One disgruntled former memberís very biased view of the Quadraphonic preservation Society
There has been much talk going on in the forums about QuadBob these days, and his many outstanding transactions that he refuses to speak to anyone about, except for one mysterious person that supposedly knows him in real life.† I consider myself lucky I have no outstanding business with the guy.† But I do have many opinions.† One thing I found most disturbing was a comment made by the mystery friend about QuadBob still believing in the principles of the Quadraphonic Preservation Society.† After my dealings with the QpS, and seeing the harm it has caused, I feel it necessary to share my story in full, in case this guy tries to recruit more members at a future time after regrouping, which it sounds like he plans to do someday.† I hope to save other people from giving up their money for nothing in return but frustration.
Why would I be against a group who has a goal to preserve the quadraphonic recordings I love so much? †I wouldnít.† But I consider the word preservation being in the groupís name a joke.† I forget when exactly the group started, but I first got my membership package in Feb. 2004, so sometime around early 2004 or late 2003 the whole idea started.† It was started in response to an SQ copy of ELOís first album showing up on ebay, which at the time was something most, if not all of us were unfamiliar with.† Someone suggested a group of people should chip in for it and convert it.† And QB got the idea to form a group to do just that.
The initial idea was simple enough and sounded like a good idea if you didnít think too far ahead with it.† Everyone chips in $50 into the treasury, we collectively use the pot of money to buy rare things off of ebay, someone in the group converts it, it passes a review process to make sure that the conversion is of an acceptable standard, the original item gets resold to put money back in the pot, and everyone chips in a fee for a copy to be mailed to them on a dts cd (later dvd-a would come into play).†
There were some concerns raised about this idea, and the legalities of it.† The legal issues and the liabilities to the QQ forums were dealt with by making the threads that were started about it hidden, so that only paying members could see the threads.† One of the highly respected members of the community also had certain concerns about this group, and raised some very valid questions that he wanted answered before he would join.† I no longer know all the exchanges that took place or how this all started becoming public since I no longer have access to these threads, so the best I can give is an approximation.† He has concerns about policies, how policies would be determined and disagreements dealt with, and other things along those lines.† Also, he was a person who had a very high standard for quality in conversions, and this raised concerns.
One of the concerns this concerned individual had was with the quality of the conversions.† There were many arguments that took place about this.† The concerned individual sent some discs out to demonstrate these concerns.† The intent of this was to allow the members to make informed decisions about the quality control of the conversions, to better the membership as a whole in the end.† This resulted in more arguments and debate between QB and the concerned individual.† QB went on a huge rant against this individual, claiming he had gone behind his back and backstabbed QpS by sending out the discs he did.† More arguing took place.
These arguments resulted in the concerned individual paying the membership fee and joining.† Part of the condition of this was a point about raw wav files.† It was decided that to allow everyone to be happy, that raw unprocessed wavs would be made available of QpS materials to members who wanted them, to allow those that were unhappy with certain noise reduction methods to have their own unaltered source to make their own conversion, or just listen to it raw, or whatever they wanted with it really, so long as they didnít distribute it.† QB will say he never made this a requirement.† He may not have, but it was heavily implied that the membership would be offered this alternative to any QpS title.† QBís main argument for not flat out requiring raw wavs is that it would mean mandating that any volunteer converter would have to provide this in order to submit a conversion to QpS, and he did not want to start mandating things that volunteers do.† However, he had no problem mandating other things that he was concerned about.† Also, the raw wavs idea was our compromise we came up with to resolve these disputes and options, so as leader QB should have encouraged this, and required it for conversions done with QpS funds, and recommended it for conversions done of titles from his personal collection.† But, not once was there ever a raw wav made available from QpS, not once was our supposedly agreed on compromised ever practiced.† He gave materials to a close friend, and told this friend not to worry about the raw wavs, and encouraged him not to do it.† At some point, it became clear to the concerned individual that QpS would be a waste of his time, and so he demanded a refund, and left.† It was his exit that QB cited at times as an excuse for a lack of raw wavs, because supposedly this individual was going to be the one to provide them.† I can say for certain, this was not the reason.† If the reason for no raw wavs was due to there not being a volunteer to provide them, that is a lie.† I volunteered several times, yet not one thing was ever sent to me for the purpose of providing raw wavs.† I doubt anything would have ever been sent to the concerned individual.
