The cyanine dye was the dye on which the Orange book specification was
based on. Therefore, it is not that surprising that older players/burners
perform better with this type of media. I have seen some reports that state
that cyanine works best at lower burn speeds. Phthalocyanine works better
at higher burn speeds and can perform poorly at low burn speeds. This is
why as burning speeds increased, phthalocyanine became more common and most
of the discs available nowadays are phthalocyanine based.

With respect to the listening differences between dye or metal types, it
could be for many reasons as Jerry states and it could be interpolation
effects (estimation of missing audio data) as others have stated. If the
audio information was saved as a data disc (where no interpolation would
occur) then one could determine if the audible differences were due to
interpolation or not.

Joe Iraci
Senior Conservation Scientist
Canadian Conservation Institute

             Jerry Hartke                                                  
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             Discussion List                                       Subject 
             <ARSCLIST@LISTSER         Re: [ARSCLIST] Gold layer CD media  
             V.LOC.GOV>                vs silver. (Was Falcon Optical      
             11/15/2010 07:51                                              
             Please respond to                                             
             [log in to unmask]                                             

Long ago, differences from listening tests were surprisingly traced to
subtle differences such as disc unbalance, tangential variation of
reflectance, and radial tracking (push-pull). Since only one "gold" brand
was evaluated, I would doubt that the listening results validated gold

Media Sciences has publicly offered to test one recorded CD-R disc at no
charge and would gladly do so for the gold disc. Please follow the
directions at:

Media Sciences, Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Corey Bailey
> Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 2:22 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Gold layer CD media vs silver. (Was Falcon Optical
> Media)
> 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.
> -CB
> 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.
> -CB
> Cheers!
> Corey
> 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.
> >
> >Cheers!
> >
> >Corey
> >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
> >>
> >>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>
> >>
> >>Thanks!
> >>
> >>Richard
> >>--
> >>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.