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Saturday Deluxe / 12 August 2017

Mobile Fidelity are bringing out a new vinyl edition of Donald Fagen‘s classic debut The Nightfly. It’s actually a 45RPM box set edition and is described as the “ultimate analog edition” of the 1982 album.

The label are certainly talking it up… telling us that Fagen’s solo debut reaches “three-dimensional sonic and emotional heights never before attained by analog recordings on Mobile Fidelity’s opulent UD1S (UltraDisc One-Step) box set”. Admittedly, the packaging sounds good – this comes in an “opulent box and special foil-stamped jackets.

Despite all the blurb from Mobile Fidelity, they don’t confirm if this is a 2LP vinyl set. One presumes that it is, because even though the album clocks in at under 40 minutes, you’d still expect a 45RPM pressing to be over four sides.

The Mobile Fidelity site talks of 6,000 numbered copies, although this is listed as 5,000 elsewhere. The label stress that “no expense has been spared” with this edition, but even so, this is incredibly expensive for one 8-track album, as you can see by the prices below. You can buy it from MOFI’s site for $100 though, where you can also read more about why they think this is so good! Everyone here at SDE I’m sure wants great sounding music, but would you pay £100 or $100 for one album? Leave a comment and let me know.

Compare prices and pre-order

Donald Fagen

The Nightfly [VINYL]

Currency:

I had a great chat with Steven Wilson this week about his new album To The Bone. That interview will be published on SDE soon. The record is released next Friday, but here’s some advanced warning that on Wednesday next week I’ll be putting up some last minute pre-orders on the SDE Shop for a limited quantity of CD, Vinyl and Blu-ray editions of To The Bone that will all come with a postcard SIGNED by Steven Wilson. I’ve been listening to a preview copy of To The Bone over the past couple of weeks, and I’m really loving it.


Slightly belatedly… I’d like to officially announce the winner of the Psycho competition. SDE reader Victor Bustamante (from Spain) was randomly selected at the winner and his prize has gone out to him. Thanks to everyone who entered! SDE has some more great competition prizes coming soon, including David Bowie‘s Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust on gold vinyl and a copy of the recent Boney M. vinyl box set.

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.

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[…] vinyl edition of The Nightfly included here will sound as good as Mobile Fidelity’s recent Ultradisc One-Step Pressing, you are getting close to Fagen’s entire output on vinyl for less than the press of that one […]

ross

Cleaned on a KL audio Rcm & dropped the stylus & one of the best sounding records Ever
stella job from Mofi

David Bills

I bit the bullet and ordered two – yes, two – copies of the ridiculously-priced MoFi reissue of “The Nightfly” from Music Direct in early September. They arrived on Saturday, (10/28), and I played one copy Monday, (10/30), for the first time. I cannot overstate how disappointed I am – dropouts in 4 of 8 songs! Not ticks, not pops, not skips, not scratches – just dead air lasting a fraction of a second to a full second as the stylus continued tracking the groove.

Record was cleaned on VPI machine prior to playing the first time – noticed smudges, but they came right off. Oh, right, where there is music, well, it’s sublime.

A quality control issue or “artifacts” from the tape, (to use MoFi’s term from the fine print on the insert)?

Call to Music Direct went unanswered, (so far), though I remain cautiously optimistic…

Second copy will remain sealed until I hear from MD and/or MoFi. :-(

Alex

I also received my copy from MoFi, this is what I had to say to them and their response:

This was delivered today and I must say I am absolutely appalled by the condition I received it in.

The album box was shrink wrapped but once I removed the plastic, the box seemed to have been splashed with food or drink of some kind and the left side of the box itself has a long razor-like slice along the fold.

Inside is not much better, with the second album cover split at the top and both album covers are very scuffed.

I have not tried to play the albums yet, I don’t dare.

Given the price of this limited edition set, I am shocked that this got past any kind of quality control. I can only assume that whomever hand numbered the set did so very carelessly whilst they were having their lunch in the back of a truck!

I have attached photos.

Reply:
Hello, Alex. I am very sorry to hear this. We will receive replacement LPs for this title, but there is currently no ETA and unfortunately, we cannot cover international shipping fees. If you plan to place an order with Mobile Fidelity or our sister company Music Direct in the near future, I’d be happy to include your needed replacements. I would need you to play the LPs you have first to see if replacements are needed.

