Ry Cooder – MoFi Sure Added Plenty of Sparkle to These Acoustic Guitars

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Ry Cooder

More Records Perfectly Suited for the Stone Age Stereos of the ’70s

This review is from many years ago. Hard to imagine I would not still agree with it though.

Sonic Grade: D

As you probably know, the MoFi of Jazz goes for big bucks nowadays — $500 and up. Is it worth it? 

Are you kidding? It’s a nice record as far as it goes, but it suffers from the same shortcomings as just about every Mobile Fidelity pressing we take the time to play these days (with some obvious exceptions of course). We have a test pressing, and knowing that the MoFi is the standard against which many audiophiles would prefer to judge our Hot Stampers, we listened to it first before going about our comparison test.

Our MoFi copy is actually tonally correct, which was a bit of a surprise. (Yours of course could very well be otherwise.)

Right away we could hear exactly what people like about it, the same thing that audiophiles have always liked about half-speeds: their outstanding transparency.

Jazz on MoFi has zero-distortion, utterly clear, spacious, see-through sound.

But listen past that and what do you hear?

Don’t those guitars seem to have that MoFi Tea-for-the-Tillerman-like quality you hate: all pluck and no body, all detail and no substance?

Nothing has any weight.

Nothing has any solidity.

Nothing has any real life.

It’s pretty, maybe, but it sure ain’t right.

It’s the kind of sound that shouts out to the world “Hey, look at me, I’m an audiophile record! See how I sound? So clear! So clean!”

Which isn’t bad for about two minutes, and then it’s positively insufferable.

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