Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 1-374 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 821797137416
Pure Analogue Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape
AAA 100% Analogue - Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI - Mono
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
Anyone with an interest in post-war jazz knows these albums. Their historical importance is unquestioned. The question posed to me as a reviewer is whether or not the reissues do justice to the originals. The answer is a resounding yes, though, for whatever reason, the reissues are cut at a lower level than the originals. That the nature of the recording venue, a former church with hardwood floors and draped, plaster walls, was just slightly easier to discern on the originals caused me no concern. It was so close that on repeated listening I began to believe it was just my imagination. You can spend a lot of time, energy and money looking for clean original six-eye pressings, or you can just send a check to Mobile Fidelity for these and be happy. Mobile Fidelity used its GAIN 2 Ultra Analogue System in mastering these LPs, a proprietary cutting system built and designed by audio innovator and legend Tim De Paravicini with assistance from MoFi pioneer Stan Ricker. Half-speed mastering is done using only first-generation tapes as a source, played back on a customized Studer tape machine and hand-built cutting amps driving the Ortofon cutting head of a restored Neumann lathe. The lacquers that result are sent to RTI for numbered limited-edition pressings. I doubt very much you’ll find 56–year old originals with surfaces as quiet and blemish free as these. MoFi has hit the ball out of the park with these reissues. They are essential listening and purchases. TheAudioBeat Review
Vanguard Sonics: Mobile Fidelity Reissue Presents The 1958 Standard with Unparalleled Sound Quality! This Masterwork is Oft-Overlooked Link Between 'Round About Midnight and Kind of Blue. In MONO—You Will Not Hear a Better Analog Edition! Only Record to Feature Davis’ Original Sextet, Including Rhythm Section of Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. Title Track Stands as First-Ever Modal Composition Even as Blues and Hard-Bop Flavors Make LP One of Davis’ Most Explosive Affairs.
Miles Davis created just one studio album with his original sextet. He made every moment count. Pairing with Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones, the trumpeter not only laid the groundwork for the modalism that immediately followed but tailored a genuine modern-jazz masterwork laden with performances among the most explosive of his distinguished career.
Due to its sandwiched position between the more famous ‘Round About Midnight and epochal Kind of Blue, Milestones remains, for too many music lovers, an overlooked classic. Part of Mobile Fidelity’s Miles Davis catalog restoration series, Milestones has been restored to mono for the first time as to expose the record’s standing as one of the all-time great jazz efforts.Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, this unsurpassed 180g mono LP edition grants each musician their own space in a well-defined, broadened soundstage.
Colors, shapes, and dimensions appear in the manner they do when beheld from behind a studio-control room’s window. Davis’ burnished trumpet? Rendered in three-dimensional perspective, coaxing his mates out to play with unburdened zest and commotion. Coltrane’s trademark saxophone? Witness it in life-size proportion, his solos working in tandem with and against the driving rhythms. Garland’s swaggering piano lines? Visualize the 88 keys as he hits full stride, the chords and fills slithering around skeletal frameworks. If anything, Milestones is as famous for its title track as the players that produced it. The launching pad for many of Davis’ (and later, his contemporaries’) improvisational flights, the singular piece invites the tessellated explorations Coltrane would forever chase as well as the headliner’s argyle solo work, who broaches territories that far exceed what he had done with his bop-rooted past.
Every song is a highlight, whether it’s the bravado “No Jackle,” featuring a hot-foot pace and bebop strains, or “Sid’s Ahead,” which continues the album’s blues theme while tossing around edgy harmonics and inside-out structures. Then there’s “Straight, No Chaser,” the absolutely definitive rendition of Thelonious Monk’s signature piece. Coltrane’s marbled playing pulls at the tune’s lobed borders, Adderley takes liberty with solos, and Davis dances around his mates, at one point quoting “When the Saints Go Marching In” while demonstrating his knowledge of tradition and eye towards the future. A milestone if there ever was. And now, in resplendent mono.
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• Half-Speed Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
Miles Davis, trumpet, Piano ("Sid's Ahead")
Cannonball Adderley, alto sax
John Coltrane, tenor sax
Red Garland, piano
Paul Chambers, double bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums
1. Dr. Jackle
2. Sid’s Ahead
3. Two Bass Hit
5. Billy Boy
6. Straight, No Chaser
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.