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Bizarre or unusual defects on factory-pressed silver/gold original CD’s?

Bizarre or unusual defects on factory-pressed silver/gold original CD’s?

Has anyone here ever experienced any factory-pressed silver or gold original CD’s that play defectively in at least some CD players but have absolutely no visible signs or indications of such on the bottom (playing) sides of the discs themselves & even appear to be in perfectly new/mint condition?

I ask this because on Tuesday (Oct. 9th), I bought the new Eric Clapton compilation 2-CD “Complete Clapton” and unfortunately have discovered that for approx. the last 30 or 60 seconds or so of the 2nd disc, which is slightly more than 76 minutes long (approx. 76:06), it plays with a terrible skipping/freezing/dropout problem in most of my CD players on computers, which I’ve noticed over the last 10 years as being much more sensitive to any defects on CD’s than stand-alone CD players, while it plays perfectly fine in most of my stand-alone CD players.  Ironically, the disc appears to be in absolutely perfect new/mint condition, as I just bought it on Tues. – no defects at all are visible on it!  Absolutely none at all!

A few months ago, I got the quite rare Pink Floyd gold 2-CD “Atom Heart Mother – Collectors Edition” (SQ label), and its first disc also appears to be in perfectly new/mint condition.  While it plays perfectly in most of my stand-alone CD players, it plays with a similarly terrible skipping/freezing/dropout problem in its last 2-3 minutes in all of my computer CD players.  The total playing time of the disc is more than 76 minutes (approx. 76:26).

And furthermore, several years ago, I got the Pink Floyd 1-CD digi-pack “The Complete Zabriskie Point Sessions” (Two Certain Somebodies – SLUT002), and its disc also appeared to be in perfectly new/mint condition.  And it also plays with a similarly terrible skipping/freezing/dropout problem in its last minute or so.  And it also runs more than 76 minutes long (approx. 77:15).  An unusual coincidence, or does being more than 76 minutes long have anything at all to do with these strange defects at or near the very end of each of the discs?  Anyway, I eventually got another one (“Complete Zabriskie Point Sessions”), but while it also appears to be in perfectly new/mint condition, it turned out to play with essentially the same skipping/freezing/dropout problem in its last minute or so.  Eventually I discovered even more bizarre problems with it – such as several of its 15 tracks playing perfectly fine in a CD-playing drive of one of my PC’s while the rest of its tracks are completely unplayable in the same CD player – believe it or not!

So does anyone have any helpful advice on what I should do?  On Thurs. I’m going to call the person who runs the music store from which I bought the “Complete Clapton” 2-CD set on Tues. and at least let him know about my unusual predicament, but based on all the facts I mentioned above, I’m betting that if he gets me another one to replace it, it will probably turn out to have the same defect.  As for the “Atom Heart Mother – Collectors Edition” 2-CD set that I got a few months ago, unfortunately I still haven’t been able to find another person who owns it in order to find out whether or not theirs possibly has the same defect.

So any efforts to help will be greatly appreciated – thanks, as always.  (D.Lee)

Reply:  I have a silver boot that will not play a certain passage on my Denon cd player without skipping.  Actually I have two copies and neither of them will play on this player.  They will play perfectly on other players.  And cdr copies made from my originals will play on the Denon.  I remember reading somewhere that the higher the quality of the cd player the more likely it would reject an imperfect disc and this seems to be the case.  (MW)

