Same category as the Bedini CD demagnetizer?
I've been using the Ayre Irrational but Efficacious CD for years now and wholeheartedly concur with what you say. I can't explain why things sound better after using it but it always does.
I know demagnetizing is one aspect but I feel, deep down, that something else is going on as well. I also found that using it, repeatedly, over the course of breaking in something new, speeds up the process.
All the best,
With regard to the Bedini CD demagnetizer, I had one of these and used it regularly until it broke down for good. I then replaced it with the Acoustic Revive RD-3 which has accomplished essentially the same thing and that being to demagnetize the CD disc itself. The Ayre and Densen discs, however, address the issues within the system as a whole. The Densen Company is still in business but appears to not have this item as part of their product line. Music Direct still has a 'reference version' of this in their on-line catalog but says that the product is no longer available. Given the results I have had with the 'standard version' I would certainly like to get my hands on the 'new and improved' disc.
The Ayre IBE disc is still offered from the manufacturer through their dealer network. The two discs essentially do the same thing but when I'm really motivated, I use them both in combination and I think this does open up the system a bit more.
I use a couple to. I also degaussing my ES Sonys. Anything with a physical hard drive you have to be careful, you'll wipe the drive.. If you open up almost anything that has spinning or moving parts with unlike metals, some become magnetized. There is only one way to fix it.. Degaussing. Same with all stereo equipment. How often is it done. NEVER.. I have R2R, Turntables, and silver disk, I degauss them all.
Please don't degauss a Server and if you do, would you please take a video and post it.. Thanks
Isotek won an award for this in 6 moons over 15 years ago ,I use it as a breakin cd as well as track 3 a 5 minute system demagnetized tune it it truly works I use it every few days if you go a week , listen to one track you know well. Then put on track 3 ,or whatever disc you own ,then replay the same song, it clearer performance and more settled. They stil sell the Isotek cd for $35 on line
I ripped it to my hard drive track 1 and 2 for large and small speaker run in
and works well with equipment taxing the capacitors for faster runin.
For $20 and $3 shipping +tax, I ordered it 2 mins ago. Why not? I used a gift card on amazon last year and there was $9.81 left, bonus. I could be an Ayre bot, it sounds like a fun bot to be. I am not a traffic light bot either. This is way too may botchecks, tired of traffic lights, crosswalks, buses.
The greed CD pens actually work, by the way.
Derisive comments serve only to burnish reputation among those who find it easier to dismiss out of hand than do the work of finding out for themselves. Credit and props to those who do put a little more effort into doing audio than expounding on that which they do not know.
I've been demagnetizing for years. Since the 90's, when you could buy the Radio Shack Bulk Tape Eraser for $20. Then much more expensive (but no better) options came along. Still use it on a regular basis.
Demagnetizers work by creating a strong magnetic field that being AC oscillates flipping directions. Held close and then slowly moved away allows the fields to slowly randomize and become demagnetized.
The XLO Test CD has demagnetizing tracks I use several times a week. Even though most of what is in the signal path is non-magnetic still there are impurities and regions that are.
The way magnetism works, a strong magnetic field can orient metals along field lines. If the magnetic field is strong enough to align and then quickly removed it magnetizes the metal by leaving them in alignment with the magnetic field. These small islands of magnetism distort the music signal. This is pretty much what all music is, powerful dynamic transients that come and go. Over time these islands of magnetism build up.
The idea is playing a tone that slowly fades out is analogous to using a hand held demagnetizer. Another track sweeps from low to high frequency, accomplishing the same trick but across a wider frequency range. The XLO disk has both a steady tone that fades and a sweep tone.
@charles1dad & millercarbon
Totally agreed there should be fewer derisive comments around here.
My comment was that I used the Ayre disk commended in the OP and did not notice a difference. Given the cost (assuming you do not buy a dedicated CDP to implement!), I did not disrecommend it, but I'm betting a good percentage of those who try it will have my (non)experience.
(Btw, I don't dispute that "break in tones" could be useful for new speakers; my observation applied to older equipment.)
It will be interesting to hear the new adopters weigh in.
Fair enough! I enjoy your posts.
To be fair, Ayre's name for the product invites a bit of fun.
I never used the green pen, but I did use expensive CD cleaners.
I seemed to have a genius for scratching CDs, and am mostly glad to be done with them (except when my fragile rural internet fails).
You tried the Ayre CD and it did nothing in your opinion. I have zero problems with that as that was your genuine experience. Enough people have posted positive outcomes with this product so I am willing to see what outcome I’ll have.
You won’t know if you don’t try is my position. People who offer strong opinions on things/items they have no experience with have no credibility as far as I’m concerned.
@millercarbon - how does EFM get distorted, without resulting in a a bit error? There is no timing synch at that point of the recovery chain....
Was "greed pen" a typo? I DID try a green marker back in the day. It clearly made the edge green.
There's a number of good tracks on that disc. I burned the two demagnetizing tracks onto a CD one after the other repeating several times so they can easily be played and demagnetize during warmup. The effect is not huge, but definitely is there.
Other good tracks- walk around the room clavis resolving the room, when your system is dialed in it is uncanny how you can hear him walking around especially behind you. In phase/out of phase, when dialed in the out of phase is downright freaky, absolutely cannot tell where the sound is coming from!
