How to replace your corroded Hyperion CDs following the closure of the PDO Helpline in November 2006.(PDO):
In November 2006 the PDO Helpline, which had been set up 15 years previously to deal with the replacement of CDs that had corroded due to acknowledged errors on the part of the manufacturer, was closed. The faulty discs were all manufactured during the five year period from 1988 to 1993. The problem was that the lacquer used to coat the discs was not resistant to the sulphur content of the paper in the booklets and inlays, which resulted in the corrosion of the aluminium layer of the disc. This problem has been extremely disruptive to us and we can only apologise to our customers for any alarm or inconvenience caused, and assure you of our commitment to your satisfaction.
Since the closure of the Helpline, any affected discs should be returned to Hyperion Records Ltd, PO Box 25, London, SE9 1AX, England, and they will be replaced by us. However, we would ask you to please observe the following simple guidelines when assessing whether you have a CD that has corroded.
The symptoms of corrosion are obvious and the surest way to identify such a disc is to listen to the end of the last track. Audibly the corrosion manifests as a rhythmic interference, not unlike LP surface noise, and occurs most noticeably at the end of the disc (i.e. the outer edge). There are also visible symptoms that occur as a coppery-bronze discoloration, usually manifesting most strongly at the edge of the label side of the disc. (NB: This is not to be confused with the overall gold tint of PDO discs of that period, which results from the addition of a tiny amount of yellow dye that was added to the polycarbonate for cosmetic purposes.) When checking your discs, look also for the manufacturer’s name, which is usually (but not always) engraved around the centre hole of the disc in the transparent area.
In view of the nature of this problem (i.e. that the corrosion progresses over time) a disc that was last played many years ago might show signs of corrosion when next taken from its box. However, given the length of time that has elapsed since the problem was discovered, we believe that if a disc is going to corrode, it will certainly have done so by now, so if it hasn’t done so already, there is no cause for concern in the future.
The stocks of affected titles that were pressed during the years in question will have long ago sold out and will since have been re-pressed. These later pressings will have no such problems at all. So we would ask you to please be absolutely sure that a disc has corroded (using either the audible or visual criteria described above) before returning it to us. If, on inspection, we find that a returned disc has not corroded, it will be returned it you. If you do have cause to return a disc that has corroded, please return only the disc itself and be sure to retain your original box and booklet. We will send you a raw disc as replacement.
During the period that PDO made the affected discs for us, they were also pressing for other classical labels and we suggest that you check any discs you have from that period on the following labels: ASV, Unicorn-Kanchana, Collins, Pearl, IMP, Virgin, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. Of course, we can only replace Hyperion CDs and if you find corroded titles on other labels, we advise you to contact either the label in question or PDO. However, the original company that was PDO (Philips & Du Pont Optical) has changed hands several times in the intervening years and is currently owned by EDC (Entertainment Distribution Company), whose decision it was to close the Helpline. Their address is: EDC Blackburn, Philips Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5RZ. Tel: 01254-505300. Fax: 01254-263673.