Anyone use CD tweaks


I was wondering about the effectiveness of products hyped to improved sound quality - i.e. products like Maple Shade's "Mikro Smooth" for polishing CDs and their "Optrix" surfactant product. You want to believe these claims, but sometimes they sound too good to be true. Anyone with any experience with these or similar CD enhancers??

Thanks in advance...
2chnlben
I have used pens, polishes, freezers and hear nothing of real value.
A friend uses Shine-Ola, and he brought some over to do an A/B test in my system. For the test, we used two burned copies of each selected CD. One burned disc he treated (but did not tell me which one), and the other he left alone. We tested four selections as I recall, and I identified the treated disc every time.

The sound was louder, more open and with better dynamics. It was a subtle yet obvious difference.
I am using optrix cleaner mainly for that,notice some clarity improvement.I also use rd3 after cleaning though too.The combo seems to offer a nice clarity improvement to my ears.
Another vote for Shine-Ola. I use it and definitely hear improvements. The sound if often more open, transparent and detailed.

On some CD's the improvements are significant. On other CD's it is subtle.

I think that the improvements are more obvious as your system becomes more revealing.
I use walker Vivid and Olde English Polish and they both yield the effects Tvad described:
"louder, more open and with better dynamics"
I can no longer find satisfaction with untreated disks.

Also, freezing seems to be the most effective even though the description(s) of why it works make no sense to me. Its one of those things that shouldn't work, but does.
Yes, the Shine-Ola product does a wonderful job for me on my cd's. It's simple and has better results than other products I've tried . Such a simple means, to a satisfying result!
I use Rain-X, especially on scratched CDs. Essentially, I guess it winds up being a chemical polish.
A set of Mapleshade Triplepoint Heavyfeet and a 1/4lb of weight from their Heavyhat lineup will transform your player...CD tweaks are subtle but not an order of magnitude.
A 1 lb or 2 lb weight of any kind will work just fine on a CD player. Try a dumbell weight, or a diver's weight. If you demand brass, then look for vintage apothecary weights on E-Bay. They look cool, too.
So what is this Shine-Ola? Is it a liquidand cloth as if cleaning the cd? Where do you buy it and how much is it? Thanks
Shine-Ola

Do a Google search for other retailers.
Myrtle wood blocks underneath CDP, with a weight on top for vibration, and Auric Illuminator on the discs all add subtle changes for the better. I put a thick maple cutting board under my turntable, with myrtle wood blocks under each piece, and the difference was more than subtle.
The best tweak I use which makes the biggest impact is to DEMAG the CD..I use the Furutech RD-2(no longer made) but you can find them used on A'gon....OR Music Direct sells the new version from Acoustic Revive called the RD-3.
Really cleans up the lower mid upper bass problems,Makes mids/vocals more focused,and shimmers the highs.
I stopped using the pens and the waxes.
If I come across a CD/DVD that skips I use the Auric Illumintor stuff on it which works.
Tig: Music Direct sells Shinola, around 25 bucks for a bottle that lasts quite a while. I don't have strong opinions about its effects. John
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?ddgtl&1051384332&openmine&zzBuscis2&4&5#Buscis2

Enjoy.........
I'm game. I actually found that I have some AQ "Laserguide", which is primarily a silicone base...I can't hear a darn bit of difference...Ha! I like the idea of adding some weight on the player - it's immediate; don't have to wait for a mail order! Part of this compulsion, mine anyway, is no patience - gotta have it now. What the hey, it’s good clean fun isn't it! While I’m pretty darn good at discerning wood types via my visual sense, I’m fairly confident that I do not poses the ability to do so via my sense of hearing. This is good, because a hunk of Hickory is much more affordable than Black Bubinga or Burl Ives – or is that Burled Walnut? Really, though, I might look for a nice brass door stop – huh!! I’m serious – I started this thread. I’m going to place a nice looking brass ornament on top of some sexy hunk of hard wood (on top of my CD player, of course). I look forward to my wife’s witty little remarks.
I’m going to place a nice looking brass ornament on top of some sexy hunk of hard wood (on top of my CD player, of course).
2chnlben (System | Threads | Answers)
Now, that's thinking outside of the box!

Nice.
And just think Tvad, it's in response to your response. You're the man!
Aw shucks (kicks the dirt)...

