Wudtke Wit & Wisdom

On August 29th 2000 the Quad world lost one of its greatest members….. Steve Wudtke.

Often known as Hood Crow or TWA Corbies on many letters, e-mails, newsgroup and bulletin board discussions, Steve was a constant source of information. His humor enlightened what may otherwise have been a sterile technical subject.

Here are some of the News Group posts by Steve.

When reading these remember that many are replies to earlier postings by other newsgroup users.


A lot of CBS masters were quad only, in expectation of quad only releases(don’t we wish). I believe the Sun Ra “Space” recording is quad only, the same go for a lot of QS titles. I was in contact with a gentleman some years back who had the entire list of CBS jazz classics that were SQ but not marked SQ in any way on CD. I will try to find some contact info for him when I return home.

An amusing anecdote.This same man was approached by Sony for an SQ decoder so they could remix these classics down to stereo. He provided them one, with a grin. Guess what?? When you decode SQ (or any matrix) to 4 channels and then remix to 2 you get………….SQ. Duhhhhhhhhh.


Quadrahog: A lifeform that sits on mountains of quad equipment he’ll never use, but refuses to sell or trade cuz it looks cool. (Note:I dont know anyone that fits the above description 🙂 )

Quadraverse:The Metaphysical Notion that the Universe, in addition to being composed of air, fire, earth, and water, also is comprised in spatial location as having Left front, Right front, left rear, and right rear.

Quadraburger: one of dose half pound heart attack slabs ya take home when you have a serious new piece of quad software to listen to.

Quadrabankrupt: What ya tell the credit counselor ya are, especially when he asks ya about yer assets, and you reply with model numbers from quad equipment.

2000/01/07 Quad Moodies

First of all, quad reels are the ONLY way to go with the Moodies, as they NEVER released any quad material, matrix or discrete, on vinyl. And any of their vinyls next to even the stereo reels are beyond lame. Most quad people agree that the Moodies had possibly the finest quad releases ever. Also, by taking the original reel, decoding the Dolby from it or removing excess noise and dubbing it on another reel using dbx noise reduction gives a better recording than the original, much cleaner and punchier. So, what I would go with is a quad reel deck in excellent condition and a 4 channel dbx noise reducer, of course, the reels have to be dbx encoded.

The good news. I have everything they ever put out in quad in addition to the equipment mentioned.The bad news. Im going home and should be there next week.Unfortunately, I’ll only be there for a week or so, and already have very limited time, mostly taken up by medical business. But, I’ll see what I can do at least toward something in the future.

2000/04/02 Re: Does Quad Improve Your Love Life?

My Lady hadn’t heard quad before she was with me, and after I played the quad version of “Locomotive Breath” we were in for some Locomotive breathing ourselves. That set up sounded great, it seems like they used all state of the art quad equip in the package. The 1229Q Dual was one of the few tt’s (turntables) that could track CD4 half decently.

2000/08/18 Re: Best Quad Mixes

Hard subject,here goes:

Doors, Riders on the Storm Q4 or CD4

Tull, Locomotive Breath, MY God, Back Door Angels Q4 CD4

Moodies, anything but esp Gypsy Q4

Ten Years After, A Space in Time Q4

Tomita, The Planets Q4

Floyd, Dark Side Brit Q8

Santana, 3rd Album, Lotus and Caravanserai SQ

Tangerine Dream, Alpha Centauri/Atem SQ

Grass Roots Best, QS

Simon und Garfunkel, El Condor Pasa Q4

2000/06/04 Re: Sansui QRX-8001/9001 build quality?

Ok, maybe “build quality” was the wrong comment. “Design Flaw” maybe fits the situation better on the 8001/9001 solder joints and relay array. I’m sorry but I find it incomprehensible why Sansui waited till their final quad receivers to put a two channel switch on them. But they were still the biggest and best quad receiver produced. Look at the amount of Sansui quads for resale, this stuff was made almost 30 years ago and still works.The QR4500/6500 series was short on decoding, but you would need an assault rifle to kill these things. Same goes for the early outboard stuff. Of course, as the plumbing got more complicated, the drain was easier to plug up. But I still rate Sansui the highest of all the quad entries in the 70’s.

Curiously, the matter of Akai cold solder on the 280DSS/GX280DSS has been brought up. Ive known at least 10 people with these machines, and the problem manifests itself a little differently in each one. Mine lost its “stop” mode, never to be recovered (currently a door stop in my barn) ,another guy had his go into reverse during 4 channel playback, another would play exactly half the tape, then rewind automatically, and ad nauseum. Akai’s remedy was the GX270DSS, completely redesigned from the 280.


Quadralizer was an early Pioneer attempt at a quad synthesizer before they caved in and went with their horrible SQ and RM decoders. IMHO, the quadralizer sounded much better than either of them. I don’t know how the system was set up, but I am surprised they made a demo record for it. I’m assuming it contained phase shifting and other elements that would show the synth off.

2000/06/05 Re: Sansui QRX-8001/9001 build quality?

Another problem I’ve tackled in almost all the Sansui receivers I own (about 20 at last count) are the rotary selector switches. These are going to be the single biggest problem in the future I think, because they oxidize and require a complete tear down, clean up and reassembly (which I’ve done at about 5 hours per switch unit) to get working 100% again. Ahh, the things I do to keep my babies healthy.

Yep, I have a 7001 with that problem, patiently awaiting my return. I personally think that the 9001 is the best quad receiver of all time, bar none. Though the SQ decoding isn’t the best, I say get a Tate and don’t waste time with the on-board SQ.

