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AudioTop Digital Mold Release Cleaning Formula Review

Constantine Soo examines the latest disc treatment product from Switzerland:

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Audiotop Digital Digital Disc Cleaning FormulaNon-contact medium, such as CD, SACD and DVD do not require cleaning normally, save for Dagogo readers whose easy-mannered family members or relatives are never too quick to rough-handle the discs and imprint their greasy fingerprints onto the disc surface. Even for these situations, a micro fiber cloth will usually be adequate in wiping the fingerprints off.

According to Brian Ackerman of Aaudio Imports, the particular spray solution named Digital that I’ve been using as made by Swissn accessories maker Audiotop, is created specifically for removing the layer of chemical residues from the fabrication process of the digital disc medium, be it of the CD, SACD or DVD variety. This chemical residue is called mold release.

Per Brian, in pressing an optical disc, the manufacturing process sprays a layer of the mold release solution onto a disc to help its separation later on from the mold. This layer of chemical is present on all digital discs in our collection, and becomes a permanent element in our listening if not removed. Audiotop claims the Digital is a specially-formulated, benevolent counter agent that will remove the mold release layer from discs, thereby removing the deviating sonics that the layer has imparted on the playback of discs.

According to Audiotop, its Digital is the first solution of its kind in the market that is designed to remove the mold release residue specifically. Yet, it is also benevolent enough for removing non-industrial strength, standard household contaminants.

I applied it onto CDs, and when listening to them via extraordinarily revealing speakers, such as the $20k Audio Note AN-E SEC Silver and the $25k Bӧsendorfer VC7, I found the improvement in CD playback as accorded by Audiotop’s Digital concrete.

An application of the solutions clarifies the sound of string instruments and vocals from non-audiophile recordings. To Dagogo readers whose home audio enjoyment concentrates on classical music, the Audiotop will be most appreciated. My listening habit involves quite a few classical repertoires by the German label, Deutsche Grammophon, whose recordings of the early 80s have been known to sound relatively dry and thin compared to that of Decca and Philip. The Audiotop Digital added body to instruments, most notably the strings and to a lesser but not least extent, the brass. The strings were reproduced with a fuller, silkier sound, thus rendering music from the treated CD considerably more pleasant to listen to.

The fuller-sounding tonal balances of acoustic instruments also boded very well with jazz and rock music, most notably in the firmed-up bottom-ends of kick drums and cymbals. This clearer rendition of drum-work brought out a seldom-appreciated aspect of an impulsive propensity in finely-produced jazz and rock music. Lines from artificial instrumentations such as electric bass and background synthesizer also attained a new level of prominence as intended by their creators, giving me a deeper and truer understanding of their message.

For Dagogo readers who feel that equipment/speaker change is necessary to attain the next level in classical music enjoyment, I strongly suggest them to treat their CDs with Audiotop and gauge the improvement before taking the step of equipment change.

In addition to my recommendation of the Audiotop Digital, I also advise our readers strongly not to drop your discs onto the tray, as micro fissures and scratches do form over time which will degrade the readability and reflection of the disc surface, thus handicapping the CD player’s effort in extracting the most precise pit image possible from the disc.

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