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Mobile Fidelity, ‘One Step’ etc

Discussion in 'music' started by Tony L, Jul 15, 2022.

  1. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    This is exactly what the Bryan Adams 'Reckless' MFSL UDCD sounds like, all of the attack from the snare drum etc has been removed, - a bizarre mastering decision! :confused:
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve just played it and I still don’t agree, entirely. I suspect what you are hearing is the sampled and retriggered kick-drum (‘Wendel’), which is ‘on’ pretty much every note of the bass line and I suspect even though it is a very tight over-damped ‘clicky’ kick drum still has enough of a note to the skin to impact the bass guitar a bit. I’m prepared to bet muting that kick sample would make you absolutely happy with the pitch and timing of the bass guitar.

    PS I do think they over-used their new toy on this track and would far prefer it with just live drums. To have access to that level of top session drummer and still use a machine is just bizarre! I think Nightfly is the same, but it seems better integrated.
    Nytechy likes this.
  3. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Thinking aloud...

    If One Step lacquers are good for 1,000 pressings before a replacement needs to be cut from the DSD master, wouldn't you be more than a little pissed if you received pressing #999 instead of pressing #1,001?

    The above is, of course, a contrived scenario as lacquer wear happens gradually and the policy of discarding it after X number of pressings may not be set in stone but...

    Who decides when a lacquer is exhausted and how is this decision arrived at?

    Buyers have, of course, faced this predicament since the dawn of vinyl, not knowing whether the pressing they've bought was pressed with a fresh or well-worn stamper...

    Then you also have to weigh up the risk of the fresh lacquer not sounding as good as its predecessor, every lacquer cut is unique even if it's coming from a digital master. It's an OCD'ers nightmare! ;) ...
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2022
  4. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Tom Port would be happy to take your money and give you peace of mind ;-)
    ToTo Man likes this.
  5. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    That sounds like an early jazz combo: Tom Port And His Hot Stampers.
    mikechadwick and paulfromcamden like this.
  6. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Fascinating. In a perverse way I'm glad to have a disability that precludes me from being a vinyl junkie, because I strongly suspect I'd be one of Tom's biggest customers. God knows how I'd fund it! :eek:

    I fondly recall the Saturday afternoons spent with my dad in Missing (a used vinyl shop) in Glasgow in the mid/late 90s, picking up near mint pressings of iconic 70s and 80s albums for between £2 and £5 a piece. I wish I'd have known about the lure of early pressings back then and bought more stuff with my head and less with my heart as I could be sitting on quite a nice little nest egg by now! :oops: ...
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2022
  7. wellers73

    wellers73 Member

    Mark Wilder remixed most, if not all, of the 65-68 Miles stuff when Columbia released the Second Quintet box set around 1998. He also mastered that box set, and opinions are mixed (no pun intended) about the sound quality. The CDs of the original albums (ESP, Miles Smiles, etc) that were subsequently released all feature the same remixes and mastering as the box set.

    When MoFi did the Second Quintet reissues, I believe they used the original mixes of everything except Miles Smiles - for some reason, they used the Wilder remix. I have original LPs of all of these records, as well as early Columbia CDs, the box set, and the MoFi reissued. I don’t love Wilder’s mastering for the box set, but the remixes are well done, in my opinion. Especially the Miles Smiles remix. My favorite version of Miles Smiles in any format is the Freedom Jazz Dance set, which has all of the outtakes and studio chatter from those sessions as well. It uses Wilder’s remix and a new mastering by Wilder. I think it sounds phenomenal! Perhaps it’s comes from the same DSD master as the MoFi.
  8. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    "Recorded to a multi-track analog tape, mixed to 24/96 and mastered and cut by Scott Hull at Masterdisk. Hull won a Grammy for the mastering of the original Two Against Nature LP 180-gram 45 RPM double LP pressed by Quality Record Pressings!"
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Do you know which mix they used for Bitches Brew? My impression was the master for that one had decayed beyond use. In the excellent big Complete Columbia Albums CD box they went back to an early Japanese CD issue to get the original mix, and I’m very pleased they did as I prefer it to the Anniversary remix. The Anniversary mix is good, but there is something about the grungy original mix that is just so powerful and right. It will be a huge shame if it really is gone.