As far of the condition of the jackets and the LP labels, I agree this is unacceptable. We may receive replacement sleeves, but that has not yet been confirmed. I will save you information and follow up with you regarding the sleeves as soon as I receive an update.

I am sorry again for the disappointment.

Customer Service
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
1811 W. Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60660 USA
t: (312)491-1836 f: (312)433-0011 e: cs@mofi.com
Hours: M-F 9am-5pm

My Response:
Hi,

Please help me understand your response below;

I can only have a replacement if I order something else from your sister company because you will not cover shipping?

You will only replace the discs and not the cover/s until you find if they are going to be in stock again?

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t you the manufacturer/end seller? The product has your brand all over it, I am bewildered.

Please take a look at Australia consumer law to find out what your obligations are when selling to anyone in Australia:

http://consumerlaw.gov.au/consumers-and-the-acl/

I look forward to your timely response.

To me, this is completely unacceptable, especially for such a premium item.

Has anyone else had similar issues?

David Bills

Update: I heard back from Music Direct on 11/7, (responding to call placed on 10/31, when I left voice mail). Also, my email sent to their Customer Service alias (helpdesk@) on 11/2 remains unanswered as of 11/8…

OK, on to what I learned – the representative I spoke with said they’ve had 2 other reports and/or complaints similar to mine, (unexpected dropouts/dead air in the middle of a track). I’m guessing it’s a quality control issue vs. “artifacts” on the tape, and here’s why: apparently MoFi is pressing a limited number of additional copies and sending them to customers who want a replacement vs. a refund. The bad news is no ETA on those replacements, (similar story to Alex’s below).

Tom M

Nightfly sold out at the MOFI website.

Ryan Anderson

It would be nice if they could finally deliver a digitally remastered CD of “The Nightfly.” Sadly, Roger Nichols passed away, so he couldn’t be a part of the remastering process. I think the original CD sounds fine, but it is still a 1982 recording. It needs to be digitally remastered and reissued as its own CD outside of a box set.

Yani P

I have ordered it but not massively impressed with the email from MoFi
Thank you for your order. Before we ship to your location, we would like to remind you that your package is subject to taxation upon entry to your country. We have no control over any of these additional fees as they are imposed by your government. Mobile Fidelity will not be held responsible for any and all taxes, duties, VAT, or import fees that are incurred by the shipment. The receiver shall pay any and all costs associated with the shipment. If you refuse shipment and your package is abandoned, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A REFUND, AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR RETURN SHIPMENT.

Please respond if you understand that you may be charged additional fees. In addition, please review our international return policy at the link below and confirm you have done so. We will not ship your order until we receive your response. We thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Now I am a grown up – I decided to place my order, not sure I needed the block caps reply…interesting note on their International shipment policy…

1) Due to the extreme cost of shipping products internationally, should you receive a defective piece music title Mobile Fidelity will not pay for the return shipping of the item. All costs related to shipping an item for a return to and from Mobile Fidelity must be covered by the customer.

So defective item you pay to send and get a replacement – top quality customer service !!

Merck Mercuriadis

It seems like you have a fundamental misunderstanding, as do most replying, of what this is. This is effectively a hand made version of one of the most beloved audiophile albums of all time and every step of the process from ensuring the correct tape is used, to the mastering chain, to the immaculate pressing to the quality control is on a par with a £300,000 Bentley that has a 300 layer paint job. It’s not meant for everyone but based on the first two releases in the series – Santana and Bill Evans (both of which are soldout and selling for $500 plus) – the results are sublime and easily evident. Warner has an excellent £20 version of this album but if you take sound seriously and more importantly love this music this will be hard to beat and is the price of a nice meal for 2. FYI one of the most important reissue labels in the world is London’s own Electric Recording Company which reissues near perfect facsimiles of important Classicsl and Jazz albums in editions of 300 copies for £300 each and again if the repertoire on offer is important to you they are worth every penny. Keep up the great work!

negative1

I think they should raise the price even more.

