Pink Floyd – DSOTM SQ decode – Any interest?

12 Jun

I believe i asked this before on the old blog, but I’ve been asked (again) why there’s no SQ decode of  ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. I’m not sure there’s enough interest in decoding and releasing the album. Please say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ in the comments.


64 Responses to “Pink Floyd – DSOTM SQ decode – Any interest?”

  1. Len Costello September 30, 2014 at 03:37 #

    Yay…and wish you were here columbia SQ as well

    • Owen Smith September 30, 2014 at 08:25 #

      Given that SACD to DVD-A versions are available again on his blog, taken to high resolutuon discrete sources, what would the point of an SQ decode be?

  2. urbasantiago September 24, 2013 at 02:52 #

    YAY, Absolutely!!!

  3. donimo1 June 21, 2013 at 01:01 #

    Nay, Immersions’ got it covered. And yes I flip flopped voted yes on the old blog.

  4. showbizkid2013 June 20, 2013 at 19:16 #

    Yeah, I vote “nay”. The Alan Parsons mix release from a few years back is pretty definitive for the Quad mix of this title, IMHO.

  5. rayc2 June 15, 2013 at 14:48 #

    Thanks OD.
    My wife is currently going through a Ted Neeley obsession/phase so thought I’d track him down in quad if it was out there.
    Since there’s not to your knowledge that’s one thing I don’t have to get sorted.

  6. rayc2 June 15, 2013 at 00:56 #

    Wow, descent into the maelstrom indeed.
    Copletely off topic…is there a quad of the JC Superstar soundtrack?

  7. capt2muchclutter June 14, 2013 at 16:58 #

    Another vote here for variety, esp. Eleventh House and the remaining Beach Boys-related things.

  8. fathomie June 14, 2013 at 15:28 #

    Some interesting points by Own Smith, delivered in a rather ‘I know best’ fashion so typical of the internet, but there you go. First up, the Original Master for the quad mix is in the hands of the ‘unknown engineer’ who created the DVD-A from it. Second, Abbey Road did the Quad master for the Blu Ray, not James Guhrie, at least according to his co engineer Andy Jackson. We therefore have no idea what gen tape was used, or it’s condition. Going on the rubbish being put out on HDtracks, and, as I said, the poor quality of the YES SACD, and knowing the record companies well (I used to work with them), I’m not convinced a used LP would be any worse than what’s on the Blu Ray. That’s not to say it would be better. Third, I never said Blu ray was ‘crap’, don’t put words in my mouth. I said I’m not over enthused by the Blu Rays I have. Which include the Immersion DSTOM, Steve Wilsons Grace for Drowing, Rush 2112, etc. There is a big difference between ‘crap’ and ‘not bowled over’. I really don’t see the issue with Dickie doing a rip if it’s not going to get in the way of rips people would rather see.

    • Owen Smith June 14, 2013 at 19:47 #

      Do you want every statement caged with “in my opinion” and “as far as I am aware”? I regard them as unecessary, by definition everything I say is my opinion and limited by what I do and do not know. I did not intend it to come over as “I know best” and I’m sorry you thought it did.

      I’m reaching the stage of saying do the rip and SW decode and be done with it, because it’s the only way we’ll settle anything and be rid of people asking OD for it every 6 months.

    • sacdtodvda June 15, 2013 at 13:52 #

      “the Original Master for the quad mix is in the hands of the ‘unknown engineer’ who created the DVD-A”

      Well, he didn’t keep the actual tape, he made a digital copy.

    • Owen Smith June 15, 2013 at 15:30 #

      That sounds more plausible than keeping the original master tape. Copying it is one thing, but stealing the physical tape would be in an entire different league.

      I assume we’re talking about the “Infamous mastertape rip” with the 4.1 audio ie. with a created a sub track, the one with a cat on the cover among other things and “In memory of blokey bob”? I downloaded it and while it was OK there was audible mastertape hiss and some glitches in places. Once I got your blu ray conversion I ditched the earlier one, the blu ray conversion sounded better to my ears and didn’t have the annoying mastertape hiss.

  9. beukenoot June 14, 2013 at 07:28 #

    For the ones who don’t own Blu-ray, it would maybe interesting to grab the 4.0 with HdBrStreamExtractor as flac 4-ch and convert that to MLP, or try to get the MLP data directly off the BD, (and create a DVD-A).

