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. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident

    I appreciate your take, but I still think he may also wish to consider installing someone else to run the company. I have not studied their corporate structure, but installing someone else at the helm for the purpose of restoring public confidence is not the craziest business move I can imagine.
    DaveyF and Wounded Land like this.
  2. Adagio

    Adagio Forum Resident

    It was in the context of the second part of the quote. The improved process they are using might be better than what they did in the past (depending on what past means) , but one would think that the new improved process would produce more consistent results. It hasn't IME

    There are a lot of other "premium" audiophile labels that follow a fairly consistent AAA process and generate far more consistent results IME. I named two but there are a lot more...

    Speakers Corner
    Pure Pleasure
    Blue Note Classic / Tone Poet
    ORG Music

    IF the results were 100% good then I would agree that the end justifies the means and I wouldn't care how they got there. But for me that hasn't been the case and I was duped into spending premium prices for less than premium products - partly because of the hype and their reputation.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
    BuyMeVinyl likes this.
  3. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    SF Peninsula
    What you take seriously is marketing hype, witch has nothing to do with listening. You can also find different mastering engineers with different takes on what sounds best and how they want to approach mastering for records.

    If you just listen to records and picked the ones you thought sounded best, you would probably pick a 50/50 digital and analog mastering mix. The fact is, as long as there is a quality source, and a good mastering job your just not going to hear if it was a digital or analog source to begin with. This has been proven time and time again, and regardless if the AAA cult wants to admit it, MFSL just show it to be true once again.
    no.nine and cnolanh like this.
  4. Blackdagger

    Blackdagger Forum Resident

    Ok, get it. So what's the problem? Digital source on vinyl? I was thinkin' about it a lot. Look, I don't trust vinyl quality made after 80's. I am sure some new vinyl are made from mp3 source, if you are lucky cd source.

    So, basicly, if I listen vinyl I want records which are made full analog directly from tapes, not the one from original tapes converted in digital on computer then converted back on analog or any other similar thing... You can't find those, not even in 80's sometimes. Because, my logic is, if it is digital than it should be listened on CD, if it is full analog than vinyl. What's the point to have digital on vinyl? Or specialy if source is from CD or worse? What's the point?

    So, basicly I like good analog and good digital. Mostly my records are older ones, albums 'til 80's, later stuff I have on cd's. But, I buy records new if that album is made new. For example; Band Disciplin A Kitschme, great underground stuff from former Yugoslavia, they made new album, recorded that album on tape, than make some changes mix digital and convert that back in analog. Yes, some data is lost in that proces, but I am fan, so I buy that kind of new vinyl. And it sounds good. Band really try to vinyl sound good. This kind of new vinyl's I buy because there is no choice, new albums are recorded that way, all others are old first press pre 1985 on vinyl.

    Second thing about digital source is this: Hawkwind recorded in 1980 with Ginger Baker on drumms digitaly album "Levitation". Yes, I bought that because they wanted it to record that way. What can I do? There is no analog version of it because it is originaly recorded digital. Same thing is about new albums last 20 years or 30, I have them mostly on cd, because they are recorded orginaly on digital way. There is no analog.

    In Yugoslavia, from 1983, many albums are recorded digital and put on vinyl. I remember in those days, everybody were talking how digital sound is superior, so until 1993 we didn't have much places to buy cd's, so from 1983 albums were recorded digital and released on vinyl so people can hear digital sound.

    But today, except new albums from bands like I did describe Disciplin A Kitschme band, I don't buy new vinyl's. Why? If I can buy some vinyl from 1975 true analog on vinyl why should I bought that same album digital version on new vinyl? It doesn't make sense. New recorded albums on new vinyl ok 'cos you dont have a choice, old albums only first press from that analog era on vinyl.

