1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Improve the quality of your audio/video discs!

Discussion in 'SIG: General Chat' started by M.D.Baker, Sep 11, 2022.

  1. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    I stumbled across this video from Techmoan on youtube. Now I don't want to spoil the video, so I won't say anything about how well the product may or may not work, especially with the SACD audio the guy does his own tests with (I think CD's and DVD's would have been a better choice since they are older tech and what the machine was really made for).

    The thought I have is that maybe if I do this to my gaming discs for my vintage CD consoles that maybe some of those trouble disc, or even weak lasers from years of use won't load the discs anymore.

    If I can find one for a reasonable price, I'm going to get it and do my own reviewing of it which will be much more extensive, covering more the older disc tech like CD's, DVD's, videogame discs and VCD movies, since SACD and Blue ray and others have the benefit of more advanced knowledge gained by years of digital media improvements.

     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2022
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  2. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    As said in the video, I have these magic beans for sale Matt..

    It's like the old special oxygen free speaker cable being the best you can use, yet if you use good old twin and earth electrical cable it gives the same feed to the speaker. One is XX pounds a metre, the other X pounds a metre.
     
  3. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    Here is a discussion on a forum, some say it doesn't work and some swear by it, but for my intent in use, I think it might just work...

    https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/audio-desk-cd-sound-improver

    And instead of rewriting it here, I'll cut and paste what I left in his comment section of Techmoan. I see all kinds of faults in his testing scientifically speaking, very limited and not enough data or test controls. I was waiting for him to change the color of one of the disc wave forms he recorded with the software on his PC and overlap to show the difference which was clear to me without doing that! But instead he relied on the software to do this without visual aid for the human, and the results being blank or no difference given by the software don't cut it for me either (pun intended), I think the software was faulty on it's final result when I could clearly see higher peaks all over the wave forms on the "fixed" CD compared to the original. Pause and compare waveforms in the video closely with your own eyes, all you need is to focus on a small part of the wave forms because they look very different to me along any part of them.

    I won't take one reviewer's word either, I'll think for myself and considering the possibilities if it works as I suggest above, for old weak lasers, it's worth digging into myself with proper scientific controls and much more data, especially since there are so many who have used it and say it works great as well as many nay-sayer's too, I can't trust either side and need to dig in for myself :

    I think the testing should have been done with older CD's and DVD's that don't have the advantage of technical improvements to digital disc recordings from years of making digital media, that SACD's have. I also wonder if this might not help with other types of discs like video game discs, and if this machine can make old discs play better on old players that may also have weak lasers from years of use, like a vintage gaming console that you can't just replace with a new model like a common CD or DVD player, or play on a modern Blue-ray player instead.

    Maybe cutting down on the glare by using this device will allow those old game discs to be read better and with less or no errors due to it's already weak old laser?

    I'm just glad you don't work for consumer reports with your very limited testing in content and using newer tech discs that are made with better production values from years of digital media experience in the industry!

    You and he may be both right @Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine , maybe it is just magic beans or a snake oil product, but I find his review and testing to be a fraud as well and I need to do it for myself. Though I do think I can just make my own device like this to do the same thing. It looks like an ordinary Exacto-knife blade and I have plenty of old motors and belts to whip up my own 36 degree cutting edge machine, and of course I have black sharpies too.

    I would say that even if the device does work the way I intend to make use of it, that it's still not worth hundreds of pounds to purchase when it's such a simple machine. with my parts and tools and my 3D printer, I can make my own! Or maybe even easier, turn a cheap old turn-table into a disc cutting machine and save the work from making one from scratch!

    And I'll get back to you on it my friend.
     
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  4. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    I admire your need to know, but I fear your time will be a little wasted whilst at least knowing the truth.
     
  5. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    One reason is because this isn't some "as seen on TV" product from some fly-by-night company, they have been around and are still around making quality products:

    https://www.audiodesksysteme.de/

    Two, just doing what your signature suggests and "nuking from orbit, just to be sure." ;)
    If it can help with just my specific need; allowing old, virtually irreplaceable, laser eyes/mechanisms for old CD game systems, that have become weak, any help in reading discs, it would be a boon worth checking into for me.

