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  1. #1
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    MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  2. #2
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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  3. #3
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  4. #4
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    In a recent interview with Kevin Gray, he woudln't admit nor could he say which vinyl releases he mastered were cut from a file or tape unless the label expressly stated it, like on the hype sticker.

    Regarding Mike E's assertions (The In Groove) and Fremer's opinion on the subject, you have to look at their history. It started with the controvesey re Supersense selling lacquers direct to consumers. Both Mikes locked horns on that subject in a live Youtube discussion with Chad moderating.

    IMO, Mike E is over the target, its not to say Mofi wouldnt make a production copy of the master tape to cut 40 separate lacquers--in the case of the MJ Thriller 1-step--but its unlikey.

  5. #5
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  6. #6
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  7. #7

    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    It looks as if to get the best analog sound MOFI inserted 'digital' in the chain!
    That sounds like... heresy! (to some)
    I bet lawsuits will be filed: 'pain and suffering your honor'!
    Oh, boy, what has the audiophile world come to?!

  8. #8
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    blo·​vi·​ate | \ ˈblō-vē-ˌāt \
    bloviated; bloviating
    Definition of bloviate
    intransitive verb
    : to speak or write verbosely and windily
    : the art of speaking at length without saying anything
    Tom

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  9. #9
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  10. #10
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Yes, they seem a little uncomfortable, but I give them credit for - at least what seems to be - striving to be transparent.

    I found a variety of things interesting, but one that was interesting as well as a little surprising (to me at least) is there seems a degree of subjectivity involved in determining what they consider the “best pressing” among multiple test cuts. As a LP enthusiast, looking for the “most original to master” pressing, one thing you’re buying - and counting on - is the ears of these guys choosing what they consider closest to that original master tape.
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

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  11. #11
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    This is interesting side-bar reading imo to the main topic: What's going on when people talk about digital vs. analogue masters
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

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  12. #12
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusica View Post
    Yes, they seem a little uncomfortable, but I give them credit for - at least what seems to be - striving to be transparent.
    did they have a choice? I dont mind seeing them squirm under cross examination. Mofi should come up with a better way to describe the provevance of the sources they use to master LPs. Its damage control at this point and it took one of their own retailers to call them out, def not good for their image.

  13. #13
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Michael Fremer Focus on the MoFi Video - YouTube


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    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  14. #14
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Michael Fremer Focus on the MoFi Video - YouTube


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  15. #15
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Now the cat’s out of the bag, I wish these guys would just sell DSD taken from the masters. Santana, Dylan and Miles DSD taken carefully direct from the master tapes? Sign me up.
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

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  16. #16
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    The lack of transparency is disappointing. Many if us have paid top $ for Mobile Fidelity records under assumption that the so called master pressings and one step were analog. I’m sure a few lawyers will be busy on this one.
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  17. #17
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    only bought a couple recent MOFI One Steps; KOB and Abraxas.

    preferred my Classic 4 disc 45 rpm KOB to the One Step. not compared my early MFSL Abraxas to the One Step. suppose i will now.

    i mostly have owned previous decent to good pressings of the One Step titles, so not pursued them. had no inkling about the digital thing.

  18. #18
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Couldn’t stomach all the bloviation and prevarication in the videos.
    What’s the short answer?
    Tom

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  19. #19
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    Couldn’t stomach all the bloviation and prevarication in the videos.
    What’s the short answer?
    Mother MoFi knows best. and best might be a digital step here and there.

    MoFi One Steps are fine sounding pressings. possibly the best possible way to hear these titles if you need new pressings. but maybe not worth the $100-$125 premium. and good original pressings, or earlier used all analog reissues might be better choices.

    you simply can't bank on the One Steps....it's complicated. we all like to know that when we step up, we get what we are paying for. and the fact that many/most of them have been mastered to digital for lacquers might mess with your head.

    and....great digital transfers, dsd or PCM, might be good/great alternatives.

  20. #20
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    Mother MoFi knows best. and best might be a digital step here and there.

