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Allsop CD laser lens cleaner

[Italian version]

A must-have for every serious audiophile is a cleaning system for the lens of the laser pick-up of the CD player.
During CDs playback the dust over the discs and floating into the listening room tends to soil the laser lens of the pick-up of your CD player and on the long run this dirt can seriously affect the capability of the player to read the CDs correctly.
Of course it is not so frequent that a player refuses to read a CD because in the meanwhile...the error correction circuit does its terrible job, interpolating every piece of lacking digital information.
So, before the player refuses to read a disc, you've been listening to something quite different from what has been recorded in the disc itself.
From this simple remark it follows that a clean laser lens is a must for every serious audiophile trying to get the best out of his CDs.
The item I've tested is the CD laser lens cleaner made by Allsop

How and how much does it work?

Worried by a car-CD-player that refused to play any CD of my collection, before taking it back to the official servicing, I decided to try the Allsop CD lens cleaner.
The Allsop CD lens cleaner is nothing else than a plain Audio CD (of the Gold type, don't ask me why...) with six tiny brushes glued to its surface so that, when the CD is playing, these brushes can clean the lens from the dust and dirt over it.
Easy as 1-2-3: just put the Allsop CD into your player, exactly like it was a standard Audio CD, then put the audio track in *repeat* for a couple of times.
The audio track is a ugly 15 seconds piece of electronic Music a la Jean Michel Jarre and the CD normally stops automatically after the first cleaning cycle. You'll survive to it :-)
Sometimes it could be necessary to press the stop switch of your player if the CD does not automatically stops.
In those cases your laser lens is extremely dirty you may need to repeat the cleaning cycle more often.
Try repeating it ten times, then try to play a standard CD, then repeat the cycle once again.
The Allsop CD comes into a clever package, where the CD is actually *suspended* to avoid the brushes being compressed and deformed.
The instructions, complete and detailed, explain that, once the six brushes become dirty, you may wash them with water and a neutral detergent, being sure they are perfectly dry before re-using the CD.

This was the how does it work part: we're interested in the does it really work? part.
It is easily said: this thingie works extremely well. Do you remember my Car CD-player? It was almost *dead* but, after several cycles of the Allsop cleaning CD, it came back to new life, sounding clear and detailed as it should.
While it was quite impossible to play an entire CD before, now it is so stable, even when driving on rough road surfaces, that it seems a cassette player: no more clicks, echoes and those nasty sounds produced by the error correction circuit.

For Home CD players the effect is less evident, of course, unless your listening room is very dusty...but the Allsop CD works: it brings new life to old CD players and makes readable even those CDs which were quite impossible to play.
Obviously enough it won't turn your low-buck player into a Wadia but you should know this by yourself :-)
Used frequently, at least once per month, it will keep your CD player in perfect working and sounding conditions and the gremlins inside the error correction circuit will thank you for hundreds of times a day.
Someone suggests to use these device every ten hours of playing but it sounds a little bit excessive to me.

Now, you will be curious to know where one can buy these CDs and how expen$ive are they. Everywhere and 15-20 US $ are the simple answers.
YES!!! These laser lens cleaning CDs are available at any general store and their price is not even near to some hi-end accessoires, claimed to have miraculous effects while, in turn, it is only their price to be miraculous...
I've tested the Allsop CD lens cleaner but many other brands make similar (almost identical) devices, Recoton and Mixer just to name a few.
So, please avoid the typical audiophile hysteria trying to buy the TNT-approved CD lens cleaner: be serious, they all work the same way, just be sure that the brushes aren't too stiff.
We do not approve nor certificate anything.

One last warning: on certain VRDS CD transports (Teac etc.) this kind of lens cleaners do not work.


The CD lens cleaners are effective, even better, they're a must-have.
At least once in a while avoid the typical audiophile crazyness that forces otherwise clever guys :-) to spend huge amounts of money for items that are available at general stores for much less.

© Copyright 1997 Lucio Cadeddu - http://www.tnt-audio.com

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