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Sun Aug 7, 2022, 12:52 AM

How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire

Mike Esposito still won’t say who gave him the tip about the records. But on July 14, he went public with an explosive claim.

In a sometimes halting video posted to the YouTube channel of his Phoenix record shop, the ‘In’ Groove, Esposito said that “pretty reliable sources” told him that MoFi (Mobile Fidelity), the Sebastopol, Calif., company that has prided itself on using original master tapes for its pricey reissues, had actually been using digital files in its production chain. In the world of audiophiles — where provenance is everything and the quest is to get as close to the sound of an album’s original recording as possible — digital is considered almost unholy. And using digital while claiming not to is the gravest sin a manufacturer can commit.

There was immediate pushback to Esposito’s video, including from some of the bigger names in the passionate audio community.

Shane Buettner, owner of Intervention Records, another company in the reissue business, defended MoFi on the popular message board moderated by mastering engineer Steve Hoffman. He remembered running into one of the company’s engineers at a recording studio working with a master tape. “I know their process and it’s legit,” he wrote. Michael Fremer, the dean of audiophile writing, was less measured. He slammed Esposito for irresponsibly spreading rumors and said his own unnamed source told him the record store owner was wrong. “Will speculative click bait YouTube videos claiming otherwise be taken down after reading this?” he tweeted.

But at MoFi’s headquarters in Sebastopol, John Wood knew the truth. The company’s executive vice president of product development felt crushed as he watched Esposito’s video. He has worked at the company for more than 26 years and, like most of his colleagues, championed its much lauded direct-from-master chain. Wood could hear the disappointment as Esposito, while delivering his report, also said that some of MoFi’s albums were among his favorites. So Wood picked up the phone, called Esposito and suggested he fly to California for a tour. It’s an invite he would later regret.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/music/2022/08/05/mofi-records-analog-digital-scandal/

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Reply How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire (Original post)
Mosby Aug 7 OP
Turbineguy Aug 7 #1
Marcus IM Aug 7 #2
Indykatie Aug 7 #3

Response to Mosby (Original post)

Sun Aug 7, 2022, 12:58 AM

1. Strange, I heard that in the 1980's

I thought it was common knowledge that it was digital. The discs sound better because there is simply more care put in than mass pressings.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 7, 2022, 02:03 AM

2. Vinyl has many limitations.

The RIAA equalization deemphasizing and reemphasizing curves were one.
Also, the lack of real standards in stylus equalization and output. The list is long, but there are detractors of digital audio conversion too.

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Sun Aug 7, 2022, 03:33 AM

3. Fascinating Read!

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