HiRez Poll Various Artists - THE COLLECTION [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Various Artists - THE COLLECTION

  • 5:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2:

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Poor Surround, Poor Fidelity, Poor Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    30

JonUrban

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this May 2016 4.0 SACD release from Audio Fidelity, containing stereo and quadraphonic tracks from classic '70 artist of all genre's. THE COLLECTION - AN ADVENTURE IN SOUND

When voting please consider the 14 tracks as a whole, as the compilation is presented as a single release.


PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION THREAD: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/showthread.php?21775

Collection Front.jpg
Collection Back.jpg
 

rtbluray

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First review, so here it goes!

"The Collection" starts off very strong with "Lay Lady Lay". Some of the Quad mixes on this collection are not very good at respecting the original balances of the stereo mix, but this one is discrete and well-balanced, and it does the song a great service to have it sound this good!
Then it moves on to what is without a doubt the craziest piece of music and surround mix on the entire album, "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down". If there ever was an album that was meant for a Quadraphonic mix, it was "Bitches Brew", and this particular mix does not disappoint! Like "Lay Lady Lay", the Quad mix on this track is very discrete, yet it does a very good job at respecting the original balances of the stereo mix. Nothing is out of place on this one, and it really jives, for 14 minutes!

After that exercise in self-indulgence, we're onto "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen" from Santana's "Abraxas". Like the other tracks before it, this track has a very discrete, yet still well-balanced mix, which makes sense as "Abraxas" is a legendary Quad mix. (I don't have the DTS-CD of this title, so I cannot compare how this mastering sounds.)
I'm not going to spend much time right now talking about "Definitely Maybe" since it's on an AF SACD already ("The Jeff Beck Group"), so now it's onto "Shining Star"!
This mix starts out great, but once the drums come in, it shrinks…Now it's not a terrible mix, but it's not as cohesive as some of the others before it. A "B" mix instead of an "A" mix, but still pretty good nonetheless.
Next is "Grazing in the Grass", which is one of the worst Quad mixes on the entire compilation IMHO. It's unbalanced, and the fidelity is very muddy compared to the clarity of a lot of the previous tracks.
Then we're onto "For the Love of Money" by the O'Jays. Now I don't have the long OOP SACD of "Ship Ahoy", so I cannot compare mastering jobs, but I don't have any issues with the mastering on this track, and the mix is pretty good too. It just doesn't shine quite as brightly as the first three tracks in particular.
After that, we're treated to what is actually one of the biggest surprise hits of the entire compilation, "Peter Gunn". This is a fantastic, discrete, and well-balanced mix. Anyone who loves this piece of music should have no troubles getting into this classic Quad mix. It's a winner!
"Watermelon Man" from Herbie Hancock follows, but because I have not listened to my new Analogue Productions SACD of "Head Hunters" yet, I won't talk about the mastering on this compilation right now.
Then we're onto the first (and really only) true rock track on the compilation, "7 Screaming Diz-Busters". This track, like "Shining Star", suffers from a somewhat disconnected mix, but the fidelity overall is excellent, so this album that it comes from, "Tyranny and Mutation", would be one I would love to hear in full from AF, especially since no previous SACD versions exist.
"Without You" follows, and it is without a doubt my favorite song on the entire compilation. Too bad the Quad mix really sucks! It starts out fine, but as soon as the drums come in during the chorus, everything collapses. On the stereo mix, the drums really drive the mix, but here, they are shoved off into one corner with a very meek sound. This is a song that I would much rather hear in stereo from now on. I hope the rest of the "Nilsson Schmilsson" Quad mix is better than this, otherwise, there's no point in getting it released. :mad:
For the next track, "That Lady", I don't have the long OOP "3 + 3" SACD from the Isley Brothers, so once again, I can't compare mastering jobs, but the fidelity on this track is not as good as many of the others. It's definitely a lot more muddy, and it's not even the best Quad mix either. Like some of the others, it suffers from a lack of cohesion.
Following that, we're treated to another one of the best surprises on the entire compilation, "Wake Up Everybody" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Like the BOC track, I would love to hear this album in full if AF are able to give us a full Quad SACD release of the album. The mix could be a little more cohesive, but the balances are still pretty good, and fidelity is also very good too.
Closing things out is the title track from "Birds of Fire", but I'm not going to talk about that track right now. One day, when I have a chance to compare masterings from the recently released AF SACD, I'll be able to see how they sound and which one is better (if any).

This is a '9' SACD, breaking down my vote this way:

Content: 3/3
Surround Mix: 2.5/3
Fidelity: 2.5/3
High-Res Disc: 1/1

I wanted so badly to give this a '10', and if all the tracks sounded as good as the first three, maybe this would be a '10', but alas, there are just a few tracks that bring this SACD down from a 'perfect' score, with "Grazing in the Grass" and "Without You" being the biggest losers from both a surround and fidelity standpoint, while "Peter Gunn" and "Wake Up Everybody" are pleasant surprises that make this collection worth owning, especially for the right price! :)
 

JonUrban

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Good observations, rtbluray. The RCA tracks do in fact pale in comparison to the Columbia tracks. I thought, when I heard "Without You" as the selected Nilsson track, that maybe they should have gone with "Jump into the Fire" instead, because that's the wild and crazy quad mix off Nilsson Schmilsson. The "Grazing in the Grass" sounded muddy even on my quad reel. It's not a superior fidelity source either way, but it's a familiar tune, which is probably why it was chosen for the compilation, and why "Without You" was picked over "Jump in to the Fire".

