24k Gold CD's

Oxfordian

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Apologies for raising something that may be very old news but somewhere along my HiFi journey this has slipped past unnoticed.

Browsing the internet looking at music due to be released and trying to find music that I might like I came across a company selling 24k Gold CD's.

Now, I know that I had a 20 year hiatus from serious music listening and only picking up the occasional CD from my local HMV but news about the issuing of 24k Gold CD's seems to have slipped under the radar for me, ditto the arrival of SACD on the market albeit I have got my head round those but 24K Gold CD!!!

Would I be correct in presuming that a CD in 24K Gold is simply a marketing ploy to justify the easing of a large chunk of money out of your bank account or are there actually some sonic benefits to be had by releasing music in this way? I would also guess that if I actually bought one of these shiny items my Audiolab 6000CDT wouldn't play it as I would need a special CD player?

24K Gold CD's - Sonically awesome or a bit of the Kings new clothes?
 

jetblack9090

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Nov 18, 2022
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Haha, what do you think?

Some companies over the years have put out gold discs, I was always of the understanding that it had nothing to do with sonics it was more just a look thing. Except there was I think a Korean company who put out some gold discs that were supposed to be"audiophile" and then of course you have mofi who put out a lot of their SACDs which were gold colored.

I wouldn't put much stock in it if I were you
 

Al ears

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I think I have one in my collection as that's the only way I could find the album at the time.
Does it make any difference sonically? I very much doubt it and don't have the same album on a standard CD to compare it with unfortunately.
SACD would be a different matter.
 

Oxfordian

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Haha, what do you think?

Some companies over the years have put out gold discs, I was always of the understanding that it had nothing to do with sonics it was more just a look thing. Except there was I think a Korean company who put out some gold discs that were supposed to be"audiophile" and then of course you have mofi who put out a lot of their SACDs which were gold colored.

I wouldn't put much stock in it if I were you
The company that I was looking at is Impex Records who have a pretty good reputation for what they sell, their One Step vinyl is very well respected so I wondered what this 24k Gold CD is all about.

If it's a CD it should be to Red Book standard, so I can't imagine there being any benefit sonically.
Fair point, a standard is a standard.

Reading a bit more into the subject it appears that the laser reading the CD is less prone to error on the gold as it has a better reflective properties and that is about it, at least from what I have gleaned so far.
 

Al ears

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I believe Impex 1STEP vinyl is virtually the same as MOFI's One-Step and can see the point when it comes to vinyl pressings.
I can't really see the Gold CDs making as much of an improvement when it comes to digital media.
 
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podknocker

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I bought a 7k gold CD from WH Smiths, back in the late 80s and I sold it for a few quid. I wish I'd kept it.

I had the same a-ha album 'Hunting High and Low' on normal aluminium CD and they sounded the same.

I think gold CDs are just another elitist, money making gimmick and I'm not as naive as I used to be in 1988 and now know they can't sound better.

A one or a zero doesn't have any gold, or aluminium on it, when the laser reads it.

The argument for better reflectivity doesn't stand up either.

It really annoys me that companies are marketing these things and suggest there will be an improvement in sound.
 
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Al ears

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I bought a 7k gold CD from WH Smiths, back in the late 80s and I sold it for a few quid. I wish I'd kept it.

I had the same a-ha album 'Hunting High and Low' on normal aluminium CD and they sounded the same.

I think gold CDs are just another elitist, money making gimmick and I'm not as naive as I used to be in 1988 and now know they can't sound better.

A one or a zero doesn't have any gold, or aluminium on it, when the laser reads it. The argument for better reflectivity doesn't stand up either.

It really annoys me that companies are marketing these things and suggest there will be an improvement in sound.
I think it's more to do with resistance to corrosion and disc longevity rather than sound quality
 

podknocker

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I doubt it makes any difference to the lifespan of a CD. The quality of production, rather than the materials used, is going to have more of an influence.

Some CDs were very poor quality and I had a Genesis album, where I could literally peel the metal layer off.

This was just a few years after CDs arrived and I don't think you can buy a very poor quality CD today.

Many people, including myself, have been fastidious with the care of the reading surface, only to find out years later that the metal layer is closer to the label side, than the side that gets read by the laser.

You need to be very careful with the label side with CDs. Scratching this side can cause more damage to the data layer.
 

Gray

Well-known member
news about the issuing of 24k Gold CD's seems to have slipped under the radar for me
Probably the best place for it - though anyone that has experienced disc rot might beg to differ.

