Tag Archives: Surround Master

The Kings New DSP Gathers No Moss

10 Aug

For the last week or two i’ve been involved in matters of decoding, but not necessarily blog related. Then at the beginning of the week i was contacted by someone who i’ve gotten to know via the blog with regards a decoded concert he had acquired. Now it seems as though this decoded concert was being advertised as being ‘discrete’, but after hearing it he felt something was wrong, because discrete it certainly wasn’t.

He sent me an encoded track from the file that was said to have been the source of the decode, which i decoded and sent the files bask to him. Seems as though that was all he needed. He sent me the same track from this ‘discrete’ version so i could compare them. It was not nice!

I noticed immediately the Audio fingerprint of the particular method of decoding that was used, and it rather got me annoyed.

The thing is, throughout the week that feeling has grown, and to be honest, i’m pissed off! For too long people have been duped by people who are nothing short of incompetent. What i’m talking about is this useless piece of plastic:

Over on QQ, this unit is thought of as the best thing since sliced bread, and is said to be able to decode QS and SQ. Fact of life, it can’t. When this was first announced i tried to talk to these people because they didn’t appear to understand the issues in getting one unit to be able to do two totally different matrix systems, especially when one of them was SQ, because if ANYONE knows how to decode Ben’s child they’ll understand the special requirements needed.

But they weren’t for listening and tried to ‘put me down’ by stating (and here’s that phrase again) “We’ve Been To University”. Yea, right!

This unit is based around an “Off The Shelf” Stereo Digital Sound Processing IC. It’s said to be based on the principle of Sansui’s original work on the Variio-matrix decoder. The fact it is based on Sansui’s work doesn’t mean that the new DSP IC is actually a QS decoder. It’s basically¬† the logic section as there would be no use in producing anything that can decode something specific like QS.

But then they announced that it will also decode SQ. That was when i knew they didn’t have a clue. Unfortunately, the nobody’s at QQ saw this as the answer to their prayers and didn’t like the fact i wasn’t just questioning the units ability to decode SQ, i point blank said it was impossible, because they don’t understand exactly what is needed.

Anyway, those Australians have sold god knows how many of this piece of crap to really gullible people.

Remember, this unit uses an Off The Shelf Stereo DSP. And there’s the reason why it’s totally incapable of decoding SQ. The IC would have been created for use in today’s Hi-Fi equipment, which means it processing a stereo signal and outputting four (or more) channels.

So, why can’t it decode SQ?

Simples! (copyright Alexander Meerkat)

Due to the way the rear channels are encoded, the SQ encoded signal needs to be decoded in a very specific way. In fact it’s so specific i can’t imagine any other use for for particular circuitry needed, it’s that specific. And if it’s not done in that particular way, it’s not decoded!

For there to be any chance of the DSP used in the Aussie Box, it would require external decoding hardware that would feed FOUR channels into it. And being a Stereo DSP, it’s never going to happen.

All this unit is doing is attempting to create a quadraphonic Sound-field, and failing. It’s very easy to hear the phase mess it produces (look back a couple of posts to find what i mean). I’ve had people complain about sounds appearing in wrong places, images are blurred and move when you move your head, etc etc. And what amazes me, some of the people who bought into this have Tate SQ decoders!! I can’t believe they are willing to let the best SQ hardware decoder gather dust whilst listening to the Aussie Box.

So, why have i finally decided to publicly speak out? It’s because there are a growing number of substandard decodes being made at particular download sites, and these are giving people a completely wrong idea of what Quadrophonie is about. This isn’t the last i’ll be mentioning this bloody awful box, but in the next day of so i will be making available my decode of this particular concert, which i would like to be made freely available anywhere where concerts are made available.

This is an extra release and doesn’t mean i’m continuing, by the way. There’s still two more to go before closing time, one here and one on the classical blog, both on the same day.

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