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.



So on the MoFi website, it seems as though the one steps are the records affected by the digital process.  They discuss the ultradisc Gain 2 process and there is no mention of digital DSD, only on the One Steps.  They use a Studer tape machine Etc.   So those are probably all analogue.  They do say super analog. 

I'm guessing the site will be complete soon. The Washington Post is getting ready to drop a story on this and MoFi will want all their ducks in a row when that happens

So nowadays new vinyl means DSD master file at the very beginning. Nice to know.

I find it amusing and ironic that all this mess will eventually pass. Going forward most albums WILL be natively recorded digitally. Only albums made prior to perhaps 1990 might have analog master tapes.  I do not own any MoFi vinyl (only a few of their CDs), but is the issue that you all feel you were misled by MoFi more than the quality of the audio?  Many engineers feel that DSD256 and higher offers as much of an "analog" sound as we are likely ever to get from "digital". PCM doesn't even come close.   Those ancient master tapes are slowly deteriorating. They sure don't sound the same today as they did say in 1950.  Many of the really old ones have to be baked in an oven carefully for hours before they can even be played. What is truth?  Will we ever know? All we ever have is an approximation of it.  I know many feel mad and more than a bit agitated that they paid premium money for a product that had a digital source when they thought it was AAA all the way - and limited.  I came close to buying the Alan Parsons Project "Eye in the Sky" but didn't not because I didn't think it would sound good, but rather because a reviewer noted how crappy the packaging was with blurry photos not even as good as the 1982 original and no extras at all except for a freaking advertisement. Smaller labels do a far better job than that for better prices. 


Ah, buyer beware.  But as some have noted, this "hobby" is small, and getting smaller. Eating our own due to indignation will ultimately make it smaller.  MoFi has waited too long now to issue a real apology though. They really dropped the ball.  If they had been forthcoming and more transparent perhaps they could have made the case that all these precious old deteriorating analog master tapes need to be recorded to DSD256 while they still can be so that they aren't lost to posterity. 


But this will pass. Twenty years from now people will wonder what all the hubbub was about, if they think about it at all.

Speaker wizard Andrew Jones left ELAC and went to Mobile Fidelity.  His new work for them is supposed to come out later this year. Do you think the interest in his speakers among audiophiles (at whatever price point they come in at) will be compromised any by this controversy?