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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
metallization.

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:

http://www.mscience.com/test.html#FRETST

Jerry
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-Rs on three different devices: The
> original burner (A 2X Phillips) a Panasonic DVD
> player and a mid 80s 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 Ive always attributed
> to the DACs (and possibly error correction
> circuitry) of that era. As far as the other three
> listeners are concerned, I dont 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 CDs 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
> >, 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-Rs. 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 CDs 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 CDs 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 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>
> >>
> >>Thanks!
> >>
> >>Richard
> >>--
> >>Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
> >>Aurora, Ontario, Canada           (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
> >>http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
> >>Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.