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Our Audiophile Scorecard - Winners and Losers

Audio Commentary  >  Audiophile  >  Our Audiophile Scorecard - Winners and Losers

Our Audiophile Vinyl Scorecard -- Winners and Losers

Click here to sort the section alphabetically by manufacturer.

We have a section specifically devoted to our favorite pastime here at Better Records, a little something we like to call
Debunking The Pseudo-Audiophile LP. The Audiophile's Choice -- the record that will do the best job of communicating the music through its superior sound quality -- is almost never going to be the one marketed to him as an Audiophile Pressing. If you find this in any way hard to believe, we encourage you to read on.

This section contains ratings and reviews of some of the Audiophile records that have come our way over the years. The most recent reviews are at the top. Records that have been given poor grades can also be found in our Hall of Shame, in the company of other audiophile pressings we found wanting.
 

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The Beatles - The White Album

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: beatlwhite_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another MoFi LP debunked.

The last time I played the MoFi I could not believe how ridiculously phony and compressed it was. And to think I used to like their version when it came out back in the '80s!

Take Yer Blues. The MFSL pressing positively wreaks havoc with all the added bass and top end The Beatles put on this track. The MoFi version is already too bright, and has sloppy bass to start with, so the result on this track is way too much BAD bass and way too much BAD spitty 10k-boosted treble, unlike the good imports, which have way too much GOOD bass and treble.

See more of our in-stock copies of The Beatles albums


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Red Norvo Quintet - The Forward Look (UHQR)

  (Item #: norvoforwa_fame) 



This is a BRAND NEW UNPLAYED Reference 45 RPM Half-Speed Mastered UHQR LP. We know for a fact that this record is unplayed because through a strange set of circumstances this record, which was sealed when it got here, was opened by one of the staff. As you can imagine I was not too pleased, but there's nothing that can be done now. If you are looking for an ABSOLUTELY BRAND NEW, UNPLAYED Reference UHQR, this is the ticket. They only made 1,000 of these, so sealed or unplayed copies are virtually non-existent.

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Beethoven / 'Appassionata' / Kamiya

  (Item #: beethappas_fame) 



This is a Minty looking RCA 45 RPM Direct-to-Disc LP with Virtually No Sign Of Play (VNSOP). It's an exceptionally quiet copy, it actually plays Near Mint. A famous resident of the TAS list, it mixes beautiful music with lovely, solid piano tone, the best of both worlds for audiophiles. A friend of mine tells me that Kamiya plays this piece exactly the way Horowitz did, and that's probably a good thing. Good luck finding a Horowitz recording that sounds like this!


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Wes Montgomery - Bumpin’

  (Item #: montgbumpi_mofi) 



This Minty looking Verve LP really sounds GOOD on side one! It’s transparent, as well as tonally correct from top to bottom. This is THE copy to have -- we guarantee it will CRUSH the MoFi pressing, but only on side one. Say what?

We played both back to back and it was no contest -- on side one. We’re sorry to report that side two on this original copy was not as good, and in fact -- it pains me to say it but I must tell the truth -- the MoFi was clearly better than this copy on side two. We have a good MoFi side two on our copy, because side one sucked badly. But our side two original is not what it should be, and we are honest enough to own up to that fact.

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Shelly Manne - Sounds Unheard Of!

Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: mannesound_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing and another Analogue Productions LP debunked.

Remember the old Acoustic Sounds Analog Revival series mastered by Stan Ricker? This was one of the titles they did, and completely ruined of course. Ricker boosted the hell out of the top end, as is his wont, so all the percussion had the phony MoFi exaggerated spit and tizzyiness that we dislike so much around here at Better Records but that many audiophiles never seem to notice.

See all of our Shelly Manne albums in stock


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The Beatles - Please Please Me

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlpleas_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: C

Another Half Speed reviewed.

By the way, if you own the MoFi LP, do yourself a favor and buy one of our Hot Stamper pressings. (Actually any good British import pressing will do.) What's the first thing you will notice other than correct tonality, better bass and a lot more "life" overall?

