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Mobile Fidelity Ultradisc One Step of SANTANA, BILL EVANS TRIO, etc.*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Drew769, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    It took MD about 1 year to give me a replacement for my Monk one step and about 6 months to give me a replacement for my Mingus One Step. We are talking non-fills, potato warps, and debris baked in my copies -- I sent pictures and videos to MD. I bought two copies of the UHQR KOB and one is extremely noisy -- I bet the replacement will also take months.
     
    NorthNY Mark likes this.
  2. sharkshark

    sharkshark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto ON
    See, if they just told me that was the case that'd be good to prepare.

    Thanks for your input, here is hoping it won't be so brutal. At least you eventually got a copy, which, again, I'm not 100pct certain I will
     
    PATB and NorthNY Mark like this.
  3. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    One would think ( and expect) that records in this day and age, never mind records that cost $100 and more, would be flawless when it comes to the typical pressing issues from back in the day! I won't accept any new vinyl that has warpage, non-fill or any other issue...it gets replaced, or the vendor gives me my money back. There is no reason for sloppy QC these days, IMHO.
     
    Dartman, jboersma, PATB and 2 others like this.
  4. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Just to update the thread, Fremer confirmed this was the correct order. Seems the vast majority over at Analog Planet preferred file 3 (the one step), though most incorrectly identified it as the 2014 RKS, when it is actually the One Step. So it seems like even in a blind test most find the One Step as the definitive version of this title. Which I whole heartedly agree with.

    Really the biggest revelation for me was how much I preferred the OG to the RKS in my latest shootout. I had shot them out before on an earlier iteration of my system (closer to my office system than my current main if you check my profile), and then I quite preferred the RKS. By quite a bit. I am now scratching my head as to whether it was system improvements that brought about that change, or if what I listen for has evolved. I’d wager both. Maybe I will do a small shootout on my office system just for kicks.

    Clean originals should be readily available for quite cheap. I got mine for $3 in VG++ condition, although that was 5 years ago or so. But for those that prefer the RKS, or don’t want to splurge for the one step, I’d suggest you try an original.
     
  5. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Thanks for contacting Fremer. He often runs these polls and then forgets about them.
    Well... we can pat ourselves on the back for correctly identifying each pressing.
     
    Greenmonster2420 likes this.
  6. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central Ohio
    To clarify, he posted the update without me reaching out. But I was ready to contact him if he hadn’t :D. I was a little curious, because if I couldn’t identify after having shot out the exact same 3 on my own rig, I would seriously question my ears and/or system.

    I will also say, that when directly playing the LP (not a file), on my system, the benefits of the one step were even more pronounced than on the files. The files give a great reference of EQ and tonal balance, but when playing back the one step on my table, there is an extra layer removed, revealing more transparency, texture, depth, and micro dynamics. It is nuanced, but really is the difference between good and great to my ears. That’s the kind of stuff that makes my hairs stand up.
     
    Tullman and NorthNY Mark like this.
  7. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Yeah, I did listen to the RKS pressing compared to the One Step on my TT. That crispy hi-hat on the RKS was a dead give away.
     
    Greenmonster2420 likes this.
  8. Geoffsterpiano

    Geoffsterpiano ...Give me great sound, or give me death...

    Location:
    Germany
    Now, Ladies and gentlemen… I realize this is a slight change of subject and the sort of thing that has been discussed on this thread before, but I’m really curious as to what you wonderful folks think might be the next One Step to be released… Any thoughts? For some reason I think it’s likely that we might be getting the Clapton Unplugged next, or the Carole King, but of course I have absolutely no idea…
     
  9. Rhinojack

    Rhinojack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Harlingen, Texas
    I believe someone here confirmed it would be "Tapestry".
     
    Geoffsterpiano likes this.
  10. keylime_5

    keylime_5 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    I thought Pearl was supposed to be their "late summer" release and Tapestry was coming this fall. Unless I missed an update.
     
    Geoffsterpiano likes this.
  11. Guildx500

    Guildx500 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I’ve seen an October release date for Tapestry at one place that was selling it. I don’t know how accurate it is.
     
    Geoffsterpiano likes this.
  12. Bradd

    Bradd Now’s The Time

    Location:
    Chester, NJ
    I think Pearl is July.
     
  13. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Mateo, CA, USA
    It amazes me how different people hear different things from the same record.

    I've listened to the Still Crazy One Step a few times now, and to me the Phoebe Snow vocals are possibly the lowest-fidelity thing on the record. She sounds like she was recorded on a $5 Radio Shack microphone at the back of the studio. My only other vinyl version, the rather compressed 1981 CBS Mastersound, actually sounds better in that respect, as does the 24/96 flac version.

    There are several places on this record, including Phoebe, where I hear something resembling a digital edge in the vocals, unlike anything I've heard on the other One Steps (I have all of them), or on any other recent audiophile release.

    This is a fair point, though using Opus 3 LPs as a standard is really unfair to just about anything released today. My three original Opus 3 LPs may just be the best-sounding records that I own.

    In my opinion, Still Crazy is a mediocre recording that doesn't hold up that well in the bright light of the One Step process. I felt that way about Bridge One Step as well. BS&T, a recording of the same vintage, is many times better.

    My concern now is that Tapestry One Step is going to be equally lackluster. I really wish that MFSL would pay more attention to the quality of the source tapes and less attention to the Billboard album charts of the Seventies when choosing releases.
     
