MoFi One Step - Some interrogations on how lps are made, 45 pm channel

Interesting video which try to understand how really the lp reissues are done. All is clear or sometimes hidden ?

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One question for example comes to mind, the reviewer talked about it. In the case of Thriller, that album was reissued many many times. Billions of copies since 1982. So the tape master was used and used and used.
Did it lost some freshness then ?

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In the case of Thriller, most likely the label kept the original master tape and made a bunch of first generation copies, which where then sent to pressing plants. Which tape MOFI uses, well you can’t ever be really sure.

In addition, there’s no guarantee that the original master tape even exists still, as the industry is apparently being very sloppy with the cultural heritage they are supposed to be the stewards of:

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I understand, but this bunch of first copies which were made from the master tape are used to death. Specially for that album which was reissued thousands times. See on Discogs the number of reissues.

Probably. But with a bit of effort, one can create lots of second and third generation tapes.

And even first generation copies or even the original master tapes can be accessed. According to the NYT article, this saved many in-demand tapes from the fire because they were not in the warehouse at the time.
(Many perished though, and many where never catalogued and had unknown contents to begin with because they never made it to a release)

In general I agree, you can’t know and are at the mercy of the label that does the reissue and the label that owns the originals

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For someone who is working in the vinyl area since a long time, his site is called « The In Groove », Mobile Fidelity is claiming to use original master tapes in his 1 step process. But apparently, however it’s not sure at 100%, but the information came to him from reputable sources, Mobile Fidelity, since 2015, is using digital transfer from DSD files.
It would not surprise me so much, as I have already posted on some threads that I find something missing from the original albums I have, vs the 1 step MOFI I bought ( Dire Straits first album, Jeff Beck Wired and Blow by Blow ).
Speculations, I know. We will see later if it’s true. You can watch the video in YouTube, « Breaking news: all Mobile Fidelity titles since 2015 are made from digital ? « .

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Interesting discussion between the two Michael’s (Ludwig and Fremer) last night.

Apparently another Michael (from the ‘In Groove’ channel) visited MoFi in Sevastopol (California not Crimea) to question senior staff on what has been going on. He released his interview yesterday (?). Ludwig and Fremer not impressed by the answers Mr In Groove was given.

I don’t own any MoFi releases, but I’d always assumed they used the original analogue tapes given the banner across the LP covers. Not as straightforward as it seems. Issue doesn’t seem to be one of quality, but one of transparency.

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Ok - I’ll just restate what I said in the other deleted thread on this. There is a massive discussion about MOFi and digital sourcing on the Hoffman forum, which was started as a result of Mike from In the Groove’s YouTube video. It seems that MoFi have now admitted that they have used DSD for the One Step productions and maybe others, but I haven’t seen that myself.

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I watched the YouTube videos on that subject in the recent days. It became a very polemical subject. It seems effectively that MOFI doesn’t use always tape masters to cut the vinyl, but sometimes dsd files.
As others said, the problem is transparency and honesty from MOFI. It’s a shame, specially given the prices of their albums.

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I think having watched the video that MOFI confirmed the use DSD for cutting most of their vinyl issues and have been doing for quite sometime. Cutting from tape masters would be an exception I suspect.

I didn’t understood that it’s for most of their releases. Where did you heard it? I understood for some, since 2015 to now.

No if you watch the interview that Mike (in the groove) does with MoFi guys they basically say they have been using DSD for vinyl transfers for quite some time, well beyond 2015. In fact they mention some specific titles that go some time back, cant remember exactly which one off the top of my head.

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I think the oldest release mentioned was from 2008. But the mofi guys kept escaping the questions so it was hard to get the facts.

But technically I beleive the mofi guys simply did the best job they could.
I heard one story from Fremer I think. With one release they discovered the DSD-master had wow after they returned the master tape. The mofi guys sent the file to another engineer that did an ”auto-tune” on the whole and that was the version they released.

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Crikey is that the most boring monologue?

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I watched another video today which confirms that Abraxas was cut from DSD. Hopefully I didn’t bought the 45 pm. I have the 33 pm MOFI, also cut from DSD. I prefer my original one, but it’s noisy today unfortunately.
However the sound is more lively.

Below are two videos dealing with the recent quite staggering accusations(if you collect quality vinyl records) that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab owned by Music Direct cut some of their more recent releases post 2008/2009 I think from DSD files including Santana’s Abraxas One Step. That in itself isn’t an issue but what Mofi have allegedly done is be misleading by inferring if not outright lying that this was not the case.

The two videos below will explain it so much better than me. First is The ‘In’ Groove interview with the three Mofi Mastering techs and second is an excellent wrap up of the whole affair by Poetry on Plastic.

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Personally I think they have been deliberately misleading us with the “all analogue” chain and to do it for such a long time doesn’t leave them in a good light IMO.

As discussed in the video if we get some sort of agreed standard/transparency on exactly how a record has been transferred/mastered etc then that at least something good would come out of this. We can at least purchase with some knowledge of the overall process. Of course it would be great to get this across the industry.

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Paul McGgowan commented on this issue yesterday

It’s sad, it was among my favourite audiophile label till now, with Tim de Paravicini involved in the new process created some years ago. But now, this lack of honesty revealed by those videos killed my enthusiasm for them.

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I’ve only watched bit of the videos and noted that one of the guys mentioned using DSD 4x. I have to say that I’ve never been completely bowled over by MoFi quality (and I have a few), they’re good but not that good IMHO.
The packaging quality is top notch though! :+1:

They may have fared better by providing the recording process used on the outer sleeve notes thus giving the consumer the information needed to make the purchase or not.

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