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Thread: CD Rot

  1. #1

    CD Rot

    How often have you encountered this? It's been a rare occurrence for me but yesterday I pulled out Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin and the 1st CD seems to be afflicted with this issue. Disc 2 and the DVDs are fine it's just disc 1. Fortunately, I have the vinyl so it's not a huge loss. Still, it bugs me that a CD that is only seven years old has developed disc rot.

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  2. #2
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I have almost 3000 CD's (oldest ones are from early eighties) and have never encountered CD rot.
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    Worthy of Laudation thedunno's Avatar
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    I have only 1: Peter Hammill - the fall of the house of Usher (original version)

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    I have somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand CD's. I do have a very few where a track will not play right anymore. Not sure if it is deterioration or if the disc has gotten damaged. I just noticed it with an old UFO disc about a week ago as one of the tracks was skipping. I tried cleaning off the disc, but it did not make any difference. This has been a very rare experience however.

  5. #5
    Member Kanukisbrave's Avatar
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    very rare with a store bought CD, CDR's however its a different story with anything over 7 or 8 years old being a proverbial crapshoot.

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    It was mostly the one pressing plant- PDO UK- where this was an issue. Mercifully it was seldom if ever a factor in the time I was buying CDs new. However watch out for certain labels now pressing CD-Rs- this has been discussed on a couple of threads recently.

    I'm surprised that something as recent as Celebration Day has a problem. Could be a dud pressing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    I have almost 3000 CD's (oldest ones are from early eighties) and have never encountered CD rot.
    Yeah I have some 80s discs I bought second hand which play perfectly.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I have only 1: Peter Hammill - the fall of the house of Usher (original version)
    This is seemingly a repeat offender from what I've read. Must be rare to find one that doesn't suffer from it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I have only 1: Peter Hammill - the fall of the house of Usher (original version)
    love hammill, but if i could pick one disk of his to rot, this would be the one.

    ymmv, of course.

  8. #8
    Member yesman1955's Avatar
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    My DVD copy of Yes - Live at the House of Blues has the well-documented rot problem and is unplayable on any machine I have. 😔

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    I have a box full of them I haven't checked since I added them to iTunes, maybe a decade. I wonder if they have it. Remember when they said they were indestructible and wouldn't scratch like records? Huh! I like my pieces of vinyl boff.

  10. #10
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    PDO was a problem and if I recall there was an Italian pressing plant as well that had an issue. Lots of bronzed albums. I remember early Ozric Tentacles pressings turned to shit. If you were lucky enough to catch it in time you could rip them.

  11. #11
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    This is seemingly a repeat offender from what I've read. Must be rare to find one that doesn't suffer from it.
    My copy is fairly well bronzed on the label side, but still seems to play fine.

    But bronzing--which was the issue with the PDO UK pressings--is not the same as the kind of deterioration where actual gaps appear in the reflective surface, which is what I have always understood CD rot to mean. I've almost never seen it, but I had a copy of Iron Butterfly's Rare Flight (a twofer of Heavy and Ball released in the '80s) which developed a hole that grew to about a centimeter in diameter.

    There is also the kind of "rot" where a white crystalline film appears on the playing surface, apparently caused by a chemical outgassing from some CD trays. Alcohol will clean it off, but it leaves marks on the disc.

  12. #12
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I have only 1: Peter Hammill - the fall of the house of Usher (original version)
    Just this one for me as well, and that's from thousands of cds over a few decades of buying/collecting.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    My copy is fairly well bronzed on the label side, but still seems to play fine.
    Same here... I love this album so also have a backup LP just in case it stops playing

  14. #14
    I had problems with some of the original Todd Rundgren CD's, and remember reading that it was common. If you looked closely, you'd see tiny "bumps" gradually appear. I still have the original Another Live CD (I don't know why I still have it, I've got newer versions), and it has gotten worse and worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    PDO was a problem and if I recall there was an Italian pressing plant as well that had an issue. Lots of bronzed albums.
    My only experience from my 2K CDs (that I know of, but how do I really know?) with bronzing/rot that made a factory CD unplayable was Riccardo Cocciante's Anima. By the time I caught it and tried to rip it only 4 tracks remained playable. Probably something to do with the Italian plant you mention.

