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  1. #1
    Aging Smartass
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    L'Art du Son - a "tweak" that works

    I've played around with lots of different tweaks on my system, and generally have found that most of those I bought actually did work to one degree or another. Fortunately, I limit my expenditures on such stuff, so paying thousands of dollars for, say, isolation feet, is something I wouldn't dream of doing. Paying $6 apiece for Vibrapods, and $8 each for Vibracones was a very worthwhie investment, which I highly recommended anyone try.

    My last "find" is "L'Art du Son" CD cleaner/polisher. An online search revealed that this product is an Absolute Sound "Editor's Choice," and has the personal endorsement of "the man" himself, Harry Pearson. Whereas I don't regard HP as the audio guru many others do, I respect his opinion, and so I bought a bottle of L'Art du Son for the $55 price just about everyone charges.

    And, does it work! Repeating dozens of "before and after" listening tests, playing a disc without treatment, and then after, always results in a significant improvement in sound. Sometimes the improvement is startling, other times less so, but there is always an improvement. Highs, especially strings, are a good deal smoother and sweeter; mids have a bit more "air" around them, and sound more "reedy;" bass is louder, tighter and deeper. And all this just from a few squirts of an odorless, clear liquid!

    I asked my wife to listen to a "before and after" test, and got the usual, "You're out of your mind" look from her. I played a Telarc CD of Robert Shaw conducting Randall Thompson's "Alleluia," Then I treated the disc, and played it again. I heard an immediate difference but didn't say anything, waiting to hear what my wife said. "Well, do you hear anything different?" I asked her. "There's a HUGE difference!" was her response. She found everything clearer, more distinct and a good deal smoother. Another term others might use is "Less digital."

    Why does this stuff work, and why does it work so well? After all, you squirt a disc a couple of times, spread the solution around with your finger, and then wipe it dry with the supplied microfiber cloth. What's so special about that?

    This is another of those, "I can't explain why it works. It just does" phenomena. Some people might refuse to accept that it works - or possibly ever could - unless documented scientific evidence is provided to support proof of its effficacy. To those, all I can say, is, "you're really missing out on something here, if you don't try it." To the rest of you who may not have used L'Art du Son CD cleaner, don't waste another minute and get yourself some. Believe me, you won't believe your ears!

  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    I've played around with lots of different tweaks on my system, and generally have found that most of those I bought actually did work to one degree or another. Fortunately, I limit my expenditures on such stuff, so paying thousands of dollars for, say, isolation feet, is something I wouldn't dream of doing. ....

    My last "find" is "L'Art du Son" CD cleaner/polisher. An online search revealed that this product is an Absolute Sound "Editor's Choice," and has the personal endorsement of "the man" himself, Harry Pearson. Whereas I don't regard HP as the audio guru many others do, I respect his opinion, and so I bought a bottle of L'Art du Son for the $55 price just about everyone charges.

    ...
    Anecdotal evidence ... Emaidel, I accept your subjective impressions are sincere but I don't trust them. Let me but it this way: I don't trust my own subjective impressions (apart from truly gross differences, e.g. as between speakers); why would I trust yours?

    No, I'm not one these people who say these things don't work or can't work, but I am a sceptic. I would like to hear an explanation of why and how they work, then I might be prepared to try them out. Maybe the mechanism is improved legibility of the the CD? But when I look at my CDs they are dirty, or is that an illusion?

    Personally I don't listen to CDs any more. I listen mostly to content delivered to me on CD, then ripped to computer file. dBpoweramp that I use to rip, does multiple passes and produces essentially bit-perfect output. This eliminates both data extraction bit errors and jitter as a cause of problems for me. OK, so based on your knowledge of the product and your listening experience, do you suppose that L'Art du son would make an improvement for me?

  3. #3
    Aging Smartass
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    I have no idea if this stuff would work for you. I wouldn't dream of listening to music as you do, but then that's your preference.

    I spent a good deal of the afternoon playing around with "L'Art du Son." First I played a given track on a disc (mostly CD's, but a few SACD's as well), then treated the disc and played the same passage again. In each and every case, there was a demonstrable difference, especially on older discs. In many cases, as I played the treated program, a big smile came across my face, as if I were almost listening to the piece for the first time. That's how much difference this stuff can make. I even applied it to a Telarc SACD that specifically warns against using any liquid cleaner and/or anti-static agent, and it still made an improvement.

    This morning I asked a friend of mine at church services (a Grammy-winning, professional recording engineer) how L'Art du Son could possibly work. His explanation was that it might be doing the same thing to discs insofar as error correction as what's done to starburst holes in a car's windshield when they're fixed by injecting a particular substance inot the hole so as not to allow it to enlarge into a crack. Seems like a fair analogy, but again, it's anyone's guess.

    I will never listen to another CD or SACD without first applying L'Art du Son. (And, I'm NOT getting paid to say this either!)

  4. #4
    Aging Smartass
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    'forgot to add this: I've had a London CD since 1984 (when I purchased my first CD player) of Tchaikovsky's 1st and 3rd Piano Concertos. No CD (or SACD) player I've ever owned has been able to play the last few minutes of the 3rd without skipping all over the place. After applying L'Art du Son, the disc played perfectly - for the first time in 26 years!

