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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thinking of making good use of my CD-RW drive and burning a collection of reference disks for my collection vs spending the big dollars and buying the entire collection. Is there any difference in sound quality vs the two?
 

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Serge, what do you mean by "original reference disks?"


CD to CD copies will be idential to the original. I have even found that I can make a copy of a damaged disk that will not play in my system, and the copy will play perfectly. The copy program will retry until it gets it and/or use error correction, and "restore" the damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
what i mean by "reference disks" such as the Chevsky, Patricia Barber and other classified "audiophile" recordings. You are saying that the copied versions are identical to the original? What software are you using. I have Easy Cd Creator 5.1. It has the record music cd option available. My question is is this the best way for optimum results. Also, does type/brand of CD-R's matter?
 

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Interesting question. I'm not a computer guy but my son is and he copies many of my CDs. We did a little test with one person changing out CDs and the other listening, both of us picked out the copy 100% of the time. The copy was rather congested and seemed more shallow for lack of a better word. The better the original the more apparent this difference was. I have no idea about his hardware but he is really into computers and has the latest greatest everything. I think he is as obsessed as I am with HT gear. I'll look forward to the rest of the follow up threads.


Ken
 

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As long as we're talking about real CD copies and not MP3 ripping with it's possible artifacts or reduced bitrates, there should be no difference. I have heard that some low-end CD players don't pick up the reflections from the dye of CD-Rs as well as pressed CDs, but my experience is that they all work fine and that there is no difference. There is so much variation in hardware and software out there, though, including the way error correcting is done, that it wouldn't suprise me if recordings on someone else's system had troubles. I have a crappy CD-R at work that has trouble even burning data discs, never tried it for audio. Maybe I just got lucky with the one at home? It also wouldn't suprise me if some of the perceived differences people claim they hear were psychological.
 

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If the CDs sound different from the CD-Rs when played on the same equipment, this suggests either that the player is having problems reading the CD-R discs (so that error corrections are changing things) or that the CD-Rs are not exact duplicates of the CDs.


Some consumer stand-alone CD writers that are designed to handle several different input bitrates actually resample the digital audio (from 44.1 to 44.8Ksamples/sec, and then resample back to 44.1 when writing), which will create some differences. When .WAV files are created on PCs, the same resampling can happen, too, so that a CD created from the .WAV files will be different from the original. However, a direct CD-to-CD-R copy should not have any differences at all.
 

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A direct CD to CDR copy will usually have some errors in it, there are some CD-Writing apps however that will rip say 3 copies of the same song, then analyze them, and pull the best 2 out of 3 bits, thus theoretically getting rid of all erroneous reads.


There is of course also the moral question, as you stated you are not buying the disks, you are copying assuming from someone else. Do you feek these recordings are not good enough to purchase?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have purchased all of my cd/dvds, there are just a few "reference" disks that are hard to find that a friend of mine has so i'm going to make a copy for myself and make a backup of some of my older disks. Is this fair enough?


Which software is "the best" for this purpose? Is there anything better that Easy CD Creator 5 (on Win 98), i hear there are problems with this software on XP.


Also, these music cd's are going to be played on an Arcam 8SE which is an excellent cd player in it's own right. Ken, i appreciate your post but i'll try making one copy then making some critical a-b comparisons to see if there are differences.
 

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The absolute best, most accurate software for what you want to do is EAC - Exact Audio Copy. It is free and very slick. Beware that if you are trying to copy or "recover" a disc with some damage on it, EAC may want to spend an entire day to get the most accurate copy of the data from the original. But for healthy CDs, I typically get extractions speeds of about 10x averaged across the entire CD using my 40x plextor reader.


Another thing that makes a huge difference is the functionality of the cd-reader you are using. In general, plextor is top of the line for getting bit-accurate data off music CDs. There are specific models from other brands out there that are as good as plextor, but only plextor has a history of making every single model that they produce be excellent at audio extraction. The EAC webpage covers a little bit of this in its "Tips & Drive Specs" section.

http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/
http://www.plextor.com/


Also, I recommend Kodak Gold CDRs for archival quality backups. Kodak doesn't make the original "pure" Gold CDRs anymore, but they do make their Gold/Aluminum alloy CDRs which are still specced for better UV-rejection and longer life than just about any other CDR out there. Kodak has a special on these alloy CDRs direct from their own webpage. I picked up a couple hundred of the 12x myself and they burn just fine at 16x:

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/stor...tml?CATID=6398
 

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Serge,

I use Easy CD Creator 5, Win XP, Panasonic burner and (usually) Memorex 16X CDs.


