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Author Topic: Quad 8  (Read 22805 times)

Eric Bridenbaker

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Quad 8
« on: November 16, 2005, 04:13:54 pm »

Wondering if anyone here has worked with the Quad8 consoles, and what they are like.

Keep hearing that they are among the best sounding boards ever built, something to do with a +/-30V power rail and expanded headroom, top notch EQ's etc.... very curious about any info regarding this company and the way the equipment sounds.

Best,
Eric
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ToddP

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2005, 04:27:11 pm »

Eric Bridenbaker wrote on Wed, 16 November 2005 13:13

Wondering if anyone here has worked with the Quad8 consoles, and what they are like.

Keep hearing that they are among the best sounding boards ever built, something to do with a +/-30V power rail and expanded headroom, top notch EQ's etc.... very curious about any info regarding this company and the way the equipment sounds.

Best,
Eric


Larry DeVivo wrote a very interesting and informative article on the history of Electrodyne (who built the Quad 8 consoles) in the Sept./ Oct. issue of Tape Op. Check it out if you get a chance.
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blueboy

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2005, 04:30:52 pm »

I don't know if this will interest you but...

http://www.digitalprosound.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=3 5696

JL
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2005, 04:52:40 pm »

Brian Kehew owns one.  Click on my Use Your Ears link in my sig and ask there, and Brian will answer you, I'm sure.
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compasspnt

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2005, 05:25:56 pm »

I bought one new, a Quad Eight / Mitsubishi "Westar," in about '85-86.  I recorded many albums on it, and was always well pleased.  REM's "Green" was done on that desk, as well as Stevie Ray & Jimmy Vaughan's "Brothers" album, produced by Nile.  I did a couple of Fab T-birds, some ZZ mixes, and lots more on it.

There were at least 3 different EQ modules which could be plugged in to each channel, as well as two empty slots which would service the mix buss.  I had mostly the basic ones, and about 8 of the fully parametric.  Never had, but always wanted, the graphics.

My Lucas Engineering technician tells me that the IC's in the EQ's could certainly be upgraded.

It always seemed quite clean, and the pre's were fine.  Looked a bit MCI-ish, but was much more solidly built.  Mitsu bought them about the time Sony bought MCI.

I finally sold it just a few years ago to The Tragically Hip.  They had cut their very first album on it 18 years earlier.  It lives in Canada now.

At the time, many people didn't think too much of them...now it's a Classic.

Sometimes I wish I had it back...
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robot gigante

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2005, 07:22:53 pm »

blueboy wrote on Wed, 16 November 2005 16:30

I don't know if this will interest you but...

 http://www.digitalprosound.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=3 5696

JL


I've used the Pacifica and if the original consoles (which I haven't heard) sound like it then I think that they would sound outstanding at least as far as the pre's go.  

It would be interesting if Peter M and co did a remake of the Q8 EQ's as well.  

I almost had a chance to pick up a Q8 stereo compressor for next to nothing but the guy had already sold it by the time I found out about it...   I was kinda bummed.
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2005, 08:07:41 pm »

A 20 input Quad-8 was the most common console I saw people getting when they went 16 track. Most 3-8 track recording boards had been 12-14 input tube homebrews so going 16 track almost always meant buying a new transistor board at the same time. Many people I knew didn't expect 24 track to catch on nearly as fast as it did.

rnicklaus

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2005, 09:05:30 pm »

Does anyone know what model Quad 8 was in The Sound Lab tracking room?

That was nice - this was before they came out with the Coronado and Pacifica.

When did the Westar fitin time wise to all this?
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rnicklaus

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2005, 09:09:28 pm »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Wed, 16 November 2005 17:07

A 20 input Quad-8 was the most common console I saw people getting when they went 16 track. Most 3-8 track recording boards had been 12-14 input tube homebrews so going 16 track almost always meant buying a new transistor board at the same time. Many people I knew didn't expect 24 track to catch on nearly as fast as it did.


