Several Posts with Steve Wudtke Info

Hood Crow’s Awesome Input

A longtime quaddie lived atop a New Mexico mountain, surrounded by howling coyotes. Hoodcrow was known as the “sage of the mountaintop.” A veritable fount of quad knowledge, Hoodcrow shares some of it with us.


On the Marantz 4400, and 4300 and etc etc, the receivers had a port on the bottom for the SQA-2B SQ decoder (Voyage to the bottom of the YAWN).

The Demodulators were completely outboard units, the CD400 and 400B, which was the last production Demodulator, and one of, if not, the best.

Well by golly, the Mountaintop Sage thinks that Marantz made some of the best CD-4 demodulators. I’ll take his word for it since I know little about CD-4 demodulator quality, except for the very little that research has told me. Thanks, Hoodcrow!!!

I share your views on the Pioneer decoders, SNORE, LOUDLY. They SUCK, to be technical

Hoodcrow is referring to my comment where I told of problems with Pioneer’s receivers.

The A models on the QX747/949 were brought out later than the others, because Pioneer spent a year to develop a Full Logic SQ decoder for the otherwise ‘Noble’ receiver. YAWN. Why did they bother, it was much worse than the 1/2 logic one they spewed out during most of the 70s.Their CD-4 wasn’t bad. However, the RM SUCKED big time (pardon the technobabble again). But, the power and design of this receiver was excellent, the mechanical scope included, which actually works quite well. The Achilles heel is the unbelievably cheap tape monitor switches, yes, the push type ones. I’ve had at least four 949s all with these as the problem area. All you can do is gravity feed cleaner to them and hope for the best, they’re otherwise sealed. It’s the reason my mint 49 no longer graces my studio, I got sick of channels cutting out during recording, all cuz of the 10 cent switches they used.

“My vote for rarest Quad Hardware?The CD4 module for the Bose 4401 preamp.” .

Hood Crow is responding to some questions posed during an e-mail exchange a couple moons ago…………….

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 Vario-Matrix because it’s 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 QSD-2, single band, designed for home use, then in the 80s, as a kind of farewell, they did the QSD-1000, a single band, but with very much higher quality signal path, etc. This one was never released in the USA, 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 QS-1 was designed primarily as a synthesizer, 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 QSD-2 decoder built in, along with an obligatory SQ position, which the QSD-1 omitted. Other QRX recivers, 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 is slight,and some people prefer the B over the A.

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 Stereo-4, 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 I’ve heard that the Cinema position on the Tate decodes EV and Dynaquad fairly well.Most of the Ovation EV encoded records were later reissued as QS. Hope this helps!

Sho’ nuff does Hood Crow. Thanks for the info. For those unfamiliar with the lingo, EV stands for Electro-Voice, a manufacturer of audio hardware, known by many for their microphones and speakers. They dabbled in quad during the early years. There are a few quad records that show themselves as being encoded in the EV-4 matrix.

After years of waiting, I finally heard the new DTS sound system,courtesy of QuadBob (Thanks,Dude!). It uses the digital output from a CD player into a decoder, in this case, a Technics. How does it sound? OVERwhelming! Clean and Crisp, with surround information clearly distributed. Y’see, the 5.1 sound discs are remastered from 70s quad masters, and don’t rely too heavily on the center channel, and are supposed to be the same mixes, but I’m not sure of that in every case. Even so, the clarity and depth are astounding. We listened mostly to Moody Blues, McCartney,and a few others. In every case the recordings were clean, crisp, and above all, QUAD.

Speaking of quad, I have a defense prepared for the Tate 101A. For years, I’ve heard a lot of comments about breathing and pumping on this unit, and badly encoded SQ records (of which there were a few) aside, this seemed a built-in problem, heck, even watching TV with the Tate in its cinema position, the sound-field seemed to wander. The Cure? Try one of the “accidentally” encoded SQ CDs, such as the Mike Oldfield boxed set or Santana’s “Lotus”.. Unbelieveable!!! The unit locks on and STAYS that way, and what a sound-field. I think the software finally caught up with the hardware in this case, and the technology was waiting for something good to be run through it. It’s been said of this unit many times before, but once again, BRAVO !!


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