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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CD-4

CD-4

This is the “odd man out” in the quad world. Extremely ‘fine’ grooves were etched onto the vinyl record to provide frequencies between 35,000 and 50,000 hertz. The CD-4 demodulator sensed these high frequencies then converted them to a range of around 100 to 15,000 hertz. These frequencies were then sent to the amplifier and on to the rear channels.

A matrix decoder can not sense the high frequencies on a CD-4 record, it can only synthesize the stereo output of a CD-4 QuadraDisc LP.

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More CD-4

More CD-4

My own experience with CD-4 led me to stick with matrix-type quads. To hear a quad sound from CD-4 encoded vinyl I just send it through my Vario-Matrix decoder and let it synthesize a quad sound. However, there ARE those who use and enjoy CD-4. Cai Campbell is a quad expert with an opposing view. Here is his opinion:

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Software

Quad Software

There’s three, yes, count ’em, three ways to provide a quad source to your super-duper quad hardware; reel-to-reel tape, 8-track tape, and vinyl record. Okay, you can use cassettes, etc that have quad recorded on them, but, I’m talking about original sources here.

Of the three formats, reel-to-reel tape is the rarest and it’s the most expensive to buy today. 8-tracks can be the cheapest if you find them locally at garage sales, thrift stores and used record/tape stores. I’ve bought quite a few quad 8-tracks for 10 to 50 cents each. Whadda’ deal!!! If you buy quad 8-tracks at Internet auction sites, be ready to pay top dollar. Records are the most commonly found quad software. Prices can vary greatly. Stuff that’s still-sealed gets the highest prices. For example, my still-sealed CD-4 Muscle of Love by Alice Cooper sold for 30 American dollars. Some quad records are readily available. The Doors Greatest Hits is a common one. There are oodles and gobs of ’em out there. Others are harder to find. I hunted all over before finding my groovy Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan.

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Rare Stuff

Rare Stuff

Audionics Shadow Vector Analysis Unit. $1,300 in 1976. SQ with logic gave 35db channel separation.

Bang & Olufsen Beogram 4002 turntable with plug-in demodulator

Bose 4401 preamp optional SQ & CD-4 plug-in modules. 1974 $500. $75 for the SQ module.

Connaught Equipment Co. supposedly built a SQ decoder with 40db separation in 1974

Super SQ Model One by the Deltek Co. $2,150 in 1977. Stereo Review in its Apr ’77 issue called it the ultimate in SQ decoding

Heathkit; anything by these folks. They provided the parts and instructions. You slapped it together.

Integrex Ltd. Built a decoder up to 1981 that handled SQ, QS, UMX, Matrix H/HJ/UHJ.

Scott 499 amplifier. Supposed to be the first specific “quad component” other than a tape deck to hit the consumer market.

Sansui QSD-1 one of the ‘super decoders’

Any jukebox with built-in decoders. Wurlitzer is supposed to have built a few.

There was a list of rare and hard-to-find vinyl LP’s here, but, they have been removed. The Wild Wooly Wide Web of the World now allows the masses to communicate in many ways, one being the ability to offer quad goodies for sale and trade. The eBay auction site is a nifty place to find what were once rare quad records and hardware. It may take awhile for that rare goody to show up there, but, with patience, pert near anything quad you lust after will show up eventually..

Quad 8-track tape Q8s

Quad 8-Tracks Q8

 

***UPDATE***

A reader wondered as to the best method of identifying a quadraphonic 8-track tape. The easiest method for me is the back label pasted on the cartridge. Only two “sides” of songs are listed instead of the stereo 8-track’s 4 “sides”.

There is also a slot in the cartridge to “inform” the tape player that the 8-track is a quad tape. I sold all my 8-track tapes so am unable to take a picture to show you but some Web searching may lead to a picture.

My memory hints to me that there is another identification method but I am unsure and I doubt my aging brain with rusty synapses will reach way back into those dusty recesses of a once sub-par mind that is now sub-sub-sub-par.

Old age sucks.

***End of Update***

Quad 8-tracks had the same limitations the stereo versions had. The worst being the tendency to be “eaten.” Gulp. Remember those glorious days of cruising down the road and seeing the tangled mess of tape blowing in the breeze? There goes another dead 8-track.

