CD Illumination sent a duplicated CD-R of my Roberto Prosseda CD production after processing it to “improve” the sound. Here’s a couple of links that might be worth reading in preparation for today’s post. You can read the original article “Copy Me Stupid“, a follow up piece titled “Illuminating CDs: A New Thread“, and yesterday’s post at “My ‘Illuminated CD‘ Is Back“.
I’ve been back and forth with Mark Goldstein, the proprietor of the company about my findings and expressed my opinion that all of his claims of improvements do not exist. I responded to his last few questions today. Here’s his original email:
Ok that may be true but I would guess that the vast majority of people playing CDs haven’t even heard of reclocking and still play their music through cheap to very expensive systems. Ask any man in the street who still plays CDs.
I think the last question we were exploring was whether or not my CD copy was better than an off the shelf original, and I suggested that your reclocking made them sound no different. How did the two sound in your car? Was there a difference? If there was then we still have something to talk about.
Will my Copy sound better on the majority of sound systems?
And my response:
Your point is well taken…the vast majority of casual music listeners are playing CDs in boom boxes, cheap CD players, and automobiles. But these aren’t your customers and I wouldn’t expect them people to invest in your services because they’re not motivated. Your site makes it clear that ‘vivified’ CDs are an inexpensive step to improved fidelity for audiophiles. It really doesn’t seem to apply to everyman.
You ask if your copied discs will ‘sound better’ on the majority of sound systems? The same bits from a CD vs. a CD-R sound identical. So the answer is no…the world of audio will not benefit from copying bits to a new piece of media.
I sat in the car in the driveway here at the studio for almost an hour and even dragged my fellow engineer Matt into my ACURA to audition the discs. It was much more difficult to do the comparison because we had to access the two discs in the multidisc player and that took time. However, neither one of us perceived any difference between them. No, not even a hint of increased soundstage, imaging or anything else. And by the way replicated discs will outlast duplicated discs AND are more compatible with players.
Your customers are probably not upgrading their CD transports when they get your duplicated disc back. If they play the CD-R in the same player as they used when playing the replicated disc, there will be no change. Jitter is not a factor on a disc…it is a factor of the DAC in which it is played. None of the things you list on your site are factors as long as reasonable care is taken to play the discs…that means no fingerprints, no warped discs etc.
I did the tests…I spent over 6 hours evaluating your claims as represented by your processed disc. I was unable to verify any of your claims. I do think that you believe in your process. But you’ve convinced yourself of something that was not verifiable by my equipment and me. Perhaps others have been more successful.
The information on your site is hocus pocus IMHO. Even the diagram that tries to show a graphical explanation of jitter is incorrect. My report will be fair and I have been careful to applaud you and your openness in this whole affair. If you can make money doing this, my hat is off to you. You’re not the first one to pitch an audio tweak that is not verifiable.