Many of you, my readers, are audiophiles like myself.

I love music and I go out of my way to buy updated, deluxe, and special editions of albums by my favorite artists so I can get bonus tracks and better quality recordings when possible.

Unfortunately, lately, I’ve found that multiple record companies and music distribution companies are using little to no quality control and putting out CD’s that have errors in them.  What this means is that you’ll buy a CD and it will have digital pops or skips in the songs.

If you like to rock your music semi-loudly on occasion, these pops will actually sound like they are going to damage (tear) your speakers, especially if you use any kind of higher end stereo equipment.  Kind of backwards if you ask me, the better your stereo equipment, the worse these CD’s sound.

And this just hasn’t happened once.  In fact, out of the last batch of CD’s I bought, 4 CD’s or CD sets have had these digital pops or skips.  What’s even more shocking is that 3 of the 4 are deluxe/remastered editions of the album purchased!

Testing & Confirmation…

Just to make sure it wasn’t MY system, I tried the CD’s in my high end stereo, in my computer with high end speakers, and in my car stereo.  3 seperate stero systems by different companies.  After this testing, all of the pops were still present in each system.

To further test, I took one of the discs back to the store (Best Buy) where it was purchased and exchanged it 5 times to find that all of their copies were defective.  If you’ve read this blog for long, you already know the horror story of getting that situation resolved in this blog post about Best Buy.  The CD was Trill OG by Bun B (Deluxe Best Buy Edition) and to give the manufacturer another chance, I ordered a copy online versus buying it locally after all this.  It was from a different state and different warehouse but had the same pops.  This CD has these pops throughout the last 5 songs on the CD.

To further my test even more, I also picked up the digital (iTunes) versions of a couple of these CD’s and guess what?  No skips!  It’s plain to see that the record companies are providing clean masters to the distribution companies but that the companies who are physically pressing CD’s are using sub-par equipment/materials or processes to produce the CD’s.

Additional Problems, Additional CD’s…

In addition to the Bun B – Trill OG CD issues that I’ve had which have been documented on the blog post mentioned above, three other CD’s or CD sets come immediately to mind that suffer from these same pops…

Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland – There are a couple of pops in the last songs of the CD.  These are part of the Sony and Experience Hendrix wave of “remastered” re-releases so this is shameful.

Big L – Return Of The Devils Son – There is are digital pops on Track 5, the song School Days, starting at 2:19 in the song.  Track 19 also has so many pops and distortions after 2 minutes into the song, it’s painful to listen to.

The Word Of Promise Audio Bible – There is clearly a digital skip in Isaiah Chapter 54, Verse 7 in which a portion of the scripture is left out.  After months of being told a replacement would be forthcoming, I finally had to get assertive with the support person who shipped me a replacement 3 separate times, all of which had the error.  After that, a completely new set was sent, again with the error.  To their credit, after this, they did send me a refund check and apologize after going through this process for months.

I noticed that two of the discs are labled as being distributed by Fontana Distribution.  I couldn’t find mention of Fontana on the other two but they have a different form of packaging so confirmation of these also being put out by Fontana is inconclusive.

Attempts To Resolve This…

Sony Legacy, Fontana Distribution, Rap-A-Lot Records, and Bun B ignored my attempts to contact them regarding these errors sent over 4 months ago.  I’m sure they figure I’m one guy, forget me, they don’t care.

I’m a marketing consultant and copywriter for a living and work with packaging and product consulting, but I’ll be the first to say that it’s down right dishonest and wrong for these companies to make everything look shiny and new with flashy packaging, and then to deliver a sub-par CD of audio, which is what you’re really buying anyway!

As I publish this, I am also contacting Sony Legacy, Experience Hendrix, Fontana Distribution, Rap-A-Lot Records, and SMC Recordings for a comment regarding how they plan on rectifying all of these defective releases.  While I don’t anticipate that they will respond based on their previous history of ignoring communication, I will update this blog if they do respond.

This post will continue to grow.  While I don’t have thousands of CD’s, it seems that a large percentage of CD’s I listen to for the first time in my collection have these issues, which is disturbing.  I will continue to update this blog post with new information as it becomes available.

Until next time,

Chris Elliott Signature

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