Higher quality CDs when written from CD Burner? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-04-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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My father, who is quite the audiophile and a composer/recording engineer, has told me he often finds that a dedicated CD burner produces a better quality (don't know if that means durability/compatibility or sound quality) compared to say, using a DVD burner that also burns CDs, to create his finished products.

 

Is there a consensus on this matter?

 

Also, just how close are we to getting to a point where a new PC build simply does not have any reason to include an optical drive?  So, is it still a fairly common expectation for someone who is distributing Audio demos and producing, to print demo discs and hand them out to people?

 

I have a friend (a fairly dumb one I'm afraid) who is trying to convince me that I should save money and not purchase any optical drives, but I'm thinking I may want a DVD drive for burning data discs and movies as I see fit, and a dedicated CD burner specifically for CDs for distribution of recorded content?

 

Thank you for your insight!

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post #2 of 24 Old 02-04-2014, 01:11 PM
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I would want to hear more details about what your father has to say about this.  If you are using the same analog and digital to analog converter for both, and if you are recording both at the same speed, I do not think a dedicated CD burner will be any better than a DVD burner.  Or, rather, it need not be.  Either one could be a piece of junk that is malfunctioning, so either one could mess things up.  Perhaps your father has an inferior DVD burner that he is comparing with a good CD burner.

 

In the past, I have found fewer errors and problems generated from burning at slow speeds, but they have improved such things over the years, so I now can burn things much faster than I could years ago.  So the specific gear on this will matter as well.


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post #3 of 24 Old 02-04-2014, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Your point is well taken about the possibility that his DVD burner simply was inferior to the CD burner, or that the former was malfunctioning.

 

I will try to ask him how many combinations of devices he used to come to that conclusion.  I have a feeling he based it on more than one comparison, but I will find out for sure next time I speak with him.

 

On my second question:  Is it safe to say that purchasing an Optical drive that fits my needs is not a waste of money these days?  In other words, are serious amateurs and professionals still building PCs that include them and for good reason?

 

Thanks

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post #4 of 24 Old 02-04-2014, 01:50 PM
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I would not buy a computer without one.  But I am still listening to CDs, so maybe you should wait for more replies.

 

Really, though, it is a question of what you want to do with your computer.  If nothing you want to do with it involves an optical drive, why buy one?  And if you do want to use one, why are you asking the question?  If it suits your needs and desires, get one.


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post #5 of 24 Old 02-04-2014, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I hear you.  Your logic is sound.  It's just that my friend made me question the decision to buy an optical drive because he was saying that music is all digital now anyway, and people use thumb drives so much yada yada.  My reply to him was that it didn't make a lot of sense to buy dozens of thumb drives just so you could hand someone some music you made.

 

I think he's just on the ignorant side of this particular topic and also hates to be shown examples of how his logic is flawed ;)

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post #6 of 24 Old 02-04-2014, 02:55 PM
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I would probably go for one drive, that can burn everything I want, and can load up everything I want, in my computer.  Thus, if you want to play BDs for your computer, or record on BDs, I would get a drive that can do that.  Otherwise, I would likely go with a DVD drive that can burn and play both DVDs and CDs.  

 

I certainly have not noticed any problems using my current DVD/CD burner for burning CDs compared with my old computer that had a CD only drive.  So I am skeptical of your father's concerns about a DVD drive being in any way problematic.  If it is junk, sure, but anything that is junk is problematic, not whether it is CD only or both DVD and CD.


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post #7 of 24 Old 02-05-2014, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exstream View Post

My father, who is quite the audiophile and a composer/recording engineer, has told me he often finds that a dedicated CD burner produces a better quality (don't know if that means durability/compatibility or sound quality) compared to say, using a DVD burner that also burns CDs, to create his finished products.

Is there a consensus on this matter?

No, because the equipment isn't all the same.

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Also, just how close are we to getting to a point where a new PC build simply does not have any reason to include an optical drive?

I think that Windows 7 & 8 are the releases where there has been a lot of activity along the lines of installing Windows off of a flash drive.
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  So, is it still a fairly common expectation for someone who is distributing Audio demos and producing, to print demo discs and hand them out to people?

It is about knowing your market. What do the people use for auditioning demos?

A big part of the world now downloads everything they listen to from say iTunes.
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I have a friend (a fairly dumb one I'm afraid) who is trying to convince me that I should save money and not purchase any optical drives,

Given the current pricing of optical drives - under $20 at a good competitive computer parts store his comments are a bit mystifying.
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but I'm thinking I may want a DVD drive for burning data discs and movies as I see fit, and a dedicated CD burner specifically for CDs for distribution of recorded content?

The first hedge on improved quality while burning optical discs is burn at a lower speed then full tilt boogey.

I build PCs for people who distribute optical discs and I haven't bought a CD burner for years and years. However I may be a bit choosy about whose drives I buy - I noticed that most people who build tower duplicators buy Optiarc drives for the burners. They don't command much of a premium price.