No spit! As we've commented elsewhere, because of the wacky cutting system they used, MoFis are full of sibilance.

See all of our Beatles albums in stock


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Kansas - Point of Know Return & Leftoverture

CBS Half-Speeds Debunked

  (Item #: kansapoint_debunk) 



Sonic Grades: F

Hall of Shame pressings and two more Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressings Debunked.

Both this album and Leftoverture are way too bright and thin. What were the engineers thinking -- brighter equals better? In the case of these two titles it most definitely is not.

See all of our Kansas albums in stock


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Billie Holiday - Body and Soul

Mobile Fidelity Debunked

  (Item #: holidbodya_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

Awful in every way. Murky and full of sibilance from MoFi's laughably inept half-speed cutting system.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Billie Holiday's albums


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Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees

CBS Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: scaggsilkd_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.

Ran across this listing from all the way back in 2005. It takes shots at Badly Half-Speed Mastered records like this awful CBS audiophile pressing of Silk Degrees, as well as the audiophiles who complained about plain old domestic pressings at the time. I should know; I was one of them. Ouch.

See all of our Boz Scaggs albums in stock


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The Cars - Candy-O

Nautilus Debunked

  (Item #: cars_candy_debunk_2014) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

This Nautilus Half-Speed Mastered LP, like The Cars first album they did, is pure compressed muck. Another one of the worst half-speeds of all time. For those who are interested we've reprinted a customer's letter below as well.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of The Cars' albums


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George Benson - Breezin’

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: bensobreez_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: B-

Another MoFi reviewed, and surprisingly this one isn't awful.

It has an excellent side two backed with a pretty good side one. Side two has excellent bass -- for a MoFi -- and lots of energy -- for a MoFi. It’s slightly smooth but overall it’s very musical. The best domestic copies are going to eat its lunch, but try to find one! Most of them are awful.

This MoFi copy, though lacking in many ways, is MUCH BETTER sounding than the other MoFis we played it against, which were really muddy and compressed.

See all of our George Benson albums in stock


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Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis?

The Exception that Probes the Rule

  (Item #: supercrisi_review) 



This Hot Stamper A&M Half Speed today joins a VERY ELITE GROUP: Half-Speeds that hold their own in a head to head shootout against some of the BEST Hot Stamper Non-Audiophile pressings we can find. There are presently a total of three titles that fit the description: Dark Side of the Moon on MoFi, Crime of the Century on MoFi, and this title on A&M.

Most half-speed mastered records we throw on our table have us scratching our heads and asking, What the hell were they thinking? They SUCK! Tubby bass, recessed mids, phony highs, compression -- the list of bad qualities they almost all have in common is a long one. Playing these kinds of records on a properly set-up modern system is positively painful.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock Supertramp albums


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Supertramp - Crime of the Century on MoFi

We Was Wrong - It Can Sound Great

  (Item #: supercrime_wrong) 



This MoFi Crime of the Century has two superb sounding sides. I have to admit I was DEAD WRONG about MoFi’s Crime of the Century -- on this pressing, anyway. But I can tell you that this is one of the few I have ever played that sounded right to me.

It's not that MoFi couldn't cut a record that's tonally correct. It's just that most of they time they didn't. This time they did.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock Supertramp albums


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The Three - The Three (45 RPM)

  (Item #: threethree_fame) 



A distinguished member of our Unconventional Hall of Fame.

Folks, you are looking at the BEST SOUNDING RECORD we have ever played here at Better Records, and the good news for you dear reader, whether you're a true believer, a skeptic, or fall somewhere in between, is that it can be yours. There was a time when a record like this would go directly into my collection. If I wanted to impress someone, audiophile or otherwise, with the You-Are-There illusion that only Big Speakers in a dedicated room playing a LIVE recording can create, this would be the clear choice, possibly the only choice. There is simply nothing like it on vinyl in my experience.

