How I tamed digital glare.


For months I have been trying to eliminate digital glare in the my system, which showed up most noticably in the upper middle frequency vocal range, especially female vocals. I tamed some by replacing the stock fuse in my dac with HifiTuning Supreme Cu on the sage advice of Chris Van Haus of VH Audio, resulting in a significant improvement in tonal density, detail and clarity. So far, so good. Today I lightly dusted the laser lens in my CEC transport with a microfiber cloth and was astonished to discover a substantial improvement! And the laser lens and drive compartment appeared clean to begin with (in a smoke free environment). I tried cleaning contacts, swapping power cords and interconnects, rolling the tube in my MHDT dac, and so forth, but this simple protocol was more effective than any of those experiments. I suppose results may vary as every system is unique, but for me this simple tweak was revelatory: greater clarity and a signifcant reducton of hash. Wish I had thought of tt in the beginning; it would have saved me considerable time and frustration.
pmboyd
Your complete guide to eliminating digital glare:
Paint the insides flat black or even better line with a very flat black fabric. Color CD edges with a black or green marker or paint pen. Clean them with any combination of acrylic cleaners and cloths. Demagnetize em. Put cones, balls, balloons, or a phone book under it, and/or put sand, lead, wood, or whatever on top of it. Use anti-static spray. Play the demagnetizing tracks on the XLO Test CD. Finally, cue up a record. Done.
Try the High Fidelity MC-0.5 power conditioner. I had a bit of glare in the upper mids on strong female vocals, highs, when the volume is increased, piano key strikes, and horns. Fuses are a great way to start but you’ll reap bigger benefits with the MC-0.5.
 I kid you not.

The best price, if still available, is gained from calling direct and asking about any B-stock availability, which are 40% off retail.


All the best,
Nonoise
Thanks for the tips. The interior of my CD transport is black. All my components are acoustically isolated. My point is that simply cleaning the laser lens worked a miracle in my case. Virtually no digital hash remains across a broad spectrum of CDs (not counting the poorly mastered).Why didn't I think of this from the get go! 
Could it be coming from your cabling?  Are you using digital coaxial, AES/EBU, etc.?
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I solved it by ripping all my CDs and placing them all in the loft.......
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Playing untreated CDs on untreated CD players is like peeing up a rope. If you think you’re hearing all of what’s actually on the disc, believe me, you aren’t. Maybe 50%. That’s if you’re lucky.

An ordinary man has no means of deliverance.

Most people cant think out of the box. They don’t even know there is a box. 
...is one of the biggest piles if snake oil I've ever seen.
He's Back!
Where you been at Kosst?

Been quiet around here......
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Tell me Kosst
Try this for headaches!
My daughter attending University in Alaska.
Comes home for summer break
Decides halfway through she wants to go to different Uni.
All gear and stuff in Alaska
Need to get it all back and sent to new Uni in Florida
Kids...…...
Coloring the edge of CDs is so old school. As fate would have it colors affect only the visible part of the spectrum. However, the CD laser wavelength of 780 Nanometers is solidly in the near infrared part of the spectrum - the invisible portion of the spectrum where colors are not (rpt not) effective in absorbing stray scattered laser light. Ironic, huh?
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One way that helped me was to throw a heavy blanket  over a TV is same room..
The best thing that can happen to a man in this life is to have a good , loving daughter.
Kosst
Life is easy enough with my now 19 year old daughter for sure.
This is pretty untypical of her but there are good reasons I know.
Its all good and easily resolved for sure.
It could be a LOT worse!
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Great contribution Clearthink!
Thank you so much.

Yes I do agree that we did hijack it a little and my apologies to the OP for that.
There's more to life than this silly hobby and if other facets of life spill into it, that can be a good thing.
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@elizabeth

Pretty much.  The final step that removed it from the discussion in my system were the CAD Ground Control units.  Apparently, high frequency noise is the enemy when it comes to digital.  Not cheap, but couldn't imagine my system without them.

You may think you’ve tamed distortion and noise in digital playback but you haven’t. Everything is relative. Until you’ve stopped the CD from vibrating and fluttering and have put the kibosh on stray laser light getting into the photodetector you’ve haven’t got more than around 75% of the way there, even after taking many steps. You simply would not believe the information on the disc that you cannot hear. 
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Kosst

While I agree whole heartedly in every way, we did hijack a thread and for that , again I offer apologies to the OP.


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"Digital glare".....

OK, now I really feel pathetic, since I've Obviously become absolutely deaf.  Given that digital source material may be considered a tad 'crisp', I've felt that it may help to compensate for 'elderly high-end roll-off'.  But 'glare'?!  Fook, I'm happy to be able to discern 'nuance' at all..

*glare*  There.....notice that? ;)
...don't want to invoke a post-storm, but....Really.....*sigh*.....
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@gulpson   

Are you reading the same thing we are?
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rbach,

I agree with you completely. I just thought it should be recognized that one step was made. Not an easy one, I guess. Content and interpersonal communication is next.
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Hmmm, it is interesting, indeed.


I had two posts removed in which I urged for softer approach to clearthink and, basically, praised him to some extent.


It really does not matter much, but such decisions are bizarre at least.

I tamed the digital glare I was hearing when I went from a CD player to a music server.  I'm not trying to knock CD players, just saying in my system, files played back through a server sound smoother and more refined with no hardness or glare....that is unless it's on the recording.

@gulpson 

I learned that our posts and the posts of the person we were discussing were removed at the request of someone on this thread.  I still think anything said in an offensive manor should be removed regardless of how much progress the offender has made in his/her communicating skills.
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We know that glare and other types of noise and distortion in CD playback are produced by a number of problems inherent in CD players generally - you know, susceptibility to vibration, the vibration of the CD itself even when the player is isolated, and distortion produced by background scattered laser light getting into the photodetector. I use the word we editorially.
geoffkait thanks, you hit the nail on the head.....Also to clarify, if a recording is bad, a music server won't help.
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Buffering doesn’t help with the issues I referred to because the buffered data contains the distorted data. Buffering does help with shock, to prevent gross errors (skipping) but doesn’t stop more subtle degradation of the sound. Playing a CD without a cover on the CD may or may not help or exacerbate the scattered light problem. The photodetector bandwidth is rather narrow, but not monochromatic. All CD players are improved by isolating them, I don’t think that’s a big secret.
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How do you think I’m wrong? Here’s your big chance.
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Nonoise - thanks for the tip on using High Fidelity’s MC 0.5 Power Conditioner to get rid of harsh Highs on vocals, piano strikes and horns at higher volumes. I will let you know how they work in my system. I just got done with multiple improvements in my system (speaker upgrade, IC upgrades, and a new Amp. I got much better mid range detail, but I generated some ‘glare’ at higher volumes as stated above. I will let you know how this turns out.