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Vinyl vs Mobil Fidelity Gold CD

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I'm putting together a road show featuring 10cc's The Original Soundtrack.

One CD-R was burned from the album which I purchased in the 1980s for five bucks while the other is from a Mobil Fidelity Gold disc.

Give them both a spin and post your impressions.

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Wow.  This is a pretty tough battle here.  One thing for sure, The Original Soundtrack is a kick-ass album.  I'd kind of forgotten how good it was....


Steve did you just rip this straight from turntable to stand-alone recorder?  Completely unprocessed, right?
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You're correct, there's no processing.  25 year old Best Buy album right to an HHb recorder.

It's hard to believe that came out nearly 35 years ago.  I'm getting old and decrepit.

I saw 10cc live on this tour and have owned two copies of this album; Mobil Fidelity altered the mix on this one by bringing up the level on some of the instruments, especially on One Night In Paris.

As an aside, on I'm Not In Love they did hundreds of dubs for the background vocals to give it that swirling synthesizer effect. 

Their first three albums were just tremendous.


Edit: HHb is hooked up to the preamp just like you would a tape deck.  Sorry for the confusion.
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Well I'm impressed.  I'd say, particularly with "I'm Not In Love", that the atmospheric wash of the layered voices and synthesizers that you referred to completely swallowed me up in a way the Mofi couldn't match. The ambient sonics and free-floating space that song puts your head into in is key to its brilliance.  It's like having a brain massage.....
There are sections of the Mofi that translate brilliantly as well, but I want to keep listening side by side for awhile to solidify some of my impressions from last night.  I also need to put my music hall cd player back in the loop as the DAC on it is better than on the sony I'm currently using and try this again.
Rabbit -- these are headed your way this morning. 
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  • 2 weeks later...
I've listened to both these extensively over the past week, both on my home 2 channel system & in my truck.  I have to say I'd never heard anything from 10cc other than "I'm Not In Love" and "The Things We Do For Love."  I REALLY liked it....reminds me of very early Queen.  "One Night In Paris" was the most interesting song on the CD~
OK, now for my impressions:
The vinyl recording reminded me WHY I sold all my vinyl & converted to CDs in the early 90s....pops, clicks, distortion on certain attack transients (sounds just like there was dust on the needle).  THAT SAID....I liked parts of certain songs on the MoFi better than the vinyl, but then there were certain other parts of the vinyl I thought were better.  Let me explain (or at least try to).... I think MoFi dropped the ball on recording this album to CD.  Most of it felt "flat" compared to the vinyl recording.  I mean in both 3D realism AND frequency response.  There's no reason for that, other than mistakes in the recording process.  The upper end on the MoFi was much CLEANER (owing to the whole *click* *pop* thing) than the vinyl recording.  Voices on some recording seemed better on the MoFi, while on others they were better on the vinyl.  It was pretty bizarre, actually.  I'm of the opinion MoFi stepped on their collective d!cks when they recorded this one....
I think reduced/compressed dynamic range on the vinyl recording made some soft passages/voices more legible, interestingly enough.  I went back & forth on several songs trying to determine exactly why this was, and that's the best reason I can come up with.  I know a lot of folks think a compressed recording actually sounds preferable to one with more dynamic range simply because it brings barely audible stuff up closer to the level of the rest of the music.  Comments like "I heard things on this recording I'd never heard before!" can be attributed to this phenomenon. Ultimately, though, it just knocks the *punch* out of the performance...
The vinyl recordings seemed fat/bloated on the bass in several songs....perhaps the RIAA equalization is off for the vinyl, resulting in exaggerated bass & mid-treble?  I don't know....
At any rate, somewhere between the two is a GREAT recording~
Thanks to Steve for providing the opportunity to compare these recordings & for introducing me to some stuff I'd never heard before!
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Interesting stuff from Wikipedia
Background information
Origin Stockport, England
Genres Rock, Pop, Art rock, Soft rock
Years active 1972–1983; 1992–1995
Labels UK Records
Mercury Records
ZYX Music
Associated acts Doctor Father
Godley & Creme
Former members
Graham Gouldman
Eric Stewart
Kevin Godley
Lol Creme
Paul Burgess
Rick Fenn
Stuart Tosh
Duncan Mackay
Tony O'Malley

10cc were an English art rock band who achieved their greatest commercial success in the 1970s. Initially comprising four musicians — Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme — who had written and recorded together for some three years, before assuming the “10cc” name in 1972.

Two strong song-writing teams, one commercial and one artistic, injected sharp wit to lyrically-dextrous songs. The commercial team (Stewart and Gouldman) were straight pop-song-writers, who created the band’s most accessible songs; the artistic team (Godley and Creme) were the experimental half of 10cc, featuring an Art School sensibility and cinematic writing. Each man was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer, and producer, and each could perform as the lead singer.
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FWIW -- DCC leveled virtually the same accusations at MoFi as to their remastering of the Original Soundtrack.  I have not heard the "unreleased" DCC gold disc of this recording, but it is out there and I would love to have the chance to listen to it sometime.
In a comment in a different thread on the MoFi version I had arrived at the same conclusion as to the perceived "flatness" of the remastering in odd places.  At first I though it may have been system related,  but now I'm thinking not.  My vantage point is slightly different in that I am very familiar with the album, and have been since it first came out. I do think I hold the MoFi in higher esteem than you do Rabbit, but the bottom line is that they missed something, and that 'something' is important.  
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"...and that something is important."
Without a doubt!
I have a MoFi Gold CD of Rush's Moving Pictures; it is the same way. Flat & lifeless.  This pretty much convinces me I won't be buying anything else from them.  I thought they did a great job years ago on Half-Speed Mastered LPs, but their CDs just suck.
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10cc initially caught a lot of flak as people thought it was a drug reference; instead, 10cc is the amount of fluid in the average male ejaculation. 

If you like this one, pick up 10cc and Sheet Music as well and then L, Freeze Frame and Snack Attack from Godley/Creme.  

Don't forget, this is NOT pristine vinyl, it's been moved from various houses and apartments at least 7 times and spent a few months stashed in a truck trailer along with the rest of my crap.

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