See all pressings of The Three in stock


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The Doobie Brothers - Minute By Minute

Nautilus Debunked

  (Item #: doobiminut_debunk) 




Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

You may remember reading on the site that we used to like the Nautilus Half-Speed of this title. Playing our Nautilus copy against the better domestic pressings made us wonder what the hell we must have been smoking. The Nautilus was awful -- veiled and compressed, with a lightweight bottom end. (The Nautilus of Threshold of a Dream is another one we used to like and boy does that record sound awful these days.)

See all of our Doobie Brothers albums in stock


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The Beatles - With the Beatles

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlwith_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: C+


Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

The Mobile Fidelity pressing of this album has so many problems it would take an hour to describe them all. Suffice it to say, it’s thinner and brighter, with voices that are grittier and grainier. The overall effect is the sinking feeling that you are listening to a cheap reissue and not the real thing. Don’t the Beatles sound better than this? To be fair, some tracks are okay, others a disaster.

See all pressings of With the Beatles in stock


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Crosby, Stills & Nash on Nautilus

THE Most Bloated Bass in Half Speed History

  (Item #: crosbcrosb_nr_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

An audiophile record dealer (of course; who else?) once raved to me about Crosby Stills and Nash on Nautilus. I said "What are you talking about? That version sucks!" He replied "No, it’s great. Helplessly Hoping sounds amazing."

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's albums


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The Beatles - Let It Be

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: beatlletit_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: B or B-

Although I haven't played my copy in quite a while -- it might have been as far back as 2007 or 2008 if memory serves -- I recall that it struck me as one of their better titles.

All things considered, it's actually pretty good, assuming your copy sounds like mine (an assumption we really can't make of course -- no two records sound the same -- but for the purposes of this review we're going to assume it anyway). I would give it a "B" or "B-". It can't hold a candle to the real thing, but at least MoFi didn't ruin it like they did with so many of the other Beatles albums.

See other commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Let It Be


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Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: genesatric_mfsl_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

The last time I played the MoFi I could not believe how ridiculously COMPRESSED it was. On top of that, the midrange is badly sucked out (as is the case with most MoFi's) making the sound as dead as dead can be. You think 180 gram records are lifeless? Play this piece of crap and see just how bad an audiophile record can sound.

See all of our Genesis albums in stock


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The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: moodydayso_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C

The MoFi pressing has a boosted top end, making everything sparkle and causing the string tone for the orchestral parts to become exceedingly hi-fi-ish. In our Hot Stamper commentary we noted:

The sound is fundamental to the experience. The strings of the orchestra sound as sweet as any Decca, the soundstage wide and deep as any symphonic recording. For those of you who still think Mobile Fidelity is the king on this one, here’s a record that demonstrates what truly natural highs really are. The Moodies used Decca’s classical engineers, not their pop ones, and those guys know what orchestral instruments actually sound like.

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Hall and Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: hallaaband_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Those of you who have had the misfortune to play the MoFi LP know that they absolutely ruined this album. They boosted the hell out of the top end, the last thing in the world this recording needed.

Actually, that’s probably not true. People who collect MoFi records tend to like the kind of phony sound found on the MoFi of this title. To the extent that a MoFi collector is not happy with the sound, my guess is he would more than likely place the blame on the recording, not the mastering.

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Barbra Streisand - Guilty

CBS Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: streiguilt_cbs_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half Speed debunked.

We had two copies of the CBS Half-Speed in stock, and having just done a big shootout for the album, we decided to play them to see how they stood up against The Real Thing, the real thing in this case being a pretty common pressing: a plain old Columbia original.

See all of our Barbra Streisand albums in stock


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Andre Previn & His Pals - West Side Story

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: previwests) 



Sonic Grade: B-

Another MoFi LP reviewed.

I played this record a while back -- it's one of the Mobile Fidelity's I remember liking from the old days -- and sure enough it still sounds good. It does not have the phony boosted bottom and top that most MoFis do. Since it's such a well recorded album, the sound is very impressive. Also the music is great. This is one of Previn's best piano trio records. And Shelly Manne drums up a storm here.