Thanks.
Im surprised no ones mentioned Herbies CD mat.
No doubt this mat makes CD's sound less digital.
The biggest improvement I've found is how the mat brings out female vocals to a 'in your room' realism.
CD Mats?? What...placed on top of the CD? What about the additional weight of the mat...could it have any negative affect on the transport/drive mechanisms (i.e. ability to spin at proper speeds/RPMs)?? I assume the intension is to reduce jitter as well as laser diffraction???
The Herbie's CD Mat does not work in my Denon 3910. It makes the CD too thick to spin properly.
I use Shinola, not sure I'd qualify it as a tweak though. It's simply a cleaner that IMO does a good job.
2chnlben,the Herbie CD mat is so light it wont have a negative effect on the RPM's,and it works the way you describe.
Tvad, my mat didnt work on my friends 3910 either.
The Herbie CD mat was the winner of a 'best cd tweak' in a thread from long ago.
Most,if not all that owned one said it works better than any cd tweak and does what it is described to do to improve the sound of cd's and sacd's
When I bought mine I think its was 20 bucks shipped.It may be up to $24 now.
Not sure if Herbie offers a return policy,but Im very sure anyone that tries it wont be returning it.
Herbie offers a lifetime warranty I do know. Even if your dog dines on it for lunch.
As I said before,Im surprised no one has mentioned this mat except me.
I use Pledge Anti-Static to clean my CDs. My results are pretty much what others have said regarding other cleaning/shining products. Very effective and cheap. A bottle cost me about $3 or so, and I've cleaned about 200 or so CDs with less than half the bottle.

Its the spray version (not aerosol) advertised to use with electronics.
I've been using the Marigo 3-D Stabilizer Mat (which is essentially a semi-rigid disc). I had used their original disc and am now using the newer design. They both work well also.
I was wondering if anyone was up on wether or not Shine-Ola is harmful to polycarbonate? I was told I needed to know this before using it with my cd player. I don't know what polycarbonate is but I know there are people here with a lot of knowledge on this great site. Thanks!
I have just received a John Blue CD mat, which sits on top of the cd, without any preconceived expectations I noticed a signifant improvement, music sounds more distinguised, more detail, voices and wind instruments sound more natural. Overal the music sounds quieter (less background noise) and the music is more coherent, also less sibilance. Slightly better separation, it is as good as an expesive component upgrade in some regards and better because it eliminates the digital harshness of cds. Currently I am listening to Enya Watermark and am thoroughly enjoying the music, first impressions; the sound is more analogue, and more detailed in an unobstrusive way. It cost me US$40.00, and the material is very light, about 3 grams, so it should not affect the motor. I like it so much that I see it as essential to cd player use. Note the cd player sits on thick marble and I use small mahogany pucks, that only touch on the rubber part of my feet, not the aluminium, since that is the only way it is effective in my system.
ditto with the disc damper but I use the Marigo Reference and yes it does make a difference. I also just started to use Ultrabit and for sure it does make an almost jaw dropping difference. It is a bit expensive ($65/bottle) direct from Manufacturer or $80-$85 from Music Direct but you can hear the difference the first time out. Also my CD sits atop Bright Star's Air Mass and Big Rock, again a "tweak" that makes a VERY POSITIVE difference, wouldn't ever be without them!
Update regarding weights on top of CD players and Amp/Preamps....not good, kills dynamics and limits transparency. I still use brass heavyfeet under CD player but not umder my amp/preamp. Mapleshade CD enhancement products work well to reduce digititis and add a bit more warmth and rosin to the music.
I used to have a bottle of Finyl and it worked wonders. I wonder if something similar is available today?

