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Mobile Fidelity Wants More Fidelity On Discs

Sebastopol, Calif. — Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, the audiophile music label, will go to International CES to premiere the first releases of recordings made with Ultradisc UHR GAIN HD digital mastering technology with 4X DSD.

The company is using the technology to create new hybrid CD/SACD discs.

The mastering process uses 4X DSD direct-to-CD conversion and a newly implemented mastering chain to achieve a higher level of musical accuracy, resolution and fidelity from its CD reissues, the company said. The technology will make its debut with three titles at the show.

The company also plans an all-new analog vinyl LP mastering process.

GAIN stands for Greater Ambient Information Network, said executive VP John Wood, and it “delivers a subtle but significant improvement in low-level detail, ambient information and ‘air,’ and perhaps most importantly, a relaxed ease in the musical presentation that simply sounds less ‘reproduced’ and more natural and involving.”

The GAIN mastering chain starts with Mobile Fidelity’s custom Studer tape playback, a “one-of-a-kind tape machine” designed for “pulling off more musical information from the master tapes from the get-go,” Wood said.

From there the signal is directly coupled to Mobile Fidelity’s 4X DSD A/D converter, which samples at 11.2 MHz or 256fs (or 256 times the CD sampling rate of 44.1 kHz). The 4X DSD file is then down-sampled to 1X DSD for the SACD layer if a hybrid CD/SACD disc. The 4X DSD file are also down-sampled to 44.1 kHz for the CD layer.