Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 2-429 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 821797242912
Numbered Limited Edition - 45RPM - Two Disc - Pressed at RTI
Pure Analogue Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
The current 45RPM edition is the champ in terms of noise floor. It’s an amazing testament to the staying power of analog in that a high-quality tape, when well-preserved and expertly handled, can deliver such a quiet background. Mobile Fidelity has done a phenomenal job.- Tone Audio
Sound 92%, This 45rpm version has sonic value to dazzle audiophiles and deadheads - Hifi News Ken Kessler
While neither Workingman's Dead nor American Beauty is a sonic spectacular in its own right, the gentle, nuanced playing is well served by clear, unagressive sound. There is more inner detail and texture, more clarity and verisimilitude, on these MoFi reissues than on early original pressings, which sound thinner and grainier by comparison. The SACDs sound more like very good analog than mere digital, but the immediacy of the 45rpm LPs is startling, even after hearing the SACDs. . Forever prized for natural sonics, Workingman’s Dead attains audiophile reference status courtesy of this first-ever 45RPM version. TheAudioBeat
American Beauty is the most perfectly realized, superbly played, and openly natural folk-rock record ever released. They don’t make albums like this anymore, but thankfully, Mobile Fidelity’s extraordinary 180g 45RPM 2LP set allows you to experience this 1970 masterpiece with unrivaled intimacy, realism, detail, and perspective. The Dead might as well be sitting on a Persian carpet right in your living room.
The pinnacle of the Dead’s studio output, American Beauty lives up to its name—as well as that of the “American Reality” ambigram on the iconic cover. Airy vocal harmonies blow like fresh breezes. Strummed acoustic guitars amicably intermingle with plaintive percussive beats. Warmth, relaxation, and poignancy envelop the performances and create sensations of bliss, peace, and honesty. Songs flower with majestic melodies and emotionally direct lyrics. It’s a rare album that invites and makes you feel, restores one’s faith, and renews one’s appreciation for all life offers.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g LP at RTI, this deluxe analog set possesses seemingly limitless dynamics, reference-grade presence, and expansive soundstages. The seamless, effortless integration of the group’s vocals has always been a high point of American Beauty, and when you hear it here, you’ll want every record you own to sound half as good. Every member’s distinctive singing resounds with tube-like clarity; the intended expressionism is as plain as day. Instruments, too, resonate in glorious Technicolor. The supple tension of Phil Lesh’s bass lines, charismatic timbres of Jerry Garcia’s pedal-steel fills, and interwoven dialogue between the pianos and percussion are rendered with lifelike scale and tone.
Made just months after its companion release, Workingman’s Dead, the San Francisco legends’ second 1970 masterpiece furthers the former work’s close-knit relationship between country and folk while adding extra rock and bluegrass currents. Understated amplified passages, graceful melodies, layered singing, and old-time string flavors—including mandolin work from masterful guest David Grisman—bestow the material with easygoing, comfortable vibes. Again taking advantage of the best songwriting of Robert Hunter’s career, the Dead turns in its most collective studio performance, with every individual contributing equally and focusing on nothing but the songs at hand.
Indeed, Garcia doesn’t even indulge in a single guitar solo on the record. A majority of fare lacks any significant instrumental breaks. The Dead recorded the foundations (drums, bass, acoustic guitars) of nearly every track live, which helps explain why American Beauty sounds so powerfully rich and clear. Coupled with the band’s personal reflections of the circumstances surrounding them—Bob Weir’s parents had died, Garcia’s mother and Lesh’s father were in the process of passing, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan’s health was in decline—these characteristics combined to yield a purity of heart that exceeds that managed by Dead peers (and roots revivalist leaders) The Band and Bob Dylan.
From Garcia’s breathtaking gospel-laden homage to his mother (“Brokedown Palace”) to Lesh’s healing salve in the form of the groove-based “Box of Rain,” from Weir’s jaunty and free-wheeling summer escape “Sugar Magnolia” to McKernan’s eloquently simple homespun plea “Operator,” all the way to the closing autobiographical anthem “Truckin’,” American Beauty feels like the warm, spirit-infusing embrace of a loved one after a long journey away. Welcome home.
• Numbered, Limited Edition • 45rpm Speed Edition
• 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 • Pressed at RTI
Grateful Dead American Beauty:
Jerry Garcia, guitar, pedal steel, piano, vocals
Phil Lesh, bass, guitar, piano, vocals
Bob Weir, guitar, vocals
Pig Pen (Ron McKernan), harmonica, vocals
Mickey Hart, percussion
Bill Kreutzmann, drums
1. Box of Rain
2. Friend of the Devil
3. Sugar Magnolia
7. Brokedown Palace
8. Till the Morning Comes
9. Attics of My Life
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.