    MoFi One Steps are fine sounding pressings. possibly the best possible way to hear these titles if you need new pressings. but maybe not worth the $100-$125 premium. and good original pressings, or earlier used all analog reissues might be better choices.

    you simply can't bank on the One Steps....it's complicated. we all like to know that when we step up, we get what we are paying for. and the fact that many/most of them have been mastered to digital for lacquers might mess with your head.

    and....great digital transfers, dsd or PCM, might be good/great alternatives.
    Thanks Mike. I have most of the one steps already in original vinyl or Analogue Productions or SACD so haven’t purchased any yet.

    With 40,000 copies of Thriller in 1-step I knew they were using something removed from the master. Had to be. No master owner would let them play the tape 40 to 80 times to make enough stampers.
    Tom

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  21. #21
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    MoFi Digital Debacle - YouTube


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  22. #22
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Doug Sax stated long ago in a Stereophile interview that he could cut better sounding lacquers from a 24/192 PCM file than straight from the analog tape. That is only one engineer's opinion, though.
    Rob
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  23. #23

    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Instead of bothering with issuing SACDs, I wish MOFI would just sell the (4X) digital files that they make from the analog masters. That would be the closest a consumer could ever get to the master tape.

  24. #24
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Instead of bothering with issuing SACDs, I wish MOFI would just sell the (4X) digital files that they make from the analog masters. That would be the closest a consumer could ever get to the master tape.
    That would be awesome!

    From the glass is half full perspective, SACD was all but dead and MOFI has continued to keep it alive long after Sony abandoned it. Hats off for that!


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  25. #25
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Instead of bothering with issuing SACDs, I wish MOFI would just sell the (4X) digital files that they make from the analog masters. That would be the closest a consumer could ever get to the master tape.
    That would be a buy for me. I wonder though, would something mastered for vinyl and released in DSD sound as good as something mastered for native DSD? There are lots of compromises made in vinyl mastering to fit the source to the medium. That’s ok when you are mastering to vinyl anyway.
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  26. #26
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

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  27. #27
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    That would be a buy for me. I wonder though, would something mastered for vinyl and released in DSD sound as good as something mastered for native DSD? There are lots of compromises made in vinyl mastering to fit the source to the medium. That’s ok when you are mastering to vinyl anyway.
    Were the engineers cutting those master tapes thinking about what would be the destination medium, or were they just trying to get things to sound right/best on those master tapes?

    In other words, at their step in the process, I wonder if they were simply concerned with getting truth onto tape. Vinyl has never been the only playback medium, there’s R2R and a cassette, then later, CD, etc.

    As I said earlier in this thread, it’s a little puzzling why they never released DSD, since they already had that. Other than they were likely trying to hide that fact, so their brand as “best vinyl” wouldn’t be tainted. That cat’s now out of the bag though, and like some of you guys I’d sure love to be able to get DSD that’s made straight from the master tapes.
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  28. #28
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusica View Post
    Were the engineers cutting those master tapes thinking about what would be the destination medium, or were they just trying to get things to sound right/best on those master tapes?

    In other words, at their step in the process, I wonder if they were simply concerned with getting truth onto tape. Vinyl has never been the only playback medium, there’s R2R and a cassette, then later, CD, etc.
    My knowledge of the process gets a little thin here. I know that mastering for vinyl and mastering for CD, for example, require different approaches. In vinyl, the mastering engineers have to limit L-R bass or even the best cartridges will fly out of the groove due to high vertical acceleration. They also have to limit some high frequency content to keep the record trackable with most cartridges. And of course there is vinyl specific eq that is used. None of that needs to be done for CD mastering or mastering to files.

    So as I understand it there may be many masters depending on the target media.

    Love to hear more from people who are familiar with the process.
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  29. #29
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

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  30. #30
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    I’m excited for this new spoken word One - Step

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  31. #31
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

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  32. #32

    MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    And now the Washington Post steps into the fray - “How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire”

    Some interesting quotes at the end of the article as well as the link to today’s Washington Post article below:

    “Jamie Howarth, whose Plangent Processes uses digital technology to restore sound and whose work has earned praise for Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen reissues, wishes MoFi had come clean years ago and proudly told its customers that their prized records sounded best because of the digital step. He understands why it didn’t. It was terrified of being attacked by analog-or-bust audiophiles.
    
