Washington Post article on MoFi vs. Fremer vs. Esposito

Here's a link to a Washington Post article on the recent dustup with MoFi. The comments section (including posts by Michael Fremer) are interesting.

Disclaimer: This is a "public service announcement, a point Im adding since some forum members complained the last article I referenced here was "paywall protected", I'll note that, for those who are non-subscribers, free access to limited numbers of articles is available by registering (trade-off: The Post will deluge you with subscription offers)



I don’t think people are going to stop buying vinyl. What transpired at MoFi is sad and hopefully we can expect complete transparency moving forward with their process and origin of the recordings. And this incident sets a precedent for others to be transparent. We still have folks like Chad Kassem that deeply cares about origin and restoration of our recorded music. I always appreciated his efforts and believed their recordings, digital or analog are more faithful to the source.

I appreciate the link to the Washington Post article which I found to be quite informative and to-the-point after listening to Michael Fremer rant on for 45 minutes about how Mike Exposito wasn’t a professional interviewer, as if having professionals involved would somehow mitigated the problem. Hell, it was the professionals that created the problem in the first place by keeping MoFi’s secret for them (or at least for not calling out loudly their deceit). 

Just curious again!

Even though I'm about to do this A/B comparison for myself, as soon as I get my butt in gear and run my new MoFi one-step through my ultrasonic cleaning system, I'm wondering if anyone else out there has compared the sound quality of one of these one-step pressings to a regular MoFi re-pressing of the same album(s). Don't be afraid to burst my bubble! Tell it like it is! Depending upon my own experience in this regard, this will have a major bearing on whether or not I replace or, rather, back up some of my very favorite albums with one-steps or just a regular re-pressing. For example, next on my agenda will likely be the Allman Brothers live at the Fillmore East. 

There are a number of other reissue companies doing superior work, most notably Analogue Productions. Chad Kassem’s reissue of Kind Of Blue was made from the original "father" created by Bernie Grundman in 1997 for Classic Records (who issued it in an UHQR version, I believe). Bernie cut his lacquer (from which the metal father is made) directly from the 1/2" 3-track tape that was running as Miles & company played in the studio!

That’s right, at that time Sony allowed Bernie access to the original 3-track 1/2" master tape, and rather than making a 2-track master-mix tape from the 3-track master, he cut his lacquer directly from the 3-track master. Very unusual, almost unheard of! What commonly happens is the 2-track final-mix master tape is used to make numerous copies, in the industry referred to as production masters (and/or safety copies). The original 2-track final-mix master is very rarely what the lacquer is cut from. The reason being each play of a tape creates wear; no one wants the original 2-track master to wear out, so multiple production masters are made, each used to cut a lacquer (from which a father is made, from which a mother is made, from which stampers are made). Grundman went a step further than using the 2-track master-mix tape, and cut his lacquer from the 3-track master! He mixed the three tracks to two himself, using an original-pressing LP as his model for instrumental balances. I’ve heard of no other LP made in such a fashion. If YOU have, let’s hear about it!

Analogue Productions reissued the entire Capitol Records Beach Boys catalog (with the exception of Wild Honey, for some reason), many in both mono and stereo, some in both 45RPM and 33-1/3 versions. The AP website and each LP cover clearly, unambiguously states the source used to make each album. Brian Wilson always mixed to mono, and for AP's mono Beach Boys LP's Mark Linnet used the original mono tapes (analogue, of course. This was the 60's ;-). To create stereo versions of mono-only LP's (which excludes Surfer Girl, which was originally released in both mono and stereo), Linnet and Wilson used some digital editing to create new stereo mixes. That is clearly stated, with no attempt to create the impression the stereo LP's are pure analogue. Unlike MoFi, who intentionally concealed their use of digital files as the source for making their LP's for the past fifteen years!