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Web Radio Programme Broadcasting Quadraphonic Material

13 Aug

This may be old news to some of you, but there is an interesting radio broadcast on the internet that broadcasts quadraphonic material. The station broadcasts in mp3, so i’m not sure how well it decodes, i’m recording it as i type as a test, but it may be an interesting project for those so equipped

The radio station is here: http://radiomaxmusic.com

The program is broadcast twice on Sundays, at 9am and 9pm USA ET and is called “VINYL RESTING PLACE WITH WILLIE B

He broadcasts mainly in QS, which allows him to use 4-channel tapes he has, just listened to some unreleased quad mixes of ‘Paul Revere and The Raiders”

Hopefully you’ll be able to catch the repeat at 9pm USA ET.

Would be nice to hear of your views etc¬† ūüôā

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The Art Of The Decoder, Pt1

24 Jun

For quite some time now i’ve meant to do a basic introduction to Matrix Decoding. This isn’t going into any mathematics, or how to do, or not to do, and why (not). The main idea is to get you, the reader, up to scratch with what the decoder is, what it’s supposed to do, and anything else that pops up.

So, to start, let’s take a visit to dictionary corner:

ENCODER

An encoder is a device, circuit, transducers, software program, algorithm or person that converts information from one format or code to another, for the purposes of standardization, speed or compressions.

DECODER

A decoder is either a hardware device or piece of software that converts coded data back into its original form

So, from the above we can see that a decoder is principly a device to return a previously mathematical encoded message/signal back to its original form.

In the beginning there was…..

So, in an attempt to convince the general public the need for quadraphonic reproduction in their homes, it was decided that such signals needed to be available for playback via the recently introduced Stereophonic Long Playing record. (remember this for later!)

A brief attempt at just using Amplitude matrix encoding, where it was impossible to decoded the four channels back in the same format as they were encoded, showed that there was interest in the general public, but another method was needed to be able to return the four channels back as they were encoded.

When the PAM (Phase Amplitude Matrix) method of encoding/matrixing four audio channel audio into two, using 90 degree phase shifting, was developed by Peter Scheiber, things moved on at quite a pace. There were a number of competing PAM¬† systems available, but after a short while there were only two systems still being used, these being Sansui’s QS and Columbia’s SQ systems.

They were quite different in their method of encoding, to the point that they were completely incompatible with each other. But one problem they did share was poor separation between the Front and Rear channels

SANSUI QS

Also know as RM, this system utilised all four audio channels to encode them into a compatible stereo signal. This is certainly the easiest of the two systems to decode, mainly because it used all four channels in the encoding process.

COLUMBIA SQ

Invented by Ben Briar whilst working for Columbia, this system took a completely different route by only utilising the two Rear channels in the encoding process. But by doing this caused some problems, most of which were never discussed outside of the companies laboratory. Also to correctly decode the rear channels it had to be done the correct way, there was no other way of doing it,

When is a Decoder not just a Decoder?

The word Decoder has become to mean more that it was originally meant to be. At first the competing companies sold what we would now call ‘Basic Decoders’, but their performance wasn’t that good, for any of the systems. The problem was due to the low level of seperation these matrix systems gave, bepending on system and circumstances, it was between 3db and 7db. Not much, so the companies developed various methods of improving their performance, which we shall just call Logic systems.

Basically these additions to the decoder circuitry varied the four levels from the decoder at such a rate/level, to give the impression that there was a greater level of seperation than there actually was by using the information in the audio itself. Unfortunately, such systems gave variable audible performance and one annoying side-effect….’Pumping’.

Now, as we can see from the above, including the logic circuitry in with the decoder, it became more than the name suggested. I make this point for one very good reason, which is that people seem to have forgotten that any decoder for either system must include both parts, the system decoder and the logic cicuitry designed to work with the information from the decoder.

I’ll leave it there for now so you can chew over what has been put forward in this basic introduction to the world of PAM.

 

The (dreadful) state of the Quadraphonic community

19 Jun

I’ve been forced to break my silence here because of the continued idiocy of those that are thought to be ‘In the know’ and ‘those to be followed’ in what it believes to be the font of all knowledge when it comes to all things Quadraphonic.

I feel sorry for those who know little, to nothing, of the heyday of quad in that all they have to go on is the tripe that is spurted out by these people held in (false) esteem. It is the one sadness that i have that i’ll be leaving having barely made a dent in these peoples strangle hold on the community.

What has brought this about (again) is the following statement by ‘kap’n krunch’ on a subject he quite obviously knows nothing about, in every respect:

Having done QC for this release, and for some insane reason, not stating ANYWHERE that it’s a DVD-A, I can attest to the fact that it was NOT an SQ decode.

First of all, you can not get that kind of separation even with the best of scripts (just listen to the perfect separation of the drums on the left rear, no way jos√© that it’s a decode.)

