MoFi controversy

I see this hasn't been mentioned here yet, so I thought I'd put this out here.  Let me just say that I haven't yet joined the analog world, so I don't have a dog in this fight.

It was recently revealed that Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs one step LPs are being cut from digital masters (DSD) rather than being straight analog throughout the chain.

Here is one of the many Youtube videos that discusses it


To me, it seems that if MOFI is guilty of anything, it's "deception by omission."  That is, they were never open about the process and the use of digital in the chain. 

One thing to mention is that hardly anyone is criticizing the sound quality of these LPs, even after this revelation.  Me personally, I wouldn't spend over one hundred dollars for any recording regardless of the format.



English is not my first language so it is possible that I may not be the best to examine, review, and evaluate the topic under discussion here but I see nothing at all misleading, deceptive, or dishonest in Mobile Fidelity’s advertising, marketing, or packaging it looks to me like some people here like to play "judge jury and executioner" all at once and they are doing a fine job of it!


i cant figure out the  crux of this here: did mofi keep it a secret? did they release digitally done (editing, mastering, whatever, processing) records they claimed were analog? 

Good luck finding any vinyl (from the last 10? 15? years) that wasn't pressed from an original digital master. I'm sure someone, somewhere, is still using tape but they would be the rare exception proving the rule.


several prints of the tonal poet are analog master and are shown on the back cover or inside as almost all the houses that print vinyls report whether the master is analog or digital.

@clearthink I agree that my comments were a bit heavy-handed.  Probably about 6db too loud.  I'm just a believer in authenticity. Mofi is right on the edge of not respecting the wants and needs of its customers.

Whether MoFi has done unique mastering of a digital file or an analogue tape, whether the analogue playback chain alters the sound in a way some people prefer such alteration, what matters is whether one likes the end result.  I've heard several one-step recordings and they ARE very good sounding.  In the Abraxas example, it does sound at least as good as an original Columbia recording of that music, which is WAY better than any subsequent reissues in any format that I've heard.  I don't know why it is the case, but, a lot of high quality vinyl reissues seem to be more lively and dynamic than the digital reissue--that is even the case with MoFi digital vs. their LP reissue; is it distortion I am hearing and liking?  Perhaps, but so what?  

I am not at all religiously attached to analogue.  I listen mostly to digital music because of convenience and because newer classical releases are never offered in an analogue format.  There are plenty of outstanding digital recordings that I really like for sound quality.  But, there are so many amazing sounding analogue recordings that I have so I cannot say that one format is decidedly superior to the other.

In fact, when I want to demonstrate how little the recording and playback technology has advanced in the past 60 years or more, I will pull out certain original issue records from the late 1950's that are in stereo that are shockingly good by any standard.  I have an original Ellington "Blues in Orbit" in stereo that stomps all over the Sony SACD reissue that was suppose to showcase what the technology can do; is it vinyl superiority or the tape has deteriorated in time?  I don't know, but I do know that the original six-eye Columbia is the one to have.  On just the Columbia label, you can do a shoot out of original Brubeck "Time Out," Santana "Abraxas" Benny Goodman albums from the late 1950's and shock people on how good early stereo sounds.