CD Tweeks...Improve Ripped SQ?


Hi All,

I'm seriously considering coming over to the geek side of music playback. :-}

All of my shinny polycarbonate and aluminum platters have had CD treatment done to them.

The process I use is:
1) Optrix Cleaner
2) Audio Desk CD Lathe with black edge marker
3) Nespa Pro 30sec treatment
4) Acoustic Revive RD-3 Demagnetize

So the big question is...

Does a treated ripped CD sound better than an untreated ripped CD?

Anyone A/B a standard CD to a treated CD after ripped to a hard drive?

Thanks,
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&policy=eyjlehbpcnkioje1mdmxndu3mdqsimnhbgwiolsicmvhzcisimnvbnzlcnqixx0%3d&rotate=exif&signature=de0d263e724d8c4451f93d29c731bffc03dde33ca34e89a925b47f47a92b92e9&w=128rodge827
Wow, de-magnetizing a non-magnetic metal. How, exactly, does that work?

-RW-
"Wow, de-magnetizing a non-magnetic metal. How, exactly, does that work?"
08-08-13: Rlwainwright

Yes, aluminum can have impurities in it.

The ink in the label more likely especially dark colors like black, red, and brown.

Here are a couple of Links on the subject.

http://www.iar-80.com/page53.html

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/furutech/rd1.html
.
Jea 48

I'm disc manufacturer and I'm holding several patent in the disc industry
molding process today is very accurate we talk micron and nanometre,in replication line we have scanners checking every disc,eccentricity is checked on the stamper during the punching and after with very accurate tester.
during the metallization process we spread the aluminum particles to have homogeneous layer in nanometers thickness .
demagnetizing , aluminium impurities, labeling color and blabla is BS!
Ionizers, demagnetizers, coloring the disc, coloring the tray, leveling the transport, isolating the transport, CD Enhancer fluids, all of these things improve ripping.
Alfe, that's what they all say. Perfect sound forever!
Forget about trying to make commercial CDs sound good.

Get yourself a Plextor USB CDROM writer and a bunch of Mitsui Gold Audio Master disks and write your own.

Use dbpoweramp with Accurate Rip enabled to rip files in .wav format to your PC hard disk.

Then clean the blank Mitsui disk with a good cleaner (there are a lot better than Optrix BTW).

Then write the new disk using dbpoweramp at 1X speed.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I've ripped to .wav from various CD drives on various laptops over the last 3-4 years or so using basic Windows Media player (using highest sound quality setting to minimize any errors) and have not had any issues.

If teh CD looks dirty, as used CDs often are, I spray it with a very dilute natural cleaner solution first and wipe them clean. This is to make the rip go faster in that it will take longer to rip the CD if disc is dirty and rereads are needed.

On rare occasion, mostly with cheaper older CD-Rs I might rip that have been around awhile and not in good condition, I will get a minor dropout during play or other minor glitch. But with commercial CDs, the rip either completes normally fine eventually or if the disc is visibly scratched or defective usually, it may continue to reread indefinitely during the rip and eventually I might just have to give up and chalk that one up to a damaged or defective disc. VEry very rare though. I've ripped thousands of CDs and had issues on less than a half dozen or so I would say.

I'd have to agree that CD treatments for ripping in particular are mostly BS as well.
IS it coincidence that as soon as BS is mentioned, Geoffkait pops up?

Here we go...
http://www.eetkorea.com/ARTICLES/2002MAR/2002MAR25_AMD_MSD_DA_AN.PDF?SOURCES=DOWNLOAD

see this link for information about pit structure and also notice the size of a laser spot, so reflectivity is not an issue no need to enhance it with any placebo product.
Steve: recordable disc will never be as good as molded disc because burning the dye even at 1X with a laser head which is mounted on spring is creating Bler which is known today as physical jitter because of the vibration of the spring itself.
And also, because of the size of the pit is not regular the groove should be accurate to avoid track pitch change which is not the case on recordable CD that's why for good quality mastering we use exabyte tape.

Geoffkait: we know that we are surrounded with gurus that if BS was music they all be king of jazz
Mapman wrote,

"I'd have to agree that CD treatments for ripping in particular are mostly BS as well."

Mapman, the view from 40,000 ft. - you have a long way to go. You are the poster child for the Backfire Effect.

Cheers
Gents,

I asked this question purely out of curiosity. My intent wasn't to start any kind of useless arguments or childish questions.

