I have mastered over 2000 hours of live music in either the analog domain or digital. Since 1989, I have been exclusively recording digitally to DAT. Of course I would have rather used analog equipment, however, because all of my recordings are done on location I have to use the best possible portable gear, which has included very expensive mics, Neuman, B&K, Schoeps and AKG. I have also used the following DATs, Panasonic SV250 and 255, Sony D10 pro II and PCM 2600. I always use an outboard mic pre-amp, Aerco MP2, Lunatec, Byer, Schoeps ect. Also, I have used many A/D's, Sony's SBM, Apogee's AD 500 and 1000, ect. Why I am stating this is that I believe I have a good idea how the mastered DAT sounds. For archival purposes I have DAT back ups and recently CDR's. I can detect generational loss from DAT's. It comes across as a thinning of the sound, ect. On CDR, which I use a Marantz CDR 630, I haven't noticed a significant loss, at least not large enough to become dogmatic in my views. In summary, if you have the original, hey, play it and enjoy it. It should sound as good as it is. If you are making a copy for back up, well, that is why you are copying it, for back up. Buy original when possible and support the artists. However, at times a copy is all we have to listen to.