Do CD-R's sound the same as originals

does a burned copy of a cd sound the same as the original
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
Well...the pro CDR guys here have given me the artillery to go back and take another look at the CDR's. I had quit altogether because of the degradation problems that I encountered. It would be fantastic if I could make copy rocordings.
I agree with KTHOMAS. I use a Sony DVP-7700 for a transport and a Monarchy A-22 for the DAC, great sound. When I record I use the same set up and record with a Pioneer PDR-509. By using a AudioQuest digital Pro coaxial cable From the digital out of the Monarchy to the digital in to the PDR-509, I get a perfect bit for bit copy of the original CD. I cannot tell the difference. If there is any degradation in sound, I do not think it is audible. Just my opinion. Mike
Thank you Kocho, I find your explanation satisfying, as opposed to other responses... Otherwise it should be impossible to reproduce computer software in CD ROMs, since even minute errors would easily render the software useless.
I have burned close to 100 CDR's on my Dell computer with an HP burner. I copy all files to hard drive, then burn CD at 1X. I have not been able to hear any significant degradation in sound quality. I will not say the copies sound better or maybe even as good, but they do not sound bad. I have a superbly resolving stereo worth almost $15000. There might be a slight change in some characteristics, but I have not been able to pinpoint it. I do a lot of listening through headphones, and even then, I detect very minor differences. Could just be psychological. It is certainly orders of magnitude improvement over ANY home tape system, and I've owned three different RTR's and a pretty good cassette deck. Never satisfied with any form of tape (including 7-1/2 IPS on Revox), but CDR is almost as good as original. Most people would never detect any difference. If you detect drastic degradation, you're doing something wrong or your equipment is defective.