No idea if that product works, there are a lot of snake oil cleaning products.
But LAST offers a CD cleaner which is pretty popular. And they have a good track record with their vinyl preservative.
There has been a boatload of CD cleaners/clarifiers/improvers over the years, Optrix was one of the first, what 20 years ago, maybe 25. The best in terms of sound quality were auric Illuminator, the shark oil stuff from Nanotech, and Liquid Resolution. Positive Feedback has an article reviewing a bunch of them, Lotions Eleven.😄
CDs are manufactured in molds … mfgers use a mold release agent in the molds to facilitate removing the CD from the Mold easily … this agent leaves a waxy film coating behind on the CD that can degrade the sound … your first step to treating your CDs should be to use a agent that will remove this film from the mold release agent that is left behind in the mfgering process… once the mold release agent's waxy coating is removed … you can use your favorite cleaner and optical enhancer
Here's a link to a number of products that will remove this reside
I have used Optrix in the past, but stopped using it after it ruined a few disc surfaces - it left a haze on the surface that could not be removed. I could not say it improved the sound at all. I have used Liquid Resolution and that did improve the sound quite a bit by resulting in smoother, more open sound (less digital sounding). I would stay away from Optrix!
Something else that will improve the sound of CD's is to use a tape deck head demagnetizer on them. Turn on the demagnetizer, then slowly move it toward the disc to about an inch away. Move it around the disc in a spiral for about 10 seconds, then slowly back it away before shutting it off. This really does have a positive effect on sound quality, but don't ask why. I use a TEAC demagnetizer that I bought back in the seventies.
The weird thing is they don’t use mold release compound MRC during CD manufacture as far as I can tell. They never did. And I’ve Watched HOW THINGS ARE MADE on CDs a bunch. Besides, none of the liquids help with the scattered laser light issue, which is actually a much bigger problem. Auric Illuminator provides a black pen for the outer edge. Unfortunately black is the wrong color and degrades the sound. Oh, well, what are you gonna do?
Geoff .. I stand corrected … it's most likely not used when they mfger a new blank disc … but I'm pretty sure they use a mold release agent when they make a recording on a new blank disc … otherwise what is that clear waxy substance that comes off the disc when I use Revell to clean a new disc
I think washing in warm water and dish washing detergent will accomplish the same thing
Has anybody tried LAST for CDs?
Auric Illuminator seems to offer more benefits for SQ improvement than other formulas; more focused and less reflections from the laser.
Is this why both sides of the disc need to be coated?
Back in the late 80's a high end audio shop in Phoenix recommended Armorall on our CD's. Two friends and I did a listening test comparing two different Dire Straits CD's one with and one without Armorall. None of us could believe the difference we heard. And one of us wasn't even consuming beer! If memory serves, the treated CD had better clarity and depth. Has anyone heard of this?
I have used Optrix and/or other products for years and have found that in most cases an improvement in audio/video performance can be predictably achieved. Getting the right combination of 'tweaks' for a given system takes some time and patience, but the results can be stunning. I'm always amazed at audiophiles who will spend multiple thousands for an equipment upgrade when the potential of their existing system was never really explored.
Back in the late 80’s a high end audio shop in Phoenix recommended Armorall on our CD’s.I have read that you shouldn’t use Armor All. That it has some longterm detrimental effect. I never tried it myself.
I believe that the rationale for disc treatment is that the polycarbonate surface is rough, microscopically speaking, and treatments give you a smoother surface causing less scattering/better focusing of the laser.
Did I just agree with Geoff???
my 2 cents: I've used 2 or 3 spray bottles of Optrix over the course of 3 or 4 years. No negative results, no staining, discoloration or negative playback issues. Also use it on DVDs and find it actually will help a well used DVD play better. If a disc gets 'stuck' or skips, I've cleaned it with Optrix and in several cases the DVD played minus the hick-up. Gotten in the habit of cleaning DVDs prior to playing them.
As far as sonic benefits on CDs, it seems to do what it claims; never seen a residue or haze after cleaning discs and playback sounds great after application.
Personally I'd never use Windex on a CD. Windex on glass has never worked for me. We use SprayAway on windows, mirrors, and windhshields. Windex has always left streaks, SprayAway works much better for us. The idea of using eyeglass cleaner makes sense, have to give that a try.
