Audio Fidelity drop 24k Gold CDs

24K Gold CDs had a distinctive packaging design

US audiophile specialists Audio Fidelity announced at the end of last week that they will no longer produce their once brand-defining 24k Gold CDs.

In an email to customers, President Marshall Blonstein cited manufacturing/supply issues and the ‘encouragement of fans’to switch to the hybrid SACD format, as the main reasons behind the decision. He finished his communication by adding:

“It is with great sadness we are informing you that we will leave an old friend, our 24K Gold disc behind, but with also with great joy, knowing that we are moving forward with a much more consistent and broadly appealing format.”

The 24k Gold CD format started in the early nineties at DCC Compact Classics before more recently being revived for Audio Fidelity. Many of the the older titles demand high prices on the used market including the Paul McCartney / Wings titles and The Doors albums.

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Simon Long

I was unlucky – I had around 20-30 CDs (out of perhaps 800) that were starting to show signs of bronzing. All still played ok, but you could see the rot starting around the centre and edges. Fortunately, this was during the late 90’s when PDO had admitted the problem and were offering free replacements of any disc they’d pressed during the affected period, so all mine were replaced free of charge. They promised they would carry on replacing discs for many years to come – unfortunately, they then went out of business… Very glad I got mine sorted when I did!


I recently noticed a few of my cds ‘bronzing’ and replaced them, which is annoying, the latest being a creedence clearwater best of.

I have three audio fidelity cds all u2 releases and i treasure them, especially War which is slightly different to the original recording.

i would like to own the robbie robertson one and the ones by the doors

sad to see the end of them


Fool’s Gold.

Mike the Fish

That’s a different kind of rot. Some UK pressed PDO discs started oxidising. Look up bronzing for more info.


CD rot only found on a few UK pressings of EMI CD’s.


CD ‘rot’ is corrosion of the materials, only 1 in 4000 so far for me.


How do you get some ol’ “c.d. rot”?


I began purchasing Audio Fidelity SACDs a few months ago. The sound quality is top-notch due to the efforts of mastering engineers Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray. I am very pleased with the titles Audio Fidelity has released so far, and wil likely be purchasing all future releases.

Simon Long

I can’t say that causes any concern! There was never any audio advantage to the use of gold – the only possible benefit was improved longevity over standard aluminium discs, and (barring the ones that were badly pressed by Philips and suffered from the dreaded CD rot), all the CDs I bought 25 or more years ago still play and rip perfectly, gold or no gold.

SACD does at least have a (theoretical) actual audio benefit over a standard CD.