View Full Version : Improve CD audio with vintage computing!

September 28th, 2006, 04:10 PM
I found this page (in Swedish): http://svalander.se/cd/floppy.htm

It is about how to improve the sound quality on your CD, by cutting open an old 5.25" floppy disk, take the magnetic disk and cut it to the same size as the CD. You put the CD into the player and the magnetic disk above it (maybe glue/tape it into place??).

The idea is that a CD over time gets magnetized which affects the sound quality. Supposedly there are rather expensive demagnetizers you can put your CDs, audio cables, credit cards :-) into, and "clean" them. Those who have tried, can testify that the sound is more clear (?) afterwards.

When you put an old 5.25" disk on top of the CD, it will block laser beams and suck up the magnetism from the CD?!? It says to get the best results, you should use a 5.25" disk that has been recorded on both sides. It doesn't say if it needs to be FM, MFM, GCR or any other special coding.

I think I have some floppies that don't work so well anymore. Maybe I should cut one open and try this. I'm just a bit afraid that if I put a loose floppy (in the right sense of the word) disk on top of the CD inside the player, it will not stay in place, but rather get stuck in the mechanism and create all kinds of nastiness. Maybe a bit of tape near the center could help.

Generally, there seems to be a lot of hookey-pookey in CD/DVD care. Cut the edges, paint the edge black, file the edge with steel wool, demagnetize, fix scratches, wash the disc, put a dark towel on top of the CD player... maybe a lot of this is psychological, but just like everything else one can't explain, some people insist that it makes a difference.

September 28th, 2006, 06:33 PM
It sounds like crap. Audio CD's are digital, not analog; as in the quality will NEVER deteriorate. Think about it, do you think a floppy disk can improve 0's & 1's?

September 28th, 2006, 06:53 PM
Hence the term CD BURNER You can't degrade something that can't change. The laser burns the tracks on the CD.


Look at the record part.



The laser changes an ink dye in the film. Nothing magnetic at all, so sounds like someone didn't know what they were talking about.....

September 28th, 2006, 06:55 PM
atari is right, optical uses light, which is not effected by magnetism.
However, most CDs start to lose structure in 10 years, because the spots start to disolve or distort from metallized deterioration.
The only media that can last forever if taken care of is vinyl records.

Once a CD loses structure, it does NOT work, no deterioration at all.

make copies of CDs as often as you can.

Now, store bought CDs(like audio and DVD) can last about 30-50 years because it uses pits instead of spots.

September 28th, 2006, 07:06 PM
Not always true. CD-R's have a life of several hundred years if taken care of properly.


But people generally don't take care of them and they degrade. If you do handle with care, they can go for quite a long time.....


September 28th, 2006, 08:04 PM
Hence the term CD BURNER

Yes, but of course retail CD's & DVD's are stamped & not burned...

September 28th, 2006, 08:13 PM
Which them last longer acutally......


September 28th, 2006, 09:43 PM
Of course we don't know if the accelerated tests are totally accurate compared to real time flow; the oldest optical discs are some 25-30 years old by now (and that would be the first generation).

If all these tricks are humbug, can so many self-proclaimed audiophiles be tricked by psychologic wishes for better sound quality? Can misalignment in the magnetic property of the aluminium block some of the laser beams? I know the media is optical, digital and so on, and have never encountered this before. I suppose there are web pages in English describing the same quasi phenomenon if you want to look it up. Personally I play my audio CD's so seldom that they possibly never have picked up any surplus magnetism.

Quite a bit of disguised sales pitch, but this document contains seriously measured data and graphs. Maybe it is all fake, but could be worth taking a look at if you are ready to believe in it:

September 28th, 2006, 10:09 PM
Heh. Another kind of compact disc voodoo is to freeze your records to 0 Kelvin (-273 Celsius), if you have access to liquid nitrogen or whatever it takes to freeze it that much. It is rumoured to do wonders to audio CDs! :-D

Who knows, maybe magnetic media also can be improved by extreme freeze. Put your old hard disk into the freeze box, and after thawing it will have halved its average seek time. Maybe other things will be halved as well, such as durability and longetivity...

September 29th, 2006, 05:43 AM

It's bogus voodoo. And I have stronger words that I'm not going to use.

It's as stupid as the people who wear magnets for arthritis, use magnets to condition their water supply, and worship crystals and consider them sources of cosmic energy.

Let's try to keep the conversation to things that are plausible.

September 29th, 2006, 06:26 AM
Didn't the guy who invented the "ionic" magnetic bracelet thing get into a lawsuit for false advertisement?

September 29th, 2006, 06:47 AM
I don't think you can get 0 kelvin...That would be absolute zero, I think atoms lose their keinetic energy then and stop...You can get close however.

What about infamous CD rot?

Anither thing, what about those copper wristbands for Arthritis or blood pressure or whatever. Are there any proof they work? But Boots sells their own brand!

September 29th, 2006, 07:10 AM
You mean my magnets for my soft water DON"T WORK. Ohhh noooo.

:rolleyes: I actually did try some of those. They are still installed. Uh, yep, I am pretty sure they had NO effect at all, other than a small effect on my bank balance.

Terry Yager
September 29th, 2006, 07:25 AM
Perhaps placing magnetic material on top of the disc blocks-out the KozmikDebris from falling onto the CD, kinda like the foil in my hat protects my brain?


September 29th, 2006, 02:02 PM
My "favorite" cd-voodoo is the infamous green marker. Supposedly, if you mark the outside edge with this green marking pen (available for a nominal fee) it will improve the sound considerably. The theory is that the green markings absorb stray refracted laser light.

I don't believe any of it. :)

However, the quality of the A/D converter *will* affect the sound. My Yamaha single disc player sounds much better than my Radio Shack cd player from 1986.


September 30th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Yes, it was noted that the worse CD player you had, the more difference did these voodoo tricks do to the sound.

Already in 1993, one guy who worked in the field of developing capacitors had major experience in how certain plastics can contain metallic traces and have magnetic fields. His theory was that when the plastic paint - with traces of metals - was demagnetized, the molecular structure temporarily changed and it would make it easier for the laser beam to read the information. Sure, perhaps he was fooled too, but would an engineer at a renowned company put his name at stake in a Hi-Fi magazine if what he had come up with was total nonsense? For a comparison, a rival electronics magazine at that day pointed their fingers and claimed the theory was as absurd as if the audio quality increased when a red-headed virgin takes a leak on the compact disc at full moon.

September 30th, 2006, 05:33 PM
Hmm...haven't tried the red-haired virgin thing for my cds :)

But really, I think that some of these audiophiles have had their brains turned to mush.

Take for example the Tice Clock. Tice claims that if you plug in this clock *anywhere* in your house it will make your stereo sound better. This was some years ago, however, so info may be scarce now. It was advertised and reviewed in Audiophile magazine. It looked like a $29.95 Radio Shack jumbo LED clock that Tice sold for $300.

Also, there are some *very* expensive cd players with vacuum tube stages. Talk about mixing the old with the new.

EDIT: The magazine was Stereophile, not Audiophile. A quick Google revealed much info on the Tice clock.