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Discussion: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue

Posts: 32
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Post by undertone June 20, 2015 (11 of 32)
cds23 said:

I asked MFSL about this a year ago. They used the all-analog stereo mixdown tape done in 1997 by Mark Wilder. There are no "correct" speed three channel tapes, both of the three channel tapes (the main tape and and the back up tapes) ran slightly fast while recording. It was only in the nineties (for the Sony Mastersound Gold CD) that Mark Wilder adjusted the speed while mixing.

Edited post.

Thanks, cds23, that is very useful information. The 1995 Classic Records LP speed-corrected Side 3 must also have been derived from the stereo tape remixed by Mark Wilder. An excerpt from the liner notes to that release:

"This two LP set... corrects a mechanical problem that occurred during the recording process. It has been determined by Sony engineers that the tape machine used to produce Side One of the original record in 1959 was running about 1¼ percent slow during the recording session."

I noticed right away that the MoFi SACD sounded more similar to the Classic Records LP than to the US Sony SACD stereo program.

Sony (thanks to Mr. Wilder's acute sense of pitch) did a great service by creating a new analogue stereo master nearly forty years after the original recording sessions.

MoFi should consider adding that detail to their website since the provenance of the master source is a selling point of the disc.

Post by Claude June 22, 2015 (12 of 32)
If the 1997 mixdown tape is indeed the source for this SACD (as it was for the previous SACDs), I'll stick with the HDtracks download sourced from the newer 2013 mixdown, which IMHO sounds better than the US SACD and the 2007 Japan SACD. It has more transparency and dynamics.

Post by undertone June 22, 2015 (13 of 32)
Background on the stereo remix

http://www.analogplanet.com/content/miles-davis-kind-blue-monophonic-reissue-sonylegacy-analog-planet-exclusive

Fremer wrote in 2013: "Wilder and Berkowitz recently decided to do another and perhaps final 3-track KOB transfer: to DSD, to 192/24 bit PCM (and probably other resolution digital) and at the same time, a two-channel stereo and a mono mixdown to analog tape. The two channel mix down will most likely be the source of a Mobile Fidelity stereo reissue coming later in the year as part of that label's Miles Davis stereo vinyl reissue project."

It cannot be determined by reading the liner notes credits that the source is the original mid-1990s analogue remix. I hope MoFi clarifies the issue.

The single-layer US Sony SACD doesn't sound the same as the new MoFi SACD, so I would not be surprised if the MoFi was derived from a more recent transfer.

Listening to the backup three-channel tape

http://www.stereophile.com/thefifthelement/206fifth/

Post by cds23 June 24, 2015 (14 of 32)
undertone said:

Background on the stereo remix

http://www.analogplanet.com/content/miles-davis-kind-blue-monophonic-reissue-sonylegacy-analog-planet-exclusive

Fremer wrote in 2013: "Wilder and Berkowitz recently decided to do another and perhaps final 3-track KOB transfer: to DSD, to 192/24 bit PCM (and probably other resolution digital) and at the same time, a two-channel stereo and a mono mixdown to analog tape. The two channel mix down will most likely be the source of a Mobile Fidelity stereo reissue coming later in the year as part of that label's Miles Davis stereo vinyl reissue project."

It cannot be determined by reading the liner notes credits that the source is the original mid-1990s analogue remix. I hope MoFi clarifies the issue.

The single-layer US Sony SACD doesn't sound the same as the new MoFi SACD, so I would not be surprised if the MoFi was derived from a more recent transfer.

Listening to the backup three-channel tape

http://www.stereophile.com/thefifthelement/206fifth/

These cited infos from Fremer are long outdated. As I said before, my information derive directly from MFSL, so I assume they must be right, unless they are lying. But I doubt that.
Fremer himself has stated, in a post about a MFSL test pressing of KoB, that the 1997 remix tape was the source of choice, but he erroneously said that MFSL used a copy of this new stereo mixdown tape, which is not correct!

