CD duplicate...

hi AuGonErs,
I am a little confuse on the sound quality for a copied music CD.let say if i have an orginal audiophile CD and copy it with the best blank CD available on the market.would the CD sound the same as the original?is there a different from using the computer to copy then the CD recorder?please help.
Read about it on
Copy to a black cd-r blank.
EAC has error correction and has made every disc I have copied sound as good or better than the original.

I know it sounds pretentious, but I agree. I use Exact Audio Copy and then record onto black cd-r's at a low recording rate (1-2x). The resulting copies have more air and sound better. I have read (although I can't remember where) that in recording it at slow speeds that timing errors or jitter is reduced giving better sound. Any way, it works for me.
Nutella, Pbowne, would you tell us what 2ch audio Gear you are using for you a/b comparison. CDp, Preamp, Amp, Speakers, cable?
I will join the camp that says under certain conditions a CD-R copy can sound better than original CD, especially a poorly recorded one.

There is an article in current Positive Feedback about completely tweaked out CD-R unit from company called "Reality Check CD" that you should read. Positive Feedback author is completely sold after having two of his CDs burned on this tweaked CD-R.

Design theory is that mass produced "stamped" CD will never have superior readability of the more pronounced pits found on "burned" CD-R. Article expalins other features/technologies used in this tweaked CD-R unit.
Megasam, First let me say, mighty nice system you have. Given the source, and the object is to duplicate the source. How then can the duplicate be better than the source? Granted a poorly recorded cd thru tweaking a copy can be made to sound better. I read the article, whats with the no SFVs, to be sent for the $5.00 copy offer? Do you have a cd burner? If so have you done a/b comparisons of a good quality cd ,say like, Diana Krall "The Girl In The Other Room", played back on your Musical Fidelity A3 CDP, would the musical presentation be better than the original?

Ttrhp, I have to use cd-r audio disc in my Sony W222ES cdr. The best I have found that will get me the closest to an exact copy of a "DK" cd is the Maxell cd-r audio. Japan "Taiyo Yuden" made. That I learned last week from a few fellow agoners. If you subscribe To "Stereophile" check out Vol 25 No.6 Alesis Master Link ML 9600 hard-disk/CD-R recorder. List $1699. They gave it an "A" rating. It`s a good read.
Jea48, Theta Data II, GW labs DSP, Museatex Bitstream, John Wright modded conplete with black gates, Joule LA100 mk III, Atma-Sphere S-30, Coincident Victories. The system is very revealing. The digital front end is ridiculously good for the money. Cables are coincident TRS speaker cable, Purist Museas and Sonoran Plateau for IC's, Harmonic Tech platinum digital IC's.
The reason the duplicate can be better than the source can be found by reading the 6moons article on EAC.
Since cd's are stamped. the lands and grooves representing the data may not be perfect. Jitter is caused in this case and the transport attempts to perform error correction to compensate. The transport can only read what is reflected by the laser. When the pits in the disc are not well defined, the slight timing errors may be introduced into the data stream.
With EAC, the computer reads the data on the disc, determines the improperly defined data, sometimes reads this hard to read data several times to derermine what is there and creates an copy of this data. When burned onto a good disk, the data is written more precisely than say a hundred CD's running through a stamping machine.
It is like trying to read somebodies messy hand writing. If somebody takes the time to copy it word for word neatly, it is easier to read. If it is easier for your transport to read....
As I stated, obvious improvements were made on poorly recorded and average discs. With really well recorded material such as bluenote or chesky, the differences were negligable. Probably only due to the black disk being used for the copy.
To add to Nutella, the CD-R copy "can" sound better because the data copied is easier to read by your CD player than mass produced CD. The physical burning with laser used to copy data to CD-R is different and superior process to mass produced stamping for commercial music CDs. Also the dyes, metal layer, and protective coating can be superior with quality blank CD-Rs.

Different brands of blank CD-Rs can sound slightly different, black CD-Rs are popular as well as premium brands like Mitsui. The quality of the CD-R drive doing the burning, laser used etc can also vary results. Finally different burning software can have variable results, most popular commercial brands are Roxio, Nero, Musicmatch, Recordnow. Exact Audio Copy (EAC) is available as free download.

Anyway fun and inexpensive to experiment with, as mentioned above most dramatic improvements can be heard on CDs that are not well recorded and have typical CD grain/glare/sibliance. Almost all new computers with CD-R drive have some CD burn software installed so play around and experiment....or just skip all the trail and error and check into getting tricked out Reality CD burner mentioned in Positive Feedback article.
I have not experimented with home audio dual deck CD recorders, and not sure how they compare to computer copied CD-R. Be interested to hear anyone who has tried both methods and which they prefer.
I have a Pioneer Elite PDR19 and have made copies on to the new MFSL blanks and can only hear the difference on a local dealers 100K plus system and slight "depth of feild" at that. SO I beleive for my system that I get a exact copy.
Here is another very interesting in depth aticle about experimenting with different CD-R copy techniques for audiophiles: listening equipment for digital is:

Sony DVN 775V CD/SACD player
Dynaco Pat-5 preamp modified by Frank van Alstine
Dynaco ST-150 amp modified by Frank van Alstine
Rectilinear III speakers re-wired and modified
Creative Cable Company 12.0 interconnects
Creative Cable Company speaker cables
Creative Cable Company Power Conditioners

I have been able to hear the difference, though, on any decent system I've tried the A/B comparison.

