Quad LP/Tape Poll Simon, Carly: No Secrets [CD-4/Q8/Q4]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate "NO SECRETS"


  • Total voters
    13

EMB

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,104
Location
The Top 40 Radio of My Mind
This is another title with a corresponding 5.1 DVD-Audio mix, which makes for fun comparisons.

Interestingly, the Quad vinyl had a gatefold cover, whereas the stereo Lp did not. The records sleeve had photos and lyrics, but instead this was printed on the inside gatefold, making for a very attractive package.

1. The Right Thing To Do
2. The Carter Family
3. You're So Vain
4. His Friends Are More Than Fond Of Robin
5. We Have No Secrets

6. Embrace Me, You Child
7. Waited So Long
8. It Was So Easy
9. Night Owl
10. When You Close Your Eyes
 

Attachments

Last edited:

MIDIQ

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
610
Location
US
Great album, and a pretty good quad mix. I like the quad mix just a little better than the DVD-A mix, which is very close to the same mix, but not quite the same. A 9. :)
 

neil wilkes

Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
4,301
Location
London, England
I have the Quad mix of this album, along with another one called Hot Cakes.
And the mix really is very, very good.
"You're So Vain" is so different to the stereo mix that it makes it plain whoever mixed this did so actually thinking about multichannel, which is always nice to hear. And this thinking is carried on across the whole album.

An 8 from me.
Now I have to go buy the DVD-A too, as it is a totally new mix.
 

ChristopherLees

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Messages
2,097
Location
Melbourne Australia
I seem to have been plagued by bad sound on this release.
Although never owning the reel to reel tape of this, every dts conversion of the reel to reel that I have heard seems to have poor top end sound..(especially when compared with the stereo version).Reminding me more of a q8....and any Q8 conversion has been well ...
as annoying as any bad q8 could be...
So I bought a few copies of the lp...in stereo fine..but those USA elektra
lp's can sound really noisy in quad after a few playings...and having bought them in the last few years, means they had to be second hand..
In stereo this lp shines...I want to like the quad mix..I really do., because I think the quad mix is ok, it's just the sound quality that bugs me .... those opening piano notes on the right thing to do sound so muffled and full of even wow on the tape versions that I've heard...aggghhhhh.......

The stereo lp version in Australia was a gatefold cover.
 

EMB

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,104
Location
The Top 40 Radio of My Mind
A '9' from me....this was indeed mixed with Quad in mind, for the most part smartly done, and the isolation of vocals, especially, is a joy to hear. There is still a certain antiseptic nature to Richard Perry's production(typical), but the clarity is at times jarring, and you get a real sense of what it must have sounded like in the studio. The DVD-A, natch, was a tad more elaborate, but this original multi mix more than holds its own(and I wonder if it was referenced for the DVD-A mix--very possible).

ED :)
 

Bill Brent

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
315
ChristopherLees said:
I seem to have been plagued by bad sound on this release.
.....snip...
those USA elektra
lp's can sound really noisy in quad after a few playings
...snip.... those opening piano notes on the right thing to do sound so muffled and full of even wow on the tape versions that I've heard...aggghhhhh.......
I've had the same problem with dts conversions of Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii -
no high end. But the magtape reel on No Secrtes is great - and its pretty impressive in dts as well - I bought 95% of my quad disks when they were released - the other 20 or so, were usually from other quad people, just giving up on vinyl - I haven't really been plagued with second hand syndrome - but even in the day, I did wind up buying 2 copies of this album (as well as the Doors, Eagles, and a few others) - just because the first one got a bit noisy in quad.
 

Doug G.

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
1,501
Location
Rochester, Minnesota
I love this album.

The quad version has great sound and the music is wonderful from Carly. I particularly like the fuzz guitar on "You're So Vain" in the right back channel. It was actually pleasently startling the first time.

Too bad my copy I got on eBay is pretty scratched on the outside tracks. The first song on side 2 is virtually unplayable for the first half. My Technics SH-400 hangs right onto the carrier though.

At least it only cost 99 cents.

Doug
 

EMB

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,104
Location
The Top 40 Radio of My Mind
I was listening to the old Elektra quad Lp of this one the other day, and it IS a different listening experience compared to the later DVD-A 5.1 remix. Already knew that, but for once I took the time to listen to both in tandem (quad, then 5.1) and take a few notes.

What's so different? A few things:

1. The original quad is a more 'in your face' mix to showcase the format, while the 5.1 is a more thoughtful, and at times, subtle mix, with better isolated bass, for instance.

2. The 5.1 mix is more polished. By that I mean it has a pure 'studio ambiance,' a 'you are there' feeling that is not often apparent with the quad mix. The drawback, however, is that the overall sound tends toward the antiseptic. It all blends together very well, but it's not the active mix that the quad was. From first song to last, there is little variety, for instance, in instrument placement. Which makes sense, but the fun of the old quad was that this didn't seem much of a concern, except to make sure Carly's vocals were reasonably up front...:D

3. In the 5.1 mix, Carly is the show; all instrumentation and other vox is secondary to her lead vocal presence. For me this is a more intimate mix, but something has been lost, because the session musicians seem with the new mix to be just that, session guys in a studio, rather than the more cohesive band one (or I) thought was heard in stereo and quad(an illusion, of course, but that's the magic of mixing--to make the painstaking and rehearsed and redone seem spontaneous).