Reply #2:  I’ve got the same problem with some of my pressed silvers. I pride myself on taking good care of my CDs and why not, given I sometimes pay enough for them. I tend to get three types of problem;   1 The CD player states ‘No Disc’ when I insert a CD 2 Skipping starts towards the end of the CD. 3 Discs that used to play OK have now started giving me problems like1 & 2 above.   I’ve presently got skipping problems with a Mid Valley EC release, a Page and Plant concert, some Rolling Stones titles and quite a number of Floyd releases, especially on the Sirene label. In fact, I stopped buying Sirene ‘cos I had so many problems with their discs.   I’ve tried cleaning the discs; the lens in the various CD players I use, but to no avail. As you correctly state, the CDs themselves look OK with no obvious signs of scratching or wear and tear. My own view is it must be something to do with the actual manufacturing process of the discs themselves or premature disintegration of the surface of the disc at a micron scale you can’t detect. I always thought pressed silvers were good for at least 50 years or so, obviously I’m wrong.   If anyone has got a fix for these problems I’d like to know about it. It’s very frustrating listening to a favourite release and then the skipping starts!  (DR)  

Reply #3:  All his begs the question of cdrs.  I’ve found that many of the cdrs I have don’t play after a while.  Some of the Beelzebub titles, for example, don’t play in either my cd player or computer. 

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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  1. I’ve actually been using EAC, at least for ripping & most of my burning, the last several years. Excellent software program, but I have had a few minor problems with it here & there. Thanks for your reply.

  2. Some CD players are better at tracking then others. Also the error correction software makes a difference. I am surprised so many are having problems as in all my years of collecting bootleg silver discs I can count on one hand the number which had pressing flaws….I use Exact Audio Copy(EAC) not only to rip cd copies but also to test my silver boots when I buy them. It will give you a report if it finds any pressing flaws telling exactly which track has problems. If it show none then my guess is your player is having a problem….BTW it is freeware on the internet………..

  3. My personal experience over the years has been that the CD players on my PC’s tend to be much more “sensitive” to any flaws/defects on a disc than most standalone CD players tend to be, especially the higher-quality standalone CD players. And I seem to remember once being told that disc drives on computers that are multi-purpose, which is to say that they burn discs as well as play them and/or handle DVD & DVD Recordable discs as well as CD’s & CD-R’s, do indeed tend to be much more “sensitive”. Can anyone else out there confirm or refute such? Thanks if you can.

    I can’t help but cringe whenever anyone claims that if a disc played perfectly once in their own CD player or is perfectly new (still factory-sealed) or is whatever else they tend to claim, they **guarantee** that it’ll play flawlessly for everyone else.

  4. I’d also like to mention that since writing the original article (above), I’ve bought at least one other CD that turned out to have a very similar defect. It was several months ago, and skipped near its very end. Like the others described (except for the very last one that’s only 60:25 long mentioned in my reply directly above), it was more than 76 minutes long. It’s quite surprising, disappointing, & frustrating because I’m buying most of them brand new, in perfectly mint condition, even still factory-sealed, and they have absolutely no visible signs of anything being defective anywhere on the factory-pressed silver original discs.

  5. I just bought another factory-pressed silver original real CD that plays defectively in one of my CD players (but plays fine in other CD players of mine that I’ve tested it in so far) near the very end (in approx. the last 2 minutes), but to my surprise, its total playing time is only 60:25 – not more than 76 minutes like all the other CD’s that I’ve experienced similar problems with.

  6. Price of the player isn’t the issue. I checked again with my friend and he said the mean time of laser playing life is around 3 years – assuming normal use. After that it’s strength goes into decline and the problems start.

    As for CDs or CDRs with poor quality medium some can cause skipping problems within months of manufacture or burn.

  7. This is a quite interesting read. I’ve had the same problems mentioned above and in fact a replacement for one of my silver titles is on the way because the disc I currently have freezes during the last few minutes of the CD.

    I have also noticed this with official releases so it’s not just ROIOs.

    The player I usually listen to my CDs through was over $800.00

  8. Further to my earlier posting I asked an engineering friend about this problem. he tells me it’s quite widespread and known about in the industry though obviously doesn’t get any real publicity. The problem so he told me is twofold; one – quality of the CD medium itself and two – the laser on the CD player. Over time its strength just dissipates in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics. Cleaning the lens won’t really help much either. Cheap CDs have a poor medium which can deteriorate quite rapidly, an issue well known with CDRs.

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