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Suggestions for Audio Fidelity Multichannel SACD Releases

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Q-Eight

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Why can't someone release some Dog in surround? I'd buy it....
The complete lack of multitracks has a lot to do with this one. You'd have thought since they were one of ABC/Dunhill's top acts back in the day, they'd have been doing every TDN album they could in Quad. Yet, we only got the two (and one is a bit lame :p ). No Cyan, No Seven Separate Fools, and TDN had been on 8-track equipment since the beginning so they could've gone right back and done it all - even the Greatest Hits album (which, to me, seemed like a no-brainer!). If you're only going to do one album in Quad, do the Greatest Hits. Even the Grass Roots which were pretty big back then only got the one Quad. Funny thing is, I've never seen/heard/read ANYTHING that suggested others were considered.

And today, most of their multitracks are missing, damaged or lost entirely.
 

markshan

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I would like to have the DTS of Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth in hi rez, and I would LOVE to have the quad of Nilsson Schmillson for the original tapes. Even though the transfer that is floating around is quite good (I have enjoyed it immensely), I can't help but think that a straight transfer from the masters would have even a bit more sheen.
 

rtbluray

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I would LOVE to have the quad of Nilsson Schmillson for the original tapes. Even though the transfer that is floating around is quite good (I have enjoyed it immensely), I can't help but think that a straight transfer from the masters would have even a bit more sheen.
I feel fairly certain that if Audio Fidelity could have released "Nilsson Schmillson" as a Multichannel SACD, it would have already happened.
 

4-earredwonder

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NOT to mention that I sincerely believe that Audio Fidelity is finished with QUAD/5.1 SACDs unless they have a major announcement for the upcoming holidays.
 

humprof

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Dog Style and Joy to the World/Greatest Hits are on Mark Anderson's "Not Released" discography. Granted, that doesn't mean they were actually mixed. But somebody was at least thinking about it at some point...

The complete lack of multitracks has a lot to do with this one. You'd have thought since they were one of ABC/Dunhill's top acts back in the day, they'd have been doing every TDN album they could in Quad. Yet, we only got the two (and one is a bit lame :p ). No Cyan, No Seven Separate Fools, and TDN had been on 8-track equipment since the beginning so they could've gone right back and done it all - even the Greatest Hits album (which, to me, seemed like a no-brainer!). If you're only going to do one album in Quad, do the Greatest Hits. Even the Grass Roots which were pretty big back then only got the one Quad. Funny thing is, I've never seen/heard/read ANYTHING that suggested others were considered.

And today, most of their multitracks are missing, damaged or lost entirely.
 

4-earredwonder

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I would like to have the DTS of Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth in hi rez, and I would LOVE to have the quad of Nilsson Schmillson for the original tapes. Even though the transfer that is floating around is quite good (I have enjoyed it immensely), I can't help but think that a straight transfer from the masters would have even a bit more sheen.
I always surmised that IF every DTS RBCD 5.1 sounded as brilliant as Joshua Judges Ruth we wouldn't have a need for 'higher res' DVD~A and/or SACD.
 

quicksrt

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NOT to mention that I sincerely believe that Audio Fidelity is finished with QUAD/5.1 SACDs unless they have a major announcement for the upcoming holidays.
I believe that they had approvals on several more titles besides Return to Forever and Weather Report (which I am sure went from SACDs including quad to not including it over one good company meeting).

And if they don't take advantage of this (any already approved class A evergreens) during a major holiday sales push then I think you are right, it's all over now.

I don't like the way it ended in a flame-out, rather than ending on a major scoop, but that's the way it is.

I would have tried to issue one quad master to two stereo only titles with a $5 extra charge for the quad SACDs before canceling the entire line of releases. The product was too good to not try a different approach.
 

Q-Eight

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Dog Style and Joy to the World/Greatest Hits are on Mark Anderson's "Not Released" discography. Granted, that doesn't mean they were actually mixed. But somebody was at least thinking about it at some point...
Rumors abound on stuff like that. Greatest Hits seemed like a natural AND was smack dab in the middle of the Quad era. It was either corporate edict or the dumping of the multitracks that may have stopped them, but if you look at the release schedule for the ABC Quads, they hit hard and heavy and kept pouring them out through 1972, 1973 and 1974. Then, they put out ONE album in 1975 and that was Three Dog Nights' "Coming Down Your Way" which, really, seems unusual to me as the previous release was "Rufusized". The stereo album was released in December of '74 and the stereo release of Three Dog Night wasn't until May of '75. I'm going to assume that the Quad releases were near the same schedule.

But that's an awfully large spread of time when for the three years prior, they were pumping out minimum one per month. Something had to have happened.