I think the most common reason for leaving out the optical drive is size. It's hard to make a really thin laptop with an optical drive, and its easy to force people to buy a USB DVD if it comes to that - they are under $40 in a good computer parts store.
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post #8 of 24 Old 02-05-2014, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

I would probably go for one drive, that can burn everything I want, and can load up everything I want, in my computer.  Thus, if you want to play BDs for your computer, or record on BDs, I would get a drive that can do that.  Otherwise, I would likely go with a DVD drive that can burn and play both DVDs and CDs.  

I certainly have not noticed any problems using my current DVD/CD burner for burning CDs compared with my old computer that had a CD only drive.  So I am skeptical of your father's concerns about a DVD drive being in any way problematic.  If it is junk, sure, but anything that is junk is problematic, not whether it is CD only or both DVD and CD.

I suspect its good old school risk aversion. There is a failure mode of DVD drives where they work fine burning DVDs but can't burn a CD to save their lives. There have been DVD burners that were great for burning DVDs but only worked kinda sorta for CDs. The busted drives I see from time to time, but the ones that are out-of-the box bad for burning CDs not so much.
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-05-2014, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok thanks guys.  I think both of you have given me enough info and perspective to know I do in fact want at least a DVD/CD REader/Writer.  We'll see about a dedicated CD burner if my dad can make a good argument for one.  If so, I'll come back here to post his thoughts on the matter.  He's the type of audiophile that I've learned has an ear for things that other people either can't hear, or don't hear until he points it out to them, so it could possibly be that  he's on to something, but it could also be down to the specific equipment, as you said.

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post #10 of 24 Old 02-05-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by exstream View Post
 

Ok thanks guys.  I think both of you have given me enough info and perspective to know I do in fact want at least a DVD/CD REader/Writer.  We'll see about a dedicated CD burner if my dad can make a good argument for one.  If so, I'll come back here to post his thoughts on the matter.  He's the type of audiophile that I've learned has an ear for things that other people either can't hear, or don't hear until he points it out to them, so it could possibly be that  he's on to something, but it could also be down to the specific equipment, as you said.

 

It is also possible that he is "hearing" things that are not there.  Many, many people buy into all sorts of things in audio, but when properly tested, they hear only what is humanly possible.  arnyk has a lot of experience discussing such matters, and is a kind of expert at exposing nonsense in audio.  So, it may be that your father has had some experience with defective and/or improperly made burners, or he may have an overactive imagination.

 

If you want some examples, you can watch the videos in this thread:

 

Audio Woo at its worst! Please try to watch All the way Through! :)

 

You will need to watch the long one (the second one) for a while to get to why it is included.  Enjoy!


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post #11 of 24 Old 02-07-2014, 10:41 AM
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Well, you know the old saying. One man's nonsense in audio is another man's.........
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post #12 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 06:13 PM
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I have found digitally identical CD-Rs to sound very slightly better than the original CD in some CD transports. It's tied to the jitter response of the particular CD-R differing from the pressed CD.wink.gif
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I have found digitally identical CD-Rs to sound very slightly better than the original CD in some CD transports. It's tied to the jitter response of the particular CD-R differing from the pressed CD.wink.gif

How did you go about finding this? What test methodology?

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post #14 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 10:11 PM
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How did you go about finding this? What test methodology?

Okay, here we go.......
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-11-2014, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I have found digitally identical CD-Rs to sound very slightly better than the original CD in some CD transports. It's tied to the jitter response of the particular CD-R differing from the pressed CD.wink.gif

How did you go about finding this? What test methodology?

I believe there was an AES Conference paper (not refereed) about this a decade or two ago.

Basically, tracking problems due to a questionably burned CD-R caused the servo amps to overload a marginally designed power supply which ended up affecting power supply voltages for some delicate signal processing circuits (like the clock?).

The results were measured, not necessarily confirmed by DBTs.

This was in the early days of widespread use of CD-Rs and not every player was optimized for them. Some players wouldn't even load them.

A friend and I did some reflectivity measurements of CD-Rs and found that some were marginal on those grounds as well.
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-11-2014, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I believe there was an AES Conference paper (not refereed) about this a decade or two ago.

Basically, tracking problems due to a questionably burned CD-R caused the servo amps to overload a marginally designed power supply which ended up affecting power supply voltages for some delicate signal processing circuits (like the clock?).

The results were measured, not necessarily confirmed by DBTs.

This was in the early days of widespread use of CD-Rs and not every player was optimized for them. Some players wouldn't even load them.

A friend and I did some reflectivity measurements of CD-Rs and found that some were marginal on those grounds as well.

OK, but he said that the CD-Rs sounded better than the originals in some cases!

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post #17 of 24 Old 02-11-2014, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I have found digitally identical CD-Rs to sound very slightly better than the original CD in some CD transports. It's tied to the jitter response of the particular CD-R differing from the pressed CD.wink.gif

How did you go about finding this? What test methodology?

This was in the early days of widespread use of CD-Rs and not every player was optimized for them. Some players wouldn't even load them.

