Quadrophonic

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Quadrophonic

I have acquired a Quadrophonic box set of lp's and don't know if there are any pitfalls involved. I had been looking for some time for a recording of Weber's opera Euryanthe, so when I saw one earlier this week in vynil in the giftshop of the Vienna State Opera, I pounced! It was a 1975 recording so back in the hotel I opened it up to check out the surface quality. To my surprise not only was it brand new (I don't know why I expected otherwise) but also Quadrophonic.

My player, c 1978, is stereo, as is the cartridge. That might seem obvious.

Will I damage the discs by playing them with a stereo cartridge? I will fit a new stylus specially, but is there any other way to avoid damage?

Will playback through stereo sound inferior? I suspect the necessary equipment is slightly unavailable.

Should I perhaps get back on the plane and grovel for a refund of my 28 euros? Well any excuse will do.

Thanks for advice, anyone out there! I have been reading Gramophone regularly since early 1970, but can't possibly remember what the mag said at the time about quadrophonic or even quadrasonic!

Best wishes

Alan Pinson

RE: Quadrophonic

Hello Alan,

I also puchased the same LP set of Euryanthe a couple of years ago. Don't worry. There will be no damage playing this on a normal stereo set up. Even in stereo the sound is quite wonderful. I have quite a number of quadrophonic LP sets which were issued during the 70's. Unfortunately I haven't heard any of them in Quadrophonic sound as I never got round to purchasing quad equipment. Even so every one of them sounds terrific.

Best wishes,

Steve

RE: Quadrophonic

What record label are they? For a short period in the 1970s EMI issued a number of LPs ONLY in what they described as compatible stereo/quadraphonic format. They were played with a normal stereo pickup cartridge and I have several of these recordings. The GRAMOPHONE Audio Editor of the time, John Borwick did state there was a slight loss of stereo definition compared to a true stereo issue but it seems barely noticeable.

There were however several different competing systems which no doubt helped quadraphonic's early death until the surround sound resurrection with SACD (but how many actually listen to SACDs in other than stereo I wonder?). I do recall that one system, called I think CD4 (nothing to do with compact discs!) which was developed  by JVC and did need a special cartridge and stylus but I don't remember if this was only to get the multichannel effect or if it was necessary to play them in stereo. Not many records were issued though using this JVC system.

RE: Quadrophonic RE: Quadrophonic

Take a look at http://members.cox.net/surround/quaddisc/quadcdsc.htm to see the large number of quadraphonic recordings produced in the 70's.

The introduction of SACD has given a new lease of life to those recorded by Philips, but never issued on LP. Try any PentaTone RQR discs for a revelation in what superb multi-channel sound can achieve.

Barry F

RE: Quadrophonic

Should be no problem whatsoever playing them with a decent quality stereo cartridge.

I seem to recall that standard and consistency of pressings was an issue with quadrophonic lps. Having pops, swishes and crackles coming at you out of four speakers was not a selling point. Something to bear in mind when we start getting misty-eyed over the good old days of vinyl.

RE: Quadrophonic

intriguing that Philips's quadraphonic recordings (which I don't think were ever issued in that format on LP) are now appearing on SACD whilst EMI, who probably have the biggest quadraphonic catalogue, have not embraced SACD in any form!

I must admit to never having heard SACD or any quadraphonic or surround sound format but cannot ever see myself installing such a system as I am quite satisfied with stereo, especially from LP.

RE: Quadrophonic

The label is EMI. The set number is:1 C 191-02591/94Q.

It is heartening that nobody is telling me to take it back. Also that my stereo pickup will play it.

Thank you

RE: Quadrophonic

Well Alan looks like you did well to find some unplayed LPs! Looking in an old edition of the "Penguin Guide" this seems to have been one of those issues originally put out only in the compatible stereo/quad format.

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