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Yiangos
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Do cds actually deteriorate ?

I've noticed a strange thing but before i continue,my cd player,dvd player and loudspeakers are in perfect condition.
Some cd,especially older ones,sound a bit strange whenever i play them.They sound as if the cones of the loudspeakers are teared.It is a strange sound,like ummm "flutter" and one
has to listen carefully to listen to it. This happens only to 1-2% of my cd collection and the weird thing is,it happens sometimes constantly and sometimes at random.
Let me explain.This happens whenever i "treat" certain cd through a bedini clarifier and then upsample then.If i turn upsampling off,everything sounds ok.Others sound bad wheather i upsample them or not,even with bedini treatment.
Sometimes this happens only with my dvd player but they sound okay if i play them on my cd player and sometimes the opposite.I didn't notice if this happens with the same cd except on one occasion and i remember this because i purchased that particular cd twice since i could not get rid of the problem.Mind you though,my cd collection runs up to four fiqure and this only happens in less than 2%.
Has anyone else experienced the same thing ? Is there a way to fix this,perhaps a liquid you treat a cd with ?

Jeff Wong
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

CDs can deteriorate (usually due to the metal layer getting exposed and developing oxidation.)

I kind of doubt this is what is happening in your case. The "flutter" sound you hear leads me to think you have data gaps that are becoming more pronounced with upsampling. Hold your problematic CDs up to a light bulb. Check to see if there are any pinholes in your metal layer. I'm wondering if CD error correction is doing its job on regular CD playback, but, that the gap and its error is getting magnified/multiplied when you upsample, causing the fluttering sound.

Yiangos
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

Hi Jeff

I understand what you're saying.I checked that cd i have twice,both the bad and the okay one and no holes visible.
On the other hand,i have a few cd with those pin-head holes and they plau okay.I tell you what.I'll do something i haven't done for quite some time.I will clean the laser lens and see what happens.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

Keep us posted. I've had discs with small bubbles in the plastic that affected playback. It used to horrify me to see pinholes in CDs... I guess that's what error correction was for... my friend and I used to think better quality control on the discs would've been a better solution.

Yiangos
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

Okay Jeff,i will.I quess this is one subject that interests
most if not all of us.

Scooter123
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

I kind of suspect that your CD players aren't quite as "pristine" as you think. This hunch is based on my experience with the various optical playback devices that I have owned, and retired.

I'll admit to being abnormally "hard" on CD players of various descriptions. That is because until July 3, 2006 I was a hardcore smoker. Which meant that, on my computer drives, after about 2-3 years the smoke residue would get built up on the playback lens to the point where mistracking would become a major issue. My non computer related CD players typically lasted about 5 years before replacement was needed. DVD players have lasted about 3 years before becoming a problem, probably because they are much more critical in regards to playback. So, if you smoke, I can almost guarantee that the playback lenses on your players are NOT "pristine".

Note, my computer CD players are the absolute WORST in regards to this issue. The fans that are installed in a computer act to draw air across the playback lens and they tend to crud up within 2 to 3 years, even in out non smoking office. When it happens it's common for CD-R disks to become "unreadable". The good news is that, after installing a brand new 40 dollar CD Drive, all those "unreadable" CD-R's work perfectly.

As for WHY. All of the CD players that I have ever seen share one common design feature. That is that the playback lens is pointed straight up and they play the disk "label up". Which means that good old GRAVITY will cause that lens to collect anything in the atmosphere. Be it smoke, dust, pollen, eventually the playback lens will eventually either need to be cleaned or the entire player replaced.

I should also relate my experience with that Dx-5 player because it is so similar to what you are reporting. First, the DX-5 player had a "single point" laser playback engine typical to the first generation players. Which does mean that it was more sensitive to any dirt on the lens than the more recent multiple laser players. Anyhow, when I first started to have problems with mis-tracking it would only happen with a small percentage of my CD's. AT this point the player was about 3 to 4 years old. Initially, the symptoms were EXACTLY what you have described. The bad news is that eventually you start to skip and repeat and experience the really ugly side of optical playback. The "gold" CD's were basically "immune" to mistracking at this point. However, as time went by, the percentage of mistracking just kept creeping up and eventually even the premium "gold" CD's would start to mistrack on occasion. That's when I tried cleaning the playback lens without success. I used some standard lens cleaner for camera lenses and suspect that it was not as "residue free" as advertized because it just didn't work.