@oregonpapa I use eyeglass lens cleaner and it works well for dust, smudges. Can't say that I've heard an increase in SQ.
It's not a conditioner as other products claim to be; the coating prevents stray reflections which results in increased focus and also stops static buildup.
No first hand experience, I'm only quoting what's on the websites.
I've tried a bunch of the after-market CD treatments. While some appear to "make the sound of digital sound more analog," by smoothing the sound, I've found that they remove some high frequencies. That's why I switched to a basic eyeglass lens cleaner. After cleaning, I use a Radio Shack DVD tape eraser to demagnetize the CD.
I think it best to seek out recordings that were engineered correctly. If done properly, Redbook CD's sound amazing.
I've used Optrix for years and had only positive results with it. It seems to improve the sound of some discs noticeably, though some it doesn't seem to do anything for. I agree that using it on gold CD's may not a good idea. I've used L'Art Du Son cleaner with good results as well, though it is more expensive.
I've been using Optrix for about 3 weeks now. I buy a lot of used cd's & know for sure they sound better when they are cleaned. Can't really say if there is an improvement using it on a "clean" cd or not. Also hope David is incorrect here because I've cleaned a couple dozen already... Good to hear inna and others haven't had any issues with it.
If I wanted to do it the right way I would get, say, four copies of a well done cd and compared Optrix, LAST, Auric and Walker treatments. Yeah, maybe better not to use Optrix on valuable gold discs. I treated three gold cds with it but only two Mo-Fi ones gave me that haze, another one didn't. No idea why.
I have a top loaded player and clean the lens with some Disc Doctor or whatever it is fluid that came with their cleaning disc. I rarely play the player these days, as I remember there was a small difference when cleaning every 50 hours or so. Maybe it was 100 hours, not sure.
I only compared Optrix treatment with washing the discs in warm water with kitchen soap. Yup, Optrix was better but soap and water was better than nothing.
If using alcohol to clean CDs, I believe it should be highly diluted, as in lens cleaner.
And I would worry about preserving the polycarbonate coating if using Windex...
the S.C. Johnson website lists Windex's ingredients as water, 2-hexoxyethanol, isopropanolamine, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, lauramine oxide, ammonium hydroxide, fragrance, and Liquitint sky blue dye.
I'm not a chemist, so I don't know for sure.
In any event, what is the consensus with using cleaner/clarifiers on the top (label) side of the disc?
The difficulty arises when trying to compare various CD enhancers and cleaners and methods. When the same CD is used to compare two or more cleaners/enhancers, if the first one is effective in improving the sound, then there may be no further improvement to the sound by applying the second cleaner/enhancer, you know, since the first one did the job. And if there is further improvement to the sound of the CD then the conclusion could be the two cleaners/enhancers perform different functions. We’re not even sure what the functions of the various products are.
Different folks get different results. It’s difficult if not impossible to obtain consensus on CD cleaners/enhancers, which one work best, or how they work.
Removing mold release compound is frequently given as the objective but I see no evidence that MRC is used in the manufacture of CDs. If different CDs of the same recording are used for the comparison, there is the possibility that one is hearing the inherent difference in sound between the CDs, not the effects of the cleaner/enhancer (s). The optical characteristic of the polycarbonate layer has been predetermined as part of the geometry of the CD system, what with the nanoscale data and laser beam, so changing that optical characteristic should be avoided.
I’m all for “many systems, many testers, many CDs” approach to testing, generally speaking.
It really doesn’t matter anymore. The product is not manufactured anymore. Which is awful because I used it for years. If you look at the link given to Acoustic Sounds it says product is no longer available. It says the same for MusicDirrct also. If you google the name, the product does not show up anymore. People say CD’s are gone, so I guess the cleaners had to go too.
Been using Optrix for years on my DVD/Blue Ray rentals bc they are filthy and these business's use some kind of Meyer product on them after kids with peanut butter and chocolate have been handling them. Really not to concerned about the 'sonic improvements' but if you don't like pixellating videos, this stuff is a must!
On another subject I also use 'ECO 3' by Nordost on the label side of my rental disks.
Two products not to use:
Not to call David out but I am wondering if the people using the Essence of Music who stated it scratches CD’s returned it for a Refund since there is a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee.
I just finished 60 CD’s this last Weekend and I saw no sign of any Scratching using it. I was very impressed with the Product BTW..