  14. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    I think your post is absolutely spot on!!
    Although I must ask why is using a superb standard like Opus 3 unfair? After all, these 'One Step' releases are not only pricey, but they are purported to be the best available release of that particular album. I was under the impression ( rightly or wrongly) that MoFi were a audiophile release company and that one was paying for a superior sounding release from them. If they're ok with using a poor sounding master tape, and essentially adding lipstick to a pig, why are so many enamored of the product to pay top $$ for it? Your last paragraph is a great point and 1000% correct IMO. ( although I think we all know that the all encompassing profit motive does have something to do with the protocol!).
     
    jgrillo likes this.
  15. Twinsfan007

    Twinsfan007 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    So I've got a question for everyone. I just got around to opening my copy of Paul Simon. Upon inspection my disks arr badly warped. Can I still get replacement disks from MD for it? Or is my window gone now?
     
  16. John D.

    John D. Forum Resident

    Call them up and plead your case!
     
  17. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Interesting in this day and age that we still receive records that are damaged and somehow escaped QC on their way out! I also just picked up a MoFi release that is warped. Pathetic, IMO.
    I guess we have to be thankful that there aren't more companies wrapping their vinyl releases in shrink wrap!! Good grief!
     
  18. Guss2

    Guss2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Have you listened to it, does it sound good???
     
  19. Twinsfan007

    Twinsfan007 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I only played the first side of disk 1 and it played fine I believe. My issue was the tonearm was "swimming" trying to track thr album
     
    Guss2 likes this.
  20. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Mateo, CA, USA
    Opus 3 controlled all aspects of the recording and release, and was using fresh master tapes for their LPs. Reissue labels, on the other hand, didn't get to play a part in the recording process, and the tapes are generally at least 40 years old.

    I was tempted to use the "lipstick on a pig" phrase myself, but that's a bit harsh. They don't generally do awful recordings. They do choose too many that are not particularly deserving of premium treatment.

    I bought the mono Vanilla Fudge 45, no idea why. It's well done for what it is. Unfortunately, what it is, is a 50+ year old mono album of average-or-lower sound quality. I don't understand why they didn't just do it as a 33, like the Iron Butterfly. I am sure that the same will be true of the upcoming Young Rascals mono 45. Same vintage, another Atlantic/Atco album.

    It starts to look like they are just trying to acquire licenses for things of a certain era that nobody else has done, even if the end product won't be all that impressive, because they believe that they will sell anyway. Plus, doing them at 45 seems to be a better selling point than plain old 33. They used to aim a little higher than that.
     
    jgrillo, Bobsblkwax and DaveyF like this.
  21. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    +1

    I recently bought the MoFi release of T Rex electric warrior.It is interesting to hear this album on clean vinyl and with some increased resolution in the bottom octaves. However, the original master was once again, not that well recorded IMO. IMHO, releasing this on 45rpm was a) a total waste of time and b) a severe break up of the flow of the album vs. the 33 original. Nonetheless, the album is well worth having, but only for the uniqueness of it..and not for the SQ, or the fact that it is a supposed superior SQ pressing. MoFi are definitely choosing releases based on what they perceive the market/sales performance will be vs. the potential for great SQ. I'm not sure I am pleased about that!
     
    jgrillo likes this.
  22. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Mateo, CA, USA
    Being a former MFSL completist - I finally broke the habit around #308 - I'm not pleased about it either.
     
  23. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Bruce, dont you think that MoFI has done this for most of their history? I do recall several early releases that were also quite disappointing. For example, i remember excitedly waiting for the George Benson release...and then being severely disappointed in the result. Many others also come to mind, but at least these weren't at 45rpm and the price points were considerably lower. Nowadays, I think one has to be even more selective, as your example of the Vanilla Fudge is a good one. Why release Vanilla Fudge when you know the master tape is not happening and worse,
    pretend it can benefit from the 45rpm treatment! ( except if one wants to justify the extra expense ( read profit) ).
     
  24. Pseudoty

    Pseudoty Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    I resisted the Vanilla Fudge multiple times and was proud of myself, ha. It was hard as it would have been nice to have in my collection but knowing the sound quality just wasn’t there I had to draw the line. However, I couldn’t hold off on Electric Warrior and I was highly disappointed. The sibilance on Bolan’s vocals make this pressing not enjoyable and sadly I will probably never play it again.

    I was really down on the 45 X 2 but then they pulled off the Harry Nillson fantastically and they sucked me right back in.
     
  25. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Interesting. I did not notice the sibilance on Bolan's vocals, but I did notice that the overall sound staging and dynamics were not that great. The sound stage sounded quite flat and the dynamics weren't what I was hoping for. Once again, this album could never be considered as an 'audiophile' master or anything even close when it was released, yet MoFi chose to release it. OTOH, I am somewhat glad that they did, as it brings back old memories and it is nice to have a clean copy. Albeit, this album, at least IMO, should have been released at 33 rpm and on their 'silver label' if you will...and at a much lower price point. This would have been far more appropriate. Same goes for a number of other releases that MoFi have done in the recent past. I expect, and maybe I am wrong here, that a 'audiophile' label should release albums that have the potential to have 'audiophile' SQ....certainly at premium pricing. This goes even more so for their vaunted 'One Step' releases!
     

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