The Best Of The Doors - Quadra Disc

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lukpac
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The Best Of The Doors - Quadra Disc

Postby lukpac » Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:11 pm

I just scored a near mint copy of this for a mere $3.98. Certainly one of the best deals I've gotten on an LP. As you may or may not know, this particular record was released in 1973 and included all the hit singles, as well as a few other tracks. Here's the lineup:

Who Do You Love (live)
Soul Kitchen
Hello, I Love You
People Are Strange
Riders On The Storm
Touch Me
Love Her Madly
Love Me Two Times
Take It As It Comes
Moonlight Drive
Light My Fire

Of course, the interesting thing is that all of the tracks were remixed for quad. I don't have a quad setup, but the mixes themselves are neat, nevertheless. In the case of the tracks from the first album, the mixes are essentially the same as the stereo mixes, but there's much less "murk". And Light My Fire runs at the recorded speed (the LP mix was slowed down).

As for the rest of the mixes, differences are subtle but noticeable. In the case of Touch Me, for example, the stereo mix had the drums and strings left, with the horns centered. The quad mix has (in stereo) the strings left, drums centered, and horns right. There are also small differences in instrumentation. Some of the vocals are slightly different over the fadeout of Hello, I Love You, for example. And the fadeout itself is slightly longer.

I'd sure be curious to hear this in quad - I've heard the mixes were really well done. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to simply play back a CD-R through a quad system, as the CD-4 (the type of quad Elektra used) system uses a high frequency (20-50khz) carrier signal to encode the rear channels - that obviously doesn't make it onto CD-R. That said, if anybody feels like getting rid of a CD-4 decoder, send it my way, as I've heard that my cartridge (an Audio-Technica, the precursor to the AT331LP) does a great job with CD-R discs.

Maybe it's because I'm not a die-hard fan, or maybe it's because the mixes are well done, but whatever the case, I've found myself really liking these mixes. While things may not exactly match the stereo mixes, the feel seems to be really good. Something that's not the case with a lot of remixes done these days.

Want a treat? Here's the quad mix of Light My Fire:

http://lukpac.org/mp3/vinyl/light_my_fire-quad.mp3

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Postby britre » Tue Apr 29, 2003 10:11 pm

I happen to be a Quadraphonic fan and can tell you that you would be astounded to hear this in true four channel sound. For instance "Riders On The Storm" has ambience and sounds you never would have thought were there.

I am not to sure that cartridge will work with a CD-4 Demodulator. You will need,

A Shibata or Line Contact stylus

Frequency response up to 50khz for the carrier. Most advertised claims stated that Quadradiscs would be fine with a 33 KHZ cartridge, but I found out the hard way this is not the case. If you use anything less than 50KHZ you will have dropouts on carrier, and very repressed separation in the rear channels. My main Cartridge is a Stanton 900HZ, I also have a true period Empire 4000D, and a Audio Technica 500 LC which all work great. Pickering also still produces a cartridge that will do the job properly. Seek the cartridge first, Demodulators are very common and cheap on Ebay. Your Stereo LP's will equally benefit from the improved cartridge.

Lastly, you will need a true four channel Amp or twin Stereo amps. Most Dolby recievers are actually not truly matched four or 5 channel amps being desined for Dolby 5.1 and such. So I reccomend you seek out separates for quadraphonic listening.

Luke, if I stumble across a low cost unit I will notify you and see if we can get it in your hands. But search out the other equipment first as it is the most pricy :mrgreen:

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Postby lukpac » Tue Apr 29, 2003 10:32 pm

The AT331LP *is* a Linear Contact stylus/cartridge, as is the Studio Reference 8008 (I have the latter). They are rated to 30k, but according to a lot of people, they work very well with CD-4 discs. See this page (among others):

http://pub9.ezboard.com/fquadraphonicqu ... ID=2.topic

I'd be curious if anyone has tried a Shure V15 with CD-4. Not that I'm going to run out an buy one, but...

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Postby britre » Tue Apr 29, 2003 11:47 pm

Yes I have tried the V15 with CD-4. It does not have the nessesary frequency response unfortunately.... The Sure V15 *is* definitely a top end cartridge!

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Postby britre » Tue Apr 29, 2003 11:55 pm

Great reading on that link. By the way, I have both the JVC 4DD5 Demod and the SE-405, and have owned the CD-400. I found the JVC to be the most clean unit and have the best chipsets installed. But don't get me wrong, with the proper setup and patience any Demodulator works great. I also have a Sony SQD-2020 SQ decoder, and the Sansui QS-1 Decoder. These all have been modified by people in the know for me to provide top notch performance. They built the stuff well in the 70's and all it takes is a little knowledge and patience!

