Skip Doctor

It's the age of CD's. We use them for music, movies and computers. So what do you do when you scratch one? Call the Skip Doctor? Amy  Jacquin scratches beneath the surface of their claims for our test.

The Skip Doctor claims to restore damaged discs to optimal working condition, repairing even stubborn scratches. This is Paul MacDougal's first look at the Skip Doctor. He makes his living on music as owner of CD Warehouse in Cape Girardeau. And he's always looking for good ways to fix skips. "Snap the disc into the lower jaw..." Paul MacDougal mumbles as he reads directions. "Oh, my! This is mechanical!"

Before we can try the Skip Doctor, we need a scratched CD. We chose Heartland artist Narvel Felts. Paul puts several good scratches on the shiny surface, but he's careful not to penetrate the silver metal. If that happens, the scratch can't be fixed. These scratches "don't even come close", according to Paul.

We try playing Narvel, and it won't even register on the machine. So we go back to figuring out how the Skip Doctor works.

You start by spraying resurfacing fluid on the disc, which if you read the bottle is just filtered water that makers say can be substituted with tap water. The repair comes from a special buffing pad on the crank wheel. The heavier the scratch, the more passes it needs. A total of five passes, and we're ready to try Narvel again.

"I still see the scratches, but they don't look nearly as bold as it did when we began," Paul says as he looks at the disc. And Narvel plays this time, but he still skips. So we take another spin with the Skip Doctor.

"I feel like I should've reeled in a big one by now!" jokes Paul as he busily cranks the wheel."Okay, I've gone back and forth over that scratch several times. I'll do it one more time." A total of another eight passes, and we try Narvel a third time. More of the song plays this time, but we still hear some skipping.

We don't believe the Skip Doctor works on stubborn scratches. It does okay on small ones, but it's not worth $30. The Skip Doctor earns a D-minus.

Paul later tried another do-it-yourself product that promises to repair scratches. And Soundboni did work. Narvel plays perfectly, the entire CD through. So maybe you should try Soundboni instead, which can be found at various music stores.