‘Bronzed’ CDs

A note about corroding CDs manufactured by Philips & Du Pont Optical UK Ltd (PDO):

The pressing factory PDO has acknowledged responsibility for producing some CDs between 1988 and 1993 using a lacquer which was not suitable to withstand the corrosive effect of the sulphur content of paper used in the printing of CD booklets and other paper parts. The problem has been extremely disruptive and has caused much embarrassment.

The symptoms of the corrosion are obvious. Audibly it manifests first towards the end of the disc (i.e. the outer edge) and sounds not unlike rhythmic LP surface noise. Visibly it manifests as a coppery-bronze discoloration, usually on the edge of the label side of the disc. (NB. It is NOT the overall yellow tint which is common to all PDO pressings. This is due to the addition of a tiny amount of yellow dye which PDO adds to the polycarbonate for cosmetic purposes.)

At the time that PDO were manufacturing the affected CDs, they were pressing for classical labels and we suggest that you check any discs you have from ASV, Unicorn-Kanchana, Pearl, DGG, IMP, Decca, Collins & Hyperion. Given the nature of the problem of corrosion, in that it progresses over time, we recommend that you check any suspect discs on, say, a six-monthly basis. The name of the disc manufacturer is usually (but not always) engraved around the centre hole of the disc in the transparent area. If there is no manufacturer’s name shown at all then it would be worth checking with PDO. They have agreed to replace any CDs which are corroding as a result of the defect. If you have reason to believe that there are discs in your collection made by PDO which are showing signs of corrosion, contact PDO directly.

Contacting PDO
UK CUSTOMERS should use either PDO's FREEPHONE helpline or FREEPOST address, both of which have been set up to deal with complaints and enquiries about bronzing:

PDO Discs Ltd
Blackburn BB1 5BR

FREEPHONE 0800 387063

Fax: [0]1254 54729
Telephone: [0]1254 505300

OVERSEAS CUSTOMERS cannot use the FREEPHONE or FREEPOST address, but should contact PDO at the address below and perhaps ask for a refund of the cost of telephone call, fax or letter:

Philips & Du Pont Optical UK Ltd
Philips Road
Lancashire BB1 5RZ

Fax: 44 1254 54729
Telephone: 44 1254 52448

PDO also has an e-mail address dedicated to this problem: patburnshelpline@compuserve.com

Customers should NOT return faulty discs to dealers or distributors. They can, if they wish, return the disc to PDO but it is not necessary. Initially at least, just a letter will do. If they do return any CDs they should send JUST THE DISC, NOT THE JEWEL CASE OR PRINTED MATTER, because PDO will replace only the disc.

Additional information is available by Mark Lehman, Published in American Record Guide Vol. 61 No. 4 (July/Aug 1998)

Back to the Ambisonic Discography

Back to the Ambisonic Discography Index Page

Back to the Surround Sound Discography