So what's the solution. On facet is so damn obvious that I can only believe that is hasn't been implemented just so that these devices have some built in Obsolescence. The answer is to "flip" the entire design so that CD's are played LABLE DOWN and the playback lens is pointing DOWN so that gravity works to pull any airborne debris AWAY from the lens. The second is to make sure that your environment is as close to a "clean room" as possible. Which means NO SMOKING or COOKING anywhere near the CD player. It also means using a HEPA rated vacuum cleaner and a rigerous cleaning regimen. Finally, if you have air conditioning, or forced air heat, replace those filters FREQUENTLY. It would also be advisable to have an electrostatic air cleaner installed in your air conditioning/heating system. Bottomline, it you see any "dust" in your home, it's not clean enough to have any optical playback device working forever. If you take the above steps you can probalby enjoy your CD player for 15 or 20 years.

As for me, I did do something about my smoking. However, it's a small house and I enjoy cooking. So my attitude is to just buy players that sound good and don't cost too much. In this regards I recently had to replace my DVD player and the new Philips DVD player offers up sampling, sounds excellent, and only cost me 100 bucks.

Anyhow, that's what my experience has been. If you have a very expensive CD player I would suggest that you contact the manufacturer and see about having it cleaned. As for your DVD player, they are "dirt cheap" now so just toss it and buy another.

BTW, that Philips that I bought was the DVP5960 and it was in stock at Circuit City. The sound from this cheap player is just so darn good that I just have to give it a recomendation. The only problem is the HDMI cable to connect it to the TV set me back another 100 bucks but the picture is fantastic for a non HD player. I have a hunch that DVD playback is so critical that it actually offers a superior playback "engine" for CD's. If I am correct I suspect we will start to see the high end CD players using DVD mechanisms now that Philips has stopped producing CD only drives. Bottomline, it you want a cheap and good CD player, buy a DVD player and multitask it.

PS, any of you "Golden Ears" reading this should try giving that Philips player a listen. I would be very interested if you think that it's as much of a bargaing as I do. I suspect it will stand up quite well to player costing 10 times as much, which makes it a real bargain.

Buddha
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

Great post, Scooter!

Even as a non-smoker, I've had transports start to go, and in much the same fashion that you and Yiangos describe.

To use an analog analogy: The first thing to go was tracking ability.

I've had OK luck with lens cleaners, but it just seemed to be a short term fix as the transport became more and more senile.

Yiangos, give a lens cleaner a try - I don't have a favorite - and see if this has a positive impact.

Best wishes.

RGibran
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?


Quote:
PS, any of you "Golden Ears" reading this should try giving that Philips player a listen. I would be very interested if you think that it's as much of a bargaing as I do. I suspect it will stand up quite well to player costing 10 times as much, which makes it a real bargain.

Wow, a quick check of Circuit City online shows that awesome player priced at $67.99 with free shipping or 24 minute in store pickup!

Maybe you can return yours, wait till after the holidays when I suspect they will be selling for 50 bucks!

Then you could return here and make unfounded statements like...

I suspect it will stand up quite well to player costing 20 times as much, which makes it a real bargain

RG

Yiangos
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

Why don't you guys ever give a simple solution to a query such as "a raw steak on top of the cd player will cure mistraking" ? lol
Seriously now,great posts from everyone here.Thanks guys.
Today,i will clean the lens and check with those 2 cds i mentioned earlier and i will post my findings.
My cd player,a Cary 306/200 is 2 years old or about that but my dvd player,a Denon dvd-5910ci is almost new.I bought it on March this year.It can't got "contaminated" this early !!I also use a Sharp air purifier in the room but i have to admit i am a heavy smoker (puff puff).
Anyways,i am not gonna take the Cary appart,too lazy for that.i am going to used one of those cd lens cleaner , probably the "Milty" which i believe i have (wet/dry) cleaning and see what happens.

