Wudtke Wit & Wisdom

2000/08/18 Re: SQ and Q4s

Reel to reel was considered a “niche”market, much like Laserdisc is today. The economy of the 70’s did much to destroy commercial reel duplication, Stereotape, the last major duplicator, folding in 1978, carried aloft briefly by “The Reel Society”, then folding for good. Only a few minor label classical duplicators remained after that, most of them folding in the 80’s, esp after the advent of CD, when it was figured that the best reel duplication could not match the awesome digital disc. Columbia, the gem of the ocean, never released anything on reel to reel in Q4 that I know of. Q8 seemed to be a real pain in the butt to them, hence the cheesy Q8’s they used.They wanted to have one quad format, SQ, and that was that. Ive heard scuttlebutt that the Paramatrix

was designed as the ultimate discrete system killer, to show once and for all that SQ could be as discrete as, well,discrete.The poser is why any SQ encoded reels were not released, at least by any major label. Correctly recorded, these would have showcased their matrix a lot stronger than any phono system at the time. C’est La Vie.

1999/10/16 Howdy Quad Space Cadets

Its me, your old buddy Hooded Crow under yet another nom de plume (pun intended) after I finally got this silly thing to let me on. Anyway, I m glad to see something up and running. News!! I just saw a Tate on ebay go for 520 bux, that’s more than they cost new. Can’t anybody out there start making these things again? Or, a new Vario-Matrix? I had the opportunity (Thanks, QuadBob) to listen to the new DTS CDs which were remasters of some 70’s Quadradiscs and reels. Boy, I’ve never heard quad sound so good. But, as usual, there’s a fly in the ointment.The founder of 5.1 sound, Brad Miller, has left this world for good, and the future is uncertain as far as the company goes.The new CDs sound spectacular and retain the mix that was used on the originals but, whatever processing they use to clean up and punch up the sound works GREAT! More on this later.

The bad part of the new surround technologies is that there is NO provision, due to the nature of said tech, to synthesize anything from stereo. This applies to AC3 (Dolby Digital) as well as 5.1. In other words, we still need Tates and Sansuis to get that AWESOME sound from a 2 channel source. What we gonna do about that??? (talk amongst yourselves). I’m at my West Virginia dwelling, about to split for the day so see y’all later.

Peace and Love,

Hooded Crow

1999/11/03 Re: CD-4 Babble

With matrix, it’s never a question of IF you will get distortion, but HOW MUCH and WHAT TYPE,

and I don’t care WHAT gear you use! I’m sorry, but I’m with cd4man. Matrix just plain ain’t discrete and to these ears, it don’t even SOUND discrete, so it jes DO matter!

Well, I guess this “war” like VHS/Beta, etc, will go on no matter what, but I enjoy ALL formats. I’ll say this for CD4, no matter what the limitations were, they certainly had the best system of the 70’s, with the notable exception of quad reel.The matrix decoders of the 70’s were CRAP, except Vario and a couple of odd CBS units. Anyway, as far as carts, stylus go, I’ve been listening to CD4 over 20 years, and I’ve NEVER had a single demodulator that worked well with ANY CD4 cart. I’ve had some carts, which shall remain nameless, that wouldn’t work with ANY demod but their own brand. It takes a while to find an “ideal” combination. All things being equal, you would expect to be able to adjust any demod to fit any quad cart, but sadly this is not the case.

1999/11/07 Re: SQ decoder question

Why would one care what the separation between the front right and left? Is that something that other decoders had problems with?

Yes, although the SQ system was designed with “Infinite Left/Right separation” in mind, some of the early decoders just couldn’t cut it.The “Other matrixes” (DY,EV4 and QS) achieved almost tolerable front/back separation at the expense of Left/Right. When “gain-riding” circuitry came along, they applied it to left/right as well as front /back to enhance the “dominant channel”, which to me was a clever way to mask the lack of separation. EV and Dynaco stopped evolving, so no further enhancements went on there, but QS gained the Variomatrix and that cured the “ills”of that system. SQ had to wait for the Audionics and Tate decoders.

2000/05/31 Re: sansui QS500

QS and other type of decoder, and one of the switch positions is labeled QS. This gear is painted flat black with white silk screening. It has a simple look that is intended to appear professional, and is rack mountable. This is stereo gear, but obviously they expected that people would stack it in racks and use it for quad as I am doing. I wonder if a QS decoder was ever built in this style? Oh well, I’ll be lucky just to get my hands on any decoder with Vario-matrix circuitry. I will more than likely use the receiver to make a matching decoder that will rack mount, unless I find a QSD-1. It has a CD-4 unit, and I could build a combo decoder out of it. It is a QRX 5001. What do you know about the decoder in it? Thanks, The Quadfather

PS: by the way, you wrote “the other difference between the D1 and 2 is the SQ decoder on the D2 which is OK if you haven’t been spoiled by the Tate or CBS. CBS? What’s CBS?

