MoFi releases Bringing It All Back Home on two 45 RPM audiophile LPs in mono? What’s the point? And how does it sound compared to a good 33 RPM version?
Bringing It All Back Home – some background on the music
The album marked Dylan’s departure towards rock in 1965. On side one, he had an electric band accompany him. With songs like Subterranean Homesick Blues, Maggie’s Farm or Outlaw Blues, he saved rock music from becoming stale. On side two, Dylan mostly plays guitar and harmonica. Four songs – four hits: Mr. Tambourine Man, Gates Of Eden, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) and It’s All Over Now Baby Blue are among the best he ever came up with.
How good are the pressings from Sundazed and MoFi?
Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home was pressed in the MoFi version on 180g heavyweight vinyl. As always with the Original Master Recordings, half-speed mastering was used. The mono mix was used. The pressing shows no streaks, is flat and completely unobtrusive.
The Sundazed label from Coxsackie, New York, has its own claim to produce particularly careful and high-quality reissues. The album was also produced here in mono and completely analogue, pressed on 180g “High Definition Vinyl”. Also visually a detailed reissue of the US original with the red “360 Sound” Columbia label.
What stands out about the Bringing It All Back Home reissues?
Where other MFSL-45s have “Original Master Recordings” on the cover, this one has “Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab” emblazoned on it. Presumably the original tape was not available.
Sundazed is also silent about which master tape was used. One positive aspect is that the cover photo is a little less grainy: The cover photo is a little less grainy than the one from Mofi.
How well equipped are the reissues?
For its 45s, Mofi takes everything that is good and expensive: 180g “High Definition Vinyl”, heavy cardboard for the gatefold cover and of course the high-quality Mofi inner sleeves.
Sundazed does not use quite as heavy cardboard as Mofi, but the material is still a little stronger than many current covers.
How good does Bringing It All Back Home sound in mono?
As expected, the 45 from MoFi offers a bit more dynamics. But contrary to expectations, it is not louder than the 33 from Sundazed. In the bass, the Mofi version goes up a notch. Overall, the sound is rounder and warmer. Especially on sides 3 and 4 (side 2 in the original), Bob Dylan feels like he is standing in front of the listener in the room, singing and playing guitar. The acoustic guitar sounds great. But most of all, the voice blows me away. I have hardly ever heard Dylan as intimate and nuanced as on the audiophile 45 rpm MoFi.
With the Sundazed, the instruments are clearly separated from each other and can be identified well. The sound is clearly more mid-heavy. As a result, Dylan’s voice and harmonica come more to the fore than with Mofi.
How do the levels and frequency response of the MoFi and Sundazed pressings differ?
The MoFi plays at 45 revolutions per minute and therefore has a somewhat larger dynamic range at its disposal, which it also uses. In addition, it was compressed slightly more.
But the biggest difference is immediately audible and can also be seen in the frequency spectrogram: the Mofi has more bass! Here it can be seen as an orange colouration, which is stronger in the entire lower quarter of the MoFi graphic than with the Sundazed. Or in other words: directly in the region above the uebervinyl logos.
Which pressing of Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home is better?
I really like the Sundazed LP. Sound and pressing quality are convincing, so Bringing It All Back Home in mono is really fun. But: The Mofi with 45RPM is phenomenal! The bass is richer, the voice warmer, even more dynamic. I have never heard the acoustic tracks so well. Pure goosebumps! All expectations exceeded.
|Title||Bringing It All Back Home|
|Label||Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab||Sundazed|
|Catalogue number||MFSL 2-380||LP 5070|
|Mastered by||Krieg Wunderlich||k.A.|
|Matrix-Runout||MFSL 2-380 A1 KW @ MoFi 20596-1(3) MFSL 2-380 B1 KW @ MoFi 20550-2(3) MFSL 2-380 C1 KW @ MoFi 20550-3(3) MFSL 2-380 D1 KW @ MoFi 20596-4(3)||AM AS-50355 SUNDAZED LP-5070-A-RE1 BM BS-50355 SUNDAZED LP-5070-B-RE1|
|Country of manufacture||USA||USA|