Another thing...Black CD-R's are often used for gaming for very fast loading with low error rates. I've used Memorex Black CD-R's purchased from Best Buy. I've heard that the best are 'Pro-Disc Diamond Black' but I haven't purchased any yet.
Thanks Nutella and Pbowne for sharing with us the make up of your systems. It adds a lot of weight to your a/b comparison findings and opinions. Only fair to give you mine.
Arcam Alpha 9 CDP /with Audioquest pc
Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 preamp
Audio Research LS3 preamp
Audio Research VT50 power amp
ProAc Studio 200 speakers
Audioquest Diamond X2 ics
Audioquest Sterling 3 speaker cable.
Megasam I read the article in your last post. Is was very interesting, thanks for the info. I just spent about three hours in my audio room. At the present time I am using the SFL-1 for the preamp. I picked out three cds to copy for an a/b comparison, Eric Clapton "Slowhand", Jackson Browne "For Everyman", and Don Henley`s "Greatest Hits". Not really bad sounding cds, so so. I should mention here if I have a cd That is kinda dead, bassy sounding I spin both sides in the "Bedini ultra Clarifier". I did not do It on these three cds at this time, but I know I have in the past. Also let me say I never a/b ed avg sounding cds, only good sounding cds. I wanted to see how close the copy was to the original.
The a/b comparison,,, I was just amazed, there is defintely a noticeable difference. Clapton`n "Slowhand" track #3 ,Lay Down Sally, the copy is more detailed, cleaner, more stronger toe tapping bass. I a/b ed these two songs back and forth probably 20 times. Copy, more detailed, cleaner, tighter bass! The electric guitar, and bass guitar really sounded good. I Just couldn`t get over that bass. Then I moved my focus from the better detail and tighter bass to Clapton`s voice. I listened to the original cd track "Lay Down Sally" over and over at least 5 times. His voice full,smooth,sounding. Then I loaded the copy, Something was different, Clapton`s voice was a little thin, not quite as smooth. Not bad sounding but different. Some thing else was different also, that great bass was back but seemed to be a little over powering Clapton`s voice.
I moved on to Jackson Browne`s "For everyman". Again I noticed more detail it sounded pretty good. I zeroed in on track #4 "I Thought I Was A child" I played it several times This time concentrating on Browne`s voice And the piano. Then I loaded the original, Again I heard a difference in the vocal and definitely in the piano. The piano had more authority, Just sounded more natural.In regards to Browne`s voice, I think the biggest difference was in the nasal sound of his voice.
By the time I got to Don Henly`s cds I was getting a little tired of the whole thing. Basically I found about the same thing. The copy sounded pretty good. I went back and forth between the two cds. "The Boys Of Summer" and "The End Of The Innocence" Henley`s voice was different. In the original the nasal sound of his voice seemed to be a little fuller and smoother than the copy.
Which is the correct sound of the vocals of these three male singers? And those pianos, I think the original cds sound more natural.
If any of you get the chance will you do an a/b comparison of some cds with vocals and pianos, and just focus in on the vocals and the piano. Share your findings with the rest of us.
I have these albums on vinyl I`ll pull them out and play them and listen...
One other note, when ever I have done an a/b comparison of a really good sounding cd to a cd-r copy Like Diana Krall or Norah Jones, I can always pick up the differences in the vocal and the piano. Maybe I need a new cdr recorder.
As long as you duplicate within the digital domain
the copy will be 100% identical. Of course that requires you to use the digital ins/outs AND you'd have to use a masterclock. If you haven got clock inputs and outputs
I wouldn't bother making digital copies.
sorry to hijack the thread - golix, can this copy be done with a computer? Also, how to you account for the CD-R burning process. Would you suggest a professional CD stamper with glass masters (or pro equivlanet) instead?

no matter what I do nor how carefully I do it, all of my CD-R copies sound different (some better, but most are worse).

Aroc...I do all of the recording on my PC, an AMD 1700 with 512Mg RAM and a simple CD-burner, using an older Aureal Vortex soudncard. I've heard it should only get better if you can use equipment that is external from the PC, but I have been quite happy with my equipment already. The most important parts are using EAC (Exact Audio Copy) to make the copy on the hard drive, and to do the burning at the slowest speed possible (preferrably 1-2x).
I have had very good success running two CD-R decks for direct duplication between decks.
Requires purchase of $90 external CD-R deck and quality USB 2 cable. Use computers CD-R to read data and outboard CD-R to record (write) at speed slow enough that allows direct steam from buffer without strain. My Pentium 2.4 ghz will easily write at 8x with 100% buffer in reserve. If you want to use slower speed to write by all means experiment.

I have external drive on brass cones and bag of sand on top to dampen vibration. Also prefer black CD-R (memorex works fine and easy to find) be sure and clean blank CD-R with Shine Ola or similar cleaner "before" you record for best results.

All my CDs that have bright/grainy sound get black CD-R duplication. Not only is overall sound cleaned up nicely but bass seems like a full octave lower has been added, very noticeable impact here.
While your wallet is out.........I just picked up a Bedini Quadri Beam and it is noticeably better than old dual beam, another tool for CD enhancement worth owning.