I have also encountered the poor pressing quality of the Cat Stevens CD-4 disc. The best CD-4 I have encountered is AWB with Pick Up The Pieces. That is an astounding Quadradisc.

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Postby Ed Bishop » Tue May 06, 2003 5:52 am

The fascinating thing about the Doors BEST OF is twofold: first, it's one of only a handful of Lp's specifically assembled and mixed for QUAD only, without a stereo counterpart(if you dug this one, Luke, the Aretha Franklin QUAD would have you jabbering!). Second, this is also the only Quad Lp to stay in print into the 1980's! First came the black label pressing; then the more common greenish label; then there was the red label that was a mixdown from Quad to stereo(!). But, in the early '80s, on the black/red label, the Quad mix was back out again(!). And, yes, the quad mixes are generally remarkable, though "Light My Fire" is not the most sensible mix that could have been made for that one(it folds down to stereo better, IMO). Also note on this disc, the organ that was mixed out of part of one verse of "Soul Kitchen" remains(the "I light another cigarette" verse, I believe). Love this one!

BTW, for those with a DVD-Audio setup, "Love Her Madly" and "Riders On The Storm" are nicely mixed to 5.1 there, and the separation is even better, with "Madly" fading later than previously issued anywhere.

ED
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Postby lukpac » Tue May 06, 2003 7:40 am

Ed Bishop wrote:And, yes, the quad mixes are generally remarkable, though "Light My Fire" is not the most sensible mix that could have been made for that one(it folds down to stereo better, IMO).


I obviously haven't heard the track in quad (what's quad about it, exactly?), but I'd say in stereo it easily beats the stereo mix. It sounds cleaner and clearer *without* sounding sterile or far removed from the original.

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Postby Ed Bishop » Tue May 06, 2003 7:53 am

What happened there is unique to the album: by separating the instruments, the remix manages to diminish the impact of the sound. Haven't played it in years, but it was the one cut I found wanting in terms of instrument placement; it just sounded out of whack. But when folded to stereo, all the elements come together very well. The album does indeed remove some of the murk from the original stereo version, though that can also be said about recent stereo CD remasterings, too: the latest incarnation, with the uncensored "Break On Through" and "The End" is most impressive. The question I have is why other DVD-A's haven't been issued; so far, just "L.A. Woman" which is a treat because the 5.1 mix has an extended intro for the title track which is previously unheard. This was always the fun of multi-channel: the 'like a box of chocolates' thing, though sometimes on occasion what you really got was 'trick or treat' with accent on the former(the Quad CREEDENCE GOLD is a classic example; I remember the old 8-track, and it was a 'contrived mix' that I don't believe used multi-tracks, just spread things out to make it seem like it was; a trick often used with so-called 5.1 mixes some music DVD's which, in fact, are simply extensions of the original Dolby Surround mixes).

But I love THE BEST OF THE DOORS; L.A. WOMAN showcases the further potential; why the wait for others is what I don't understand.

ED 8)
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Postby lukpac » Tue May 06, 2003 9:28 am

Ed Bishop wrote:What happened there is unique to the album: by separating the instruments, the remix manages to diminish the impact of the sound. Haven't played it in years, but it was the one cut I found wanting in terms of instrument placement; it just sounded out of whack.


Hrmm. Not sure what could be separated, as it was only a 4 track recording - bass/drums, organ/guitar, and two vocal tracks. When played back in stereo, the quad mix matches the stereo in terms of placement.

The album does indeed remove some of the murk from the original stereo version, though that can also be said about recent stereo CD remasterings, too: the latest incarnation, with the uncensored "Break On Through" and "The End" is most impressive.


I'd disagree here. While the latest CD might be a tad better than previous versions, it is still murk city compared to the quad mixes. It's like night and day.

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Postby Ed Bishop » Tue May 06, 2003 9:51 am

I'll have to set the system up for Quad playback sometime in the near future; I just route the demodulator lines to the front and back multi-channel analog inputs; works like a charm, but normally I'm set up for SACD/DVD-A multi-channel playback.

One fun track is "Riders On The Storm." On both the quad Lp and the 5.1 DVD-A, that 'whisper' vocal track of Morrison's that's buried on the stereo mix is very obvious, as it's isolated to the back channels, adding an extra level of spook to the song. The DVD-A was criticized--perhaps justifiably--for moving the 'Mr. Mojo risin'' vocal from the title track from speaker to speaker, though I find these effects good fun. Quad or 5.1, not everything's ever going to be perfect but for $3.98, you got yourself a great listen!

Which label do you have?

ED 8)
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Postby britre » Tue May 06, 2003 1:59 pm

Ed Bishop wrote:

One fun track is "Riders On The Storm." On both the quad Lp and the 5.1 DVD-A, that 'whisper' vocal track of Morrison's that's buried on the stereo mix is very obvious, as it's isolated to the back channels, adding an extra level of spook to the song.