Ken,

If you can hear a difference between the originals and the copies, then I'm thinking your son has made MP3s and then converted them back again. Would you ask him and let us know.


Thanks,

Wayne
 

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Iostream - you are correct. I have downloaded a program that ripped a song 2 times and did a bit-compare of the two. There were thousands of differences with one of my CDROMS. With my newer drive, there were very few errors.


Kabillyhop - based on this, if his drive has 'issues' reading music data, there may be a difference.


FYI: I found (using that software) that even though my drive can rip music at around 12x, I usually only use 2x. The software showed that 2x created far fewer errors than 12x.


Unfortunately, I don't have the software anymore and don't remember the name. Maybe someone will read these posts and know what we are talking about.
 

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*nod to Kendrid*


I was going to say, do you're writing at 1x speed.... think about it.... jitter from PC. Not only that, but you can do research on CD extraction rates (and presumably accuracy). For example the ASUS 40x CD-Reader (at the time I got it) had great stats for reading (Digital Extraction) and low CPU usage.
 

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Jah-Wren Ryel is correct. Exact Audio Copy is far and away the finest tool available for bit perfect copies because of its use of "secure mode" digital extraction. All other programs take a back seat to this free tool.
 

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EAC is good for extraction, Nero is tolerable for windows, XCDRoast for Linux does a pretty good job as well. I have not used Easy CD Creator in a couple of years.


A good test is to get a unix diff utility, I am pretty sure they have been ported to windows, do a few audio extractions and diff them. That will tell you how many inconsistencies you are getting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
tried EAC but could not get it to copy a cd directly to another cd. EAC asked me to get Lame 2(i think) or higher but when i went to the link provided, i got squat. There are so many configurations for this utility in which i have no idea what half of the mean. I used Easy CD Creator 5.0, added the files and recorded at 4x speed. I can't tell the original from the copy on my reavealing Arcam cd player.


I'll try EAC again but i would appreciate a few pointers first. Sure i can create wave, mp3's but as i mentionned am unable to directly copy a cd...
 

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Ken,


When you did your test with your son, did you copy the discs at 1x or copy at faster than 1x? Please let us know. I've heard that there can be easily audible errors when ripping discs at fast speed. The CD-Rs sound much closer (or even the same) as the original if ripped at 1x.


I'd be interested in finding out.


-Brett
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bsd
Ken,


When you did your test with your son, did you copy the discs at 1x or copy at faster than 1x? Please let us know. I've heard that there can be easily audible errors when ripping discs at fast speed. The CD-Rs sound much closer (or even the same) as the original if ripped at 1x.


I'd be interested in finding out.


-Brett
That is not necessarily true. CDRlabs did testing and showed that burning at higher speeds (with the particular burner used) created less errors, not more.


Stereodude
 

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Stereodude,


I'm not an engineering type, but it doesn't make sense to me that ripping discs at higher speed would produce less errors. Do you know why that would be? I'm not saying that its not true, but I'd be interested to knowing why it would be true. Any thoughts?


-Brett
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bsd
Stereodude,


I'm not an engineering type, but it doesn't make sense to me that ripping discs at higher speed would produce less errors. Do you know why that would be? I'm not saying that its not true, but I'd be interested to knowing why it would be true. Any thoughts?


-Brett
It was burning, not ripping. I'm not sure why this is, but they did have error counts for each of the burning speeds and I think 16x had the least burning errors. The 20-24x speed has more errors than 16x however.


Stereodude
 

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Okay, this is everything I could find out. Please bear with me, I use a computer daily and know the programs I use well, but I know very little about what follows. The computer used has two cd decks, a Sony, used to play and an Iomega used to copy. The copies were done at "low speed, 2x or close to that". I like Diana Krall and he used some "gold" discs that I purchased at Comp USA so I could have them in my car. I'm not saying the difference was extreme but neither of us missed once. The differences were more apparent on Classical than anything else. I know he put something on my computer called Godzilla and I have a program called "Nero" to make copies with. I don't know if he uses the same programs, I asked for the best "KISS" program he had:)


Ken


PS He is out of town until the weekend but when he comes back I'll have post if the thread is still active.
 
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