Shave your CDs



"Tempted to try it?

Follow your hunch.

Be "Top Banana".

Not one of the bunch!

Burma Shave.

Well on my sonic frontier  transport 3 whe  the iris opens you can see the disc spin quite easy to see that some of the cds are out of round. The center  whole doesn't  match the outside diameter  off venter slightly.  That being said if the servos  don't have to work as hard it will sound better. That being  said washing cds makes then sound better easy for any non believer  easy to try. The funny thing about his comparison  is the 5 cent cd player he is trying  it on. And quite easy to try markers on the edge of the cd as well as the center  that is easy to hear the difference  as well. And yes I heard a demo of this machine with a levinson  system in a high end store and yes there is a difference.  Lol easy to hear when you listen  on a quality  system  instead of a pos. 

My curiousity got the best of me, so I ordered one of these a few years ago. The improvements were immediate and impactful. I know the term "sounds more analog" is overused, but does apply here. It made me aware the those littlle computers inside those DACs are really good at slight of hand and are pretty slick at substituting interpolated (guess at) information into the bitstream without us detecting it. Interpolated data doesn’t shout out "Wrong!" in most cases -- it just isn’t true to the source. I went thru my collection of favorites, shaved each one and, without exception, the sound was "more analog" with a reduction in harshness, more detail, tighter bass, etc. My wife purchased one of those Time Warner compilation CDs that sounded so bad I had to leave the room when she played it. After shaving them, the sound was not close to a reference recording, but had hints of audio resolution, delicacy and less glare. We now listen to it -- together.

I’ve also tried the cutter on BluRay discs. If you own one of these and you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a treat. The improvements are consistent with CDs. Also experimented with CD ROMS and ripping. My experience is that ripped shaved original CDs sound better when streamed from a computer, and shaved CD ROMS sound better than untreated.

I’m also a fan of UltraBit cleaner and treatment. The results are different than the CD cutter, but used in tandem do some interesting stuff to physical media. I place these into the "everybody knows" catagory. "Everybody knows" that CDs are concentric. And, "everybody knows" that new CDs are clean. Until you find out that they’re not.

They seem to forget that to make music the data has to be clocked. Try listening to a USB buss. USB to SPDIF AES/EBU converters are essentially just clocks. It does not matter how messed up the timing of the original data coming off the disc as the internal DA converter is going to reclock it.