Tweak rediscovered

Printable View

  • 01-03-2008, 12:09 PM
    JohnMichael
    Tweak rediscovered
    A friend sent me a Sound Improvement Disc for my cd player. There was an improvement when using the Disc but not a great one. Out of laziness I stopped using the disc when playing cd's. Recently with my upgraded int. amp and speakers I realized that now most of the electronic non musical sounds were from the cd player. I thought about the SID and decided to put it to use.

    Let me say I am amazed. My cd player does not sound like the same player. All the electronic grunge is gone. The laser must be tracking better or the error correction system is working less. Imaging is more precise, vocals are pure and some cd's have greater depth. Smooth but detailed highs without any sense of fatigue while listening. The SID has improved the performance of the CD5001.

    In the past when I tried the disc I think the int. amp and speakers were a limiting factor to the quality of the sound. Now that they have been improved I was able to hear the great improvement of the SID.
  • 01-03-2008, 06:59 PM
    blackraven
    What is a Sound Improvement Disc and how does it work?
  • 01-03-2008, 07:37 PM
    jrhymeammo
    SID is just a green plastic sheet you place on top of a CD.

    I'm glad it worked for ya, JM.

    I'm not absolutely certain if it makes any improvement in my system, but I do use it everytime I play a CD. It helps me remind myself that I should never buy anything stupid, and just enjoy music.

    It does play scratched CDs better for some odd reason.

    JRA
  • 01-04-2008, 09:05 AM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    What is a Sound Improvement Disc and how does it work?



    It is a green plastic material that is placed on top of the cd. The disc is the same size as a cd. It is supposed to cut down on laser light scatter and help the laser read the disc better. I think another claim is it helps dampen the cd while it is spinning. If the laser is reading the bits better there is less need for error correction. They are available at www.musicdirect.com. I am very impressed with the disc now that my system has greater resolution.

    I still want a new cd player but I can be more patient in making my choice now that I have rediscovered this disc. I will use it with the new player.
  • 01-04-2008, 01:29 PM
    Feanor
    Good grief
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    SID is just a green plastic sheet you place on top of a CD.

    I'm glad it worked for ya, JM.

    I'm not absolutely certain if it makes any improvement in my system, but I do use it everytime I play a CD. It helps me remind myself that I should never buy anything stupid, and just enjoy music.

    It does play scratched CDs better for some odd reason.

    JRA

    :rolleyes:

    The efficacy of the device would be difficult to disprove, then again ...

    For this to work as you say, your CDP would have to be continually misreading your CDs, and/or insinuating jitter, as a result of light scattering or disc bouncing. My CDP doesn't seem to have the problem since it sounds indistigushable from computer file ripped from the same CD. Here I'm speaking of the CDP and computer output feeding the same DAC. The computer file was using EAC, thereby essentially a bit-perfect transcription, and played back by Foobar2000 via ASIO drivers which is considered a relativel relatively jitter-free method.
  • 01-04-2008, 02:04 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    :rolleyes:

    The efficacy of the device would be difficult to disprove, then again ...

    For this to work as you say, your CDP would have to be continually misreading your CDs, and/or insinuating jitter, as a result of light scattering or disc bouncing. My CDP doesn't seem to have the problem since it sounds indistigushable from computer file ripped from the same CD. Here I'm speaking of the CDP and computer output feeding the same DAC. The computer file was using EAC, thereby essentially a bit-perfect transcription, and played back by Foobar2000 via ASIO drivers which is considered a relativel relatively jitter-free method.



    I was reporting what I heard and what I have read about the device. It would be an easy demonstration to show it works in my system. Play a song on a disc without it and then place the disc and replay. The difference is audible.
  • 01-05-2008, 05:37 AM
    emaidel
    Around 1984, when I was working for BSR (who owned ADC and dbx at the time), we were investigating new products for distribution, when a compact disc "disc stabilizer" was submitted for consideration. It was a flat, thin rubber mat that sat on top of a CD and was designed to "stabilize" somehow or other the CD player's laser, and improve sonic performance.

    Most of us thought this entire concept was nothing short of ridiculous, but when we tried it out, we all heard a difference. In many cases, in which we played a disc first with, and then without the stabilizer, regardless of who was listening, everyone said that the sound was better with the stabilizer in use. It's important to note that no one knew which one was listening to: either with or without, as that was kept secret from all listening. So, the conclusion was that the stabilizer actually worked.

