Tapestry Mobile Fidelity One-Step Versus ORG Standard Pressing (Time Line Correction)

<i>Tapestry</i> Mobile Fidelity One-Step Versus ORG Standard Pressing (Time Line Correction)
"So Far Away" Version 1
37% (265 votes)
"So Far Away" Version 2
63% (454 votes)
Total votes: 719
Thanks to a reader's generosity I was sent a copy to audition of Mobile Fidelity's One-Step release of Carole King's Tapestry album. It's clear to me I'm on Mo-Fi's "bad dog" list. I've not been offered for review any of the company's turntables, phono preamps or cartridges. When I ask, I'm met with stone silence. Over the past few years I've gotten only one record for review (that was wrong and to Mobile Fidelity music side I must apologize. I've gotten more than a few records to review since I reviewed and raved about the One Step Monk's Dream in April of 2020. My timeline was stunted by "Covid compression". Actually more than a few records did show up after that and I apologize to Mobile Fidelity for getting the timeline wrong. It's been quite a while since I got a record from them but that's mostly because nothing's been released in some time. Though after I asked for a copy of Jeff Beck's Truth album I got a copy and gave it a well-deserved great review). This audio product review shunning can't be accidental. What did I do to be cut out of the equipment? I have no idea and it's none of my business.

So, thanks to a reader's generosity here's a comparison of "So Far Away" from Tapestry as a One-Step Mobile Fidelity release and the ORG edition from a few years back cut by Bernie Grundman and Chris Bellman. Both of these editions are at 45 rpm. I'm not going to foul the waters by giving you my take. At least not until the votes are in and perhaps not at all. Polls will be open for 1 week.

BTW: turntable was OMA K3, Frank Schröder K3 arm, Lyra Atlas Lambda SL cartridge, CH Precision P1/X1 phono preamp, Lynx HiLo A/D converter.

File "1"

File "2"

Glotz's picture

What came off as critical points, now just seem shit-talking without any concrete examples.

Please give us examples on what your opinion of Tone is. You don't go for the subjective opinions of reviewers, but just the facts as you state.

Apparently you don't trust others' subjective input. Trust is key with any reviewer, objective material or not. It's clear you're just trying to feel good about talking shit to someone with an online presence.

Glotz's picture

All of us have a right to give our subjective opinions here too... we can speak for ourselves and MF if we see some jealous bullshit being spewed. It is and you are an asshat.

johnnythunder2's picture

negative energy to these posts. get a column of your own and troll yourself.

Jazz listener's picture

in your coffee? You must be fun at parties. Seriously though, aare you new to this audio thing? To suggest that any company that makes audio gear or vinyl records has nothing to gain by getting a review by AP is both stupid and laughable, and to suggest Tone Audio of all things as better is doubly so. First of all, it’s not, and secondly, the last time I checked, the more promotion the better, especially from a site as respected as AP.

orthobiz's picture

So do a review explosion and clue us in to some of your most recent faves.
AND do a separate column with tasty tidbits like an RL Led Zeppelin II recommendation of a timtom London Calling or the TML Sticky Fingers. You get the idea (even though I know you are busy...)


Michael Fremer's picture
Black Country New Road "Ants From Up There". Mr. Lui will have a review hopefully soon.
Mannfred's picture

In total agreement sir! Great album, in fact their whole output is terrific. Bandcamp page below-


gMRfk6LMHn's picture
gMRfk6LMHn's picture

I just don't pay above the odds for an LP. I have never lost sight of the fact that it is ONLY an LP NOT the Holy Grail!

In saying that if I did pay the mad prices being asked for an LP, my collection would be much more manageable.

I love reading all your reviews of all the different types of vinyl product available... 200gram audiophile, half-speed, half-speed 45rpm, One-Steps, the list is endless.

Keep up the good work Michael, you are one of the good guys in this crazy world we live in.

James, Dublin, Ireland

richiep's picture

#2 appears to be MOFI as vocals are forward and midrange instruments better definition and clarity.
#1 has a softer pure sound vocal, mid is not as detailed, more background.
What better to stimulate the mind on a mid winter day!

miguelito's picture

Couple of comments on each:

File 1:
- Sounds like a high frequency limiter has been used to remove some tape noise
- CK's voice is not as transparent (prob because of the above) - this is not a great recording to begin with anyway
- The bass is slightly bloated to my taste, especially the drums starting at 3m or so

File 2:
- Louder than '1' by about 0.5dB (measured using MusicScope)
- Sounds like no high frequency limiting so slightly more tape noise
- CK's voice is more complete and more charming than '1', probably because of the higher freq output
- Bass is more controlled, especially the drums starting at around 3m

