Stuff I Like From Bygone Days

There are some benefits to the continual march of technology.

I remember moving from one shanty to another and carrying those containers full of vinyl LP records and the heavy audio equipment.

That Sansui QRX-9001 felt as if it weighed around 200 pounds!!! The weight and the fear of dropping my beloved audio outputter was off-putting, as those whacky but beloved Brits say.

I sadly sold my once-perfect but became un-perfect 9001 receiver a few years ago and the owner’s manual went with it.

Searching the Web I found a reported weight of fifty pounds for the unit but my rapidly declining memory nudges me that its weight was in the 60 pound range.

I have no idea what the weight is in furlongs, stone or hogsheads.

Anyway, compared to the receiver/amps of today that weigh little in comparison I do not miss having to move the hardware or the software of long ago.

Even a decrepit Old Coot such as I can carry a bunch of music embedded in those fancy CD things.

And my current minimalistic stereo stuff (no quad left in my humble hovel) is very light and easily carried.

Even the speakers found at the thrift store for several hundred dollars less than what they cost new weigh only a few easily-carried pounds each.

There ARE many benefits to today’s modern audio stuff but I sure miss the appearance of the stuff I lusted for back in the 1970s.

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SQ

STEREO QUADRAPHONIC

(updated March 2014. scroll to bottom for new addition to this post)

SQ was created by the CBS Technology Center and was made available to the public in April 1971. Rear channel information was placed on a vinyl record by adding “…double helical groove modulations… alongside . . .vectored modulations…” that produced the sound for the front channels. The SQ decoder sensed the different signals and did its best to send the appropriate sound to the correct speaker.

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QS aka RM

QUADRAPHONIC STEREO

Sansui introduced the QS quad encode/decode system in February 1972. Similar to SQ and EV-4, QS can decode any matrix-type quad encoded record along with synthesizing quad from a stereo source. Often, QS is shown on quad equipment with the designation “RM.” This stands for Regular Matrix. Supposedly, RM is the QS type without logic in the decoder.

I think Sansui’s grooviest invention was the famous Vario-Matrix circuitry. Various audio magazines described this circuitry in a most confusing manner. Some described Vario-Matrix as a “logic circuit” that improves channel separation. Another writer said it was specifically designed to synthesize a stereo source into a quadraphonic output. Whatever it was intended to do, it sure does sound good. Almost everything I play; FM, Compact Discs, records, whether it’s a quad or stereo version, is passed through my Vario-Matrix circuitry. Stereo sounds dull, lifeless, and boring compared to the sound of my quad receiver pumping out the tunes through its Vario-Matrix decoder.

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Assorted Stuff

QADRAPHONIC TERMS, LINGO and ASSORTED BITS of STUFF

Decoders using ambiance recovery, such as early Dynacos, worked best on live recordings where the large area of the concert hall allowed natural reverberations and reflected sound waves to be recorded.

Radio-Electronics magazine in its March 1971 edition says the DynaQuad ambiance recovery unit first appeared in the spring of 1970. This product may have led the 70’s ‘quad craze.’

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Stuff and Stuff

Various Variety of Udder Things

For a few years back in the 70’s, a number of radio stations broadcast in quad. Several different systems were used. The first attempts used 2 separate FM stations with one broadcasting the front channels and the other station the rear channels. WCRB & WGBH in Boston did this from 1969 to 1973. From ’73 on, WCRB went solo; airing SQ quad for several more years. Reports say an FM station could broadcast in SQ or QS quad by simply playing an encoded record, just like the ones available to the quad-buying public. Elementary Electronics in its July/Aug 1976 issue stated that SQ was broadcast by more than 300 FM stations and 70+ were spreading QS quad through the air. Neato!!!! The Jan. ’79 issue of the same magazine states that listeners preferred SQ with logic over every other broadcastable quad they listened to. However, the same survey showed that most listeners were unenthusiastic about listening to broadcasted quad. Hmmmmmmm.

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