Known Johnson

February 5, 2008

Go MoFi

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 1:44 pm

I really wonder about myself sometimes. Right now I’m wondering why the hell I haven’t been buying every damned Mobile Fidelity disc that’s been released for bands that I love over the years. After being astounded by the sheer awesomeness of MoFi’s treatment of Rush’s Permanent Waves (seriously, if you’ve heard the other three Rush titles, this one completely blows them away,) today I’ve been enjoying the hell out of their take on XTC’s Skylarking and, seriously, it destroys the remaster from 6 or so years ago. There’s not only a really fun, much wider soundstage, there’s also a beautiful sparkle to the top end and, what’s best, there’s depth and texture on the low end of the sound spectrum that is completely absent in the remaster, stuff that I have never heard in the original version (but I admit that I last heard that back in 2001.) It is pure audio joy.

I’ve seen that MoFi has released Aimee Mann’s Lost In Space, an album I bought once, then bought again when it was re-released by her (as opposed to her label) with a second disc of extra songs, and that experience really pissed me off – I really feel she took advantage of her fans there. So when I saw this MoFi hybrid SACD version was coming out, I really had no interest in purchasing a third version, and had serious doubts that it could sound that improved being such a new album. Now, however, I’ve read a bunch of reviews from what appear to be “regular Joes” on Amazon, people who don’t appear to be audiophiles in any sense of the word, and also seen qualified audiophile comments about it, and they all agree that it is a tremendous improvement on the original. So, fine, I’ll buy another version of this luckily great album.

But that’s not enough – MoFi has also, previously unknown to me, given the treatment to my favorite album of hers, Bachelor No. 2, and it is getting equally rave reviews. I don’t feel any qualms about a second version of that – mine is so “well loved” that it might be time for a new one. The package, at least, certainly could use an upgrade, and I’m sure the disc looks pretty beat up after so many visits to various cars’ CD players – those things can be abusive.

So, from now on, I don’t skip MoFi’s releases of titles I care about. But don’t go looking on Ebay for older titles unless you’ve got a strong heart, a strong will, or deep pockets.



  1. […] through my amazing Etymotic ER4P in-ear ‘phones fit the bill nicely. I managed to add some new content to the very lonely Lookout For Hope while I was at it. It’s still […]

    Pingback by I smell wieners — February 5, 2008 @ 11:00 pm | Reply

  2. So how is it I/we/you find out about what’s out there from the friends at MoFi, because you’re right about eBay. I looked up Full Moon Fever and shat myself.

    Comment by Josh — February 6, 2008 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  3. It’s a tough market, Josh. Not only are they not widely announced, they’re hard to find. I did find a listing on the MoFi site of their out of print releases. You really only need to concern yourself with the Ultradisc II gold disc list because I’ve never actually seen an aluminum disc from them, and now I see why (it looks to be mostly classical.)

    This is one of those times when scouring the many Amazons and also might work out in your favor. I managed to snag a copy of Pyromania from a German reseller on Amazon for $32, and the MoFi is supposed to be far superior to any version out there. Be sure and do the really generic search of “‘title’ gold” because that’s the only way I found mine – anything with MFSL in the title on Amazon automatically added at least $20, if not doubled or tripled the price.

    MoFi, it should be noted, is keeping SACD alive and well with a whole bunch of new releases in the format. I may have to get a player that supports it to check it out now that I’ve got a growing collection of SACD titles.

    Comment by Tom — February 11, 2008 @ 8:36 am | Reply

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