4. The 5.1 mix is discrete, but less discrete and reckless (yeh, that's the word) than the quad--at times. A blatant example is on "Waited So Long," when James Taylor cheekily sings "She's no virgin" near the end (and who knew better, right? :D). The old quad had this vocal not only isolated, but LOUDLY isolated; the 5.1 spreads him out and softens the effect. In fact, the entire mix is 'soft' compared to the harsher, louder quad. But this is not necessarily bad: on "It Was So Easy," Carly's lead vocal is isolated in the center speaker, and if you listen to just that channel, she really comes alive--you can feel her voice, hear her breath. The center channel is a joy in and of itself just to listen to her. [Although all of Carly's vocals are isolated for the most part, only a few are truly so, most having a little studio ambiance or piano bleeding in].

Bottom line, though, is much changed between quad and 5.1, more differences than I would really want to list. On "It Was So Easy," the ragged, almost weird sound of the guitar at the break is much more conventional sounding. Worse, the backing vocals of this song are buried compared to the louder elements in quad. And that's pretty much the key difference: in quad, Carly's vocals were as loud as her backing, but on the 5.1, she dominates completely. Even "Night Owl"--JT's old Flying Machine rocker--is rendered a bit muted here (and no, not just because the tapes were probably NR'd somewhere along the way). It is a clean sound, no mistake, but if ever Carly needed a bit of a messy sound, "Night Owl" is the one, and in stereo and quad, it had that messiness, but that's gone in 5.1.

So the fan really needs both versions, because both have pluses and minuses, and due to the best aspects of both, I'd hate to have to choose.


ED :)
 

johnrd

Well-known Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 26, 2003
Messages
109
I remember getting the Q8 at Christmas 35 years ago! Though the DVD-A is pretty good, I still prefer the first five tracks from the quad mix ...Though I agree with Ed regarding Night Owl...Would have been cool if they included bonus tracks of original quads on the DVD-A.
 

motownboy

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
15
I've always liked the quad CD-4 mix of "You're So Vain." I used to hear a lot of the quad mixes on the radio back in the 1970s. Back about 1974 for about a year, every Sunday evening 96.3 FM Miami used to have their "Quadraphonic Hour." They would play the popular music available in Quad at that time. They would play SQ straight onto the air and they would play CD-4 titles through an SQ decoder...SQ encoding/decoding is awful. I always preferred CD-4.

I have uploaded the CD-4 mix from the CD-4 LP of "No Secrets" of "You're So Vain" on You Tube.

[video=youtube;r_uTFw6pZMY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_uTFw6pZMY[/video]
 

sjcorne

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
2,833
Location
Southern NY
I see I gave this a “9” at some point without leaving a comment. Classic album for sure, but I don’t know if I’d say it’s my favorite of her’s. Side 1 is fantastic, but I tend to lose interest throughout Side 2 (and I’m happy to skip “Night Owl” every time).

I A/B'd the quad reel with the DVD-A and I'm reminded of my feelings on comparing the quad and 5.1 mixes of Chicago II. The sonics of the 5.1 mix are remarkable--and they’ve made great use of the center channel by isolating Carly’s vocals--but I find it rather lacking in terms of rear channel usage. There are some occasional flourishes, such as the string parts in “We Have No Secrets”, but overall I think it's fair to say that it’s a rather conservative surround experience.

The sonics of the quad mix aren’t nearly as good, but it's a far more active and engaging surround experience. I believe this was one of Elektra’s first CD-4 LP releases and as such, they seem to have gone the extra mile in reimagining the entire album as quad demo material. All the backing vocals are isolated in the rears. Some of the songs have the rhythm section in the back, while others have a sort-of “wrap-around” drum kit effect with some tom hits in the rears. There’s even a few swirling moves, such as the guitar solo in “You’re So Vain” and pedal steel solo in “Waited So Long”.

As mentioned upthread, “You’re So Vain” in quad is balanced quite differently - there's a loud electric guitar part in the right rear channel that doesn’t stand out nearly as much in the stereo or 5.1 versions. I actually prefer this version to the original, as it gives the song more of a hard-rocking edge.

Here's a look a the waveforms of both versions of "When You Close Your Eyes". The quad takes a far more aggressive surround approach with the drums and orchestra isolated in the rears.

"When You Close Your Eyes" (Quad Reel):
No Secrets Trk10 4.0.jpg


"When You Close Your Eyes" (DVD-A):
No Secrets Trk10 5.1.jpg


Finally, here's a peek at the isolated rear channels in "You're So Vain", featuring that awesome electric rhythm guitar.
 

Attachments

Doug G.

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
1,501
Location
Rochester, Minnesota
Sometime, in the last 13 years, I did get another copy of this and it is great without the scratches on the outside edges. I actually think I got it not too long after that first copy.

Doug
 
Top