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WARNING! Destroyed foam found in longtime unused CD boxes.
Nessuno
post Mar 9 2013, 13:48
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I report this fact to warn all other fellows: today I opened a CD box of mine, one of the first I ripped back in about 2006 and likely never opened again since. It is a very old 4 CD jewel case box issued in 1985 by Archiv Production (actually I bought my copy brand new in 2004, but don't know the real build date) and had two foam sheets between opposite facing CDs to keep them firmly in place. Unfortunately by time the foam had somewhat disintegrated and glued to the CD surfaces in many a contact point.

I had accurately ripped FLAC copies of those CD (so no reason to lose my temper! wink.gif), nevertheless in polishing them I tried to be not too forceful for fear of scratching the upper surface where the actual data are written, so some little debris and spots of melted foam could still be seen. I tried a new ripping test run and AR verification went all ok.

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Mar 9 2013, 13:51


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Porcus
post Mar 9 2013, 15:29
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Tried to just soak the CD in water overnight?


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Soap
post Mar 9 2013, 16:18
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If the issue is foam degradation due to plasticizer outgassing I strongly suspect that water won't touch the problem. I would start with automobile dashboard cleaning products - specifically ones which claim to be safe for the clear plastic of the instrument panel. (EDIT: obviously test the cleaning product on a sacrificial CD first)


That said I haven't had this problem myself, but I think I might abandon jewel cases in my long-term storage boxes.

This post has been edited by Soap: Mar 9 2013, 16:18


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Nessuno
post Mar 9 2013, 19:58
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Considered that I verified all discs are still in perfectly readable conditions, that I have perfect lossless copies (plus transparent lossy to listen to wink.gif) and that the physical CDs are for me a last resort backup when everything else fails (never say never, but I think I have a rather robust backup strategy), I'm going to have a little more try with simple water, then leave everything as is.

By the way: it wasn't a fault of jewel case in itself, but of the foam sheets. What I'm going (and advice others) to do is to check if there are others multi-CD boxes in this same condition in my collection.


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2Bdecided
post Mar 11 2013, 10:30
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Thanks for the warning. Some early Now! CDs shipped like this and I shall go and check them.

Cheers,
David.
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cyberdux
post Mar 11 2013, 21:56
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Mar 9 2013, 22:48) *
I report this fact to warn all other fellows: today I opened a CD box of mine, one of the first I ripped back in about 2006 and likely never opened again since. It is a very old 4 CD jewel case box issued in 1985 by Archiv Production (actually I bought my copy brand new in 2004, but don't know the real build date) and had two foam sheets between opposite facing CDs to keep them firmly in place. Unfortunately by time the foam had somewhat disintegrated and glued to the CD surfaces in many a contact point.

I had accurately ripped FLAC copies of those CD (so no reason to lose my temper! wink.gif), nevertheless in polishing them I tried to be not too forceful for fear of scratching the upper surface where the actual data are written, so some little debris and spots of melted foam could still be seen. I tried a new ripping test run and AR verification went all ok.


And this is exactly how my Decca Beethoven set rotted, the very one that still had no meaningful tags from DG FLAC store.

Also happened on my Color Purple Soundtrack but was rescued in time before the foam began to react with the CD label surface.

So, beware.
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2Bdecided
post Mar 13 2013, 12:34
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 11 2013, 09:30) *
Thanks for the warning. Some early Now! CDs shipped like this and I shall go and check them.
Now 11 still fine (though foam is discoloured). Now 12 foam as good as new! (both from 1988).

(Good job, given the cost on Amazon.co.uk, and the lesser but still ridiculous prices they fetch on eBay - who says CDs are worthless?!).

I took the foam out, but kept it, given that these have entered collectable territory and are worth more with the foam(!)
(how did my teenage years get to be 25 years ago?)

Cheers,
David.
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julf
post Mar 13 2013, 15:21
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 13 2013, 12:34) *
I took the foam out, but kept it, given that these have entered collectable territory and are worth more with the foam(!)


But did you store the foam in a vacuum bag in a dark fridge? smile.gif

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 13 2013, 12:34) *
(how did my teenage years get to be 25 years ago?)


Lucky you. When I was a teenager, we didn't have any CD's... smile.gif

This post has been edited by julf: Mar 13 2013, 15:22
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pdq
post Mar 13 2013, 15:56
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When I was a teenager we didn't have stereo (or color TV for that matter).
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Porcus
post Mar 13 2013, 15:57
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 13 2013, 12:34) *
(how did my teenage years get to be 25 years ago?)


