Letters • June 2015

Better Dead?

June 28, 2015


The review of the recent MoFi reissues of Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty was of interest, mostly in light of the previous Rhino reissues on LP and the 24-bit/96kHz tracks on the DVD-Audio discs. Have you heard these? If you have, it would be interesting to know how you find them compared to the recent MoFi reissues. I feel that the reissue at 45rpm is of limited interest, given the almost trance-like sequencing of cuts on American Beauty. I resented having to flip the record over at 33rpm.

Stan Delles

Unfortunately, I haven't heard the Rhino LPs or DVD-As -- I would have mentioned them in my review if I had. My only frame of reference was 1970s pressings, which the MoFi LPs and SACDs easily bettered. I understand your reluctance to flip 45rpm LPs, and I wonder if that's why MoFi often releases hybrid SACDs along with its 45rpm sets -- as an alternative for those who don't want to have their listening disturbed every ten minutes or so. I will say that when LPs sound this good, the inconvenience seems like a reasonable tradeoff. -Marc Mickelson

Aptitlig uses

June 26, 2015


I read the article on the smart and useful equipment support system using IKEA's Aptitlig. Very nice! Thank you for that.

I have two questions regarding my system and I need your advice. I own the same Soundstyle rack as you. First, can I use the Aptitlig bamboo base under my turntable, a Rega Planar 3? The Rega is sitting on the top of the rack. Second, under the Rega on the second shelf is the integrated amplifier, a Musical Fidelity A220. After half an hour, this runs very, very hot. I am wondering if the heat of A220 will damage the Aptitlig. I have read that the Aptitlig has an oil finish.

Christos Aikos

The Aptitlig will work perfectly under both your Rega turntable and your Musical Fidelity amp. As long as you have a couple of inches (50mm) of space between the top of the amp and the underside of the top shelf, I'm sure you won't have any problems with the heat generated by the amplifier. -Roy Gregory

Noisy Beatles

June 17, 2015


I have some Beatles Mobile Fidelity albums and have only played them once. I notice a slight low noise on them in places. I have heard that MoFi put a protective coating on these records that causes this noise, but that it will wear off after the records are played a few times.

Can you tell me if this is true? If not, what else might be causing the low noise? I'm using a brand-new Shure cartridge.

Allen Wiener

I believe the Mobile Fidelity Beatles albums were pressed in Japan, and the label used a proprietary Super Vinyl -- that's what MoFi called it -- that was supposed to be quieter and more durable than other formulations used at that time. I don't know of any "protective coating" that was put on the LPs, but there is something called mold-release compound that's used so the newly pressed record doesn't stick to the stamper. If you haven't cleaned your LPs, you may be hearing the effects of this. Given that those records are over thirty years old, you may or may not be able to get rid of it now, especially after playing, but it's worth a try. If you have a friend or a local store with one of the ultrasonic record cleaners, that might be the most effective. You can also try one of the fluids from Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions or Mobile Fidelity.

Different stylus profiles can reduce or exacerbate noise, so that would be a variable for you too. I have the entire MoFi Beatles set, and the records sound very quiet to my ears. -Marc Mickelson

Media players

June 12, 2015


I'm wondering if you recommend a particular media player for use with high-res downloads. Does any one stand out more than the others?

Sheldon Simon

I am still a physical media guy, and, from my days in IT, I have a prejudice against using computers for music, but I admit that some of the audiophile-grade server/storage units on the market are intriguing. Products from Aurender, Aria and Lumin would be at the top of my list, as they are all intelligently designed and built for best sound quality. We have a review of a new Aurender model in the works, and we're looking into coverage of an Aria and/or Lumin product too. -Marc Mickelson

Direct-drive comparisons?

June 5, 2015


May I ask what has become of the very interesting comparison of direct-drive turntables that was written about in the TABlog? Have I missed the conclusions or were they posted elsewhere?

Mark Holterman

The blog was a teaser for my reviews, where the conclusions appear. One of the reviews, of the VPI Classic Direct, has been published, and the review of the Langer turntable is in the queue. I'm currently just completing the review of the Grand Prix Audio Monaco 1.5, very much an alternative to the VPI, and there are mutterings about the various Brinkmanns too. Of the 'tables mentioned in my blog, the only fly in the ointment is the STS Motus, which had to depart before the review was complete, although there's every chance that it can return at some point in the future. -Roy Gregory

Adding him

June 1, 2015


Add me to the reader list.

David Borden

You're on! For others who want to join TAB's reader list and find out about new articles first, send e-mail to rl@theaudiobeat.com and you'll be on the list too. --Marc Mickelson


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