I don’t think there was an inboard SQ decoder made that was worth the logo.

It is a shame that Pioneer’s efforts at quad receivers were more impressive in their looks than in their performance. I had an opportunity to “borrow” a QX-949 and QX-949A for a side by side comparison, and was rather unimpressed [apologies to any Pioneer fans who read this rant]. I also ran across a QX-9900 [I think that was the model #] that looked like mil-spec equipment, but the “sound” just wasn’t there IMHO.

As I understand it,Pioneer was committed to Discrete 4 channel, their earlier series of stuff featured a “Quadralizer” (ie quad synth) rather than any matrix position. Bowing to public pressure, they launched their infamous SQ and RM decoders, which surely win a special place as the Ed Wood(s) of matrix decoding. A real laugh is the owners manual which explains how much better the SQ is than the RM, how can you tell either one is working on their receivers? Now, taken as a discrete reproduction device, the 949’s weren’t bad at all (plus lots of monitor loops).The QX 9900 was woefully lacking in power supply muscle, but did have a preamp output (something that should be required by law). Unfortunately, if you wanted anything but discrete, you suffered. And front or rear REVERB??? Gimme a break!!!

Now I have another question, I’ve seen the QR series around quite a bit, and I know they lack the Vario-Matrix circuit, so are they decoders only, or do they have some order of synth mode, and if so how does it sound? I guess I’m wondering if it’s worth picking up a QR-6500.

These things are built like the proverbial Sherman Tank, plenty of ins/outs to hook up outboard devices.The built-in decoder/synths were the same as the seminal QS1, QS-100 and 500 rear amps with fewer switch positions.The “Surround” position, often labeled “decoder” became the QS decoding position, though originally designed as another synth position. Phase modulation and frequency contouring were added to the bag O’ tricks, unfortunately none achieved greater separation than another, which is limited to around 7 1/2 db. You could get slightly differing effects within this sound-field, and as they say, its better than no quad at all. It sure beats the Pioneer matrix decoders. If you don’t rely on its inboard decoding, I feel its worth having, hey have a preamp loop too.

I have been of the impression that the QRX with vario-matrix were much superior to the models lacking the magic “X”. On a related note, how does the QRX-7500 compare to the 9001, other than the type B decoder, and less output power? I’ve considered getting one since I like it’s looks [okay, that’s shallow, but good gear should look good and be displayed proudly!] and would like to compare the a/b decoder difference myself.

I think its a damn good receiver, it’s NOT a 9001, but it’s solid and very good sonically. Ask Obbop, I sold him one awhile back.

2000/05/28 Re: Poll Input

By the way, how does the separation of the QSD-1 compare to the QRX-7001 QS decoder?

Technically, the separation should be the same, as both use the same components, however, the D1 breaks the signal into 3 different bands, which to my ears adds quite a bit of depth. Anyone else able to A- B the two of them ?

Points are well taken in the receiver poll. I feel that Sansui was the most all around quad oriented, reat build quality up through the 7001. Marantz and Pioneer had better power supplies, and Marantz had a super build quality. Kenwood had great build quality but crappy decoders (along with Pioneer). If the 9001 had a better build quality and a Tate like SQ decoder, I think it would have covered every quad base there was. Same with Marantz, if they had a Vario-Matrix rather than Vari- Matrix and a Tate-like decoder, they would probably come out on top.


Come on, A HUNDRED AND THIRTY TWO DOLLARS for a Moody Blues quad reel??? And I thought it was only the Rockefellers jacking up gas prices artificially. Jeezuz, I think I’ll sit on mine and retire to Rigel in 7 to 10 years.

Whats Next, Dynaco Quadapters going for $400???

2000/02/21 Re: wonderful CD-4

I can see it now:

(Marlon Brando lispy accent)

Y’know, I did you a favor, and what do I get from you? You nevah even called me Quadfather. Y’ nevah even invite me ovah to hear your CD4 system and a cup of coffee. Moving right along, NO matrix was 100% compatible with another, but several are very close to each other with only minor phase/anti-phase relationships, namely Dynaquad, EV stereo 4, and RM/QS. Dominant channels tend to decode the same way between these, again, not the same percentage between them, but close enough. Len Feldman’s book on quad has some great diagrams showing the different matrixes decoded by various decoders. Odd man out, of course, was SQ, although the EV “Universal” decoder made a valiant attempt to decode the bugger.

2000/01/06 Re: 4-Channel Input Blues

The King of four channel patching is the Russound QT1, containing enough ins and outs for 4 quad tape decks, dubbing to any of them, a decoder loop capable of sending decoded output to any of the decks, channels of NR (4 encode, 4 decode) quad EQ loop, 4 to 2 mixdown, etc. Unfortunately they are rarer than Tates and QSD-1’s and 2’s. The one I got I had to completely rewire by hand cuz some puke tried installing a phono preamp INSIDE the unit, but it was well worth the effort. They also made stereo units with about as much complexity, two of these would probably serve as well. These units are completely passive with NO power whatsoever.

The DBX route is next best (I have 2 400’s chained to my Russound) but also Niles Audio used to make a 5 input 1 output stereo source selector, they should still be around, these were very heavy duty units.


One comment on “Wudtke Wit & Wisdom

  1. kevin anderson says:

    I grew up with steve and never got to see him again.My heart is heavy with his absence.We used to listen to mott the hoople and queen, tull and the doors all the time.He wasn’t a quaddie then, just a really good friend in chicago.His sister is still alive.His brother died when he was in his early 40’s.He was head of ground crew for united.His father had a bad heart and i know it was genetics.
    Boy could i tell you stories.kevin

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