There's lots of rumored stuff from about this time period: James Gang/ 16 Greatest; Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds; The Mamas & The Papas; Steppenwolf; another Joe Walsh title (presumably, it was "So What"); The Troggs and even an album by Tommy Roe.
 

4-earredwonder

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I believe that they had approvals on several more titles besides Return to Forever and Weather Report (which I am sure went from SACDs including quad to not including it over one good company meeting).

And if they don't take advantage of this (any already approved class A evergreens) during a major holiday sales push then I think you are right, it's all over now.

I don't like the way it ended in a flame-out, rather than ending on a major scoop, but that's the way it is.

I would have tried to issue one quad master to two stereo only titles with a $5 extra charge for the quad SACDs before canceling the entire line of releases. The product was too good to not try a different approach.
In hindsight, Audio Fidelity did a miraculous job releasing those 29 QUAD/5.1 SACDs. Especially embarrassing for them was when they desperately tried to find the multis for Santana's LOTUS and finally released it as a double STEREO SACD set and only a month or two later, SONY Japan miraculously not only found the QUAD masters but added a third SACD of material from the Lotus session and then after AF released Musicmagic as a stereo SACD a few months later, Dutton Vocalion released it in QUAD. And the very fact that D~V could sell TWO~FERS for under $14 had to be a final straw for AF which was charging $30 list for their SINGLE SACDs.

It seems there WAS a certain amount of Politics involved and frankly, the US licensing agreements and need for artist approval, among other factions, seems to be a nigh impossible feat for AF to keep the multichannel ball rolling. Even if they raised the price of their QUADs $5 more, it really wouldn't have made a difference. Ironically, a majority of their 'limited edition' QUAD SACDs did not sell out and some even appeared on Acoustic Sounds for $10 and I don't know if you were aware, but unlike the Analogue Productions and MoFi Stereo SACDs which ALWAYS had/have a higher retail price on vendor websites like Amazon, Deep Discount and ImportCD, Audio Fidelity SACDs [stereo AND QUAD] always had a much lesser retail price (current example: MoFi Stereo SACD $25.56.....AF Stereo/QUAD SACD $20.82 [ImportCD example] which means AF probably received less from the retailers than both MoFi and Analogue Productions....and they're all "limited editions."

And now we get to pay upwards of $100~150 just for the privilege of getting a 5.1 remix of a favorite album in boxset form with books, RBCDs of outtakes and Vinyl.......and sometimes in a LOSSY Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 codec. And unlike the upcoming Alan Parson's Eye In The Sky boxset, almost NONE of these lavish boxsets will offer a stand alone hi def SACD or BD~A release.

If only the BOZOS currently running the major record companies had AF CEO's Marshall Blonstein and now Michael S. Dutton CEO of Dutton~Vocalion's passion and commitment to releasing those old QUAD masters, think of what could be released both cost effectively [think RHINO Chicago QUADIO boxset] and on a very steady basis.
 

quicksrt

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In hindsight, Audio Fidelity did a miraculous job releasing those 29 QUAD/5.1 SACDs. Especially embarrassing for them was when they desperately tried to find the multis for Santana's LOTUS and finally released it as a double STEREO SACD set and only a month or two later, SONY Japan miraculously not only found the QUAD masters but added a third SACD of material from the Lotus session and then after AF released Musicmagic as a stereo SACD a few months later, Dutton Vocalion released it in QUAD. And the very fact that D~V could sell TWO~FERS for under $14 had to be a final straw for AF which was charging $30 list for their SINGLE SACDs.

It seems there WAS a certain amount of Politics involved and frankly, the US licensing agreements and need for artist approval, among other factions, seems to be a nigh impossible feat for AF to keep the multichannel ball rolling. Even if they raised the price of their QUADs $5 more, it really wouldn't have made a difference. Ironically, a majority of their 'limited edition' QUAD SACDs did not sell out and some even appeared on Acoustic Sounds for $10 and I don't know if you were aware, but unlike the Analogue Productions and MoFi Stereo SACDs which ALWAYS had/have a higher retail price on vendor websites like Amazon, Deep Discount and ImportCD, Audio Fidelity SACDs [stereo AND QUAD] always had a much lesser retail price (current example: MoFi Stereo SACD $25.56.....AF Stereo/QUAD SACD $20.82 [ImportCD example] which means AF probably received less from the retailers than both MoFi and Analogue Productions....and they're all "limited editions."

And now we get to pay upwards of $100~150 just for the privilege of getting a 5.1 remix of a favorite album in boxset form $5with books, RBCDs of outtakes and Vinyl.......and sometimes in a LOSSY Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 codec. And unlike the upcoming Alan Parson's Eye In The Sky boxset, almost NONE of these lavish boxsets will offer a stand alone hi def SACD or BD~A release.

