The ‘D’ Word

5 Jan

As many here know, i have shied away from using the ‘D’ word when describing ‘Phoenix’ decodes, mainly because i’ve felt it was something that those who like to knock me could use against me. But after listening to a ‘Phoenix’ decode and a CD-4 decode of the same album i have been thinking it’s about time i stopped being so stupid and proudly state that ‘Phoenix’ is at least the equal of CD-4, and actually superior in many respects.

So, to put it another way, ‘Phoenix’ is as Discrete as the matrix used in CD-4, if not better.

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14 Responses to “The ‘D’ Word”

  1. atq January 6, 2016 at 10:16 #

    Phoenix sounds great to me. Great work, OD!

  2. Owen Smith January 5, 2016 at 22:28 #

    Is CD-4 inferior to FM radio in any way? Obviously FM is producing 2 channels from sum plus difference whereas CD-4 is producing 4 channels from two lots of sum plus difference. But if we consider just one side (left or right) of CD-4, is it inferior or superior to FM? Because FM is all I have to go on, my only exposure to CD-4 are the titles on this blog and those represent some of the best CD-4 vinyl that actually transferred well (by CB or Malcolm Piper). Any crud pressings will have been rejected as not releasable.

    • oxforddickie January 5, 2016 at 22:56 #

      I think it’s fair to say that the main issue with CD-4 was the medium itself. Things improved a bit with JVC’s specially formulated vinyl, but the fact remains that trying to recover the full 50k bandwidth from an lp was asking just too much.

      Noise was one of the biggest problems, and unlike FM that has a fairly linear frequency responce over the required bandwidth, JVC created ANRS to help mask the high noise levels the system suffered from, with varying levels of success.

      • kilg0retr0ut January 6, 2016 at 17:34 #

        That makes me think, were CD-4 on standard stereo reel-to-reel ever made available, or even considered? I guess it would probably have solved the noise issue.

        • oxforddickie January 6, 2016 at 18:39 #

          Unlike the matrix systems, CD-4 was devoloped for vinyl use only, there would be no use for it on tape as four channel tapes were easy to produce and were available long before it’s invention.

        • Owen Smith January 7, 2016 at 00:01 #

          There was a plan to extend the FM stereo scheme of multiple carriers to do quad radio in quite a similar way to CD-4, designed by Lou Dorren. It would have been mono and stereo receivers compatible, quad requiring two layers of sum + difference extraction (once to get to stereo and again to get to quad). But by the time the FCC approved it in the early 1980s for use in the USA, quad was dead.

  3. Doug January 5, 2016 at 21:29 #

    No need for modesty, O.D.! You’ve earned the right to brag or even be glib 🙂 You’ve done over, what, 500 titles and your process keeps improving? Even Tab Patterson quit after doing 707 titles.

    I guess I’m biased, but I prefer your vinyl decodes to digital sources

    • oxforddickie January 5, 2016 at 21:45 #

      There are easons why i prefer using CD sources over vinyl. Firstly the noise issue, you can’t beat that silence, especially when it comes to classical music. Secondly, and more importantly, is a well mastered CD will be superiour to vinyl when it comes to phase accuracy over the whole audio range.

      Again, this helps with classical music more than ‘popular’ due to the large amount of low level directional ambiant information it normally contains.

      I didn’t realise that Tab had done so many releases.

      • Doug January 5, 2016 at 22:01 #

        I did not realize CD’s had better phase accuracy. You’re absolutely right about the noise issues, too. I don’t give that consideration when blasting ’70’s rock albums! 🙂

        Well, I’m glad 24/96 appears to be the “new standard”. Your decodes must benefit from that.

        Yes, Tab put a lot of effort into his work. Apparently he even modified a fostex reel to reel deck to play back Q8’s. But it’s my understanding that a lot of his work ended up on DTS CD’s

        • oxforddickie January 5, 2016 at 22:14 #

          Theoretically 24/96 transfers of the master tape will give the best decode, i do try to use them when they come available.

          I think your right, when he was active DTS-CD’s were the standard of the day while DVD-A/V with just MLP & DD were on the horizon. It’s a shame there isn’t a proper archive of his work even if it was just DTS-CD’s. His work will just pass into folklore.

        • Owen Smith January 5, 2016 at 22:23 #

          I have no idea who Tab Patterson is/was, but if he transferred 707 titles (of whatever formats) and there isn’t a generally available archive of his work that’s a real shame. Was his work of good quality as well as large in numbers?

          • Doug January 5, 2016 at 23:07 #

            Owen, if you look up his home page, he states that he more or less “retired” after doing 707 conversions.

            I don’t know if we’re allowed to post links here, but if you do you a quick search of the man’s name, and “4 Channel Sound”, you should be able to find him

  4. quadsome January 5, 2016 at 20:13 #

    Amen! All things considered (and heard), Phoenix FAR surpasses CD-4 in every way…signal to noise, dynamic range, and just overall warmth. I’ve worked with and owned the best of all hardware, and other than the very rare CD-4’s which were perfectly mastered and pressed on really nice vinyl, it’s not even a fair fight! Congratulations on your great work!

    • oxforddickie January 5, 2016 at 20:57 #

      Thanks, i just needed to finally admit to myself, and then publicly, that if there’s going to be one thing i’ll be remembered for, i’d like it to be ‘Phoenix’. This posting is unasamadly personal.

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