AOM Logo January 2000

Millennium Q-151 CD Coating Oil
An inexpensive digital tweak from the house of Yamamura Churchill

Blair Roger

Oil for the Lamps of the Millennium

The indefatigable Paul Wakeen of Media Access, who brought you Needle Nectar and Cromolin Vibration Control sheets, has sent me a sample of some very special oil. The oil is marketed by one of the most prestigious audio companies in the United Kingdom, Yamamura Churchill.

If you would like to know more about the company, browse their page located at For most of us, sadly, their Q-151 Coating Oil is about the only thing they sell that we are likely able to afford. It is said that Mr. Churchill (yes, like Winston) came across Be (that's Bay) Yamamura creating some extraordinarily innovative fabric insulated audio cables in Italy. A partnership was formed and Yamamura-san blossomed like a true Renaissance man developing a line of stunning single driver loudspeakers and exceptional amplifiers along with his Millennium cables.

I was agreeably surprised when I received a small package from Media Access containing Yamamura's CD Coating Oil, a disk of firm, pale blue sponge, and a small rectangle of shiny, gray cloth. I rarely listen to CDs but in this case, I decided to make an exception.

Theory and Practice

The premise behind Millennium Q-151 CD Coating Oil is that airborne dust oxidizes, coating the surface of optically encoded discs with resin-like bacteria that reduces the laser's ability to reflect the data into the pick-up lens. This diminishes the signal intensity and the performance of the disc reading device for CDs, DVDs, Laser Discs, CD-ROMs, and Mini-Discs alike. It is claimed that Q-151 enables more signal to get through to the lens and in the case of music CDs, this enhances the sound. I can't dispute the other claim that Q-151 also reduces the surface tension of the plastic layered disc so that when a foreign object comes into contact with the play surface of the disc, the reduced surface friction helps the object slide out of the way. Additionally, as the width of the track the laser is reading is only 1/1000th the width of a human hair, a visible scratch represents catastrophic data destruction. When a scratch obscures many pits, the microprocessor can't interpolate what should come next, making the player skip. Q-151 is able to penetrate scratches and surface imperfections rendering them transparent to the laser-lens assembly. Logically, this would mean less skipping and more importantly, less wasted micro-processing of the corrupted data allowing the processor to produce a pure music signal.

Q-151 is very easy to use and one package is supposed to treat at least 150 discs. I believe this to be quite possible. The bottle acts as an applicator allowing one drop at a time to be dispensed onto the playing surface of the disc. The sponge is used to wipe the oil across the disc in a lateral motion (never circular) and if you are cleaning a number of discs, less and less oil needs to be used as the sponge saturates. A final polish with the gray micron cloth completes the job.

I tried Q-151 on La Luna by the Canadian Guitar Trio [Skylark 9802 CD] because I am quite familiar with the disc and have been listening to it a lot while breaking in the Welborne Labs Apollo I amps. A quick A/B comparison was possible, and with my modest NAD 502 CD player in the dead of night when the house is totally quiet, I really did hear a difference. The music sounded more relaxed, detailed and subtle inflections were revealed. There was more spaciousness to the studio acoustic and lower frequencies became richer and more substantial. This is the sort of improvement people often would use to justify an upgrade of CD player or outboard processor. You have little risk in trying it for yourself. This one really works.

Product: Yamamura Churchill Millennium CD Coating Oil Q-151

Distributed by: Media Access

Price: US$15.00

Telephone: (715) 698-3254
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