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Santana - Abraxas

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: santaabrax_mofi_debunked) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile LP debunked.

The remastered Abraxas never got past the first elimination round; it had to have been one of the worst half-speeds I have ever heard. Dead dead dead as a doornail.

See all pressings of Santana's music in stock


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Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: jethrthick_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile LP debunked.

The MoFi is super TRANSPARENT and OPEN, and the top end sounds lush and extended. If you prize clarity, this is the one!

But if you prize clarity at the expense of everything else, you are seriously missing the boat on Thick As A Brick. The MoFi is all mids and highs with almost nothing going on below.

See all pressings of Thick as a Brick in stock


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George Benson - Tell It Like It Is

A&M Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: bensotellit_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.

The Half-Speed is pretty -- pretty lifeless if you ask me, in the way that so many Half-Speed mastered records are. It’s cut very clean, but until you play a good A&M pressing, you don’t know how much meat has been stripped from the bones. The best A&M pressings sound like a Rudy Van Gelder recording, which, of course, they are.

See all of our George Benson albums in stock


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Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: mann_bache_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

I had never actually played the LP when I reviewed the MoFi CD (my bad, apologies to all), noting that the CD sounded great and that I expected the vinyl to be even better. Was I ever wrong, sorry! The vinyl has a bad case of sucked-out half-speed MoFi mids. It’s far too polite and lifeless to be taken seriously.

The comments about the music of course still apply -- it's brilliant -- but I recommend the Gold or regular CD over this audiophile Heavy Vinyl pressing.

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Heart - Little Queen

CBS Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: heartlittl_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

No slam, no real weight and no deep deep bass, just that 30-plus-cycles stuff and barely any of that, mostly 40 and up if you're lucky, and BLUBBERY. Another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.

Our good customer Roger wrote to tell me how much better he liked our $100 Hot Stamper of Little Queen compared to his CBS Mastersound Half-Speed Mastered LP. As you can see from our old commentary I used to actually think the ...

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Supertramp - Breakfast In America

Nimbus Debunked

  (Item #: superbreak_nimbus) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

We were a bit generous with our sonic grades for this record in the past. It’s not hard to do quite a bit better with an original domestic pressing.

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Borodin, Glinka & Mussorgsky / Romantic Russia / Solti

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: borodroman_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another MoFi LP debunked.

A well-known reviewer has many kind things to say about this pressing, but we think it sounds like a hi-fi-ish version of a '70s London, which means it's opaque and the strings are badly lacking in Tubey Magic. The bass is like jello on the MoFi, unlike the real London which has quite decent bass.

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The Band - Music From Big Pink

Thoughts on MoFi's Midrange Suckout

  (Item #: band_music_mofi_midrange_suckout) 



I was a big Mobile Fidelity fan in 1982 when they released this album, which, for some strange reason, I knew practically nothing about. I was 15 when the second album came out and I played that album all the time, but the first album had eluded me. How it managed to do that I cannot understand, not at this late date anyway. A major malfunction on my part to be sure.

At some point in the early '90s I got hold of an early British pressing of the album. Comparing it to my MoFi I was shocked to hear the singers in the band so present and clear. Having only played MoFi's remastered LP I had never heard them sound like that. The MoFi had them standing ten feet back; the Brit put them front and center. There was no question in my mind which presentation was right. Around that time I was noticing that many Mobile Fidelity pressings seemed to be finding that same distant-midrange sound, and finding it on wildly different recordings.

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Emmylou Harris - Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: harriquart_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

I comment below about the ridiculous sound of the MoFi pressing. When you have a recording that is already plenty bright, adding more top end and taking out more lower midrange is the last thing in the world you should be doing. Since that is standard operating procedure for MoFi (and other Half-Speed mastering outfits), that's exactly the approach they ended up taking.

