Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been cutting vinyl from digital since a long, long time ago...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Ben Adams, Jul 14, 2022.

  1. It’s not that much better. You’re good with the Winchester pressing. :thumbsup:
  2. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    Good to know.
    And I'm not pretending :) this is the best recording ever for a vinyl.
    Just judging against the MFSL.
    Don't want anyone to jump the shark here
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
    snorker likes this.
  3. dolstein

    dolstein Senior Member

    Arlingon, VA
    Sheesh - Does Fremer realize just how arrogant and condescending he comes off as in this video? He keeps harping on Mike E. not being a journalist. But Mike E. got the story. And while you can certainly quibble with his interviewing skills, the fact is we know a lot more know than we did just a few days ago. Meanwhile, Fremer - by his own admission - was covering for MoFi for years. Where is Fremer's mea culpa?
  4. mpayan

    mpayan Resident Mofi Shill

    Yep, the UK also. Plus the German ARS pressing, half speed and probably various US copies. The latest KG mastered is really good actually.

    The UK is a very good one CBS. Youd probably really like it. Nice forward presentation, balanced and good soundstage.

    But IMO, none of those beat the One Step. Dude I have no idea what they did in the process with that one. I fully admit it makes no sense that it should sound so good. But it does.

    When this One Step thing first started I was all "This is stupid. A scam. People have lost their minds. $99.00 for a record?? Come on man. One Step my butt"

    I was so against it that I actually bought the Abraxas just to prove that it was hyped BS.

    Best $99.00 I ever spent. It proved me wrong.
  5. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Forum Resident

    I’d like to know what kind of DAC they’re using and what the sample rate is. I understand their analog to digital converter is capturing the tape at 4x DSD. But what’s being converted back to analog, and through what piece of gear?
    420JJJazz666 likes this.
  6. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    SACD bit rate is 5.6 Mbps, they claim to use 4x DSD so 22.4 Mbps would be enough bandwidth to stream it. So it's easily streamable. As to whether the labels would ever let someone actually stream 4x DSD audio, well that's another story.
  7. David.m

    David.m Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    Problem we have down here is that many/most of our local AAA originals are very poor sounding compared to US/UK originals, Hotel California being one. It sounds like cassette compared to the DCC CD & the Gray mastered/RTI re-issue I have. You either go down the rabbit hole of buying 'NM' used (which rarely arrive NM) or save yourself the hassle when a good re-issue is released.
    There needs to be some consequences for the deceptive conduct of MFSL, what/how I don't know, but not buying their good sounding releases because they're not AAA is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
    Bulsara and Curiosity like this.
  8. FlorentinePogen

    FlorentinePogen Forum Resident

    Austin, Texas
    This is the dispositive take on Fremer's behavior in that video, IMHO. Mike E is no angel, but the amount of salt in Fremer's response makes the Dead Sea look like low sodium soy sauce.
  9. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    I was on the bandwagon that they withheld the truth rather than outright lied. I assume that the picture on this page is actually an insert in a one step? (I don't own any, the only one I'd be interested in musically is Abraxis.)

    ONE STEP BEYOND: Mobile Fidelity Gets Closer To The Music

    Assuming it is then they are blatantly lying. They don't do source -> lacquer, they do source -> DSD copy -> lacquer. They are conveniently considering the DSD copy part of the "source" so they don't have to document it. Which is a lie.
  10. dolstein

    dolstein Senior Member

    Arlingon, VA
    And to try to be evenhanded here, Fremer did raise one interesting question. If MFSL is adding a digital step, why not use the Plangent Process on all those releases to eliminate any speed errors on the original recording? According to Fremer, they did that with their digital transfer of Dire Straits' Love Over Gold. But the implication was that they weren't doing that for any of the other digital transfers they made.
    Jeff Yerkey and 420JJJazz666 like this.
  11. captone

    captone Forum Resident

    BC, Canada
    I haven’t read much of this thread since i lasted posted early on.