“One of the reasons they want to excoriate MoFi is for lying,” says Howarth. “The other part that bothers them is that they’ve been listening to digital all along and they’re highly invested in believing that any digital step will destroy their experience. And they’re wrong.”

    “Wood [MoFi’s executive vice president of product development] says that MoFi decided to add DSD not for convenience but because its engineers felt they could help improve their records. He remembers hearing MoFi’s reissue of Santana’s “Abraxas” in 2016. “My mind was blown when we got the test pressings back,” he said.

    “And Randy Braun, a music lover, Hoffman message board member and lawyer in New York, hopes that, in the end, the MoFi revelation will prove what he’s been saying for years, that the anti-digital crowd has been lying to itself: “These people who claim they have golden ears and can hear the difference between analog and digital, well, it turns out you couldn’t.”

    The link to today’s Washington Post article:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/music...gital-scandal/


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  33. #33
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    MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by cmarin View Post
    And now the Washington Post steps into the fray - “How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire”

    Some interesting quotes at the end of the article as well as the link to today’s Washington Post article below:

    “Jamie Howarth, whose Plangent Processes uses digital technology to restore sound and whose work has earned praise for Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen reissues, wishes MoFi had come clean years ago and proudly told its customers that their prized records sounded best because of the digital step. He understands why it didn’t. It was terrified of being attacked by analog-or-bust audiophiles.
    
“One of the reasons they want to excoriate MoFi is for lying,” says Howarth. “The other part that bothers them is that they’ve been listening to digital all along and they’re highly invested in believing that any digital step will destroy their experience. And they’re wrong.”

    “Wood [MoFi’s executive vice president of product development] says that MoFi decided to add DSD not for convenience but because its engineers felt they could help improve their records. He remembers hearing MoFi’s reissue of Santana’s “Abraxas” in 2016. “My mind was blown when we got the test pressings back,” he said.

    “And Randy Braun, a music lover, Hoffman message board member and lawyer in New York, hopes that, in the end, the MoFi revelation will prove what he’s been saying for years, that the anti-digital crowd has been lying to itself: “These people who claim they have golden ears and can hear the difference between analog and digital, well, it turns out you couldn’t.”

    The link to today’s Washington Post article:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/music...gital-scandal/


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    I for one sent multiple emails to Fremer beginning in 2019 and told him I heard digital in these One Step’s. Happy to share the emails with anyone not believing me.

    Here’s one from 2019!!




    THAT BEING SAID, I still think many of the One Steps are the best versions of those albums I’ve heard. Sometimes they got it right (Abraxas, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Monk,, etc.), sometimes it wasn’t the best I’ve heard (Carole King Tapestry), but still very good.

    In fact, I have hundreds of older MOFI’s which are one my regularly played list. Gordon Lightfoot Sundown (MOFI) from 1979 is one of my absolute favorite albums and on regular rotation.

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  34. #34
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    I personally think this whole fiasco is a disaster for MoFi. And, moreover, many of us that have paid top dollars to buy products that have been misrepresented by MoFi are quite pissed.

    I have a number of MoFi releases that sound somewhat dull and just ok. Just a few sound quite good.

    I’m done with MoFi.
    _______________

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  35. #35
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    I personally think this whole fiasco is a disaster for MoFi. And, moreover, many of us that have paid top dollars to buy products that have been misrepresented by MoFi are quite pissed.

    I have a number of MoFi releases that sound somewhat dull and just ok. Just a few sound quite good.

    I’m done with MoFi.
    this about sum things up perfectly.

    wonder what the path is forward for MOFI? ...fortunately, i only have two titles but will never purchase another one. obviously, others feel the same.
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  36. #36
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  37. #37
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    Re: MOFI One Step’s - is it tape or digital? The big debate

    Did you all notice the website referenced in to WaPo article where the guy analyzes all the various formats of an album, seems like that would be a good source for starts.
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