Tweaks anyone?

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After writing the story about Giorgio Moroderand the recording of the Germersheim music festival I got the itch to hear those tapes again and see if perhaps there isn't something I can do to resurect them. Heck, there's an awful lot of good music on those tapes, music buried forever in the warehouse at PS Audio. That makes no sense, so I went out and purchased a nice two-track pro analog tape deck to start yet another of Paul's projects. In order to make room for the new equipment and setup a mastering room for the tape transfer to digital I had to start cleaning out a little used area of the building. As I was rummaging through boxes to see what I could throw out I came across an old CD Stoplight pen. Remember those? Back in the 1990's it was all the rage to paint the edges of your CD with green paint or a felt tip marker. Then the Stoplight product came onto the scene charging people $25 for a special green pen that did the felt tip one better in sound quality. I remember back then how big a difference the pen made on my CD collection, although I must say today I don't own one CD with a green stripe around the outer rim. Should I throw this relic out and keep cleaning or should I give it a try? You know me, I figured it wouldn't take but a minute to try it. Hopefully it didn't dry up. I grabbed a CD out of the rack, one I marginally like since I was, after all, going to permanently mark this CD up. I gave it a quick listen in Music Room One and it sounded fine. I took the CD out, painted the edges green and put the CD back in and hit play. Hmmm. Different? Yes, maybe a little but I can't be certain it isn't a placebo. Significant? No, not at all. Perhaps an advanced player like the PWT Memory player doesn't really benefit from such treatment? We certainly had nothing like a memory player back in the 1990's. As I played with this disc it occurred to me I can't go back and see what it sounded like before. Sure, I suppose some type of solvent might remove the green schmutz but it also might affect (in a bad way) the CD itself. Good thing I used a less than valuable CD. I guess my question is this. Did it ever work? Did the period we as Audiophiles went through in the mid to late 90's of polishing each CD, demagnetizing them, painting green lines around them really matter as much as we believed and if so, how come no one does this anymore? We don't care? We're lazy? Or perhaps transports have just gotten good enough for these crutches to not matter? Did it ever really matter? In the end I threw away the pen and kept cleaning. It was a good era to go through, I can't tell you the number of CD's I applied RainX to and suffered the obnoxious smell as it dried before polishing time, the amount of angst I had listening to a CD without polishing and painting it. Maybe guilt is what I felt rather than angst? But they were fun years and now I think it's time to retire those memories.
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Paul McGowan

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