  5. #5
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    Whereas I don't regard HP as the audio guru many others do, I respect his opinion, and so I bought a bottle of L'Art du Son for the $55 price just about everyone charges.
    My first exposure to such a product was through his friend, Dr. Cooledge who used a product called Finyl which has similar benefits. During one trip to Seacliff where JWC and I were both there, we experimented with L'Art du Son on some untreated CDs. That convinced me of its worth. As a result, I use it as well.

    Similar treatments

    If you haven't already ventured into the world of power conditioning and aftermarket cords, you will find similar subtle improvements in clarity and low level resolution to be found there.

    rw

  6. #6
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    OK, so based on your knowledge of the product and your listening experience, do you suppose that L'Art du son would make an improvement for me?
    Yes, but you won't like the answer: you'll need to re-rip your library. Its just like giving vinyl a good cleaning via an RCM before ripping to digital.

    rw

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Yes, but you won't like the answer: you'll need to re-rip your library. Its just like giving vinyl a good cleaning via an RCM before ripping to digital.

    rw
    Well, the need to re-rip is obvious even to me.

    But it's still mind boggling to me that there could be so many read errors corrected by this substance that it would change the whole character of the sound to the extent that emaidel insists. Maybe if your CDs are filthy ...

  8. #8
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    What about new CDs?

  9. #9
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    What about new CDs?
    Any CD / SACD.

    rw

  10. #10
    Aging Smartass
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Any CD / SACD.

    rw

    That's absolutely true. the sound of many brand-new discs improved with the application of L'Art du Son. Additionally, I've treated all of my CD's with the same tender, loving care I've always treated my records with. Not a one could ever be called dirty, let alone "filthy." I NEVER touch the playing surface of the disc, and don't leave them lying around.

    An observation: SACD's improve, but less so than CD's with this stuff. Why? Lord only knows....

  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    That's absolutely true. the sound of many brand-new discs improved with the application of L'Art du Son. Additionally, I've treated all of my CD's with the same tender, loving care I've always treated my records with. Not a one could ever be called dirty, let alone "filthy." I NEVER touch the playing surface of the disc, and don't leave them lying around.

    An observation: SACD's improve, but less so than CD's with this stuff. Why? Lord only knows....
    It seems to me that it must some how improve the legibility of the disc. I can't locate a L'Art du son website; do they have one? I'd like to read their claims.

    How does it improve the legibility of the disc? Does it reduce the number or drop-outs or mis-reads? Or does it reduce jitter caused by the disc-read process? Like I said earlier, ripping to computer file will make any disc-read jitter irrelevant. So maybe it's reduces mis-reads. But then again if the ripped file verifies using AccurateRip, then mis-reads are also not a factor. So how would the stuff help me, who rips everything I listen to?

  12. #12
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    That's absolutely true. the sound of many brand-new discs improved with the application of L'Art du Son. Additionally, I've treated all of my CD's with the same tender, loving care I've always treated my records with. Not a one could ever be called dirty, let alone "filthy." I NEVER touch the playing surface of the disc, and don't leave them lying around.

    An observation: SACD's improve, but less so than CD's with this stuff. Why? Lord only knows....

    If most other members (or anyone else) said this I would have to laugh. Being it's you and your informed, no bull-sheit reputation I actually believe it.

    Now to find me some L'Art du Son and try it for myself.
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I wonder why 'L'art du Son' is called that. Maybe to give it a fancy/'exotic' name being it's not English?
    It means 'the art of sound' in French

  14. #14
    Aging Smartass
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    If most other members (or anyone else) said this I would have to laugh. Being it's you and your informed, no bull-sheit reputation I actually believe it.

    Now to find me some L'Art du Son and try it for myself.

    Thanks for your vote of confidence. That's not easily come by here. Once you've tried the stuff, I'd be curious to hear your observations and conclusions as to its efficacy.

  15. #15
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  16. #16
    Aging Smartass
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues

    Unfortunately, no.

  17. #17
    nightflier
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    $55 for 100ml? That's a bit steep no? Have you tried just cleaning the disks with a decent cleaner and see if the effect is the same? Even if it works as you say, what if it's just alcohol and water?

    I'm not discounting all teaks; just about everyone I've tried on my TT has made "some" difference. But on the digital side, I'm more skeptical.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=nightflier] Have you tried just cleaning the disks with a decent cleaner and see if the effect is the same? Even if it works as you say, what if it's just alcohol and water[QUOTE]


    I've had an Alsop CD cleaner for decades and I've never heard a difference whenver I used it. I ultimately chose only to use it on rented DVD's that were so filthy that my DVD player wouldn't play them. I consider it absolutely worthless for CD's, unless somehow they got very dirty.

    I don't know what's in "L'Art du Son," but it's not alcohol, since it's completely odorless. While $55 certainly ain't cheap, the bottle claims to clean and condition 200 discs. That's only about 25 cents per disc, so that's a bit easier to swallow.

  19. #19
    nightflier
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    Well if it does work, I suppose the right time to apply it is right before ripping, lol.

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