Aja MFSL CD: Where does it rank?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by pmckeeaalaska, Apr 13, 2011.

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  1. pmckeeaalaska

    pmckeeaalaska Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I recently won a copy of Steely Dan's Aja MFSL CD. I also own the original MCA CD and the recently released SHM-SACD. Can anyone with all three of these tell me where the MFSL ranks in terms of sonic quality?
     
  2. DJMurphy

    DJMurphy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I don't own too many copies of Aja (not for lack of loving the album!), but I did purchase the MFSL CD back in the day, but sold it back once I felt that it was exceeded by the Citizen SD box set version (except for the sequencing gaffe, of course). On the MFSL, there was an annoyingly rough sonic "shift" on the title track, right after the second chorus.

    Nothing beats my AA-1006 ABC vinyl of this (but then again, I don't own the Cisco).
     
  3. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I thought the whole thing was grainy sounding, just rough over all.

    What is a sonic shift? Is it a sudden decline on sound quality? Or something else?
     
  4. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    You tell us :D
     
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  5. appledan

    appledan Resident Rockist

    Location:
    Ohio
    Ask three different people and get three different answers.

    It ranks #2 in my book. I prefer the original MCA over any other mastering in a digital format.

    If I recall correctly, didn't Steve say the MFSL sounds just like the master tape? It's the cold hard truth I guess.
     
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  6. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    Location:
    Vermont
    I also prefer the Japan original MCA disc. I thought it turned out the MFSL was mastered from a tape copy.


    Evan
     
  7. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Of the CD's I've heard the MFSL UD made in Japan comes in 2nd at best, but possibly even 3rd. For digital I've heard no pressing that beats the Japan 32XD [read placement and imaging to die for]. The Japan for USA is good, but I'm just not certain I'd rank it as high as the MFSL because it's been along time since I did the comparison.
     
  8. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    I've not heard the MFSL CD, while the MFSL vinyl is one of the worst among the lot.
     
  9. klownschool

    klownschool Forum Resident

    I prefer the Japan for USA but I have not heard the sacd yet.
     
  10. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    Is there a specific sku# for the Japan for US version?

    Bill
     
  11. DJMurphy

    DJMurphy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    "Sonic shift" is hard to explain... imagine if you are hi-speed dubbing two tapes, but then you switch back to regular speed dubbing halfway through, it leaves a weird blip on your destination tape. (Does that make sense?) It's sort of like that.

    In simpler terms, it sounds like a quick wrinkle on the mastertape, or a slight punch-out.
     
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  12. Me: I listen to the yellow label ABC vinyl at home and the DIDX-55 cd in the car.
    No MFSL or Roger Nichols cd versions for me.
     
  13. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    I have not heard the SACD, but I like the MFSL version or the original CD release. The Citizen Dan version sounds a little sterile and lifeless to my ears.
     
  14. shokhead

    shokhead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Long Beach,SoCa
    I have the org MCA and the MFSL. If they are different I can't hear it.
     
  15. spanky1

    spanky1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I always assumed that the sequencing was changed due to time limitation of the cd. Didn't switching those 2 tracks balance the running time on discs 3 & 4?
     
  16. Paul R

    Paul R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Escondido, Ca.
    I believe so.
     
  17. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The SHM SACD is my favorite digital version but the LPs are the best imho.
     
  18. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    This is true. Terrible MFSL LP. A rare miss.
     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I don't like the MFSL CD. The soundstage is wide, but it's bright. The SHM-SACD is O.K., but not great. My favorite versions are still the Japan-for-U.S., Japanese 32XD, and early U.K. Nimbus pressings.
     
  20. pmckeeaalaska

    pmckeeaalaska Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Well, I'm looking forward to the MFSL getting here. At least I'll have a legitimate reason to do an A/B/C comparsion of the three versions I own. The problem with me is that, even if I dont like an album, I almost never sell it cause I just love looking at all those CD's on my shelves. I guess that might seem weird but I get a lot of pleasure just looking at them sometimes!
     
  21. dustinblythe

    dustinblythe Member

    Location:
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    WTF?!?:confused: I thought the whole point of MFSL was to master from the original master tapes. Was the chance of releasing Aja, even using a tape copy, too good to pass up or was MFSL playing fast and loose with the "Original Master Recording" claim?
     
  22. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    Location:
    Vermont
    If so, I don't thnk MFSL knew.

    Evan
     
  23. 32XD for me, hardly ever pull out the MoFi.
     
  24. DPM

    DPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nevada, USA
    The only version of Aja utilizing the true stereo master tape is the Cisco vinyl pressing. ALL other versions--both CD and LP--came from either a 2-for-1 compressed copy of the master or from a copy of that copy.
     
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  25. chriss71

    chriss71 Active Member

    Location:
    Austria
    Really? I have to get a vinyl rip from that Cisco! My Hoffman Remaster sounds very well (as my SHM-SACD).
     
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