Yiangos
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

I cleaned the Cary's laser lens using Allsop's "carbon edge laser lens cd cleaner" twice.Cleaned the cd with Allsop's "fast wipes" and played the disc.The problem improved but only about 5%.Then i cleaned the cd with a Radio Shack portable/automatic cd cleaner.The improvement was in the region of 10-15% but still,that "fried potatoes" sound was still there. I will let you guys know which particular cd does this problem and maybe if anyone else owns the same cd could check this out. Barbra Streisand
"Guilty" on CBS CDCBS86122. Another observation and this happens only with this cd.Without upsampling,the cd plays almost perfect.With upsampling,the level goes up several db , i'd say around 7-8 db , the sound gets a considerable boost in trebble and the "fried potatoes" kicks in. All the answers i got through this post make sense but i really can't get off my mind that the problem lies with certain mastering technique.This is not the first i've noticed this.
Some cd do not make a difference when upsampled,some others
get a certain ammount of sonic improvement altough very subbtle and others sound as if played through a portable radio ! Is it just me or anyone else noticed this as well ?
I am not saying the answers i got are wrong.Just want to find out if certain recordings are problematic.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

I had a brief thought that if these were older CDs with pre-emphasis, it might be the issue, but, quickly came to the conclusion that it wasn't likely. I once asked JA what happens if an HDCD disc gets upsampled and played back without decoding: when upsampled, does the reinterpreted encoding result in significant artifacts that might affect the sound? He told me that the only real effect of upsampling on an HDCD stream is that the LSB gets changed, which eliminates the HDCD data and results in the loss of the resolution benefit of the encoding.

Scooter123's post makes a lot of sense.

I'm going to be sad when my Stable Platter transport (discs label side down) dies.

Yiangos
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

yes,i totally agree with Scooter123's post. The weird thing is,this only happens with old cds and when i say old,i mean
early cds.Anyway,thank God vinyl is around.
Stable platter and vrds were/are the best!!! It is a pitty Pioneer don't manufacture stable platters anymore.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

I agree, Yiangos, that Scooter probably has the answer. On the other hand, this may be God's way of telling you he doesn't want to hear that Streisand recording any more. He hears everything, you know.

Scooter123
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

I think that part of the problem with certain CD's may actually be related to the manufacturing. The "image" layer on the CD is vapor deposited Aluminum for the standard CD's. Which means that it doesn't take a lot of imagination to picture a manufacturing line cutting costs by depositing a thinner layer of aluminum. Doing this wouldn't just save on the raw material but it would also probably increase the speed of the production line. When my DBX player first started to get fussy, the CD's that exhibited the most faults were those that were "hot off the presses" and popular. So it makes sense that the production line may have been cutting some corners that would make the playback process more sensitive.

As for your smoking, think about quitting. I didn't have much choice, 4 mini strokes in 4 weeks gave me a real wake up call (3 of them involved my vision, I went totally blind in my right eye for about 5 minutes each time). The good news is that quitting added over 300 dollars a month to my "toy fund".

Yiangos
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

hahahaha but it's a good record,Clay.

Yiangos
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

Scooter123 , four mini-strokes in four weeks ? Gee man,i hope you are allright now.

Scooter123
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Re: Do cds actually deteriorate ?

I'm fine now but it certainly was a wake up call. Point is, the time to quit smoking is while your still healthy, not after something happens. BTW, I actually stopped BUYING ciggerettes. I won't borrow a smoke, won't buy one, but any stray smokes that I stumble on in my house or car is fair game. Thing is, that hasn't happened since about 3 days into my cessation so in reality I have quit. It's just a "mind game" that I used to break the habit successfully. So use whatever tricks you have to in order to fool yourself into quitting and DO IT.

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