    I understand why some people are upset about this. I do not think Mofi were doing anything wrong technically - they never implicitly stated that their mastering chain was 100% analog, though they do sort of imply with their marketing that it is. So I get it. I also get why they might not want people to know that there is a digital step because they know that it would likely affect sales & there is nothing that says they have to disclose their mastering chain/secrets. So I cut Mofi some slack - I also want them to continue to stay in business because all of the Mofi SACDs I own sound great and want them to continue making more!

    I believe that generally speaking when comparing an all analog LP (high end TT) vs a CD (high end CD player/Dac), the vinyl will sound “better” to most people. The CD on paper, does everything better, ie lower distortion, better signal to noise ratio But the vinyl will simply sound more musical/pleasant & 3-dimensional (again, not everyone but most people). I personally prefer the sound of vinyl to CD in most cases of analog LP vs CD (& this is coming from somebody who doesn’t even own a turntable at the moment!). With digital, when the sample rate increases above CD’s 44.1kHz, I find that it sounds better. 48kHz sounds a little bit better than 44.1 to me, but higher is even better (SACD is my favourite format). (& yes I’ve seen the Monty video!!)

    In response to a couple of posts I read earlier (but couldn’t respond at the time), someone asked why anyone would buy the LP over the SACD or why Mofi wouldn’t just sell the 4 X DSD file:
    4 X DSD is incredibly accurate (256 X the sample rate of CD) and does have an advantage of a faster transient rise time (one of the technical “imperfections” levied against SACD by some) than regular DSD (what is on the SACD). 4 X DSD is technically better than SACD + you get the full sized cover artwork with the LP (+ the sound that vinyl playback may impart). So the LP still has it’s value as far as I’m concerned & by all accounts sound incredible. Just as Mofi don’t sell the raw DSD files (you have to buy the SACDs and figure out how to rip them if you wanted that), they wouldn’t want to sell the raw 4 X DSD files either. Those files would be huge! one 40 minute album would be approx 6.4GB of data
  12. Sam

    Sam Senior Member

    Rochester, NY
    Well, I wouldn't say it's "dreadful," but yes, my U.K. pressing is better.
    dasacco and 2.1Channels like this.
  13. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    I have fiber now.
    For Those About To Rock
  14. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    SF Peninsula
    I like the AP much more than the one step and said so when it came out. In fact I liked many other titles that I felt beat the one step of the same title. Maybe I have golden ears and can tell the difference, but doubt that. The thing is the mastering style is what bothers me on many of the one steps. I've no less said they are playing the CD loudness war and base heavy on the One Steps cutting them hot. Then adding as Stan Richer would say some Tweekly $hit up top. To me this is not a balanced record and not musical. I felt it was purposely added to make their records appear to be unveiling something lost on other same title records, to me it's distracting.
    Hey man I wish I wasn't right to tell the truth, this is going to have some big ramifications for people and that company. I've been buying MFSL records for a long time and following that company. While I was trying to shoot down all the detractors in a Abbey Road Half Speed mastering thread of a title no one even heard before. But knowing the industry and MFSL not acting the same as many places with info, it only stood to reason what was going on. The funny thing is I went looking for your email to also show it in a post of mine. I have no clue why it would have been deleted.

    While I'm not a hard core records have to be AAA, I can understand the feeling you and others now have about MFSL. Your passion showed and you posted tons of stuff, but as I said in the thread I already have been reading that stuff. The key word was alway "Transferred", that's a far cry from, "Cut From"

    Thank and make the best of this, enjoy the music "First" and the process secondly.

