Dynaco QD-1 Series II Surround Sound Processor

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Nonhuman, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Nonhuman

    Nonhuman Well-Known Member

    Waverly, NY, USA
    I had to have a motorcycle tire mounted this morning, and so found myself in Ithaca, NY. I stopped by my local Hi-Fi shop, Stellar Stereo, to have a look at the used equipment rack.

    I was pleased to see a DBX 3BX Dynamic Range Expander, complete with manual begging me to take it home. It's always a lot of fun to study the used equipment that moves through on consignment. I take my time. I was curiously attracted to a Dynaco QD-1 Series II Five Channel Home Theater System resting on the top shelf. I'd never seen one before. It was mint new in the box with manual, and priced at $20. "Jeepers", I thought, how will I resist that just per the curiosity factor?

    As I browsed the wonderful items I almost wished I'd brought a camera. There was a bakelite tiny 45 rpm record player looking brand new. Akai and Pioneer reel to reels, and a mint vintage quad receiver with the original "4 Channel" display tag hanging off the volume control. I was pleased enough to just gaze at the gear, and was gathering my internal willpower to leave without buying anything, when my wife started chiming in on how I should buy something. Now that was odd. I don't remember ever standing in that showroom being heckled by my wife to take things home. Steve (the salesman) courteously agreed with her. As I succumbed to purchasing the Dynaco QD-1 processor, Steve offered to throw in the DBX 3BX for a package deal of $100 flat including the tax. And such is the tale of one hundred dollar bill.

    Anyway, I thought I'd inquire to see if anyone else here would have bought the QD-1, and if so what would you do with it?

    I found a review of a similar model, the QD-1 Series IIL which appears to be designed to ensure the impedance shown to the amplifier never falls below 4 ohms. All other operation characteristics are identical to the model I picked up. Here's a link to the review:

  2. michael w

    michael w New Member

    These were a nice, simple passive surround decoder using the Hafler matrix, the surround channel was derived from L-R.

    In their day they were a good alternative to passive Dolby Surround.

    These days their use would be limited.

    Perhaps in a low cost, back to basics surround music system ?
  3. Nonhuman

    Nonhuman Well-Known Member

    Waverly, NY, USA
    Hi michael w,

    Would you buy a QD-1 Series II if you stumbled upon one at that price? I'm considering throwing up a pole barn and start stocking vintage 70's 80's gear for resale. Surround sound, especially quad material seems to be enjoying a resurgence if only for nostalgia's sake. I'm wondering if I should have picked up the quad receiver I saw same day. It was priced about $225 and looked mint. Of course it would have carried Stellar Stereo's guarantee as well. I don't know how someone could go wrong with it. But then I'm prone to obsessing about all things music and hi-fi gear. I see there is a Dynaco Quadaptor listed on ebay currently priced at $99. I believe that was the earliest model. It looks nice but I'll be surprised if it sells. I'm going to watch it for research sake.

    I'm looking forward to setting up my QD-1 with some tiny speakers and a subwoofer in a tiny room at my farmhouse. I've even considered installing the drivers into the walls. I will only occasionally spend a night there during the winter, and so I don't heat the house fulltime. That's why I chose the smallest room. It's only about 9' x 13', therefore simplicity is key in designing a comfortable space. It's a 100+ year old plank board house, and I'm building 4 inch walls along the existing walls anyway, so now is the time to install in-wall drivers. It's a wonderful feeling to resurrect and old building and leave a personal thumbprint everywhere. To walk down the heavily worn 100 year old stairtreads is a real pleasure to me.

    I've got an Advent 300 receiver that should interface well with the QD-1. Sometimes simplicity enhances appreciation for the back to basics approach. I think I will include some L-pad controls for each speaker installation. Here's a pic pf what the Advent 300 receiver looks like. They seem to be in demand by many people. Perhaps that's because of its phono preamp. Neat little unit.

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