Wash, Cut, Polish & Demagnetize

As I sat and read through the most recent threads on the "Agon" forum, I noticed a thread regarding "Glossary of Audio Myths". I noticed several comments regarding "greening" and demagnetizing CDs.

Without delving too deeply into the effects of laser light diffraction, deflection, dispersion and reflecting light from adjacent tracks creating "jitter", and to avoid reduntantly examining the fact that the aluminum "wafer" in a CD is not always just aluminum, but in many cases aluminum "alloy", I would like to attempt to dispel a few of these "myths".

Many CD manufacturing facilities use a coating of mold release agents on the manufacturing machinery and on the plastic substrate material in the actual CD to facilitate ease of handling throughout the manufacturing process. Somewhat similar to spraying a cooking pan with "PAM" to reduce sticking. The residual amounts remaining on the CD upon completion of manufacturing should be removed as it will cause minor deflection and loss of focus of the laser beam. Specialty chemicals are available specifically for this purpose. I wash the CDs thoroughly using Dawn dishwashing liquid and very warm water. I cannot confirm that this process is as effective as using the specialty chemicals, but it leaves the CD surface extremely clean and seemingly free from any "oily" feel.

I then cut the edge of the CD using an Audiodesk CD cutter. This process reduces the amount of laser scatter from exiting through the outer edge of the CD and flooding the inside of the CD transport with reflected laser light. By cutting a bevel on the edge of the CD, you actually reduce the edge surface area by which the diffracted laser light can disperse. Some may feel that this a bit excessive, but we must keep in mind that the results of these treatments are cumulative.

The next process involves applying CD "Green" to the beveled edge. The properties of the color value of the Green used in the majority of these coatings tend to absorb any stray laser light. I still, to this day, have not been able to figure out why Green is the color of choice although, I have been told that it is simply the values of each of these colors (Red laser light and Green) that work together in unison to "neutralize" the light. The initial washing of the CD also helps to enhance the adhesion of the green coatings.

Upon allowing the CD green to dry, I then apply CD diamond using 100% cotton balls, and polish using again, cotton balls. CD diamond is an optical enhancer similar to Optrix,
Vivid, etc. and also contains a anti-static component. Most of these "optical enhancers" work by simply filling in microscopic pores in the CD surface permitting a more direct transmission of the laser beam through the plastic substrate material to the actual CD surface.

The last step involves demagnetizing the CD using a Furutech RD-2 CD demagnetizer. CDs, contrary to what most people believe can and will become magnetized. The results are a less black background, a general "haze" and loss of detail. If Cds were made using pure aluminum with NO trace elements, this step might not be required.

The results of all this? Pretty damn amazing. Again, recognizing that the results of all of these steps are cumulative, when all is said and done, the improvement is quite significant. Although these steps may sound somewhat time consuming, each CD actually only takes about three minutes to complete.

I hope I have provided some insight as to "dispelling" some of these myths. I can, and will, stand by this process as time and time again these enhancements have made CDs a lot more listenable. And, I have dropped the jaws of many non-believers after they have heard the actual results.

Any comments regarding this process are welcome. Happy listening.

Hi Jsawhitlock, Are you washing the CD and thoroughly drying before applying the Optrix? One of the things I had mentioned is starting off with a clean CD. I had noticed that the CD diamond left "streaks" if the CD was not washed before application.
Hi Peterx, I use paper towels, BUT, I do not rub! I simply pat them dry between two sheets of toweling. I, one time, used a paper towel to apply and polish with the CD diamond.

I should have just used a piece of #220 Wet/Dry sandpaper.

I have found that cotton balls (100% cotton) works like a dream. Very inexpensive, readily available and do a real nice job polishing the surface treatments.
Buscis2, I use cotten lint free wipes for computors and dry them completely and the cotten wipes leave no lint, but I dont notice the haze right a way! The optrix does improve the sound.
There was another person that posted the same experience on another thread. I have tried everything and the haze doesn't remove easily. I also have the CD magic by compact dynamics and that leaves no residue of any kind. I think the optrix replaced the cd magic, and both seem to do about the same as for the improvements. Happy Listening!
Sorry to hijack this thread with a discussion of physics, but I have done a little research into the subject of light absorption and have found the following.

Light will be absorbed by a system when the frequency of the light is in resonance with some natural frequency of that system. When light is refracted, it's speed changes and so does the wavelength, but the frequency does not. Therefore the absorption of a material is independent of the wavelength.