    I did bought new vinyl also from bands which albums are so rare that cost few hundred euros first press, I also see this that I don't have a choice.
    So, basicly old stuff on first press vinyl, or new albums which bands are realy careful about quality of vinyl. Other stuff from late 80's and later I have on cd's. From 1991 til 2000 it was gold era for cd's and you find realy good digital sound from them.
    jusbe, BuyMeVinyl and enfield like this.
  5. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    I mean if someone with stature like Grundman says digital step degrades the sound, how many people here are saying he's full of it?? Seriously!
    jeff kleinberg, VQRex, Elofan and 7 others like this.
  6. FunkJazz

    FunkJazz Wake up... and smell the Sunflower

    The Netherlands
    I’ve watched a recent ‘Rachels Ghost’ live stream and have to disagree with that statement.
    CBackley and WillBithers like this.
  7. Tim1954

    Tim1954 Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    I happen to be of the same opinion. But you’re overlooking the biggest factor. Their whole schtick about “DSD is so awesome, man” is based on the reality that they just can’t often get master tapes.

    So you’re believing a story that is an explanation necessitated by lying about something else. Doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Might be.

    But to illustrate the point, let’s say Sony said; “Hey MoFi, we will send you the Bitches Brew master tapes by Overnight Express if you put up the insurance and you can work with them for a week before sending them back.” Does anybody really believe that these MoFi “audio geeks”, for all their talk about how great DSD is, would copy those master tapes to DSD?

    I don’t.

    See, I think their DSD angle is probably part truth but also part based on their situation at hand. They’ve decided it is the best way for them to operate based on their circumstance.

    Actually, this is just an opinion.
  8. Kyhl

    Kyhl On break

    When it effects you personally it means everything. If it effects someone else it is just business, or just a game.

    I don't understand those wanting a refund when they would make a profit selling on the used market. That is if they really want to get rid of their copy.

    Personally, the thought of buying these because they were AAA never occurred to me. My decision was made by asking myself if I wanted to pay for "that" title. I buy music to play and enjoy. Not for a provenance that affects value.

    If these titles are worth more on the secondary market there is no financial damage to the owner. So the sentiment to ask for a refund must be based for punitive purposes as opposed to financial loss. People feel wronged and want retribution. I feel wronged too but don't think there is value punishing someone for it.
    JFSebastion and Ron13a like this.
  9. Leroyd

    Leroyd Forum Resident

    Agreed, but surely better value than 3k on a second hand record?
  10. WillBithers

    WillBithers Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, but that's just not true. I've tuned in to Rachel's livestreams a few days this week for short periods and even in that time I've heard very tasteless jokes about that subject which I won't repeat here. I've enjoyed some of the conversations there and the candor that livestreams allow for but they also result in some "jokes" that really miss the mark.
    JFSebastion and CBackley like this.
  11. Blackdagger

    Blackdagger Forum Resident

    I only know, good digital is good digital. Good analog is good analog. They are not better or worse, they are just little bit different. 40 years ago, people were listening music on crap sistems, now they are fighting which is better analog or digital. Point is?
    Karmageddon likes this.
  12. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    La Jolla, Calif
    An interesting question ( perhaps for a poll, although for some reason I cannot post polls here) is whether the a'phile consumer will pay good money for a 'One Step' release with the full knowledge that the album is a) digitally sourced and b) NOT from MoFi ( therefore no so called 'label' attached). This could be as easy as yes or no answer. If the consumer is willing to pay $100+ for such a release then i would suspect MoFi's business going forward is safe. Personally, going forward i would not entertain paying this kind of $$ for a digitally sourced record, regardless of the 'One Step' process...or MoFi's name attached to it! ( Specially after the 'reveal' of MoFi's ethics and business practices).
    MonkeyTennis likes this.
  13. Joe Stark

    Joe Stark "Sad wanker" - Michael Fremer

    Salt Lake City
    Point is I want to know what I'm buying when I buy it. Period. Fin. The end. Over and out.
    Biff Jones, Elofan, John D. and 4 others like this.
  14. FunkJazz

    FunkJazz Wake up... and smell the Sunflower

    The Netherlands
    MoFi deceived & lied.
    Biff Jones, VQRex, Elofan and 8 others like this.
  15. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    This particular issue didn't change my mind.

    I decided I was done with 1 steps after the first two one steps I bought.... after my first two steps (this is confusingto type)?
    audiotom likes this.
  16. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    SF Peninsula
    No, by my logic labels should dabel and experiment with how they can improve records. Records are a media storage device, they started to improve them in the 80s but that got cut short with the efforts all going to CDs. I'm also not saying records are not archaic and have no flaws, but they are an enjoyable media that clearly can be improved.