    Besides, even if it works exactly as advertised and the Techmoan host is daft, I still wouldn't pay hundreds for such a simply engineered product that I have parts on hand, literally, to build my own from scratch. The only info I needed was how I saw the machine operating and what angle the cut is to be made (36 degrees). I know how to build the rest for myself just from the video's visual aid. It's definitely not worth what the company was selling them for or you can find them for today, ($300-$500). Under mass-production, maybe $25. High-end quality build, maybe $50-$75.
     
  6. by Andy Barr
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    Saw a thumbnail of this clip on my You Tube recommendations too the other day, Matt - please do keep us up to date with what you find out as it does sound... "interesting".
     
  7. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    The trouble with gear like that, after spending 300 quid (or more) are you really going to admit it did bugger all..

    At least with Matt's home made version, it will not have that same issue..
     
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  8. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    I have been contemplating the project since I posted that I would make my own. I already have all the parts together to do so. But upon further contemplation, I started thinking about the marker bit; using a sharpie marker or similar to color in the inside circle edge as well as the outside, which is supposed to help further eliminate light refraction and reflection to help the laser eye read the discs...well, contemplating this has led me to believe that cutting the edge of the discs to that certain angle (38 degrees, IIRC) would be pointless since the marker should block all or most light reflection and refraction, and *should* then make the edge cutting unnecessary altogether as you don't need to change the angle light reflects or refracts if little to no light is getting in/out on the edge anyway.

    So I will try out marking the edges of my discs with a sharpie before going any further with building the device. If everything works as they say it should, there should be no need for anything beyond the sharpie marker. I think of Playstation discs and how they are black/dark purple in color like a sharpie, which I imagine was also done to help with this light refraction/reflection issues and not just to make them look cooler...

    I do still believe there is something to the entire theory, but I also believe it can be taken care of for very little cost if you spend the time to try these solutions (I also did further research on this disc refraction stuff on youtube and the marking or painting of disc edges seems to be the most common fix, sort of the most tried-and-true way.

    I like the video of the machine because it lead me on this line of thinking to improve sound quality or to help weak lasers on old consoles load data better, but I'd never pay more than $25 for such a device if I didn't make it myself, IF it's needed at all.

    The product itself selling for hundreds is "snake oil" as Paul suggested. But only because of the cost; even if it works exactly as they say, it's not worth it when simple home solutions can accomplish the same thing. My early enthusiasm was never over the device, but the concept behind it as I'd never thought of it before.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2022
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  9. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    I think I'll start with laying a piece of paper with a hole in the center, on my turn-table and put some double-sided tape on the label side of some CD's and put them face down letting the table spin the CD while I have a sharpie against the edges. I'll try it out with discs for both my 3DO and Jaguar CD, as these have old, weak lasers and a few perfectly fine looking discs won't load at all anymore or take multiple attempts to load. If the theory holds water at all, at least the one's that take multiple attempts should load with fewer or one attempt. Then I'll try discs that don't load at all anymore, which is mainly on the 3DO, the Jaguar CD has been pretty stead-fast for me over the years with only issues with after-market/homebrew CD's.

    I may still build a rudimentary machine to cut the CD edges for music CD's too, but not because I think it is improving the engineering on a technology that has been around for years. But because it may help with CD's released in the early days before the manufacturing technology was perfected. I have no doubt that a modern CD made this year will not benefit from having it's edges cut at a certain angle or they'd have started doing it long ago to extend the media's market lifespan. But it just may be that the old CD's I have from the mid 80's might sound better if just because the trimming balances the CD platter better due to manufacturing defects of yesteryear that caused wobble making it harder for the laser to read. And I suppose there's always the chance of just a few flukes in modern manufacturing that can cause similar issues, though it's not the norm.
     
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