Second, I saw a note written by an engineer who did a transfer from the MASTER of one of Yes’¬† LANDMARK albums a YEAR after it was recorded and he found all kinds of imperfections; “surface noise”, clicks, etc.
Guys, remember , analog tape is great but it’s not perfect!
And this was a 40 year old tape!!! (and not even the 1st gen master!)

I was quite amused to listen to it and having it sound better than what I remember listening before it was released.

Yes, the cover is VERY sloppy; no info on who did what and the typos that remind me of the ELP BSS SACD (STS anyone??)… LPCDM??? DTX????¬† oh well..we got it and, as opposed to the “King Arthur” one which is a DISASTER, this one is quite enjoyable…I’ll give it a healthy 8.

So, you can attest that it’s not an SQ decode? Really? How? I certainly don’t remember you contacting ME (the person who actually did the (pre-phoenix) decode for, and used, on that release. The Quad master tapes most certainly were not available for any of the Rick Wakeman releases.

Where have you been living, the separation issue on SQ has long been broken (by myself), and may i state that if you think the level of separation is impressive (thank you for the back-handed complement) then you’ll be shocked just how more impressive the possibilities are now!

You continue to to use scripts from the dark past, wake up, things have greatly moved on in the world. All you do is to show just how little you, and the rest of the know-nothings there, actually know.

That release was/is, in my view, very poor and very badly treated by the compression happy ‘Abbey Road’ studios. That release is an embarrassment, so much so that i made available to a handful (literally) of people a uncompressed Phoenix decode in compensation as Universal were willing to do nothing to right what Abbey Road had done to it.

So people, please be warned, those who confess to know it all in a certain place are of this level. Basically they are technically devoid of anything resembling fact and are to be treated with the highest contempt. Unfortunately there is nowhere i can suggest to go for the facts, if that’s what you are requiring.

 

Staggered Closedown

21 May

Originally i was going to do a mass release of titles i had either completed, partly done or had planned to do, but it was quite a project and nothing was getting done.

Owen suggested i break it down, which after much thought, i have done. It will follow in four parts:  UHJ, Dolby Surround, QS and lastly SQ.

After that DS600 will be released to finally close the doors.

I hope you find the collection (over the two blogs) of releases of some small interest.

The Final Dyretripe

25 Apr

Everything comes to an end at some point or another, and so it is with blogs. I am closing both (Popular & Classical) blogs once some ‘housekeeping’ has been taken care of.

The reasons are many, and varied, but top of the list is that there has been a greatly reduced level of traffic through the blogs, especially recently, to a point that they are no longer paying their way and i’m back having to subsidise them once again, which as i’ve made clear in the past, i cannot afford to do.

It is quite ironic that whilst i’ve spent the recent downtime working on a new, very accurate, decoding process for Dolby Surround, the blogs have been dying on their feet. To make it even more so, during the time working on the new process it became apparent that i’d found a missing piece of the puzzle in relation to decoding SQ which has led to there being a modified version of ‘Phoenix’, which is now fully complete.

I am planning a two stage close down as there are a couple of releases i want to put out before finally calling it a day. The first will be a small number of (D) reissues, on both blogs, that were used as testers. These will only be available for ONE WEEK. After that they will not be available, no matter what!

The final stage will follow, where DS600 will be released, again for the limited time of ONE WEEK. After that, there will be the final bye-bye posting.

The first of the stages is planned for the 1st of May 2017.

Once completed i will then leave the Quadraphonic community for good.

OD

New Kid On The Block

28 Feb

I’m not sure if folks here are aware of a new group dedicated to Quadraphonic and Surround sound. This is an excerpt from his introduction:

“Finally, a serious group about Quadraphonic and Surround audio. This covers Quadraphonic and Surround Hardware, records, both Discrete and Matrix, Reel to Reel, 8-Track, CD, DTS-CD SACD, DVD-A and DVD”

So if you fancy joining just nip over here and say “OD” sent you.

SACD Transfers

28 Feb

I’m sure your all aware of our fellow blogger ‘SACD2DVD-A’s’ blog devoted to making available PS3 transfers of SACDs on DVD-A/V.

A few weeks ago, Owen Smith sent out some information regarding some news that it has been found that a very small number of Blu-Ray/SACD players can be made to digitally export the information on SACD’s exactly as is done with the PS3 process.

Although this information was of great interest, the price of these players is normally well of my reach nowadays, plus as i already have a Denon player, spending such a sum on a machine that would only get very occasional use was not viable, and not just on the issue of not having the funds.

But, through sheer luck, i saw an advert for one of the units (Pioneer BDP-170) going for a ridiculously low price. After contacting the seller i was really surprised to find that it was still available, so after breaking into the blog’s piggy bank, i paid for it and awaited the delivery.

It arrived in A1 mint condition, seems he’d bought it, used it a couple of times then replaced it with an OPPO.

Anyway, to get to the point of this posting, i have a small selection of 5.1 SACD’s that i will be made available on DVD-A/V via SACD2DVDA’s blog at irregular intervals.

