MFSL vinyl vs MFSL CDs

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Sondek, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Sondek

    Sondek Forum Resident Thread Starter

    How does the same MFSL album on vinyl and CD usually compare? Much the same?
     
  2. Yamaha Denon KLH Nut

    Yamaha Denon KLH Nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester NH
    Well i can safely say i prefer the MFSL vinyl release of Dark Side Of The Moon over the 24k CD that they did of it later on has i own both. Now it sounds like the same master, So i don' t know maybe my vinyl rig is a bit better then my CD/DAC set up.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. DBMartin

    DBMartin Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I have MFSL's All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison on CD and vinyl. I think I prefer the double record set, mostly because I'm hearing faint static clicks on the CD, and because the idea of AAA really appeals to me with music this old. The vinyl version also seems a little heavier on bass, but that could be more of a difference between my turntable and CD player?
     
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  4. Sondek

    Sondek Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I have Carole King's Tapestry MFSL on vinyl and SACD, and they sound much the same. But that's SACD.

    Did you take that photo for this thread btw?
     
  5. Yamaha Denon KLH Nut

    Yamaha Denon KLH Nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester NH
    Yes I did lol. They both sound pretty much the same & leads me to believe the difference is my setup/gear for each format, that makes me prefer the vinyl.
     
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  6. bluesfan

    bluesfan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Switzerland
    Not all MoFi LPs + SACDs were mastered by the same person.
     
  7. bluesfan

    bluesfan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Switzerland
    One I know of:

    Billy Joel “Songs in the Attic”- Shawn Britton SACD, Krieg Wunderlich LP
     
  8. Alex Zabotkin

    Alex Zabotkin Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pepperland
    Still, they should be the same EQ-wise.
     
  9. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    They can not be completely identical as the mastering must be different. But it could be close.
     
  10. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    From what I heard in Flac files the MoFi SACD of Abraxas sounded a bit more dynamic than the record. @MichaelXX2 asked me to listen to the files.
    But that was the 1 record version, never heard the 2XLP box by them.
     
  11. MichaelXX2

    MichaelXX2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Those masterings are also 8 years apart, so it's hard to say with any confidence that they can be reasonably compared. A more apt comparison would probably be between the 2008 vinyl and the 2008 CD.

    Either way I'm glad I went digital. :^)
     
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  12. clhboa

    clhboa Forum Resident

    I've wondered about this myself. I've seen a lot of complaints about the MOFI Linda Ronstadt and Little Feat releases. I think they were referring to the lp. I have the Gold and SACD versions of these titles and they all sound fine to me. Made me wonder if there was a difference between them and their lp counterparts.
     
  13. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    I remember years ago doing some comparisons where the same title was released on LP and digital at the same time and being surprised to find that the EQ choices were significantly different. If I get time this weekend I'll see if I can find an example or two.
     
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  14. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    As promised, here's the first comparison. I used to do a lot of this kind of measuring - not so much now.

    It's worth noting that you can't really compare an LP mastering with a digital mastering by ear because your cartridge imposes its own EQ on the LP mastering. However, I have tested the EQ of my cartridge and phono stage and in all the following examples, that EQ has been reversed out of the vinyl samples so that what we're comparing is the true EQ of what's in the LP groove.

    This first example compares MoFi' s Music From Big Pink - LP vs. SACD.

    This is the average EQ of the first track, Tears of Rage.

    The orange dotted line shows how the EQ of the LP version differs from the EQ of the SACD version. If the masterings were the same, the orange dotted line would be flat.

    [​IMG]

    So what this comparison shows is that the two have significantly different masterings. The LP is quite a bit warmer than the SACD, having a bit of a hump at the low end and a dip in the treble area. However, the LP also has a big boost at the extreme top end, probably with the idea of giving it some "air" - I see this a lot in audiophile LP masterings, whereas in traditional masterings, the top end was typically rolled off to avoid playback problems on budget record players.

    I measured all the tracks on side 1 of the LP with similar results.

    Incidentally, you can ignore that big lift at the extreme bottom end - that's just record rumble. It's normal to see that when comparing LPs with digital masterings.