I had gotten into a discussion with a compu-phile who was adamant about the difference. I thought that bits were bits and bit perfect would be perfect? Since I currently don't subscribe to geek audio I thought to ask the question.

Of all the tweeks mentioned #'s 2&3 made the most improvement to sound quality on standard commercial CD's, DVD's and Bluray discs. #'s 1&4 not so much.

I have been wanting to come over to the disc-less side for some time, but to date haven't heard a computer system that rivals my transport.

audioengn and Mapman thanks for the replies.
audioengn I think I will try your suggestion.

Any others do a comparison?
demagnetizing , aluminium impurities, labeling color and blabla is BS!
08-08-13: Alfe

Did you forget to supply the scientific proof that it is all BS?

Question is, have you even tried the devices to see if they made any difference? I bet not.

How about aftermarket power cords and Ics? Snake oil BS? I mean if there was a difference in sound from the use of aftermarket PCs and ICs the equipment manufacturer would supply the magic PCs and ICs with their equipment right?

Do you believe PCs and ICs make a difference?
If yes, how do you really know sure? Don't say from listening. Provide scientific proof by an independent testing laboratory.

I'm disc manufacturer and I'm holding several patent in the disc industry
molding process today is very accurate we talk micron and nanometre,in replication line we have scanners checking every disc,eccentricity is checked on the stamper during the punching and after with very accurate tester.
08-08-13: Alfe

Patents? What does that prove?

John Bedini has a patent on his Clarifier as well as Furutech/Acoustic Rivine.

So what's in a patent?
.

How about some actual test measurement?
http://www.acoustic-revive.com/english/rd3/rd3_01.html
.
Bits are never just bits alone. A bit is an abstract concept with a binary state. Bits do not really exist at all in the physical world (point one out to me somewhere). The binary state has to be physically represented somehow, electronically, optically, however to be used. COmputers (and CD storage media) are designed to transmit binary data accurately, else they would not work at all. To get audio/sound, the binary data stream gets converted to an analog signal. The D/A process (which requires very accurate and precise timing to be done properly) is where pretty much all of the variability comes into play regarding resulting sound quality.
Rodge,

Sound from ripped files can be top notch if done well.

If you want to contact me by agon email to discuss options, I'd be more than happy to try to help. I am not a vendor and have nothing to sell.
Mapman,

Thanks for the offer.
Have to run at the moment, and will contact you in the near future.
08-08-13: Mapman
The D/A process (which requires very accurate and precise timing to be done properly) is where pretty much all of the variability comes into play regarding resulting sound quality.
I second Mapman's comment.

Pretty much everything I have read on the subject that I consider to be credible suggests that a CD that is in good physical condition, when played back in real time by a CD player or transport, will have very few if any read errors that are not corrected bit perfectly by the player. My belief, although based on technical understanding rather than experimentation, is that the main reason some CD treatments will improve the sound quality of a CD that is in good physical condition is that the treatments can make it easier for the transport mechanism and its servos to track and read the disc, which in turn will reduce the amount of electrical noise generated by the transport mechanism that may ultimately couple into the D/A converter circuit, where it can affect jitter, and/or that may couple into analog circuitry.

That effect may occur even in the situation where the transport and DAC are in separate components, as many and perhaps nearly all DACs will be sensitive to some degree to jitter that is present in the S/PDIF or AES/EBU datastream they receive.

That specific effect is of course inapplicable to the situation where what is being played back is a computer file that has been created by ripping a CD. So provided that you rip with software that assures bit perfect accuracy, I can't envision any means by which treating the CD prior to ripping would make any difference.

Regards,
-- Al
This is not about read errors people. It's about jitter.

The pits with more accurately created with a good writer and a clean treated high-quality disk.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve (Audioengr), I'm not sure that we're interpreting the question the same way. My interpretation is that what is being asked is if playing a computer file from a computer-based source will sound any different depending on whether the physical CD that was ripped to create that file had previously been treated in one or more of the ways listed in the OP, or had not been treated. Assuming bit perfect ripping, of course.

Although I certainly agree with everything you have said in your two posts above, effects that occur when CDs are being listened to don't relate to the question as I interpreted it.

Regards,
-- Al
Alfe wrote,

"see this link for information about pit structure and also notice the size of a laser spot, so reflectivity is not an issue no need to enhance it with any placebo product."