Just to see how many more people complain.

later
-1

Schu

I have zero issue with this type of release.

The marketplace will dictate if they were correct on price and quantity for this product.

Given the price point you will most likely drive out all but those that are the serious collectors and those with disposable cash for this type of item.

Will that add up to 5-6 grand sold at the price they are asking? We shall see . . .they may just be doing more testing of the waters with this release to see where they can go.

Steve

Greed is not good, Mobile Fidelity ! What a ridiculously high price for Donald Fagen’s ‘The Nightfly’ Mobile Fidelity LP ! I don’t care how they try to justify that high of a price !for an LP, it’s completely out of line.

Ian Whiteford

I love this album but am just not prepared to shell out that sort of cash for another copy. If it was around the £50 mark then i would have been sorely tempted, but the price tag just makes it out of reach.

Scott G

Erm… “Mastered from the Original Master Tapes”
Are we all so sure that this will come from a digital master?

I have always been suspicious of this album. The DVD-A was released as 24bit 48kHz but I had read it was only recorded at 16bit 44.1kHz. Why up-sample then? It would not add anything.

Also many DDD recording also had an analogue studio master recorded in parallel due to artist/producers not being a 100% on board as digital being the best medium to record in and also to listen and compare the 2 mediums. This is well known to have happened in the classical recording world – get it to CD quick but make a high quality analogue master.

I don’t see anything on Mofi that states the actual source is digital so you never know.

Tom of FIN

Good point, Scott, if it reads like that in marketing material! “Tapes” is analogue, definitely, LOL. Hardly lying in MoFi’s case after all.

Have to think about twice, if this release version is worth acquiring driving on my midprice Rega-Cyrus-Gradient/Totem platform with Denon DL-103 cartridge. Sounds like demanding high-end equipment…

Tom of FIN

Oh well, there was for example DAT back in the day. Not that familiar with recording techniques, if master tapes in studios ever were digital?

Johan

I think Paul Wren just nailed it: this reissue is for people who want the best sound. I have the Bill Evans One Step vinyl and it sounds surprisingly better than the previous ‘best’ – the 45rpm reissue from Analogue Productions. I don’t have the Santana Abraxas but this is supposedly the best version ever made.
The Layla MFSL is not a One Step, so it’s cheaper to produce, hence the price. But I must admit: MSFL makes this a premium product that could be cheaper. The Neil Young Greatest Hits vinyl is a One Step issue too and that had a usual retail price. If you compare the sound of the NY GH to the non-One Step Neil Young reissues, you’ll notice the magic is in the One Step process.

Paul Wren

I notice that Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs (MFSL/MoFi) released Derek & The Dominos “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” on double vinyl, remastered from the original mastertapes. Currently selling in the USA for about $50. You pays your money and takes your choices etc.

Paul Wren

This only makes sense if you have a high end turntable system that will extract the very best from what is clearly a high quality vinyl pressing.

Friso Pas

Brian…seriously?? Come on, man. That is so irrelevant. Leave politics at the door please.
A hobby is a hobby, with more or less passion / personal budget / priorities in life.
Poverty gets solved if governments spend less on their war machinery. It gets solved pretty quickly then. Don’t mix it with buying favorite music. Thank you.

Andrew M

I bought this up the other day on another story as MoFi finally released the Billy Joel Greatest Hits on Vinyl a couple of weeks ago and they wanted over £100 for that too! It’s a crazy price.

My other issue with this is that I have MoFi’s Glass Houses audiophile pressing and although it is a lovely release with great sound and packaging it is also on two 45rpm vinyls which means it have to get up after a maximum of two songs to change the side of the disc.

It completely ruins the flow of the album.

negative1

I collect steely dan items, and also donald fagen solo works.
So far i have about 54 items, including mulitple copies of nightly,
and kamakiriad:
=================
LP
CD
– japanese
– US
– re-releases
– European
– Gold CD promo

– DVD audio versions

this release wasn’t meant for the casual buyer.

unless you’re a collector, forget about it, and listen to your other versions.

all you people whining about the price, don’t bother reading about these releases,
and stick with your old copies.

obviously, i’ll get it at some point… the price is NOT an issue… its just another
checkmark in formats of things to get for me.

i look forward to it.

later
-1

Julian

Fagen has very recently publicly stated he needs to increase his cash flow since record sales are drying up. Becker is having health problems so Fagen is out on the road with his young Nightflyers band who are no doubt much cheaper than seasoned session players. Got to ask yourself is this just another cash raising initiative .