Peter Gunn theme is short and sweet. The best RCA track.

These compilations are a strange beast. You can never please everyone, so you just have to go with it. I don't think I've ever had a compilation disc where I loved every single track. Members certainly do not have to buy this SACD if they're not interested, but I would bet that in some cases (especially FOD and Nilsson tracks), this may be the only legit source where you will every find the quads. Ever.

It's a fun disc with highs and lows, worth having in the collection, but for those not interested, so be it. Maybe there will be a Volume II! (No, I have no idea if there ever will be, just thinking aloud)
 

4-earredwonder

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I voted a solid 8. All in all, a great effort but like Jon said....you can't please EVERYONE.

Agree with rtbluray that the Miles Davis Track only whets one's appetite for more Miles in QUAD.

A bass boost might also help. BTW, I wasn't blown away by the Santana Track. I do have the DTS version of Santana Abraxas and truth be told, on my system it sounds fantastic (again, with a bass boost).

Having just received the AP Stereo Peter Gunn Soundtrack (which was hissy), I was blown away by the AF QUAD version. IMO, it betters the AP Stereo version.

Could we hope for a Volume II. You BET!

These QUAD titles also show the need for matched speakers, front and rear [hopefully FULL range]. There is definitely equal amplitude in ALL four speakers.
 

Old Quad Guy

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I'm still waiting for my disc in the mail, but this is an overall great mix of very familiar Hits from the 1970s and other Really important Artists/Tracks like Miles Davis' "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" from"Bitches Brew." I Really Hope at some point the Quadraphonic "Bitches Brew" gets a release.

So, this collection should be winner for those of us really into Quad and a great introduction to those unfamiliar with surround, but know the music quite well.
 

rtbluray

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Good observations, rtbluray. The RCA tracks do in fact pale in comparison to the Columbia tracks. I thought, when I heard "Without You" as the selected Nilsson track, that maybe they should have gone with "Jump into the Fire" instead, because that's the wild and crazy quad mix off Nilsson Schmilsson. The "Grazing in the Grass" sounded muddy even on my quad reel. It's not a superior fidelity source either way, but it's a familiar tune, which is probably why it was chosen for the compilation, and why "Without You" was picked over "Jump in to the Fire".

Peter Gunn theme is short and sweet. The best RCA track.

These compilations are a strange beast. You can never please everyone, so you just have to go with it. I don't think I've ever had a compilation disc where I loved every single track. Members certainly do not have to buy this SACD if they're not interested, but I would bet that in some cases (especially FOD and Nilsson tracks), this may be the only legit source where you will every find the quads. Ever.

It's a fun disc with highs and lows, worth having in the collection, but for those not interested, so be it. Maybe there will be a Volume II! (No, I have no idea if there ever will be, just thinking aloud)
That actually makes a lot of sense, Jon, as I never thought the "Best of the Guess Who" disc sounded that great from both a mix and fidelity perspective, so maybe RCA just didn't knock Quad out-of-the-park like Columbia did.
Two things are for sure, though:
1) Audio Fidelity has to try and do their best to release the full "Wake Up Everybody" album as a Quad SACD, cause the one preview track on here really impressed me a lot, so I hope they consider it.
2) I also hope AF consider putting together another compilation release, but this time it should be utilizing Quad tracks from the Warner Music archive. If they can put together a compilation with Warner tracks that is as good as this one, I will have no trouble buying it. :)
 

4-earredwonder

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That actually makes a lot of sense, Jon, as I never thought the "Best of the Guess Who" disc sounded that great from both a mix and fidelity perspective, so maybe RCA just didn't knock Quad out-of-the-park like Columbia did.
Two things are for sure, though:
1) Audio Fidelity has to try and do their best to release the full "Wake Up Everybody" album as a Quad SACD, cause the one preview track on here really impressed me a lot, so I hope they consider it.
2) I also hope AF consider putting together another compilation release, but this time it should be utilizing Quad tracks from the Warner Music archive. If they can put together a compilation with Warner tracks that is as good as this one, I will have no trouble buying it. :)
I beg to differ regarding the RCA tracks. On my system they sounded pretty darn good. The Nilsson cut and the Friends of Distinction REALLY sounded great as did the Peter Gunn (better than the AP Gunn stereo remaster).

And lest we forget....I think Dutton Vocalion did an outstanding job with the RCA QUADS. Perhaps the choices weren't great....but the sound was stunning.

