Why did bands like Yes and Led Zeppelin not have Quad releases back in the day?

QuadraphonicQuad

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M-D-Z

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I understand your frustration with tape, it does carry a lot of baggage with it in terms of ease of use and other liabilities.

In a way, your response validates my proposition that a quad cassette format would have been rejected from the git-go by the suits.

But, when you compare the quality of audio results of quadraphonic music matrixed onto stereo vinyl to discrete tape, it’s clear that tape wins the fidelity contest.

You had Q-8 tapes that had limited commercial success, but it WAS a discrete quad format where tape machine manufacturers got together with music producers to offer an interesting alternative to stereo. I feel it would’ve been nice (better) to have some quad cassettes made specifically to be played on well made quad cassette machines, but unfortunately they stuck with eight track.

And, all of my four track open reel machines will play a stereo tape, I just shut off the other two tracks. Even my 234 Syncaset machine has the ability to turn off two tracks for stereo, but it’s not compatible with std cassettes because it’s running at 3 & 3/4”/sec.

Sticky Shed Syndrome can be caused by poor storage, buying cheap consumer tapes, or played on poorly maintained machines, etc.
I have always tried to buy the highest quality professional grade tape stock obtainable and store them in a cool dry place. As far as incompatible formats, it’s to be expected you will get garbage if you play an incompatible tape in a machine designed for another format.

Good cassettes recorded properly are very reliable and sound amazing in a quality machine.
My TASCAM 234 is a fairly decent discrete quad cassette machine with each channel having the same density of quality recorded signal as any two way, four track, stereo cassette, and it’s a very nice truly discrete quad format.

All I’m saying is that in the early 70s when quad was just getting started, there were three easy tape formats that would've been competitive with matrixed vinyl quad. Open reel, cassette and eight track. I think they should have gone with quad cassette machines instead of Q-8 eight tracks. Plus, The bandwidth is nearly the same between cassette and 8-trk, without the crude endless loop foolishness of 8-track.
 

Q-Eight

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I wasn't around during Quad's heyday, but one place I do feel it fell short was in advertising. I feel the record companies figured it was a natural progression like it was from mono to stereo. Sure, there are a few advertisements that advertise the equipment, and the odd review in Hi-Fi Magazines of the time; but nothing that went as far as to entice the reader/viewer into really checking it out. To my knowledge, I don't think we've ever come up with a TV advertisement expounding the virtues of Quad. Could you imagine a nation-wide TV commercial starring Frank Sinatra or Elvis saying: "Hey, check out my latest album in this groovy new Quadraphonic format. You're gonna dig it! Makes you feel like you're really in the audience."

I also think they abandoned it way too early. Like I said in a previous post, Bolic Sound which was Ike & Tina's recording studio was DESIGNED with Quad mixing in mind. I don't think a single Quad mix was ever done there though what with their divorce and Bolic's subsequent spontaneous combustion. Ditto with Elton John's "The Mill". A studio completely rebuilt from the ground up specifically for the remixing of Elton's older albums and mixing of future albums.... by the time it was complete.... Quad was pretty much dead.

And I'm sure there are other studios that lost their shirts by investing in the Quad game late and then never recouping dollar one on the investment. Which is a HUGE shame because the disco-era was PERFECT for Quad. By that time, we had 24-track, we had Dolby, even that groovy new format Elcaset had a Quad unit in pre-production.

Even that album by the Who that was specifically recorded to come out in Quad.... did not come out in Quad. Like.... what is up with that?
 

furui_suterioo

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I think it's just lunacy that DSOTM Parsons mix was never even released in the USA, it's like they were afraid to let people hear how good the discrete quad was maybe because it would make the limitations of matrix obvious?? Such a shame since matrix eventually improved, the discrete version could've given consumers a better impression and would've generated more demand for quad, maybe would've forced the industry to perfect the vinyl formats.
 

MidiMagic

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And, all of my four track open reel machines will play a stereo tape, I just shut off the other two tracks. Even my 234 Syncaset machine has the ability to turn off two tracks for stereo, but it’s not compatible with std cassettes because it’s running at 3 & 3/4”/sec.

My TASCAM 234 is a fairly decent discrete quad cassette machine with each channel having the same density of quality recorded signal as any two way, four track, stereo cassette, and it’s a very nice truly discrete quad format.

All I’m saying is that in the early 70s when quad was just getting started, there were three easy tape formats that would've been competitive with matrixed vinyl quad. Open reel, cassette and eight track. I think they should have gone with quad cassette machines instead of Q-8 eight tracks. Plus, The bandwidth is nearly the same between cassette and 8-trk, without the crude endless loop foolishness of 8-track.

The tapes I bought were a well-known good brand. Apparently nobody thought of the rubber backing deteriorating until it happened after a few years. At the time it was a selling point.

I have the 238 Syncaset. It has the 3.75 in/s speed, plus the offset-head tracks. I also have a TASCAM 246 with inline heads. It is now very hard to get the tape these machines require.

Philips had patent control of manufacture of all consumer cassette machines until 1978. Their license required the forward and backward compatibility of all cassettes intended for consumer voice or music use.

TASCAM, Fostex, and others making studio equipment got special exemptions because the tapes produced were for studio (not consumer) use. TASCAM also made the 388, a 1/4 in open-reel 8-track.
 

doity

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I wasn't around during Quad's heyday, but one place I do feel it fell short was in advertising. I feel the record companies figured it was a natural progression like it was from mono to stereo. Sure, there are a few advertisements that advertise the equipment, and the odd review in Hi-Fi Magazines of the time; but nothing that went as far as to entice the reader/viewer into really checking it out. To my knowledge, I don't think we've ever come up with a TV advertisement expounding the virtues of Quad. Could you imagine a nation-wide TV commercial starring Frank Sinatra or Elvis saying: "Hey, check out my latest album in this groovy new Quadraphonic format. You're gonna dig it! Makes you feel like you're really in the audience."

I also think they abandoned it way too early. Like I said in a previous post, Bolic Sound which was Ike & Tina's recording studio was DESIGNED with Quad mixing in mind. I don't think a single Quad mix was ever done there though what with their divorce and Bolic's subsequent spontaneous combustion. Ditto with Elton John's "The Mill". A studio completely rebuilt from the ground up specifically for the remixing of Elton's older albums and mixing of future albums.... by the time it was complete.... Quad was pretty much dead.

The Moody Blues also built a Quad studio which I think only produced the ‘Blue Jays’ album if I am correct. None of the others did their solo records in quadraphonic. I was on the edge of the Quad phenomenon. I was old enough to be around in its heyday but too young to be a LP consumer. I started buying singles in about 1973 or so and by the time I was a fully fledged teen consumer (music & other teen pursuits ;)) Quad was on it’s way out.

Music was so communal back then and everyone seemed to have and play the same records at every gathering. Stuff like Frampton Comes Alive, Zeppelin IV, Yes Fragile, Get Your Wings, etc. It was too bad that it hadn’t caught on past a certain time as I certainly would had dabbled in it. I had a Argent LP in quad for years and played the heck out of it but even if I had the right equipment I would had been lost. As in “what the hell is SQ”?
 

Doug G.

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Wish I could FLIC my BIC [lighter] remotely, Doug, as my thumbs are worn from the process!

See the source image

I haven't flicked a BIC regularly since I quit smoking in 2007. I still have the last BIC lighter I ever bought, however, and use it to shrink heat-shrink tubing.

Doug
 
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