Eric

If it was a limited edition of 100, sure. If was 1000 signed copies, that’s fine. Wouldn’t a cheaper 5.1 CD be better value? A hipster and his money* are soom parted.

*coffee tips

Philip Cohen

But why would anyone want an analog representation of Mr.Fagan’s first-ever all-digital recording? I DO love the DVD-A edition. For certain recordings, I do like the vinyl editions(for example, the Beatles’ mono mixes), but some of the things that the vinyl enthusiasts and vacuum tube/valve enthusiasts believe in are totally bogus “Snake Oil”.

BillyD

I dislike getting up to flip/change the record every few tracks with these 45rpm versions. Takes away the flow of the original lp.

John

Got to admit to there is a strong sense of “heard this before” about this release, as with similar “high end” limited editions…so while no one has to buy it….yes, it makes for an active website (nice choice Paul!).

So some slag off the audio and/or compare it to other releases…surprisingly before they have even heard it.

Some say they would not buy it while others really look forward to buying.

At least those who have heard something similar – from prior MOFI One Step pressings – universally give them high praise… plus all prior copies sold out well before the releases, they now command high prices, and so on….

Thank goodness for those with some experience, an open minded sense of curiosity…and yes, the very fortunate opportunity to be able to buy such luxuries if they so choose. Thank you to you for your informed experiences and thoughts.

Brian Stanbrook

All the poverty in the world and we’re paying $100 for one album!!!!???? Even if it is a masterclass in production & composition…

John D

And if no-one buys the album world poverty will somehow disappear, will it? Virtue signalling is so dumb.

Joachim

Well,I might have bought the item for 100 bucks plus postage,but to my utter astonishment I had to find out that MFSL does NOT even send their products to Germany as their seems to be an exclusive distributor that would charge treble(!!) the amount!

No way,I have just bought(at ebay,where else)the DVD-Audio for €35.-which is quite scarce but according to what I have read absolutely worth its asking price.

Ian McJannet

I’d pay it for deluxe Simon & Garfunkel album sets OR The Smiths (self titled)
& Hatful of Hollow
BRING ‘EM ON

Jim Galvin

Yes, it’s a completely ridiculous and unrealistic price! I can’t afford this at all. I’m so far behind with other box sets etc. I’m in debt up to my ears and living on a fixed income. It’s such an amazing album though. I actually pre-ordered it 2 days ago.

Sebastien michel Mills

ha ha !! good for you man :)

ross

The transparency and detail resolution here are absolutely spectacular

ttps://www.analogplanet.com/content/sunday-village-vanguard-mobile-fidelity-ultradisc-sell-out

Miguel Rocha

Suddenly the set of four Eno records seem a steal! Just over €100, including shipping, from Amazon France. Just hope the friendly people at Canadian customs are feeling generous when my parcel of Eno passes through their hands!!!

Wax Monster X

And there is another side to this, actually 4. You place the disc on the turntable, put the needle down, get into that critical listening position and damn, before you know it you gotta get up again, and again… and again. Us old audiophile goats is too creaky for that nonsense.

Rich

a few considerations: (1) While this is a new production process for MoFi, they’ve been producing premium audio for a long time with excellent market reception. They’ve even just begun partnering to make/market their own turntables. (2) MoFi folks are evolving with and responding to market demand for a variety of formats and packaging. It’s only a matter of time, I expect, before they’re embracing HD download formats. (3) If you think the $100 pricing for these One-Step records is steep, just take a look at how the secondary market is currently pricing the first two in the series. MoFi has noticed and this may be a factor in their upping of production quantities (while still maintaining quality via limited production per stamper).

Mic Smith

I have loved this album since buying it on release in 1982 when it wasn’t that cool to like it. Thanks NME for making it cool.

I wouldn’t pay $100 for a 2LP version. Remastered or not the original CD sounds fine.

