Author Topic: Bronzing of CD's.  (Read 1623 times)

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Offline Irons

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Bronzing of CD's.
« on: February 28, 2020, 07:44:28 AM »
If this subject has been raised previously then I apologise for doing so again. But a genuine concern so here goes.

I would say that most, as much as 90% of my purchases on the CD format are pre-loved i.e not new. Some I have noticed have a bronze hew instead of silver. Should these be avoided? - which makes a mockery of Philips claim of "Perfect sound forever".  Two questions: Is bronzing a sign of ageing and does it have any bearing on replay quality?

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Offline "Harry"

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2020, 07:51:04 AM »
If this subject has been raised previously then I apologise for doing so again. But a genuine concern so here goes.

I would say that most, as much as 90% of my purchases on the CD format are pre-loved i.e not new. Some I have noticed have a bronze hew instead of silver. Should these be avoided? - which makes a mockery of Philips claim of "Perfect sound forever".  Two questions: Is bronzing a sign of ageing and does it have any bearing on replay quality?

Bronzing was a normal thing years ago when PDO pressed CD'S of faulty material. I have a few on the label Albany and Hyperion. Eventually these CD'S will degraded to the point of not playable anymore. After this PDO disaster I have no knowledge it ever happened again. So yes avoid them.
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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 07:59:55 AM »
Adding to Harry's comments, the defective CDs were manufactured between 1988 and 1993, and would have become unplayable by now.  Any CD that plays now is probably not defective. Usually the outer edge (the end of the last track) is the first part of a disc to be affected. There are also CDs that were manufactured with a yellow dye in the plastic to make them look golden. These are not a problem.

Hyperion has a useful page with information on "bronzed" discs.

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/pages/bronzed.asp

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 08:01:39 AM »
Bronzing was a normal thing years ago when PDO pressed CD'S of faulty material. I have a few on the label Albany and Hyperion. Eventually these CD'S will degraded to the point of not playable anymore. After this PDO disaster I have no knowledge it ever happened again. So yes avoid them.

Or copy them to other media on a computer. I’m copying a load of mine as unaltered AIFF files to two hard drives from which I can make further copies in whatever formats I want for my playback devices.
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 08:10:35 AM »
Irons,

Are they still playable?  Fingers crossed for you.

I recently avoided purchasing a set (forget which label it was on....think it was DG?) as it had the old foam inserts--one of which was stuck to the first CD!  :-(

PD

Offline aligreto

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2020, 09:01:55 AM »
Yes, bronzing on CDs is definitely bad news. If they are important to you then I would start the processing of copying straight away. I had a few in my collection and they eventually became unplayable.
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 09:09:52 AM »
The only label I had problems with was Hyperion. And I had the best experience with them: I wrote to them that the disk(s) was unplayable, and they had me send them some info off the disk itself to verify I actually had it, and then they sent me the entire disk as FLAC files. In all 3 cases (over 2 years) where this occurred, they told me they would have just sent me a new pressing of the disk but they didn't have any remaining. I am very fond of Hyperion, needless to say.

I recently avoided purchasing a set (forget which label it was on....think it was DG?) as it had the old foam inserts--one of which was stuck to the first CD!  :-(
 PD 

I had this same experience, couldn't avoid it as it was already mine.  I count myself fortunate that I was able to rescue that disk, and immediately searched for others that could have the same problem. I wonder what they were thinking?  ???

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2020, 10:27:17 AM »
As someone pointed out "bronzing" in the strict sense was a comparably local problem that mostly affected a bunch of British labels (but also Nuova Era and Tactus from Italy and DG).
Beware of older (used) hyperion but their more recent (;) after 1995 or so) ones or re-issues would not be affected. Note that the special problem with Hyperion is that many of their disc regularly have a golden tinge, so bronzing can be much harder to spot.

Effectively, I have about a handful or so of bronzed CDs. I lost the Mozart c minor mass with Fricsay on DG resonance many years ago to bronzing. Trying to burn a copy was too late or the late 1990s/early 2000s soft/hardware I used was not up to the task. I also once got an already unplayable hyperion from ebay (I think the seller refunded me when I complained; he had not been aware of the problem). Then I have two or three more hyperions (one from the Goodman Haydn, one from King's Purcell series) and one or two more DG Archiv (Pinnock with JC Bach chamber music and the Haydn Stabat Mater) that are discolored but either still play or I made copies in time). All of them were very evenly discolored, never showed the characteristic pattern found in online sources with the outer section much darker. But I got one of the latter, too, it is a Corelli sonatas anthology from Tactus I got sealed! (new old stock, I guess) from Ebay.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2020, 10:29:26 AM »
The old foam inserts should be removed immediately! They are more than useless (only during shipping/transportation can they help protecting the discs) because them getting stuck can be as bad a problem as any. Although one can usually remove them with warm water and some mild agent without too much damage.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2020, 10:43:37 AM »
FWIW, I never remember finding a disc I had purchased new had bronzed. I purchased a disc in the last few years that arrived "bronzed" and it was utterly unplayable - wasn't even recognized as a CD by the player. Got refunded by zoverstocks without question. By now any defective disc has deteriorated beyond any remedy, I think.