The first has just been released……

Dragged back to mathematical work….Screaming

2 Feb

After adapting the EV-4 decoding process to include H.O.P. i felt that i’d had enough of working on these matrix systems and decided that enough was enough.

That was until a conversation with a pal over the pond with regards the BBC’s second quad matrix system got me trying out its possible compatibility with the early Ambisonic system 45j, which actually proved not to be the case.

The problem with stating it’s not compatible is you need to prove it, so i created a basic decode process to check, which actually ended up becoming a full-blown process.

Like it’s slightly older brother, Matrix HJ has proven to be the nightmare it promised to be, but it’s finally done, and it includes H.O.P. That means there will be no upgraded version in the future as it’s the first decode process to be the best decode from the start.

To ask a question before it’s asked, what of Matrix H and any chance of an upgraded process?

The answer is a tentative ‘yes’.

Recently some information has been received that the Matrix H test broadcasts were complicated by the encode process being altered during the test phase, which was actually only until September 1977, which was when work on Matrix H was stopped in favour of its replacment, Matrix HJ. Although the difference is small, it’s enough to complicate the process of accurately decoding it, therefore needing two different versions of the process depending on which of the encoders was used on what material.

To further complicate matters, there is no list of which was encoded by which version, so it’s going to mean a method of deciding which version of Matrix H was used needs to be created.

Another issue that has arisen with both H & HJ is that most of the available recordings are ‘off air’, normally done on cassette decks. This further complicates things as both systems H & HJ are intolerant of phase/azimuth errors, making a decode almost impossible.

So, in an effort to ‘rescue’ these recordings it’s also going to need a process to enable the possible repair of these recordings, plus it may need reduced versions of the decoding process’ to enable a clean enough decode to be made.

That’s quite a bit of work still to be done to get the BBC’s two matrix systems from their year-long test transmissions in 1977/78 to a point where we are with the other systems.

This will be undertaken ‘as and when’ time allows, there is another project that is long over due and needs to be done, all i’m waiting for is some new hardware to arrive any day now, then its going to be full steam ahead.

What is it? I’m afraid you’ll have to wait and see. A couple of people know what it’s to do with, but at this moment in time the whole project is in my head, theoretically it should work… and we all know what happened to theory!!!

AOQ SQ Decoder Shoot-Out

16 Jan

In case any of you were unaware, AOQ has started his SQ Decoder Shoot-Out, so PLEASE do take part…. HERE

An Historical Review

27 Nov

As the blog approaches yet another centenary, I find myself looking back over not only the last hundred releases but the blogs output in general.

Recently I was asked by a couple of people if there was a listing of all of the releases as trawling through the either bog can be rather tedious. A list was started back around the time of the 300th release, but for a variety of reasons was never completed.

After much deliberation I feel that there does need to be a listing of both blogs output. After all, who can remember every title put out? I realised I certainly can’t. Add to that, something reminded me of a conversation I had quite some time ago (about the time of the birth of ‘Phoenix’) with Owen regarding whether my work was written down.

Actually, now as then, nothing is written down, I work from memory. Quite possibly not the best idea, but it’s the way I’ve always worked, but recently It’s become obvious the old memory isn’t as good as it once was, so perhaps it was time to finally give in and put to virtual paper how the ‘Mythical’ process’s work.

Well, that was the theory.

What actually happened was the first chapter (well four pages) on the basic theory of how, and why, there is actually only one way to decode SQ, by showing the decode equation (which I believe has never been made available anywhere before) along with a mathematical breakdown of how/why it works.

That was written a week ago. There’s nothing included with regards to any decoding process, just the raw technical information needed to allow an accurate method of decoding SQ to be based upon.

Although only a first draft, I realised that it was the start of a possible small E-Book on the basic needs of how these antique matrix systems need to be approached for decoding. It’s going to be a long-term project, if and when it gets completed, and will contain some of the work into how and why hardware and software decoding has to be approached slightly differently.

Back to the list of titles released, once started it became obvious there are holes where titles have been withdrawn for a variety of, long forgotten, reasons and for the sake of completeness, need filling with active releases.

So from now any new releases will be used to fill these holes until the blogs output is ‘complete’, so the 600th release will be a little way off.

To end I’d like to thank those (both in the past and present) for their much-needed support in respect of keeping the blogs viable. The (D) reissues will continue until every title is of the best decode possible.

 

A reply to a message on QQ

28 Oct

Now normally i refuse to have the going on in QQ mentioned here but i’ve been sent the details of a post there thatdoes so annoy me. As many will know, one of my gripes about QQ is the total lack of real knowledge about the subject that they profess to know about. One of the areas where they completely fail is in the area of the early pre- phas-shifting matrix systems DY & EV-4.

