Dire Straits / Brothers In Arms Mobile Fidelity hybrid SACD

Dire Straits / Brothers In Arms mobile fidelity hybrid SACD

Audiophile specialist Mobile Fidelity will release a hybrid SACD of Dire Straits‘ 1985 album Brothers In Arms on 26 July 2013.

The twentieth anniversary multi-channel SACD of the 30 million selling album is still widely available, and was included in our SACD feature back in January, however the mastering of that release is not to everyone’s taste, considered rather bright and compressed by some.

This new Mobile Fidelity issue will be stereo only and will almost certainly offer a more audiophile-pleasing mastering, although since the record was recorded digitally at the time, it’s debatable if the SACD format can bring the extra resolution and detail apparent when original analogue master tapes are available for a new SACD mastering.

It is also not clear at this stage whether the SACD will use the CD version of the record – which runs at just under eight minutes longer than the LP – or if they will go with the original vinyl version. The former is probably the most likely.

The Mobile Fidelity SACD is currently available for pre-order from Acoustic Sounds.

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I read on another site that the master tape has a frame rate close to 50KHz (48Khz + 3%) which was the maximum setting on the Sony Digital recorder. Sample rate convertors have come a long way since then. They might master the Digital tape in a similar way the the original 5.1 SACD, convert it to analogue, master and DSD encode along with any EQ changes. I wonder if their 0 Feedback Class A input stage to their DSD encoder is valve, this might help to add some warmth. I guess time will tell…


Disagree on the ‘boringness’ levels. I find all the albums a joy every time I play them and Brothers in Arms is one album I just never ever get tired of. Can’t see the point in this release though. How many more times can a sound be EQ’d? At the end of the day it’s down to the mastering engineer in question. I think Bob Ludwig did a decent job of the 20th anniversary. It’s fuller than the original and I don’t hear a major compression issue on the SACD layer.


This is a weird one for MFSL to take on.
All they can do is EQ it.


At the risk of offence, I rate the first album as second from bottom, above On Every Street.


Am I the only one who feels that each Dire Straits album was inferior to the previous one? I think their best album is their first, followed by the second. It’s a mishmash of OK to boring albums after that.


Definitely agree on that. First album is a masterpiece, the best in their entire catalog. Where is a deluxe edition for first album?


Hi Chris

To be pedantic, SACD is 1 bit – a completely different system to PCM (16/24 bit etc.) but your hi-rez argument still stands: how can a hi-res release improve a lower res recording? And how can transferring from one digital format to another improve things? Without further info/justification from the label this seems a bizarre choice.


If I’m not mistaken the original album was recorded digitally at a 16 bit resolution, thus the 24 bit higher resolution SACD format (especially given this is stereo only) would offer no benefit above the standard CD format.

I remember this coming out at 24/96 on HD tracks about a year ago, there were the same arguments and it was quickly withdrawn……