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. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    Because Mike E's video created a **** storm. Witness this thread. If it were me I'd never have put the engineers in front of a camera but I'm sure that throwing someone else under the bus seemed like a good idea to management at the time.

    They panicked. Fear is a great motivator. A lawyer speak press release might well have been the best response.

    Because they had already screwed Mike F over by not giving him the statement they promised him at Munich; they figured Mike E was a fanboy and that would go more favorably for them. It probably did.

    You look and see a Bond villain with a carefully orchestrated plan. I look and see someone caught with their hand in the cookie jar in a blind panic.
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  2. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    My social life is non-existent which proves I have no charisma, but I can't imagine anyone would have any interest in anything I'd have to say. I don't know how youtubers manage to come up with things to talk about.
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  3. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    I think it is unfair that some folks are saying the so called audiophiles were fooled. Most probably just paid the extra money thinking the One Steps were the best chance of getting the best sounding version possible and they were willing to pay it. Not many probably said to others listening something like....."Listen to this, and hear how analog sounds compared to digital."
  4. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    I had to pay $50 a month for my promos dammit. Join the record pool they said. You'll save money they said. Sure. And I did on the top 40 records. But of course I had to buy the underground tracks and imports myself. Then came the Disconet, Hot Tracks, and Ultimix subscriptions and being in the record pool felt like it cost me money. Almost 40 years ago and I still have my membership card.
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  5. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    It's easy to fool someone when they want to be fooled. All MOFI did is tell their customers what they wanted to hear.
  6. Static

    Static Forum Resident

    Been watching all the MOFI reports. I have to say I was a little shocked to hear the news. I recently purchased a One Step from them a few months ago. Honestly it sounded really good but I did not see the advantage of the one step process. I blamed it on the original masters and -compared to the version I have on cd- I was hoping for a huge improvement. It did not happen. So I was not impressed and decided to not do that again. Fast forward. We find out they are digitally sourced. My first impression was disbelief. My second impression was shock. I will give them credit. At least they used the highest possible DSD for most of the releases...and not 24/44.1 or 16/44.1 which I guess they could have done. My Heaven Up Here album is the best sounding version of that album I own ..I give them credit...but that album was not so much money regardless of the source. Ultimately the source is important but the process of creating the vinyl is just as relevant. So if it sounds good it is good. BUT. I should have known the source for such an exclusive item and had the info to make an educated decision as a consumer.
  7. Jam757

    Jam757 Forum Resident

    Listening to the 45rpm Big Pink and pretty much floored. Amazing pressing! I’m going the get all the Band Super Deluxe versions. I thought the box, booklet, presentation, everything on Big Pink just stupendous and fantastic. A thing of beauty! I have a feeling I’ll be reaching for this 45rpm version a lot!!!
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  8. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    La Jolla, Calif
    Many people seem to be under the impression that even a AAA recording that was originally poorly recorded can be 'repaired' or somehow otherwise brought up to superb SQ with the 'One Step' process! This simply cannot be the case. As I have stated before on this forum and others, what MoFi were doing was to improve ( not always) some of these releases just slightly...but still in many instances they were trying to make a silk's purse out of a sow's ear. For instance, how great can Tapestry sound or BOTW?? We know ( well some of us do) that the original master tape/recording was nothing to shout home about in the first place. Now we learn that MoFi were using a DSD copy to bring most of their 'One Step's to market. Could this be because they knew that the only way to make any improvement at all was to do it in the digital realm?? So your blaming the sound on the original master wasn't entirely incorrect, more than likely the marginal SQ came from there.
    What does concern me much more is this....there are titles that MoFi released that do have incredible sounding AAA Muddy Waters Folk Singer, Monks' Dream and Mingus AhUm...why not release these as advertised??
    IMHO, if you are going to take a poor sounding recording and mastering and then come out and state that you are going to be delivering a superb sounding record, due to your re-mastering and 'One Step' process you were not telling the truth..and to then lie about the actual process ( IOW, stating an all AAA process when you are using a DSD copy) --you are then adding insult to injury.
    So, in many ways the writing has been on the wall when it comes to MoFi's ethics for sometime now:tiphat:
  9. Cjb2233

