ANALOGUE PRODUCTIONS - QUALITY RECORD PRESSINGS (QRP)
We put a lot of thought into how best to name our new pressing plant, but in the end the decision was to side with a simple, declarative statement: Quality Record Pressings. That’s it. Our entire focus is towards the goal of pressing the finest records the world has ever known.
It’s been a long time since anyone has actually manufactured a new record press. But we’ve done the next-best thing by taking three of the best brands ever made – SMT, Toolex Alpha and Finebilt – and rebuilding them equipped with modifications that have never before been tried in the record pressing industry.
Those innovations include adding microprocessors to the presses. Microprocessors allow both the operator and the engineer a level of control capability and feedback simply unavailable with manual valves and control systems. Second by second, the press operator can monitor and maintain production standards and press systems. The engineer can spot and correct variations as they occur.
To date, presses have closed and opened based on time. That time was set according to what the press engineer predicted would be the stamper’s temperature. We’ve now developed a die with an imbedded temperature sensor so that the presses at QRP will close and open precisely when the temperature is correct. Inevitably, a plant’s support water temperatures, cooling water temperatures and steam pressures will fluctuate throughout the day. By setting the presses to cycle by temperature, we can correct for all of those variations. It means a consistent sweet spot.
We’ve also installed a unique double steam valve system that reduces die temperature cycle time and provides a finely tuned level of temperature control so that records are produced without the temperature variations that result in record inconsistency.
And we’ve brought all of the extruders back to their original specifications, again to control the temperature of the vinyl. The most common errors we all hear in defective records today has to do with overheated vinyl.
But just as you can’t have an excellent finished LP without an error-free pressing, you also can’t produce great records without flawless plating. Which is why we’ve brought in the best plating man in the business, Gary Salstrom, to set up and operate a state-of-the-art plating department. Not every pressing plant has a plating department. And only one plant – QRP – has the best. Plating can affect everything from pre-echo and high-end loss to record profile and warping. Getting it right is essential.
This is but a brief synopsis of what sets QRP apart from the competition. The proof, of course, is in the product. We’re sure you’ll hear and see the difference.
Quality Record Pressings. As the old cliché goes, the name says it all.
MOBILE FIDELITY SOUND LAB (MOFI)
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's (MOFI) ongoing quest is to deliver the foremost sounding audio entertainment software that technological innovation can provide. From our first UHQR™ vinyl LP to our latest Ultradisc UHR™ SACD, we have been and will remain a steadfast innovator in the audiophile frontier. We further believe that technological development serves best when accompanied by a profound awareness and appreciation for the elusive magic and mystery that comprises music itself. Our greatest hope is that our products will serve as conduits for ears and souls to experience premium, pure, natural sound reproduction of diverse, pre-eminent original master recordings across the entire musical spectrum.
Mobile Fidelity believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artifacts.
It is worth noting that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab stands out as one of few record labels that independently invests in research and development of audio technology. With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware. Mobile Fidelity is pleased to work with a variety of engineering legends and companies including Tim de Paravicini, Ed Meitner, Pass Labs, Lipinski Sound and Sony Electronics. Our joint efforts to seek out the ultimate audio experience, has resulted in significant advances for the technology of music reproduction.
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been the undisputed pioneer and leader in audiophile recordings since the company's inception in 1977. Established by dedicated audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity's first and foremost goal was to offer faithfully reproduced high fidelity recordings that would complement the numerous advances occurring in audio delivery systems. Throughout its history, Mobile Fidelity has remained true to this goal, pioneering state-of-the-art technologies and setting audiophile standards that remain in place today.
In response to rapid advancements in both recording formats and audio delivery systems over the past several years, Mobile Fidelity has maintained its ongoing commitment to improving industry standards. This has resulted in the introduction of numerous innovations in the audiophile arena: half-speed mastered Original Master Recording™ LPs, Ultra High Quality Records™ (UHQRs), high fidelity cassettes, consumer alignment devices for phono cartridges and audio cassette decks, Original Master Recording™ compact discs, the 24-karat gold plated Ultradisc™ CD and the Ultradisc™ Ultra High Resolution™ (UHR). To this day the independently owned firm continues its commitment to exceeding industry standards.
