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?
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.


2002-01-07 6:02 pm
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":D

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.



2002-02-01 6:30 pm
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.
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...:D
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 :D 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.... :)