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My review of the MFSL 45RPM reissue of The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot.

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  • My review of the MFSL 45RPM reissue of The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot.

    I'm not a writer (and thereby not a reviewer), but I have an opinion...so here it is.

    MFSL I Robot 45RPM 2LP Review

    Other than Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon there isn’t an album I have more vinyl copies of. I have various Canadian & US copies that I bought mainly as backups, an original UK A1/B1 press, the MFSL 1-1084 (1982) and Classic 200g (2000). I haven’t pursued the MFSL UHQR, so I can’t speak to it.

    Out of the ones listed, the Classic is my preferred pressing, then the UK A1/B1. The MFSL is better than my domestic CAN/US pressings as it does get more from within the grooves, but I’m a little indifferent about it as it’s also a little darker. Nine out of ten times I’ll play either the Classic or the UK.

    So for the purpose of this review I’m going to use the Classic Records (CR) reissue as the baseline. Volume control has been set at -17.5dB for both. Balance is set to FLAT (it always is actually). Cleaning and maintenance (before & after each playing side) is identical.

    I’m not going to make this very long and will tell you right up front that the MFSL 45RPM is now my preferred copy if & when I want to hear the best possible interpretation of this album on vinyl. There, I said it! Do not think though that I’ll be dumping my CR copy, because it’s close, really close, and has the advantage of longer sides….it’s perfect for those sessions when the sitting back and enjoying the music for the music is more important.

    I could not really detect an over-abundance of sounds not heard before (real instruments or recording/technical artifacts) between the two, but there was a substantial difference in clarity. The MFSL is super, super quiet and IMO gave the impression there was. I went back and forth between several tracks to make sure I had this distinction correct.

    With regard to imaging and soundstage the MFSL wins again, especially three-dimensionality. It is that much bigger, wider, taller and deeper. Instrument separation was close, but the CR couldn’t quite match the clarity, definition and positioning of each instrument as accurately. With the MFSL I could actually and truly imagine that the musicians were in my room and where in my room they were. I’ve not felt this closely connected to this album before, but there is one more thing.

    Tonality.

    No other pressing I’ve heard of this album conveys the tonal quality of instruments as well as this does. I could differentiate between the strum of a bass note and how it was plucked or degree of intensity applied. I observed the same with cymbal work and the various parts of a full drum kit. Such glorious accuracy and weight one could only dream to get on all of our recordings. It sounded (sounds) so real!

    In summation….this is a must-have pressing for I Robot fans. 10/10
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

  • #2
    Thanks for the writeup, Johnny! I was avoiding the new Mofi release as I have the CR reissue but your writeup has me thinking about it. There's a few 20% coupons out there now...

    thx again!
    Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

    Comment


    • Johnny Vinyl
      Johnny Vinyl commented
      Editing a comment
      I think you'll really enjoy it!!

    • allenh
      allenh commented
      Editing a comment
      Have 20% coupon, will get it!

  • #3
    Thanks Johnny for the write up. Everyone should feel free to post reviews about records, equipment, etc.! Writer or not. We want to hear about what's floating your boat!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

    Comment


    • Johnny Vinyl
      Johnny Vinyl commented
      Editing a comment
      My pleasure Myles! I enjoyed doing it and, I too, would love to see members post their impressions of music and gear!

  • #4
    I have the uhqr and would love to hear a shootout with the new 45 rpm but really cant afford it right now.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • #5
      I'm thinking member review section for equipment and music? Sorry to be off topic Johnny.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • #6
        MylesBAstor :I would separate the two subjects Myles- gear and music reviews are read very differently in my estimation.

        Johnny Vinyl: John, you are a writer- you may not do it professionally, but that doesn't mean you aren't a "writer".
        The thing I find with some audiophile remasters-not always- is that they do give you more detail and you can hear more of what is going on, but that is often at the expense of cohesiveness; in other words, some parts seem magnified so you can hear into those better, but overall, the record lacks the balance or evenness across the spectrum that the original or an earlier issue enjoys.

        I suspect this is partly due to the choices of the mastering engineer, as well as the use of more modern mastering and cutting equipment. I know there is talk of "tape age" and signal loss, but I'm not sure that is a constant factor- what I often hear in new remasters is a little brighter than the old record, not to the degree it is fatiguing, but the difference is still noticeable to one degree or another.
        Keep writing! It's fun, the research is fun, the comparisons are time-consuming (and sometimes strain my ear/brain goes into overload- it can be real "work"), but it is very satisfying. We do this for ourselves, I think. But, it can be edifying to put your thoughts in print. It also compels you to learn more and to be more careful about what you say, so that desire to get it "right" (not in your judgments but in your facts) can be pressure that makes the process stressful, or a force that drives you to learn more, hear more, and apply what you learn in a thoughtful way. I've become a better listener (and writer) and believe I've learned a lot more about music since I started my blog.

        Comment


        • Johnny Vinyl
          Johnny Vinyl commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the encouragement Bill, appreciated for sure! I've done a few in the past as you know, but I'm a little rusty. I know I can get better and look forward to more in the future.

      • #7
        Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
        MylesBAstor :I would separate the two subjects Myles- gear and music reviews are read very differently in my estimation.

        Johnny Vinyl: John, you are a writer- you may not do it professionally, but that doesn't mean you aren't a "writer".
        The thing I find with some audiophile remasters-not always- is that they do give you more detail and you can hear more of what is going on, but that is often at the expense of cohesiveness; in other words, some parts seem magnified so you can hear into those better, but overall, the record lacks the balance or evenness across the spectrum that the original or an earlier issue enjoys.

        I suspect this is partly due to the choices of the mastering engineer, as well as the use of more modern mastering and cutting equipment. I know there is talk of "tape age" and signal loss, but I'm not sure that is a constant factor- what I often hear in new remasters is a little brighter than the old record, not to the degree it is fatiguing, but the difference is still noticeable to one degree or another.
        Keep writing! It's fun, the research is fun, the comparisons are time-consuming (and sometimes strain my ear/brain goes into overload- it can be real "work"), but it is very satisfying. We do this for ourselves, I think. But, it can be edifying to put your thoughts in print. It also compels you to learn more and to be more careful about what you say, so that desire to get it "right" (not in your judgments but in your facts) can be pressure that makes the process stressful, or a force that drives you to learn more, hear more, and apply what you learn in a thoughtful way. I've become a better listener (and writer) and believe I've learned a lot more about music since I started my blog.
        Sorry for the confusion. That's what I meant.
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

        Comment


        • #8
          I'd be more interested in record "shootouts" rather than just regular single disc reviews....
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

          Comment


          • Johnny Vinyl
            Johnny Vinyl commented
            Editing a comment
            Same here, but not always possible.
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