Quadraphonic Receiver with Joystick Remote Control, CD-4 Quad


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It's hard to believe now, but there was surround sound before Dolby Stereo and digital AC3!

Back in the early 1970s, when vinyl records reigned supreme, there was something of an audio boom. Looking for something to sell after stereo, Japanese manufacturers turned to a surround-sound system that employed two front speakers and two rear speakers for improved depth.

Or, more specifically, three incompatible systems.

VHS inventor JVC brought us Compatible Discrete-4, a format with four discrete channels for good channel separation. For LPs, ostensibly a two-channel format, CD-4 required a special 'disc demodulator' and cartridge, to extract the high-frequency subcarrier upon which the surround channels were modulated in stereo FM broadcast-style 'sum-and-difference' form.


Quadraphonic 8-track cartridges

Then there were Sony and Sansui, with their similar (but different-enough to be incompatible) QS ('quadraphonic stereo') and SQ ('stereo quadraphonic') formats. These were matrix-encoded, a bit like the original Dolby Stereo system that came to subsequent prominence, so that conventional two-channel audio sources could be used as programme-carriers.

A natural format for quadraphonics was the much-derided 8-track cartridge - instead of offering four two-channel stereo 'programs', it could store two of the discrete four-channel variety. JVC and Pioneer, amongst others, sold quadraphonic 8-track cartridge players for home and in-car use.

You could also buy 4-channel reel-to-reel decks from Sony, Teac and Akai - but these proved more successful with musicians and amateur recordists, largely because there were few pre-recorded tapes beyond the supplied demos. Even the BBC toyed with quad FM broadcasting, courtesy of its own 'Matrix H' concoction, but this came to nothing.

Why quadraphonics failed

Quadraphonics' only real software backers were a handful of record companies - notably CBS, Virgin/Atlantic and EMI. Rock fans could, for example, buy quadraphonic releases of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

Quadraphonics ultimately failed for several main reasons. Firstly, hi-fi equipment (including all those speakers!) was very expensive in real-terms back then - and we were about to enter into a period of economic stagnation.

Secondly, confusion reigned thanks primarily to the incompatible formats - which didn't always work that well. The matrix systems fared poorly in channel-separation terms, while CD-4 discs yielded only a few plays before they were too worn to offer their subcarriers intact.

Then there was the lack of software - quad LPs were expensive to produce. Unfortunately, history appears to have taught us little since then, as we're in the middle of another format war right now...JVC5456F.jpgJVC5456Brochure2.jpgJVC5456Brochure1.jpgJVC5456Remote2.jpgJVC5456H.jpgJVC5456G.jpg

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During the quadraphonic era, their were hopes that radio broadcasts

someday would be all multi-channel.

To broadcast quadraphonics was difficult and never actually came to a

solution. One attempt to broadcast in quad was by using one radio

station to broadcast the front channels while another broadcast the

rear. In order to receive these "Discrete" broadcasts, a second stereo

FM receiver was needed. This proved to be problematic since

owning two stereo receivers was not a reality for most.

The other method was to matrix the 4 channels to 2 and then decode

the 2 channels back to 4 on your home receiver.

There were suggestions to broadcast the extra channels by multiplexing

them on a second subcarrier at 76 kHz. These designs were made by Zenith

Corporation, General Electric, RCA and Dorren Quadracast Systems.

There was never an agreement between the FCC and the EBU how to

broadcast quadraphonic sound, but here in the U.S. The

National Quadraphonic Radio Committee (NQRC) recommended

the Quadracast system from Lou Dorren and was adopted by the FCC in

1983. Brad Miller was the only representative of the industry who wanted

a discrete system, and CBS even proposed a USQ system that was

compatible with Matrix SQ, yet had a discrete sub-carrier for optimal

performance. They even developed a fully discrete Matrix system, but it

never was really developed, although it was patented.

The BBC was designing their H-matrix at the same time and they regarded

it at that time as quadraphonics.

Live rock concerts were broadcast in matrixed Quadraphonic formats on

syndicated shows like the "King Biscuit Flower Hour".

