Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Facebook has a bouncer now

I was bounced at the door of Facebook. All my credentials were in order but I didn't pass the intelligence test, which consists of a wizard giving two choices: "Recommended settings" and "Old settings." Accepting the recommended settings involves accepting "everyone" into my FB life, and I'm not sure I ever intended that. Accepting the "old settings" calls for a response equal in semantic complexity, and I can't remember my old settings anyway. It's like asking me to accept the results of a high school algebra test, 40 years later, without knowing what grade I got at the time, or whether the grade still stands, or whether algebra itself has changed.
I'm making too much of this, I know. But if you were bounced at the door from a nightclub and all your friends got in, you'd brood a little too.
Every now and then I will sign in and see if anything changes. I know, it's just a pass/fail test with no consequences and up til now I've failed. This has been building up... as you owners of Facebook are aware, I've lurked on my friends' pages and posted disagreeable comments a number of times. For all I know I've been unfriended a time or two but life is like that as well.
I remember waiting to get my teeth cleaned about 15 years ago when the receptionist presented me with a form. I said I would take it home and read it but she said I'd have to re-schedule if I couldn't sign it right then. It was a required form and it had to do with..... I believe "privacy" is the term that was used. Right about that time, the term "privacy" was getting its new definition, which I take to mean "universal disclosure."
Anyway, I'll keep trying to get into Facebook and maybe eventually they'll lower the bar to include people who can't remember their old settings or people who don't know what "everyone" means. If you're an "old" FB friend and you're reading this, you now know why the proprietor of moneyblows books and music hasn't been there lately.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Original Master Recordings by Mobile Fidelity

 The 1979 card insert in Mobile Fidelity audiophile albums included the essay "An Audiophile's Dream Come True." Disregarding that this is one of the most abused claims in our fair language, the mfsl folks discuss why this is particularly true for their products.
They trace their lineage in severe and conscientious quality control, limited supply (200,000 or fewer per release), and half-speed mastering using the original stereo master tape.
As they say, "the disc cutter turntable is driven at 16 2/3 rpm, and the master tape is played at exactly one-half the actual recorded speed. When the completed disc is played back at real time (normal 33 1/3 rpm), the program is heard as though nothing unusual had occurred, except that the musical accuracy, clarity and imaging is truly startling!" What follows is detail on headroom and compression/limiting, as well as other refinements to the mastering process.
Equally important, according to mfsl, are the plating of the master, the mother and the stampers. That's why they sent off to JVC to meet their specifications for masterings and test pressings.
Finally, mfsl used "Super Vinyl," for which they make equally "startling" claims. Best of all-- and what makes an mfsl recording worth every penny, is the manifesto of their work:
"As is evidenced, our standards for making records are quite different from those used in the commercial record industry. We are not concerned with mass-media performances or use of our records. We are only concerned with producing an exact sonic replica of the original master tape on vinyl and with how that record will perform in your listening room. The first part requires painstaking attention to minute details to make the master lacquer right; the second part is verified on our own reference equipment which is representative of the finest audio gear available in the world today."
We're thrilled to introduce some of these previously-owned rarities into our store. Just check New Arrival LP Albums.