A Wonderful Ride while it Lasted

It is with regret that we announce to Stereophile's readers the closing of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, on November 19, 1999. Known to audiophiles since its inception in 1977, the company provided serious listeners with hundreds of remastered LPs, cassettes, and CDs.

Audiophile companies often live a precarious existence, and, with the demise of a key distributor, MoFi was dealt a fatal blow. A press release from the company says that in "September of 1999, the closure of M.S. Distributing's music division resulted in a substantial percentage of uncollectible receivables for MFSL, plus the inventory it represented. Without access to the funds or the availability of inventory for re-sale, the financial devastation was more than our small company could overcome. Therefore, as of November 19, 1999, the company that changed the way the world listened to music, itself has closed its doors." According to the company, "extreme, but unsuccessful, efforts were made to overcome the financial blow dealt by the sale of M.S. Distributing Company this summer and the subsequent closure of its music division."

Herb Belkin, a co-founder of Mobile Fidelity and a co-owner until his retirement nearly five years ago, states: "I am deeply saddened with the knowledge that the employee-owned Mobile Fidelity—which for so many years represented a major symbol of quality in the field of pre-recorded music—was, in the end, a victim of bigness and mediocrity. I, along with all audiophiles everywhere, will deeply miss the musical efforts of MoFi."

In making the announcement, MoFi adds that "Herb and the loyal employees of Mobile Fidelity wish to thank all of our friends and supporters throughout the years. Without everyone's belief in our efforts to make the very best audio reproductions possible, our star wouldn't have shone so bright for so long. We offer our best wishes to those companies that remain, and hope they survive this most challenging era of high-end audio."

"We sincerely hope that our memory and legacy will continued to be enjoyed for many years to come through the hundreds of classic LPs, aluminum and gold CDs, and even cassettes that Mobile Fidelity has lovingly remastered for the enjoyment of music lovers and for ourselves. It was a wonderful ride while it lasted."