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  1. #1
    Non native english speaker, so forgive me if I am rude... chriss71's Avatar
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    What does "Original Master Recording" means on all the MFSL SACD's

    Hello to all!

    I was always wondering what "Original Master Recording" on all the MFSL SACD's mean. Is it the same as sourced from the Original Mastertapes (which I don't think)? Why all the audiophile labels are not saying, from which Tapes their CD's are sourced.
    I don't understand why this is a secret...

    Thanks in advance to bring a little light into this...

  2. #2
    Senior Member bdiament's Avatar
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    Hi chriss71,

    I believe the intent is to say they did indeed use the original master tapes rather than copies.

    I remember instances when I was Atlantic, where the original master tapes had been lost, so what was sent was the best version we had in the library.

    So, sometimes the label doesn't know whether the source is the original master tapes or something else.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    Soundkeeper Recordings
    Barry Diament Audio

  3. #3
    Non native english speaker, so forgive me if I am rude... chriss71's Avatar
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    Hello Mr. Diament,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Bye
    Chriss

    PS: I had many CD's that are mastered from you which I really enjoy. So, we need the new Led Zeppelin Remasters from you...

  4. #4
    Non native english speaker, so forgive me if I am rude... chriss71's Avatar
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    Just got this from the Mofi Customer Support:

    Yes, all titles which include the Original Master Recording banner are mastered from the original analogue master tape.
    Why is this not on Audio Fidelity so?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by chriss71 View Post
    Hello to all!

    I was always wondering what "Original Master Recording" on all the MFSL SACD's mean. Is it the same as sourced from the Original Mastertapes (which I don't think)? Why all the audiophile labels are not saying, from which Tapes their CD's are sourced.
    I don't understand why this is a secret...

    Thanks in advance to bring a little light into this...
    Chris, on MFSL product, "Original Master Recording" is pefectly clear. They are sourced from the original master tapes. MFSL actually has a secondary line called "Silver Label" on vinyl for which they are also very clear - best available source, might be a digital copy of the master, or a good tape copy. Sure, there will be the odd case with MOFI where provenance of the tape can be quibbled - the term "original master tape" is subject to some interpretaion, in some cases, what exists today as the master tape is in many cases a second generation copy or maybe even a foreign tape copy - but with MFSL you can pretty much be assured that their transfer is from the very best available tape.

    Other labels - not so sure. DCC always used original master tapes from what I know, Audio Fidelity had a rather vague "From The Original Master Tapes" statement on CD slipcases for sometime that was questioned by many and eventually dropped, the suspicion was that they in many cases used a digital copy from the original master tapes to remaster from. They no longer seem to claim to use master tapes in most releases.

    Analogue Productions, for both vinyl and SACD, will use master tapes but in many cases of material they reissue true master tapes are long gone - a lot of Verve, for example. But generally, their stuff comes from a master tape.

    Music Matters vinyl - original RVG master tapes only. ORG vinyl - same thing.

    One rule of thumb is - where is the tape located? Master tapes don't travel anymore. Haven't for a long time. This is why NY based tapes are mastered for Analog Productions at Sterling, while LA based tapes are mastered by either Grey or Grundman. British tapes don't travel either and are either dubbed in London or a hi-res transfer sent.

    The question with "From The Original Master Tapes" is - how far down the line? Everything is "from the original master tapes" - just maybe not directly from that tape. Might be from the master tape via a digital copy. Might be from the master tape via a one to one tape copy. I trust MFSL, I know some of their guys, and they will reject dubious or inferior sources and cancel a project. Others I am not always so sure about.

    But be aware also that "from the original master tapes" is not a stamp of quality in of itself. Don't get hung up with dogmatic thinking here. A duplicate tape, or a one to one copy of a master tape, or even a very high resolution copy of a master tape can and will sound fantastic. And many, many master tapes sound lousy. It's all in what gets done with the source used.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bdiament's Avatar
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    Hi Robert,

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hutton View Post
    ...Everything is "from the original master tapes" - just maybe not directly from that tape...
    Based on what I've seen over the years, this just about summarizes it perfectly.

    Also, as you pointed out, one can be mislead by thinking use of the original master tapes alone is a guarantee of anything. I've said before, I'd rather hear a record George Piros mastered from a third generation copy than one mastered from the original mixes by many another mastering engineer.

    The ingredients are only the potential. It is the mastering engineer who will determine whether that potential is realized or not.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    Soundkeeper Recordings
    Barry Diament Audio

  7. #7
    Non native english speaker, so forgive me if I am rude... chriss71's Avatar
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    Thanks for your post, Mr. Hutton. No question about it, I have 3rd gen copy tapes that sound better (because of the mastering) as the 1st gen copy on some CD's. I know that this is not a stamp of quality.
    I ask here, because in the SH Forum such threads gets consequently deleted. I don't understand that. The Band / selftitled can be a better sounding version from AFZ (and I think that the AFZ was not sourced from the original mastertapes) as the new MFSL (which there is the banner "Original Master Recording"). That's why I ask here.

  8. #8
    Non native english speaker, so forgive me if I am rude... chriss71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hutton View Post
    Audio Fidelity had a rather vague "From The Original Master Tapes" statement on CD slipcases for sometime that was questioned by many and eventually dropped, the suspicion was that they in many cases used a digital copy from the original master tapes to remaster from. They no longer seem to claim to use master tapes in most releases.
    Maybe that's the reason why this thread gets deleted. I think that there is no problem to say the truth!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chriss71 View Post
    Thanks for your post, Mr. Hutton. No question about it, I have 3rd gen copy tapes that sound better (because of the mastering) as the 1st gen copy on some CD's. I know that this is not a stamp of quality.
    I ask here, because in the SH Forum such threads gets consequently deleted. I don't understand that. The Band / selftitled can be a better sounding version from AFZ (and I think that the AFZ was not sourced from the original mastertapes) as the new MFSL (which there is the banner "Original Master Recording"). That's why I ask here.
    I don't really want to get into it much as it can inspire some very high emotions, but the SH Forum is so heavily censored, particularly where the interests of the host might be compromised, that it becomes near useless as a source of truth on these things. I kind of look at it like if Lance Armstrong had a forum on bike racing, but everytime 'doping' came up or anything that might even hint at Lance being less than godlike was posted, it was immediately deleted. Would kind of make that hypothetical Lance Forum useless in determining whether or not a race or athlete was compromised, lest it shine a light on the host himself.

    My suggestion is don't follow dogmatism, don't believe everything you read online, and the more aggressive a defence is the more likely it has something to hide.

  10. #10
    Non native english speaker, so forgive me if I am rude... chriss71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hutton View Post
    ...but the SH Forum is so heavily censored, particularly where the interests of the host might be compromised, that it becomes near useless as a source of truth on these things.
    I know that... and I also don't believe anything I read on the internet. I have many sources on which my opinion grows. And at first: MY OWN EARS!

  11. #11
    Non native english speaker, so forgive me if I am rude... chriss71's Avatar
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    After making a thread that questioning about general master tapes, the following is happened;
    1. my account on the SH Forum is banned because of spam
    2. my thread was immediately deleted

    In a land where freedom speech is in the constitution, this baffled me...

  12. #12
    Yes, so from the original masters but the actual audible 'improvements' vary wildly. For example the treatment of the Pixies material is absolutely superb (the original digital transfer to CD was bloody awful), whereas the Ziggy MFSL (vinyl) just emphasised the bright and thin quality of the original. Its certainly not a stamp of quality, more one of potential.
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