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: So What
B1: Freddie Freeloader
B2: Blue In Green
C1: All Blues
D1: Flamenco Sketches
How does one properly introduce an epochal record? Perhaps by unequivocally stating that it is the best-selling jazz album in history. Or by affirming that, every year, it sells tens of thousands of copies more than five decades after its original release. There's also the matter of its status as the most-referenced, and arguably, most important, jazz recording of all-time. And the Dream Team lineup of Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb. Yes, Kind of Blue is utterly inimitable.
In its three-decade-plus history, Mobile Fidelity has never been prouder to have the honour of handling efforts as important as Davis' key recordings. It's why the our engineers took every available measure to transport listeners to the March and April 1959 sessions that parlayed modal jazz into mainstream language. The blueprint for melodic improvisation and vamping, Kind of Blue simplifies tonal organisation and chordal progression into an eminently beautiful, introspective tapestry stitched with swinging poetry, mellifluous soloing, compositional lyricism, transcendental harmonies, and group interplay of the highest calibre.
While no one has ever completely identified the magic behind the record's allure - the otherworldly nature is part of its inherent charm - much of the success lies with the band members. Davis intentionally handpicked these musicians to comprise this particular cast, with everyone from former foil Evans to blues maestro Kelly to percussive genius Cobb interacting and reacting with peerless skill.
An audiophile favourite from the day it was issued, Kind of Blue takes on nirvanic sonic proportions via Mobile Fidelity's reissue. The expressive warmth, imaging clarity, frequency extension, and window-on-the-world breadth afforded by this new edition places music lovers right in the studio with the sextet. Close your eyes and, no matter how many times you may have heard it before, your experience will parallel that of the players that recorded these gems. Everyone shares in the excitement of not knowing what will happen and, as the music begins to lie out in front of you, you'll feel as if you've been whisked away to a jazz holy land. Quintessential.
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.
Produced by Irving Townsend
Recording Engineer: Fred Plaut
Mastered from the original master tapes by Krieg Wunderlich, assisted by Rob LoVerde on The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA.
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL 2-45011
Series: Original Master Recording, Gain 2™ Ultra Analog 45RPM 180g Series
Format: 2 x Vinyl LP, 45 RPM, Limited Edition, Box Set, Numbered, Reissue, 180g
Released: 21 Sep 2015