Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL or MoFi) is a company known in the music world as an innovator in the production of high-quality (audiophile) sound recordings. All of the company’s releases are made from original first-generation analog master tapes using proprietary technology, which, according to MFSL, allows for sound quality superior to conventional recording methods. MFSL produced LPs, CDs, DVDs and cassette editions. Each release was made under license and with the permission of the original record company in a fairly limited edition and was sold only for a very short time.
Since 1977, MFSL has gained a reputation for focusing on quality in all aspects of the audio media production process. At this time MFSL was a very cutting edge company in the recording industry, offering very high quality product at very reasonable prices. In the 1980s, the major vinyl producers used relatively low quality mastering and duplication methods. Records began to be printed on thin vinyl and often used recycled materials. These low-cost methods led to a decrease in the quality of the records, the appearance of extraneous noise and sound distortion, which generally worsened the sound of the medium. By placing the highest standards of quality at the forefront, the company immediately became the object of praise from critics and collectors. The success of MFSL showed other companies the quality standard for audio media.
MFSL initially became known to the public as a manufacturer using half-speed mastering technology, which has since been used by other companies. It was the first label to use this as a standard on all of its LP releases. The use of this recording technique was pioneered by engineer Stan Ricker, who mastered all of the early MFSL releases. His work can be recognized by the signature “SR/2” between the end of the audio track and the affixed label. With some exceptions, MFSL uses only the original master tape as the source. This tape was played at half its original speed (if the master tapes were recorded at 30 inches per second, they were played at 15 inches per second.) At the same time, the sound cutting machine was rotated at a speed of 16 and 2/3 revolutions per minute (half its normal speed is 33 and 1/3 rpm.) Half-speed mastering technology allows for cleaner reproduction of high frequencies and a wider dynamic range. Cutting twice as slow allows you to convey the sound from the master tape in more detail and preserve the musical details of the original. It also allows you to convey an expanded high-frequency component and more nuances of musical material.
Jack Hunt (“JH/2”) also mastered MFSL’s releases in the 1970s and 1980s. Some later editions were done by John LeMay and Paul Stubblebine, with a few unaccredited releases. Later, Shawn R. Britton and Rob LoVerde made mostly LPs for MFSL. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s mission today is to deliver high quality music. From our first UHQR™ vinyl record to our latest Ultradisc UHR™ SACD, we have been and continue to be a staunch innovator in the audio file industry. We also believe that technological development occurs best when it is accompanied by a deep awareness and appreciation of the elusive magic and mystery that music encompasses. Our greatest hope is that our products will serve as conduits for ears and souls to experience superior, pure, natural sound reproduction of diverse and outstanding original master recordings from across the musical spectrum.
For many music lovers and audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity (MoFi) is almost a sacred word, but this has always applied to discs and records published with exceptionally high quality of publication and over time, invariably becoming collector’s rarities with corresponding price tags. When the company presented its line of equipment at an exhibition in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2016, it turned out to be a big surprise. The entire MoFi model range consists of two players: an older one and a younger one, as well as three pickup heads, all three of which are of the MM type and, which is not entirely common (although it is found, for example, with Rega) – with non-replaceable stylus. In addition, there are two phono stages in the catalogue, again – one is simpler, the other is more complex. Phono stages, by the way, are designed not only for MM, but also for MS heads. And that’s it, there’s nothing more in terms of technology and accessories, except perhaps an optional aluminum clamp for turntables.