The MoFi Mess and TAS rolling over for them

Totally disgusted with TAS opinions on the mofi mess. They're basically saying it was okay to dupe us.  Jonathan Valin actually says as long as it sounds good...

What a sell out to the audiophile community.  TAS is nothing but a glorified product catalogue for their advertisers.  



In Chad’s video announcing the Steely Dan UHQR:s, he says Aja and Gaucho are based on digital, not analogue because of analogue tape availability. Like I said, i doubt if it will impact sales of those titles, and when he said the numbers being produced, it certainly didn’t. Audiophiles care about SQ  after all, above all else, or at least that’s what I thought.

@whart said it all!

By the way, some of the MoFi LP’s made in the past 15 years WERE "cut" (the lacquer) from analog tapes (presumably a "production"/aka "safety" copy---usually 1/4" 15 IPS---of the 2/ch mix master, though some original studio master tapes are made available by some companies, particularly WEA), amongst them a couple of Ry Cooder albums, as well as the debut by David Crosby.

For those who don’t already know, the Analogue Productions Kind Of Blue was made using the metal parts made by Bernie Grundman back in 1997 (for Classic Records), using the actual 3 channel master tape fed directly into Grundman’s mixing console, no intermediary 2/ch tape made or used! Grundman was the one who discovered the original master mix---from which all releases of Kind Of Blue had been made---was made with the songs on one side of the LP having been recorded in the studio with the 3-track machine running at the wrong speed, causing the music to be heard slightly off pitch and tempo. He of course corrected that in his mastering.

In his mastering of Tea For The Tillerman for AP, Grundman discovered the original release had been mastered assuming Dolby noise reduction had been employed in the recording. It had not; with Dolby engaged in playback, the recording was subjected to a considerable degree of high frequency roll-off, resulting in the sound of Cat Stevens’ plastic-bodied Ovation acoustic guitar/guitar strings/etc. to be drastically changed, as well as that of the drumset cymbals and any and all other high frequency sound producers (the upper harmonics of the acoustic bass strings, etc.). The AP reissue of TFTT was the first that sounded anywhere close to that of the master tape. Thank God for Bernie Grundman!

@sokogear Chad's caveats for Aja and Gaucho were that they are from tape copies because they could not find the master tapes. Not digital. You can see the source information on the Acoustic Sounds website.

@pratorious - Is an analogue tape copy better than a digital tape copy if the sampling is high enough? It's still a copy. I know that way back starting with Fleetwood Mac's Tusk in the early 80s, some records were recorded digitally. I remember that sounded great.

I have a copy of Kind of Blue on a Mofi 45 box set from a few years ago and would be interested to compare it to the UHQR version and see if the differences are noticeable to a moderately focused listener. I rarely just listen to music like in a demo at a stereo store - usually I am reading or watching tv (sound off of course) or doing a puzzle maybe. 

In any case, I am glad there is competition in the audiophile record market, although the prices seem to be becoming stratospheric. I would rather buy the $60 45 AS sells that sound fantastic to me (Brubeck's Time Out for example) than pay $150 for the new UHQRs. Chad mentioned they will be available at lesser price points with digital steps involved but didn't say the price points. Steely Dan has the first one (Can't buy a Thrill) listed on their web site for $29.99 without any details about the pressing. Knowing Steely Dan, I am sure that it is damn good. At some point it becomes a collecting rather than actual listening issue.

Speakers Corner and Blue Note and Impulse have the right idea keeping prices for excellent records on the reasonable side. Wish they had wider libraries.

@sokogear For me? Yes an analog tape copy is better than a digital copy for a vinyl record. As Chad said "Why tie one arm of the mastering engineers hand behind his back? Once it's [digital] in there you can't get it out."

I am not interested in any Steely Dan releases but when I buy a re-issue I do want it all analog otherwise I would just spend the inflated prices on original pressings. I definitely appreciate the labels that make the effort for all analog re-issues.

Chad's deal with Universal was limited to only UHQR 45rpm and then to provide digital files, from Bernie Grundman, so Universal could make the 33 1/3 versions at $29.99 to sell themselves. Thats a good option for people that don't care about sources but want new releases of these Steely Dan records. Win win.

You might notice Universal isn't bothering to make an analog 33 1/3 OR letting Chad do it because they expect the 33 1/3 version to $ell bigger and provide more profit. Then add the CD's and streaming and unlimited vinyl repressing. At least that's what is implied to me.