ED 8)


This is absolute truth and the Storm sounds so good you would thing it was really raining. I also love the resolution of the Keyboards on the Quad mix. To be honest, I don't listen to the Doors in stereo often, but I do listen to the Quad mix very occasionally. I have the red/black 80's Quadradisc. Not the rarest find, but the best sound and vinyl quality.

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Postby Ed Bishop » Tue May 06, 2003 6:11 pm

britre wrote:
Ed Bishop wrote:

One fun track is "Riders On The Storm." On both the quad Lp and the 5.1 DVD-A, that 'whisper' vocal track of Morrison's that's buried on the stereo mix is very obvious, as it's isolated to the back channels, adding an extra level of spook to the song.

ED 8)


This is absolute truth and the Storm sounds so good you would thing it was really raining. I also love the resolution of the Keyboards on the Quad mix. To be honest, I don't listen to the Doors in stereo often, but I do listen to the Quad mix very occasionally. I have the red/black 80's Quadradisc. Not the rarest find, but the best sound and vinyl quality.


I have all three 'true Quad' pressings, and the quietest is, indeed, the last one, which you have. THE BEST OF THE DOORS is the 2nd most common of Quadradiscs, behind, obviously, ALOHA FROM HAWAII VIA SATELLITE. Unlike that one, however, it's not Elvis, there are plenty around and not on eBay for obscene sums, and clean pressings are easy to find. I was amazed when that '80s true quad turned up; after the late '70s fold-down, I was sure that would be it(you can tell if it is the fold-down, because the cover has been altered to omit the Quadradisc logo and serial number; and the label should be red with the small white Elektra logo).

It's one of my fave Quad's; the mixes really are different, and when I first heard it in Quad, I really had hoped there would be more to come; alas...and at this rate, alas for the DVD-Audio situation, too... :(

ED 8)
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Postby lukpac » Tue May 06, 2003 6:46 pm

Ed Bishop wrote:Which label do you have?


Red/black.

Side 2 is in great shape, side 1 is slightly more noisy but still quite good. It really only matters on the quiet songs like Love Me Two Times.

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Postby lukpac » Tue May 06, 2003 6:48 pm

Ed Bishop wrote:I was amazed when that '80s true quad turned up; after the late '70s fold-down, I was sure that would be it(you can tell if it is the fold-down, because the cover has been altered to omit the Quadradisc logo and serial number; and the label should be red with the small white Elektra logo).


I'm not sure if this would work with all cartridges or not, but you could also play your LP back *very* slowly. If you hear a really high frequency noise, it's a quad version (that's the rear decoding signal).

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Postby Ed Bishop » Tue May 06, 2003 7:15 pm

lukpac wrote:
Ed Bishop wrote:I was amazed when that '80s true quad turned up; after the late '70s fold-down, I was sure that would be it(you can tell if it is the fold-down, because the cover has been altered to omit the Quadradisc logo and serial number; and the label should be red with the small white Elektra logo).


I'm not sure if this would work with all cartridges or not, but you could also play your LP back *very* slowly. If you hear a really high frequency noise, it's a quad version (that's the rear decoding signal).


Well, I still have my old JVC CD-4 Disc Demodulator; if it's Quad, the red light in front goes on. The fold-down does not; what's more, the grooves on that 3rd (non-Quad)press are wider than they should be, even for a regular stereo disc; obviously, in folding it down, some adjustments had to be made to fit it onto the record without messing up the sound; for the most part, a success, but a fold-down from the Quad to the stereo sounds much better. It's that demodulator I use when I plug it into the 5.1 receiver inputs(no LFE or center speaker, obviously)with the TT connected to its stereo inputs; plays very nicely. The disadvantage is, some discs play fine(the Doors, for one), but others(TUBULAR BELLS comes to mind, though luckily there's the 4.0 SACD, so who cares anymore?)don't quite work thanks to the ultra-tight grooves(or, more likely, thin and lousy vinyl, too, which it is). CD-4 seemed to be the only format to require a special(or really expensive)stylus and cartridge; QS and SQ, when I had the gear, played back fine with a decent cart/stylus setup, but you didn't need anything ultra-special. Even so, many of these still work well when I'm in the mood. Some months ago, I played the Quad Black Sabbath PARANOID for my brother; brought back youthful memories of getting drunk while listening to their ravings with four speakers.

Now, if only we could get WEA off its corporate ass to put some of these out before I'm too old to care :roll:
When remixing vintage tapes, imagine you are back in the time those recordings were made, and mix accordingly. forget Today's Sound Sensibilities....