As i’m sure your all aware of, AOQ is running a ‘shoot-out’ on this very subject and i feel this new posting not only blurs his attempts.. Here’s what i’ve been sent:

“Are EV-4 and QS compatible with each other? Decide for yourself. EV-4 encoding uses a front blending coefficient of 0.2, slightly less than QS at 0.414. The back channels use a blend coefficient of 0.5 compared to QS at 0.414, slightly more. The decoded result will shift the fronts a bit toward the sides and the rears a bit closer together. Overall the decode should still be quite good.
The only other difference is that QS encoding phase shifts the rears by +90 degrees (left) and -90 degrees (right) to create a 180 degree (out of phase) difference. This phase difference is done directly with EV-4. This rear phase shift is reversed by the QS decoder. Ideally the rear phase shift should be switched out for EV-4 decoding and for stereo enhancement and switched in for QS. I believe that Sansui decoders leave the phase in shift both for simplicity and to increase the apparent separation of the rear decoded outputs for stereo enhancement (as they always referred to their units as “SYNTHESIZERS”).
I would think that one could tweak the separation pots in a QSD-1 or QSD-2 to perfectly decode EV-4. At some point I might try bypassing the phase shift in my unit to see if I hear a difference, positive or negative on none QS encoded material.
Forget about “correct” EV-4 decoding, those units were designed more stereo enhancement, basically an active version of the Dyna-Quad speaker connection. The asymmetrical decode was the best that could be done without using any form of logic.”

Now, if someone who has access to QQ and is willing to reply to this for me, i’d be grateful. My reply is:

‘100% Wrong!’

OD

 

The AOQ EV-4 Shoot-Out Announcement

21 Sep

AOQ has been planning to do some decoder tests of the matrix systems that we all know and love, and has just announced the first of them, which is devoted to EV-4. Personally i’m going to find this of great interest, so here’s the link to the announcement, the shoot out is in a few days time.

The Captains New Ship

25 Aug

captain_beyond

It is with the greatest pleasure that i can announce a new blog dedicated to this wonderful world of Quadraphonic sound. But as i type this there’s also a touch of sadness personally as it’s been quite a journey we’ve had together over these past years. But although it’s a parting of the waves may i wish all of the best, and safe seas, to the Captain and all that join him on his new voyage:

Celebrations & Transitions

The 28th of August will celebrate three years since CB001 debuted on the Dreaming-Spires Quadraphonic Archive-II. Looking further back October 26th will mark four years since the first collaboration between OD and CB. Perhaps some longtime Dreaming Spires members recall that it was DS211 Arlo Guthrie. Where has all the time gone. 

OD provides the quad community with real treasures and has done so for many years. He has always been welcoming to the Captain and helpful in every way. His generosity over the years to selfishly post the CB titles to his blog has been a wonderful gift. He has made me feel so comfortable and at home there that sometimes I take my boots off.

However life is about change and we all realize that nothing stays the same. Since day one OD has done all the legwork concerning posted the CB titles and related chores without any compensation requested. He will happily continue but it would be rude of the Captain to always be expecting sometime for nothing. Time brings transitions and it is now time to jump in with both feet and sink or swim. 

Therefore the Captain is proud to announce another quad blog. “Captain Beyond’s Quadraphonic Wormhole”¬†was chosen as the name since¬†Blogs are Like Chickens was already taken.¬†This¬†new CB blog will require a lot of time , effort and support from you the quad community to grow into a useful quadraphonic archive.¬†Transitioning the CB releases to their own site is a big change and I do hope it proceeds smoothly. Another change forthcoming is future CB release will be offered via a nominal donation to help offset related expenses.

The Captain wants to extend a welcome to all and invites¬†everyone¬†to stop over and have a look around.¬†There is not much to offer¬†yet but allow it some time to mature. I do hope these transitions are viewed in a positive way and with understanding. The Captain did not get the boot, so don’t think of this as an exit but rather a¬†function of growth.¬†Perhaps just another portal in the wall as if were. Really now can the world have too many quad blogs. CB

BBC Proms 2016 in Quad

15 Jul

Have just received notification that the BBC are broadcasting this years proms in quad as they have done for the last couple of years.

There is no change in required software, so anyone who was set up for it last year shoul be ready to go. For more info: BBC Proms 2016

Laura Nyro – Eli And The Thirteenth Confession

6 Jun

Although the quad mix of this album was never officially released, an un-finished version of the mix has floated around for some while, but now the full version of the quadraphonic mix is getting it’s official release soon

 

 

A New AOQ Quadcast

25 May

Although relitavely short, this one is possibly of more interest to the ‘techies’ amongst us, but do have a look

 

Chicago – Quadraphonic reissues

28 Apr
A massive new box set is coming your way from new Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame inductees Chicago, and this surprise release is one sure
to delight longtime fans.Chicago: Quadio arrives on June 17 from
Rhino Records on nine Blu-ray Audio discs.
This landmark release brings together nine album from the legendary
band in remastered high-resolution 192/24 DTS-HD Master Audio in
both their original quadraphonic and stereo mixes.
Albums Include: Chicago Transit Authority (1969), Chicago (1970),
Chicago III (1971), Chicago V (1972), Chicago VI (1973), Chicago VII
(1974), Chicago VIII (1975), Chicago IX: Chicago’s Greatest Hits
(1975) & Chicago X (1976)

