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.

Sean,I am looking forward to your findings. I also stopped at a local art store and purchased a Cyan colored marker. I have yet to try it.

But, one interesting note. I compared the color of the Cyan marker in relation to the Cd "Greenline" presently offered by LAT International. The color is almost identical. I think that the Cyan color is very slightly more "Blue", but marginally so.

I have never used any of the other "greening" products offered by other manufacturers, so I can't discern the color deviations between the LAT product and the other manufacturers offerings.

Also, I transcribed an excerpt from the LAT catalog regarding their explanation of how their product works. That excerpt discusses their product working in conjunction with a 790 NM laser.

Am I correct? Isn't a standard CD laser operating at 680 NM? If this was actually the case, wouldn't the corresponding color used for absorbtion change accordingly due to the different wavelength?
DVD player lasers are 655 nm (red) while almost all CD player lasers are 780 nm (infrared)...it might get a little complicated to analyze the color situation, as the color(s) of the ink of CD label enters into the picture as well...
Thank you for the clarification Geoff. And your response brings up another issue, As I have stated, I demag my CDs also as part of my process. I have noticed comments regarding CDs not having any type of magnetization properties. As you mentioned, the paint being used on CDs is part of the problem with becoming magnetized.

In many cases the paint used on CDs does contain metals in order to obtain the specific colors. That, in conjunction with the actual CD "wafer" not always being PURE aluminum, but containing trace elements, does contribute to the disc actually becoming magnetized.

The amount of magnetization would have a correlation to the amount and the color of paint used on that particular CD. Make sense?

Hopefully, this will provide additional explanations;

I have found 2 disks of the same recording never sound exactly alike. Do other people agree with this statement? Or not? If the disks are different how does one A/B compare a stock disk vs. the treated disk if they never sounded exactly alike to begin with? I do wash and polish and Green the edges and use bedini also. So I do believe it works.
I had 2 copies of Bjork's Telegram. One from BMG and one from Elektra. They sound very different. Ofcourse, they are not exactly 2 of the same CD... or are they?