If only the BOZOS currently running the major record companies had AF CEO's Marshall Blonstein and now Michael S. Dutton CEO of Dutton~Vocalion's passion and commitment to releasing those old QUAD masters, think of what could be released both cost effectively [think RHINO Chicago QUADIO boxset] and on a very steady basis.
I'm not sure I get what you mean that AF potentially charging an additional $5.00 per surround title would not make a difference for their bottom line, then you go on to state oh by the way AP and MFSL charge more than AF for their SACD product. A bit of irony there. I think every $5.00 bill can help when mastering costs are eating at their bottom line.

Then D/V coughing up the quad master tape of Return to Forever was a pretty powerful statement of intent. It told listeners that A, they agreed, it was cruel (and unusual punishment) that this title would appear on the SACD market without its quad mix, and B, D/V put its money where its mouth is and released the god damn thing - which is risky according to (previously stated) known business practices (you don't mess with titles just out on that same format, or risk flat-lined sales. It was the welcome mat thrown down in front of AF's quad/surround buyers. That is just how great the quad mix is of this title. It was not going to be ignored even if market realityvsays it's not worth it. It's music magic alright!
 
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jaybird100

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Dog Style and Joy to the World/Greatest Hits are on Mark Anderson's "Not Released" discography. Granted, that doesn't mean they were actually mixed. But somebody was at least thinking about it at some point...
The catalog number for "Dog Style" was reassigned to the group's "Coming Down Your Way" quad LP. I found out that ABC didn't always tell the artists about quad releases before they came out, as I found out with the Grassroots' "16 Greatest Hits". The group was appearing at a local love-in a few years back, and I took the cover with me to get it autographed. When they saw the "Command Quadraphonic" logo on it instead of Dunhill, they were upset about it, and didn't sign the cover.
 

JonUrban

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I don't know, and I am speculating here (Brian might know), but as an observer, I have to assume that the AF title choices of BS&T's GH, Weather Report's Mysterious Traveler, and Musicmagic (among others) were titles chosen specifically because they had quad mixes and were viable as 4 channel SACDs. When the end came, and I would again surmise that it came suddenly, these titles had already been licensed and thus they had to be released even though AF would no longer bear the cost of adding the 4.0 track to the releases.

That is probably why Musicmagic was released. They had already paid the fee. Same with Mysterious Traveler and the BS&T hits. I would guess Marshall was probably hugely disappointed that the quad was removed from these titles (and maybe more) as these titles may not have been chosen by AF unless they had the quad tracks available.

Remember, AF gave it a great shot and it's mostly because of Marshall, so to trash AF is not fair. These companies have to stay in business and these days that is not easy. Every dollar counts. It's not fair to expect them to go the extra mile when it does not return the cost and the buying public isn't buying like they used to and everyone wants or waits for the good deal.

Fortunately for D-v, they don't have all of the restrictions that a US based label has. Fortunately for us as well! ;)
 

bmoura

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Fortunately for D-v, they don't have all of the restrictions that a US based label has. Fortunately for us as well! ;)
Vocalion has lower licensing fees/guarantees to work with since they are licensing titles for a smaller market (the UK vs. the US).
But the artist approvals and other issues can still present hurdles to reissues. Not to mention the ever-shrinking optical disc market in general.
 

4-earredwonder

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I'm not sure I get what you mean that AF potentially charging an additional $5.00 per surround title would not make a difference for their bottom line, then you go on to state oh by the way AP and MFSL charge more than AF for their SACD product. A bit of irony there. I think every $5.00 bill can help when mastering costs are eating at their bottom line.

I think you misunderstood me. I should've clarified that 'rarely' do you find Analogue Production SACDs [or even AP vinyl] for sale on discounted websites like Deep Discount/ImportCD. And if you do, they are usually above or very near list price. They prefer to sell their software through Acoustic Sounds. As for MoFi, the few titles that are available on these discounted websites carry a higher retail price [usually by $5] than Audio Fidelity SACD stereo/multi prices.....ALL of MoFi's Vinyl and SACD titles are available at MusicDirect, usually at list but both Acoustic Sounds and MoFi do offer discounts and free shipping via their sites. AF has their own website but it's usually cheaper to buy their titles from Import CDs and/or Deep Discount.
 

quicksrt

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I don't know, and I am speculating here (Brian might know), but as an observer, I have to assume that the AF title choices of BS&T's GH, Weather Report's Mysterious Traveler, and Musicmagic (among others) were titles chosen specifically because they had quad mixes and were viable as 4 channel SACDs. When the end came, and I would again surmise that it came suddenly, these titles had already been licensed and thus they had to be released even though AF would no longer bear the cost of adding the 4.0 track to the releases.