    Still, at $9.95 retail for a flat piece of rubber, we thought the item would have been laughed off the shelves. Silly us, considering that a sheet of plastic (the SID) sells for $39, and does the same thing.

    And the "disc stabilizer," just like the SID, wouldn't work in changers.
  • 01-07-2008, 05:51 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I was reporting what I heard and what I have read about the device. It would be an easy demonstration to show it works in my system. Play a song on a disc without it and then place the disc and replay. The difference is audible.

    I use one, too with the GamuT player.

    rw
  • 01-07-2008, 10:09 AM
    Feanor
    Based on these ringing endorsements
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    I was reporting what I heard and what I have read about the device. It would be an easy demonstration to show it works in my system. Play a song on a disc without it and then place the disc and replay. The difference is audible.

    I headed off to Music Direct to buy one. I figured, heck, I can squander $20 or so. WTF was I thinking!?! US$39.00, geez. :nonod:

    If this thing works, my bet would be that it's mainly jitter reduction. Whether of not jitter is a factor in a given situation depends on a lot of things, or so I'm given to understand. My wallet thanks me that I can't hear a lot of the things people claim make an improvement. No, it's true: I'm deaf, at least above 10kHz, plus I have tinnitis. But don't weep for me; it's saved me a lot of bucks.
  • 01-07-2008, 11:19 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by emaidel
    And the "disc stabilizer," just like the SID, wouldn't work in changers.

    Neither does it work with one of my CDPs, a Pioneer PD-54 that uses a "stable platter" which looks like a little turntable. You place the CD upside down to load.

    rw
  • 01-17-2008, 08:16 PM
    jrhymeammo
    Damn it, BILL!!!!!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    I headed off to Music Direct to buy one. I figured, heck, I can squander $20 or so. WTF was I thinking!?! US$39.00, geez. :nonod:

    Why didnt you tell me? I woulda just sent it to ya to try it out. I offered rental to blackraven, but he was never interested. Guess I shoulda expressed in this thread, instead of a PM.

    Here is where da Nightmare starts. After you listen to it, you gotta decide which side of SID sounds best.

    Peace,
  • 01-17-2008, 10:46 PM
    jim goulding
    Fe and E are down. And I got a problem stated elsewhere. I gotta be game..
  • 01-18-2008, 08:20 AM
    Feanor
    Worse
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Why didnt you tell me? I woulda just sent it to ya to try it out. I offered rental to blackraven, but he was never interested. Guess I shoulda expressed in this thread, instead of a PM.

    Here is where da Nightmare starts. After you listen to it, you gotta decide which side of SID sounds best.

    Peace,

    JRA, actually, based on the high praise here, I reconciled myself to the $40 price. But when I went back to Music Direct and started to order, I discovered that the miminum shipping was going to be $34 to Canada. :incazzato: That was for UPS Expedited or something; that might a reasonable method for an amplifier, but it's ridiculous for something that could be shipped letter post.
  • 01-18-2008, 12:43 PM
    OK, I'll be the skeptic here. I've gone through the green-pen business and haven't been able to notice a difference there. Now I'm not saying it doesn't work, but if it does, then why aren't the CD trays of kilo-buck players green? Or for those Naim, Nagra and other players that come with a puck, why is it not green?

    I used to have a Njoe CDP that had the option of purchasing one of these disks, and I didn't buy one - maybe I should have. But jeez, why didn't Njoe add the thing for free to the package? It's not like the cost would have been prohibitive to them - heck, they could have just increased the price another $5 and no one would have complained. And if Njoe's profit margin is based more on the sale of these gadgets than the players, then I'm really going to loose respect for them.

    Another thought that Feanor brought up: is everything OK with your player? It does sound like there might be a jitter issue from what I'm reading. I wonder how one of those jitter-reduction external units would compare? There's a lot of questions, here folks.

    And at $40, it's a whole lot of money to pay. Kind of like those audiophile pens that cost $20 when a $2 pen did exactly the same thing. Or maybe they didn't, and that's why I never heard anything? Still at $40 (+$35 shipping in Feanor's case) for a rubber disk, this is absolute lunacy.

    JohnMichael, I'm not going to say it doesn't work, since I haven't tried it, but I have to ask this. Did you do any double-blind testing (or at least ask someone else to change the disks). Actually, to be completely accurate, you would need two identical players and test one with the disk, but I know that's a lot to ask.