    It is possible that also the 4.0 is “remastered” using modern mastering tools such as compression, making artificial harmonics eg, but for me it sounds quite well.

    Maybe it’s useful to decode a part which has much dynamics and compare the DR rate with the BD 4.0 version. But my feeling is that they didn’t use the loudness war on this recording. And that is exactly why most early cd or LP recordings sounds better than reissues.

    • Owen Smith June 14, 2013 at 10:10 #

      The 4.0 quad on the blu ray has aleady been ripped and converted to DVD Audio, it is on the SACD to DVD-A site (link to site is in the side bar on this blog).

  10. ajna72013 June 13, 2013 at 22:26 #

    I pretty much agree with the nays in that fully discrete digital versions are available unlike much else here

  11. fathomie June 13, 2013 at 20:26 #

    Yay. The Blu ray version of the Quad is poor. I also cannot see how you can improve on something that has already been mastered once it’s ripped? If a Quad version is done here it will be taken from an SQ disc, and then converted to quad in Digital, not a fudge done by Guthrie from a dusty archived tape and then stuck on a Blu Ray to fill it out. After the Hoffman Yes CTTE scandal I’m not feeling sympathetic to re-masters being made from dodgy old tapes. As for Blu Ray sound being ‘awesome’, C’mon… Blu Ray players are not, and won’t ever be dedicated Audio players, and unless everyone is using high end Oppo’s, I can’t agree that Guthries Quad transfers sound ‘fantastic’. They certainly aren’t using a high end surround system here.

    Really though it’s up to the man himself. If there are more important rips to do, then so be it. DSTOM Quad will have to remain on the shelf.

    • Owen Smith June 14, 2013 at 10:15 #

      Dusty archive tape? Some masters are in good condition and some aren’t, but do you have any real evidence of the condition of that tape? And even if it wasn’t perfect, you’re comparing it to SQ on vinyl which was matrixed (losing information in the process), EQ’d for LP mastering, and then has been pressed in a vinyl pressing plant, played a few times, sat on a shelf, cleaned for ripping, de-clicked after ripping etc. even before we get to the matrix decoded. It would have to be a pretty dire discrete master tape to sound worse than what the SQ has been through in its life.

      Also we’re not talking about the quality of blu ray players here. It’s the audio on the disc that matters, and this has been ripped and converted to DVD A by sacdtodvda and therefore can be played on exactly the same player as any conversion that OD might do.

    • Owen Smith June 14, 2013 at 10:22 #

      And by the way I do have a high end Oppo 95, so DVD-A, SACD, Blu Ray and multi channel FLAC are all played on the same machine here and therefore I can ignore the “blu ray is crap because the players are crap” argument and just do direct comparisons of the audio quality. So far DVD A, Blu Ray and FLAC sound indistinguishable with the same material which is hardly surprising since they all carry lossless PCM. I’m unsure with SACD whether I can pick it out reliably or not, sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t. It may be the recordings, since it holds DSD it’s impossible to have exactly the same audio on it there has to be some conversion somewhere.

  12. g335 June 13, 2013 at 14:01 #

    I say nay, and agree with quadrophiliac’s sentiment…that would be terrific!

  13. rayc2 June 13, 2013 at 12:19 #

    I’d say NADA simply because there’s so much yet to be done. OD is doing the work that those in the BIZ aren’t interested in – revealing the quads of obscure, rare and interesting/challenging music.

    • oxforddickie June 13, 2013 at 12:22 #

      Challenging music? Oh you mean the Beaver & Krause releases LOL

  14. vax2man June 13, 2013 at 06:00 #

    I also agree with the sentiments expressed by deepsky.

    Somewhat off-topic – did they ever do a quad release of Meddle? Now that would be great to have!

    • oxforddickie June 13, 2013 at 06:08 #

      There is proof that ‘Meddle’ was mixed in quad, but has never been released.

  15. quadrophiliac June 13, 2013 at 03:22 #

    My vote would be nay,if you can’t beat already existing versions of this recording.
    I would prefer to see your talent applied to other stuff you haven’t gotten to already (like Larry Coryell Introducing The Eleventh House, hint hint)

  16. Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 23:15 #

    There appear to be two camps:

    i) no, it serves no purpose, we already have a much better copy.

    ii) yes, anything to do with Dark Side Of The Moon is worth having.