The (primary) problem is the scattering of the laser light while the data is being read. The laser light is scattered by the pits themselves as well as the clear polycarbonate layer. Both the visible red component of the scattered light as well as the invisible component of the light can be detected by the photodetector as real signal. Therein lies the problem: the detector is a "stupid" device and cannot distinguish between pure reflected light from the physical Lands and the background scattered light. This is why coloring CDs to absorb the visible red AND absorbing invisible scattered light are so profound. Having said that, I can certainly understand how someone can convince himself that he is hearing everything. After all, CDs have always been marketed as Perfect Sound Forever. I'm afraid we are in the process of learning just how imperfect they actually are.
there is no pit and lands in a CD-R!!!
a CD-R is a blank data spiral with a photosensitive dye.
the write laser changes the color of the dye (dark and clear) and that sit.
and because the dye is photosensitive every time you read the disc you are adding errors.
GEoff, maybe.

We'll find out when you actually present some real scientific evidence of anything having to do with sound quality and I then fortify my position without considering the evidence. Otherwise, I will reserve my right to express my opinions as well.
Geofkait

The name for what you are describing"as scattering of laser light" is diffracted order and they are considered on the SalomonReed correction.
Alfe. Wrote,

"there is no pit and lands in a CD-R!!!
a CD-R is a blank data spiral with a photosensitive dye.
the write laser changes the color of the dye (dark and clear) and that sit.
and because the dye is photosensitive every time you read the disc you are adding errors."

But we're not talking about CD-Rs, we're talking about CDs. Ripping CDs, to be accurate. Refer to the original post.
Mapman, the evidence is there, you just dismiss it. You know, the evidence of others' experience with coloring CDs, demagnetizing CDs, ionizing CDs, CD enhancer fluids and so forth. Those who are actually trying these things. All these demands for PROOF, you know, as opposed to EVIDENCE, are a little illogical and if you don't mind my saying so the last resort of a stubborn naysayer who just found out he's run out of ammo. By "ammo" I'm referring to an actual argument, you know, a scientific argument. And evidence to support your argument would be nice.
"Mapman, the evidence is there, you just dismiss it. "

Actually no I do not dismiss it. I merely judge as inconclusive in this particular case (ripping CDs) at this particular time for the reasons that have been stated by others even above.

In the case of playing CDs, I think there could be something to color tweaks affecting the sound, but like fancy fuses (which I also do believe can sound different) its a non issue for me. Not to say it may be for others. More power to you if so.

BTW Geoff sells CD color tweaks here on agon, so I will defer to him to make the case for those as needed and wish the buyer good luck. Maybe he'll toss in a free alarm clock with a color dot on it as well to help sweeten the deal. :^)
Alfe wrote,

"The name for what you are describing"as scattering of laser light" is diffracted order and they are considered on the SalomonReed correction."

Actually the scattered light is not considered by the Reed Solomon codes, which were implemented to deal with fingerprints and certain scratches, the ones in the radial direction. Reed Solomon obviously cannot deal some things, such as scratches in the direction of the physical data spiral.

One can observe that Reed Solomon codes are obviously unable to deal with scattered light by coloring CDs. It's a very convincing experiment.
Geoffkait

Sorry you are right, we are not talking about CD-Rs
and also it's Reed solomon algorithm not Salomon Reed ¨-)

cheers
http://www.snopes.com/music/media/marker.asp

see this link about coloring CD's
Alfe, the Snopes article on greening or using purple on CDs is filled with errors. In fact it's one giant Strawman Argument. Perhaps it was written by a recording engineer or a pro audio dude. lol. Maybe try over at Hydrogen Audio or AudioKarma, see what they say. Lol
Geoffkait

http://www.machinadynamica.com/index.html

Sorry I didn't know that I was hurting your business!
All of my shinny polycarbonate and aluminum platters have had CD treatment done to them.

The process I use is:
1) Optrix Cleaner
2) Audio Desk CD Lathe with black edge marker
3) Nespa Pro 30sec treatment
4) Acoustic Revive RD-3 Demagnetize

So the big question is...

Does a treated ripped CD sound better than an untreated ripped CD?

Anyone A/B a standard CD to a treated CD after ripped to a hard drive?

Thanks,
Rodge827
08-07-13
Rodge827,

I reread this thread again and I noticed, including me, no one asked you if you ran the test and listened for any differences.

So I will ask now, did you?

I recently picked up the new CD of John Mayer, "Paradise Valley".

I noticed the label is dark blue with gold lettering.

After listening to the CD a few times I thought of this thread.