    Anyhow, I'm still a skeptic.
  • 01-18-2008, 03:31 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    OK, I'll be the skeptic here. I've gone through the green-pen business and haven't been able to notice a difference there. Now I'm not saying it doesn't work, but if it does, then why aren't the CD trays of kilo-buck players green? Or for those Naim, Nagra and other players that come with a puck, why is it not green?

    I used to have a Njoe CDP that had the option of purchasing one of these disks, and I didn't buy one - maybe I should have. But jeez, why didn't Njoe add the thing for free to the package? It's not like the cost would have been prohibitive to them - heck, they could have just increased the price another $5 and no one would have complained. And if Njoe's profit margin is based more on the sale of these gadgets than the players, then I'm really going to loose respect for them.

    Another thought that Feanor brought up: is everything OK with your player? It does sound like there might be a jitter issue from what I'm reading. I wonder how one of those jitter-reduction external units would compare? There's a lot of questions, here folks.

    And at $40, it's a whole lot of money to pay. Kind of like those audiophile pens that cost $20 when a $2 pen did exactly the same thing. Or maybe they didn't, and that's why I never heard anything? Still at $40 (+$35 shipping in Feanor's case) for a rubber disk, this is absolute lunacy.

    JohnMichael, I'm not going to say it doesn't work, since I haven't tried it, but I have to ask this. Did you do any double-blind testing (or at least ask someone else to change the disks). Actually, to be completely accurate, you would need two identical players and test one with the disk, but I know that's a lot to ask.

    Anyhow, I'm still a skeptic.



    Feel free to be a skeptic. I was sharing what benefits I heard with the improvements in my system. I am now using the Marantz SA8001 and still hear improvements. Play one song without the disc and then insert the disc and play the same song. It will not take you long to hear the benefits. Several members use one and hear the improvements. I am not going to great lengths to prove something obvious to me. If you want to try it that is great.
  • 01-18-2008, 04:39 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    Now I'm not saying it doesn't work, but if it does, then why aren't the CD trays of kilo-buck players green?

    I think the underlying concept has to do with spurious laser reflections. Visible light goes straight through the CD media. This is easy to prove with a flashlight. While the following is pure speculation, treat it as such but I think the phenomena is transport specific and only works with the more conventional open tray, media down type platters.With my GamuT player using such an arrangement, I get a subtle improvement with the disk. With my Pioneer PD-54, however, I do not. Difference? The Pioneer has what they call a "stable platter" which is very different looking from the usual fare. You place the disk inverted on what looks like a scaled down vinyl turntable. The platter is covered with a padded black mat and is the same diameter as the CD. Light does not penetrate the mat.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    Still at $40 (+$35 shipping in Feanor's case) for a rubber disk, this is absolute lunacy.

    Each of us places a different value on incremental sonic improvements.

    rw
  • 01-18-2008, 05:44 PM
    jrhymeammo
    NF, shoot me an Email with your addy, if you are interested. Mybe you can tell me about scratched CDs and see if you come to a similar conclusion.

    Again, in order to do a AB comparision, someone would have to burn CD of same songs(some with SID and the rest without SID). Cable myth can be resolved by this as well.
    Only the person who burned CDs will know the answer.

    Anyone here got a $10,000 dual-tray CD burner?
  • 01-19-2008, 03:31 PM
    More questions than answers...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Anyone here got a $10,000 dual-tray CD burner?

    Or does anyone have two identical $100 players that they can A/B test the SID with?

    Maybe what I'm not getting is why laser diffraction is such a problem on some players and not on others. And if the problem is really jitter, aren't there better ways to correct for this? I've seen external jitter-reduction units, but I'm more of the opinion that this should be internal to a good player, the upcoming PS Audio CD transport is a good example, I think.

    Another thought is that maybe a decent player should be able to block light like E-Stat's player. Maybe all those players that don't and claim to be "audiophile", really aren't?

    If the SID corrects for this, great, especially at $10. At $40, it gets pricey just like so many other common-sense tweaks that are overpriced. After all, we're talking about a little think rubber disk, no? And I still don't see why a reputable cd player manufacturer doesn't just include this in the package. Is it because they want you to buy their more expensive model (that just happens to block the leaser diffraction better - and, look Mabel, it does sound kilobucks better...).

    So I guess I'm not so much questioning whether the SID works as much as whether we are being taken fro a spin (pun intended) by the manufacturers. Certainly the positive effects of this is widely known in the industry, no?
  • 01-19-2008, 04:03 PM
    JohnMichael
    NF you do know you can order it and if you do not hear a difference on your cd player you can send it back for a refund? E-Stat has mentioned why it may not be a benefit on some cdp's but on others, yes. On my two Marantz cd player and cd/sacd player it makes a difference.
  • 01-19-2008, 07:03 PM
    jrhymeammo
    Hey John,

    I dont doubt that you hear improvement of SID.

