Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artefacts.
With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware.
1: Tunnel of Love
2: Romeo and Juliet
4: Expresso Love
5: Hand in Hand
6: Solid Rock
7: Les Boys
Making Movies marks a magnificent turning point in Dire Straits' career. Considered by many fans to be the group's most complete album, the 1980 set witnesses leader Mark Knopfler greatly expanding his songwriting palette and setting his storytelling amidst more complex, involving arrangements. Dire Straits also benefits from crucial contributions from Bruce Springsteen pianist Roy Bittan and the departure of rhythm guitarist David Knopfler. The songs spark with a mélange of poetry, passion, and cohesion that engages the senses and begs to be experienced again and again.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP set of Making Movies breathes with reference-caliber airiness, spaciousness, dynamics, and separation. Produced by Jimmy Iovine and Knopfler, the record – which contains many Springsteen-esque elements – features the cleanliness and clarity that have long been Dire Straits trademarks. The extra-wide 45RPM grooves on this edition provide previously unattainable detail, information, and soundstaging. This is what audiophile recordings are all about.
You know you're in the presence of sonic greatness as soon as the first few seconds of the opening "Tunnel of Love" pass, as the introductory passage built on organ and piano – new additions to Dire Straits' palette – intertwine with the unmistakable coil-spring twang of Knopfler's guitar. The three-dimensional, full-bodied presentation of the latter instrument on this Mobile Fidelity LP is alone worth the price of admission. Crisp, rich, and balanced, the analog sound brings Knopfler's Fender Vibrolux and Music Man HD130 amplifiers into your room. The romanticism of Bittan's piano, precision timekeeping of drummer Pick Withers, and steady roll of bassist John Illsley come across with similar potency, scale, and verve.
Always more about the whole than the sum of their individual parts, Dire Straits demonstrate that while Knopfler is the lynchpin, this record is a true band effort. Bittan's role cannot be overstated. His melodicism poetically complements Knopfler's subtle staccato rhythms and more than makes up for the exit of David Knopfler. Expansive and cinematic, the aptly titled Making Movies puts a premium on interrelated subjects (love, relationships, heartbreak) and deep-seated emotions that play out in heartfelt lyrics, intense singing, and epic frameworks. Everything clicks.
The album's power isn't lost on Iovine, who later told Rolling Stone: "The right people were in the room together. It really was making a record in the pure sense of the term. The whole thing sounds like one song. But you what that is? That's the writing, the guy who wrote it. He wrote the album like that; he wanted to make the album like that."
Indeed, the first five tracks – "Tunnel of Love," "Romeo and Juliet," "Skateaway," "Expresso Love," "Hand in Hand" – comprise a mini-suite united by theme, harmony, and spirit. Every member of the newly configured Dire Straits has a say in the shaping of the material. There's not a note out of place. Iovine and Knopfler's standout production puts it over the top.
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab'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 customised 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, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs only utilise first generation original master recordings as source material for their releases. MFSL then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master's sonic information. The lacquers are then plated in a specialised process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial playback, but as the disc is played more, a high-quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). MFSL 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.
Produced by Jimmy Iovine and Mark Knopfler
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA on the GAIN 2 ULTRA ANALOG SYSTEM.
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL2-468
Series: Gain 2™ Ultra Analog 45RPM 180g Series
Format: 2 x Vinyl LP, 45RPM, Limited Edition, Numbered, Reissue, Remastered, Gatefold
Genre: Blues Rock, Classic Rock