Classic Records actually cut their LPs directly from the three track tapes, mixed 'live', and Bernie Grundman adjusted the speed himself for the corrected speed Side 3, AFAIK.

The HDTracks version from 2013 is not closer to the three tracks than 1997 remix. The former was first transferred to digital to perform the required fading moves, speed correction etc and then transferred those files back to tape. It is my understanding that Wilder then transferred this tape again to digital to 24/192 and that's what you get on HDTracks. So in the end, if one prefers all analog transfers, the 1997 remix is the way to go - MFSL or Classic Records.

Post by Claude June 24, 2015 (15 of 32)
cds23 said:


The HDTracks version from 2013 is not closer to the three tracks than 1997 remix. The former was first transferred to digital to perform the required fading moves, speed correction etc and then transferred those files back to tape. It is my understanding that Wilder then transferred this tape again to digital to 24/192 and that's what you get on HDTracks. So in the end, if one prefers all analog transfers, the 1997 remix is the way to go - MFSL or Classic Records.

I hope this gets cleared up, because it seems too bizarre to digitize a 3-track tape and then record the signal (after processing and D/A conversion) on 2-track tape again, then digitize this tape for the release.

The downmix could be done in digital for the digital reissues (for the best possible sound) and in analogue for the LP reissue (because vinyl fans don't want any digital step in the signal chain).

Post by cds23 June 24, 2015 (16 of 32)
Unfortunately the downmix wasn't done in analogue, that's why Ryan Smith from Sterling was provided a digital file to cut the lacquer for the RSD Mono vinyl.

Post by RWetmore July 26, 2015 (17 of 32)
I've been listening to this quite a bit. The best part of the transfer is it appears to not have its levels boosted like the 2007 Japanese release. It also has significantly less audible tape hiss. MoFi did a great job and this is joy to listen to. I only wish they would have used the Grimm AD1 for final A/D conversion, as I do hear and sense a little artificial rounding and softening of the 'edges' of the sound (which is unfortunately present on every single one of their releases I own, and I own quite a few).

Post by stvnharr July 26, 2015 (18 of 32)
RWetmore said:

I've been listening to this quite a bit. The best part of the transfer is it appears to not have its levels boosted like the 2007 Japanese release. It also has significantly less audible tape hiss. MoFi did a great job and this is joy to listen to. I only wish they would have used the Grimm AD1 for final A/D conversion, as I do hear and sense a little artificial rounding and softening of the 'edges' of the sound (which is unfortunately present on every single one of their releases I own, and I own quite a few).

Hi,
Given that you've written a number of posts about "edges", I would like to know what exactly you mean by "edges". This term is used a fair bit in audiophile circles. There is never any definition as you are just supposed to automatically know what is meant. So, I'm asking for a definition.
When I listen to music I never hear "edges". I only hear notes and music. But "edges", no never heard an edge. I know people do listen differently and for different things, and that's fine.

Post by RWetmore July 26, 2015 (19 of 32)
stvnharr said:

Hi,
Given that you've written a number of posts about "edges", I would like to know what exactly you mean by "edges". This term is used a fair bit in audiophile circles. There is never any definition as you are just supposed to automatically know what is meant. So, I'm asking for a definition.
When I listen to music I never hear "edges". I only hear notes and music. But "edges", no never heard an edge. I know people do listen differently and for different things, and that's fine.

Tight and trueness of dynamics. Crisp and accurate dynamic contrast and dynamic projection of the sound source.

Post by stvnharr July 26, 2015 (20 of 32)
RWetmore said:

Tight and trueness of dynamics. Crisp and accurate dynamic contrast and dynamic projection of the sound source.

Hm, you've used the word "dynamics" three times. And dynamics, as I see it, is the rapid change between loud and soft, such as it is in the music. In my experience this all has more to do with the amplifier and the amp-speaker synergy than anything else.

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