Audiophile LP's were always cut at half speed and often pressed on JVC super vinyl, both a spin off of CD-4 technology. You don't think that there is any benefit
You’re actually making my point about the hype.
What does being pressed on JVC vinyl have to do with the quality of the mastering method? And the fact that it was a spin-off of CD-4 says nothing about any improvement to normal records in the normal frequency range.
What exactly are the real benefits...and more importantly, what are the real drawbacks? Half-speed mastering just trades off one set of cutting challenges for another while adding an additional layer of eq adjustment to the process.
What exactly is an audiophile LP? If Ryan Smith cuts an LP for MFSL, is that an audiophile LP, but if he cuts an LP for Sony, it’s not?
“Audiophile“ LPs were not always cut half-speed. First, there were/are plenty of superb records made before and after the term “audiophile records“ was a thing. For the most part, half-speed mastering has utilized by one company (the old MFSL) and one engineer in the 80s and now Miles Showell at Abbey Road. That’s mostly it.
And frankly many of those old MFSL LPs - and frankly the newer Abbey Road 1/2 speeds - don’t hold up that well when compared to a plain old standard pressing cut by a quality engineer like Doug Sax or Chris Bellman or Bernie Grundman or Ted Jensen or the list goes on. And if half-speed mastering is so great, why have only a couple of engineers been, by and large, been practitioners of it in the 70-ish years of vinyl LP cutting? If it was better, they’d all be tweaking their rigs to utilize it.
So IMO the supposed benefits of half-speed cutting are basically outweighed by the drawbacks and - at best - you get an LP which, when all other thing are equal, is no better than one cut at 1:1 speed.
I wish Miles Showell would spend more time on calibrating the balance of his cutting system (everything is ~2dB skewed to the left) rather than hyping his half-speed mastering without really explaining why it’s worthy of hype.