Do CD-R's sound the same as originals

does a burned copy of a cd sound the same as the original

Showing 3 responses by kocho_chestimenskid997

I would add to the response of 1439bhr the following: There might not be any errors on the copy. In fact as 14 says there should not be any. However, the reflective properties of CDR and CDRW are different than these of regular CDs. This is the main reason some audio players do not read them at all. Others misinterpret quite a few bits because of difficulties reading them. They have error correction algorythms that are meant originally to correct erors due to scratches, vibrations and dust. That is how audio data ends up interpolated and hence the sound might be inferior. Of course jitter remains a factor too... Kocho
Ezmeraldall, I suppose dye matters to the extend that some manufacturers obviously did a better job. What I mean is that on Memorex I had to throw out several CDRs after copying since they were unreadable. I generally have had no such problems with Sony or Smart & Friendly or TDK or Nashua (even with 80 minutes disks). Originals reflect light better than CDRs that in turn are more reflective than CDRW. So I would assume that CDRWs have the potential to introduce more errors than CDRs and thus the quality could degrade more. I really have no way to tell what happens in reality, as I have no equipment to verify if all bits were transferred OK to the copy. To my ears copies usually sound indistinguishable from the original even through my Sennheiser HD600 headphones. Of course, my source is a modified Sony ES player, so it is not top of the line in many respects - that might be masking some very subtle differences that other people might be hearing indeed - I also agree with the other people here who said recording at lower speed (1x) should be better than higher speed. Obviously there is some difference in the way CDR/CDRW disks are perceived by players (both computer and audio) as they take significantly longer to initialize (read the number of tracks and start playing) than original CDs. I don't know why. I usually copy CDs from one CD-ROM to the CD burner directly and do not go through the hard drive. If I'm making a mix from several CDs, I usually make it piece by piece on a rewritable CD and then copy the whole thing to a CDR if I want to keep it. Sometimes I just leave it on the CDRW that my player reads OK too. This way if there are problems I don't waste the blank. I get almost 100% playable copies when I do a disc copy. Where I get problems sometimes is mixing CDs so if I do the mixing on a rewritable CD first, then verify it is OK and then copy the whole CD I'm almost certain it will work as audio CD. Kocho
Hi there, The theory is simple - in bit-for-bit perfect copy there is no loss of information. Period. However, if there is an error during the copy process, the CDR or CDRW can still play and the error correction software in the player can mask it - hence the degradation in performance. Even a click or a skip in extreme cases - this is a due to a big error not corrected by the player. On the other hand, a copy can sound BETTER than the original. Simple explanation - the amount of jitter introduced during recording can be LESS than the amount of jitter on the original. The huge buffers in computer CDR burners can help exactly with this. They buffer the signal from the original CD, and use the computer own clock as a sync signal when writing to the copy. The clocks in computers run at 10-100 times higher rate of the synch signal of the clocks in ordinary players and DACs. Consumer players/recorders combos often don't have these big buffers, run at 10 to 50 Mhz (as opposed to up to a GHz or more in computers) and can introduce more jitter. Especially at high speeds. Hope you know how jitter translates into signal degradation during payback... To summarize: given the following: - bit-per-bit perfect copy - no errors during copying - the same or smaller amount of jitter in the copy - AND - your player can read wihout a hickup (e.g. reads 100% of all bits recorded) there is simply no way the copy can sound worse than the original. If anyone hears a degradation the reasons could be: - introduced more jitter in the copy - there are errors during the copy process or it is otherwise not bit-per-bit perfect copy - player can't read all bits properly so it has to "guess" and interpolate the signal - OR one's just hearing things... Hope this helps a bit. Please, visit for more info. I'm in no way affiliated with the folks there - I'm just an EE and signal processing major with a mid-fi system that supports the theory - in most cases there is no difference to my ears... Regards, Kocho