    Camp ii) have yet to explain why it is worth having in my opinion. Historical document is about the only answer, but then OD’s decodes don’t sound like any legacy release. If you really want to hear it as it was then, you need a full legacy 1970s quad system and play the LP direct. An SQ/II decode played on a modern system is not going to sound the same as a Tate decoder through a vintage system.

    • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 23:28 #

      I have been waiting for someone who wants a decode of the SQ album to explain why, other than for historical or archival reasons.

      What exactley is the problem with the recent immersion release?

      And as to going back to using a Tate, those days are long gone (personally that is)

      • sfactor23 June 13, 2013 at 04:07 #

        The Immersion version sounds great, no doubt – however, OD, if you think you can produce better results, then I think you should try – honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you outdid the Immersion version; you are very, very good at your work, I am sure everyone here will agree

        • oxforddickie June 13, 2013 at 05:38 #

          It’s impossible for a decode of any matrix encoded recording to come close to that of a copy of the original four channel master.

  17. birdycat19 June 12, 2013 at 21:50 #

    What deepsky said.

  18. floydophile June 12, 2013 at 19:28 #

    Sí, Senor!

  19. deepsky4565 June 12, 2013 at 19:06 #

    I say nay, we have access to an incredible copy of the master tape, which an SQ album would not be, and I’d rather see OD work on things not available in even reasonable quality. Maybe when OD is closer to exhausting the catalog of quad releases would this make more sense to me. It would have historical value of a kind.

  20. quadro2013 June 12, 2013 at 17:58 #

    Simply: yay!

  21. ea7hwx June 12, 2013 at 17:40 #

    Yay, definitely, but I have SACD 5.1 mix.

  22. Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 16:58 #

    Apologies for the typo, I meant 60% yes and 40% no (not “know”).

    • joeerand June 12, 2013 at 17:19 #

      I don’t see the point of you taking the time to prep an SQ of that title, when there are scores of titles that have never been done. Thanks for asking!

  23. zaphod2359 June 12, 2013 at 15:48 #

    Heck I’ll go with Yay even though I have the immersion set.I’m a sucker for DSOTM.

    • Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 16:37 #

      What purpose do you expect this to serve? A comparison of SQ decoded LP quality and mix vs. 24/96 discrete from the master tape? I can’t see any other point for someone like you with the immersion set..

      • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 16:47 #

        It’s not my idea. I’ve been asked a number of times to do a decode, and today i received another request. Rather than just say ‘there’s not much point’, as i’ve done before, i thought i’d put it to the public vote. Only fair, and it would give the requesters a more definitive answer.

      • Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 16:57 #

        I was actually asking zaphod2359 what purpose they expected it to serve. But I take your point, people do keep asking.

        On the old blog you had a poll about whether you should release the 24/96 from digital masters, I suspect it was sacdtodvda’s blu ray conversion you had in mind. The results were about 60% yes and 40% know if I recall correctly, but that wasn’t about an SQ decode. My memory is pretty clear on that point.

        • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 17:04 #

          When i put that poll up, the conversions on sacdtodvda were not done, but once they appeared i saw no point in doing my own versions.

      • Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 17:12 #

        I thought the sacdtoddvda conversions were done when you had your poll, I remember thinking it meant you were simply going to publish that conversion. Ah hang on, you had two polls about Dark Side Of The Moon on the old blog, I think you are remembering the first one and I’m remembering the second. Funny thing memory, just ask the police about multiple eye witness accounts of supposdely the same event.

        • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 17:18 #

          You know, my memory’s getting so bad i just about remember the first poll, can’t remember ANY of the others.

  24. Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 15:29 #

    Inspired by this thread I’ve just listened again to sacdtodvda’s conversion of the blu ray 24/96 quad. Totally fantastic, I simply cannot imagine any release bettering it and certainly not an SQ decode of an LP. That’s not to belittle OD’s processes at all, just a comment on the limitations of matrix encoding vs. discrete and of vinyl as an audio carrier vs. 24/96.