By living in the ultrafast lane.


QUOTE (julf @ Mar 13 2013, 15:21) *
Lucky you. When I was a teenager, we didn't have any CD's... smile.gif


QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 13 2013, 15:56) *
When I was a teenager we didn't have stereo (or color TV for that matter).


– In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

– A cup o' cold tea.

– Without milk or sugar.

– Or tea.

– In a cracked cup, an' all.


This post has been edited by Porcus: Mar 13 2013, 16:01


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bilbo
post Mar 13 2013, 16:21
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QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 13 2013, 09:56) *
When I was a teenager we didn't have stereo (or color TV for that matter).

But we had 78's! I still remember the listening booths in the record store so you could sample the albums before you purchased.


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Canar
post Mar 13 2013, 16:52
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You kids and your plastic media...

...be back in a bit, I need to check that my wax cylinders are still okay.


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2Bdecided
post Mar 13 2013, 17:44
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QUOTE (Canar @ Mar 13 2013, 15:52) *
You kids and your plastic media...

...be back in a bit, I need to check that my wax cylinders are still okay.
Most of my wax ones don't. Mould gets them. The 2 minute indestructibles (made from an early form of plastic) and 4 minutes Blue Amberols (ditto) are fine though. They'll probably outlive me. (those links are to modern copies - cylinders, both wax and plastic, are still being made!).

You can still record wax cylinders live too...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJXDtrq4McY

Cheers,
David.
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db1989
post Mar 13 2013, 17:44
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QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 13 2013, 14:56) *
When I was a teenager we didn't have stereo (or color TV for that matter).
I’d like to avoid feeling any older than I already do (IOW, I consistently forget that I’m not ~19 any more) by blaming the somewhat modest means of my family at that time in my life, but I distinctly remember playing my Mega Drive on a black-and-white TV that had an analogue dial for the UHF… huh.gif Heh.
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Nessuno
post Mar 13 2013, 19:02
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 13 2013, 12:34) *
Now 11 still fine (though foam is discoloured). Now 12 foam as good as new! (both from 1988).

I see you are from northern England, much colder than southern Italy (just to say: 15C here by now). Maybe this could have played some role. Also the quality of the foam: that one was of the lighter large cell type.


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Porcus
post Mar 13 2013, 20:43
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QUOTE (bilbo @ Mar 13 2013, 16:21) *
I still remember the listening booths in the record store so you could sample the albums before you purchased.


I actually did that a couple of weeks ago.


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julf
post Mar 13 2013, 21:16
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QUOTE (bilbo @ Mar 13 2013, 16:21) *
I still remember the listening booths in the record store so you could sample the albums before you purchased.


It seems that most of the music I hear on the radio these days is sampled...
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2Bdecided
post Mar 14 2013, 11:45
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Mar 13 2013, 18:02) *
I see you are from northern England, much colder than southern Italy
Oh the understatement! wink.gif The house has always been pretty warm though - but you have summer temperatures we can only dream of!

I wonder if all foam degrades in the end? Well, everything degrades in the end. I mean over decades, rather than centuries, maybe some of it happens to be "archival quality"? Degraded foam seems to plague old loudspeakers.

Worth checking though, so thank you for mentioning it. Some CDs react with the booklets themselves. I've had one (only one) where washing it caused the label to just fall off (still played). Generally though, I've had no problems with CDs at all, beyond occasional accidental damage.

Cheers,
David.
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pdq
post Mar 14 2013, 13:25
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Two of the biggest factors in polymer degradation are UV light and ozone, though I doubt that either of those is a big factor in northern England.
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Nessuno
post Mar 14 2013, 13:44
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 14 2013, 11:45) *
you have summer temperatures we can only dream of!

To them I was referring: north of 30C for many hours a day in the summer (a dream that often turns to a nightmare, I tell you! wink.gif). Maybe if I had opened the box more often the foam degraded the same in the long term, but without sticking to the CDs.

QUOTE
Degraded foam seems to plague old loudspeakers.

You name it: I bought my Infinity speakers in 1990 and by 2001 woofer suspensions started to turn into dust. I had the foam replaced, maybe with better quality one because it seems to be still in good conditions (er... when was the last time I checked? better give a look, back home... unsure.gif )

QUOTE
Generally though, I've had no problems with CDs at all, beyond occasional accidental damage.

Neither I, this case apart. And this case itself confirms that long term storage is not only a question of save and forget...


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