CD recorder advice sought

I've read all the threads on this topic, but I am seeking fresh, current input. I want to get a CD recorder primarily to make compilations. I understand the tradeoffs between pro and consumer decks, but would prefer not to spend what it takes to get a pro model. Dual bay would be a plus but not a requirement. I want sound quality, reliability, and ease of use. Any recommendations? Thanks. --Dan
Ag insider logo xs@2xdrubin
Well, if you've read all the threads on this topic, you've read my opinion(s). I have a Pioneer W739 (now 839), and everthing I've said about it is still true. It has all the features you want and is now available for $400. or less. Maybe not "fresh", but I'll stand by my assessment(s) of this CD recorder. Good Luck. Craig
Thanks Craig. I certainly took your earlier comments and our email exhange seriously. Just thopught I'd fish for any new opinions tha tmight be floating about.

One thing, though. At first I thought I would use my CDP as transport to feed digital to the recorder, so I wouldn't need a dual bay recorder (let alone the 3 CD input bay on your Pioneer). But then I started thinking that it might be much simpler to have the dual-bay arrangement. Then I wouldn't have to switch the coax from my DAC to the recorder every time I want to use it. Any thoughts on that?
Drubin: I have the Pioneer PDR-839 which is avaailable NIB for around $325 from a DJ equipment website (they also sell on Ebay). I updated the power cord (Absolute) by adding a Harmonic Tech IEC adapter (purchased from Scott "Disco") and the playback improved considerably for a $90 investment. Digital to digital copies are very good (I cannot detect a difference between the copy and the original) and I will soon be making copies of old analog tape in order to preserve this music. I have not tried it as a transport since it has been broken in, so cannot comment on this. My godson makes compilations on it and says that it is a snap, but I have yet to master this procedure.
Are you using the AES/EBU output on your dac? If so connect to the single ended output for recording. I to use a pioneer burner PDR509 works great.
Hi Drubin; IMO, a "dubbing" recorder is much more convenient and easier to use than a single well type-- especially doing compilations. Over a year ago I tried a Pioneer 509 and it would not read and record track info. from a Sony CD player. I returned it and later got the dubbing type. No regrets. Cheers. Craig
A tip for members, when buying mainstream name brand elec.,
Sony, Pioneer etc, please go to and use this price search engine.

A search for Pioneer PDR 839 gave me best price of $259. Of course larger ticket items yield even greater savings, like Sony DVP 9000 SACD/DVD/CD player.
Not sure what your budget is, but I'll throw this one in. I finally decided on a Marantz CDR-500 "pro" model with dual bay and 20 bit A-D converter. Can be had for about $750 - depending on the amount of recording you do the difference would be made up in the cost of CDRs. Once broken in, the player section outperformed my previous ~$1700 CD player. Worth checking out IMHO. Good luck on whatever you decide, -John
Thanks for the tip, megasam. Incredible, but the 839 really is available for $259, from Etronics, Can they be trusted?

It's funny. I agonize over this decision but wouldn't bat an eye at trying out a hot new $259 interconnect or system tweak.
Thanks for the very timely tip, Sam. I too am in the market for a burner and i'm sure that your post will end up saving me some money. I'm sure that others feel the same way. Sean
Yes, thanks for the tip Sam. I have friend, low on funds, who would like the W839 to replace his computer burner and this price is better than what I see used models selling for.
After months of research and price comparisons I settled for the Marantz Pro CDR 500. Both Recording and playback sound great. This unit has several advantages over units like the Pioneer 839 (which is a good CDR). You can use computer grade blank discs (which can save lots of money over the long haul) and override the serial management copy code (i.e., you can make copies of copies). I purchased mine from JandR Music World about a month ago and was able to haggle the price down to $669.00. Good luck in your search.
Throwing a monkey wrench in here, but I would like to recommend the purchase of a computer CD burner. I have owned two audio CD burners, one single and one dual, and I believe the investment in a quality computer CD rewritable can not be beat. The software's capability to burn at various data transfer rates, ability to edit the CD's layout prior to burning, and the added advantage of being able to copy data disks make it my choice.
A CD burner for the computer has the added advantage of being able to verify that the copy is identical.
Thanks for all the input everybody. I wound up ordering a Pioneer 839 today. $259 + $18 shipping from Etronics. I may later on get a pro unit or do it via the computer, but for my immediate need (making compliations for an upcoming event where sonics won't matter much), this seemed like a good solution.
One of the better and more affordable pro units is the HHB 830 "Burn it". Somewhere at around $550. It is built to last and is the now consider the budget reference within those in the know!
Musicdoc -- wow, are you replacing your CDP with the Marantz CDR 500 for regular CD listening? Could you describe the sonic differences between the two? (I've got a Karik, but still would be interested in what you heard.) Also, how do you like the A to D recording capability of your Marantz? Thanks, Jayson
Hi Jayson,
As I changed both my preamp and CD player within a relatively short time frame, I'm not able to give you a great compare/contrast between the Linn Genki and Marantz. Generally speaking, the Marantz is a more natural-sounding unit, and the presentation is much less two-dimensional (again the preamp may be at work here). Detail is rather good with the Marantz as well (a bit better than the Genki). Out of the box, the highs were a bit ragged, but that has ameliorated significantly with break-in. I'm using Tara Air2 between it and my Melos pre. I'm quite happy with recordings of LPs thus far - doing some tweaking with tubes and such. Overall I'm VERY satisfied with the purchase, even after seeing above that I paid more than I should have! Happy Listening, -John