My TDK recordables from the late 90s are quite a nice blue colour.
And I had to take a photo - I've got a few of these black (Dysan) recordables.
In this photo there's a white ceiling reflecting in it, but they're jet black.
Not really sure how the laser reflects at all - but it does:
IMG_20231031_140617_MP.jpg
 

twinkletoes

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Apologies for raising something that may be very old news but somewhere along my HiFi journey this has slipped past unnoticed.

Browsing the internet looking at music due to be released and trying to find music that I might like I came across a company selling 24k Gold CD's.

Now, I know that I had a 20 year hiatus from serious music listening and only picking up the occasional CD from my local HMV but news about the issuing of 24k Gold CD's seems to have slipped under the radar for me, ditto the arrival of SACD on the market albeit I have got my head round those but 24K Gold CD!!!

Would I be correct in presuming that a CD in 24K Gold is simply a marketing ploy to justify the easing of a large chunk of money out of your bank account or are there actually some sonic benefits to be had by releasing music in this way? I would also guess that if I actually bought one of these shiny items my Audiolab 6000CDT wouldn't play it as I would need a special CD player?

24K Gold CD's - Sonically awesome or a bit of the Kings new clothes?
back in the day some mini disc where produced with a "gold" layer to make them more durable ,TDK made them I think. I can't remember what they said about it now but I know it was to make them hardy.

They also had a metal substructure.

believe they also had a higher re-write life.

I bought them just for metal sub straight seemed like a no brainer as they had a hard life in the bottom of bags
 

Oxfordian

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I think gold CDs are just another elitist, money making gimmick and I'm not as naive as I used to be in 1988 and now know they can't sound better.

A one or a zero doesn't have any gold, or aluminium on it, when the laser reads it.

The argument for better reflectivity doesn't stand up either.

It really annoys me that companies are marketing these things and suggest there will be an improvement in sound.

There is no suggestion from Impex that the gold aids sound quality, they simply state that their aim as a company is to provide the discerning listener with the best sound that they can, a quality product a premium product, some of their LP's are produced in limited quantities as are some of the CD's.

My presumption is that Impex use the gold as it fits in with their 'premium' product values, they also seem to do small limited edition runs of 'audiophile' recordings for vinyl and/or CD and charge a premium price for this exclusivity.

All I have managed to glean from the internet is that the Gold CD is a better reflector of the laser signal.

I have no wish to spend the £40+ price quoted on a 24k Gold CD, but as others have stated if the only way to get a copy of something that I cannot buy from normal retail or on-line sources then it is something that I might have to consider.

My interest was around whether a 24k Gold CD was sonically better and whether it could be played through my 6000CDT, clearly it would seem that there is no sonic benefit but if I did ever buy one at least I know that I can play it without having to buy a new player.
 

podknocker

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Were Laserdiscs gold?

I sometimes wonder if anyone would release a Laserdisc sized disc again.

Fully digital and able to hold many Blu Ray's worth of video and audio.

I know they were huge, but people still buy 12" of vinyl and seem to be enthralled by the sleeve and artwork and tactility etc.

If people have room for LP records, then they can't dismiss the arrival of a new Laserdisc sized format.

There's another thread on here about the end of the line with optical formats and companies struggling to get more layers and data onto Blu Ray discs.

Imagine a 12" dual layer Blu Ray disc. You could get full box sets on a single disc. Dear Sony/Philips...
 
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Oxfordian

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I doubt it makes any difference to the lifespan of a CD. The quality of production, rather than the materials used, is going to have more of an influence.

Some CDs were very poor quality and I had a Genesis album, where I could literally peel the metal layer off.

This was just a few years after CDs arrived and I don't think you can buy a very poor quality CD today.

Many people, including myself, have been fastidious with the care of the reading surface, only to find out years later that the metal layer is closer to the label side, than the side that gets read by the laser.

You need to be very careful with the label side with CDs. Scratching this side can cause more damage to the data layer.
Now I'm sure that one of the KSP's for CD's when they were launched was the indestructibility of the format, at least that is what my old and ageing memory is telling me.
 

Al ears

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There is no suggestion from Impex that the gold aids sound quality, they simply state that their aim as a company is to provide the discerning listener with the best sound that they can, a quality product a premium product, some of their LP's are produced in limited quantities as are some of the CD's.

My presumption is that Impex use the gold as it fits in with their 'premium' product values, they also seem to do small limited edition runs of 'audiophile' recordings for vinyl and/or CD and charge a premium price for this exclusivity.

