We have never bothered to play their remaster. You can find the reasons for our position laid out in great detail below.
A good customer asks: “How would you compare the Brothers in Arms SHS to the Mobile Fidelity 45 rpm copy?”
We have never bothered to play their remaster, and why would we? Every MoFi pressing made by the current regime has had major sound problems when compared head to head with the “real” records we sell, and it’s simply not worth our time to find out exactly what is wrong with the sound of any of these new reissues, theirs included.
However, we have been known to make an exception to that rule from time to time. Recently we did so in the case of the Tea for the Tillerman George Marino cut at 45 RPM for Analogue Productions.
As long as Analogue Productions is around, at least no one can say that Mobile Fidelity makes the worst sounding audiophile records in the history of the world. They are certainly some of the worst, but, to be fair, they are not so bad that they have never made a single good sounding record, which is the title that Chad Kassem holds. (To the best of our knowledge. Obviously we have only played a small fraction of the records released by him. In our defense let me say that that small fraction was all we could take.)
Why not give the new Brothers in Arms a listen to see how it stacks up to your Hot Stampers?
Because Half-Speed Mastering is a bad idea and virtually never produces good sound.
Even when it’s done right, it results in sloppy bass. This is very obvious to us but it seems most audiophiles and reviewers don’t notice this shortcoming. (I try not to reflect too much on systems that hide from their owners the problems in the low end that MoFi records are prone to, practically without exception. I once borrowed a $5000 Dynavector cartridge to hear in my system. Although it had a wonderfully extended and sweet top end, clearly better than my 17D3, the bass was so sloppy I could not wait to take it out and get it back to its owner. I never said a word about it and he never complained about the sound.)
You don’t have to make the mistake of mastering your records at Half-Speed to end up with sloppy bass. You just have to be bad at mastering records, like this label, Music Matters.
We find listening to the sound of these veiled, compressed, strangely-eq’d remastered records painful, so we avoid playing them unless one comes our way for free, which does happen from time to time. (more…)