Thanks to all that replied to my original post. I
found the observations both interesting an informative.
When I wrote the first reply, I summarized the
results of my listening tests because my
observations were really anecdotal. I found it
interesting at the time that two out of three
other listeners (trained engineers) observed the
same results and ended my query there.. I should
note that my original observations were not
mentioned until we compared results. The other
listeners were only asked to listen to the same
song on four different disks, each representing
the three dyes and the one gold disk, the same disks that I had listened to.
I have compiled some of the replies and answered
them in hopes of shedding some light on the questions:
Tom Fine wrote:
“I also have heard similar things to what Corey
heard in a gold MAM vs. a blue-dye T-Y, played
back in a mid-90's vintage Philips CD player.
Played back via my Tascam CD recorder, I couldn't
hear any difference. I am guessing that older CD
players have trouble reading the gold-backed CDs
and thus either more error correction is going on
or for some reason jitter is being induced, or
some other digital-realm thing is going on.”
Greg Schmitz wrote:
“I can't help but wonder if Corey's observations
might be tied to the ability of his playback
device to correctly read all of the data from
"Gold" CDs? Could it be that the playback device
is compensating for data it can't retrieve and
thus dropping or reinterpreting part of the spectrum using it's own software?”
For my own listening tests at the time I played
the CD-R’s on three different devices: The
original burner (A 2X Phillips) a Panasonic DVD
player and a mid 80’s ADC CD player. The same
pair of headphones was used for listening. The
ADC sounded the most strident of the three
players I tried but that seems to be a character
trait of that player which I’ve always attributed
to the DAC’s (and possibly error correction
circuitry) of that era. As far as the other three
listeners are concerned, I don’t know what
equipment they used for playback. Nonetheless, as
Tom and Greg suggest, we could have been hearing
the difference in error correction.
Jerry Hartke wrote:
“BTW, how many "gold media" brands did you try?
Did they all have gold metal or just gold paint over silver metal?”
The gold CD’s for that (and the latter)
experiment were Kodak, the only brand tried.
Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>In 2002 I was given the task of archiving some
>¼”, 15ips music masters for a client who was
>very specific about the delivery requirements
>and even the CD burner to be used. The burner
>had to be either a certain model Plextor or an
>early model Phillips (a 2X burner). The CD media
>for playback had to be Taiyo Yuden brand cyanine
>(green) dye CD-R’s. The archival media for the
>flattened files was to be Kodak gold. All of
>this came from the debate at the time that
>cyanine, although the least stable was the best
>sounding of the three available dyes and that
>gold-layered CD’s were, in fact, the worst sounding.
>This prompted me to perform my own listening
>tests and indeed, I was able to detect a slight
>difference between a gold-layered CD-R and a
>silver layered one. The gold-layered CD-R
>sounded a bit harsher in the mid range to me
>than the silver layered samples. I tried product
>with all three dye types but the audible
>difference to me seemed to be the reflective
>layer more than the dye type. I had three other
>professional engineers listen to the sample
>discs and two reported the same results while
>the third professed to not hearing a difference.
>About six months later, I tried the same test
>with a different genre of music that had also
>been sourced from 15ips masters and noticed the same result.
>Since then I offer silver layered CD’s for the
>clients playing copies with the disclaimer that
>they are not considered archival quality.
>Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>At 04:45 PM 11/9/2010, you wrote:
>>It seems that Falcon hit the world with a new
>>production facility in the UAE in 1998 and
>>Bernie Grundman was using them as of 1998
>>according to what I read on Gearslutz.com.
>>My challenge is that one of the last two MAM-A
>>dealers here in Canada is switching to Falcon
>>and has apparently switched the RCMP already
>>and it is becoming most difficult to get the gold archival MAM-A discs here.
>>I guess I could self-import them from Am-Dig,
>>or even direct from MAM-A, but that is a lot of work and expense.
>>Yes, I try to get most of my clients over to
>>downloaded files or hard-drive delivery, but
>>that exacerbates the problem for the few
>>remaining clients who really, really want CDs of grandmother's wedding.
>>Has anyone used Falcon CD-R and DVD-R blanks? What has been your impression?
>>It seems the recordable optical media business
>>is another submerging technology. <sigh>
>>Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
>>Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
>>Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.