On Jan 22, 2008, at 9:07 PM, Scott Phillips wrote:

> Bruce,
> Just tried that, as I have one of those old floor standing 2" x 14" 
> reel
> tape degaussers. That thing is a very old RCA unit powerful enough to
> change the earth's magnetic poles. The CD won't play any more due to 
> the
> arcing inside the disk from the induced currents. Aluminum isn't
> magnetic, but you sure can induce electric currents in it.

> I might as well have put it in the microwave. I tried it with another
> CD, using a hand degausser I'd normally use on 1/4" and 1/2" tape. It
> made a small audible difference.... caused no doubt by the increased
> error rate that I now measure and that is now at the 'error masking'
> level. Previously the error rate was well below that. I could be wrong,
> after all, it wasn't any more a scientific study than some of those
> other claims were.

Agreed. Not the microwave bit, though. But you confirm you heard a 
difference, as I suggested you might (or was it just that suggestion?). 
I too have heard a difference, but not necessarily an improvement. Nice 
to hear a hypothesis for the reason. Of course a magnetic field 
shouldn't affect aluminum...but there you go. So we have earned the 
right to an opinion, right or wrong. That's the point. We are not 


> Scott
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bruce Kinch
> Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:19 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators
> Don't know. Didn't say it improved a CD. Just said it changed the 
> sound.
> Try it yourself if you have an old tape degausser. If you hear a change
> you like, why not do it? If you don't hear a change, or think it sounds
> worse, you probably wouldn't make a habit of it.
> For that matter, they have gizmos that are designed to de-gauss LPs, 
> but
> I haven't heard that demonstrated.
> I once had a discussion about audio tweaks with a real skeptic. If was
> 15 minutes before I thought to ask him if the copper bracelet on his
> wrist really helped his arthritis. He assured me it did. My wife is a
> physician, and she disagrees. But of course, she doesn't have 
> arthritis.
> Bruce
> On Jan 22, 2008, at 6:21 PM, Scott Phillips wrote:
>> WHAT on earth could degaussing have to do with improving a CD..?
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bruce Kinch
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:30 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators
>> Well, I split my college years between physics and psychology, so I
>> may be more open to the oddities of audio than many. It is often
>> easier to deny a phenomena than to explain it. Hell, we have
>> presidential candidates running on that very platform.
>> De-gaussing involves a strong magnetic field, cleaning/polishing
>> removes production residue and optimizes the optical interface,
>> precise trimming at an angle insures centering and minimizes internal
>> reflections, which may reduce error correction. Physics, optics,
>> mechanics haven't been hokum for a while.
>> If person A can hear effects person B can't, it's hardly something to
>> get one's knickers in a twist over. My dog hears things I can't. Fair
>> enough, that's why we let her ancestors into the cave. Actually, so
>> can my wife. Part of our courtship involved demonstrating that a good
>> stereo allowed her to hear the differences between analog and digital,
>> between wires, components, speaker positions, etc. Once she decided I
>> was a just discriminating guy and not a lunatic after all, it became
>> much easier to justify the occasional upgrade.
>> It is true that virtually all magazines exist to sell advertising. And
>> like the man said 97% of just about everything is junk. Some people
>> would rather read Wine magazines than imbibe based on price and the
>> picture on the label.
>> Bruce
>> On Jan 22, 2008, at 4:10 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>> More importantly, Bruce, I don't want to throw a big bucket of facts
>>> on the audiophillic fire here, but "de-gaussing, polishing, trimming,
>>> etc" is HOOEY, JUNK "SCIENCE", P. T. BARNUMESQUE HOKUM!!! This is why
>>> I can't take those "high end audio" magazines seriously -- they will
>>> sell advertising and write articles about this junk!
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Hamilton"
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 5:58 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash
>>> Generators
>>>> On 1/22/08 1:42 PM, "Bruce Kinch" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> One problem with the "bits iz bits" argument is that all sorts of
>>>>> tweaks (not just better players/DACS) change (often subjectively
>>>>> improving) the sound of CDs - de-gaussing, polishing, trimming,
> etc.
>>>>> One of the nice things a good DAC can do is demonstrate how a
>>>>> "bit-perfect" CD-R copy can sound better than the original CD, and
>>>>> that is truly weird.
>>>> This is truly weird.  I thought that Dr. Dunn's/Prism Sound AES
>>>> paper
>>>> on bit-identical CDs sounding different stated that the differences
>>>> all disappeared when using an external DAC.  It's the internal (to
>>>> the CD
>>>> player) DAC which he surmised gets its quartz timing futz'd by the
>>>> servo arm's tracking fluctuations caused by a hard-to-read (less
>>>> reflective) disc.
>>>> So a slow burn on compatible media might make a better reference
>>>> disc
>>>> than a fast burn on compatible media (which might make for fewer
>>>> errors but sound worse (on a CD player that is using its built-in
>>>> DACs) and is, ironically, the better master disc!).
>>>> _andrew