The above was copied from Here where more info can be obtained

With thanks to SACD DVD

Rick Wakeman – Journey To The Centre Of The Earth: A Review of The Boxset

24 Apr

With the release of this much antisipated release just under two weeks away, i thought it might be a good time to do a review of this boxset. One thing i’d like to mention is that Amazon.UK have made a right mess of the release of this, but there is one very welcome change, and that is the price reduction to ¬£12.99, which is the price i said it was actually worth. Was someone actually listening?¬† LOL

I’d like to thank Steve Hammonds for making this available. It arrived on April 1st, and as it was sealed i’m reviewing it as if it was bought “off the shelf”.

The set comes in a box that’s a fraction larger than the recent Jethro Tull book style releases, the front being the normal cover picture we all know and love, and wraps around the sides. There is no indication of what this box set actually is, not even a mention of it being a “Deluxe Edition” like the two previous releases. The side panels are also devoid of anything bar a small version of the “logo” from the front cover. On a shop shelf this boxset could easily go un-noticed.

Looking at the back of the box there is a basic listing of the four disc’s, being three CDs and one DVD-A. One noticeable omission is the total lack of any technical information. Nada – Nothing! I’m hoping this is dealt with, even if it’s stickered.

Opening the box, i found it best to shake it open as there are no cut-outs on the sides to enable the bottom to be gripped, there are two box sized booklets along with the four gatefold sleeved disc’s nicely wrapped together to stop disc’s slipping out during transit.

Looking at the glossy booklet first, the first twelve pages basically reproduce the pages from the original LP release, nicely done. Pages eight and nine contain track listings for the disc’s, containing a touch more information about them, but again nothing technical.

The other half of the booklet contains a three page overview of Rick’s career, plenty of scans of magazine articles, posters, etc and an article written by Jerry Ewing from 2015. The back of the booklet does contain some information, although it’s basically from the original release and of those involved with the creation of the booklet.

Moving onto the non-glossy booklet, the front gives a clue to what it is, the album title is in Japanese. This is a nice reprint from the 1975 tour of Japan. It contains some nice pictures and adverts, with all of the text, obviously, in Japanese. So, time to do some brushing up…….

Moving onto the four disc’s, as previously mentioned there are four gatefold sleeves, the first being, basically, the normal LP cover with the other three having different pictures, taken from the inner pages of the original album, and an enlarged version of the ‘logo’, but no other title. The backs of the covers give basic track information, but nothing else. Nada – again!

So, to the disc’s themselves:

D1: This is a remastered version of the stereo album with an additional track, “The Pearl and Dean Unfinished Symphony”. I suspect this nice addition was recorded at the same time and is typical of the fun side of Rick, how many of the adverts do you recognise? Technically the album is very slightly compressed and if not a flat transfer, it’s had just a tweak of a tweak of eq, but neither proves to a problem. It was always a bass light album and there’s no change there! Phew!

D2: Oh! Well the information on the back of the cover states ‘Live in Boston 1974’, but what it doesn’t say is that it’s a bootleg/audience recording. Quality’s not bad but there’s a lot you don’t hear.

D3: ‘Live in Buenos Aires 1993’ fairs a little better, sounds as if it’s possibly from the mixing desk. It’s a more modern, almost solo version, and another bootleg. Oh yes, and there’s no chapter points, it’s one long track. Odd as the previous disc does have them.

D4: Finally to the disc we are all here for. This contains the original quadraphonic mic of the album along with the Mobile Fidelity version of the stereo mix. Now as i may have mentioned just one or twice, there is a total lack of any technical information anywhere on this set which really is a negative point when it comes to this disc.

So putting the disc in the player brings up a menu with four options: ‘Play Stereo’, ‘Play Quad’, ‘Track List’ and ‘Audio Set-Up’. Hmm. OK, pressing ‘Play Stereo’ brings us to another menu listing the four tracks. So, pressing ‘The Journey’ takes us to another menu whilst the track starts to play. So what’s missing… ANY information as to what is playing. There’s no mention that it’s the Mobile Fidelity master, no picture of that release cover, information about it, or at what sample rate it is, etc. Again Nada!

Back to the main menu and i thought i’d have a peek at ‘Audio Set-Up’. which takes us to another menu listing four options, ‘MLP Quad’, ‘MLP Stereo’, ‘DTS Quad’ and ‘LPCM Stereo’. Ummm…..

Going back one step and pressing ‘Track List’ takes us to the same track list as previously seen. But which version has been chosen to play? the last selected? or?

Ok, going back and pressing ‘Play Quad’ and, hey it’s the same menu/picture as before and when we chose a track it starts playing, but is it MLP or DTS?

