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Question about Quadrophonic and Sansui.......... (1 Viewer)

Corbin Stirn

Second Unit
Dec 22, 1999
Just curious........I picked up for $6 at an auction a Quadrophonic processor by sansui. I believe I recall hearing that quadrophonic was THE great failed experiment in audio from the 1970's. I haven't hooked it up(I don't know how.....there are a LOT of inputs/outputs) but I was curious as to where this stands compared to my 5800's 5/7 channel stereo. Wasn't Quad the predecessor to 5/7 channel? Or logic 7? Anyone with any information on the history of this and/or hooking it up would be appreciated. Let me know........ :)
[Edited last by Corbin Stirn on July 15, 2001 at 01:14 AM]

Chuck Kent

Supporting Actor
May 29, 1999
Corbin: I'm no authority on quad (or anything for that matter...) but here's what I remember.
There were 4 forms of consumer quadraphonic sound. Three of them were LP album based and one was Lear 8-track tape based. (There may have been some reel-to-reel tapes too but I never knew of any stores that carried them.)
The LP based ones were known as SQ (developed by Columbia records), QS (developed by Sansui), and CD-4 (also known as Quadradisc and developed mostly by JVC.) The Quad tapes were still 8 tracks but instead of having four 2 channel tracks, they had two 4 channel tracks.
The taped based quad pretty much stunk do to the inherent weaknesses of the Lear 8 format. Heat and friction, not to mention tons of wow and flutter. Yuck!!!
The LP based systems were better. For SQ and QS, you needed a decoder and enough amps and speakers to play back 4 channels. The CD-4 needed a special stylus type known as a Shibata style, along with a "demodulator" or decoder, along with the 4 amps and 4 speakers.
IMO, the best of the 3 LP systems was the CD-4, since the signals that were decoded were 4 true distinct channels.
SQ and QS were matrix based systems which had some bleed through from the front and back. They were 2 channel signals that had the rear info encoded as part of the main signal.
All 3 systems claimed that they were fully compatible with regular stereo playback. And they were, sort of. But often, the mixes were different enough that they just didn't sound very good. And speaking of the mixes, most were AWFUL! Instead of sitting in a fairly normal concert setting (with the band/musicians in front) most of the mixes put you into the center of the band. (It's done that way much too often today too. And it stinks just as bad...)
As for your decoder, I'm not sure it's going to be of any value to you. It was my understanding that for any of these systems to work as intended, you needed the source to be properly encoded as SQ or QS (CD-4 for sure.) So unless you can find some QS LP's, I don't think you'll get much of anything. But hey, for $6, it probably looks pretty cool!
[Edited last by Chuck Kent on July 15, 2001 at 09:59 PM]

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