At this point, I was still in the dark on all these matters, the concerned memberís exit was still before any official conversion came out, or before the issues of no raw wavs being provided actually happened.† The ELO conversion came out on dts CD, and I purchased a copy.† I didnít have anything to compare it to, and didnít care for the album, so I gave it a quick listen and threw it in the pile.† I wasnít impressed, but I wasnít left with a strong opinion that gave me reason to complain.† Then talk started for another release, this time of Ten Years After Ė A Space in Time.† From a bootleg reel.† This title was sent out to the reviewers, most of whom made comments that it sounded better then any previous conversion, but that it sounded like there was an unnecessary heavy hand in the noise reduction, and this could possibly be lightened up a bit to make things perfect.† I figured if the reviewers were saying this, then it would happen.† Well, to be honest, I donít know if there were any amendments made, but I know when I got my disc and popped it in, I was very disappointed in it.†
I could comment on what was wrong with the conversion, but thatís not the point of this story.† A member of the group had put time into creating a conversion, and for that he should be thanked.† He gave his free time to QpS.† However, we had procedures put in for the purpose of quality control with a goal of obtaining the best possible conversion from the source, and I was left with a disc that was not the best possible conversion that the collective group of QpS could put together.† This wouldnít be an issue if the earlier compromise of providing raw wavs was followed, but it wasnít.† A close friend of QBís converted this reel, who Iím sure would have hit the bypass button and recorded in a set of raw wavs had QB asked him to.† He didnít.† Raw wavs didnít matter to QB, and so he would make absolutely no effort for them to be provided to QpS, even though early on it had been heavily implied they would be made available to please the concerned members that didnít like heavy noise reduction.
What I was offered was a dub of the reel.† This would have been helpful to me if I had the equipment to playback the reel.† I did not.† So I rushed out and bought a less than stellar reel deck.† I ended up creating my own conversion off of this reel that was unbalanced and had issued due to a faulty reel deck.† The majority of the review board of QpS agreed that the already released disc came out ahead of mine for consistency.† But, most acknowledged that my disc had some strong points put next to the official disc, and one of the 4 reviewers preferred mine despite the flaws.† I had demonstrated the flaws of the official QpS conversion, but this did nothing to move QB to work with me.† From this point forward, he would only work against me, and accuse me of working against QpS.
At this point, it was clear to me that I would not be interested in spending money on any further QpS conversions unless raw wavs were made available.† I felt strongly enough about the raw wavs that I was willing to volunteer to do whatever work was necessary to make them available.† I came up with many suggestions and ways to work towards compromise, and was met with nothing but excuses and reasons why my ideas were not worth even bothering with.† It became clear to me there would never be a raw wav to come out of the group.† QBís view was, weíll give you what sounds good to us, and if you donít like it, tough shit.† It sounds good to me.
On top of all of this, I had tried many times to contribute to QpS myself.† One of QBís big claims against me was that I hadnít contributed anything.† I had sent him several conversions.† None of which went to the review board.† The conversions I sent him that were done from quadradisc he initially commented to me were very well done.† His only quibbles with those were that they were of titles that were either undesirable, or available on a better source.† The conversion I sent him from Q8 he ran through a spectrum scope and found some reason to believe it was lacking in high end due to the read out.† Funny that my complaint about the conversions he loved was that they were lacking in high end due to being run through a noise reduction box, and yet a conversion I felt had enough high end he felt didnít.† He suggested that it may be my equipment to blame, and suggested I should start small and slow.† He recommended that if I wanted to contribute to QpS, I should send him my Q8 deck and pay him to service it, so then I would have equipment that would be capable of producing a conversion of good enough quality for QpS.† I later found out this was a common thing for him.† He had actually told the previous concerned member that his equipment needed servicing.† Anyone that is familiar with the concerned memberís conversions would laugh at that notion.† Also, anyone that has heard any Q8 conversion Iíve done has heard what my Q8 deck sounds like.† I think my conversions speak for themselves.† To me it would seem QB was trying to make some more money for himself and use this opportunity to gain himself more work and money.† I consulted with a respected converter about QBís work, and was advised against sending him anything because equipment serviced by him had come back sounding overly brittle and shrill.† I forget the exact words, but I recall that being the gist of it.† Iím certainly glad I refused to send him my deck for work, I might have never seen it again if I did.† At this point, the only comments he made on the quadradisc conversions were positive, he had no complaints on those, and praised them.