I haven’t seen such a poorly created menu since the very early days of DVD. Appalling! Oh, and anyone notice something missing? There’s no AC3/Dolby Digital stream. Now for many reading this that omission isn’t an issue but the majority of the buying public use, and are very happy with, it. With the complete lack of technical information on the box itself, let alone anywhere else, this omission could possibly see many of this set being returned as faulty.

Anyway, i’d best mention the sound quality. All there is to say this is a major improvement over what was originally sent to me for testing, which was compressed to and eq’d to hell. I couldn’t actually listen to it all the way through in one sitting.

Again, someone obviously listened as we are given the quad mix in what sounds like a copy of the master, with no, or very very little eq-ing and no, yes that’s right no compression. hallelujah!!!!

I sent a report of my findings, which didn’t seem to go down too well. I’m hoping that, at the very least, some form of technical information is added to this set, along with a visible warning there is no AC3/Dolby Digital stream.

A little note regarding sampling frequency. Whilst playing the DTS stream of the quad mix, my amp showed it to be 24/96, so it’s fair to assume that the MLP stream is the same.

 

Lack of new releases on Mondays

21 Apr

Some of you may have been wondering why there have been no new releases here whereas the classical blog has been soldering on regardless.

99% of the titles here rely on transfers from vinyl, and that’s where the problem has been of late. I’m afraid that, with everything else going on, sorting out issues that have arisen with my old, trusty, Rega P2 have rather taken a back seat but this week i’ve been looking into the problem (suspect arm bearing problems) and hope to be able to return to normal service in the near future.

OD

Rick Wakeman – Journey To The Centre Of The Earth

5 Apr

On May 6th Universal will be releasing a box set of what is easily Rick Wakeman’s most popular album. What is included is what many fans will be wanting, the original quadraphonic mix that has been sourced from the master tapes (how do i know? i have it here).

But that’s not all, Universal appear to have listened and the transfer sounds like a flat transfer with NO COMPRESSION!!! YES!!!!!

To be doubly sure i checked and it’s completely un-molested.

I plan to do a more detailed review when the set is released.

 

Jethro Tull – Aqualung (reissue)

5 Apr

Just a heads up for those that may be unaware that Jethro Tull’s quad mix is being reissued this month, but this time it’s in the same book format (DVD-V) as the others, and at a much more reasonable price: Amazon

And don’t forget the other released quad mix (War Child) and the two sets containing previously un-released quad mixes (Minstrel In The Gallery & Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young To Die)

Get them while you can, i believe once the record company’s stock runs out, they won’t be re-pressed.

 

Saturday’s Multi Reissues

25 Mar

Over the last few months i have been decoding old titles for reissue, but now these are limited to release on a Saturday, the pile has been slowly growing. So this Saturday will see a number of reissues from the pile being put out. There should be something for everyone.

Denon UDA-100 UD4 Demodulator on Ebay

27 Jan

Just noticed this rare beast up on Ebay (UK). Perfect for anyone who has any of the 30 or so UD-4 LP’s that were actually released. I’ve actually got one! (i bet you already guessed that anyway¬† LOL)

David Bowie – RIP

11 Jan

Have just heard that David Bowie has passed away after his 18 month battle against cancer.

Although none of his albums were released in quad, i felt that the passing of one of rock’s greatest icons could not go unnoticed here.

A sad day indeed, his early albums are, to me, classics, including some of his earlier material on Decca/Deram.

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.

A Happy New Year To All Quadraphiles

31 Dec

I know it’s a silly thing to say as a change in the date doesn’t mean a thing, but i’ll be glad when 2015 is well and truly over. It hasn’t been a good year, period.

So, all i want to say is i hope that you all enjoy the evening and i wish, and hope, we all have a peacefull and tolerant 2016.

 

OD

Q-Review

25 Dec

I’ve added a new section to the drop-down section above where i do a basic review of the official quad reissues

Quad’s Resurgence?

22 Dec

Like anyone whose purchased something from Amazon, i get bombarded with emails offering this and that, mainly music. One item caught my eye and following it up proved very fruitful for us Quadies. Another label has joined the slowly growing band wagon by releasing no fewer than twelve albums on six SACD’s. What makes this even more interesting is that each disc costs only ¬£9.99. That’s only a fiver per album! Below is what’s on offer in what i hope will turn out to be a growing catalogue of quad titles. They’re available on their website or via Amazon, please support them, the more sold, the greater the possibility we’ll see the catalogue expanded.

4575k     4574k

4570k     8518k

4577k     4572k

Enough is Enough!?

8 Dec

Well it’s happened again, but this time i’m completely baffled how PayPal cottoned on. Hmmm.

So that’s it unless a workable solution can be found.

Chimera?

6 Nov

A funny thing happened on my way home from the doctors……..

Well actually only part of that is true, it certainly wasn’t funny!. After one of the most gruelling visits to my doctors in ages, i felt as though my head was going to explode (a feeling i’m sure many of you know) which seems to have let loose an idea that was obviously being worked upon in the mysterious¬† depths of the little grey cells.

