Subject: 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? I have a Sansui QS-500 decoder. I’m guessing it is a QS decoder without vario matrix. Is it any good??
Sansui had a very limited amount of recordings (and still does) out in QS, so their early units like the QS-1 (decoder only) and the QS100, 500, and 800 (decoders with rear channel amplification), were designed primarily to synthesize quad from stereo, and had only one position dedicated to decoding their own matrix, although the “surround” and “decoder” positions would of course also synthesize to a greater or lesser extent. The 800 had a lot more inputs and outputs for the emerging quad systems like CD4, but kept the same decoder. Are they any good?? Well, I feel they’re better than nothing, they do provide more of a sound-field than stereo, and some interesting effects can be had, but they’re not close to Vario-Matrix or Tate decoding/synthesis.
I also have a Sansui DS-77 decoder and it also has a QS button on it. I’m guessing that is is also QS without vario matrix. The DS-77 was released in 1985 for use in dolby surround. So it is obsolete as far as dolby is concerned so it should be cheap if you find one. But the separation isn’t that great on QS.
Sansui made a big deal about bringing QS back with several units in the 80s (the QSD 1000 being the exception), calling it “multi dimension” on one unit, but it was a slightly improved version of the early decoders reduced to chip form (although Ive never owned one, so I’m
not sure of this). What I am sure of is that they were NOT Vario-Matrix or logic enhanced at all, the “QS” mode put on to give an alternate for music listening rather than the “Dolby Surround” mode, which was awful for music listening OR movie sound, in my opinion.
One more thing. Am I right, is the Sansui QRX-7001 designed to NOT decode anything coming in from the AUX or TAPE input?
No, ANY Vario-Matrix receiver WILL decode anything attached to ANY of its inputs, however, it will NOT send a decoded output to any of its recording outputs, ie, if you decoded, say, a QS record, you will hear four channels of decoded sound out of the speakers or phones, but you could NOT record a four channel discrete tape, the decoder comes right before
the tone controls and speaker outputs, a four channel deck would only see 2 channels. A QS, or any matrix source, still matrix when recorded as 2 channel. Curiously, the earlier “QR” series of Sansui receivers allowed you to record decoded output as 4 channels, not that there would be any pressing reason to do so. Hope this Helps,
Subject: Re: Howdy Quad Space Cadets
I believe part of the problem is that there are supposedly NO chips for the Tate OR Vario-Matrix, although I’m sure someone is sitting on some of the latter somewhere. These things could probably be made from discrete components, hell, the original Vario-Matrix was (Sansui QRX3000) and their first outboard, the QC-01, only used 2 chips of the four that make up a type A Vario-Matrix (7001,8001,9001,QSD1 and 2). Point being, even the
type Bs sound great, I have a QC-01 that after some tweaking, was virtually indistinguishable from a type A, and more than good at stereo synthesizing, and this from a SINGLE mode decoder (QS only). I also have a Sansui X2 prototype QSD-2, which is also single mode, but even in the QS mode wraps the sound around you like you wont believe from a 2 channel source.
I’m also sure someone could make both the Tate and Sansui chips again. Hell, imagine a decoder that handles both the new discrete technologies (AC3,DTS) the old (SQ, QS) and synthisizes stereo to boot. It CAN be done. Technics is selling a decoder right now that handles both DTS and AC3, and I’ve seen it as low as $200. There are also quite a few receivers and amps that are DTS/AC3 ready, meaning that if you want, even if you
don’t have or don’t want the new systems, is that you have a multi-channel set-up for your 70s quad stuff, at least in the preamp/amp department.
Subject: Re: center channel, ???
First of all, any QUAD matrix will not decode movie sound “correctly”, though this is almost a moot point with Dolby Surround. I don’t know if your Marantz is equipped for SQ (decoder in the bottom of the unit) but it should have Vari-Matrix. Depending on how much
of a Movie nut you are should dictate if you want to add Pro-Logic with a dedicated amp for center channel or not, personally, I would opt for the newer AC3/DTS technology for movies.
Regarding SRS, I find it can be very useful for enhancing quad material with less than perfect surround decoding, and you can bring the center up enough to make it listenable. This should work well with either the SQ decoder OR the Vari-Matrix. For straight music, however, most(myself included) find the center channel an irritant rather than a benefit.
Subject: Re: Yer favorite piece of quad hardware???
Well, after my beloved quad reels (Teac A 3440, Akai GX270DSS, and Akai 202DSS) I have to give the vote to my tried and true Sansui QRX-7001, which I’ve had a LONG time, I added preamp outputs to it to run through a DBX BX3 power amp. This piece has NEVER failed to give me great sound and has survived the dastardly assault of cat urine attack
(yes, a protection circuit that WORKS) as well as my own shoot in the dark experimenting. Following that, I have to rate the Tate (who doesn’t) and the Sansui QSD-1, WHEN it works.
Subject: Re: Quality Query
Any info on the “quality” of a Sansui QC-04 demodulator…. whether it’s one of the “later” models with the ‘improved’ IC chips, etc???
I have one, and it’s ok, better than most of that era. It’s probably the same one used in the 7001 and others, but its not sucking off a common power supply. I find it steady if somewhat unremarkable.
Subject: Re: Vexed
Honestly, I’d never heard of the 550 till I was cruising ebay yesterday, only to find a familiar name attached to it. The AT 20 was another “under wraps” cart that most people don’t know about, supposedly the best CD-4 cart there was till that time (when have we heard that
before?). I’m assuming the 550 was a still later “no holds barred” model. I have heard of an Ortofon Moving Coil Cd-4 cart, but apparently very few people know about it either.
I was bidding on the last AT20 I saw on ebay till the price went through the galactic energy barrier. 🙂