As time went on, our debates about raw wavs and conversion quality continued on.† A growing concern in QpS was the lack of output despite the numerous jobs in the pipeline.† I was a willing volunteer, there was work not being doneÖ.I figured, match made in heaven.† And so I started doing some digging to try and find where the logjam was.† One of the titles in the pipeline I considered to be most desirable was the Marvin Gaye quads.† It turned out one of our own members had these rare cd-4s, so we didnít even need to go to ebay to purchase copies.† Any QpS purchases on ebay were very rare.† I had found that QBís friend had made a few attempts at converting these records, but couldnít get them through the review process.† So it was determined that files should be sent to another member that may have a better job of cleaning the files.† The files that the member received were unworkable, he couldnít clean them up to sound decent enough.† At this time we couldnít determine if it was the original records that were the problem, or the manner in which they were recorded in.† So, to me the answer was to go back to the original source.† At this point, I had proven myself able to convert cd-4 to QB, he had nothing but praise for it.† So, I figured, I could borrow the records, work my magic with them, easily get them through the review process, and get 2 highly anticipated very rare conversions out there to the membership.† And so I politely explained the situation to the owner of the records, and asked if he would be willing to lend them out to me.† I made it clear I was not asking on behalf of QpS or QB, just asking myself, but that my results would be put through the QpS process and made available to the membership, as originally intended when he first loaned them out.† He decided to check in with QB.† Right here, QB had an opportunity to use me as a volunteer, clear up a logjam, and not only get something out there, but a very rare and anticipated title.† Instead, QB instructed him not to send me the record.†
Now, it was entirely the ownerís decision what to do with the records.† But QB could have recommended it to the owner, and QB had told me that if he had recommended it, the owner would have sent me the records.† But I would later find out in a phone call to QB that he didnít recommend it because he wouldnít recommend anyone send me anything until I had proved myself by getting a QpS release through review and put out.† I pointed out to him the previous quadradisc conversions I had sent him that he had praised.† He went on to say that they were ok, they were not bad, but they werenít that great.† He then commented that he felt that my equipment might need servicing.† I still have the email in which QB praised these conversions.† Why did his opinion suddenly change?† I doubt he listened to my conversions often after the initial listen.† So I have to doubt that he changed his mind after repeated listens, or that his opinion of my conversions were based on the sound of them.
Throughout these times, much public debate went on between QB and myself on the forums.† I admit some of my words and actions on the forum were in poor choice.† QB has a way of pulling my strings.† He would give these lengthy point by point arguments to try and publicly dispute every point made and make you look bad, which I would deal with by giving him the same treatment point by point.† And so a whole lot of pointless pissing contests broke out between us.† The problem is, I was in his sandbox, so he had the upper hand.† He had manipulated the system to work against me.† He wouldnít send me any material to work on until I proved myself to QpS by doing a conversion myself and getting it through review.† He wouldnít send any of my own conversions I sent him through to review.† After the 10 years fiasco, the only thing he ever sent me was already recorded in wavs of a Wilson Pickett record.† He even used this as an opportunity to publicly criticize the quality of my equipment, by saying that we can send these to him since his issue is his equipment, and theyíre already recorded in.† I accepted the job, but did make a point to point out my equipment was fine.† I was rather pissed at his jab at my equipment.† I felt that these comments were made only to try and give the perception that I couldnít produce anything of quality due to faulty equipment when I in fact had equipment that was just fine for doing Q8s and cd-4 at the time.† Also, I believe he was trying to encourage me to send him my equipment along with large amounts of money for him to service them.† The Wilson Pickett files had a buzz on them unfortunately.† It took me quite a while to deal with this.† It wasnít a hum that could easily be reduced.† I worked with the files and came up with the best sounding conversion I could with them.† I was able to reduce the buzz enough that I felt it was an enjoyable listen.† Certainly, if I had access to the source record I could have made a better conversion.† But this wasnít what QpS had available to them.† I had created the best possible conversion with the source QpS had available at the time, that was the best I could do with them.† QB gave me a long silence after I sent him the discs, it took a few emails before he responded complaining of the buzz, and criticizing me for not either going back to the source, or reducing it with noise reduction.† I pointed out to him that going back to the source of the files would be pointless since the guy didnít have the record, and that I had reduced the buzz as much as I could.† Being that there had been no conversions that had come out in a long time, I figured there wasnít anything waiting on the shelf to come out, perhaps if the review board deemed this to be an acceptable conversion with limitation that we could release it since nothing better was waiting.† He implied he had things waiting on the shelf that were better, waiting to go.† Which left me with the question of, what are we waiting for.