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Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: stewayearo_debunk) 




Sonic Grade: D to B-

If you own the typical MoFi version of this album you happen to own one of the All Time Mastering Disasters of the modern era. Ridiculously boosted at both ends, their version is all but unlistenable on a high end stereo.

Some copies are worse than others, so we are conservatively giving MoFi's pressing a sonic grade of D. We've played some in the past that clearly deserved an F (F as in Failing), but we also once played one that sounded pretty good, which we describe below. If you've played half a dozen MoFi copies and plucked out the best one, yours might be good too. If you haven't heard a bunch, chances are slim that yours is any better than awful. There's only one way to tell of course, and that's to pull it off the shelf and give it a spin. You may be shocked at just how hyped-up it has gotten since the last time you heard it.

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Holst / The Planets / Solti / LPO

MoFi (and UHQR) Debunked

  (Item #: holstplane_debunk_) 



Sonic Grade: Regular MoFi LP: F / UHQR: D

Both Hall of Shame pressings.

We recently auditioned an excellent sounding Decca Purple Label British import LP, the same performance, the same recording that Mobile Fidelity remastered (#510), but, thankfully, it sounded A WHOLE LOT BETTER!

I just listened to both and a catalog of the faults of the MFSL pressing would be quite lengthy. I won’t waste your time listing them. Although this recording is not perfect, the Decca pressing shows it in its proper light. It finds the right balance between the multi-miked sound of the Super Disc List Mehta and a vintage recording from the Golden Age such as the famous Boult. The sound is very dynamic and the brass has tremendous weight. The MoFi is thin and bright.

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Traveling Back in Time with Cat Stevens on MoFi

To Hear It on Vintage Equipment

  (Item #: steveteafo_badstereo) 



Our good customer Roger wrote us a letter years ago about his MoFi Tea for the Tillerman, in which he remarked, "Sometimes I wish I kept my old crappy stereo to see if I could now tell what it was that made these audiophile pressings so attractive then."

It got me to thinking. Yes, that would be fun, and better yet, it could be done. There are actually plenty of those Old School systems still around. Just look at what many of the forum posters -- god bless 'em -- are running. They've got some awesome '70s Japanese turntables, some Monster Cable and some vintage tube gear and speakers going all the way back to the '50s.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Tea for the Tillerman


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Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus

MoFi Reviewed

  (Item #: littlwaiti_5013_0811) 



Sonic Grade: C

Another Mobile Fidelity Pressing reviewed. Our Audiophile Scorecard has plenty more where this one came from.

This is actually a pretty good sounding record, all things considered. We put this one through our cleaning process and gave it a listen. Although our Hot Stamper copies do sound better, they’re also quite a bit more expensive. This copy had the best sound we heard out of the three or four we played, which makes it a Hot Stamper I suppose, but we are instead just calling it a Very Good Sounding Copy.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Little Feat's albums


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Frank Sinatra - Nice and Easy

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: sinatnicea_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

A piece of garbage that gets Frank's voice completely wrong, thinning it out and boosting at it the top of his range. No one else besides MoFi ever managed to make Frank Sinatra's voice sound this way, so what are the chances that they're right and everybody else is wrong? Slim? None?

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David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: bowieziggy_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C-

The MoFi pressing is decent, probably better than the average domestic copy I suppose. The colorations and the limitations of their cutting system make it painful for me to listen to though, especially the sloppy bass. Compressed too. You can do worse but you sure can do a lot better.)

MoFi did two of the greatest Bowie albums of all time, Ziggy and Let's Dance, and neither one can hold a candle to the real thing. If you want to settle for a pretty poor imitation of either or both of those albums, stick with your MoFi. If you want to hear the kind of Demo Disc sound that Bowie's records are capable of, try a Hot Stamper.

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Laurindo Almeida - Virtuoso Guitar

  (Item #: almeivirtu_0611) 



A distinguished member of our Unconventional Hall of Fame.

