Since you are indeed a music lover, odds are you have hundreds, maybe even thousands of compact discs in your home. Over the years maybe a few of them have become dirty with fingerprints, or worse, have a few scratches. Could have been due to a rare mishap when the disc fell to the floor, or during that big party when drunk you and the disc fell to the floor. Regardless, many of us have tried Armor All (shame on you) or other proclaimed polishes and cleaners. Enter the professionals from NOVUS.
Like Ciag Laboratories who make professional contact cleaners that are used by truly professional technicians, the NOVUS plastic polish is made by professionals, for professionals. Sure i have tried "audiophile" solutions like Finyl, the excellent Optrix and also the mediocre Discwasher solution as well. While the Discwasher may clean some fingerprints, it is a yawner at best. Finyl claimed to make the music on your discs sound better. After trying a few bottles i found that each bottle seemed to have a different effect on the music replay. So far the Optrix seemed the best at not only cleaning the disc, but in also making the music sound its best. So what does the NOVUS system do?
The NOVUS is not just for compact discs, it can be used on many plastic products to remove scratches (formulas number 2 and 3) while also polishing the surface (formula number 1). From plastic car parts to motorcycle helmets and the front of your microwave... there is a NOVUS polish to help reduce or remove scratches while also bringing about a nice shine. Here are the details...
If you are looking to clean and protect your digital discs (CD/DVD-Video/DVD-Audio/SACD/CD-Rom/CD-RW/DVD+RW/etc.) then you will need to use NOVUS number 1. It seems to do an excellent job at cleaning various plastics while also leaving a nice shine (that NOVUS claims also resists fogging, repels dust, and eliminates static). As for the elimination of static, this might be part of the key to my listening notes as many audiophiles seem to be using demagnetizers to improve the music reproduction capabilities of their discs. Applying the NOVUS number 1 is simple by using a lint free cloth (NOVUS sent me a small supply of these cloths) you put a small amount of the polish on the cloth and use short, circular strokes. Once the disc is dry you then buff the surface with a dry, clean section of the cloth. Fast and easy as it only took me about a minute or so to clean and polish a disc. It is in removing both small and larger scratches that takes a bit more effort.
If you are looking to remove small surface scratches, then the NOVUS number 2 is best. Sometimes it may take more than one application to reduce/remove a scratch. Just remember to be careful! Here is that the NOVUS website suggests:
If you have a disc that have suffered many deep scratches, the NOVUS number 3 is what i would suggest using first, then maybe a bit of number 2 and finally some number 1. The NOVUS system is progressive and easy to use. Now it is testing time!
Taking the Test!
For those of us with compact discs over a decade old, you may have a disc that is virtually a lost cause. In fact i have a very first generation 1983 Genesis CD when they did not successfully have the formulation for making compact discs quite correct. You see, some of the very early compact discs had a plastic formulation that would literally start "eating away", as it were, the silver surface. There was an official recall for some of these early compact discs. i decided to keep this disc for the fact of reviewing and testing purposes. In fact my Genesis CD now exhibits "holes" in the silver surface! The surface is badly scratched as well. Yes, the disc still plays in many, but not all CD players. It would take a bit of missing data and scratches in the centermost silver section (the table of contents) to cause a disc to not play.
Below is a scan at 100 dpi of my Genesis CD before using the NOVUS number 3, then number 2 and finally the number 1 polish.
Below is a scan at 100 dpi of my Genesis CD after using the NOVUS number 3, then number 2 and finally the number 1 polish.
While the scanner leaves much to be desired, you can not see three-dimensionally or feel the surface. As i see it here some of the scratches are indeed removed. The disc's surface also feels very smooth and polished. No, i did not expect the NOVUS system to totally remove all scratches as it would take an act of G-d or (said in good humor) a powerful sand blaster. If you look at the left side of the images you can see a dulling, as it were, of the deep scratches. The small upside-down white "U" in the left-center of the disc is where the silver portion of the disc is literally missing! Eaten away by the early bad formulations of plastic used in manufacturing compact discs. Of course discs with very small surface scratches were much easier to repair and polish then the above Genesis CD. But what amazed me is when i put the Genesis disc in my digital disc transport...
That's Better Baby
How does the NOVUS system change the way a disc "sounds"? Here's where we can get into psudo-science, claiming that scientifically the super new special Chemical X (thanks Power Puff Girls) allows for "optical matching" of the disc's surface to the laser beam, or just lie through our teeth as so many "white (or Grey) papers" as we get to read in the high-end industry. i have had to endure reading hundreds of lines of utter rubbish over the past year alone! Reinventing power, all new miracle filters, revolutionary devices that only allow the good portions of music to pass through and eliminate the bad parts of the signal. What a load of shite indeed! To quote the guy in one of my fave movies Army Of Darkness "Good, bad... i'm the one with the gun". A must-see movie for only $9.99 available now at Amazon.com on VHS tape! Just remember the three magic words! Klatu, Verata... ...Nikktu. Eh hem, back to the subject at hand.
i have played the Genesis disc before on my transport (plus once again before this polishing) and sure enough, at various sections the CD skips and in the past it usually (but not always) stops the transport due to too much missing data. Sure there was a small skip or two after polishing, yet the disc played better than it ever has before in my transport (it's a proprietary unit and not an off the shelf unit). In fact my basic lowly Pioneer 525 DVD-Video player also played the disc quite well! Something is afoot at NOVUS! Now as for the sound quality improvement...
It seems to me that the music sounds not as bright while having deeper, yet tighter bass. Why? Beats me! Look, i for one am not about to go into la-la land and into never-never land of demagnetization, "optical matching" or freezing my CDs. Sure love tubes, enjoy vinyl and tweak like the rest of us die hard audiophools, though there has to be some point in which a review will not tread. Shun Mook pucks at $200+... you gotta be kidding me! Go out and buy some cheap wooden checkers and/or use Blu-Tac and some quarters. Get real folks! WAKE UP!!!
And in the End...
The jury is out and i proclaim that the NOVUS system works as the manufacture describes. It seems to remove dirt and grime while also having the ability to reduce/eliminate scratches. It does also seem to make the music on the CD sound less harsh while also firming up the lower frequencies. Look at it this way, buy the stuff to clean your digital discs and also enjoy it for the possible music reproduction improvements. In the end what really matters is that you...
Thank you for reviewing our NOVUS Polishes. We are glad you enjoyed using them and are thrilled with the success you had. Our polishes have been used on CD's now for over a decade. As you stated in your article is to use short, circular strokes and polish from the inside out. Do not polish in a circular motion around the CD, as this could put additional lines in the disc. For best results always use a 100% cotton cloth. A two ounce bottle can usually clean and repair up to fifty CD's.
NOVUS Number 1 (cleaning/buffing) $3 two oz., $6 eight oz.
NOVUS Number 2 (small scratches) $4 two oz., $7 eight oz.
NOVUS Number 3 (deeper scratches) $5 two oz., $8 eight oz.
All three of the above as a package deal: $10 for 2 oz., $20 eight oz.
Novus Plastic Polish
Voice: (800) 548-6872