Labels With Shortcomings – Mobile Fidelity

Metallica – Ride The Lightning (45 RPM) – MoFi Debunked

More Metallica

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Sonic Grade: F

This is the Warner Brothers 45 RPM 180g Double LP Half-Speed Mastered at Mobile Fidelity from the original analog master tapes.

Hall of Shame pressing and another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked

Compressed, sucked-out mids, no deep bass and muddy mid-bass, the mastering of this album is an absolute disaster on every level. If you want to know how clueless the average audiophile is, a quick Google search will bring up plenty of positive comments from listeners and reviewers alike. 

The Moody Blues – To Our Children’s Children’s Children on Mobile Fidelity Anadisc

More Moody Blues

More To Our Children’s Children’s Children

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Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

The muddiest, tubbiest, most worthless records in the world.

Well… 

Worthless to those of us who play records and want to hear them sound good. But, worth money to those who collect that sort of audiophile trash.

Folks, seriously, you really would have to work at it to find worse sounding pressings of the Moody Blues albums than the ones MoFi did in the ’90s.

Three Qualities to Look for (more…)

Aimee Mann – Bachelor No. 2 – MoFi Debunked

More Aimee Mann

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Sonic Grade: D

Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

I had never actually played the LP when I reviewed the MoFi CD (my bad, apologies to all), noting that the CD sounded great and that I expected the vinyl to be even better. Was I ever wrong, sorry! The vinyl has a bad case of sucked-out half-speed MoFi mids. It’s far too polite and lifeless to be taken seriously.

The comments about the music of course still apply — it’s brilliant — but I recommend the Gold or regular CD over this audiophile Heavy Vinyl pressing.

I used to consider this Mann’s Masterpiece. It’s actually her co-masterpiece, taking its place alongside the amazing I’m With Stupid, which is more the rocker side of Mann. This is her Burt Bacharach side, prettier, sweeter and more melodic. Both are brilliant.

Aimee Mann is one of a handful of artists in the last decade or two who actually makes music that can hold its own against the best popular recordings of the last forty years. There are few albums that I prize more highly or that have provided me with more musical satisfaction than those by Aimee Mann. If you don’t know her music try one or both of the above-mentioned titles. Modern pop music just doesn’t get any better.  


TRACK LISTING:

How Am I Different
Nothing Is Good Enough
Red Vines
The Fall of the World’s Own Optimist
Satellite
Deathly
Ghost World
Calling It Quits
Driving Sideways
Just Like Anyone
Susan
It Takes All Kinds
You Do

 

 

How Exactly Is This an Audiophile Record?

 

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Linda Ronstadt – What’s New

Not having played this record in more than a decade, it’s interesting to hear this Mobile Fidelity pressing with much better equipment than was previous available to me. The first thing I noticed was the amazing transparency of the recording, no doubt the reason audiophiles have always liked it.

Next on the list, and a bit of a surprise, is the correct tonality — this record is tonally right on the money, something Mobile Fidelity rarely achieves. This MoFi was mastered by Jack Hunt, not Stan Ricker, which may explain why the top end is more correct than usual.

Third and last is George Massenburg’s approach to this recording, which, to be charitable, is not to my liking. Let’s just say he prefers a certain artificiality to his sound that does little for me.

Of course, not all audiophiles will agree with me about this. Some audiophiles actually like this kind of sound. They like the sound of Graceland. They like the sound of The Well. They like the sound of Patricia Barber’s albums. They like a lot of recordings I don’t like. When I speak highly of a recording or pressing, my prejudices and preferences are spelled out for all to see. There should be little doubt that the sound of this album is not to my taste but for those of you who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will probably like.

See all of our Linda Ronstadt albums in stock

Boston’s First Album on MoFi Anadisc

More Boston

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Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked. 

The MoFi Anadisc has the same problems that plague the whole series: turgid, thick, blobby, murky, mucky sound. A real slogfest. Audiophile trash of the worst kind. People still pay money for this kind of bad sound? Yes they do! Go to ebay and see the high prices these records are fetching. This is equal parts shocking and disgusting.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

 

 

Bad Santana LPs from Mobile Fidelity – We Admit We Was Wrong

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This is one of the MoFi LPs we’ve reviewed on the site. This MoFi link will take you to reviews of more than 90 more.

We also have a Hall of Shame for bad sounding records such as these. It currently has 250 members but could easily have double that if someone wanted to take the time to make entries for all the bad audiophile pressings we’ve played over the years. (That person would have to be me and I don’t want to do it.)

Santana is a record we admit to having liked a bit when it first came out. Since then we have changed our minds. As embarrassing as it may be, clearly We Was Wrong.

It’s just too damn compressed and lifeless. The Whomp Factor on this pressing is Zero. Since whomp is critical to the sound of Santana’s music, it’s Game Over for us. The review below is exactly what we wrote at the time the record came in. We tried to like it, but it’s clear to us now that we tried to like it too hard. Please accept our apologies.

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The Mobile Fidelity Hall of Shame

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The MoFi Hall of Shame

40+ strong but the real number would be at least double that and probably more like triple that figure.

But who has time to make listings for all the bad records this label has released?

In case you don’t already know, one of the worst sounding, if not THE WORST SOUNDING VERSION OF ALL TIME, is the Mobile Fidelity Anadisq pressing that came out in the ’90s. If you own that record, you really owe it to yourself to pull it out and play it. It’s just a mess and it should sound like a mess, whether you have anything else to compare it to or not. (more…)

You’ll Be Crying When You Get This Piece of Crap on Your Turntable

Don’t Cry Now

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Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi Audiophile LP debunked.

You’re looking at one of the worst audiophile disasters in recent memory. Talk about dead as a doornail sound, folks, if you own this pressing, take it from us, you don’t know what you’re missing. Buy the next domestic copy you spot at your local record store for five bucks and find out. No way it can sound as bad as this compressed, lifeless, dull “audiophile” record.
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Thoughts on MoFi’s Midrange Suckout

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The Band – Music From Big Pink

I was a big — huge even — Mobile Fidelity fan in 1982 when they released this album, which, for some strange reason, I knew practically nothing about. I was 15 when the second album came out and I played that album all the time, but the first album had eluded me. How it managed to do that I cannot understand, not at this late date anyway. A major malfunction on my part to be sure.

At some point in the early ’90s I got hold of an early British pressing of the album.

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Comparing it to my MoFi I was shocked to hear the singers in the band so present and clear. Having only played MoFi’s remastered LP I had never heard them sound like that. The MoFi had them standing ten feet back; the Brit put them front and center. There was no question in my mind which presentation was right. Around that time I was noticing that many Mobile Fidelity pressings seemed to be finding that same distant-midrange sound, and finding it on wildly different recordings.

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Back to the Stone Age with The Pines of Rome on Mobile Fidelity

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Respighi / Pines Of Rome / Maazel

Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

MoFi’s version of this recording (#507) is one of the worst sounding classical records they ever made, and that’s saying something, because most of their classical catalog is awful. Thin, bright, with sloppy bass and completely unnatural string tone — the MoFi makes the typical Classic Record sound good! And that’s REALLY saying something. (more…)