Archive for June 2014

An exciting exploration of psycho-acoustics

June 30, 2014

That’s how they billed the record they gave away when you bought a pair of Koss Phase/2+2 Quadrafone headphones in 1975.

So tonight on The Midnight Tracker, that’s the trip we’re taking.

koss perspectives lp

Side 1 of “Koss Perspectives” provided extended instructions in the proper use of your new quadraphonic headphones.

“This album has been specially created by Koss and ABC Records for use with the new Koss Phase/2+2 Quadrafone. The unique application of psychoacoustic design principles into the product in combination with the exclusively mixed program material in this record produce a major milestone in the advancement of musical realism in quadraphonics.”

Side 2 was an extended mix intended to demonstrate the quadrophonic capability of said headphones. It sampled:

Michael Omartian — “Take Me Down”
Dusty Springfield — “Easy Evil”
B.B. King — “Lucille’s Granny”
Rufus — “Tell Me Something Good”
The Crusaders — “Stomp And Buck Dance”
Keith Jarrett — “Treasure Island”
Jimmy Buffett — “They Don’t Dance Like Carmen No More”
Joe Walsh — “Falling Down” (opening section)
John Lee Hooker — “Homework”
The Crusaders — “Whispering Pines”
Joe Walsh — “Falling Down” (closing section)
Bobby Bland — “This Time I’m Gone For Good”

Of course, we have Side 2 from “Koss Perspectives,” 1975. It’s out of print. It runs 19:20.

“The selections contained are the results of extensive consultation between Koss and ABC to choose works of unusual fidelity, dimensional characteristics and psycho-acoustic ‘potential.’ Each selection was remixed from the original multi-track master tapes … to recapture the exciting depth and special qualities of the live recording session.”

If you insist.

I can’t find how much these headphones cost, but I did find this description of how they worked, from Charles G. Hill at

“(They had) horridly complicated cabling, which wanted to come loose from the control box every chance it got. … It was endlessly fascinating for about the first couple of weeks, after which playing with the little switches became more trouble than it was worth.”

Quadraphonics aside, this record is kinda cool, actually. It’s like a flashback to the wonderful nights of free-form FM radio we enjoyed in 1975.