Limited to 3000 copies worldwide
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.
A1: She's On Fire
A2: I Wish You Would
A3: Drops Of Jupiter
A4: It's About You
B1: Let It Roll
B2: Something More
B3: Whipping Boy
There's definitely nothing wrong with echoing classic rock and harmonic pop sounds, especially when it's done this well. Drops of Jupiter, Train's two-time Grammy-winning 2001 album, revels in sweeping hooks and soulful comfort borrowed from proven 70s methods. Remarks of jealous critics aside, the approach resonated with the public and made Train a ubiquitous presence of mainstream radio, a status the group still enjoys.
Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed at RTI, and limited to 3,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's 180g vinyl LP brings listeners much closer to the band's roots-rock instrumentation and vocalist Pat Monahan's smooth tonalities. Free of the harshness, boxiness, and flatness discernible on the CD, it breathes with an openness and airiness that grants the music translucent qualities. Previously restricted, dynamic headroom and instrumental separation are enlarged and enhanced. Suffice it to say that this modern classic has never sounded anywhere this good. It's a record made for experiencing in analog, and one timeless in construction and mood.
At its core, the San Francisco quintet's sophomore record is the sound of what happens when concerns about trends and coolness are put aside and solid, simple, genuinely earnest music is made the primary focus. Drawing from influences such as Elton John and Van Morrison, Train crafts eminently listenable fare steeped in finely tailored melodies and bolstered by affirmative, uplifting messages. Complementary accents in the form of sing-a-long refrains, folksy mandolins, and scene-setting synthesizer fills give songs grounding and fully realized depth. Time and again, the quintet's acoustic-based material satisfies and inspires.
Nowhere is this truer than on the soaring title track, a string- and piano-led orchestral ballad that remained in the Top 40 charts for an incredible 29 straight weeks. Nominated for five Grammy Awards, it won for Best Rock Song and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompany Vocalist(s). Alternatively shimmering, endearing, and soothing, the rest of the Brendan O'Brien-produced album features the same consistency and passion throughout. Legendary pianist Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers Band) and veteran Elton John arranger Paul Buckmaster also lend their hands, contributing to a set awash in anthemic persuasion and elegant grace.
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 play back, 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.
Engineered by Ryan Williams, Karl Egsieker
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes by Krieg Wunderlich, assisted by Shawn Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA on the GAIN 2 ULTRA ANALOG SYSTEM.
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL1-444
Series: Original Master Recording, Gain 2™ Ultra Analog 180g Series
Format: 1 x Vinyl LP, Limited Edition, Numbered, Remastered
Released: 30 June 2020
Genre: Pop Rock