I did notice at one point that holding up an old CD to a light I could see pinholes. They played fine, nevertheless. I don't know if that was deterioration or just manufacturing quality. In any case, I've got my CDs copied to hard disc (Flac) so it is hard disc corruption, not bronzing, that worries me.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2020, 11:45:18 AM »
The only one that I have, so far, had a problem with was the Bantock Hebridean/Celtic symphonies on Hyperion, a few years ago. I contacted Hyperion about it. They asked me to send them the CD and they then immediately exchanged it for a silver CD which played properly.
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Offline Irons

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2020, 02:34:25 PM »
Thanks gents, and PD. I must be unlucky as coming across quite a few lately which prompted the query. I thought it likely not be good so not purchased, but yesterday forgetting to check I paid £5 for a Nimbus CD (manufactured by themselves) of William Boughton conducting English music for strings. The bronzing is quite bad, being a regular  customer I’m sure they will take it back. If they argue I will show them your posts!
In future I will note the labels suffering from this problem.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline T. D.

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2020, 02:47:05 PM »
The old foam inserts should be removed immediately! They are more than useless (only during shipping/transportation can they help protecting the discs) because them getting stuck can be as bad a problem as any. Although one can usually remove them with warm water and some mild agent without too much damage.

Very true. Many of my old opera boxes (the Solti Ring especially comes to mind) experienced severe degradation/rotting of the foam inserts, which were adhering to the back of the discs. It was alarming; I gingerly removed all such inserts and fortunately the CDs continued to play as before.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2020, 02:49:00 PM »
Oh, dear, I may be the reason you had to send in the CD first, because originally I believe they'd just replace a CD immediately on request.  I did not send in my bronzed CD after receiving the replacement.  I am bad man.

(It was Svetlanov's Antar on Hyperion.)

Offline hvbias

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2020, 02:49:46 PM »
Does CD bronzing make it so the discs can't be ripped? I have some old CDs with pinholes and those can't be ripped.


(It was Svetlanov's Antar on Hyperion.)

Ran to pull this one out of storage, completely bronzed!  ??? Damn, I ripped this one decades ago when I was still listening to MP3.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 02:54:25 PM by hvbias »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2020, 08:24:13 PM »
The only bronzed CD I own is this one on Hyperion:



To my knowledge, it still plays fine with no issues.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2020, 01:29:36 AM »
Usually the outer edge (the end of the last track) is the first part of a disc to be affected.

In that case only very full CDs (long playing duration) would be affected - anything up to about 65 mins is nowhere near the outer edge.  In any case that is my experience with over-stuffed CDs in general, if the duration is well over 70 minutes the last couple of minutes are the most problematic.  With any luck the last track is a filler that doesn't interest me anyway!

Does CD bronzing make it so the discs can't be ripped? I have some old CDs with pinholes and those can't be ripped.

Audio CD players are designed to play audio CDs in a fault-tolerant way - computer CD drives are not.  So in general if there is an audible fault on a CD player that problem will almost certainly be present when ripping.  On the other hand, good ripping software can be set to scan problem areas several times (a very slow process) with varying degrees of success.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2020, 02:03:48 AM »
That's a good picture of the "typical" bronzing. However, there are also very even and slight discolorations that are almost impossible to distinguish from the slight golden tinge some discs do have originally; of my 5-7 (possibly) bronzed discs, only one or two had the "typical" appearance, I believe.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Que

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2020, 04:38:31 AM »
I all my collecting years, I’ve only come across bronzed CDs three times: on Pearl, Hyperion and Tactus.

The Tactus was only recently, I guess the disc had been lingering in storage for decades.
I replaced the disc with that of a cheap reissue, and kept the case with the original, elaborate booklet.

Q

Offline Traverso

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Re: Bronzing of CD's.
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2020, 01:31:02 PM »
I have purchased a few CD's in the past that were described as new and were heavely bronzed and unplayable (EMI) I have still a few that are lightly bronzed and they are stable now for some years. Those foam inserts were also horrible.