A friend and I did some reflectivity measurements of CD-Rs and found that some were marginal on those grounds as well.
If I had to guess, the differences heard are possibly due to the CD transport's differing ability to read CDs as opposed to CD-Rs.
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I believe there was an AES Conference paper (not refereed) about this a decade or two ago.

Basically, tracking problems due to a questionably burned CD-R caused the servo amps to overload a marginally designed power supply which ended up affecting power supply voltages for some delicate signal processing circuits (like the clock?).

The results were measured, not necessarily confirmed by DBTs.

This was in the early days of widespread use of CD-Rs and not every player was optimized for them. Some players wouldn't even load them.

A friend and I did some reflectivity measurements of CD-Rs and found that some were marginal on those grounds as well.

OK, but he said that the CD-Rs sounded better than the originals in some cases!

Sounding better or worse can only be determined scientifically if there is a reliable standard that is available for easy and reliable comparison.

I see "sounds better" bandied about without reference to a reliable standard that is available for easy and reliable comparison. So I don't know what it means or why I should find it credible. ;-)

Like i said, 10-15 years ago properly reading CD-Rs could be a unreliable proposition. Some CD drives did it brilliantly, and others would not even load the discs. Ironically the original CDP 101, the first CD player on the market, generally did and does well with CD-Rs.

That was then and this is now. If someone finds a single obsolete CD player that coughs and wheezes playing CD-Rs, so what?

I believe that most of the discussions on AVR relate to contemporary products that one can actually routinely buy on the open consumer market.
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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HI thanks for the replies, guys.

 

Look, I'm not personally trying to assert that there is a difference between CD's burned by a DVD-R vs CD-R drive.  I was simply wondering if anyone else had noticed or tried to quantify what my father says as an anecdote.  Since you don't know him, and validation of his engineering skills isn't really something I'm after, I'll just ask you to understand that he definitely knows what he's talking about.

 

He's one of the top 2 or 3 piano tuners alive, as an example of the type of ear this man possesses.  Travels around Europe tuning pianos for concert musicians, is a master recording engineer and an accomplished classical composer in his own right.  Having sat down with him when he showed me two different CDs, one recorded with a typically tuned piano (the term is escaping me... is it 440?) vs his method of tuning, thinking "oh yea, I"m going to pretend like I hear a difference and make him feel validated."  Boy was I mistaken.  The 2nd CD had every note resounding clearly through his stereo system, no individual notes interfered with others, and rang out clearly longer than the 1st CD.  After hearing that his ear, if you follow what he's pointing out to you, DOES spot minute, and sometimes magnificant changes to purity of sound, I tend to think he's on to something here...

 

But... maybe it's the quality of the particular drive itself, and they simply aren't made as well anymore ?  (CD-R, DVD-R, all of it)

 

I posed the question to him again, and he let me know that, not only is the above comparison between DVD-R and CD-R consistent for him, that there's one particular SONY drive (I'll try to find out the model) that is what he believes to be the best sounding CDs.  It is an IDE connector model.  He swears that not only is there a difference between the CD and the multi-burner, that the IDE connected ones sound better than SATA.

 

So, his solution?  Buy like 20 of those SONY drives and never have to run out again in his life.  Though, as I'm finding out now, IDE enabled motherboards are getting less and less common.  He'll eventually run into an impasse, I think.

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post #20 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 10:56 AM
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HI thanks for the replies, guys.

I posed the question to him again, and he let me know that, not only is the above comparison between DVD-R and CD-R consistent for him, that there's one particular SONY drive (I'll try to find out the model) that is what he believes to be the best sounding CDs.  It is an IDE connector model.  He swears that not only is there a difference between the CD and the multi-burner, that the IDE connected ones sound better than SATA.

So, his solution?  Buy like 20 of those SONY drives and never have to run out again in his life.  Though, as I'm finding out now, IDE enabled motherboards are getting less and less common.  He'll eventually run into an impasse, I think.

Nature can have some harsh surprises for people who think they can stock up on optical and hard drives. The drives themselves can go bad while sitting on the shelf. There are materials effects such as cold flow and relief of thermal stresses that can cause parts to go out of tolerance.
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-18-2014, 10:46 AM
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Personally I always use DVD burner for the sake of having better quality records so... somehow this must be widespread and works!
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post #22 of 24 Old 02-18-2014, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Personally I always use DVD burner for the sake of having better quality records so... somehow this must be widespread and works!

 

Huh???

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post #23 of 24 Old 02-19-2014, 02:00 PM
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I think he said, because he does it, it must be widespread and it works.
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post #24 of 24 Old 02-22-2014, 04:52 AM
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I think he said, because he does it, it must be widespread and it works.

Burning CDs on DVD burners does work and seems to work as well as burning them on CD burners.

CD burners have almost disappeared from the marketplace and even DVD burners have disappeared from some portable computers, probably because USB flash drives are so pervasive. I carry 2 on my keychain, just in case...
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