Written By Eero Aro & Mark Anderson

Quadraphonic Radio Broadcasts :

King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio Show

- Procal Harum - 10/28/73, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Aerosmith / Gentle Giant - 9/28/75, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Mountain / Climax Blues Band - 2/10/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Santana - 10/13/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Chicago - 10/27/74, 90 Minutes (SQ)

- Edger Winter / Suzy Quatro - 11/10/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Johhny Winter / Robin Trower - 7/28/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Earth, Wind & Fire / Rory Gallagher - 8/25/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Steven Stills / Maria Muldaur - 7/14/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Genesis - Shrine Auditorium, L.A., CA. 3/9/75, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Bachman, Turner Overdrive / Les Variations - 9/8/74, 60 Minutes


- Emerson, Lake & Plamer - 3/10/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Focus / Joe Walsh - 9/30/73, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Poco / Foghat - 10/12/75, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Alice Cooper - 7/27/75, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Humble Pie / Framptons Camel - 8/26/73, 90 Minutes (SQ)

- Steve Miller / Grin - 1/27/74,, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- J. Giels / Foghat - 11/8/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Mott the Hoople / Argent - (Date Unknown), 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Rod Stewart - 5/11/75, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Seals & Crofts - 2/24/74, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Rick Wakeman / Renaissance - 11/30/75, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- Maria Muldaur - 2/23/75, 60 Minutes (SQ)

- James Taylor - 6/30/74, 90 Minutes (SQ)

- Yes - Boston Gardens Boston, MA. 12-11-74 broadcast 1/26/75,

60 Minutes (SQ)

- Jefferson Starship -

- Doobie Brothers / Boomtown Rats - 3/78, 60 Minutes (SQ)

{Might be Quadraphonic}

- Edger Winter / Richi Havens - 4/29/73

- Heart / Burton Cummings - 8/14/77, 60 Minutes (SQ)

{Might be Quadraphonic}

BBC Transcription Service - Stereo Pop Special

- Focus - Paris Theater '76, show #139190, 60 Minutes (SQ).

Record # CN 2537/SQ

- Ronnie Lanes Slim Chance - Paris Theater 7/75, 60 Minutes (SQ).

Record # CN 2204/SQ

- Deep Purple - '74, 60 Minutes (SQ). Record # CN ????/SQ

- Santana - Paris Theater '77, show #139, 60 Minutes (SQ).

Record # CN 2725/SQ

- Pretty Things - Paris Theater 3/75, 60 Minutes (SQ).

Record # CN 2186/SQ

- Baker, Gravitz Army - Paris Theater Week 41/ '75, show #104,

60 Minutes (SQ). Record # CN 2398/SQ

- Caravan - Paris Theater Week 28/ '76, show #124, 60 Minutes

(SQ). Record # CN 2575/SQ

- Barcley James Harvest - Paris Theater Week 39/ '74, 60 Minutes

(SQ). Record # CN 2129/SQ, Pop Spectacular #77

(Recorded 19-06-74 at the Golders Green Hippodrome, London)

- Jack Bruce Band - Paris Theater '77, show #150, 60 Minutes

(SQ). Record # CN 2820/SQ

- Camel - Paris Theater '77, 60 Minutes (SQ). Record # CN 2935/SQ

- P F M - Paris Theater Week 26/ '76, show #123, 60 Minutes (SQ).

Record # CN 2838/SQ

- Incredible String Band - Paris Theater '74, 60 Minutes (SQ).

Record # CN 2161/SQ

- Kiki Dee Band - Paris Theater '75, 60 Minutes (SQ). Record

# CN 2229/SQ

Unknown Shows

- Steve Miller Band - U.S. Tour '75. Supposedly QS format.

- Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Ontario Motor Speedway, CA. '73.

Supposedly QS format.

- The Who - Capitol Center Largo, MD. '73. Supposedly QS format.

- Chicago's "The Loop" WLUP broadcasted at least one live

concert that I know of in the SQ matrix format in 1979. The show

opened with Rainbow, went back to the studio to play a cut from

Joe Jacksons new album "I'm the Man"and a few other tunes,

then followed by Blue Oyster Cult.

