Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 2-276 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
AAA 100% Analogue - Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Pure Analogue Mastered by Paul Stubbleline from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Half-Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
TAS Audiophile Demo Disc
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the July 2004 Issue of Stereophile
"Led by ethereal songbird/fiddler Krauss, the natural acoustics and intricate harmonies of the bluegrass, roots, and mountain songbook don't get much better treatment than on this disc." - Neil Gader, TAS Guide to Audiophile Demo Disc pick
AvailaDue to the resolution of the MFSL Ultra Analog Cutting System, all the acoustic instruments and voices on the record are reproduced with an exceptional sense of space and clarity
first time on vinyl, this is the best AKUS album to date. (AKUS is the band's own acronym for Alison Krauss & Union Station). The best songs, the best playing, the best singing and the best sound! This must have 2-LP set gets more addictive with every play. Call it bluegrass or call it acoustic pop, either way Alison Krauss & Union Station have created an incredible montage of music. As usual, it is Alison's beautiful vocals that gives it that "high, lonesome sound."
There are thirteen vocal songs and one instrumental on this two-record set. Krauss is the lead vocalist on eight of the songs and Union Station members share the other lead vocals. The virtuoso musicians comprising the group are Barry Bales (acoustic bass), Ron Block (banjo, guitar), Adam Steffey (mandolin), and Dan Tyminski (guitar). Of course Krauss started her career as a violinist (fiddler to the bluegrass world) and she doesn't leave that instrument out either. Due to the unmatched resolution of the Gain 2 Ultra Analog cutting system, all the acoustic instruments and voices on the record are reproduced with an exceptional sense of space and clarity.
The tunes are mostly new material and alternate from bluegrass to acoustic pop. The standouts on the album are Alison's numbers: "It Doesn't Matter," "Looking In The Eyes Of Love," and the gospel "There Is A Reason." These are all quiet, reflective pieces with the haunting, almost angelic quality of Krauss' voice demonstrated to its fullest. The harmony singing on every cut shows off the vocal prowess of the entire ensemble. The title track in particular stands out for its use of harmony and incredible accurate presentation of acoustic instruments. The male vocalists are superb in their own right and each of the band members has the spotlight somewhere on the album.
After mainstream success happened for Alison Krauss & Union Station, one would have rightly expected a commercial sweetening of their sound, resulting in diminishing (or even abandoning) the simple but very unique thing that brought them into the public eye -- and eventual public acclaim -- in the first place. But the group's first new recording in the wake of the surprise success of Now That I've Found You: A Collection finds Alison Krauss & Union Station happily keeping their eclectic focus firmly on the prize stretched before them with no silly attempts to court the hat-hunk-of-the-month or the boot-scoot-boogie crowd. Despite the media's singling out of Krauss as country's new bluegrass solo diva, Union Station (with Krauss as simply a featured member of it) remains very much a group, and that's the real refreshing news here. It is that collective spirit that remains the reoccurring theme and the resounding musical point being made here, and it is the solid anchor that roots this album into place from beginning to end. Krauss' expert evocative way with a ballad is on full display here, with "Deeper Than Crying" and "It Doesn't Matter" featuring her on violas, adding a new voice to Union Station's sound. But the lead vocals are passed around among Krauss, mandolinist Adam Steffey, guitarist Dan Tyminski, and banjoist Ron Block, while Krauss' fiddle work in a backup capacity is an integral part of the sound as well. All in all, this is a totally un-gimmicky album that flies in the face of what usually happens when mainstream success comes calling. And, as a result of that commitment to quality and musical focus, one that makes you want to play it again when it's all over.
Alison Krauss, vocals
Barry Bales, acoustic bass
Ron Block, banjo, guitar
Adam Steffey, mandolin
Dan Tyminski, guitar
1. So Long, So Wrong
2. No Place to Hide
3. Deeper Than Crying
4. I Can Let Go Now
5. The Road Is a Lover
6. Little Liza Jane
7. It Doesn't Matter
8. Find My Way Back to My Heart
9. I'll Remember You Love in My Prayers
10. Looking in the Eyes of Love
11. Pain of a Troubled Life
13. Blue Trail of Sorrow
14. There Is a Reason
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.
RTI HQ-180 Vinyl
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.