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    How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

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    AdrianR

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2015-02-21

    How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by AdrianR on Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:14 am

    Reading the post about the recent rise in vinyl sales had me thinking about the longevity of CDs.

    I have some discs that are close to 30 years old - they are almost unplayable. They have been carefully stored and handled since purchase, but they are losing fragments of the base reflective material that carries the data, causing skips and jumps.

    Most of these were bought in the UK between 1985-87 and came from the same German pressing plant. I am afeared that FLAC versions of this music are no longer available (although, to be fair, I haven't gone hunting).

    Perhaps vinyl is seeing a resurgence as afficionados understand that, as a technology, it cannot be beaten for longevity.

    What say y'all? Anyone else seeing this?

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:43 am

    AdrianR
    I've experienced the same grief with my older CDs, which is why I've gone back to vinyl and forward to hi-rez streaming. When a CD fails, it fails quite annoyingly. I'll take the odd POP from antique vinyl any old day.

    arledgsc

    Posts : 340
    Join date : 2012-11-30
    Location : SF Bay CA

    Re: How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by arledgsc on Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:59 am

    My oldest CD is "Yes - 90125" and it still plays.  Got it free with purchase of a early 80's Sony CD player with a single 14-bit DAC that sounded OK for the time.   The CDs from the German pressing plant you mention sound terrible in comparison to later remastered releases.  They used master tapes that were worn out from vinyl and cassette tape production. Digital has come along quite a ways in 30 years.  But I can spin 40 yr old vinyl and sound as good as the last time they were played - warts and all (ticks, pops, surface noise).  Vinyl had issues at the time as well with poor mass production. Just compare MFSL to main stream vinyl releases. Vinyl and CD platter spins are just so inconvenient these days compared to HD computer audio that it is hard for me justify the effort. Of course I still have CDs and vinyl when I feel nostalgic.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1333
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:24 pm

    arledgsc wrote:My oldest CD is "Yes - 90125" and it still plays.  Got it free with purchase of a early 80's Sony CD player with a single 14-bit DAC that sounded OK for the time.   The CDs from the German pressing plant you mention sound terrible in comparison to later remastered releases.  They used master tapes that were worn out from vinyl and cassette tape production.   Digital has come along quite a ways in 30 years.  But I can spin 40 yr old vinyl and sound as good as the last time they were played - warts and all (ticks, pops, surface noise).  Vinyl had issues at the time as well with poor mass production.  Just compare MFSL to main stream vinyl releases. Vinyl and CD platter spins are just so inconvenient these days compared to HD computer audio that it is hard for me justify the effort.  Of course I still have CDs and vinyl when I feel nostalgic.  

    Arledgsc,
    Yeah, you have a point. Quality had a lot to do with where the media were manufactured. In its agonal days vinyl turned pretty crappy as LPs got thinner and lighter and wobblier, the excuse at the time being the Arab oil embargo raised the cost of raw materials. Whether that was true or not, I don't know, but that was the story. CDs came to the rescue. Most of us didn't have electronics or speakers back then that could "hear" the deficiencies in CDs; we just happy to do away with turntable rumble and surface noise inherent in vinyl.
    I still have my original Little Feat (Waiting for Columbus) and Ry Cooder (Bop Till You Drop) in vinyl and CD formats, and they play well. Then the bean-counters took over . . .

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1310
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by sKiZo on Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:09 pm

    No such thing as indestructible ...



    Factory media does have a better life expectancy than recordable though. I'm finding a few 10 year old DVD-r's that are going south as I transfer them to hard drives. So far just a couple that wouldn't rip.

    All my CD's (and most of my vinyl) are also on the digital server now.

    Next step is regular backups. And don't expect a one shot deal to be durable either, as hard drives will lose data in storage if not refreshed ...

    Don't get me started on tape ... I've lost some pretty nice stuff over time as the music falls off the backing. (mutter mutter)

    Which brings us back to vinyl - still the most durable of media if you take care of it.

    PS ... we finally got a response to that gold record that got sent off in deep space with Voyager ...



    SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY!


    audiobill

    Posts : 270
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by audiobill on Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:30 pm

    Miley Cyrus is my oldest cd.......

    audiobill

    Posts : 270
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by audiobill on Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:32 pm

    deepee99 wrote:
    arledgsc wrote:My oldest CD is "Yes - 90125" and it still plays.  Got it free with purchase of a early 80's Sony CD player with a single 14-bit DAC that sounded OK for the time.   The CDs from the German pressing plant you mention sound terrible in comparison to later remastered releases.  They used master tapes that were worn out from vinyl and cassette tape production.   Digital has come along quite a ways in 30 years.  But I can spin 40 yr old vinyl and sound as good as the last time they were played - warts and all (ticks, pops, surface noise).  Vinyl had issues at the time as well with poor mass production.  Just compare MFSL to main stream vinyl releases. Vinyl and CD platter spins are just so inconvenient these days compared to HD computer audio that it is hard for me justify the effort.  Of course I still have CDs and vinyl when I feel nostalgic.  

    Arledgsc,
    Yeah, you have a point. Quality had a lot to do with where the media were manufactured. In its agonal days vinyl turned pretty crappy as LPs got thinner and lighter and wobblier, the excuse at the time being the Arab oil embargo raised the cost of raw materials. Whether that was true or not, I don't know, but that was the story. CDs came to the rescue. Most of us didn't have electronics or speakers back then that could "hear" the deficiencies in CDs; we just happy to do away with turntable rumble and surface noise inherent in vinyl.
    I still have my original Little Feat (Waiting for Columbus) and Ry Cooder (Bop Till You Drop) in vinyl and CD formats, and they play well. Then the bean-counters took over . . .

    Hey! Easy on us bean counters, after all Scrooge was an accountant!

    AdrianR

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2015-02-21

    Re: How Old Is Your Oldest CD and What Condition Is It In?

    Post by AdrianR on Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:14 am

    Well, perhaps the decline in the longevity of the medium just mirrors the decline in quality at all stages of the recording and reproduction process.

    I'm sure you've all heard of the "Loudness Wars"...

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