- In 1971 Minneapolis radio WLOL-FM conducted Minnesota's first

discrete 4-channel broadcasts. By using WLOL for the front stereo

pair, and transmitting the rear stereo pair thru phone lines to

Minnesota's educational radio KSJN.

The second attempt at discrete 4-channel broadcasting eliminated

the phone lines. The front stereo pair was transmitted on WLOL-FM

and the rear pair was broadcasted by KEEY-FM.

Mark Durenberger, a DJ at WLOL at the time of these broadcast

shares his thoughts on those days

- Back in 1974 and 1975 there was a short-lived radio station WQIV in

New York City. One of their "innovations" (gimmicks?) was full time

QS-quad broadcasting. The quad format was even related to their call

-letters -they called themselves "cue four (Q-4)."

They were a commercial rock station with an emphasis on progressive

rock. They broadcast live concerts, the earliest syndicated Rock

Around the World shows, whole albums, and other things unusual at

the time on commercial radio. The station was short-lived since it

was converted from a classical format (WNCN) whose loyal listeners

put so much pressure on the owners that they had to bring back the

classical format. Live Quad QS encoded broadcasts took place from

"Electric Lady" Studios in N.Y.C.

1. The Guess Who - Live From Electric Lady Recording Studio on WQIV

- 1/16/75

2. Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys - Live From Electric Lady

Recording Studio on WQIV - 2/2/75.

3. Larry Coryell's - Eleventh House. '75

* 4. Rush - Live From Electric Lady Recording Studio on WQIV - 12/5/74

A quad fan had some interesting comments about the shows

Beginning in September 1969, WCRB radio in Boston began experimenting

with quadraphony, collaborating with WGBH to present a series of Boston

Symphony concerts live in discrete quadraphonic sound, two channels

being transmitted via WGBH and the other two on WCRB. These quadraphonic

BSO broadcasts continued through the 1973 season, and WCRB broadcast

some of its recorded music using the SQ quadrophonic system for several

years afterwards.

In the later part of 1969, San Francisco's KRON began its first four

channel broadcasts. KRON broadcasted the front two channels and station

KIOI broadcast the rear two channels. For their first Quadraphonic

broadcast, Ampex tape corporation provided four channel Reel to Reel

tapes with music from various record labels.

The Greatful Dead performed at the Winterland Arena, S.F. on October 4,

1970. The performance was televised on KQED and simulcast on KQED-FM and

KSAN-FM in Discrete Quadraphonic.прилагам няколко дисплеи на вхс касетофони стерео с режим - индикация за работа в квадро звук - simul и sc - simulcast съкратено -246HQ.JPG2544HQ.JPG917HQ.JPG2738HQ.JPG10502HQ.JPG

Eesti Raadio is a national public radio organization in the Republic of

Estonia. March 13, 1977 the first quadraphonic program was aired from

Tallinn by a special FM transmitter. These experimental programs

lasted till 1980.

The goverment run radio stations in Switzerland conducted discrete

Quadraphonic broadcasts during the 1980's. Classical Music was

broadcasted via DRS1 (sending the front channels) and DRS2

(sending the rear channels). Pop music and jazz were broadcasted via

DRS3 (front channels) and DRS2 (sending the rear channels). Apparently

these were going on as late as the 1980's.

In 1972 the BBC made Quadraphonic recordings at the 50th Anniversary

Promenade Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1974 The BBC demonstrated

Quadraphony at the International Electronics Expo. 1977 - Year of

experimental quadrophonic broadcasts using Research Department's 2

channel matrix.

* Rick Wakeman - Journey to the Center of the Earth, '75. Television

broadcast on KABC TV, Los Angeles, Ca. Simulcast in matrix quad.

(format unknown) on KLOS FM, Los Angeles, Ca.

* During 1977, The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) conducted

quadraphonic broadcast using the BBC's research departments 2 channel

matrix. The matrix format was known as Matrix HJ at that time, the

predecessor to the Ambisonic UHJ format.simulcastmarantz77-09.jpg

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