I also have a CD mat (blacklight?) but I am just getting too lazy to use it. I have to soak it under light so that that it glows in green .... ah .. jus too much work.
I just bought some Dynamat and put it on all open metal inside the case of my player. I also put it on the transport where it wasn't in the way of anything. What a difference it made.It absorbs the vibration on the transport. The bottom end is more musical, the mids and highs are even more transparent than before. I am telling you it is the best $25.00 I have ever spent. I will now put my Denon 1940CI up against any player under a grand.It really is that good. Can't wait for a opamp and better dac.and the transport is silent now.No noise when it opens or closes.
You should try $5 copper tweak here. It changes my whole system from musical and warm to a Hi-fi one. Not in a good way, not in a bad way, it just does. Now, I slide it back and forth from time to time when I want my music sounds diff.
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?htech&1237170946
I spray on L'Art du Son CD/DVD Cleaner. Seems to work as advertised: more organic sound - removes etchiness.
Human urine wiped off with a lint free microfiber cloth is the only way to go. I've tried goat urine but found the sound to be rather closed in. I have not yet tried horse or pig but I will report back soon.
Human urine wiped off with a lint free microfiber cloth is the only way to go.
Jones4music (Threads | Answers)

Asparagus, or no asparagus?
asparagus gives a deeper much more textured soundstage.
David99: "Not sure if Herbie offers a return policy,but Im very sure anyone that tries it wont be returning it."

Now let's see, where did I keep that receipt.....
i use furniture foam, about 4 inches thick under a cd player/transport and dac. the cd player is a vincent cd s6 and the dac is ess technology sabre 32 evaluation board.
L'Art du Son fluid has a dramatic effect on CD's. Richer, fuller sound, lest digital sounding.

Neal
is to power the CD player with true AC regenerated power with the AC frequency set to ~90hz. Pretty much negates all other CD tweaks IME. I use a Walker Audio precision AC motor controller which bested a PS Audio PP600. The Walker unit employs both input and output isolation transformers therefore completely isolating the CD player electrically
and since it provides ultra pure rock solid AC, the CD players performance improves dramatically.

The key here is to ONLY power the CD player with the regenerated power and use balanced(prefered) or unbalanced AC power for powering the rest of the system.

Cheers
Hands down, the best CD tweak I have found is to power the CD player with true AC regenerated power with the AC frequency set to ~90hz. This pretty much negates all other CD tweaks IME. I use a Walker Audio precision AC motor controller which bested a PS Audio PP600. The Walker unit employs both input and output isolation transformers therefore completely isolating the CD player electrically
and since it provides ultra pure rock solid AC, the CD players performance improves dramatically.

The key here is to ONLY power the CD player with the regenerated power and use balanced(prefered) or unbalanced AC power for powering the rest of the system.

Cheers
The best cleaner/polish I've found is L'Art du Son ... that is until a friend came up with his own formula. He won't sell it, nor will he tell me what's in it. Also, if you go to Radio Shack and buy the VCR tape eraser for $30.00 it beats just about any demag devise out there. Don't buy the regular cassette tape eraser, buy the large VCR eraser. With a good demag and the L'Art du Son cleaner, the CDs become much more analog like.
The last time I looked the Radio Shack Bulk Tape Eraser had been discontinued. That was some time ago. Fortunately, eBay is a good resource for the item.
Pledge AntiStatic works great for CDs. The non-aerosol one that's safe for electronics. Far cheaper than any audiophile brand, and far better than anything I've used. For about $5, if it doesn't work as well, you can still use it for other stuff.

Spray a little on the disc, wipe it with a microfiber cloth, then buff with a dry microfiber cloth.
I have used various products and potions as well as mats. My best and FREE tweak is all I do now. Wash the cd with a little (very little) liquid soap and rinse well with water. I work the soap in with my fingers and rinse. Dry with a cheap paper towel so there is no lint. I have an R.O. system and I use the water from there, I don't know if it would matter though. It is an easily noticable difference. Clearer music across the board like a haze has been removed.
BlueMaxx cd cleaner is worth trying out, as well as Audiodesk
One of my favs is three 1 inch strips of black plastic tape on the label side arranged like spokes of a wheel.
The CD mat from Herbie's Audio Lab works great but sometimes gets stuck in the drawer mechanism, which is why i stopped using it. That, and it looses its ability to stay stuck after several uses and needs to be cleaned as a result. I believe its no longer available and has been replaced with a permanent stick on.
It really cleaned up the sound.
Yea. Give Herbie's Black Hole CD mat a try. It is meant be adhered to a disc permanently. It stabilizes the rapidly spinning disk in the drawer and damps the inherent resonance within the disc as it is being played. The music is more coherent across the frequency spectrum. I bought two 200 mat lots of these little beauties. Highly recommended!