Shame Fagen never topped it either. But still among my Top 100 albums ever.

Todd R

Wow.
Well, as much as I love the archive -dive some of these anniversary box-sets provide, this is a bit over-the-top.
Mr. Fagen and the entire Steely Dan family catalog I’m sure could provide a huge treasure-trove of goodies, but honestly – just to buy the same album over and over….(I swore I’d quit after picking up his solo-albums box-set)
For my money? What about a new live collection from the years since TWO AGAINST NATURE – many of those songs have never seen a live release (in the original run or the “current” Steely Dan era). If there was ever a band that could bring the goods – it’s that one. (Not that I’m holding out hope for a live recording of THE CLASSICs from this summer…….nope).

Sebastien michel Mills

that would be awesome !! let’s hope :)

Friso Pas

I own several editions of this album. I just love it.
The 5.1 DVD-A is great. If you want to hear a brilliant surround mix, get that one, or the Nightfly trilogy boxset, which has his first 3 solo albums on cd and dvd with DTS 5.1 mix and 24bit pcm stereo.

A great sounding vinyl is the 2012 Warner Bros. release, cut for vinyl by Chris Bellman, it is widely available for a normal price (€20 or so, if not less).

But did I hesitate to fork over a lot of money, once more, for a MoFi 45 RPM version, which is a one-time-only release? Nope. Ordered and looking very much forward to it!

There are always a handful of titles, maybe 2 hands full, that you never stop buying.
This is one of them, for me.
I know it’s a early digital recording, but the Warner vinyl sounds very good, so I don’t see any shortcomings.

Also this title doesn’t need remastering, people. The old cd and the later released DVD-A are very dynamic, and don’t need any upgrade. It’s one of the most dynamic sounding titles available in any genre. For vinyl it only needs proper care in the lacquer cutting. I expect the best from MoFi, so it will probably be another blast.

Sebastien michel Mills

i agree !

Mike

I have all the MFSL Dylan titles (Stereo & Mono) on LP and the SACD’s, several other titles as well and they are truly a great audiophile label. The forthcoming Richard Thompson title is retailing at £60-£66 for UK buyers. It can be a nightmare getting hold of some of these labels (Analogue Productions, Musuc Matters etc) material with high postage cost and customs charges on top……back to the topic though, £147 from Amazon for a 2LP set is a bit much. $100 if you were in the US, loved the record and packaging and were prepared to carry it home yourself….well, each to their own I suppose. I’ve paid a lot more for certain records over the years.

David Rubin

Never liked Steeley Dan or Fagan so it is of little thought to me. But it does set a dangerous president for other artists and or labels to start inching the prices up to the High Holy $100.00 mark. I just feel that unless you have an unlimited bank account or a sound system valued at about $100.000.00, how much better will this sound as compared to a plain 180 gram MOFI?
I really do not think that much.
Must be nice to have money to burn!
I do have other releases by Mobile Fidelity and they do set the bar high for sound quality but I feel this is pushing it.

Wes

These records, using the pressing process they outlined do sound better than a “normal” pressing if you have a high enough resolution system to appreciate those details. They will also have very little or no discernible surface noise, and the packaging is first class. If this is an album you absolutely adore, you might well think it’s worth it. Me? I love vinyl but I do not dig flipping a record after every 7-12 minutes, and frankly, Mr. Fagen has never put anything out solo that was even half as good as the worst Steely Dan album IMHO. I do wish MoFi would find a way to reissue high quality versions of the original Steely Dan albums as the ’70s was not a great time for pristine vinyl was it? Also, Katy Lied, one of my favorites, was marred by a mastering process and failed DBX gear that rendered most of the LP as dull and lifeless sounding– and I still love that record despite the dull sound. Here’s a bit of insight on that fiasco: https://www.steelydan.com/dennys3.html . Vinyl pressing technology and the vinyl compounds themselves are worth improving and this is now very doable. So these experiments that MoFi is basically conducting by doing releases like this are ultimately worthwhile if they lead to better vinyl quality in general for everyone.

gootsy

The album is a masterpiece and, as others Steely Dan records, has to be heard in all its sheer clear beauty, ok. But I didn’t even start to read your article, just sawing the title and the price and my head went WHAAAAAT? 100$ for an album of 8 tracks is just unaffordable, at least for me. I mean, I wouldn’t even dare to TOUCH the stuff at that price. And I collect records primarily to listen to them (except for the odd picture disc that can be cooly displayed in your music room), so I’ll pass on this one.

