Quadrophonic LP’s. No good for Stereo?

I’ve picked up a few used Classical LP’s which are labelled as Quadrophonic, but also play in Stereo. Presumably the quad element is bypassed using a Stereo pickup and normal Stereo will result. My impression is that these records sound a bit strange in stereo though…

Are there explanations for this and is it a well known artefact? I could just be unlucky with these 2 recordings I guess, or am I best to avoid Quadrophonic recordings in future?

There were 3 types of Quad records - SQ, QS & CD4. Which do you have…?

SQ & QS should play fine. Not sure about CD4…

More here - Quadrophonic LP’s on Wikipedia

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For a number of years during the mid to late ‘70s EMI labelled their classical LPs as Stereo/Quadrophonic. These play just fine in stereo - superbly in fact, some being up there with the very best. However, the earlier dedicated quadrophonic Q4ASD series are not as good in stereo, although quite sought after in their own right being mixed and balanced differently to their plain stereo ASD equivalents.


Here’s the main culprit Richard. It’s Labelled ‘SQ’ and was a cellophane sealed, unopened box set bought online from Oxfam. Quiet surfaces for sure, but sounds odd. The Piano is half a mile wide and the Orchestra disappears anytime other than when playing especially loud. Hard to enjoy really.


I have a CD4 Quadradisc pressing of Joni Mitchell’s ‘The Hissing Of Summer Lawns’. It plays fine in stereo and the mix is quite different from my two stereo (UK first and Nimbus) pressings.

I have a number of these now odd LPs. They were played on my TT at the time, a Thorens 125. Must dig them out and see how they sound. All was fine in the 125 days from memory.

I have a boxed set of Mike Oldfield Boxed which has 4 SQ encoded LPs and they sound fine to me.

I have no idea… but I do know that I once went down the 5.1 audio rabbit hole, and it pretty much killed my interest in stereo gear. Too complex and impossible to make music sound good (in my opinion at least). 10 years later I emerged and started looking into good old 2 channel… glad I did. Naim is probably glad also :slight_smile:

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