A little over a year ago i released the first SQ decoding using ‘Phoenix’, a process that i can honestly say i’m proud of. At the time, attempts to use the heart of the process, which, if you remember, was taken from the shelved ‘IV’ process, on any of the other matrix systems failed due to the fact that SQ was/is a one off, nothing like any of the other systems.

And so for a year now i’ve been happy with where we were, and have been happy listening to the new and re-issued releases without feeling anything was wrong. Until Tuesday this week.

The idea that suddenly came to me was that it may be possible to alter the section borrowed from ‘IV’ enough to allow it to work on different areas of a matrix. Cutting it short now, within an hour of starting work on it i had managed to prove the idea worked well enough to integrate it into the decode process for QS.

By 1.30am the following morning i had all but completed the new process, and a test decode of a track from a previous release showed it worked without any serious issues. Worked continued to iron out an few niggles and by early evening on Wednesday ‘Chimera’ (ch) was born. Where did the name come from? Well, Owen came up with that during one of of our email chats during one of the many tea breaks, thanks Owen.

Although i’ve only completed one album decode using it, having listened to it at least a dozen times now i’m confident enough to release it for you all to pick it to pieces, hopefully comparing it to the original release.

And what of ‘Phoenix’? Well, Owen mentioned that it’s coming up to its first birthday, which unfortunately it won’t be seeing. I never thought any of the process’s would be replaced by myself as i really felt happy with how things ended up. But i do honestly believe now that this is as good as SQ & QS decoding can get, at least from my beleaguered brain and the equipment i have to hand., and i foresee no further upgrades to them in the future, that is unless you spot something wrong that is)

Hopefully i’ll release it tomorrow, so tune up your ears guys………

Paypal account permanently closed

30 Oct

Paypal have permanently limited my account so please do not try to send any donations to it. I’m unsure quite what to do next, requires serious consideration.

Directory of UK Sound Collections

29 Oct

As some of you may remember, earlier in the year i put forward this blogs details to the British Library who had decided to start a directory of individuals and institutions who were actively archiving audio, of any type. I have already posted that the blog was accepted, but today i received notification that the directory has been officially published, and at 661 pages it’s a stunning document listing the work being done in the UK to archive audio/sounds.

If your interested in their work, the website is here

BBC Binaural Broadcasts

29 Oct

On the evening of the 31st of October the BBC will be broadcasting two ‘scary’ plays on Radio 4. The UK FM service will be broadcasting the standard stereo versions, but the Binaural versions will be available via the web.

The plays are “The Ring” and “The Stone Tape“.

Should be interesting listening.

A little break from quad…

7 Oct

Hi guys

Although this is a dedicated blog, I thought i’d share this posting on ‘Facebook’ with you all as a little light relief.

American’s view of the UK

Cheers!

Happy Birthday ‘Phoenix’

2 Oct

It’s amazing how time seems to fly-by nowadays, it doesn’t seem a year ago that ‘Phoenix’ was unveiled to the world, and i’ll be honest i didn’t fully appreciate at the time just how important a breakthrough it was. Plus it was the start of the whole family of decoding process’s that became part of the ‘Mythical’ family.

For the the first time we’ve been able to hear SQ decodes mirror the four channel master tape used as the encoding source as never before. And the major reason this became possible is solely due to SQ’s encoding complexity, which few appear to fully appreciate.

So here’s to another year of ‘Phoenix’ new releases and re-issues, and thanks to Owen for reminding me time had gone by so fast.Phoenix

How Much !?

19 Sep

This has to be the most expensive quad box-set ever, at £1,999.99p. If anyone here is thinking of shelling out for it i could let you have one of my two copies a little cheaper   LOL

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BOX-SET-4-LPs-Handels-Messiah-The-John-Tobin-Performing-Edition-Quadrophonic-/201432559669?

Eyes Right

7 Sep

It would appear than many people who visit this blog are unaware of the section to the right of where your read. It’s called ‘Blog Information

This is where i announce any changes to how the blog is running, if an issue has arisen or if i’m not going to be around. Please keep an eye on this, on both blogs, as things do change.

Perfect example is the two items there now, this is an extension to the blog which i’m hoping members will see as a worthwhile addition, allowing them to keep their collections ‘up to date’, so to speak.

So please keep an eye on it

OD

 

Rick Wakeman & The Six Wives Of Henry VIII

3 Sep

Am sitting here listening to Rick Wakeman’s album ‘Six Wives Of Henry VIII’¬† (quad version of course) and i got to wondering just how many members actually bought the recent ‘Deluxe Edition’ put out by Universal earlier this year.

 

WordPress & Piracy

27 Jul

One of the problems of running a blog like this is the possibility of it being targeted on the grounds of piracy, even though 99% of this material will ever be available for purchase legitimately. Of course, in many respects this blog can be seen as a way of saving these recordings and making them available to play on today’s (and tomorrow’s) equipment long after the Quadraphonic experiment had stopped.

