. But dealer and collector friends assured me that prices were the way to go so that's what I did. They're a combination of my own experiences from (too many!) years working in record stores and as a collector, and keeping an eye on various online sites - Discogs, Popsike, e-bay etc. It's an imperfect science at best, but I gave it my best shot :)

Hmmm name seems like an Anagram :unsure:
If it is, only my parents know the answer!


Hmm, who is this Adam Stinker...?
I wish I'd thought of that!

And to anyone else who buys the book, I hope you enjoy it and find it useful - and if you want to let me know your thoughts, I'll be checking this page regularly. (And all the other pages here, too.)
 

4-earredwonder

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Hi Jon - thank you for the review and for the invite to the forum. I'm very happy that you enjoyed my book



My original thought (this was for my Bowie price guide) was to avoid actual values and do some kind of rarity code - A for common, AA for harder to find, etc. But dealer and collector friends assured me that prices were the way to go so that's what I did. They're a combination of my own experiences from (too many!) years working in record stores and as a collector, and keeping an eye on various online sites - Discogs, Popsike, e-bay etc. It's an imperfect science at best, but I gave it my best shot :)


If it is, only my parents know the answer!




I wish I'd thought of that!

And to anyone else who buys the book, I hope you enjoy it and find it useful - and if you want to let me know your thoughts, I'll be checking this page regularly. (And all the other pages here, too.)
And welcome to the forum.
 

JonUrban

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Hi Jon - thank you for the review and for the invite to the forum. I'm very happy that you enjoyed my book.......
Yes! Welcome to the forum. Feel free to let us know about any other price guides you may come up with, or dig for material for the next version. QQ is here, ad free, for all people to promote what they do with regard to surround music. So if you decide to do a 5.1 SACD/DVD-A book, post about it here and let us know. It might be a nice companion to sit along side this book.

Like I said for those who know this stuff by heart the book might be unneeded, but there are many members here who got started with SACD and DVD-A and really have no idea what the old stuff is worth and what exactly is out there.
 

Tamsindarke

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Yes! Welcome to the forum. Feel free to let us know about any other price guides you may come up with, or dig for material for the next version. QQ is here, ad free, for all people to promote what they do with regard to surround music. So if you decide to do a 5.1 SACD/DVD-A book, post about it here and let us know. It might be a nice companion to sit along side this book.

Like I said for those who know this stuff by heart the book might be unneeded, but there are many members here who got started with SACD and DVD-A and really have no idea what the old stuff is worth and what exactly is out there.
Thank you!

I do have another price guide in mind, but it's probably the absolute opposite of 5.1 - mid-late sixties rock mono LPs! I'll keep you posted.
 
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sjcorne

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Just got my copy today - It's pretty neat, definitely cool to see a quad price guide in 2019. However - and I don't mean to sound overly critical or nitpicky - I can't help but notice some glaring omissions, particularly regarding the reissues on modern formats. For one thing, none of the Miller Nevada DTS-CDs (stuff like Abraxas, Crazy Eyes, Days Of Future Passed, Jasmine Nightdreams, etc - which are sourced from quad masters) are cited. I noticed a few missing Sony Japan titles as well (Wired, Rough & Ready, Beck Bogert & Appice), but all the AF and D-V releases appear to be accounted for.

The other thing that left me slightly disappointed is that not every format variation of a particular release is noted. For instance, on the CBS titles you only get a price estimate for the SQ LP, no mention of the Q8 (which is usually more desirable). Same thing with the Japanese or Euro pressings: sometimes they are noted (Carole King, Guess Who, etc), yet other times they are omitted (Carpenters, Deep Purple, etc).

Anyway, despite the few issues I pointed out, it's really cool and I applaud the effort in putting it together (y)
 

Tamsindarke

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
70
Location
USA
Just got my copy today - It's pretty neat, definitely cool to see a quad price guide in 2019. However - and I don't mean to sound overly critical or nitpicky - I can't help but notice some glaring omissions, particularly regarding the reissues on modern formats. For one thing, none of the Miller Nevada DTS-CDs (stuff like Abraxas, Crazy Eyes, Days Of Future Passed, Jasmine Nightdreams, etc - which are sourced from quad masters) are cited. I noticed a few missing Sony Japan titles as well (Wired, Rough & Ready, Beck Bogert & Appice), but all the AF and D-V releases appear to be accounted for.

The other thing that left me slightly disappointed is that not every format variation of a particular release is noted. For instance, on the CBS titles you only get a price estimate for the SQ LP, no mention of the Q8 (which is usually more desirable). Same thing with the Japanese or Euro pressings: sometimes they are noted (Carole King, Guess Who, etc), yet other times they are omitted (Carpenters, Deep Purple, etc).

Anyway, despite the few issues I pointed out, it's really cool and I applaud the effort in putting it together (y)
Glad you enjoyed it and I must admit, I agree with everything you say... with a couple of caveats.

Regarding the digital reissues, that's very much a work in progress; I wanted my focus to remain on original releases, at the same time as pointing out that there's a lot of reissues appearing. I also concentrated on US releases, although that probably was a mistake. If I do another edition, with updated prices, I'll definitely be looking at that subject more closely.

As for the "every format" question - I did wrestle on that, but ultimately decided to make vinyl the focal point, as I explained in the intro: if an album was released in quad vinyl in the US, that's the one I list. If it wasn't, I note an import, most of which happened to be Japanese. Then, if there's a US tape edition, that is mentioned as well.

I talked to a few collectors, store owners etc about this, and we agreed that the goal should be - not to create a full quad discography, which would sprawl on for pages, probably in very tiny print, lol; but more, a handy, portable guide to the sheer quantity of rock etc music that was made available somewhere in the world in quad, and here's a list of what is hopefully out there. Maybe you'll find the Japanese pressing that I list, maybe you'll find the German one that I don't. But at least you know that the music exists!

Thanks again for reading and commenting!
 

Quadgirl

Well-known Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
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Messages
151
Location
Columbia, SC
Hi all! Thanks, Jon, for telling us about the book, and to the mysterious author for compiling it. It is great to have this, limitations cited and all. It is a great starting point and just good for our corner of the music hobby. I am glad to have it. Plus, how many books can you read cover-to-cover in 15 minutes😜😁? I read a whole book today. I have, on a side note, also bought some Vocallion releases for both personal pleasure and to help further the legitimate cause of getting these quad titles out to the more general public. I need to be on this site more often - it is always refreshing and always a blessing. Now I need to play some albums - I have been lately more apt to put in a Q8. Thanks again for sharing!
 

Mediaversal

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
11
Location
Arizona, USA
This sounds like a very handy guide. Personally I would love seeing this in a digital format that was searchable and easily updated. Heck, it could even be a member based site where members could enter prices they have paid, thus allowing for high / mid / low points to be displayed for the various available versions. From my perspective books are out of date as soon as they are printed, since things change all the time!
 

ashr1565

Active Member
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Dec 29, 2019
Messages
54
Location
Canada
I think this is a great thing because as someone pretty new to surround audio, I'm always finding some random album that was released in quad there or 5.1 over there, that I've never heard of before. No matter how many "definitive list of x format" lists I look at :p
 
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