All I have managed to glean from the internet is that the Gold CD is a better reflector of the laser signal.

I have no wish to spend the £40+ price quoted on a 24k Gold CD, but as others have stated if the only way to get a copy of something that I cannot buy from normal retail or on-line sources then it is something that I might have to consider.

My interest was around whether a 24k Gold CD was sonically better and whether it could be played through my 6000CDT, clearly it would seem that there is no sonic benefit but if I did ever buy one at least I know that I can play it without having to buy a new player.
Yes they will play on any CD player as it's basically a CD with an extra metallic layer.
I would be surprised, or maybe not, if anyone claimed there was a sonic benefit.
 
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Al ears

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I doubt it makes any difference to the lifespan of a CD. The quality of production, rather than the materials used, is going to have more of an influence.

Some CDs were very poor quality and I had a Genesis album, where I could literally peel the metal layer off.

This was just a few years after CDs arrived and I don't think you can buy a very poor quality CD today.

Many people, including myself, have been fastidious with the care of the reading surface, only to find out years later that the metal layer is closer to the label side, than the side that gets read by the laser.

You need to be very careful with the label side with CDs. Scratching this side can cause more damage to the data layer.
I think there claim of improved longevity holds some sway as the possibility of 'cd rot' is obviously less likely with a gold layer.
I think we would all agree that a gold plated copper wire is less prone to corrosion than one which is not so no reason to suppose a gold plated CD isnt also.
That said I wouldn't spend the extra money on purchasing them
 
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podknocker

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I think there claim of improved longevity holds some sway as the possibility of 'cd rot' is obviously less likely with a gold layer.
I think we would all agree that a gold plated copper wire is less prone to corrosion than one which is not so no reason to suppose a gold plated CD isnt also.
Possibly, but the corrosion has to start somewhere and it's usually been down to poor manufacturing.

If the air can't get inside the CD, then it won't corrode the metal layer, whatever it's made from.

The thing is, aluminium forms a protective oxidation layer, which prevents further oxidation.

With the layer being so thin, I doubt this would be very helpful, but again, make it properly in the first place!

Gold does afford more protection from the elements, but there are very few gold CDs knocking around.
 
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Dom

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24k gold CD's have enhanced reflectivity which means more accurate data reading. This could reduce the number of errors, but there will be no audible difference, If there were enough errors it would pop and click not reduce sound quality :D

What will improve SQ will be the DAC and its circuitry.
 
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podknocker

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'Gold has less reflectivity (more absorption) at the wavelengths needed on optical media. That doesn't change, be it burned or pressed.'

I found this on the internet, but I know the internet's full of liars and scumbags.

Any metallurgists out there to confirm or deny this claim?
 

Al ears

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'Gold has less reflectivity (more absorption) at the wavelengths needed on optical media. That doesn't change, be it burned or pressed.'

I found this from the internet, but I know the internet's full of liars and scumbags.

Any metallurgists out there to confirm or deny this claim?
Interesting. Less reflectivity that what??
Hopefully we will find out.
 

podknocker

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I have an A level in Chemistry and still have an interest, but CD production has never been my speciality.

Gold is gold coloured, due to its electrons chucking out those frequencies. It keeps the blue/green ones.

It's the same with leaves. They keep the red and blue stuff and reflect the green, as it's not used.

I would love to know what the best metal is for CDs. Something silver, but not expensive like silver.

Aluminium must have been chosen for its reflectivity and cost. It's a fascinating subject.

Does the infra red light get absorbed more with gold, than with aluminium?

Would gold be better for Blu Ray? I would still love to see 12" gold, dual layer Blu Ray discs!
 
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twinkletoes

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verbatim from verbatim (the brand)

"Manufactured using proprietary, unique, dual-reflective layers, these discs maximize both compatibility and longevity. To further extend media life, UltraLife™ Gold Archival Grade CD-R’s contain a hard coating on the recording side to protect the surface from scratches. In proper environmental conditions, these discs are designed to last up to 100 years"

they see it as more durable format only, a quick google suggests that all the brands I see and literature talking about gold disc's see them as archival.
 
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podknocker

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So it's not the gold per se, it's the hard coating giving extended lifespan?

I suppose the gold will help, but the hard coating would probably prevent corrosion with aluminium anyway.

I have CDs bought in 1985 and they are still scratch free and still play perfectly.

They won't see any more action now, as I'm nearly 100% streaming.
 
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