    But (F) MFSL for lying all these years.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
    MonkeyTennis, audiotom and DeRosa like this.
  15. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    I kinda feel like a girlfriend cheated on me …
    CBackley, Twinsfan007, jimhb and 3 others like this.
  16. cliff_forster

    cliff_forster Crabby Dad Tech

    Baltimore Hon
    I mostly find Fremer condescending by nature. That said, he isn't wrong. MoFi got the record store owner to do the interview because they knew they could dance around him avoiding any further PR disaster. It looks like MoFi got out in front of it, but they knew what they were doing, they brought in a slow pitch softball interviewer that didn't have the ability to challenge them in any meaningful way.
  17. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    Can you rank those for us less enthusiastic collectors (cheers) ?
  18. timnor

    timnor Forum Resident

    Bits On The Tracks
  19. mpayan

    mpayan Resident Mofi Shill

    I think youd like the KG one honestly. Its available at Acoustic Sounds. I probably play it more than any. My UK isnt the quietest.
  20. mpayan

    mpayan Resident Mofi Shill

    She didnt cheat. Shes just got a perm.
    CBackley likes this.
  21. Briskit

    Briskit “I don’t know karate, but I know ka-razy!”

    St Kilda
    I have a sense of loyalty to Michael F. because I learnt lots from his videos when I got back into vinyl.
    But he really should stop engaging with other Youtuber's.
    Ed Casey, recordhead and 4-2-7 like this.
  22. FlorentinePogen

    FlorentinePogen Forum Resident

    Austin, Texas
    I have a source that says it's Mastered from CD, uploaded to YouTube, then streamed at 480p, Mofi then rips that YouTube stream, and presses it on Super Vinyl.

    My friend, I think you just found MoFi's way out of this crisis. Sell One Step's for people who prefer vinyl (and--to be honest--the social status among audiophiles for those who own them) and sell 4 X DSD to the people who are truly after the master tape sound as much as possible.

    That would a) fix their transparency problem; b) kill the bleeding right above the wound by offering those who truly want the master tape sound--as close as possible--and one for those who prefer vinyl and want that nice box displayed on their shelf.

    Not to mention, it's not like they have to create something new. They're already getting 4 X DSD files.
    the nightfly likes this.
  23. OptimisticGoat

    OptimisticGoat Everybody's escapegoat....

    I’m not a sound engineer - far from it. My take was that Shawn Britton considered that they were capturing in a full way the full analog (uncompressed) original master and storing it in a digital file. He referred in the same breath to double capture in DSD (reference to Dolby). So in the same breath almost he was saying “we capture the full analog recording in DSD.” He did not mention how they mastered from that but suggested that this occurred (and he was covering the vinyl aspect). I don’t see this so much as a lie - more a misapprehension as to what an AAA aficionado might mean by the question. The dual capture (analog and digital) seems to further cloud the issue as to what was being mastered. The fact that Mofi is a lean ship with 14 employees makes it possible that the buck does stop with these mastering geniuses- but none of my Mofi says AAA as far as I can tell and I heard SB to leave open the digital step. For him analog was a reference to full dynamic range as a source. Just my take.
    billnunan likes this.
  24. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    SF Peninsula
    I thought you posted this in the thread and it got deleted.

    For all that care DeRosa emailed MFSL to prove I was wrong about a little dispute we had two years ago.

    from: MOFI Customer Service <>
    date: 9 Oct 2020, 07:16
    subject: mastering question

    Thank you for your email, there is no analog to digital conversion in our vinyl cutting process. Any product that bears the ORIGINAL MASTER RECORDING stripe on the jacket lets the customer know that the Original Master Tape was used to produce the release.

    Any product that bears the MOBILE FIDELITY SOUND LAB stripe on the jacket lets the customer know that, although it is possible that what we have is the original master, that tape could not be fully verified as such and, in the interest of honesty, is not granted the ORIGINAL MASTER RECORDING stripe. As information on the tapes boxes for non-master sources are sometimes wrong or not present, we will not be listing what generation the source is. It may only be a guess and thus could not be consistent from title to title. If a non-master source meets our standard we will use it. If it does not, we will reject it.

    In addition, all titles on our main label are sourced from the original master tapes while; although the majority of Silver Label titles are sourced from the original tapes, there are some exceptions where the best available source is used. We do not use digital sources except in cases where the title’s original master was digital itself.

    Customer Service

    Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
    Hours: M-F 9am-5pm
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
  25. Dougthesnail

    Dougthesnail The Big Gabagool

    It would cost money and take time.

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