A Taste Of Chimera

30 Apr

A Taste Of Chimera QS-Test1 front

Free Download


Following on from the EV-4 test/comparison set released last year is this QS test/comparison set consisting of a DVD-A/V containing ‘Chimera’ decoded tracks and a CD that was created using the same file that was used to produce the decode. All of the tracks on this set were sourced from QS encoded CD’s.

The tracks used were not chosen as demo quality tracks but completely at random from a pile of disc’s i had close at hand at that time. Just by chance there is one track, the last one, that has any form of gimmick in its mix.

So, what’s the idea for this release? Well firstly it’s a demonstration of ‘Chimera’, and secondly it allows people to compare their decoding methods, be it hardware or software, with ‘Chimera’.

It would be nice to have some feedback here of either the decode or of any comparisons with other methods of QS decoding you may have made.

Release: QS-Test1

Source: QS CD

Process: ‘Chimera’

Format: 1 x DVD-A/V  MLP/DTS/DD  &  1 x CD


9 Responses to “A Taste Of Chimera”

  1. crispin14 May 17, 2016 at 02:30 #

    When this comparison exercise first arrived, I enthusiastically got busy trying to compare tracks only later to realize that I my system of decoding QS could stay on even when I’m intending to listen in DTS.

    So I cleared all that up this afternood and gave it another try.

    I currently us a Yamaha RX A 3000 as my final output except for the subwoofer channel that goes through a 1000 watt Dayton subwoofer amp.

    I use the DTS decoder for Richard’s excellent decodes, and the Yamaha’s so called “Seven Channel Sereo” as the best compromise for QS. None of the other built in matrix decoders have much luck with SQ. I selected the RX A 3000 because it was about the last model that had a discrete 4 channel passthrough, so I can use an old Tate based Audionics Space and Image Composer for SQ.

    I will add that I have a slight bias against QS compared to SQ, probably because I prefer classical to more popular music genres. Classical recordings tend to record the room and ambience, while many popular titles seem to be multi-miked and mixed to speaker feeds without a lot natural channel crosstalk.

    For this comparison I focused on three of the tracks, Heaven & Earth-Jenny, Gene Russell-Sunshine of the Life and the wonderful Albinez piano track with Youra Guller.

    The Seven Channel Stereo essentially magnifies a stereo soundstage and spreads it in a U shaped pattern around the room. So the far Right and far Left show up solidly in the Right Rear and Left Rear speakers, while the center soundstage is spread out and “magnified.”

    The Heaven and Earth version decodes to my ears in DTS with a full soundstage but what I’ll call hotspots at each of the front speakers. This is not to say there is not image between the front speakers and between the front and rear speakers, just that there is more sound pressure coming from the speakers themselves. That said, toward the end of this recording there is a vocal that seems to float closer to the centre of the room.

    In Seven Channel Stereo, the centre dialoge speaker comes on, filling the space between the front speakers, mostly eliminating any sense of hotspots. If there are hot bits, they are at the rears which are more prominent in the 7 Channel playback than they are in the DTS.
    The Seven Channel version loses the etherial floating vocals, placing her in a wide image between the left front and centre channel speaker.

    Gene Russell’s Sunshine, played through DTS, resides in what I think is a piano (but not a classical one) (or it could be some other tuned percussion instrument. In any event this instrument is well centerd and floating a bit forward of the sound stage. Other instruments are “hot spotted” in the left and right fronts, with some rata-tat-tat percussion (that I hate) spreading to the left rear.

    The Seven Channel version of this nails the rata-tat to the left rear and heats up the other percussion into the right rear. The Piano is centre, but it loses it’s pristine floating quality that gave it interest in the DTS version.

    The DTS version you Youra Guller’s piano solo is one of the better examples of QS. The piano has depth and body across the front soundstage, and rears do not make themselves obvious except to provide texture to the front soundstage.

    The Seven Channel version loses the depth and texture of the piano and flatens it across the front sound stage. There is no noticible output from the rears. While in 7 channel mode, I was able to switch from 7 Channle to Direct (2 Channel) and to Stereo. In stereo an direct the piano becomes very narrow at the front but with lots of “air” around it, switching to 7 channle broadens it out, giving it at least some right left stereo detail (but as I said, without depth). I guess “air” does not translate very well when assigned to it’s own speakers.

    Now my ears are tired from listening and my keyboard fingers likewise.

    • oxforddickie May 17, 2016 at 03:51 #

      Thanks for those interesting comparisons with the Yamaha. The company has spent a lot of time and money on their surround systems, i’ve heard some impressive demonstrations in the past which were using straight stereo sources.

      Your description of the Youra Guller’s piano in stereo is a perfect picture of what QS sounds like undecoded and that track is a good example of what the rears do in the majoraty of classical recordings. They don’t make themselves obvious most of the time but are doing a great deal in recreating the sense and feel of the recording enviroment. I wish more people appreciated that.

      I enjoyed reading your post, thanks again for taking the time to do the comparison and posting the results, hope your ears recover soon.

      And that sub-woofer …. Phew!!!

  2. Owen Smith May 15, 2016 at 02:22 #

    Interesting and rather eclectic collection. The quad mixes are quite interesting for most of these tracks, some of the music works for me and some doesn’t. But it’s a demo of the decoding and it achieves that goal. I was expecting a bit more classical though.

  3. John April 30, 2016 at 17:20 #

    Well, I have no technical knowledge of the decoding process – so I can only share my experience of listening. What an appealing listen here on a sunny Saturday morning in Boston! Many of these artists are not familiar to me – and most of the the music isn’t my style, usually, but it all felt entirely appropriate this fine, bright Spring day. I also enjoyed comparing the stereo wav files to the quad – and preferred the quad every time. Crystal clear, well defined, beautifully discrete, and fully integrated as a total soundstage too. Those original quadsters were not afraid of using those back speakers. And I love the way the best of the quads spread it around, while keeping the sound stage all together too. Needed to boost the bass a little more than usual, but it all sounded great with that adjustment. Oh and didn’t know John Lee covered Van’s T.B. Sheets. Appreciate the share. Nice one…

    • oxforddickie April 30, 2016 at 17:48 #

      Thanks for that. Technical knowledge of how the decodes are done are not required in the slightest. It’s all to do with the listening experience and, for those with equipment that allows it, a method of comparing a 21st view on decoding compared to that from the 20th century.

  4. lupineassassin April 30, 2016 at 05:19 #

    Thank you! 😀

  5. Owen Smith April 30, 2016 at 01:45 #

    I have no ability to decode myself, so all I can do is listen.

    • oxforddickie April 30, 2016 at 07:59 #

      Not a problem Owen

      • oxforddickie April 30, 2016 at 08:08 #

        One thing i forgot to add is that a few of the tracks are from albums that have yet to be reissued in ‘Chimera’ decodes.

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