Several years ago I had experimented with making a copy of a CD untreated then treated but couldn't remember the results. So I thought why not try it again.

I first copied the CD onto a CD-R, real time, in a Sony W222ES CD-R recorder.

I then spun the CD in the Bedini Clarifier, both sides.
I did a quick listen to the treaded CD and found the CD sounded a little cleaner, a little more detail. Like I said a quick listen.
I then copied the treated CD on the Sony.

For the sake of this discussion I will not go into detail of the differences in sound of the two CDs other than the treaded CD copy sounded a little cleaner, more detailed, than the copy made of the CD before it was treated.

Yes the two copies sound different.

Sound different on my 2 channel audio system. Sound different on my H/T system. Hell I could hear the difference in the CDP in the car.

I took the two Cd copies to a B&M dealer in my area for others to listen.

I did not tell anyone what I had done, just wanted them to listen for any differences in sound between the two Cds.

I used one of the dealer's audition rooms for my test.
I was able to get three different guys to participate in the exercise. Only one person entered the room at a time to listen to the two CDs.

I did not influence them at all, even when they questioned what I did to the CDs. I gave no information.

One at a time each listener could hear the difference between the two Cds. No matter how I would mix up the playing of the CDs each listener was able to distinguish between the two.

So why the difference in sound of the copy of the untreated CD and copy of the treated CD?

I have a friend that works at one of the hospitals in my area.The hospital has a high strength MRI machine. If I get a chance this week I will take a dark color label CD to him and have him take it into the patient MRI room and have him hold up near the magnet for about a minute. That should magnetize the hell out of any ferrous material in the ink of the label side and any impurities in the aluminum disc.

Any takers that want to listen to the disc in their CDP?
.
Color the outer edge of the CD PURPLE and the inner edge BLACK prior to ripping. This basic color scheme is guaranteed to improve the sound of the final product. This color scheme also works for standard CDs, DVDs, SACDs and BLU RAY discs.
Jim, my compliments on the thoroughness with which you established that the copy of the untreated CD and the copy of the treated CD sound different. I don't doubt that conclusion.

I'm not particularly familiar with how CD recorders/duplicators are designed, so I won't speculate on a possible explanation. But intuitively I don't find it especially surprising that on-the-fly duplication of a treated vs. untreated CD would result in different sounding copies.

However, I don't see those findings as being relevant to the situation the OP was asking about, in which what is being played is a computer file. The computer files that would be compared having in turn been produced by ripping a treated and untreated CD using software that assures both files have bit perfect accuracy.

Best regards,
-- Al
However, I don't see those findings as being relevant to the situation the OP was asking about, in which what is being played is a computer file. The computer files that would be compared having in turn been produced by ripping a treated and untreated CD using software that assures both files have bit perfect accuracy.
09-09-13: Almarg

Al,

I would agree that is why I asked Rodge827 in my last post if he had tried it yet.

The computer files that would be compared having in turn been produced by ripping a treated and untreated CD using software that assures both files have bit perfect accuracy.

At this point I personally can't say one way or the other for sure.

After the listening tests at the dealer's store, I told the listeners what I did to the original CD before making copies.
The dealer said, as you, he could rip the CD, untreated and treated to a computer hard drive and there would not be any difference in sound. I should add there was more in what he said about the process than I described. He went into great detail in why.

I reminded him a few years back he said he could make a perfect copy of a CD with the exact copy program on a high dollar audio hard drive unit he had in the store.
I took him up on his claim and came back with a few well recorded redbook CDs.
Long story short critical listening proved him wrong as well as one of his sales persons.

The dealer said in reply that was then and computers and programs have come a long way since then.

So, lol, on one of his slow buisness weekdays I will take a few CDs and my Bedini clarifier down to his store.
We'll see then if the proof is in the pudding.

In closing, in my mind I still see a CD transport spinning a disc 200 to 400 RPM that may be slightly magnetized, basically, a spinning rotating magnetic field. A dynamo? Who can say how it can affect the surrounding electronics and laser reading/correction apparatus of the transport?

Usually garbage in will yield garbage out.
Jim
FWIW, I can only think of one means by which the sonics resulting from playback of two computer files located on the same drive could differ, when the bits comprising their musical content are identical. And assuming that possible extraneous variables such as the warmup state of the components in the system, AC line voltages, etc., are equal when the two files are played back.

