Larry Clifton's MultiChannelSound Shop

Frequently Asked Questions

What are UHJ, SQ, QS, EV, DY and CD-4?
Can I play quadraphonic and Ambisonic recordings on my stereo system?
What do I need to play quadraphonic or Ambisonic recordings?
What are cut-outs?
How do I place my order?
How do you ship and how much does it cost?
How do I pay for my order?
How do I contact you?

What are UHJ, SQ, QS, EV, DY and CD-4?

These are abbreviations for the various surround-sound systems introduced during the 1970s.  "UHJ" stands for the specification for encoding the W, X and Y Ambisonic directional signals into a signal pair compatible with stereo and mono systems.  The "U" represents Nippon Columbia's UD-4 system, the "H", the BBC's Matrix H, and the "J", the original Ambisonics 45J matrix.  "UHJ" incorporates developments from each of these systems.

"SQ" is the CBS Labs' "Stereo Quadraphonic" system.  "QS" is Sansui's "Quadraphonic Stereo" system.  "EV" is short for the "Electro-Voice Stereo-4" system.  "DY" stands for "DynaQuad".  ("DQ" would not have done.)  Finally, "CD-4" was Japan Victor's abbreviation for their "Compatible Discrete 4-Channel" system, also know as the "Quadradisc".

When playing these recordings, for ideal reproduction, you must use a decoder specifically designed to match the encoding (UHJ, SQ, QS, EV, DY and CD-4).  In practice, however, the SQ, QS, EV and DY systems have much in common, and a decoder made for any one of these will give reasonably good results (though not necessarily what the recording engineer or performer had in mind) from recordings encoded using any of the four.

The Dolby Pro Logic and the brand new Pro Logic II decoders offered in today's home theater receivers and integrated amps are descendents of SQ, QS, EV and DY.  Therefore, Pro Logic (I or II) also provides pleasing results from LPs and cassettes made using the 1970's encoding systems.  In fact, the inventor of Pro Logic II, Jim Fosgate, also developed the last and best SQ decoder, the Fosgate Research Tate II.

The UHJ Ambisonic and CD-4 Quadradisc systems are distinctly different from the other four and from one another; each requires its own decoder for proper playback.  In the case of CD-4, the decoder is called a disc demodulator; it also requires a phonograph cartridge with a upper frequency response limit in the 40- to 45-kHz range, and low capacitance wiring in the tonearm and between the turntable and demodulator.

For those interested in recordings made using one of the systems, I've organized my sale lists by encoding technique:

Can I play quadraphonic and Ambisonic recordings on my stereo system?

Quadraphonic and Ambisonic LPs, cassettes and CDs play beautifully in stereo as well in surround.  In fact, for nearly all the titles I offer, the manufacturers offered the surround version as the only release for both the surround and the stereo markets.  The stereo listener sacrifices nothing; all the music heard from the rear in surround folds into the front when played in stereo.

What do I need to play quadraphonic and Ambisonic recordings?

Most basically, you need at least four channels of amplification and a quadraphonic decoder, an Ambisonic decoder, or a CD-4 disc demodulator (see What are UHJ, SQ, QS, EV, DY and CD-4? above) that handles the system of the recordings you want to play.  For example, to play SQ-encoded recordings you need a four-channel receiver, four-channel integrated amp, or a two-channel pre-amp and four-channel amplifier.

If you have a home theater receiver or integrated amp with external analog inputs (usually 5.1 or 6.1), you're in luck:  all you need is the decoder.  Matrix quadraphonic and UHJ Ambisonic decoders require high-level stereo inputs; the two-channel tape outputs from your home theater receiver will do nicely.  Connect these to the two-channel inputs of the decoder, and connect the four-channel outputs from the decoder into the left and right front and left and right rear external analog inputs of your receiver.  On the receiver, select the external decoder option and the decoder will process any analog signal fed to the receiver.

To play CD-4 LPs requires a different configuration.  First, acquire a CD-4 demodulator.  Plug the stereo outputs from your turntable into the phono inputs on the demodulator.  The demodulator produces four high-level outputs; connect these to your receiver's left and right front and left and right rear external analog inputs.  As with the decoder, select the receiver's external decoder option, but note that, unlike a matrix decoder, the demodulator only processes output from your turntable.

What are cut-outs?

Items identified as 'cut-out' I purchased after the manufacturers discontinued them.  Typically, a notch is cut in the jackets of cut-out LPs.  I offer these at a significant discount and so do not guarantee their condition.

You'll find a few titles available as both new and cut-out items.  The only difference is the condition of the jacket and the price.

How do I place my order?

Please send me an e-mail message (see How do I contact you? below) listing the titles you want and your location (State in the U.S.; country, otherwise).  I'll verify that the titles you want are still in stock; I keep the Web site lists up-to-date, but occasionally two people order the same item simultaneously when I have only one to offer.

I'll confirm your order by e-mail and provide your total, including shipping and, for shipments within Virginia, State sales tax.  If you agree to the total, I'll reserve the items in your order and wait for your payment (see How do I pay for my order? below) to arrive by mail. 

How do you ship and how much does it cost?

For orders within the U.S., I ship most orders by either Priority Mail or Media Mail.  Priority Mail provides fast delivery; Media Mail offers slower delivery for a much lower cost.  Priority Mail gets very expensive for large orders; for these, I may substitute UPS Ground service for Priority Mail.

For orders outside the U.S., First-Class Package International is the most economical rate for small orders and Priority Mail International provides the best value for medium and large size orders.  Both offer delivery in a few days.

For Priority Mail International, the shipping rates I quote include insurance to protect your order against loss or damage to most countries.  My quotes for First Class Mail International do not.  For these the Postal Service offers no insurance, so you have no protection against loss or damage.

My Shipping page describes in detail the rates and their costs to all countries.  The page contains a rate calculator for those using browsers that support dynamic HTML.  The calculator shows you the cost to ship your order for every rate.

How do I pay for my order?

I accept payment by personal check, money order, cashier's check, bank draft or PayPal.  I do not accept credit cards directly, but you may pay by credit card via PayPal.

Please make your check, etc., payable to Larry Clifton.

For customers outside the U.S., please note that your money order or bank draft must be in a form drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. funds.

For payment by PayPal, my id is larryclifton@gmail.com, same as my e-mail address.

Virginia residents, please add 6% for sales tax to the merchandise total.

How do I contact you?

e-mail: LarryClifton@gmail.com
mail: Larry Clifton
MultiChannelSound Shop
P.O. Box 123
Capron, VA  23829-0123
U.S.A.

Last updated: September 14, 2014

Larry Clifton's MultiChannelSound Shop