The 5001 is a type B Vario.The QSD-1 is rack mount, as are the QSD4 (I believe) and the QS encoders. I had a QSE5B years ago that was a twin to the QSD1 physically. CBS made a series in the 70’s that was actually made in America, the CBS SQL-200 and the SQL400A.The 200 was even available in kit form.The 400 was the first SQ decoder I ever heard that made me think the matrix actually worked. It had phenomenal separation for its time (25-35 db between corners) and even had LOGIC assisted stereo synthesis. Logic was fully adjustable. Apparently only 100 were made (I’m not sure on the 200) and never released to the general public.This unit really foreshadowed the Tate and Audionics decoders that came later (Im still kicking myself for selling THIS one too.) Also, a bunch of 400’s were made in 200 cabinets, and proclaimed that they were 400’s by a sticker on the back. If you ever see or hear of either of these,GRAB IT!

1999/10/22 Re: QS and EV-4

Hooded Crow to the rescue!!!

I know Obbop is big on the Sansui vario-matrix thing, and I’ve been on the lookout for an outboard QSX decoder, but from what I can tell, only the receivers had this capability. Was there ever an outboard QSX decoder manufactured?

He’s big on it because its the only way to properly decode QS, much like the Tate is the only real way to decode SQ. Sansui made 3 outboard decoders, the QSD1, a triple band rack mount that had the honor of being the first “Dolby Surround” decoder for “Star Wars”, before Dolby invented their own lesser matrix. Then the QSD2, single band, designed for home use, then in the 80’s, as a kind of farewell, they did the QSD1000, a single band, but with very much higher quality signal path, etc.This one was never released over here, and the ones that made it over here required an outboard power supply of some kind. D1’s and 2’s are probably rarer than Tates these days, but well worth watching out for. 1000’s are near impossible to find.

If there are no outboard QSX decoders, what is the next best thing? How about the Sansui QS-1? I don’t care how well it handles any other format or how good it synthesizes quad from stereo. I just want to find a QS decoder that simply decodes QS properly! Please help!

Actually, the QS1 was designed primarily as a synth, Sansui figuring (correctly) that there would never be as many quad records, etc., as stereo.The unit WILL decode QS correctly, but with limited separation compared to Vario-Matrix. Vario-Matrix receivers are the next best thing,the QRX 7001,8001,and 9001 have the QSD2 decoder built in, along with an obligatory SQ position, which the QSD1 omitted. Other QRX receivers, like QRX 5500, 6500, 7500, etc, had a TYPE B vario matrix, differing only slightly from the TyPE A, they DECODE the same way, but the front-rear separation is slightly less limited, however, on a well-tuned unit the differences in actual listening are slight, and some people prefer the B over the A.

Whew, I’m glad I finally got that off my chest. My next big problem is with this EV-4 stuff. I have a few early Ovation pressings that are in the EV-4 format. What the hell is EV-4? Was there ever an EV-4 specific decoder manufactured, or is it just another name for QS? I can tell you that EV-4 is most certainly NOT compatible with SQ, cuz these EV-4 disks sound like crap when piped through an SQ decoder.

EV stereo 4 was an early matrix, much like Dynaco’s  Dynaquad, and a limited number of discs were made with either matrix. EV made 2 decoders specifically for Stereo4, the second one being a “Universal” decoder that could also decode SQ fairly well, and a number of these were cloned by Radio Shack, and Heathkit had one in their quad amps. A QS decoder should decode these near perfect, as the phase difference between all 3 was

very minor, of course, NONE of these are compatible with SQ, by design, but Ive heard that the Cinema position on the Tate decodes EV and Dynaquad fairly well. Most of the Ovation EV catalog were later reissued as QS.

Hope this helps.

The above messages were recovered from archived UseNet newsgroup postings. If I can find more I’ll post them here.. Steve’s knowledge and wit will be missed. However, thanks to the Web we can still enjoy some of what he left behind. Perhaps that is the best tribute I can give him………….

along with just simply remembering he was here.


One comment on “Wudtke Wit & Wisdom

  1. obbop says:

    A reminder, readers. These Wudtke pages are copies of mostly UseNet newsgroup communications on newsgroups related to quadraphonic audio.

    They are archived here to benefit those wanting to know about quad and the many aspects of the audio-type.

    Steve Wudtke is deceased but some of his knowledge remains.

    Steve was still alive when I began gathering his input to the quad-related news groups and gave me his blessing to do so.

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