That is probably why Musicmagic was released. They had already paid the fee. Same with Mysterious Traveler and the BS&T hits. I would guess Marshall was probably hugely disappointed that the quad was removed from these titles (and maybe more) as these titles may not have been chosen by AF unless they had the quad tracks available.

Remember, AF gave it a great shot and it's mostly because of Marshall, so to trash AF is not fair. These companies have to stay in business and these days that is not easy. Every dollar counts. It's not fair to expect them to go the extra mile when it does not return the cost and the buying public isn't buying like they used to and everyone wants or waits for the good deal.

Fortunately for D-v, they don't have all of the restrictions that a US based label has. Fortunately for us as well! ;)
While you got dozens of likes and thanks for your nice post, nobody was trashing AF, certainly not me in my wonderfully colorful post #1730.

It wasn't Mysterious Traveler from Weather Report which AF issued w/o quad layer. It was another title.

But anyway yes they got approvals on some things that were not to be - as I said as much. And because they did not issue a couple of stereo only titles and then a quad one, two more stereos and another quad - but rather issue four titles (not 3), that all had quad mixes yet arrived in stereo only means that it really was all over and they were not just slowing down (on surround) as they officially stated. Unless we are in for a Christmas surprise here any minute, it ended the moment BS&T arrived unexpectedly in stereo only.

And the arrival of RTF in quad from D/V was one release for the history books, I'm sorry but it packs quite a punch in the history of quad tapes arriving on modern formats. I'll write the book one day about these uniquely exquisite master tapes sitting like sleeping beauties waiting for their Prince Charming to awaken them from decades long deep deep sleep. Michael Dutton fired that warning shot heard in all around the quad world. Seems the Santana / Coltrane disc got noticed as well. https://m.facebook.com/323992334279930/photos/a.461743493838146.111186.323992334279930/1780023522010130/?type=3&theat This was on AF's wish list as it's the only Santana title besides Lotus not being issued by MFSL at the moment.

Anyway, no, D/V are not issuing Alice Cooper or BOC this year nor next. Marshall and AF did dive in and get the very best of what could be licensed at the time. I am still thrilled that they found the quad master to "Full Sail" and that it came out so great. Two great EW&F titles. AF did what even WB/Rhino can't seem to do, which is go all out and get a quad product line out there.
 

quicksrt

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I'm not sure I get what you mean that AF potentially charging an additional $5.00 per surround title would not make a difference for their bottom line, then you go on to state oh by the way AP and MFSL charge more than AF for their SACD product. A bit of irony there. I think every $5.00 bill can help when mastering costs are eating at their bottom line.

I think you misunderstood me. I should've clarified that 'rarely' do you find Analogue Production SACDs [or even AP vinyl] for sale on discounted websites like Deep Discount/ImportCD. And if you do, they are usually above or very near list price. They prefer to sell their software through Acoustic Sounds. As for MoFi, the few titles that are available on these discounted websites carry a higher retail price [usually by $5] than Audio Fidelity SACD stereo/multi prices.....ALL of MoFi's Vinyl and SACD titles are available at MusicDirect, usually at list but both Acoustic Sounds and MoFi do offer discounts and free shipping via their sites. AF has their own website but it's usually cheaper to buy their titles from Import CDs and/or Deep Discount.
So is your point that you agree with me, that there was room to raise the prices a tad (especially for surround product)? Since the other two audiophile labels charge more for their product with no surround generally included. Or AF charge less than the others and the $5 bills are not relevant to their bottom line? I still don't get your mathematics here.
 

bmoura

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I feel fairly certain that if Audio Fidelity could have released "Nilsson Schmillson" as a Multichannel SACD, it would have already happened.
Analogue Productions has licensed the Nilsson catalog for release on SACD from what I've heard.
That would explain why there hasn't been any Nilsson albums on SACD from Audio Fidelity or other reissue labels in the US.
 

markshan

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Analogue Productions has licensed the Nilsson catalog for release on SACD from what I've heard.
That would explain why there hasn't been any Nilsson albums on SACD from Audio Fidelity or other reissue labels in the US.
Well then, let's get on with it already!
 

4-earredwonder

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In looking over ALL eight pages of Audio Fidelity's products, it WAS encouraging that a lot of their multichannel titles [4.0/5.1] did sell out but on the last page, listed as 'retired' are three SADE titles [Vinyl only] which would, IMO, make superb SACD Stereo offerings as none of her magnificent work has ever had a hi res physical disc release. IMO, her music IS TIMELESS!

https://www.audiofidelity.net/home?page=7
 
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