Category Archives: Quad VTR Manuals and Documentation

Quad VTR Manuals and Documentation

How to Share Your Experience and Knowledge

one of the two tapes of oldest known entertainment program recorded on Quad: The Edsel Show from October 13, 1957
David Keleshian holds one of the two tapes of oldest known entertainment program recorded on Quad: The Edsel Show from October 13, 1957

The content you may have helped record decades ago may not be seen again if the equipment can’t be kept operational and people trained how to safely transfer the content to new media.

Sometimes knowing when and where to tap, tweak or whack got the job done. Knowing the idiosyncracies of equipment shortened the time to find and fix a problem.

RCA TR-70s collected from an institution, prior to restoration to service.
RCA TR-70s collected from an institution, prior to restoration to service. ©Guy Spiller 2009

Your knowledge and expertise in operating and maintaining Quad video tape equipment is invaluable and may be lost forever if not preserved.

Kent playing Astaire show
Don Kent playing a 1959 Fred Astaire program recorded at NBC Burbank in an early and non-compatible RCA Color format on a modified Ampex AVR-1. Image capture from KTLA News story via Don Kent

If you can write, record or demonstrate those kinds of things, we’d like to help preserve them to train future generations of tape operators and maintenence engineers.

There are a number of ways to share what you have.

Some you may be able to do on your own, using your computer to document the things you did or do to keep Quad’s purring along.

If you have access to working Quad decks and a camcorder, it may be possible for you to record specific tips, procedures and techniques.

If you’d be happy to demonstrate or be recorded but don’t have equipment, we may be able to arrange a time and location.

Condensed Ampex Intersync Checkout Procedure Manual
Condensed Ampex Intersync Checkout Procedure Manual found at Ham swap meet.

If you have physical items like manuals, documentation, alignment and training tapes, programs recorded on Quad and other materials related to Quad videotape, please contact our webmaster to see what would be the most effective way of sharing them.

Quad Videotape Group History

The Quad Videotape Group began as a purely social event at NAB 2008: An informal lunch of people who use, used, maintained, designed or collected Old VTR’s, Editors or Telecine equipment.

Due to several coincidences, the group was invited to help preserve for future use and access, the operating, maintenance, design and modification knowledge relating to Quad tape.

While the tapes sit on shelves getting older, so are the decks that exist to play them on, and the people who retain the know-how to get the best reproduction possible. As the people retire and pass from the scene, that knowledge goes with them.

Steve Nese
Stephen W. Nease, Jr.,  Chief Technology Officer,  Library of Congress  National Audio Visual  Conservation Center, Culpeper, VA

This unexpected invitation came during comments (passionate plea, actually) of Stephen Nease, the Chief Technology Officer at the Library of Congress’ new National Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, VA. Nease heard about the lunch during a morning business breakfast and cancelled an appointment to attend.

Steve explained about the HUGE amount of Quad video content the LoC is sitting on, the equipment that’s available for the task and need for the experience and knowledge of people like in this group to be passed on to younger people so that the knowledge of how to recover the content is not lost.

(Take “this group” to mean both those at the lunch and others who have Quad operating, maintenance and design experience.)

He noted that other archives across the country are in similar situations: Lots of reels on the shelves, and little or no ability to migrate the content for access and preservation.

There are many more hours of tape to be transferred or re-mastered that the NAVCC won’t be able to handle all the work.

That means opportunities for experienced people with well maintained Quad decks to share the task of transfers, and to bring a new generation of Quad-trained videotape specialists into being.

LoC may have funding available for travel expenses for those interested in presenting at workshops hosted at the new Culpeper facility.

Attending the informal lunch:
David Crosthwait
•David Crosthwait of DC Video Archival Videotape Remastering, in Burbank, CA, linear and non-linear editor, formerly at Modern Film, NBC, Burbank, etc.,



Bill Clark
•William “Bill” Clark, Boulder City, NV, Long-time Quad VT engineer, NBC, Burbank, Metromedia, Hollywood, CA, etc.

C. Park Seward
•C. Park Seward of Video Park, Irvine, CA, long time editor, production co. owner, equipment collector/restorer


James Snyder
•James Snyder, Senior Design Engineer, Communications Engineering, Inc, Newington, VA, which has contract with LoC (Quad collector, donated machines to LoC)

Eduardo Zanetta
•Eduardo “Lalo” Zanetta, “The Quad Guy” precision head builder at Video Magnetics in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stoffel
Tim Stoffel, Asst. Chief Engineer, KNPB, Reno, NV, long time Quad user/maintainer/collector/restorer:  Visit”Quadruplex Park


•Kenneth S. Weissman, Head, Motion Picture Conservation Center, Library of Congress, Dayton, OH and Culpeper, VASlipped away before we could get his picture! Bob Campbell•Bob Campbell, Colorist, Walnut Creek, CA, long-time telecine going back to Quad at locations including Optimus, Chicago, One Pass, San Francisco, Editel, SF, LA, etc., 


•Ted Langdell, Ted Langdell Creative Broadcast Services, Marysville, CA, prod. co. owner, film, tape and non-linear editor, telecine and 1″ Type C machine, film and videotape content collector.
Member, AMIATaking these pictures, not appearing in them!

James Snyder explains an oral history project that involves videotaping television engineers i the Washington, D. C. area as they relate their experiences with video recording and television production, equipment maintenence and humorous anectotes.

Clark-Stoffel Circuit Debate
Bill Clark and Tim Stoffel hash out the design of a simple amplifier circuit.