Eiji Oue / Minnesota Orchestra – Mephisto & Co. (2LP, 45rpm, 200g pressing)

# Composers: Anatoly Konstantinovich Liadov, Camille Saint-Saëns, Cesar Franck, Franz Liszt, Johann Strauss II, Malcolm Arnold, Modest Moussorgsky, Paul Dukas
# Orchestra: Minnesota Orchestra
# Conductor: Eiji Oue
# Vinyl (1998 / 2014)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 16
# Label: Reference Recordings | RM-2510
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (2.96GB), 24-bit/96kHz (1.45GB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (377MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory / File Post

There aren’t enough superlatives to adequately describe the sound quality on this album. If you’ve been considering checking out a 192k rip but weren’t sure which one to try… this is the one.

My first classical rip at 192k.

From the Label:

Ghosts, goblins, merlins and demons run amok in this program of internal orchestral favorites! Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra light a fire under these colorful symphonic poems, captured in dazzling quality by Grammy-winning engineer and audiophile legend Keith O. Johnson. An explosive orchestral tour de force!

For many years, RR has been searching the world over for the best possible vinyl mastering, plating and pressing facilities so they could re-enter the LP market. They now have a production chain that allow them to produce LPs to meet their high standards and satisfy their customers’ demands, who have been waiting for these LPs for a long time!

One of Reference Recordings’ all-time favorites – the original 1998 CD release is on “The Absolute Sound Super Disc List.” Half-speed mastered with no compression, and available for first time on 45rpm 200g virgin vinyl!

Assembling the Team
Disc mastering is done at half-speed to insure maximum accuracy. The lathe system has custom electronics by Nelson Pass. The simple signal path contains no compression, equalization or unnecessary circuitry. RR chief engineer and technical director, “Prof.” Keith Johnson consulted on the design of the system and helped with the rebuilding of the lathe and electronics, which is owned and operated by long-time mastering expert Paul Stubblebine. “Prof.” Johnson has pronounced it equal to the challenge of our master tapes!

Once successful results were achieved in disc mastering, Reference Recordings faced the difficult task of choosing the best plating and pressing facility to manufacture the discs. Fortunately, the new Quality Record Pressings plant in Salina, Kansas was coming on line, and they felt that waiting for this plant to open was well worth it. A crack team of experts was assembled to design and run the plant, employing many unique techniques and features that clearly set QRP apart from all other pressing plants. The 200-gram deluxe vinyl pressings from QRP are truly exceptional.

Multiple Configurations for Reference Mastercuts
Depending on program lengths, some releases are cut at 45 rpm, some at 33-1/3 rpm. Some are single discs, some double. All feature deluxe gatefold jackets crafted by Stoughton Printing. An unusual feature of new RR masterings is called the “FDS finish”: the end of each side will have a 30-second band of silent grooves before the “pull-away.” No one today uses a record changer, and the silent grooves allow time to lift the arm before the always-somewhat-noisy tie-off. (Some 1950s vintage Capitol Full Dimensional Sound pressings sported this feature.) RR founder, J. Tamblyn (Tam) Henderson deserves special recognition for identifying the value of this unique production feature and reintroducing it with the new Mastercuts.

Note: half-speed mastering involves a capturing process in which the original recording master is played back at exactly half of the recorded speed. A sequenced cutting lathe is then timed at exactly half of the playback speed. This process allows twice as much time to carve a groove that accurately represents the sound on the master tape. Half-speed mastering allows for cleaner reproduction and also permits extended high frequency response, extending into the ultrasonic region.


…should be listened to with caution by anyone with a heart condition. – Paul Festa, salon.com

Enjoy equally sensational sonics in a disc of demonic influences, including Liszt’s serious Mephisto Waltz and Dukas’s comic masterpiece The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Oue is a born showman, and the orchestra is certainly willing – the dramatic ending to Franck’s Le Chausseur Maudit packed full of virtuosity, while the brass is superb in Malcolm Arnold’s Tam O’Shanter. – David Denton, The Yorkshire Post

This is an intriguing concept; eight pieces with a hellish subtext in one package. It’s mostly successful, but it could have been wholeheartedly recommended were it not for a few minor issues. As always from this source, sound quality is incredible. The dynamic range is huge and all sorts of wonderful little details come out that you never knew were there. The orchestra, one of the most underrated in America, plays stupendously.

Without question, Eiji Oue is a very fine conductor. Anyone who thinks Vanska deserves all the credit for putting Minnesota on the musical map needs to look at what has been a stellar roster of talent over the years. Oue’s outings on disc with the orchestra are all remarkably similar; great playing, great sound, great repertoire, repeat.

The Arnold is very fine, the Saint-Saëns gorgeously realized, and the Franck really is a welcome rarity and a fine piece. Additionally, having the Liadov on such a program is unexpected, while the Strauss is equally surprising but a great way to end the disc.

Simply put, Oue gets exactly what he wants from his excellent players, and the sound enhances everything considerably. If this diverse and well-done program appeals, by all means test your speakers with it. – Brian Wigman, classical.net

Track Listing:

Side One
01 – Mephisto Waltz #1
02 – Danse macabre

Side Two
03 – Baba Yaga
04 – Night On Bald Mountain

Side Three
05 – Tam O’Shanter
06 – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Side Four
07 – The Accursed Huntsman
08 – Lucifer Polka

Jorja Fleezanis – violin solos

Additional information can be found here and here.

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio ResoMat
Audio Technica AT33PTG/II
AVID Pellar preamp
RME Hammerfall 9632 ADC

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX2

Do you like my rips?

If you enjoy my rips, please consider making a donation. All donations will go toward new music and/or equipment. Requests are always accepted.

Thank you!


Click here to download the files


192K files are only available at FileFactory.

