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Silverline / Abravanel DVD-A releases - Actually a Quad Source?

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quicksrt

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IMO, a GREAT series rendered by Silverline in stunning sonics. On my main system I play them in 4.0 and to my ears they are gorgeous. Have them ALL .
I bought a small stack of these Silverline issued Vanguard quad classical mixes. Hoping they are not all ambient rear channels dullsville.

I’ve not had a chance to really listen but should pound them through DVD-A Extractor and have them in hand for demo-ing.

I’m actually a big fan of the DVD-A format. I always like the sound - but once we got to the ripping to music server (w/o copy guard issues) I fell in love. I prefer not dealing with DSD or dsf when I have a choice. Everything comes from PCM capture originally anyway (almost) right.
 

jaybird100

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Was it ever determined if these are actually quad? I bought a bunch of them a while back when cheap thinking they were quad reissues, only to find they contain 5.1 material, and have 5.1 mixing credit. Which could mean 5.1 derived from quad, and giving a credit to the person that derived the unnecessary center and lfe from the 4.0.

I'm still digging, but wanted to check if anything definite was ever determined about these. I have the Mahler 5th and 6th which seem to have only gotten SQ release, so a direct comparison of a mostly ambience mix would probably not be conclusive, and I also have the Brahms 4th, which I'm not seeing a quad equivalent to. I have reels of Mahler's 9th....but there was no dvd-a of that one. So I suppose for me the next step will be comparing what was released on Vanguard reel with what was released on dvd-a, and seeing if we have a match for a direct comparison.
Abravanel, and the St. Louis Symphony, also had releases on the Vox Turnabout label, many of them were QS-encoded. I don't know for sure, but this could be one of them. If so, they were quad masters.
 

ubertrout

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According to what is surely the definitive source on this cycle, the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th, and Adagio from the unfinished 10th were recorded in quadraphonic: https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6547&context=etd

The first was also released on Vanguard SACD, while the 9th and Adagio from the 10th have not had a digital surround release. So the 3rd (dualdisc or DVD-A) and the 5th and 6th (dualdisc only) are only in digital surround on silverline. This also suggests that the 2nd and 4th are upmixes...
 

4-earredwonder

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According to what is surely the definitive source on this cycle, the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th, and Adagio from the unfinished 10th were recorded in quadraphonic: https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6547&context=etd

The first was also released on Vanguard SACD, while the 9th and Adagio from the 10th have not had a digital surround release. So the 3rd (dualdisc or DVD-A) and the 5th and 6th (dualdisc only) are only in digital surround on silverline. This also suggests that the 2nd and 4th are upmixes...
I did list this disc as "Listening to Now In Surround' today and commented on the gorgeous fidelity and performance. It was a double dualdisc which contained the surround on one dualdisc and the 192/24 Stereo on a second dualdisc. Both were played analogue out, [Surround] 4 channel only, into an all analogue Parasound P7 Pre amp into a Parasound 5.1 channel amp and those interested can purchase here
 

4-earredwonder

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It's a great recording, although once again I'm pretty sure it's pre-quad. It was originally released in 1966; no clue if it was remixed from the original stems (probably 3-channel) or an upmix: Tschaikowsky*, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel* - Swan Lake - Ballet (Complete)

As with 98% of multichannel classical recordings today, the rear speakers are awash in natural ambience which nicely enhance the fronts. And the added bonus of a 192/24 second dualdisc can allow those with DSP or surround masters to further experiment.

I was quite surprised when Silverline announced that they were going to tackle this series and the care they've taken in accessing the QUAD masters and duplicating the original Ampex Tape machines is reminiscent of Pentatone's RQR series. I only wish they'd gone further and released some of the extraordinary Vanguard Pop, Folk and Jazz catalogue instead of their questionable Live From the Front Row series which, IMO, aided in Silverline's demise.
 

ubertrout

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As with 98% of multichannel classical recordings today, the rear speakers are awash in natural ambience which nicely enhance the fronts. And the added bonus of a 192/24 second dualdisc can allow those with DSP or surround masters to further experiment.

I was quite surprised when Silverline announced that they were going to tackle this series and the care they've taken in accessing the QUAD masters and duplicating the original Ampex Tape machines is reminiscent of Pentatone's RQR series. I only wish they'd gone further and released some of the extraordinary Vanguard Pop, Folk and Jazz catalogue instead of their questionable Live From the Front Row series which, IMO, aided in Silverline's demise.
So, as mentioned many of these aren't from quadraphonic masters. So I assumed the ambience was artificial. But I don't think it's that simple. If you look at the waveforms, the ones sourced from quad mixes look like you'd expect a quad-sourced upmix to look - four channels with different information, with a much quieter artificial center channel plus the LFE channel taken from all the channels. Which is good - they don't look like they're sourced from stereo.

But the works like the Mahler 4th, which was a pre-quad recording, or Swan Lake, look like modern 5.1 mixes in the waveforms, not like upmixes. I don't know if there was enough on the master tape to make these, but there might have been? It's actually surprisingly encouraging, at least to me, but other more sophisticated people might have different conclusions.
 

4-earredwonder

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So, as mentioned many of these aren't from quadraphonic masters. So I assumed the ambience was artificial. But I don't think it's that simple. If you look at the waveforms, the ones sourced from quad mixes look like you'd expect a quad-sourced upmix to look - four channels with different information, with a much quieter artificial center channel plus the LFE channel taken from all the channels. Which is good - they don't look like they're sourced from stereo.

But the works like the Mahler 4th, which was a pre-quad recording, or Swan Lake, look like modern 5.1 mixes in the waveforms, not like upmixes. I don't know if there was enough on the master tape to make these, but there might have been? It's actually surprisingly encouraging, at least to me, but other more sophisticated people might have different conclusions.
Ubertrout, this article from HIGH FIDELITY REVIEW from 2004 might shed some light on Vanguard's 60's/70's recording techniques

 

ubertrout

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Ubertrout, this article from HIGH FIDELITY REVIEW from 2004 might shed some light on Vanguard's 60's/70's recording techniques

Yeah. I just don't trust Silverline's line on sourcing, given some of their other past failures. But this looks pretty genuine.

Still doesn't explain some of their releases that were non-Vanguard, like the Comissiona Tchaikovsky 4th (early digital stereo recording) or the Boult/Monteux recordings with the "London Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra," which were early 60s recordings for Westminster, in 2 channels only. But I'm satisfied the Abravanel recordings aren't just upmixes.
 
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