I'm sure some of us were cutting basic tracks on consoles with 24 inputs and 16 monitor for a while there (split consoles) during the transition.  I was.
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RMoore

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2005, 09:14:32 pm »

Eric Bridenbaker wrote on Wed, 16 November 2005 22:13

Wondering if anyone here has worked with the Quad8 consoles, and what they are like.

Keep hearing that they are among the best sounding boards ever built, something to do with a +/-30V power rail and expanded headroom, top notch EQ's etc.... very curious about any info regarding this company and the way the equipment sounds.

Best,
Eric



i also suggest check out the new tape op mag issue  - its got a feature on this very subject..electrodyne quad 8
www.tapeop.com
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Eric Bridenbaker

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2005, 09:16:35 pm »

Thanks for the great replies. Definitely sounds like something worth looking into. Those A-Design Pacifica pre reissues look very cool as well. Will check out that tape op article too!

I did manage to find a thread from Gearslutz, where Larry DeVivo had this to say about the design lineage and sound of Quad 8: (seems he really, really likes them!)

"Hi Gang,

The lineage goes like this Langevin, Sphere, Quad Eight & Langevin. All 4 were owned by the same parent company. Many of each's designs use the other's components. So basically they are very similar console design and the exact same in some cases. Later John was given a budget to design two different pre's for the Langevins.

The real jems are the older Q8's, Electrodynes & Sphere's (certain early Langevins also). These have John Halls propriety op-amp design in them. He sealed them in epoxy so they couldn't be back engineered and never did a schematic for them. Late one Sunday evening the sales guy who was Quad Eight (I wont give his name out) and the manager for Electrodyne copied all of Electrodynes schematics. Quad Eight the manufaturer was born. Edyne sued and won. At this that time the AM4 op-amp was born. It was Quads attempt to copy John Halls op-amp and he says they missed! But owning both designs they are very very close and I use both.

As Scott mentioned earlier we did a shoot out between all these modules and in the end it prompted my to sell my Neve BCM10 full of 1073's, that's how strong I felt about the Edynes & Quads! I'd say the sound sits right in between the Neve's and the API's and for the money they sit way above those two.

Check out the article that will be in Tape-Op, probably wont be out for a couple issues yet but it gives a lot of insight into the industry at that time.

Most people have all the stories screwed up. Deane Jensen inhertied (if you will) his most famous op-amp design, but that's another story and one I will probably never be able to tell.

BTW Paul, there's a mastering version of those Sphere graphic EQ's out there and I'm viciously trying to hunt then down. I own 8 of the mic-pre/graphic 712's now and am buying as many as I can find. My Electrodyne console is a 15x4 and is full loaded now! Also if anyone has any Quad CLS 22 compressors they want to sell. I'll take 'em for our Pacifica !!!

Larry DeVivo
www.silvertonemastering.com/stone"

Full thread is here:

http://gearslutz.com/board/showthread.php3?t=148

Best,
Eric
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ALLEN WRENCH

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2005, 10:49:32 pm »

Hey Eric, having had recently gone through the USED CONSOLE thing… spending a shit load of money on mods and repairs, just to find out the thing is a $10,000 waste of time and money… that’ll probably sell on EBAY for $ 1,800

You should check out Paul Wolf’s Tonelux console:

http://www.tonelux.com/

You can get it into any configuration you want, and the thing’s raging!  Hopefully I’ll be in a Tonelux within the next year.

As far as I know, I’m pretty sure Paul was running API in the late ‘80s – Early 90’s and is behind a of the kick ass API tricks.  No doubt people will be throwing some comments RE: Paul and Tonelux after this.

One of the things I heard while buying older consoles were things like… “Do this mod and it’ll be just like a _____!”  or “All it needs is to be recapped.”  But much to my surprise after doing all these costly things is that I had a noisy hunk of crap.  Well at least it matches my hunk o’crap MCI machine.