    The same can be said for the playback equipment, it was only getting better and better in the 80s, and then abandoned. Hell I got a Pioneer turntable built in 1984 that was designed with the convenience of a CD player. Front load, motorized platter tray that came out the front and back in, fully auto, programmable track order, shuffle, repete, continuous repeat of one song, the program order or the side.

    I also have the info and photos for an aftermarket arm that can mount on any table that can do interchangeable arms. It's a remote control air bearing tangential arm that you can cue up or down, skip and select tracks, adjust VTA, VTF while playing the record.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
    Ron13a and Library Eye like this.
  17. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    Bait and switch which in essence is what they did, is illegal and immoral … period.

    I am however going to continue to listen to my MFSL “In a Silent Way”, “Jack Johnson”, “A Salty Dog” and that Costello/Bacharach record because man do they sound good to these old ears. ;)
    spewey, DaveyF, Karmageddon and 3 others like this.
  18. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    SF Peninsula
    LOL, not only do people want to dictate the tools mastering engineers what to use to do their job. It appears they need to say who can own a record label and manufacturer records.
    Kyhl likes this.
  19. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Lots of people won't agree with that. I myself have something around 2000 records, of those less than 30 are MFSL. In contrast I have more real first or at least early original pressings of the records I like.
    I think many MFSL records sound great or at least they are pleasing to listen to. If you calculate the percentage of MFSL I have vs the ones that aren't you will get a picture of how much in a frenzy I get when MFSL issues something.
    That is despite me generally liking what they do. So, are those signs I think MFSL makes the best records?
    I am not sure and I mean it! There must be some reason behind on why I try to get originals instead. I would certainly get even more originals if they weren't as many liars in the second hand market.
    4-2-7 and Adagio like this.
  20. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Columbus, Ohio
    Step down over this MoFi thing? No way. Besides owning the joint, Music Direct can run things fine WITHOUT MoFi. I could see some new guidelines for public confidence......that's about it. This is hardly enough for the owner to step down. Companies make decisions every day that are bad and hurt sales. I don't think Davis answers to a board of directors.
  21. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    It's not a "cultish belief system", whatever that means. It is a desire to hear a vinyl record cut from the original master tape, or a tape that is as close as possible. Most of us have experienced vinyl cut from poor "copy tapes", and have done "shoot outs" between CD's, SACD's, original pressings, remasters, MQA-CD's. blu-rays, etc. Most of us have been disappointed with new reissues of many classic albums. We aren't holding up technological innovation - it's not as if we don't give other formats a chance. The problem is, at the end of the day, it seems that all the technology in the world can't make a better Exile on Main Street. Now, is that because the original 1971 UK version was cut from an analog source close to the master tape? Maybe not; but I haven't heard a better digital version yet. It's not a "cultish belief" - it's just rational thinking. . . . and a hobby.

    CraigC, VQRex, violetvinyl and 6 others like this.
  22. Adagio

    Adagio Forum Resident

    I agree with you but here is the point

    Each of us makes purchasing decisions based on previous experience with pressing quality and sound quality and personal preferences.

    In my case, my ears, experience and sound preferences, I have found when an album is cut from digital it doesn't sound quite as good to my ears. It still sounds good but not quite as good as AAA. Based on this experience I may choose to buy albums cut from digital, but I make the choice with a clear understanding about what I'm getting and, in my case, I won't pay a premium audiophile price.
  23. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Columbus, Ohio
    Hmmmm. I don't know if I buy that completely. I'm not saying Bernie does not feel that is really, really good in today's world. I still prefer my vinyl to be all analog and I'll buy sacds or downloads for digital. However, I think I would have a heck of a time telling the difference between the analog master and a flat transfer of that master. If Bernie wants to invite me out to his studio to compare, I would be more than willing LOLOLOL
  24. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident


    40 years ago people were already arguing analogue was better than digital and in those days much more so. These days plenty of people still listen through crap systems or even worse, phones!
  25. kundryishot

    kundryishot Forum Resident


    At 2:20 the guy from Mofi says: " is it analogue? it sure is"
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