    I had a similar problem with Richard Sinclair's What in the World, but that was clearly a homemade CDR. Fortunately I actually bought two copies of that when it came out and one is still ok.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    PDO was a problem and if I recall there was an Italian pressing plant as well that had an issue.
    OPTI.ME.S. The only albums I owned that had this issue were pressed by this plant. Except for my copy of Chocolate Kings, any CD I owned pressed there had bronzing to some degree, though only a couple of Jade Warrior CDs (Floating World and Way of the Sun) rotted to unplayability. (I upgraded to Elements, so all was not lost.)
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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanukisbrave View Post
    very rare with a store bought CD, CDR's however its a different story with anything over 7 or 8 years old being a proverbial crapshoot.
    I have just under 8,000 CDs (about 35% of them CD-Rs, I estimate) and have experienced exactly four failures in my thirty-five years of collecting.

    • Commercial CDs = 0 failures (never owned a PDO pressing though...)
    • Imation CD-R = 0 failures
    • TDK CD-R = 0 failures (some of these are almost 30 y.o.)
    • Verbatim CD-R = 0 failures
    • Office Depot CD-R = 0 failures
    • Sony CD-R = 0 failures
    • Samsung CD-R = 0 failures
    • Philips CD-R = 0 failures
    • Kodak CD-R = 0 failures
    • Maxell CD-R = 0 failures
    • Memorex CD-R = 0 failures
    • FujiFilm CD-R = 0 failures
    • Hewlett-Packard CD-R = 0 failures
    • Precision CD-R = 0 failures
    • Princo CD-R = 0 failures
    • Prime Peripherals CD-R = 0 failures
    • RiDATA CD-R = 0 failures
    • CompUSA CD-R = 3 failures (all of these were 25-28 y.o., although I have many more that are still fine)
    • unlabeled generic CD-R = 1 failure


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  18. #18
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    My first copy of 3 Mustaphas 3's Shopping went bronze and then unplayable, but that has been my only experience. I've never seen the outer coating developing holes.
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  19. #19
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notallwhowander View Post
    My first copy of 3 Mustaphas 3's Shopping went bronze and then unplayable, but that has been my only experience. I've never seen the outer coating developing holes.
    I pulled out my copy of "Shopping" (original issue, on Ace Records/Globestyle, 1987) and the top looks totally bronzed (is it supposed to look like that?) Plays fine though. Playing side looks totally normal.

  20. #20
    I have a few thousand. The only one that has deteriorated, that I know of, is a Robert Cray CD I bought in the late eighties.
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    I'm getting the feeling that this was not such a problem with discs pressed in the US.

    I know that PDO UK offered replacements for affected discs for many years but I'm not sure they even exist anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    My copy is fairly well bronzed on the label side, but still seems to play fine.

    But bronzing--which was the issue with the PDO UK pressings--is not the same as the kind of deterioration where actual gaps appear in the reflective surface, which is what I have always understood CD rot to mean.
    Bronzing is the one thing which usually stops the discs from playing, from what I've gathered- the few second hand discs I've had with this issue have all been bronzed.

    Another quirk with older discs was the Nimbus 'sticky discs' (the label side was sticky) but this doesn't stop play.

  22. #22
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    I've only ever had 1 cd go bad so far, a Rick Wakeman one where the disc became all discoloured and turned brown. I have another Wakeman cd of the same age that has also become discoloured but still plays for now.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by flytomars View Post
    Same here... I love this album so also have a backup LP just in case it stops playing
    Hmmm, last track is starting to glitch (actually sounded like a vinyl skip!) So I guess there is no way to avoid the bronzing...

  24. #24
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    One other thing to watch out for, those foam inserts in double CD cases stuck to the label side on some discs.

    https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threa...melted.797753/

    What was the point of these inserts anyway?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    PDO was a problem and if I recall there was an Italian pressing plant as well that had an issue. Lots of bronzed albums. I remember early Ozric Tentacles pressings turned to shit. If you were lucky enough to catch it in time you could rip them.
    Opti.Me.S.

    PDO had a replacement line where they pressed a correct CD upon request. The italians, not.

    We had a similar thread (where I had posted an extensive list of titlew susceptible to CD rot) in the old side. Unfortunately, I have not kept the list as I "cleaned" my collection from those.
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