Audio Desk Systeme...comments?

I purchased this device about 2 weeks ago. What a mistake. Extremely messy. Edges of cds left jagged. "Silver" layer (the top) flakes off. Am I missing something?
Ajm29, Yea, you absolutely have some issues. The edge of the CD should be satin smooth after beveling. I assume when you say that the "silver layer" flakes off, that you are talking about the actual metal wafer sandwiched between the plastic. Is that correct? If so, the depth adjustment for the cutting tool is set too deep.

After beveling, you should have approx. .025-.030 uncut. In other words, the bevel should not be across the whole edge. If the edge of the CD is left jagged, you need to cut at a faster speed. Also, allow the cutting tool to do the cutting SLOWLY. Apply slow pressure on the cutting tool. The material being removed should resemble "dental floss". It should be coming off the CD in "strings".

The hole in the rear of the unit is to facilitate a vacume hose to be hooked up. Although you really should not need one. As I say, upon completion of cutting you should be able to discard the cuttings as a small "birds nest" of shavings.

Personally, I start the cutter at about 80-90% of the maximum rpm. At the very end of the cut, I apply a slightly heavier pressure on the cutter and reduce the speed to less than 100 rpm. This provides for a very smooth finish edge. The surface finish should be smooth, devoid of any chatter marks.

Remember, take your time, and allow the tool to do the cutting, not your bicep. It will probably take two or three CDs to get it down to a smooth process. If you continue to see the silver flaking, that means you need to back off the cutter stop adjustment, reducing the depth the cutter is allowed to protrude into the CD.

Hope this helps, Ed.
Ajm29, my experience has been exactly as Ed has described above so nicely. My Audio Desk unit was a slightly used demo from an Audiogon dealer (but I can't remember which one for the life of me) and thus any adjustments that may have been necessary concerning the cutting depth were transparent to me. It has worked flawlessly and the resulting sonic improvements are better than any other CD tweek I can think of - so do give it a chance! As Ed mentioned, once you make any physical adjustments that may be needed to ensure your blade is set for the right cutting depth, it just takes 2 or 3 discs to become comfortable with how to operate it.

I agree that the best results are achieved by letting the rpm's get up to near full speed, then gently touching the blade to the disc at first, and once it 'grabs' and starts flinging off the dental-floss-like plastic strings, you can apply slightly more pressure toward the end to get the smooth finish Ed describes. You'll know when to back off in the same way that you know when mircowave popcorn is done - when not much is happening.

The main thing that I've learned, which again Ed covered, is that you have to allow the cutting device to do the work. Apply too little pressure and you will get little flakes of 'Angel hair' plastic chipping off. Apply too much pressure when you first touch the blade to the disc and you could damage the CD by gouging it and creating a deep groove. If you use the unit at low rpm's it won't perform as designed and may give you an uneven, rough cut.

Some people cut both sides of their CD's. I've found that I'm just as happy with the results if I cut only the playing surface, which also extends the blade life. If you use black markers on the edges of your discs, you can do this while the disc is still spinning but it's wise to back off on the rpm's to about half speed or it could get messy.
If my blade is cutting too deeply, how do I measure the correct depth? Is it easy to adjust blade depth? Thanks so much. I don't want to give up yet.
Hi again Ajm, I must preface these instructions by assuming that the unit you are actually using is new. The reason being, if you have a used unit, a dulled blade would be giving you the same results that you have described.

Assuming it is new or, assuming the cutting blade is sharp, we can procced. There are actually two adjustments on the Audiodesk. One is located at the very end of the cutting arm. It is a small knurled thumbscrew. Not only does this retain the actual cutting tip in the arm, but loosening it also allows you to rotate the actual cutting tip to attain the desired 38 degree cutting angle.

The second adjustment is located at the pivot point of the arm. It is an Allen setscrew threaded directly into the arm mounting bracket. The mounting bracket is shaped like an inverted "U". You will also notice a small hex jamb nut threaded onto the Allen setscrew. Rotating the Allen setscrew CLOCKWISE, (after loosening the jamb nut) will reduce the cutting depth by limiting the arm movement.

To my knowledge, there are no adjustment procedures provided by Audiodesk. So, you will need to use a cut CD as your test sample. As I stated in my earlier response, the bevel should only be approx. half way across the edge. Let me clarify.

The actual thickness of a CD is approx. .047"-.050" inch. When the depth adjustment is properly set, you would be beveling a 38 degree angle through one half the thickness of the disc. (38 degrees x.025"). So in essence, one half the thickness of the disc would have no bevel. This portion we should probably consider the "unaltered diameter".

After cutting, the outermost portion of the disc or the "unaltered diameter" should measure approx. .025" inch thick, or, one half the thickness of the disc. This measurement is best made with a vernier caliper. You can use a micrometer, although it would be hard to get any type of accurate measurement, because of the fact that a micrometer will tend to "walk" down the bevel.

Personally, I would loosen the jamb nut (while holding the Allen set screw). Do not allow the Allen screw to rotate while loosening the jamb nut. Insert the Allen wrench into the Allen screw noting the position of the Allen wrench. Hold the Allen wrench in that exact position until the jamb nut has been loosened. Rotate the Allen wrench 1/4 turn (90 degrees) CLOCKWISE. Once again, hold the Allen wrench in that exact position until the jamb nut has been retightened.

You have just reduced the cutting depth. Try cutting another CD. Upon completion, measure the "unaltered diameter" of that CD to confirm an approx. .025" thickness. Remember to measure the absolute outermost portion of the disc.

Hopefully, this adjustment will provide you the desired results. I would avoid using the adjustment at the end of the arm, because if you were to inadvertantly rotate the cutting tip, you would also be altering the cutting tip angle.

I know this sounds a bit lengthy, but it probably took 3 times as long to type these instructions than it will to make the actual adjustment.

Best of luck, and hang in there. The results will be well worth the time you are investing in making these adjustments. I have the "special hardened blade upgrade" on my unit. I have cut in excess of 700 discs and the cutter still works like it did when it was brand new.

Please let me know of your results. If you may need anything further, please feel free to contact me, Ed.