    Cjb2233 Forum Resident

    Not talking about issues with analog vs digital. Talking about sound. Of course digital has less issues and is easier to deal with, that's why mofi was working with it and not the tape.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
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  10. Merrick

    Merrick The return of the Thin White Duke

    It will all be on a case by case basis, because as you just mentioned there are many variables that defines what is “best”. But in general, if I have a digitally sourced copy of a record and AAA versions are available, then I will sell the digitally sourced versions and pick up a AAA instead.
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  11. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member

    Pleasantville, NY
    I voted yes, because for me it is all about the sound, and the sound is great. I think have mentioned this in one of these threads about MoFi before that I do needle drops of some of my vinyl using a TASCAM DV-RA1000HD. It is a DSD recorder. It records in DSD128, but out puts DSD64. It produces wonderful copies of my vinyl. As to DSD256, based on my experience that is as good as a 30 i.p.s. tape copy and maybe better.
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  12. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    DaveyF- I thought I remembered some mention of "restoration" in the MoFi literature but I don't see it now.
    I got to hear what an archival restoration does a few times. Most impressive was the man who owned the transcription discs of Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall, which was sort of the Woodstock for big band/swing back in the day. Though there was never any intention to record this commercially, Goodman paid to have it recorded for himself and the signal, from a mono mic-- this was like 1938-was sent down the telephone lines to a disc cutting operation several NY City blocks away. I was told that the bandwidth of the telephone line was 8k.
    The owner of the transcriptions also coincidently happens to be a well known archivist-- I think he even worked for the NYC public library as an archivist/restoration specialist. His name is Seth Winner.
    When I visited his home studio, he demonstrated a flat transfer of the transcriptions and then his restoration. The original recording transferred to digital sounded like something scratchy and warbly--typical old sound from the Depression era, as seen in movies.
    His "restoration" gave the Krupa kick drum dynamics, "air" and the whole thing wasn't just quiet, it was alive-not sterile. He showed me how finely he got into those passages- tiny increments of time. He had some digital "store" or "well" or whatever the IT guys call it, in a separate room. Most of his analog stuff was in the playback room (including a swell pair of Marantz 1 Consolette preamp modules).
    Point is, true restoration can be done digitally and is amazing. I don't know about drop outs but what I heard on a few occasions (also at Culpeper/Library of Congress) showed me the value of digital as a tool.
    This of course has very little to do with MoFi's representations.
    I'll close by saying I got home from Seth's studio, and arrived at a big dinner party at my house. I was telling the guests about my day and one (he was older and sadly now passed) said "I was at that Bennie Goodman concert! My older brother was a big band fiend, and dragged me to it." Small world.
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  13. JFSebastion

    JFSebastion Forum Resident

    Maricopa Arizona
    If Fremer was screwed over ( and I am not saying he wasn't) why did he "cover for them" ( his words ) and not break the mofi-gate himself? I don't think Mike E was rolled over ( Fremer description ) at all. One only has to watch the video Mike Esposito did 5 days prior to his trip to see and get answers from them. He even mentions DSD as a possibility in the pre visit video. The video is the one he does in his new Demo room at the In-Groove. If you haven't seen it and only saw the Mofi interview. It highlights what his intentions are in talking with them.
  14. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    @JF- We'd have to go to the tape (sorry). My recollection of this, which goes back to the beginning, is that Fremer posted or tweeted something that he got, I thought online, which was wrong- MoFi reached out to him to say "wrong" and he removed it. (Question whether he said "digital" or Bernie from tape, but that can be checked). They told him to sit tight and would get back to him. He gave them that courtesy, but didn't get back to him. Instead, this story broke. That's how I recall those events, which can be checked.
    I think Fremer meant he got "played" in a different way than we (or some of us) did, but I don't think he had the "real" story at that point. He did give the impression that he knew more than he did at the time, but I think he rolled that back once things were revealed --
    Anybody here memorized the record yet?
    PS: I just went back through this thread, "Fremer" and "tweet" and the comments are various- nothing definitive- it's both Fremer tweeted that it had a digital element and that it was cut from a copy tape by Bernie. So, inconclusive. I usually defend Fremer, though at times find his NY'er "in your face" style annoying (NB. I was a NY'er from 1981 until 2017 so had a thick skin). And he can rage irrationally at people who question him, which is as they say these days, "not a good look." But, I think his own desire to be in the center of this made it appear that he knew more, and was more of a MoFi insider than he was in reality. At this point, it is obvious that the relationship is strained. That's all I got.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  15. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    City of Angels
    And put the stiff as board management, or a hired PR person to spew out some B.S to smooth things over? NO, The mastering and cutting team comes off far more knowledgeable and slightly more humble than that would have gone over for sure.