PURE PLEASURE RECORDS
180gram Audiophile Vinyl Albums - Re-Mastered by some of the Best Engineers in the World. Both Pure Pleasure Records & Speakers Corner Records have their Albums processed and pressed at one of the best Pressing Plants in The World!!
SPEAKERS CORNER RECORDS
At the beginning of the ‘90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the reissue policy was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC Compact Classics, Mobile Fidelity, Acoustic Sounds and others, including of course Speakers Corner Records, all maintained a mutual, unwritten code of ethics: we would manufacture records sourced only from analogue tapes.
Vinyl’s newfound popularity has led many other companies to jump on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source from which to master: CDs, LPs, digital files and even MP3s.
Even some who do use an analogue tape source employ a digital delay line, a misguided ’80s and ‘90s digital technology that replaces the analogue preview head originally used to “tell” the cutter head in advance what was about to happen musically, so it could adjust the groove “pitch” (the distance between the grooves) to make room for wide dynamic swings and large low frequency excursions. Over time analogue preview heads became more rare and thus expensive.
So while the low bit rate (less resolution than a 16 bit CD) digital delay line is less expensive and easier to use than an analogue “preview head”, its use, ironically, results in lacquers cut from the low bit rate digital signal instead of from the analogue source!
Speakers Corner wishes to make clear that it produces lacquers using only original master tapes and an entirely analogue cutting system. New metal stampers used to press records are produced from that lacquer.
Our releases are “AAA”— analogue tape, an all analogue cutting system, and newly cut lacquers pressed at Pallas, Germany at highest standards in 180gr virgin Vinyl.
PALLAS GROUP PRESSING PLANT
The Pallas Group is one of the oldest pressing plants for vinyl records in Europe. The Pallas Group in Diepholz, founded in 1948 as Schallplattenfabrik Pallas GmbH, is a German sound carrier manufacturer. In the 1950s Pallas was also pressing records for Bertelsmann Schallplattenring (pre Sonopress) and Neckermann.
Note: See also the sister USA branch Pallas USA. Releases made via Pallas USA often have "P. USA" in the runout. These are pressed in Germany by Pallas. The Pallas Group of Diepholz, Germany has been making vinyl records since 1948 and has remained a family business for three generations. They are well known for pressing the best quality, "audiophile approved" vinyl in the world. Pallas USA is a partnership with the Pallas Group and Furnace MFG providing the highest quality record pressing to the North American music market.
ORIGINAL RECORDINGS GROUP (ORG)
Original Recordings Group (ORG) is a record label specializing in vinyl reissues and deluxe packaging projects. Since 2007, ORG has been dedicated to producing the highest quality records for the audiophile market.
ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS
Abbey Road Studios has been at the forefront of music creativity since Sir Edward Elgar’s inaugural performance back in 1931. An awe-inspiring location, popular with leading orchestras and artists including Florence and the Machine, Kanye West and Adele, Abbey Road has hosted many landmark recordings and technological breakthroughs. The most famous, and oldest, purpose built recording studio in the world, Abbey Road is of course synonymous with The Beatles, but its unparalleled history spans the invention of stereo and the wild experiments of Pink Floyd to the creation of film scores for movies including Star Wars and Skyfall. Abbey Road was declared an English Heritage Grade II listed site in 2010, but the focus continues to be on the future and helping to spread the expertise and knowledge present within the building to a new generation of musicians, engineers and producers around the world. Abbey Road Studios is famous for the artists who have recorded there. These include Jazz icon Glen Miller, who made his last recording there in the 1940s, as well as later pop artists such as Cliff Richard, the Hollies, Manfred Mann, the Seekers, the Pacemakers, and Queen. And it was in Studio Three that Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side of the Moon in 1973, which went on to become one of the top selling albums of all time. But it was The Beatles who made Abbey Road the most famous recording studio in the world. The group visited the studios on 6 June 1962 to audition for the famous record producer George Martin. Thereafter, the group returned to the Abbey Road studios through the end of 1960s, and even named one of their albums Abbey Road in July of 1969. To this day, tourists have themselves photographed strolling across the crosswalk, emulating the famous album cover.