Archive | 18:50

Burt Bacharach – Live In Japan

13 Jul

As stated in the previous posting, i’m releasing this album as a QS decode, even though i suspect it was encoded in RM, but as little to nothing is known of the encode parameters of it, QS is the only way of decoding i have at hand.


Just what is RM?

13 Jul

One of the more confusing things about the Quadraphonic period in Japan is what is RM and what relationship do the three matrix systems QM, QS and QX have with it.

I’ve searched for as much information regarding this subject as is possible, and all i have come up with is that much information is missing, probably locked away in various vaults that will most likely never see the light of day.

What i have pieced together is:

The format we call RM is in fact a set of specifications laid down by the Japanese authorities as a guide line for any company wishing to produce their own matrix system. In the end three companies took on the work, Toshiba (QM), Sansui (QS) and Nippon-Columbia (QX), all being ‘based’ on the RM standard, but all three different, and therefore incompatible, if the idea of an accurate decode is wanted.

Different labels chose to go with their choice of system and albums were initially released in all three formats. There was also equipment for all three systems available in the market place, but quite quickly Sansui’s QS system won the day and became ‘the’ Japanese home grown matrix system.

What what of RM? There were releases on a few labels that actually state that the RM matrix system was used. Did the Japanese actually create RM encoders before QM, QS or QX came about? That would make sense because to demonstrate the idea of the matrix system that  had been decided upon as the basis of any future quad matrix system, there would need to be demonstration material.

It could be that some labels, eager to get in early, used the RM system for some early releases, before the format war began.

Fast forwarding to today, all of that leaves us in a little quandry, how to get the best out of the Four different matrices used in the early 1970’s. Unfortunately it has been almost impossible to find out exactly how QM, QX and RM worked, so we are left having to decode these albums using QS, which isn’t optimal or ideal if your after as accurate decode as possible.

But, until the day some information becomes available, it’s the bet we can do.

The reason i’m writing this is because of the next release, which i’ve finally given in after a few years holding back, has been decoded using QS. There are a number of Japanese releases that mention that it’s a 4-Channel LP, but say absolutely nothing else, which i’m suspecting could possibly be RM encoded. It’s interesting to note those albums were single inventory and any mention of them being quad was quickly dropped.

Seeing as the label who released this particular album was A&M, who went on to start using QS, you’d have thought that if RM and QS were compatible they’d have made a point by continuing labelling them, instead of removing any mention of them being quad.

I realise this is just my view on a rather complex issue, and there are other views, but all we are left with is an issue with very little to go on.

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