    Again, no. A lawyer talking about legalities and loopholes in press, web, and liner notes could backfire like a tsunami of ill feelings in the consumer retail world as well as internally at MFSL. They needed audiophiles who (really seemed to) care about music/sound quality and nobody close to the bean counters (lawers/publicists/PR people) involved in this first response.

    You would have tried the legal, marketing, and professionals at damage control to be first responders? I think that a nice seemingly casual well acted relaxed studio chit-chat with the hands-on team looks much more innocent here, than using corporate suits who would rather go into double-speak and flat-out avoidance of everything they wish to sweep under an imaginary rug.
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  16. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    But many audiophiles did think these were the best vinyl versions of the albums, and still do.
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  17. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    No idea, although Fremer has more to lose than Esposito, Mike E will still sell records (just less of them).

    I never said he was. I said MOFI probably felt it would be the better way to go, and agreed that it probably was. I think Mike E's video went a lot better (as uncomfortable as it clearly was for them) than a jilted Fremer throwing a fit would have gone. You don't?
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  18. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I agreed with this 700 pages ago. Wait, what? How many pages? :)
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  19. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I agree with this.
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  20. rangda

    rangda Forum Resident

    I find the idea that a company as small as MOFI or Music Direct has an army of lawyers/PR staff waiting around to even do damage control unrealistic. Do they have a lawyer or two for licensing agreements and various other business related items? Probably. Do they have any PR at all outside of some web site guys and an intern? Probably not. BUT...

    They could have easily put out a press release saying "we did this because we felt it was the best way to go given our options blah blah blah" without putting ANYONE on camera. First, that's not throwing your mastering engineers under the bus. Second it would have gone at least as well as what they did IMO. It's essentially what they did except they did it in a way that was awful for the guys actually making their product.
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  21. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    No conspiracy theory makes no sense, there has to be something to gain and there was nothing here other than taking an awful risk. This also wasn't orchestrated, the whole thing is so stupid nobody could have orchestrated it.
  22. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Agreed on staff. Lawyers are expensive. They appear to have somebody that does PR/marketing, denominated a consultant as I recall.
    Not sure the press release would have done it. I think it was essential that people "see" who was saying what. And that didn't go great for MoFi. The engineers were sheepish. They weren't terribly forthcoming. One was overtly hostile-
    My take: I don't buy the conspiracy that MoFi deliberately leaked this as their way out of the conundrum. It was just too badly handled. I don't expect studio engineers to be polished speakers- their discomfort seem real and visceral in watching the tape. Maybe in retrospect not the best approach, but all of this seemed to happen pretty fast- from InGroove Mike's "expose" on July 14 to Mike's showing up in their studio July 19, recording the "Interview" and releasing on YT on July 20. That is a fairly collapsed time frame. I could go on, but I'm not sure it's more than my opinion, which is, well, like what the Dude said.
  23. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    This thread is proof that what customers wanted is the truth and they asked numerous times for it but did not get it.
  24. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    Nobody wants to be fooled and nobody wants to be lied to.
    MOFI telling people what they want to hear is a ridiculous justification for deceptive business practices.

    (I was going to say idiotic but that sounded arrogant and insulting. There’s enough arrogance and insults flying around already.)
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  25. Victor Martell

    Victor Martell Forum Resident

    Does that make it right? This is how scammers work. Victim shaming.

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