Have CDs got skinnier?

Have CDs got skinnier?


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2017

I just withdrew this new release from my player and it cracked.

Are major labels saving on raw materials?


Anyone else experience this?


  • David Ward says:

    Even very cheap supermarket blank CD-Rs don’t usually crack like this (and sometimes it’s a struggle to free CDs from the player, whatever the type/quality of CD), so I suspect it’s a one-off fault.

    • David Ward says:

      Actually, the sometimes-struggle of freeing the CD is not usually from the player, but from the CD case in which it comes. They often bend alarmingly, but in my experience to-date don’t crack.

  • Glenn says:

    The only cd I’ve ever broken withdrawing it from its case was also a Deutsche Grammophon cd – as I see yours is. A month ago – first cd I’ve ever broken since they were introduced!

    • Furzwängler says:

      Perhaps their CDs are going the same way as their cars?

      • Dave says:

        Those Deutsche Grammophon cars eh? They’ve really gone downhill.

        • Catullus says:

          The way it’s going, the German car industry will within the next 20-30 years be as defunct as some of DG’s Archiv recordings.

      • Anon says:

        Their cars are fine. The question is why they are singled out among all the international car manufacturers who almost all have done essentially the same. Forging the software to comply with (unrealistic) regulations. It’s a war. And this time, Germany didn’t start it…
        (it’s an interesting deep history research topic and discussion, who actually started the other wars as well…)

        • Furzwängler says:

          It seems conspiracy theorists are alive and well, on here as elsewhere. Oh we poor Germans, so hard done by.

          As to your final paragraph, it would be wise to avoid allusions to or discussions of ‘brown’ revisionism and similar attempts to rewrite history.

          • Anon says:

            Stop the irrational nonsense. Of course it was no accident that US authorities started to single out the biggest German manufacturer. Now you could certainly call the Germans a bit naive, for not being better prepared.
            As for the world wars, go study history a bit more, and look especially for the money trail.

          • Germany is just a walking dog of the U.S.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    They still make CDs?

    • Robert Roy says:

      Of course! Very versatile medium. I can take a cd and play it in the big hi-fi in the sitting room of the radio/cd machine in the kitchen or the little stereo in the back bedroom. Or put it in my Walkman or the car stereo or take it to a friend’s house.

      Of take it to the hi-fi shop to hear on a £100,000 system! And, best of all, it belongs to ME!

      • Christopher Culver says:

        Many (most?) big high-fis and mini-stereos alike produced in the last decade have included a USB port, so you can also keep your music in MP3 files and move them around from one device to another. I still buy CDs heavily (even if I just rip them once to my media center and then never touch them again) because I like maintaining a library of shelves for home decoration, but let’s be serious, the format no longer has some special flexibility that other formats don’t.

        • Bruce says:

          I like them not for their flexibility but for their stability. You don’t lose a CD if your hard drive crashes, or if you accidentally erase it.

          • Christopher Culver says:

            What an odd comment. Automating backups of one’s computer is so easy, and storage space so cheap, that audio files on one’s computer are hardly any less “stable” than CDs.

          • Una says:

            I like CDs too, Bruce, so you’re not alone! I too.like the flexibility of them.

          • I happen to like both. So I have my CDs backup in hard drives, which in turn have their own backup s in RAID.

        • William Safford says:

          Just in case you’re not aware of it, MP3 files are lower resolution than the files on CDs. With even moderately-good reproduction equipment, the difference is readily noticeable. I recommend covering CDs to lossless file formats, and purchasing higher-quality files online.

          • Indeed, MP3 is not a lossless compression format. But I seriously doubt that you could hear a difference with any hifi systems, even the 100K ones, if the conversion is done with a proper mp3 codec at 320kbps.

            Don’t overrate the ability of your hifi ears, they are not that capable as you believe. And that have been demonstrated over and over again with scientific methods. If you haven’t watched it, please attend this Audio Myth Workshop, a compulsory course for any audiophile.


        • @ CULVER

          I bought a dozen of CDs by Kalevi Aho recently, mainly orchestral works and symphonies. Which piece would you recommend as a starter?

    • Anon says:

      Sure, about 70% of the German recordings market is still physical.

      The greatest thing about a CD is that you can actually own it.
      Unlike the brave new world that is coming, where you can’t have property anymore, only pay a lease to the feudal lords, err I mean to the wonderful corporations who provide the service.

  • As I recall, the Redbook standard included thickness of material—this became an issue with Dual Discs [remember them?] that Sony claimed were potentially unplayable [even as Sony proceeded to manufacture Dual Discs]. Polycarbonate is a cheap plastic, but as someone else pointed out, the packaging these days is getting cheaper, potentially leading to accidents like yours. Just got the Takacs Quartet complete set of Beethoven Quartets, couldn’t get all the CDs out of the box without damaging the container they came in.

  • boringfileclerk says:

    Deutsche Grammophon’s standards have been slipping for years. I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • Robert Roy says:

    Not do much cds but I often fear for DVDs when removing them from their mountings.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    Reminds me of the LP days when RCA “invented” LPs that were thinner than the standard and sort of “floppy”. they tended to warp easily. Terrible invention.

    Unfortunately, most of Erich Leinsdorf’s LP recordings with the Boston Symphony were pressed on these discs and the sound suffered as well.

  • Paul Cannon says:

    II’ve certainly had 2or3 dvds break on me, whilst trying to get them out of the box.

  • Wise up Man says:

    I spread Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade on mine and they still play well never have a problem at all getting them out of the cd player. LOL.