Overall, I think I prefer File 2.

kimi imacman's picture

I wholly agree with you

miguelito's picture

I got a relatively bad MoFi repress recently. Side B had scratches which you could clearly see, which I think must have been the result of handling with a dirty glove. Very disappointing but I kept the record because I don't have another vinyl copy.

my new username's picture

My first reaction is that I like File 2 better. First impressions:

file 1
guitar is tinkly, like a toy; WTF is that?
vocal ok
piano ok
bass ok
drum goes "poomph" like a fart
background vocals good separation
flute ok

file 2:
guitar still tinkly but now has tone and it's being played by fingers
vocal now belongs to a human
piano not as lost in the mix
i can now almost count the number of background singers
drums still go "poomph"
bass guitar about the same
i think that kick drum is deeper, now?
flute now back somewhat in the mix

Looking over my responses, File 2 points to higher definition. I'm not sure Tapestry is a great recording to begin with. Both versions have a very hifi quality about them. The guitar and drums remain pretty nasty overall.

kimi imacman's picture

Spot on, my thoughts exactly

Jasper2021's picture

Totally agree!

Bskeane's picture

To my ears off my laptop speakers I prefer file 2. File 1 seemed too bright and edgy for my taste.

As to the reviewing of MOFI titles and equipment; I would think it would be in their best interest to get reviews from AP.

kelossus's picture

I am listening of my desktop rig which consists of shitty JBL LSR308 monitors through a Asus Xonar Soundcard.

I don't think the production behind this record sounds good in general, I have never listened to it but based on those two files it doesn't impress. That could be my shitty desktop rig.

Knowing how MOFI master these days Track 2 would be my guess. I prefer track 2 also. It's got a little more drive than the first track. Everything is pushed a little further forward which during a quick A/B makes it seem more exciting and engaging. The drums have more kick and the guitar has more bite. Unsure if it would be fatiguing on a proper hi-fi rig. I don't think it would but I'd have to hear it for myself.

Mercury's picture

I hear more attack and emediacy on fil-2.
If pushed i would go for file-2.

Best regards Asger

Ivan Lietaert's picture

So, do I get this right? "thanks to a reader's generosity" you obtained a copy of this album, and then you decided to make an illegal copy of track 2 (side 1), and now you are making it available for download on the internet. You've made it pretty clear you did not ask/get permission to do this. In most western countries, this is copyright infringement, if you ask me.

Though I find this kind of comparison interesting - I compared it to my non-audiophile Sony release which I bought from Aldi, Belgium, last Christmas - you're stepping on toes when you do this without permission. Just my 2 cents.

kelossus's picture

Pretty sure Frem-Dog knows what he is doing. Move on.

arcman67's picture

Really? So you compared the files...thus making you a copyright violator for downloading. Get a life

Mannfred's picture

Hold your horses boss.

He just posted samples, perfectly legal and ethical under Fair Use.

No need to come in with all guns blazing without knowing the law.


shawnwes's picture

My guess is you don't get invited to many parties these days. Europeans shouldn't be lecturing on music copywrite infringement as they seem to have their own lax rules regarding music IP bootlegs.

johnnythunder2's picture

You need to find other things to worry about. And you downloaded them to listen, so you're a hypocrite as well as an alarmist troll.

King Of Dirk's picture

"...this is copyright infringement, if you ask me."

But no one did.

Diogo's picture

Although file 1 is probably the MOFI One Step version.

File 1 has absolutely zero groove noise/tape hiss which is nice to have but not essential. On the other hand the stereo mix in this recording is a bit "in your face" to my ears, and there is so much attention given to resolution and detail in file 1 that the recording ends up sounding more processed, albeit the overall timbre being more correct.

File 2 has more tape hiss which is probably how the original tape sounds like. Everything sounds more integrated and harmonious, but also more polite, which is usually my preference but not in this case. Carole's vocals however sound a bit more forward and the piano is better centered, both things sound more correct to me and ultimately make me prefer file 2.

I'd live happily with both.

Mannfred's picture

Mr. Fremer, your posts have been increasingly sloppy over the past few years. Numerous corrections. This last one is outright embarrassing. You did not remember you received plenty more MoFi promotional copies? Seriously. I am giving you a pass on senility, for now. What a fiasco.

Glotz's picture

You worthless, pedantic, unprofessional fuck-lick.

Mannfred's picture

Sorry, I don't worry about insults from 300lb trolls living in their mother's basement with a lifetime pornhub membership. And probably a Trumpanzee to boot. Have a great day.