    I imagine that you've always been a "Good Boy" with your shiny discs, but lets say you have a CD that was unintentionally damaged. Your neighbor musta been trying to master his/her telekinesis... Do you find that particular CD to play better with SID? or no improvement?

    As for your Hi-Fi Tuning Fuse.... what can you tell us on that?
  • 01-20-2008, 09:35 AM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Hey John,

    I dont doubt that you hear improvement of SID.

    I imagine that you've always been a "Good Boy" with your shiny discs, but lets say you have a CD that was unintentionally damaged. Your neighbor musta been trying to master his/her telekinesis... Do you find that particular CD to play better with SID? or no improvement?

    As for your Hi-Fi Tuning Fuse.... what can you tell us on that?


    JRA I have no damaged discs. I do have two vinyl discs that skip.:sad: If I find one I will check it out. One of the things I need to do is the next time I make a cdr is to use the SID in the record drawer. That might be of interest.

    The fuse cleaned things up. Not a major difference but an obvious one. The highs are smoother and more seperation between instruments. Less electronic haze overall. I was prepared to debunk the fuse because I could not believe it could make a difference. I was as surprised as anyone. I read the Stereophile review and I thought one little fuse could not make that much difference. It does and did. If you are ever up this way I will switch fuses for you.

    I have not opened the SA8001 yet to see how many fuses it would take. When I saw the insides of a Marantz Ref. player it had six fuses. Spending $30 for one fuse vs. $180 for 6 would be something I would need to think about.
  • 01-20-2008, 09:52 AM
    jrhymeammo
    http://www.phileweb.com/news/photo/2..._Inner_big.jpg

    I think you are outta luck on this one.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    If you are ever up this way I will switch fuses for you.

    What does that mean?

    Hey Mister, you keep that fuse where it needs to be. I aint known to get frisky with another man's fuse. Nah meen?
  • 01-20-2008, 10:00 AM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    http://www.phileweb.com/news/photo/2..._Inner_big.jpg

    I think you are outta luck on this one.



    What does that mean?

    Hey Mister, you keep that fuse where it needs to be. I aint known to get frisky with another man's fuse. Nah meen?



    Oohhh that did sound bad. No wonder no one visits. Memo to self becareful how you phrase things.

    Now if you could tell me the value of the fuse I would appreciate it.
  • 02-06-2008, 10:50 AM
    bubslewis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    A friend sent me a Sound Improvement Disc for my cd player. There was an improvement when using the Disc but not a great one. Out of laziness I stopped using the disc when playing cd's. Recently with my upgraded int. amp and speakers I realized that now most of the electronic non musical sounds were from the cd player. I thought about the SID and decided to put it to use.

    Let me say I am amazed. My cd player does not sound like the same player. All the electronic grunge is gone. The laser must be tracking better or the error correction system is working less. Imaging is more precise, vocals are pure and some cd's have greater depth. Smooth but detailed highs without any sense of fatigue while listening. The SID has improved the performance of the CD5001.

    In the past when I tried the disc I think the int. amp and speakers were a limiting factor to the quality of the sound. Now that they have been improved I was able to hear the great improvement of the SID.

    Would the Sound Improvement Disc work any better (or worse) on downloaded, computer burned, discs than it would on commercially recorded discs? Got a $25 I-Tune gift card for xmas from my daughter. I downloaded about 25 pieces, varying from Bach to Chuck Berry.

    1st thing I noticed was I had to turn my normal volume setting a good bit down when I played my newly burned disc on my main system. Also there was that varying edginess (depending upon which track played) of distortion that was readily apparent thru my Maggie 1.6's.

    I have a Dell desktop computer that's about 3-4 years old, but I'm not sure of the bit rate for its internal disc burner. Anyway, back to the original question. Any differences with the improvement disc for cd burns?

    ps. they also advertised improvment with video quality of dvd's when using the improvement disc. Anybody test that claim yet? $39 plus shipping is pretty steep for a little piece of rubber. Still.... I'm tempted.

    Bill
  • 02-07-2008, 09:15 AM
    audio amateur
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Neither does it work with one of my CDPs, a Pioneer PD-54 that uses a "stable platter" which looks like a little turntable. You place the CD upside down to load.

    rw

    Hey my brother has one of those! How do you like it?