This CD helped me learn to identify the differences between DACs and tubes and ss, by listening to the various music tracks and paying attention to their recording notes. Prior to doing this I noticed differences but never made the connection why.
Demagnetization was at first hard for me to hear. I would play these every once in a while, sort of thinking maybe better but never really sure. Problem is once you do it, you can go AB but there is no BA, you have to wait a while for things to go back.
What I wound up doing instead is run it every night no matter what. After a while this becomes your new standard. Once you get used to it, if you then don't use it a while then when the system goes back to grunge you notice! So now it is a regular thing, couple times a week, always before any long session I want to be real good.
Thanks for the recommend brauser. Thanks for finding places for us to get one zimick and Willy-T. Mines now on order. Sight & Sound in Atlanta carries the Densen De-Magic Demagnetizing CD. Can’t vouch for S&S having never purchased anything there. New owners, please report here how well your disc works after it arrives, or prior to that if you’re prescient.
Seriously? Like you haven't seen my posts or followed my links on why the "digital" input signal is in fact quasi-analog. Anyhow.
That assertion carries a HUGE caveat; whether it is truly digital or quasi-analog depends where and when in the signal chain.
When the signal hist the DAC chip, timing matters nad that's analog. Until then, no. And in the magnitude domain (what's coded in the 16, 18, 24 bits), why yes, it is purely digital and very robust.
Now, the optical CD itself is different yet again, and no traditional digital. You either ignored my reference to EFM or don't know what i is. EFM (eight-to-fourteen modulation) is the coding format of pits on the CD. It is in fact quasi analog, but has full error detection and then correction after decoding - so impacts are known. And uncorrected ones are very rare.
So, at that point:
1. The "digital stream" is minimally, if at all, at risk
2. it is optical not electrical, and therefore magnetism is even less relevant
So yea, it is on you to explain this. Arguments like the one you mad here continue to confuse the issue and give naysayers ammunition. Yes! We need to deal with the analog timing component. No! i doesn't matter anywhere except right at the input to the DAC (assuming, for simplicity, a traditional PCM ladder DAC).
So all, we need to be careful about this - details matter.
I have been using a bulk tape eraser on my CDs since the mid 90s. It makes a difference. I remember back then I had a buddy come over with some duplicate CDs to mine. So we were able to listen to his untreated discs compared to my demagnetized discs and then demagnetize his and listen again. Since then I demagnetize all of my new CDs. The bulk tape eraser was about $20 at Radio Shack back then. Turns out it works.
CDs have a thin layer of Aluminum sputtered onto the polycarbonate disc. Aluminum is paramagnetic. We also figured some of the CD label inks may have metal in them. Perhaps even weak spinning magnetic fields jostle the laser head. Who knows? Demagnetizing CDs works so i just do it.
My brother worked at Sony making CDs then DVDs until they moved it out of the country. He says CDs have an analog component to them. Part of it is that the time domain is mechanical (The spinning disc) but the part I don't understand is why does a clean disc play louder than a dirty, smudged disc.
@millercarbon, thanks for that information, I’m going to swap out my Krell K300i with an older intergrated tube amp and give it a whirl as well. My buddy had mentioned specifically tracks 6, 7, and 8 to run repeatedly. I have run the whole disc on repeat overnight while sleeping at 1/4 or 1/3 volumes while I’m out of the house. I remember him stating that on a couple of tracks it may sound like your speakers are about to blow up but not to worry, and I actually did think that when I ran it the first time, scared the crap out of me. I thought my Monitor Audio Platinum PL300II were about to become burnt toast!
I am not an Engineer, but can honestly say it works. The sound is much more fuller, richer, and very open, I was floored! I’ve tried many audio tweaks with a few snake oil treatments thrown in. This is one tweak that does works in my opinion.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays, and the best in the New Year to everyone, cheers.
itsnotjustyou- Let me explain. No amount of techno-jargon can change the fact you derided a tweak that works. Not that I don't have some sympathy, you are trapped in a false paradigm. Here's the thing: it is not on me to explain why anything works. It is only on me to listen and evaluate. That's it.
Therefore, if you can't hear it, no problem. Simply admit you cannot hear it and move on. Perfectly fine course of action. We all know listening is a skill, which like all skills some are better at it than others. Also means it can be developed according to time and effort put into it. I am on record for once being unable to hear any difference between DACs, among other things. Long time ago, put the time and effort in, quite good these days. But it is learned it does take effort and no shame admitting you are not there yet.
It sounds like a dig and a put down but think about it, in reality I am offering you a lifeline. You don't have to spend your life digging around in a dark rabbit hole of techno jargon. You can come out into the light and listen to music. If you like what you hear, great. Do more of that. If you don't, sorry. Do less of that.
Anyone can understand. Of course this means setting aside all those big words you worked so hard to learn. You will find it impossible to lord it over any skilled listener with technobabble. Simply does not work. You will find it hard to develop these skills. Few things worth doing ever come easy. In the end you may gain the unequaled satisfaction of being able to do something and readily hear the difference.
Or go on with your check sums and bits and whatnot.
Your call. Choose wisely