While home units had better specifications and a generally ‘cleaner’ sound output than quad players made for cars/trucks, the sound was not as good as a well-made vinyl record. But hey. Don’t let the drawbacks getcha down. The discrete quad sound WAS there, and on a good unit, the tape hiss, wow/flutter etc. was minimalized. Also, it’s easier to find quad 8-tracks than reel-to-reel quad tapes.

Even still-sealed 8-track cartridges are highly prone to jamming and being “eaten.” It’s best to record your quad 8-tracks onto quad reel-to-reel tape since 8-tracks can ‘die’ at any time.

A standard stereo 8-track player can not properly play a quad tape while most quad 8 players were capable of playing stereo cartridges.

The RCA company had to change the name of their quad tapes from “Quad-8” to “Q-8” after the Quad CO. of England claimed trademark infringement.

Buy a Ford and be Adored…………………

As late as 1979, the Ford Motor Company offered an optional quadraphonic in-car 8-track player. I’d rather have it in a Plymouth GTX with a 440 6-pak and a 4-speed, a 4:10 rear end, and an air-grabber hood scoop. Yeah !!!!!!!! Vrooooom!!!!!!

A common complaint during quads’ early years was a lack of software. There was plenty of hardware to be found (though not with the highest-quality decoders & demodulators) but record companies were rather slow in releasing quad records & tapes. On the whole, quad 8-track tapes were released quicker and in a larger variety than vinyl quad. A fairly large amount of quad released on 8-track was NOT released on vinyl while almost all vinyl quad was also available on 8-track. Wonder why????

Around 200 different quad 8-tracks were available in mid 1972 while approximately 50 reel-to-reel quad tapes could be found.

True discrete quad comes from 4-channel tape. Discrete quad is basically a quad sound with no, or extremely little bleedover between channels. All quad from records had some cross-channel blending.

When assembled at the factory, quad 8-tracks had a lubricant placed on the tape so it would slide smoothly on and off the center reel. With time, this lubricant was lost, thus making the tape prone to jamming and getting “eaten.” I’ve never heard of a “spray on” aerosol to restore the slipperiness. Seems there should be some sort of aftermarket consumer product to allow those rare quad 8-tracks to stay alive awhile longer

Whoops!!!! I may be wrong about the lubricant or lack thereof being a cause of the 8-track eaties !!

Regarding a comment I made on Q8’s (quad 8-tracks) this excellent advice is presented by an expert on the subject: the one, the only: Krnewman !!!!!! Thanks for sharing this !!!!!!!

1. With proper care and maintenance of both tapes and players, 8-tracks need NEVER jam or get eaten. But they do require care and maintenance. Without that, they will get eaten sometimes. Basically all it comes down to is: proper lube in the two posts for the pinch roller and spool. Fresh springy pads (I recommend Win-Gibs as the best), and making sure the sensing foil splice is strong by checking it and replacing/reinforcing, as necessary. For the machine, it needs to be kept clean. That’s all there is to it.

2. 8-track tape lubrication: specially lubricated on both sides, brittle tape is extremely rare in 8-tracks. I’ve repaired enormous number of tapes and would put loss of lubrication at around 1 in a 1000. Very rare, unlike with old reel tapes, where brittleness is a common problem. My opinion: don’t worry about tape lubrication with 8-tracks. Worry about properly lubricating the two posts inside the cartridge, for the pinch roller and spool; if they drag the spool can develop tension problems causing the tape to drag, slip, stop, or even break.

Excellent advice. With no more quad 8-tracks being made ( at least commercially ), we have to take care of the ones we have. I have seen Krnewman offering Q8s on the http://www.ebay.com auction site. He guarentees his product and has some of the best/funniest written descriptions of his products I’ve ever seen.

Various Stuff

Still More Stuff

Power Ratings

Like, outtasight !!! Back in the groovy sixties and seventies, until forced to conform by standards imposed by the US federal government, many audio manufacturers used various methods to rate the power output of their equipment. Today, “watts RMS” per channel is the de facto standard. It’s a handy figure for comparing between audio offerings. Waaaay back when, however, one must take the output ratings of audio equipment with the proverbial ‘grain of salt.’ Some equipment builders used “IHF” power ratings, which give higher ratings than RMS power output figures.

Just sumpthin’ to keep in mind when viewing old advertisements of quad components.

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