    I read an interview with Alan Parsons about the Dark Side quad mix. He explained he thinks of quad not so much as four speakers but as four stereo images on the four sides of the square. That is very evident in places listening to Dark Side, though in others it does revert to four speakers.

    It’s a shame Pink Floyd did their own quad mix of Wish You Were Here, it’s very mediocre and a hard choice for me between that and the also mediocre James Guthrie 5.1 mix on SACD. It’s such a shame the band didn’t have Alan Parsons do the Wish You Were Here quad mix.

    As an addenda I will add that the quad Atom Heart Mother is better than the sterero mix, somehow the quad makes it less uninspiring (says he failing to find the words to describe the pretensious strangeness of Atom Heart Mother).

  25. Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 14:09 #

    I should add that this is a classic case of marketing failure for the commercial releases. I bought the disappointing new 5.1 mixes of Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here on SACD and I would have bought the quad mixes if they’d been sold for a vaguely sensible price. But the quad releases for both were only included in the blu ray immersion box sets which were very expensive and contain a lot of stuff I’m not interested in, particularly all the video footage. And so they lost the chance of a legal sale to me. I would also have paid for an official download of the quad, either multi channel FLACs or an ISO image to blow to disc (I’d have preferred FLACs).

  26. sfactor23 June 12, 2013 at 13:11 #

    One thing to keep in mind: the official release is off of a disc, while OD’s post (if he does one) will be off of vinyl – it is reasonable to believe that there will be a difference in sound between the two

  27. fusionsch June 12, 2013 at 12:58 #


  28. sfactor23 June 12, 2013 at 11:33 #

    I say ‘yes’, why not?

  29. tarkus2013 June 12, 2013 at 10:43 #


  30. sacdtodvda June 12, 2013 at 10:43 #

    It’s “nay” for me as I made a conversion of the blu-ray release (available on my blog).

    • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 10:48 #

      Personally, i’m guessing that version will be just what many would be looking for

    • Owen Smith June 12, 2013 at 13:32 #

      I downloaded the 24/96 blu ray conversion of the Quad release from sacdtodvda’s blog and it is truly great, the audio quality is superb (I’m assuminf it was cleaned up for the blu ray) and the quad brilliant as it is completely discrete from the master tape. I can’t see any point in an SQ decoded of the same release, the quality will never be as good.

    • philbiker June 16, 2013 at 15:57 #

      And that conversion is wonderful, thanks sacdtodvda for that. I vote nay also because I have sacdtodvdas conversion.

  31. kilg0retr0ut June 12, 2013 at 10:41 #

    Yay, definitely. To me listening to music is to get as close as possible to the master tape, not only in terms on lineage, but also in chronology. To listen to the material the way it was released back then is like having a time machine. Especially with the loudness war raging on. A few more decades and we will all listen to noise.

  32. bayards June 12, 2013 at 10:25 #

    p.s if you have Atom Heart Mother knocking around. i have a version but that probably came off Q8 or such….

    • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 10:45 #

      Have AHM, going to re-decode it. Q8? no thanks!

      • bayards June 12, 2013 at 11:05 #

        yay! you are a wizard, a true star (as Todd Rundgren would say…)

  33. bayards June 12, 2013 at 10:23 #

    Nay from me as the official surround release does the job. BTW in Tokyo and had a scour around for quadro … nothing unusual came up in the vinyl bins….:(

  34. failedmuso June 12, 2013 at 10:20 #

    Before saying yay or nay, how much is this different to the unofficial DVD-A made from the original masters or the official SACD release?

    I’d probably say “yay” from a completists perspective 🙂

    • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 10:44 #

      I’ve heard a few complaints about the ‘re-issue’, which i suspect is due to the master tape ageing.

    • sacdtodvda June 12, 2013 at 10:57 #

      It’ll be very different from the SACD, because that was a new 5.1 mix. The quad mix is much better.

      • oxforddickie June 12, 2013 at 11:10 #

        So, you have the 5.1 mix on your blog and not the 4.0 from the Immersion set?

      • sacdtodvda June 12, 2013 at 11:38 #

        I have both the quad and 5.1 mixes for both DSOTM and WYWH.

  35. gulliverity June 12, 2013 at 10:20 #

    Absolute yay!

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