Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks (MoFi Onestep vs. 33 RPM)

For the Ultradisc One-Steps, MoFi makes a huge effort to increase the sound quality. It succeeds so well with Blood On The Tracks that we could hardly believe it at first.

Bob Dylan Blood 75 Front
Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks, NL 1975
Bob Dylan Blood Onestep Front
Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks, Ultradisc Onestep, 2019

Which versions of Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks are being compared?

The 1975 version of Blood On The Tracks is a first pressing for the European mass market from Holland. Distinctive feature according to Discogs: Only the first pressing had the original liner notes by Pete Hamill on the back cover. Check!

The MFSL One-Step Ultradisc is a fine edition from Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, released in 2019 in an edition of 9,000 hand-numbered copies.

A few thoughts on Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks

The album was released in 1975 as Bob Dylan’s 15th studio album. All the tracks for the album were initially recorded in New York in September 1974. Dylan would not be Dylan if he had already been satisfied with that. Therefore, five songs were re-recorded in December 1974 with Dylan’s brother David in Minneapolis with local studio musicians.

Bob Dylan described Blood On The Tracks as a turning point in his creative work. After his motorbike accident in 1966, the master said he was no longer able to “find new songs in the stream of consciousness” as he had often done before. From Blood On The Tracks onwards, the composition process was much more conscious and controlled.

Many of the songs are interpreted as autobiographical. They deal with the increasing estrangement from his then wife Sara. Dylan himself vehemently denies this. Sara and Bob’s son Jakob Dylan, however, can, according to his own statements, “hear his parents talking” when he listens to the songs.

What makes the Onestep Ultradisc so special?

One Step describes the process of LP manufacturing as this edition of Blood On The Tracks was made. It is an insanely elaborate process that, at its best, results in very good LPs whose sound is closer to the master tape than would be possible with most industrially produced records. So MoFi is something very special. And therefore particularly expensive.

How are the two versions of Blood On The Tracks equipped?

The Dutch first pressing originally came with a printed inner sleeve. However, this has long since disappeared from our copy.

The MoFi comes in a box set. Padded in foam at the top and bottom, the two 200g LPs are in noble MoFi antistatic sleeves. These are each in their own boxes as well as an additional slipcase, the so-called stiffener. In addition, there is an insert explaining the onestep process and an insert depicting the front and back of the original cover.

How good do the MoFi Onestep Ultradisc and the CBS pressing of Blood On The Tracks sound?

As soon as the needle is in the groove, the first difference is noticeable: There is practically no background noise on the MoFi version of Blood On The Tracks. There is dead silence before the first chords of Tangled Up In Blue sound. The “Super Vinyl” – you know. The further differences are not long in coming. The listener seems to be closer to the whole band. The snare drum has more attack and also more carpet, the guitar seems silkier, has more shine in the mids. The picture is similar with Simple Twist Of Fate.

In direct comparison, the 33 appears to have a curtain in front of the speakers. When the 45 MoFi is in place, the curtain is gone. Every instrument can be precisely located in the room. The quality is really impressive.

MoFi succeeds in making brisker pieces like Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts come across with even more drive.

In quieter pieces, the timbres are the purest experience. For example, the twelve-string guitar in If You See Her, Say Hello on the Dutch first pressing feels like it has a few strings less than on the 45 from MoFi.

Unlike the MoFi versions of Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde On Blonde or John Wesley Harding, it is not the vocals that make the difference on Blood On The Tracks. Here it is the band that sounds out of the speakers with noticeably more verve and carries the listener away. Goosebumps guaranteed.

How do the level and frequency response of the MoFi Onestep and CBS pressings differ?

Waveform diagram of the first three tracks from side 1: Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate and You're A Big Girl Now (fltr.).
Waveform diagram of the first three tracks from side 1: Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate and You’re A Big Girl Now (fltr.).

In the waveform of the first three tracks on side 1, you can see that the MoFi is a little louder and has been compressed a little more. That’s why the MoFi (black graph) has more peaks reaching the limiter stop on Tangled Up In Blue than the 33 from Holland (blue graph). But already with the following tracks Simple Twist Of Fate and You’re A Big Girl Now it becomes clear that sound engineer Krieg Wunderlich has left enough headroom for dynamics.

Frequenz-Spektrogramm der ersten drei Titel von Seite 1: Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate und
You’re A Big Girl Now (vlnr.).

The frequency spectrogram of the same three tracks reveals that the MoFi offers a bit more in the bass (orange areas at the lower edge). However, there are hardly any differences in the fundamental range. Only in the treble range are more yellow areas visible in the diagram of the MoFi. This was perceptible as gloss in the listening test.

Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts, If You See Her, Say Hello (fltr.).
Frequency spectrogram of the first three tracks from side 2: Meet Me In The Morning,
Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts, If You See Her, Say Hello (fltr.).

In the first tracks on side 2, the frequency spectrogram confirms a very clear bass plus for the MoFi, especially for the second track Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts. This is visible as orange areas at the lower edge. In the listening test, this did not result in a booming bass overkill, but in a very tight and precise foundation that never pushed itself to the fore.

Which pressing of Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks is better?

Everyone really does hear it! The MoFi Onestep Ultradisc of Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks sounds better by such a wide margin that we have rarely experienced. The differences are so obvious that it’s hard to list them all. In short, the band is in the middle of the room, every nuance of the playing becomes audible. Guitars get more body, every touch of the piano can be distinguished, the stereo stage is wider, the staggering deeper. Simply everything is better… A big recommendation to buy Blood On The Tracks by MoFi.  

Title list

Side 1

  • Tangled Up In Blue
  • Simple Twist Of Fate
  • You’re A Big Girl Now
  • Idiot Wind
  • You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

Side 2

  • Meet Me In The Morning
  • Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts
  • If You See Her, Say Hello
  • Shelter From The Storm
  • Buckets Of Rain
Blood On The Tracks in the usual …
Blood On The Tracks in the usual …
The liner notes were probably only printed on the back cover of the first pressing.
The liner notes were probably only printed on the back cover of the first pressing.
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, NL 1975, Seite 1
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, NL 1975, Seite 2
… and in the super noble edition from MoFi.
… and in the super noble edition from MoFi.
Limited and hand-numbered: 1583 or 7583? It doesn't matter, the limitation is 9,000 pieces.
Limited and hand-numbered: 1583 or 7583? It doesn’t matter, the limitation is 9,000 pieces.
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Seite 1
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Seite 2
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Seite 3
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Seite 4
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Insert
Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Insert
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Insert
Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Insert
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Cover Front 1
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Cover Back 1
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Cover Front 2
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks, MoFi, 2019, Cover Back 2
ArtistBob Dylan
TitleBlood On The Tracks
LabelCBSMobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Released19752019
Catalogue number69097UD1S 2-006
Format12“2×12“
Revolutions/minute33 1/345
TypeAlbumAlbum
CoverSingle SleeveBoxset
Add-onsInsert
Laquer cut byNot specifiedKrieg Wunderlich
Pressing plantNot specifiedRTI
Matrix-RunoutCBS 69097-1 AL 33235 CBS 69097-2 BL 33235UD1S 2-006A 19 KW@MOFI 33129.1 (1)… UD1S 2-006B 19 KW@MOFI 33129.2 (1)… UD1S 2-006C 20 KW@MOFI 33191.3 (1)… UD1S 2-006D 20 KW@MOFI 33191.4 (1)…
Edition/Limitation9.000
Consecutive number7.583
Country of manufactureNetherlandsUSA

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