    Looking at the sleeve notes, I see that the LP was mastered by Krieg Wunderlich while the SACD was mastered by Shawn Britton.

    I'll see if I can do a Little Feat comparison next since someone mentioned this up-thread.
     
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  15. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Is this the old MFSL Big Pink or the new 2012 one? I hear the 2012 one is much better.
     
  16. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    It's the 2012 - I think the LP and the SACD were released at the same time. Can't remember why on earth I bought both!

    I'm preparing a Little Feat comparison as we speak.
     
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  17. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Which do you happen to prefer by the way?
     
  18. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Oh dear, you've put me on the spot there - I haven't listened to the LP in years so I can't really say - I have the SACD ripped to my PC and I only listen to that these days.

    OK, so here is another comparison - and this one is weird!

    It's the opening track of Dixie Chicken by Little Feat. This time the MFSL LP (most recent one) is compared with the MFSL Gold CD (most recent one.)

    As before, the orange dotted line tells you how the EQ of the LP mastering differs from the EQ of the CD mastering:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, there's a very big difference. The LP has more deep bass and more midrange, but much less treble - Michael Fremer was very critical of the LP at the time, calling it "dark meat"(a chicken pun). The CD, lacking the midrange, sounds smoother but some would accuse it of suffering from midrange suck-out.

    Now, here's the weird bit. In this case, the sleeve notes say the LP was mastered by Shawn Britton while the CD was mastered by... Shawn Britton!

    You can understand why two mastering engineers might have taken a different approach for LP and CD but why would the same mastering engineer take a different approach for two masterings done virtually simultaneously? All very strange.
     
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  19. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Very interesting indeed.
     
  20. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    I checked the rest of the Little Feat MFSL LPs and they all have EQs that are very different from the corresponding MFSL CDs but I won't show them all unless anyone asks.

    Instead I'll do two other titles. First is another fairly recent MFSL title, Pirates by Rickie Lee Jones. Then just for fun I'll go back in time and do one from the 1980s - Blind Faith.

    Here is Pirates. This is the average EQ for the second track (but all other tracks show a similar pattern). As before, the orange dotted line shows how the EQ of the MFSL LP compares with the EQ of the MFSL CD.

    [​IMG]

    Both masterings are by Rob LoVerde and as you can see, although the masterings are different, the difference is less extreme than we've seen in the other cases. The LP is a little brighter having a gradual upward tilt through the frequency range and a little bump in the upper midrange. (The big leap at the extreme bottom end is just record rumble - please ignore.)

    I'll post the Blind Faith in a moment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
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  21. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I didnt even know Blind Faith had an MFSL release. Do you think its better than the UK first press counterpart?
     
  22. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Finally, here is the Blind Faith. The two versions being compared are:

    1. the MFSL LP released (according to Discogs) in 1984; and

    2. The MFSL Ultradisc II Gold CD released (according to Discogs) in 1988.

    I don't know who the mastering engineer was in either case but, since the releases were four years apart, I wouldn't really expect them to have the same mastering - and sure enough, they don't.

    Here is the average EQ for the long, final track (but all the other tracks show a similar pattern). The orange dotted line shows how the EQ of the LP differs from the EQ of the CD:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the LP version is quite a bit brighter having a significant upward tilt through the frequency range. However, the extreme top end is rolled off. And although a lot of that big uptick at the extreme bottom end is just record rumble, there is also a little bit of a lift in the deep bass.

    OK, I've finished now and although I know a lot of people don't like charts, I hope they've given the OP the answer to his question. In a word, it's... no!
     
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  23. dconsmack

    dconsmack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV USA
    The CD and vinyl versions of Beck’s Sea Change sound different.
     
  24. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Sorry, I don't own the original UK LP. Might be worth a forum search, though - I would bet it's been discussed.
     
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  25. Frank205

    Frank205 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin ireland
    I have I have Janis Joplin on mfsl sacd.was not crazy about the sound. Anyone have the 45 rpm vinyl would love some feedback I think I will take the plunge
     

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