There seems to be a market glut of consoles out there right now, but BE WARE some of those great prices are for fucked up gear that need work and will take a great deal of money and heartache to get happening.  

Get the ToneLux that fucking thing’s solid.


Paul and I at AES NY 2005 (I'm on the left)
index.php/fa/1871/0/


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compasspnt

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2005, 11:05:51 pm »

Mr. Wrench makes a good point.  SOME older equipment is not worth salvaging.  Of course, some is.

But I can personally attest to the quality of anything that Paul does.
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Brent Handy

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2005, 11:52:24 pm »

I tracked on this Virtuosso here:

http://www.nextlevelrecordingstudio.com

It is big, fat, and has tons of headroom.  I wish that I had one!
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Eric Bridenbaker

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Re: Quad 8
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2005, 01:27:19 am »

ALLEN WRENCH wrote on Wed, 16 November 2005 22:49

Hey Eric, having had recently gone through the USED CONSOLE thing… spending a shit load of money on mods and repairs, just to find out the thing is a $10,000 waste of time and money… that’ll probably sell on EBAY for $ 1,800

You should check out Paul Wolf’s Tonelux console:

http://www.tonelux.com/

You can get it into any configuration you want, and the thing’s raging!  Hopefully I’ll be in a Tonelux within the next year.

As far as I know, I’m pretty sure Paul was running API in the late ‘80s – Early 90’s and is behind a of the kick ass API tricks.  No doubt people will be throwing some comments RE: Paul and Tonelux after this.

One of the things I heard while buying older consoles were things like… “Do this mod and it’ll be just like a _____!”  or “All it needs is to be recapped.”  But much to my surprise after doing all these costly things is that I had a noisy hunk of crap.  Well at least it matches my hunk o’crap MCI machine.

There seems to be a market glut of consoles out there right now, but BE WARE some of those great prices are for fucked up gear that need work and will take a great deal of money and heartache to get happening.  

Get the ToneLux that fucking thing’s solid.



Thanks Allen,

This is always a concern with vintage gear, and the stakes naturally get a lot higher with something as complex as a console.

Tonelux looks like the deal, solid build and definitely has the design credentials behind it. Haven't seen any in Canada yet, but sure they must be around somewhere.

There is a certain confidence that goes with the purchase of new gear, and if the design is good, it'll sound great.

On the otherhand, I also do love to take the occasional risk (though I haven't at the console level) on something vintage and possibly mysterious, which has been known at times to lead to some serious voodoo.

A few weeks ago I picked up an old 1955 Pilot Radio hifi mono tube preamp. The thing looks like a small golden toaster oven with a handle on top. Five tubes, mic pre and LP/NAB/AES/FOR phono EQ curve settings with variable impedance, line in, high and low EQ. Unbalanced RCA in/out, but can take quite a bit of input voltage an puts out +4dB nominal no prob. Found it on tour in a pawn shop in Vernon B.C. and definitely spent more on the recap than the purchase price.

Just hooked it up today, ran some bass, vocals, acoustic guitar through the various inputs. Smooooooth, (with lots and lots of O's). The bass knob is fantastic. I can say is that this thing certainly knows what it's doing, and that's the kind of thing that's going to make it on a record. I'm about as happy with this as I am with another recent buy at nearly ten times the price, which was a Millennia TD-1 DI/Pre/EQ box (albeit for different reasons; the two are very different beasts indeed!!)

One of the guys I was with that day in the pawn shop dug up a 60's Ludwig snare for 100 bucks or something, with the original skins and strainer still on... all the while saying that it's not "buying" gear, but more like "rescuing" it. He tuned it up and played it that night at the concert. The drummer for the headliners kept jokingly trying to steal it after the show.

Anyway, not to get too OT, but with the Q8 stuff it looks like that it would be worth a stab, at least to try and find a few channels and give them a try. Seems like the early stuff was very cutting edge. A lot of good ears here like the sound, and a lot of good records were made on Q8's. Thanks Again.

Best,
Eric
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