We have two sets of "The Complete Caruso" (GD60495), a 12 CD boxset in
the RCA Victor Gold Seal series, published in 1990 and manufactured by
BMG Music, New York. One is suffering from a problem I haven't come
across before. 

The two sets are largely identical, although the label (upper) side of
the discs in one set is printed in gold on red, and features what
appears to be a date amongst the hub data: 10/90. The discs in the
second (later?) set are printed in black with no background colour, and
have 6/93 in the hub data. 

The 10/90 set have a curious crystalline frosted effect on the underside
of the discs, rendering them unreadable. The interesting thing is that
the frosting is on the outside of the polycarbonate, i.e. NOT in the
metal reflective layer, where other problems such as bronzing manifest
themselves. When gently rubbed with a lens cloth the frosting
(crystals?) seem to come off, although I haven't attempted to clean an
entire disc and play it, for fear of causing further damage. It appears
to be a result of the exposure of the polycarbonate (or some element of
it) to something atmospheric.

Has anyone come across this problem? The 6/93 set is unaffected, while
all the discs in the 10/93 set are affected to roughly the same degree.
The two sets have different storage histories, but no other discs stored
near the affected set show any such problem. The affected set have AFAIK
been stored under archival conditions by us since they were purchased



Will Prentice
Technical Services
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(formerly National Sound Archive)    Fax: +44 (0)20-7412-7416
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