Derosa

If you actually want one of these copies, order from Music Direct or MOFI themselves. The previous 1 step releases in the series sold out, and just because you order from Amazon doesn’t mean you’ll actually get it.

Sebastien michel Mills

yeah you are right about that ! gotta order directly from music direct or mofi for best chances of getting this :)

Tom M

Hell, I’m still waiting for my Def Leppard orange vinyl to arrive.

Del Murray

I think this kind of release is aimed at those chaps with the high-end hifi equipment and to be honest, those are the only people that are going to get their money’s worth out spending serious dosh on a MF disc. Us poor common folk with Project turntables wouldn’t get the benefit. I’ve got the DVD-A disc and the DTS mix is stunning. That’ll do for me.
And the Steven Wilson album is the most accessible thing he’s ever done. Not a bad track on it. Prepare to lose the UKs best kept musical secret folks.

eric

Target is selling this for a ton less than Amazon.

J

Erie
Correct but hard to believe. Target has a list price of $133.98 but on sale for their price of 99.89. If you have their Red Card if comes to $94.98 with free in store pick up. Music Direct also has it for $99. Walmart & Barnes do not have i. I paid $85 last year for a Quad mix of Pretzel & about the same for a 5.1 disc. Not great pricing but I will take this
J

Rich

It will be interesting to see which retailers actually receive an allocation sufficient to deliver to their customers. Perhaps Music Direct is channeling some of the higher production quantities to retailers, but I will be astounded to see Target shipping or fulfilling in-store pickup. I’ve personally placed orders for prior Ultradisc One-Step releases with some retailers only to have my order cancelled prior to ship date. And for those retailers who take your funds before they ship, that’s got to be a factor in the decision to checkout your cart.

Emilio Lafarga Giribets

Wouldnt it be a good idea to have a calendar with future releases dates? For example,Im tempted to buy The doors bluray,but then I think,wait,David Bowie boxset also comes that month,is it at the end of the month? I cant remember,so I have to look the date up on amazon websites, and what about DGilmour box?was it on the 15th?the 29th?
That way we would have all future releases at a glance.
Anyway, thanks a lot for your website.

Ausmonty

I have been buying MFSL LPs since the late 70s and early 80s and their gold CDs,SACDs and 180g LPs after that. Their reissues of classic titles, have always sounded superb. Granted that the better your sound system the better the sound, but take it from me. On the MFSL releases you will hear music and instruments that you would not hear on a standard pressed LP or CD. I agree that $100 or £100 for a single title is expensive and you can add another $60-70 if you are in Australia. However as the saying goes ” you will forget about the price once you hear the quality”.

alan hansen

i’m pleased to see that this forum recognizes this recording as DDD from the get-go – arguably the first commercial one. i have hoped for a(n) SDE of this for ages – one that culls a few peripheral pieces such as “century’s end.” this, then, is certainly not for me – i’ll stick with my Nightfly Trilogy Box for the time being.

RJS

“but would you pay £100 or $100 for one album?”

Not when the album can be bought brand new on CD for £3.99. As somebody wrote earlier, they might be testing the market to see if people will shell out that sort of money. If the 6,000 copies to sell out, expect more of this type of release to follow.

LedMan

I purchased MOFI Santana Abraxas 45 RPM 2 LP from this series of expensive vinyl and personally think it sounds amazing

GK

The Quiex Vinyl or DVD-A are both fantastic and most fans would be completely satisfied with either.

elliott buckingham

I’m happy with the sound quality of my Ludwig pressing of the nightfly

Carl

Its taking the new fad for vinyl for a ride ,for me who has a loft full of vinyl i no longer play no thanks.
It is inferior full stop .I am sure if the artist wanted static and crackles then during this no expense spared project they could have added it.
I shall be listening to it with headphones on CD and eating a bag of crisps that should give a bit of analogue substance to it.