View Full Version : Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs?


TSheaZ28
09-04-2009, 09:42 PM
Good evening everyone! I was hoping someone could educate me on MFSL cd's. I have heard the name before and today I was browsing BuyBacks ( a used cd/dvd store) and came across some of these cds. One was a Queen cd, and they wanted $50! Is the sound quality that much better than another cd? I browsed ebay and saw some titles that caught my eye that I might be interested in. Thanks for your time!

riverrat
09-05-2009, 09:19 AM
I can offer a few thoughts, some of which may not be entirely accurate. :D

First of all, MFSL versions are often, but not always, the best sounding versions- sometimes significantly better than any other issue. A lot of them were remastered by Steve Hoffman who is highly regarded. But the fact that a standard issue may cost $15 and the MFSL version $50 doesn't necessarily mean the MFSL sounds "3 times better".

The exorbitant prices are more a reflection of 1) rarity- many if not most MFSL titles are out of print and were never issued in large quantities so they are also of interest to collectors, and 2) diminishing marginal returns for having the very best of something. In other words, when you get to the high end of quality, you may have to pay A LOT more for something that is only a small increment better.

Lastly, I don't know the exact details, but it is my understanding that the MFSL company went under a few years ago, but was reorganized or restarted more recently. I don't think the reorganized company is reissuing any old titles, unfortunately, but they are issuing new titles. The "in print" titles can usually be found for $20-25, but some of the older OOP titles go for ridiculous prices, sometimes hundreds of $$!

My $.02!

Victor
09-05-2009, 09:55 AM
I love MFSL CDs, I have over 300 of them in my collection. MFSL CDs are consistently very good but some of them are a little bright and can sound harsh, the early Rush CD come to mind.

Many of the new well mastered CDs DVD-A and SACDs are just as good or better than the old MFSL CDs. The Classic Records HDAD DVD-A disc of Alan Parsons Project-I Robot is much better than the MFSL version. The high prices of the MFSL CDs is due to the fact that they are rare along with the fact that they are very good.

Overall I highly recommend MFSL CDs. I bought most of my MFSL CDs when they were new ($25-$30 each), at the crazy prices some of these CDs are getting now they are fun to collect but may not be the best bang for your buck.

Also a small correction: Steve Hoffman was the great mastering engineer for DCC Gold CDs and Audio Fidelity Gold CDs, Stan Ricker was the main mastering engineer for MFSL.

riverrat
09-08-2009, 02:23 PM
...a small correction: Steve Hoffman was the great mastering engineer for DCC Gold CDs and Audio Fidelity Gold CDs, Stan Ricker was the main mastering engineer for MFSL.

Thanks for correcting the misinformation I supplied. I stand corrected!

The DCC Gold CDs are equally worth checking out...

Victor
09-08-2009, 07:26 PM
Yes the DCC gold CDs are also some of my favorites. I think the Doors DCC CDs are the best versions of these classic albums.

I think the new Gold CDs from Audio Fidelity (the new DCC company) are even better than the original DCC CDs. If you want to check out some gold CD without paying the collector prices give the new gold CDs from Audio Fidelity a try (the same goes for the new gold CDs and dual layer SACDs from Mobile Fidelity).

TSheaZ28
09-08-2009, 08:00 PM
What are some good retailers to find the new ones? Thanks for all the replies!

KentTeffeteller
09-08-2009, 08:08 PM
DCC's house engineer was Steve Hoffman, he now masters for several companies, among them Audio Fidelity. He never did any Mobile Fidelity titles. The Queen title you saw is one of the best Mobile Fidelity titles sound wise. If you need cheaper, hunt down an old UK EMI CD of it. Those are the best Queen CD releases or the old Elektra Targets for some titles. The Hollywood and UK Parlophone CD issues are terrible sounding to these ears.

Victor
09-08-2009, 08:14 PM
What are some good retailers to find the new ones? Thanks for all the replies!
Acoustic Sounds is a good one:

http://store.acousticsounds.com/index.cfm?get=results

Victor
09-08-2009, 08:20 PM
Here is another one, Music Direct now owns Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs:
http://www.musicdirect.com/category/180?&numview=50&start=0

stoutblock
09-08-2009, 11:22 PM
I have their Montrose and Rondstadt album. Both are great!

TSheaZ28
09-09-2009, 09:09 AM
Thanks guys! Looks like I have to save up some money for some good cds!:banana:

wsjoe
09-09-2009, 07:39 PM
My experiences were the same as above comments.

My favorite MFSL is Muddy Waters "Folk Singer".

Some of my least favorite:
Born Under a Bad Sign by Albert King, Charles Mingus at Carnegie Hall, and Here's Little Richard by Little Richard.

mhilton777
09-09-2009, 08:25 PM
I have a very close friend that is one of the Turntable setup/sales guys at Music Direct and I have had the pleasure of hearing a ton of his MFSL Cd's and vinyl and they sound great. I have gotten several albums and cd's from him and I have definitely been satisfied.

TSheaZ28
09-09-2009, 08:28 PM
I think that would be my dream job right there :drool:

F1nut
09-10-2009, 03:35 AM
Is the sound quality that much better than another cd?

In a word, absolutely.

slow_jazz
09-10-2009, 08:28 AM
I have several MFSL and they sound very good...

Wish I would have bought more new back in the day....