The other one I would be interested in hearing a comparison is the Auric Illuminator. All three products do the same sort of thing, but I have not tried the two you mentioned. Someone needs to do the "shootout".
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From the archives here, there was a thread on this recently.
Not many responses, but those who have tried multiple products seem to favor Walker Audio Vivid by a wide margin.
I've tried Optrix (it doesn't seem to do much for me sonically but is a good cleaner). I've also tried Auric Illuminator (much better and gives a noticeable improvement in the sound of most CDs and SACDs). Auric is actually more impressive on the SACDs but cannot be used on hybrids manufactured by Sonopress.
Walker Audio is next on my agenda. More expensive than the others but supposedly yields a better payoff.
Could you articulate the sonic differences you hear between the Auric Illuminator (do you use the black "CD Stoplight" treatment?) and Walker Vivid?
Also, I believe the Vivid is also a polishing agent ala Mapleshade Microsmooth. I have tried the Microsmooth and have noticed that slight "swirl marks" are very difficult to avoid, although I don't know if these microscratches have any sonic significance. Any comments?
I have only tried Optrix.It improved the resolution of every CD I have no matter how good or bad they sounded without it.The sound was also more transparent.The result was obvious for every member of my family whether I put the CDs on a boombox or CEC 5100Z player.What's more, I first treated some of my CDs with it over 2 years ago, and there is no deterioration in sound or CDs' surfaces,as far as I can tell.I don't know about you but I have some CDs that are very difficult to find and cost a lot,so the safety of these products is important to me.I will try Walker some day but first on DVDs and wait for a while.
Walker Vivid improves resolution, provides deeper bass, and is aptly name, as the sound is very vivid (dynamic) afer treatment. I find it simpler to use than Auric Illuminator (fewer steps) and provides a much easier to discern improvement over Auric. I thought the Auric was a worthwhile improvement, but Walker Vivid beats it in sound and application.
Vivid is not as thick as Microsmooth and I have not noticed any negative effect on the discs it has been applied to. I have no concerns about using Vivid.
I've tried both the Optrix and Mapleshade's Mikro Smooth. Mikro Smooth leaves dull scratches on my CD's no matter how meticulously it's applied. Optrix sometimes leaves a visable residue on my CD's. Both products are being returned. The visable results of both products were so disturbing that I really didn't spend much time auditioning the sound. I just can't imagine that a lightly scratched CD with visable residue is a good thing.
I do not understand those who find Vivid leaves a residue. I suppose if you wait too long it might be difficult to buff. Applying some more will solve that problem. I used to use Optrix and Jena Labs Heavenly Mist, but there is no longer any reason to do so. I continue to use Vivid even on Sonopress sacds with no ill effects. The added clarity of Vivid is what strikes you. I also trim all sacds and cds with the AudioDesk.