This was when we had our 1 phone call.† We talked about the buzz, I made it clear I had done all that I could.† He talked at great length about his views and visions of QpS.† He made it clear to me he had not a care in the world what anyone elseís views were.† He made comments criticizing Aquadad for making certain things said in a private meeting public knowledge, things that I felt were not harming to QpS and that the membership should know about.† I forget what specifically that was, I think it was something about the upcoming review board elections, or something about that.† Why he would tell me these things that he didnít want members knowing, I donít know.† He loves to talk, and he did a lot of it.† I tried to explain I just want to help out here, we have issues, logjams, and I was willing to contribute to further QpS and get conversions out there already.† My main reason for wanting to speak to him on the phone was to address the issue of him praising my quadradisc conversions, only to later prevent people from lending me their material.† It was in this conversation he criticized the quality of the conversions, and suggested my equipment needed his servicing.† I was shocked at his complete change of opinion.† I was thinking, hereís one thing the guy agrees I can do well, and one thing that he needs someone to do, itís just a matter of communicating this to him and getting us both working together.† Also, during this call he commented that the real logjam was duplication.† He had lots of titles just waiting to go on the shelf, but only one person doing the duplication all by himself.† And so he was going to suggest recruiting volunteers to try and have 2 teams of people duplicating things, so that one title can be done and distributed by him and his local friends that would print labels and have a get together to stuff envelopes, while another title is being duplicated by the other team.† Sounded good to me, sign me up as a volunteer.† He never did bring this idea forward, and he had plenty of people who were willing to volunteer to contribute to QpS if it would have meant getting something out there already.
At this point, after this call, it became clear to me I could never work with QpS as a converter, and QpS would never have anything to offer me.† At this point, I started calling QB out.† I started pointing out many of his manipulative methods, and the reasons why QpS had become a failure in my eyes at this point.† This resulted in my suspension from QpS.† I was furious about this.† I decided I was done, and the only resolution to this whole thing was for me to be refunded my initial fee of $50 to join, and then QpS and myself would go our separate ways.† I did have to stoop a bit to get that refund, and did some things I regret and am not proud of.† I had made threats to report QpS as a fraud if I was not refunded.† This action would have had the unfortunate side effect of putting QQ itself at risk.† Even though this was pointed out to me, I wasnít thinking straight, I was seeing red, and I continued with my threats.† In the end, I did drop my threats moments before the refund notification came to me.†
Ever since leaving QpS, Iíve gone on to release many conversions myself that have been highly praised and enjoyed by many.† This has resulted in people lending me out some of their quad recordings to convert.† I have more than enough stuff to work on, there seems to be no end in sight, and I couldnít be happier.† I feel that I, in addition to other great converters out there who are doing the same (especially Romanotrax), have demonstrated that in the end, QpS was never needed.† The only thing QpS ever did was get out a handful of titles of questionable quality, while creating a whole bunch of headaches and frustration towards itís contributing members.† In the end, there is only one real service that QpS served that isnít met by us converters, and that is the ability for people to get conversions in the mail.† This could be useful since some people have limited bandwidth, or limited time and/or technical ability, and cannot get the torrents we share.† My suggestion would be that any former QpS members, or anyone in general really, that would like discs in the mail, get together and form some sort of mailing group.† I have no need to start or run any such thing, but as a converter I would certainly be happy to cooperate with any such group and provide them with some copies of conversions for them to duplicate and distribute as they choose to do so.† In the end, I would recommend against any further cooperation with QB or QpS.† I was most disturbed to find out recently that he actually criticized a former member of QpS for doing personal conversions on his free time and then sharing them openly, when that free time could have been used for QpS to further their cause.† What a selfish self serving asshole!† For him, itís not about the music, itís not about sharing and spreading the music.† Itís about furthering his cause, and any cause that doesnít work within his means to further his vision is wrong.† How dare he criticize my great friend for sharing his conversions with all of us.† He should be ashamed of himself.† However, it doesnít surprise me.† One of my last ditch efforts to make peace with QpS and contribute was to offer an outside the box conversion.† Some members had offered up their conversions out of their pocket to mail to any members that were interested.† It was a way for some of us to keep titles moving while waiting for the logjams to clear up.† I had offered as a peace offering my outside the box offer of an Eagles Ė One Of These Nights conversion.† My source was a little beat up, but it was still an enjoyable listen, and a title requested by many members.† Previously, QB had taken no issue with these freebies.† But when I made my offer, he publicly announced he would not participate in it, and criticized me for working outside the QpS guidelines that were put in place for a reason, and basically implied that I was going against QpS with my freebie offer.† I just wanted to work with QpS, give people a conversion they wanted, and actually have a chance to prove myself as QB repeatedly accused me of never doing.† But, as always, I was met with nothing but resistance from QB.† When it comes to him, heís only interested in one thing, furthering his own cause, his own view.† Itís his way, or no way.†
Thank you to everyone who I have had the pleasure of working with and sharing with.† I am grateful to be a part of a great community of quadraphonic enthusiasts.† I am glad that through all this misfortune, in the end I was able to find a great group of people to work with to further our common goal of enjoying music in glorious quadraphonic sound.