That would be if a mechanical hard drive is being used, and one file is very highly fragmented, while the other file is minimally fragmented. The slightly greater amount of electrical noise that is present within the computer when the hard drive is jumping around among different locations while playing the fragmented file conceivably might result in a slight increase in jitter at the point in the system where D/A conversion is performed.

If one of those files had been created from a treated CD and the other from an untreated CD, undoubtedly some audiophiles would conclude that the difference is attributable to treatment vs. non-treatment. But of course in that situation treatment vs. non-treatment would have nothing to do with it.

Best regards,
-- Al
While it's possible that some fault with the system is producing some effects. However, the problem with the theory of mysterious intervention is that results of treating CDs by coloring, demagnetizing, reducing static fields, using cleaners and optical enhancers, etc. - including treating them before ripping - are repeatable for systems of different types and different manufactures. One can cling to the bits is bits theory only so long in the face of 100% or more improvement to the sound. There is a red line between the uber skeptics and the experimentalists.
There is a red line between the uber skeptics and the experimentalists.
I would put it that there is a broad spectrum between the uber skeptics and the experimentalists. It is not simply a matter of being at one extreme or the other.

Also, Geoff, although you appear to realize it, let me emphasize that I do not dispute the effects that CD treatments can have on sound quality, when the CD is being played. I do, however, strongly question any claims that treatment before ripping will make any difference when a computer file is being played, assuming that the ripping software assures bit perfect accuracy. They are two completely different situations, and I would not lump them together under the "bits is bits theory."

Regards,
-- Al
The same reasons why treated CDs sound better than untreated CDs apply to why ripped files produced by treated CDs sound better than ripped files produced by untreated CDs. This is precisely why I say the bits is bits argument doesn't hold water. Ditto for the argument that ripping treated CDs can't work since perfect bits can be guaranteed. That's actually the same argument used for thirty years to try to dismiss treating CDs in the first place. Reed Solomon codes and laser servo mechanism and all that jazz.
"assuming that the ripping software assures bit perfect accuracy. "

That's an optional setting and not a guarantee on some ripping programs, so its possible that read errors could come into play, depending on the implementation of the ripping software.

Even in that case though, I would seek out a rip program that does assure bit perfect accuracy as the best solution. Then, its just a matter of how long the rip takes. Rips with more error reads from disk will take longer to re-read, so any improvement to the physical disc reading system might help produce faster rips perhaps, how much faster depending on disc quality and how well the optical disk reader does its thing. With most decent modern commercial grade optical disc readers, I find only CDs that are visibly in very bad shape (like some from the library) or physically defective in some other way rip significantly slower when bit perfect accuracy is in play, but of course YMMV.
09-10-13: Geoffkait
The same reasons why treated CDs sound better than untreated CDs apply to why ripped files produced by treated CDs sound better than ripped files produced by untreated CDs.
I disagree completely. Let's leave it at that, s'il vous plaît.

Regards,
-- Al
I disagree completely as well. CDP cannot, playing in real time, reread sector with wrong checksum. When it happens it corrects errors on small scratches (roughly up to 4mm along), interpolates data for medium scratches (4-8mm) and loses data (pops) for longer scratches. Ripping CDs is different and can be done bit perfect. On my MAC I use program called MAX with selected option "Do not allow to skip" that forces laser to go to same sector for as long as necessary to get proper checksum. I can remove disk, scratch it a little, rip it again and it will produce exactly same file. It might only take a little longer, as Mapman mentioned. This file has no timing (being data) and therefore has no jitter. Jitter will be promptly added by device that creates timing for D/A converter, digital cables and D/A converter itself.
Rodge827,

I reread this thread again and I noticed, including me, no one asked you if you ran the test and listened for any differences.

So I will ask now, did you?

No I haven't ripped and compared an untreated to treated disc.
Fact is I have never ripped a disc to a hard drive, computer, NAS, etc...

I have however compared treated to untreated discs and found that there is a difference in sound quality for the better. When my girlfriend moved in (now my wife) we had a lot the same CD's. As I learned about different CD treatments I did A-B tests by treating my discs and comparing them to hers. As mentioned in my first post I wondered if said treatments made a difference in ripped discs to a file.

I have been wanting to go to a disc-less set up for some time but until now haven't felt that the effort was worth the reward. Comp audio has come a long way and there are many new products and software that have brought the sound quality up to where it is acceptable to these ears.

I had planned to sell off my modded 47 Labs Flatfish transport and the CD treatments to help fund a server, dac, power supplies, and NAS. If the treatments made a difference I would keep them if not then they would go.