This posting is of some interest to me so i thought i’d share it with you all, so you know why if the blog suddenly disappear.

The BBC Proms 2015 in Quad

17 Jul

Yet again the BBC will be broadcasting ‘experimental’ quadraphonic broadcasts from this years proms here in the UK. It looks as though nothing has changed, you still need to use ‘Chrome’ as before. Hopefully there won’t be as many technical issues this time round,and the sound quality improves, some of last years broadcasts weren’t exactly a good advert for the experiment.

More info here

Halfway to “A Millennium Of Quad”

4 Jul

If you find it hard to believe that the blog has reached 500 releases, and as already noted that doesn’t include re-issues, how do you think i feel. One think i’ve done to celebrate is to take time out to do a small number of re-issues that i wanted done, in fact i’m listening to one just finished as i type. They probably aren’t everyone’s top choices but……

Splitting off the Classical releases to their own blog has, in my mind at least, but successful. It’s allowed me to concentrate on my love of Classical music more. It’s membership is quite low compared to this one but then i appreciate it’s not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ (must stop using that).

It’s a short dire-tripe this time, have to go to do my charity work, so again many thanks to those that have worked in the background, Owen Smith, Captain Beyond (rapidly reaching his¬† 50th release), SACD2DVDA and many others, including YOU!

One little piece of news. Owen advised me of the British Library’s attempt to list those responsible for archiving audio, in the UK, from the past and the blog has been provisionally accepted. I’ve yet to hear any more but to be even considered is something, so thanks for the suggestion Owen.

And a Happy 4th July to our American cousins… hey hold on, didn’t we loose that fight?…….¬† ūüėČ

Help needed on a B.B.King LP

10 Jun

One of the problems i run into while tracking down releases i don’t already own is whether a particular that has been believed to be quad for years actually is. There were many on Mark Anderson’s list that were down as being QS releases that weren’t, the soundtrack to Tommy, the Climax Blues albums and many others.

Now i have a question i’m hoping one of you might be able to help me with. It concerns the B.B.King album ‘In London’. Nowhere can i find any prof that it was released in quad apart from Marks’s list, the American LP cover i’ve seen doesn’t mention anything, and a test decode gives nothing nice.

So, if you own the album could you look to see if your copy mentions it?

Thanks

OD

 

Confused? – You will be…….

24 May

Take a close look at the cover… Ebay

 

Theater Organ Rarity’s on E-Bay

7 May

If there’s any theater organ fanatics out there in the UK, there are three hard to get (at least over here) Doric quad albums up on E-Bay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121644781746?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121644787055?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371322344866?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

In Due Consideration…..

1 May

After taking note of some feedback regarding the recent changes it appears that their effects on the members of the blog are the opposite to that suggested by the recent polls.

With that in mind i have reversed the changes, which can be read in the updated ‘The Rules’.

‘From The Front Row…’ The DVD-A Rip-Off

15 Apr

I guess many here will not know of the series of ‘in concert’ DVD-A/V’s that were put out by Silverline that promised “Stunning 5.1 Surround Sound”. They even had a THX logo.

But what you got was a substandard attempt at a 5.1 up-mix that added nothing to the listening experience. I’m playing one of them at the moment, basically just to remind myself how underwhelming they were, while working on next weeks classical release and was wondering if any of you were duped as i was.

 

The Wandering Image

22 Feb

One of the issues that thrown against matrix systems was that you had to sit in the ‘Sweet Spot’ and when you turned your head the image moved. This unfortunately was more relevant to SQ than the other systems based on ‘RM’, but it did still happen.

This was one of the areas i looked into while developing ‘Phoenix’ and i feel i’ve mostly eliminated the problem. Whilst listening to a ‘Pheonix’ decode looking forwards then turning your head either left or right by 90 degrees the image should still sound as if it’s coming from the same direction as before.

Of course, if your system has speakers that are not all the same or your listening room is an odd shape, etc, the effect may be diluted, but do give it a try, and post your views, positive, negative or indifferent, i’m interested on how well it’s heard out there in the real world.

Try it on a ‘Sphinx’ decode too…..

Edgar Froese – Tangerine Dream – RIP

24 Jan

Edgar Froese died suddenly & unexpectedly on the 20th January 2014 in Vienna of a pulmonary embolism.

Two Rick Wakeman Special Editions

18 Dec

Universal are continuing with their support of the quadraphonic/surround market by re-releasing two of Rick Wakeman’s albums, complete with the original quadraphonic mixes. They are ‘Six Wives of Henry VIII’ and ‘Myths and Legends of King Arthur…’

They are being released as two disc sets, one being a DVD-A/V which will include the same streams as my releases allowing everyone to play them.

I’ve added some links to the section on the right and have repaired the two that were faulty.

Please support Universal in their on going support for the quad/surround market, if nobody buys them then they’ll stop releasing new titles.

Queen – A Night At The Opera

7 Dec

If this album is one of your favorites then nip over to the ‘SACD-to-DVDA’ blog for something a little special.

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