Password is SteveMTNO.

41 thoughts on “Eiji Oue / Minnesota Orchestra – Mephisto & Co. (2LP, 45rpm, 200g pressing)

  1. Hi Thenightowl, thanks for this beautiful post.
    Is it possible to you to put the images of booklets and covers with a better quality? Unfortunately it is almost impossible to read what there is written in your scans. Thanks.

  2. Reference quality to demonstrate one’s stereo system…but, I have the original records which everyone should get. They are so much better then a digital copy.

  3. Hello,
    It’s my very first DL here, I just registered today, and i had to admit I’m very happy 🙂
    The sound is incredible in 24-96. I will DL in 24-196 soon.

    I think I never listen a such beautiful sound on my (little) system (asus xonar/marantz pm 5004/boston a26).
    Thank you very much!

    (Merci beaucoup!)

  4. I must say that I am not a big fan of vinyl records, but I must say this is great rip, and sound is also great. Fine performances, too. Thanks.

  5. No doubt this is an outstanding recording in vinyl and I thank you very much for this nice offering here.
    But (and please don’t get me wrong) the background noise from your stereo equipment is too much for a crystal clean recording like this: in the quiet passages one can hear that strange (and unwelcome) noise very clear.
    What went wrong?
    Hoping you will redo it…
    Anyway many thanks for your job!

    • You’re the first person to mention any background noise. Can you give me some specific details on what you’re hearing?

  6. It sounds like a mix of mechanical turntable noise (worn spindle, lack of proper lubrication maybe) and an electric grounding issue in your LP playback system, or a interconnect placed too next to a line cord.
    Worn spindle: a pretty common ocurrence in direct drive turntables.
    I’ll try to digitally filter out that noise with Isotope and if you want I can send you a filtered sample track.
    In the last seconds of the “Danse Macabre” you can listen to this noise fairly easily in a good system or through a pair of good headphones.
    Only trying to help here.

    [ ]

    • VTR – yes please send me whatever you can. But let’s take this conversation to PMs rather than here in the comments.


  7. Jeez!! I can’t keep up! Would you please tell me why the 192 can’t be presented in FilePost? I live on disability and soc security and go broke trying to keep up with changing services . . .

    I thank you for your work, but it’s going to cost me ANOTHER $13 just to DL the 192 . . .

    • Like it says above, the 192k files can’t be hosted on FP because of space constraints. I have a free FP account – not premium.

      I only offer FP link as an additional option for those who don’t do FF for whatever reason. The FP links expire after 30 days of inactivity. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

  8. Hi . . . my apology.

    I was confusing FileFactory with FileParadox, a service I recently let go.

    I am a member in good standing with ‘Factory.

  9. Granted, I do not have a super-duper stereo anymore, but on my new Asus sound card this sound is immaculate, especially the Danse Macabre and Night on Bald Mountain.

    Very grateful,

  10. Hi ,

    I’m trying to donwload from FF the 24 192 version, but there are problems on part 1 , 4 and 6.

    Invalid URL.

    I’ve tried several times either direct dowload , using jdownloader and also with FF option using traffic share.

    No problems with the other part ( 2 -3-5-7 ).

    There is something strange, I’m able to import the link in my account, and jdownloader online status check it’s ok. But the files are unavailable.

    Should you please reup and publish new links ?

  11. Welcome to RACH’s rarefied 24-192 rez club NightOwl…
    Yes it’s been a long time in coming. So keep up your excellent work and don’t be afraid of giving us all those treats in glorious 24/192.
    So I’ll remain as always a massive fan of both you guys…
    LA, CA

    • Pretty much everything I rip will be available in 192k going forward. Only on FF tho. I only have a free FP account, so my space there is limited. Not to mention the additional time to upload the files to both sites.

      I’m still working on the Furtwangler 9th to complete the Beethoven cycle, and then I’ll be posting more classical titles here (and on black-circles, of course). The 9th is taking much long than normal, due to the unusually high amount of surface noise. Most of the Franklin Mint albums have been very good pressings – this symphony has been an exception.

      Be sure to check black-circles for all my latest rips – classical and non-classical. I’ll get the 9th done as soon as I can…

  12. Hi, dowwnload finished, and with jdownloader.

    Maybe there was something strange on FF server 2 days ago.

    @thenightowl : I’m not really happy you’ll go on FF for hi res release ( I have server premium account, and I’ve dismissed FF ), but I have only to say thank to you for sharing your music and for the involved work.

    I don’t know if interesting, but I suggest as an alternative 1fichier, the 1 year premium is only 19.99 , it’s fast and reliable . You should upload with mirrorcreator o similar , so with a minimum cost for you and user, you will have a fast solution and a backup server

  13. Oh brother, this sound really phantastic….never espected less from RR 😉 And your AT cart is a class of its own. I have now also a cart by AT, as reserve for the BB. It is amazingly good.

    • Thanks, Alf. Glad you liked the rip! I’d say the new cart, preamp and ADC are playing together quite nicely now! 🙂 Everything they say about synergy is true.

      I know what you mean about these RR albums too. I’m definitely gonna have to get more of them!

      • yeah my Steve, your “partners” harmonize with each other perfectly. Me too, since I’ve abandoned the Clearaudio, using only the tangential old Yamaha, I get a much better sound and a much better tracking, without sibilances.
        Ja, the RR-LPs….unfortunately, there are seldom (if yes, with horrend prices) old recordings of RR on the used market. I can only recommand, get them all, everything you see.

  14. Thanks! This sounds great.

    With the 24-96 though I got a decoding error from 7Zip that said wrong password on track 6. It plays the first 4:50 or so then has a decoding error in foobar also.

  15. What a wonderful vinyl rip! I have the CD, however, your rip is superb. The music is so excited and enjoyable.

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply