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Agoraquest • View topic - CD mats do they work ?

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View topic - CD mats do they work ?

CD mats do they work ?

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by mykyll2727 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:39 am

Wow!!! Sony may have a BIG winner here depending on the improvement in sound. If it's SQ is around the level of SACD it just might become THE digital format if the price is right.
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by Maxxwire » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:29 pm




Whatever medium holds the brilliant work of the top Mastering engineers like Doug Sax and Steve Hoffman has always been considered to be the very best sounding because when recording quality is constant playback quality is much more dependent on the skill of the Mastering Engineer and his team rather than the medium for which the Music is Mastered.

As many of us have found a brilliant job of Mastering Music to Standard CD can sound much better than a lesser quality Mastering of the same Music to SACD. Blu-Spec CD is an emerging Hi-Rez medium, but for it to triumph as THE preferable Format to own Sony is going to have to interest the world's top flight Mastering engineers who have the knowledge, skill and the right equipment to commit the very best Masterings obtainable to the new Blu-Spec CD meduim.

~Maxx~

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by Reinhart » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:16 pm

"CD mats do they work?"

No.

Some benefits have no credible explanation of how it works or any measurable objective data to prove and back the benefits; all you have are subjective evaluations, many of which can occur because of the placebo effect.  If you truly believe there is an improvement, your mind can play that trick on you and make you believe that there is.

Some other explanations I hear and read about tend to treat CD as functionally analogous to vinyl, which you can't do because they both employ distinctly different processes.

For instance: rotational stability is one claimed benefit of these CD mats.  Is the mat supposed to add additional mass to the spindle so as to stabilize rotational speed?

That may work with vinyl, but how things work with a CD is a tad different.

The read from a CD is buffered and the rate at which this data is taken from the buffer in the midst of processing (8-14 demod, CIRC, D/A, etc.) is electronically regulated by a precise reference: a quartz crystal oscillator.  This is basically the same as a time base corrector.

In addition, if you wonder why there is a buffer, a CD track isn't linear in the same fashion as a track, or groove if you prefer, on a phonograph record; the raw signal on the actual pits and lands are modulated in EFM (eight-to-fourteen modulation).  Decoding EFM and processing CIRC to get the LPCM signal (the actual audio data that goes into the D/A converter) requires RAM buffering.

EFM was made specifically to encode a signal into a form that, when written physically on the disc, is resilient against mechanical instability and disc damage.  CIRC is error correction and uses interleaved code to correct erroneous data and approximates correction to data via interpolation in the event that the error is beyond the correction threshold.

Any eccentricity of the spindle velocity will be minor and, ultimately, does not matter so long as the disc drive can maintain servo sync with the disc track and can keep up with reliably feeding the buffer with data (in other words, a player that's working normally).

So long as the player is in normal operating order and the disc is in good enough shape for EFM to account for any damage and for CIRC to correct any errors, there should be no problems and the use of a CD mat becomes completely unnecessary.

Besides, any added mass may hasten the wear out factor of the spindle motor and its related electronics, which is bad, especially if this is on a CD player were service can be difficult or, in certain cases such as unavailability of replacement parts and service data and/or competent service technicians, impossible.  You're adding more mass, and thus more strain, to these components, making them work harder than is necessary to function.

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by Reinhart » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:27 pm


On 2008-11-14 17:31, Maxxwire wrote:



Maverick- I'm not saying they can't work because many keen eared Audio enthusiasts swear by them, but it will be quite a while before I will pay $700 for this Holy Grail of effective CD Tweaks

~Maxx~




If I may add a few words, even if somebody were to give this to me for FREE, I wouldn't take this myself.

Lathing away the edges of your CDs sounds more like a great way to destroy them.  I'd have great concerns about compromising the lacquer seal, potentially allowing oxygen into the aluminum reflective layer.  Be prepared to say "hello" to CD rot when you use this thing!

In addition, reading up on what grinding down the edges is supposed to do sounds like BS to me.

Plus, $700 is a lot of money to spend, so a mental defense mechanism could definitely go into play in this case; you have to believe this works because you don't want to admit that someone successfully sold you the Brooklyn Bridge.

To me, $700 is better served by getting a better CD player or, perhaps, getting a good outboard D/A with glass TOSLink cable.

Or, if you want to get creative: a high quality outboard D/A converter, a quality glass fiber TOSLink cable, and an older generation DVD player that uses the red DVD laser to read CDs (though you will have problems reading CD-Rs).  The reason for glass TOSLink and an older DVD player: the glass and the red laser will have higher bandwidth, allowing for greater headroom of the signal.

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by Maxxwire » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:41 pm


On 2010-01-17 22:27, Reinhart wrote:

To me, $700 is better served by getting a better CD player or, perhaps, getting a good outboard D/A with glass TOSLink cable.




I couldn't agree with you more! I've been running my Modified Theta Digital DAC with 5ps jitter I²S Bus interfaced Audio Alchemy Digital Audio Processors which use Revelation Audio Labs Pure Silver 5 conductor I²S Bus and power supply wiring and are supplied their Digital signal from a like new 1999 Sony DVD Player through an AQ Optilink 4 Fused Silica Glass EIAJ Optical Cable since just a few weeks after I joined Agoraquest back in 2002 and along with some Resonance Tuning and a pair of Electrically Resonance Tuned Transparent Ultra Analog interconnects I must say that in my Acoustically Treated listening room along with its Counterpoint Tube/FET Preamp and Modified Conrad-Johnson all Tube Power Amp featuring a quad of rare GE 6CA7 Output Tubes that to my ears still sounds better than any of the Hi End Audio Systems that I have auditioned up and down the left coast although it did cost a tad more than $700...

~Maxx~



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