Virtuoso Guitar is yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

This White Hot Crystal Clear 45 RPM Direct-to-Disc fulfills the promise of both the direct to disc recording medium AND the 45 RPM cutting speed so much in vogue these days. We had a big pile of these pressings to play through. When we came upon this one halfway through our shootout, it was so big, so clear, so dynamic, so energetic, so extended on the top and bottom, we almost could not believe what we were hearing...

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Beethoven - Symphony #9 - Solti (2 LPs)

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: beethsymph_mfsl) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Bright phony string tone, MoFi's trademark sound for classical recordings. Anyone who has ever attended a concert knows that strings in real life simply do not sound anything like they do on these MoFi records.

The London pressing of this recording is no great shakes either; any pressing should be avoided.

See all pressings of Beethoven's music in stock


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Beethoven / 4th Movement of the Ninth Symphony / Mitzelfelt

  (Item #: beethodet0_65112) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Audiophile Recording debunked.

Can't find anything nice to say about this record.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock pressings of Beethoven's music


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Muddy Waters Folk Singer

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: waterfolks_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

The MoFi is thick and fat sounding, with much less transparency than the Classic release, which is no award winner either. Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

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Vivaldi / The Four Seasons / Hayakawa (2 LPs)
(45 RPM)

  (Item #: vivalfours_45) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing.

This RCA Direct-to-Disc 45 RPM Double LP has awful sound, with hard and shrill string tone. This is why we dislike Japanese pressings as a rule -- they sound like this audiophile piece of junk.

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The Beatles - Past Masters Volumes 1 & 2

  (Item #: beatlpastm_0610) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing.

The '90s import pressings of this album are bright and aggressive and very digital sounding, but if you want better sounding versions of these songs you're gonna have to buy a lot of albums to find them.

And check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest Heavy Vinyl winners and losers.

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Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: straualsos_mofi_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

Can you believe this bright and phony sounding piece of junk was once on the TAS Super Disc List? Sad, isn't it? At least Harry had the good sense to delete it way back in the '80s, along with all the rest of the awful MoFi's that were on it at the time.

Hey, I sure liked a lot of my MoFi's in the '80s too. Thank god I didn't have my own Super Disc list at the time. It would be every bit as embarrassing as Harry's list is these days, of that you can be sure.

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Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade - Reiner

Chesky Records Debunked

  (Item #: rimskscheh_chesky) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing.

Chesky is one of the WORST AUDIOPHILE LABELS in the history of the world. Their recordings are so artificial and "wrong" that they defy understanding. That some audiophiles actually buy into this junk sound is equal parts astonishing and depressing. Their own records are a joke, and their remasterings of the RCA Living Stereo catalog are an abomination. If there is a more CLUELESS audiophile label on the planet, I don't know who it could be, and I don't want to find out.

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Boston Boston

CBS Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: bostobosto_cbs_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C

Another Half Speed debunked.

Lack of weight down below, or as we like to call it, Whomp Factor, is the main reason half-speed mastered records are so consistently bad. (If not bad, certainly wrong.) You can be sure that Boston would not have wanted, nor would have been willing to accept, that kind of anemic sound.

The CBS is cut clean from a good tape, so it easily beats the bad domestic pressings, of which there are many. But it can't rock. What good is a Boston record that doesn't rock? It's a contradiction in terms; the band, as well as their debut album, have no other reason to exist.

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The Dixie Dregs - Dregs of the Earth

Direct Disk Labs Debunked

  (Item #: dixiedregs_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Debunked.

I'd always preferred the famously rare Half-Speed to the domestic copies I had auditioned back in the day, until now of course. Now, with changes to the stereo and better cleaning techniques and all the rest, that half-speed's weaknesses are on display for all to hear. Where is the rock 'em, sock 'em bottom end that the best originals have? It's gone! Yes, the smeary veiled quality of the typical original pressing is gone too, which is why I used to like the DD Labs version best. It's simply another case of a good Half-Speed beating a bad domestic pressing, and in turn being beaten (soundly) by The Real Thing, the kind of record we like to call a Hot Stamper.

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