OMR - Original Master Recordings.
Main manufacturer of HSM(Half Speed Master) editions on vinyl, cassette, standard CD's and gold CD's.
OMR's own presentation
An Original Master Recording is, in every sense of the word, a stereo component. In fact, one might say, the key stereo component. For no matter how good your stereo system, no matter how much you've spent on your equipment, the sound that comes out is only as good as what you put in.
Therefore, being components, Original Master Recording are sold through select audio and record shops that specialize in sound. Incredible sound.
You will hear the difference simply by putting an Original Master Recording on the turntable. Your system will perform better than you ever believed possible.
The secret lies in the way Original Master Recordings are made. Which is altogether different from the way any other recordings are made... and infinitely more time consuming.
Commercial record companies are in the business of providing a vast amount of music to tremendous numbers of people. In order to do this economically they take as little as an hour to cut a master lacquer disc, which is the first step toward ultimately producing the record you buy in the store.
We require a minimum of three months to make an Original Master Recording available to you.
The difference is that we take the time necessary to achieve the kind of sound that not only lets you hear four clarinets, but hear the space between them.
To accomplish this we employ our exclusive "half-speed mastering" method. Normally, master lacquer discs are cut at 33,33 rpm (real time), the same speed at which you play a record on your turntable.
Our master lacquer discs, however, are cut at half speed, or 16,67 rpm, while the master tape also plays at half speed. This allows us twice as much time to get every detail, every nuance of sound out of the stereo master tape and into the groove. It also allows the cutting stylus twice as much time to cut the groove accurately. And we always work from the original stereo master tape, never a second or third generation copy.
MFSL's exclusive "half-speed mastering" also allows us to use only one-fourth the power that real time cutting takes. So we never have to push our cutting head amplifiers to their limits. This gives us much more head room for far superior dynamic range, top-end and overall frequency response, along with better stereo separation. And we don't use transformers or employ limiting in our cutting process.
Nothing is introduced that will cause distortion or squeeze the life out of an Original Master Recording.
After our master lacquer disc is cut, it is carefully refrigerated and sent abroad, where the metal masters and stampers are made to produce the final pressings. Another long and painstaking process. It takes more than a month before we can hear the results of the metal masters alone.
Then, the pressings are made. And not on just vinyl, but on a material known as Super Vinyl. This, too, must be done abroad, in Japan at JVC. It is the only place in the world where such high quality vinyl is made. Super Vinyl gives us an ultra quiet playing surface. It's a vinyl that is heavier and harder than ordinary vinyl. And it has no "memory"... you can play an Original Master Recording over and over again, without having to let it rest after each play. When an ordinary, soft vinyl record is played repeatedly, the groove walls tend to stretch and distort and the sound deteriorates.
MFSL's exclusive process forces us to restrict the number of pressings we make. Commercial pressings by a top name artist number anywhere from three to ten million. There are never more than 200,000 copies made of an Original Master Recording, so the last pressing is as clear and accurate as the first.
With time consuming "half-speed mastering" and our preoccupation with an exact sonic replica of the original master stereo tape, we'll never make all the music in the world. So we just make the best of it.
We cut no corners. We make no compromises. What we do make is a record that is as close to handmade as you'll ever find. With us, it's a labor of love.
We design every Original Master Recording to challenge your equipment and your listening ability.
HSM: see also Nautilus page.
At Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, exclusive makers of Original Master Recordings, we start with the best recording equipment available, modify it, develop it and continue to make it even better.
This is a never ending program designed to get the utmost out of every stereo master tape and put the utmost into every Original Master Recording.
The unique Ortofon cutting head that grooves our master lacquer disc is specifically designed for "half-speed mastering".
To make certain the stylus is cutting each groove flawlessly, we replace it after each record. In high speed commercial record manufacturing, the stylus may be changed after twenty or more records are cut.
And once an Original Master Recording is made, we use only the finest materials to package it in. To maintain the flatness and prevent warping, we protect each record with a specially constructed album cover supported by a rigid cardboard stiffener. To help eliminate dust, we use a special static-free inner sleeve.
The way we look at it, when you present a musical gem, you must protect it like a rare jewel.
The Vinyl Vault: MFSL "Labelography"
Both Sides Now Publications: MFSL Album Discography