The Columbia "Underground" Quad Reels of the late '70s

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

sjcorne

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
3,570
Location
Southern NY
Blood, Sweat & Tears Child is the Father to Man
Bloomfield/Kooper/Stills Supersession
The AF SACDs of these two are new 5.1 mixes by Al Kooper - the quad mixes have not been released digitally (yet).

The BS&T self-titled quad was released by AF, but there are two versions on the robin reel - one sounds like all four channels have been blended together (this matches the officially released SQ LP, Q8, and SACD), and the other is fully discrete. The unreleased version also has the full length edits of "Spinning Wheel" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy".

There’s also two versions of the Laura Nyro album on the robin reels, neither of which matches the AF SACD.
 
Last edited:

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
7,451
Location
estados hundidos
If it had been on the list, we (some quad friends) would have ordered it.
Ahhhhhhhhh...THAT WOULD DO IT!!!!
(y)(y)(y)(y)
Thanks for the reminder...now I know why a lot of members said so...well, I thought that , since III was one of those with the gold band SQ LP cover , it would be on that list...
My reasoning is that it has better freq range than any Columbia Q8 (Audiospectrum's conversion of Borboletta is really good but it still isn't as good---I COULD be wrong you know)

Merci, monsieur...

..but now the enigma deepens...
 

winopener

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
3,980
So Abraxas apparently was available. What about the first album?
Kinda puzzling, since some tracks showed on very early SQ compilation/demo (Evil Ways) but been released in 1974 and with a decent mix i suspect it was mixed entirely for quad in 1973 to be released along the Greatest Hits, which has several tracks of I.
 

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
7,451
Location
estados hundidos
Ahhhhhhhhh...THAT WOULD DO IT!!!!
(y)(y)(y)(y)
Thanks for the reminder...now I know why a lot of members said so...well, I thought that , since III was one of those with the gold band SQ LP cover , it would be on that list...
My reasoning is that it has better freq range than any Columbia Q8 (Audiospectrum's conversion of Borboletta is really good but it still isn't as good---I COULD be wrong you know)

Merci, monsieur...

..but now the enigma deepens...
CLARIFICATION:
What I wanted to state regarding Audiospectrum's conversion was the FREQUENCY RANGE, the conversion itself is one of the BEST EVER I have heard from Columbia Q8...
 

quicksrt

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 5, 2002
Messages
2,605
Location
Surf City, CA
The AF SACDs of these two are new 5.1 mixes by Al Kooper - the quad mixes have not been released digitally (yet).

The BS&T self-titled quad was released by AF, but there are two versions on the robin reel - one sounds like all four channels have been blended together (this matches the officially released SQ LP, Q8, and SACD), and the other is fully discrete. The unreleased version also has the full length edits of "Spinning Wheel" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy".

There’s also two versions of the Laura Nyro album on the robin reels, neither of which matches the AF SACD.
The AF BS&T quad mix on SACD is not very discreet, but blended channels?
 

sjcorne

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
3,570
Location
Southern NY
The AF BS&T quad mix on SACD is not very discreet, but blended channels?
Here's the first 15 seconds of "Spinning Wheel" from both versions (top is the AF SACD, bottom is the Mike Robin reel transfer):

Spinning Wheel AF SACD.jpg


Spinning Wheel Robin Reel.jpg


You can pretty much see without hearing that the horn intro is completely isolated in the rear channels on the reel. If you mute the rears, you will not hear the horns at all. On the AF SACD, the horns are like 75% in the rear channels and 25% in the fronts. I'm not sure why they did this as it would appear to violate the 'rules' of SQ matrix compatibility.

The differences between the two quad mixes go beyond reduced channel separation though. For example, from around 2:45-3:30 in "Blues (Part II)" on the reel, you have both the drum kit and bass guitar in rear channels with barely anything happening in the fronts. On the AF SACD, the drums are isolated in the rears and the bass guitar is isolated in the fronts. I actually prefer the approach of the 'released' quad mix for this section.

Blues Part II AF SACD.jpg


Blues Part II Robin Reel.jpg


It sounds to me like the 'unreleased' mix on the reel is the one that was supposed to be used for the SQ LP. It's got the extreme directionality to satisfy matrix requirements, plus the the full-length edits of "Spinning Wheel" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy".
 

J. PUPSTER

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
8,221
Location
CALIFORNIA (CENTRAL)
Here's the first 15 seconds of "Spinning Wheel" from both versions (top is the AF SACD, bottom is the Mike Robin reel transfer):

View attachment 56847

View attachment 56846

You can pretty much see without hearing that the horn intro is completely isolated in the rear channels on the reel. If you mute the rears, you will not hear the horns at all. On the AF SACD, the horns are like 75% in the rear channels and 25% in the fronts. I'm not sure why they did this as it would appear to violate the 'rules' of SQ matrix compatibility.

The differences between the two quad mixes go beyond reduced channel separation though. For example, from around 2:45-3:30 in "Blues (Part II)" on the reel, you have both the drum kit and bass guitar in rear channels with barely anything happening in the fronts. On the AF SACD, the drums are isolated in the rears and the bass guitar is isolated in the fronts. I actually prefer the approach of the 'released' quad mix for this section.

View attachment 56849

View attachment 56850

It sounds to me like the 'unreleased' mix on the reel is the one that was supposed to be used for the SQ LP. It's got the extreme directionality to satisfy matrix requirements, plus the the full-length edits of "Spinning Wheel" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy".
Doesn't it look like the rears are swapped from the Reel version also, on Spinning Wheel ?
 

sjcorne

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
3,570
Location
Southern NY
Doesn't it look like the rears are swapped from the Reel version also, on Spinning Wheel ?
Yeah, I noticed that too. I wonder if the rears were swapped on the AF disc? The arrangement on the reel (cowbell left, piano right) matches the original stereo mix. But that may not be a solid indication of a swapped pair as some other CBS quads don't perfectly match the left/right panning schemes of the stereo mixes. For example, Jeff Beck's "Ice Cream Cakes" had the guitar on the left and piano on the right in stereo, but the quad places guitar in rear right and piano in rear left.
 

Q-Eight

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,362
Location
Castlegar, BC, Canada
My wife is a Janis fanatic locating the music of pearl in quad ESPECIALLY 2 takes of "mercedes benz" would be a hell of a valentines present
Don't get your hopes up. Remember, Janis only recorded ONE TAKE of "Mercedes Benz". It was an off the cuff recording, just something she'd been fooling around with.

The two Quad takes differ in that, in the official version, it doesn't get all echo-y until she says "Everybody!". The Take 2 version has it sound like that for the entire song.

They are in fact, the same take. To the point you can even listen to the silent channels of the official version and if your ears are good, you can detect the over-compressed vocal in back left and the echo-chamber vocal in back right. You can especially feel the sliders come up when Janis says "Everybody!".
 
Top