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Why don't they make Original Master Recording CDs
Why don't they make Original Master Recording CDs
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Old 21st February 2002, 06:06 AM   #1
Sud is offline Sud
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Question Why don't they make Original Master Recording CDs

Does anyone remember Original Master Recording LPs? They were sold for a premium. I recall they were the first X thousand LPs stamped from the master platter (or whatever its called).

The idea was that after stamping many thousands of LPs, the master platter would wear down, so some of the detail would be lost. Buying an Original Master Recording LP meant that you'd got one of the first LPs from the master platter, and so had better detail and dynamics.

CDs are also produced by stamping. Presumably the master platter for CDs also wear, so why don't we see 'Original Master' CDs?

I know you can buy CDs of OMR LPs, but I haven't seen an OMR CD in its own right.

Is this a lost market?
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Old 21st February 2002, 09:16 AM   #2
Lisandro_P is offline Lisandro_P  Argentina
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Default Re: Why don't they make Original Master Recording CDs

Well, CDs are producing by stamping, but being a digital media, you could store a cd image on a computer (actually, this IS done ) and print a new master whenever you need to make new ones. I once readed that stamped cds are checked optically for flaws, and if even one bit is wrong, the copy is thrown away.
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Old 21st February 2002, 02:05 PM   #3
Brett is offline Brett
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Mobile Fidelity's original market was for the audiophile who was willing to pay a premium for better quality sound.

Many LPs were produced from tapes that were several generations away from the original master, with the inherent losses in fidelity that produced. MFSL <i>said</i> they used the masters, or at least tapes closer to them. They also used higher quality, virgin vinyl, and replaced the stampers regularly only producing maybe a 10th of the number that the large companies did from a set. Many LPs were made from the ground up remains of unsold titles, seldom having the labels removed which contaminate the vinyl and lose detail and add noise.

With LP production there are a number of specialised proceses involved that require expertise that can only be obtained through experience. Most major record companies in the late 70's and after became increasingly more interested in turning out a lot of product, irrespective of the quality. MFSL went back to the sound engineering practices required to get the best performance out of the medium and charged a premium for it.

As a bonus, you also got heavier card covers, and nice anti-stat innersleeves.

CDs are produced in a different way, even though they are still stamped. Any reasonable production facility can produce quality stampers, and if they are not over-used, put out a good consistent product. Being digital also means it is possible to check individual disc's quality more easily. There also should <i>theoretically</i> be no difference between generations of master tapes. Remember "perfect sound forever"

So, done with a bit of care, and far less expertise and detail than for LPs, it is easier to turn out a more consistent product with CDs (I gag as I type this: analog rules). So there is less advantage to the processes employed by MFSL to give a better product with CDs. That is not to say, none, just less, and I think for most people ( not 'philes) there is nowhere near enough difference for a large price premium. DVD, DVD-A and SACD are there for that. Besides I know a few people who think MD and MP3 are high quality mediums!

BTW, FWIW Acoustic Sounds(?) have aquired the MFSL name and rights and are going to put out SACDs under that name, maybe with some Lps later. I don't know how they will go if they charge a price premium over already expensive SACDs, but they might go well just because of their name. Hope so: it'd be nice if another player was putting out quality LPs too.

HTH
Cheers
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Old 21st February 2002, 04:55 PM   #4
jbateman is offline jbateman  United States
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Before it's demise MO FI was releasing some Original Master CD's. I think they were gold plated or something.
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Old 21st February 2002, 05:37 PM   #5
PTL60 is offline PTL60
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I think most CD reissues that come out today that are Re-Mastered sound very good to excellent. For example; The Blue Note RVG Jazz series remasters sound incredible. Also,the Columbia/Legacy remasters from Miles Davis and other artists like Jeff Beck sound great as well, and these CD's are regular price. So, I think the remastering technology is much better today than it was 4 or 5 years ago.
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Old 22nd February 2002, 09:25 AM   #6
Lisandro_P is offline Lisandro_P  Argentina
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Ooooooh yes... try the remastered CD versions of Pink Floyd (specially their later, more studio-heavy albums)... absolutely stunning.
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Old 22nd February 2002, 09:40 AM   #7
Sud is offline Sud
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Cool bring on the Floyd!

Ah, Lisandro, thank you!

I was given Echoes for christmas, and, being another Floyd best of, I didn't get around to opening it until recently...and was absolutely stunned at the improved clarity of the tracks compared to my older CDs. And finally, When The Tigers Broke Free on CD! I thought they had simply remastered the tracks for the compilation.

After reading your post, I now see they they are remastering most Floyd albums. I sense a big Amazon order coming on...
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Old 22nd February 2002, 10:13 AM   #8
Lisandro_P is offline Lisandro_P  Argentina
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Default Re: bring on the Floyd!

I had the same experience... my dad gave me the remastered version of "The final cut" for Christmas. I had forgotten how much i liked that album, but the improved sound quality just blew me away. Remember the track with the bomb flying in stereo? Feels like i *AM* there, i swear I also have "The wall", "Wish you were here" and "DSOTM" in their remastered version; same story. Don't know who did those remasters but he sure did a hell of a job! Ahhh, money well spent....
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Old 22nd February 2002, 02:14 PM   #9
M_Anker is offline M_Anker
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Music Direct bought the rights to Mobile Fidelity. From what I was told, their first three releases are due in March in SACD. They are Patricia Barber remasters, currently being pressed by Sonopress (SACD). Vinyl will be out soon, and is supposed to be mastered by Stan Ricker. Hopefully, MoFi will one day be the label it once was.
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Old 23rd February 2002, 09:11 PM   #10
Sud is offline Sud
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First Pink Floyd remastered CDs, now Patricia Barber remastered SACDs ... I must have done something GOOD in a previous life
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