Hollins And Starr – Sidewalks Talking

14 May

Hollins And Starr - Sidewalks Talking DS257f front

A release from the early days from Ovation

Release: DS257f

Source: EV-4 CD

Process: EV-4/II

Format: DVD-A/V  MLP/DTS/DD

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6 Responses to “Hollins And Starr – Sidewalks Talking”

  1. Owen Smith July 21, 2013 at 12:54 #

    I echo the earlier review, this is very eclectic and it has the makings of two thirds of a decent album. I like the very folk based opening third, some very nice atmospheric flute and acoustic guitar playing and various “tinkly bits” – track 4 with just flute and chimes is very relaxing.

    But yes, they did seem to lose their way in the middle third and try to make a demo disc. Ironically this section shows the quad less well than the rest of the album. I didn’t check when I started playing it and it was ony when I came to take the disc out I noticed it was in EV-4, that’s how good OD’s decode is.

    • oxforddickie July 21, 2013 at 13:13 #

      Thanks. I’m really pleased how the DY & EV-4 processes work, especially as the systems were never supposed to give anything like ‘quad’ reproduction. It’s allowed albums that have laid un-heard in quad for 40 years to be fianlly enjoyed.

    • Owen Smith July 21, 2013 at 13:31 #

      There are aspects of your DY and EV decodes which frankly work better than SQ and QS. Others have noted the more solid bass with the EV/DY decodes and I agree, there’s definitely something to it. Also in some ways the EV/DY decodes sound more natural. The SQ and QS decodes with the /II process are very nice, but I find with many albums I’m aware there is some processing going on. Not all SQ or QS albums suffer this, the Maurice Andre seemed free of it for example. But the EV/DY process really seems to have hit a sweet spot, very non invasive to the music but produces really nice results.

      • oxforddickie July 21, 2013 at 14:05 #

        DY/EV-4 are completely different from all of the ‘Phase Matrix’ systems that followed, and their increased complexity does require more processing to get a respectable final performance.

        In respect to the bass, i’m guessing that the more simple encoding of DY/EV-4 doesn’t cause as many phase issues as SQ/QS. Also, the performance of the SQ & QS encoders were only accurate from around 100Hz to 10Khz, so any phase errors outside this area would cause errors when decoded.

        Just a couple of ideas off the top of my head………..

  2. sacdtodvda May 18, 2013 at 09:56 #

    I have to admit I am not familiar with this album, and can’t really compare the quad to the stereo release. I grabbed it because it is often cited when the EV system is mentioned.

    The music itself is … eclectic. I’d say there’s about three-quarters of a half-decent folk-psych album here. It starts and finishes well. Some of it is a bit like Simon & Garfunkel if the Moody Blues came to visit, and some of the musical interludes are not unlike early Pink Floyd.

    In the middle, there is one track that is a bit of a cacophony (the wife made me skip this) and another that is spoken word, almost comedic piece that ends in a lengthy thunder storm. This is followed by the title track, which also has the thunderstorm effect through it except that the effect is so loud it overpowers and dominates the song. It’s almost like halfway through the project they decided to make a surround demonstration disc.

    But what we are here for is the decode. I understand that EV was an early system, and like DynaQuad wasn’t all that discrete. However, OD’s decode presents a full, open sound stage with a higher than expected level of discreteness between front and rear. it does depend on the track – there’s at least one with not much happening in the rears, but that would appear to be the mix, because there’s another where one of the lead vocal parts is more prominent in the rears. Again, that quad demonstration thing.

    Overall, not really to my taste, and one I’d bother with except in surround, but being EV an interesting chapter in the history of surround sound music.

    • oxforddickie May 18, 2013 at 10:10 #

      Thanks for that feedback. I was wondering what people would think about it. I think it has a feeling of a 60’s hippy crossed with an anti war feel about it.

      But certainly an interesting early quad album, as you say, full of sound efects.

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