    My view on the Wilder remixes of the Second Quintet stuff is I like it, but it is a little bright and dry. I’ve not compared everything by any means, I have early Japanese CDs of some titles, plus a nice early ‘70s copy of Nefertiti. The Wilder mixes are mainly used in the Complete Columbia Albums box, plus obviously the metal case Complete Sessions boxes (I have a full set). I think I prefer the originals, just a bit easier and more coherent, not as analytical, though I agree the Freedom Jazz Dance box sounds astonishingly good. Why the regular Wilder CDs aren’t that good is beyond me. If they ever get that sound quality on the rest I’ll buy them all again!
  10. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Several audiophile reviewers (e.g. Fremer, Fred Kaplan) have opined that the original Columbia records of the 2nd quintet do not sound good. I have them and they seem fine to me. What is your view, in comparison to the remastered CDs and the MoFis?

  11. backtovinyl

    backtovinyl pfm Member

    I don't believe for one minute that the number on the sleeve matches to the number the record came off the plant. Stuff will get mixed up all over the shop as it makes its way through production and assembly.
    tpetsch likes this.
  12. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Acoustic Sounds posted this video on Sunday, some cynics may say, opportunistically. ;)

  13. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    A video of that production value must have been in the works since well before this scandal surfaced.
    ToTo Man likes this.
  14. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Months - the release day was possibly brought forward. Chad launched it on Michael 45rpm live chat on Sunday...

    What we've learnt is that compilations (e.g. Sam Cooke) or large scale multi-track recordings will likely be mixed to digital before cutting (from original masters) but where there's an original analogue master (or in extremis, a safety copy) it wil be used directly or they just won't release the record. Transparency is king.
  15. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    There are people who say that AP hype stickers and website info screamed "all analog" even for these digitally contaminated compilation albums. These blurbs were discretely scrubbed from the website recently. So much for transparency.

    As I said, the digital 'problem' afflicts far more audiophile reissues than just MoFi. Not that I care...
  16. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    I can't comment on what was said/implied previously about the compilations I'm just reporting what he said this week.
  17. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

    "We at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab are aware of customer complaints regarding use of digital technology in our mastering chain. We apologize for using vague language, allowing false narratives to propagate, and for taking for granted the goodwill and trust our customers place in the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab brand. We recognize our conduct has resulted in both anger and confusion in the marketplace. Moving forward, we are adopting a policy of 100% transparency regarding the provenance of our audio products. We are immediately working on updating our websites, future printed materials, and packaging — as well as providing our sales and customer service representatives with these details. We will also provide clear, specific definitions when it comes to Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab marketing branding such as Original Master Recording (OMR) and UltraDisc One-Step (UD1S). We will backfill source information on previous releases so Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab customers can feel as confident in owning their products as we are in making them. We thank you for your past support and hope you allow us to continue to provide you the best-sounding records possible — an aim we've achieved and continue to pursue with pride. Jim Davis President, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab"
    windhoek and Wolfmancatsup like this.
  18. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    I must admit I've been watching this with great amusement.

    MOFI should of course have been honest. No doubt about that. But reading and watching some of the reaction online has been so funny.

    People who thought any of the premium releases sounded fantastic when they thought they were all-analog, but now suddenly think they are the work of Satan because they may have been cut from a DSD master need to have a word with themselves. Perhaps they are fed up because they deluded themselves that their magic ears would never let something like a digital source get past them.

    This 4xDSD is about as high res as it gets. It’s not going to leave anything on that master tape, and it will survive in a form that’s not going to degrade or need drastic processes to restore properly. Transferring old master tapes onto a format that sounds indistinguishable from analog is both a sensible and inevitable thing to be doing.

    If that One Step sounded marvellous before all this blew up, it still does.
  19. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    Not knowing until recently about the connection between MoFi and Mystic Moods, I perked up when I ran across this in a thrift store yesterday:


    A mid-70s Mystic Moods release from "Mobile Fidelity of Nevada Productions" – some sort of weird transitional MoFi entity?

    Anyway, just thought it was interesting. The music itself is weird and kitschy, but the sound is pretty good.
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  20. Sloop John B

    Sloop John B for more years than I care to remember

    MOFI: (producers of CD and SACD, perhaps noticing that sales are declining) MARKETING: “seems there’s a lot g guys out there willing to pay a lot for vinyl and that think digital is evil”

    MOFI TECHNICIANS: But we make our vinyl from a digital master.

    MOFI MARKETING: Don’t worry no-one needs to know - and once the usual suspects who believe vinyl is righteous and digital is egregious cannot notice the difference we can word it in a vague way and charge a hundred dollars plus.

    Really enjoying this….

    There really is so much foo in so many aspects of our hobby / addiction.

    alan967tiger, Durmbo, Rob998 and 3 others like this.

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