But I do agree: A Warners Collection in QUAD and/or 5.1 would be OUTSTANDING.....that's IF we can pry Warners away from stereo centric MoFi! And a WAKE UP EVERYBODY Quad remaster would be OUTSTANDING, as well.

Bitches Brew would also be a brilliant choice. Played loudly on my system, Miles Runs the Voodoo Down was, well..........WOW!
 

Simon A

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Having just received the AP Stereo Peter Gunn Soundtrack (which was hissy), I was blown away by the AF QUAD version. IMO, it betters the AP Stereo version.
That's good to know. I'll skip those AP Mancini SACDs then. That'll save me some money.
 

4-earredwonder

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That's good to know. I'll skip those AP Mancini SACDs then. That'll save me some money.
Simon, I haven't heard Hatari nor The Pink Panther AP remasters but I can vouch for Peter Gunn. I've heard Living Stereo Recordings from that era [1958] and they don't exhibit that much hiss. Methinks the Masters were overutilized back in the day. Simon, I played this the other night and it was spectacular http://www.amazon.com/Ravel-Daphnis-Chloe-Complete-Maurice/dp/B0002TKFHW
 

Simon A

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Simon, I haven't heard Hatari nor The Pink Panther AP remasters but I can vouch for Peter Gunn. I've heard Living Stereo Recordings from that era [1958] and they don't exhibit that much hiss. Methinks the Masters were overutilized back in the day. Simon, I played this the other night and it was spectacular http://www.amazon.com/Ravel-Daphnis-Chloe-Complete-Maurice/dp/B0002TKFHW
Thanks for the suggestion! You're right. The album was a huge success, just like the TV show, and it was regularly repressed well into the 70's. Either the master does show wear or AP was given a dupe which could explain the hiss.
 

JonUrban

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I beg to differ regarding the RCA tracks. On my system they sounded pretty darn good. The Nilsson cut and the Friends of Distinction REALLY sounded great as did the Peter Gunn (better than the AP Gunn stereo remaster).

And lest we forget....I think Dutton Vocalion did an outstanding job with the RCA QUADS. Perhaps the choices weren't great....but the sound was stunning.

But I do agree: A Warners Collection in QUAD and/or 5.1 would be OUTSTANDING.....that's IF we can pry Warners away from stereo centric MoFi! And a WAKE UP EVERYBODY Quad remaster would be OUTSTANDING, as well.

Bitches Brew would also be a brilliant choice. Played loudly on my system, Miles Runs the Voodoo Down was, well..........WOW!
Yes, Peter Gunn does sound great, and that's an RCA Master. One other thing that may be coming into play is the mix philosophy of the two companies. Anyone who lived the whole Q8 era, or relived it on eBay, knows that the two companies had different views on quad mixing. Most of the Columbia quad mixes (SQ encoding/decoding aside, I'm talking tape here) were "extreme" mixes, with instrument and vocal locations pinned into one of the 4 channels, many times solo or blended between only two channels. RCA mixes were more like an expanded stereo. Sure, there were exceptions and RCA would do the pans and isolations at times, but Columbia was going for the "wow" effect more than RCA.

When both takes on mixing appear on the same disc during the same listening session, this also affects the perception of the listener. Still, I hold fast that "Grazin in the Grass" was never one of my go-to quad mixes. ;)
 

bmoura

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Anyone who lived the whole Q8 era, or relived it on eBay, knows that the two companies had different views on quad mixing. Most of the Columbia quad mixes (SQ encoding/decoding aside, I'm talking tape here) were "extreme" mixes, with instrument and vocal locations pinned into one of the 4 channels, many times solo or blended between only two channels.
That's due in part to the Columbia recommendations on SQ mixing. Putting sounds in the corner speakers and not using techniques like cross channel reverb made the albums easier to decode with the early SQ Logic decoders.
 

kap'n krunch

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Although not in Bitches Brew League, this later Miles Davis recording for Warners on DVD~A, superbly recorded with great discrete use of surrounds has always been a favorite https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-Tutu/release/1864671

Still available new/used from AmazonUS third party vendors: http://www.amazon.com/Tutu-Miles-Davis/dp/B00006I08E
Thanks for the heads up!
You'll see that 1 of the 2 DVD-As on Discogs is not there anymore (chuckle!)...no need to wonder what happened to it. ;)
 

4-earredwonder

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If Brian Moura would be so kind.........What player and system does Audio Fidelity utilize to audition their finalized QUAD SACDs?

I think this is VERY relevant as we should ALL know by now that not all players, pre/pros, speakers, cables etc. are created equal. In the case of QUAD [4.0] there is NO sub channel and as there is equal amplitude in all four speakers, so having smaller speakers in the rear will not do these albums any justice. QUAD demands four matched full range speakers and my new speakers will finally satisfy this demand but until then..........my current B&W 802 Nautilus rears which are Full range nicely fit the bill.....but hardly 100% as my fronts are gigantic....and at times do overwhelm the rears.
 

stormchaser

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As folks have pointed out, this is a mixed bag. But wow, that Miles track. Amazing.
 
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