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Mobile Fidelity Analog Vinyl Controversy

rdenney

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I use vinyl playback because I have a lot of vinyl, and sometimes come across a rare recording in vinyl. Those are usually historical enough that fidelity isn't the point anyway.

I've always thought digitally mastered recordings were a general improvement even when the distribution medium was vinyl. There are individual exceptions, of course.

I bought MFSL LPs in the day because they were less likely to be degraded by worn-out stampers, etc. And their CDs seemed to be degraded by excessive processing less than the major labels. But I would never spend that much for vinyl.

Rick "sometimes liked the remastering; sometimes not" Denney
 

MattHooper

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God I find that guy insufferable. He's like every obnoxious, opinionated audiophile/salesman I ever met rolled up in to one. And of course a Golden Ear.

He disses vinyl and high end turntables as a scam, and in the next breath pushes a $24,000 DAC.

But that's life in the Golden Ear world, where no opinion or claim can be shown "better" than another. Self appointed gurus everywhere.
 

Chrispy

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Eh?

Playing back a digital file does't sound the same as playing back an LP that has gone through an analog to digital converter feeding a DSP phono stage.

LP still sounds like LP.

As should be expected, because analog to digital converters, for the most part, are transparent.
Then which is defective, the vinyl or the digital? Might be on a case by case basis. I personally still have my vinyl/tt but rarely use it, let alone spend the time converting it to digital (which of course would sound like the vinyl...defects and all).
 

Chrispy

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Vinyl is the objectively inferior medium.

But that doesn't mean I don't like listening to it and sometimes prefer it to the digital mastering.
Some indeed do prefer it, didn't look back when I had something better....but still have my vinyl/tt and do play it on occasion but more about nostalgia or certain recordings than how it sounds particularly for that particular media/production.
 

Dial

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I still use my TT to copy non-reissued vinyls (mainly classical and 7") on CDR/W. Same for the VCR and audio cassettes (I sold my Sony DAT & Revox B77 more than 20 years ago, it was my last RTR recorder -and of course all my tapes-).
Vinyl has surface noise difficult to remove and recoder tape hiss. Only distortions or a recording defect of the CD or digital file can explain a "better" sound.
 
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Waxx

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So the Galaxy-wide soundstage, the mellow tones, dark backgrounds and organic sound .. all of these are the pure analog signal has been digitalized by Mo-Fi...

Hilarious!
:D
The problem is not that digital can't pass this trough (that issue was resolved more than a decade ago), the problem with digital is that it's often too clean for many, and the main problem is that mastering for digital these days is often limiting the dynamics of the song to less than a dB for loudness reasons, while with vinyl you can't do that.

I got a lot of vinyl that i recorded digital for be able to play that music in my car and so, and sometimes i also have the digital files from a digital medium (cd or download), but i often prefer the vinyl recording due to the vinyl mastering. It rolls of the high frequencies a bit, keeps at least 6dB (and often more) dynamic range, ... And so make the sound subjective better for my ears, even in a (high res) digital recording of that vinyl.
 
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Azazello13

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I still use my TT to copy non-reissued vinyls (mainly classical and 7") on CDR/W. Same for the VCR and audio cassettes (I sold my Sony DAT & Revox B77 more than 20 years ago, it was my last RTR recorder -and of course all my tapes-).
Vinyl has surface noise difficult to remove and recoder tape hiss. Only distortions or a recording defect of the CD or digital file can explain a "better" sound.
It's funny, I've spent my entire adult life crapping on vinyl and not having a TT set up in my home, until a couple years ago I decided it would be nice to have something to play (and make decent recordings of) the 50 or so LPs I'd collected of music that never made it to CD. And since then I've found I really enjoy listening to music on vinyl. I like the physicality, the sense almost of ritual, the 20 minute increments, the 12 inch sleeve. I like all of that. It even sounds good, and sounds noticeably better with system upgrades like a better cartridge. I have discovered for myself that vinyl is a great way to listen to and appreciate music.

But these goofballs acting like vinyl is peak audiophilia are just so obviously and completely full of it. In terms of fidelity, it's plenty good enough to enjoy but it's inferior to CD and everything else out there now. Why can't they just enjoy it for what it is instead of burying it under tons of BS?
 

617

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Yeah, I remember seeing it as such at the time!

I remember getting Stevie Wonder's Secret Life Of Plants, which I believe was a digital recording. And also noticing it seemed to sound slightly different from "regular" LPs. My early impression was super clean, clear, slightly thin and cold relative to what I was used to. Not saying that's accurate, just recounting my old initial impression. It's one of my favorite albums!

That record is amazing, I have the LP and it is one of my favorites.
 

MattHooper

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That record is amazing, I have the LP and it is one of my favorites.

It's an absolute Journey, that's for sure! It's so rich it has been a rewarding listen for decades.

Too bad it was for a film based on some pseudo-science...but at least it produced a wonderful soundtrack!
 
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FrantzM

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I've went through turntables, 8 tracks, reel to reel. I'm of the opinion that those all sucked compared to modern day, decent quality digital. But to each his own.
Not an opinion. Fact. :D They all sucked... Continue to suck. We have the number to prove that.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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Not an opinion. Fact. :D They all sucked... Continue to suck. We have the number to prove that.
So everything recorded from 1950 until 1980 on analog tape sucked? That limits your music choices considerably. Perhaps there were individual recordings which sucked for reasons not having to do with analog tape, and there were great ones which were great for reasons other than analog tape? Maybe its just the skill, or lack thereof of the original recording engineers which really made the difference? I know - gray areas force people to think, which is a big ask.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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If they were transferred to reel to reel, 8 track, cassette or vinyl, yes. I've had them all. No more hiss, crack, pop for me thanks.
Wow, you're pretty hard core. Careful that your strict standards don't inhibit the enjoyment of a load of good music which was analog sourced (or even music recorded today which was sourced from analog tape).

Have you considered that perhaps your reel to reel, cassette or vinyl playback decks were just poor quality or not properly maintained and you're painting even good machines with the same pejorative brush?

PS: 8 track was indeed a crappy consumer format from the get-go for a number of reasons.
 

Digby

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One would almost forget that digital was once a selling point.

View attachment 219539

(Source)
This reminds me of an Emil Gilels digitally recorded CD/vinyl of Beethoven on DG which shows how silly the whole thing is; as much as I like vinyl, the CD sounds much better/clearer and goes for around a 10th of the price on ebay. The vinyl proudly states digitally recorded on the sleeve front.

This is not to say all CDs sound better than vinyl, but this is rarely the fault of the digital recording process itself, more so later processing/mastering. I think certain music, in particular Reggae, Punk & Techno/Electronic just sound better on vinyl, because this is what 98% of the music was released on. It can sound kinda off on CD.
 
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They were all properly maintained. They sounded good, but nowhere near CD quality. I got my first cd player 40 years ago. Denon. It set me back 450 and I was 15. I've always sought out bang for buck quality sound. Record players aren't it.
 

amirm

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Have you considered that perhaps your reel to reel, cassette or vinyl playback decks were just poor quality or not properly maintained and you're painting even good machines with the same pejorative brush?
The few pre-recorded cassettes I bought didn't sound good at all. My Reel-to-Reel sounds wonderful but the hiss between tracks and in silent parts is still a bit annoying compared to today's formats.
 

Digby

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I've always sought out bang for buck quality sound. Record players aren't it.
Certainly can't disagree with that considering cartridge prices these days, especially when making incursions into MC territory.
 
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