If your CD's are harsh, try this

make a 2nd copy on a cd burner. This will be analog, not digital. Smooths out the sound.
Cdc, a copy done with a CD burner is a digital copy, and not an analogue. The CD medium itself is a digital medium and is not analogue at all.

I use the Auric Illuminator system (black pen & anti-static/polishing fluid). This seems to do a good job of removing some of the digital glare on CD's.
I agree with the above two posters completely, and the individule who started this thread is mistaken, perhaps you are loosing some information but your not getting better sound. I would suspect some of Cdc's equipment/room have a lot to do with why he gets harsh sounding CD's to sound better with a fair at best CD/R copy.
From what I understand, when you burn a CD-ROM, the pit shape is different from those that you buy in the store. So, to give Cdc the benefit of the doubt, maybe he is hearing a slight softening of the sound. Personally, I don't hear any big difference between my originals and the ones I burn on my computer...

Cdc,when you made this comparison, you were playing the CD and the copy on the same audio system, correct???
Conversely, about the Auric Illuminator: the fact that it cuts glariness from Cds, is all the more reason, to me, not to use it on my pristine cds. How can that gel differentiate poor cds from pristine ones. It can't. I washed off a load of cds after discovering that. I will gel up the harsh ones. Sorry to get off the topic. Couldn't resist.
I know they're all digital copies, but my Marantz machine also lets you make a copy of a copy if you use the analog outputs and inputs. It's a second generation copy, which you can't make using the direct digital ins and outs, because of copy protection. I never use the analog connection because I want first generation sound! But it's an option if you want to copy a CD-R. I guess that's what CDC is referring to.
My understanding of Auric Illuminator is that it "simply" removes some haziness from the CD manufacturing process. It's like taking the haze off a dirty window without changing the properties of the window (or CD) itself. Just the same, really as running LPs through your trusty Nitty Gritty or VPI.

The Auric Iluminator kit also includes a black marker for the edges of CDs, which I don't use. Can't hear any improvement.
Cdc, the copies are digital, unless you make a "copy of a copy" on a consumer machine, which will then be analogue.

I can't tell a difference, but some big guns agree with you that they sound different and better.

Cdc is correct (not about the analog part) but I have noticed that some CD-R's do sound better - less edgy - than the originals.

Some digital dude told me a few weeks ago (not sure how true it is) that some CDs were produced out of phase and putting them on a CD-R corrects the phase issue. Whatever.

All I know is that burning (using Exact Copy) does make most CD's sound different than the original. If you like the results then you might consider it better.
Thank you Sc53 and Danvetc. On my girlfriend's Marantz CDB, when making a copy of a copy, "analog recording" lights up on the display. It only allows a digital copy for the first generation. Although on one CD it did unlimited digital. I guess that CD was not encoded with SCMS.
Being upset that I messed up a copy, played both for her single blind test and she said she liked the analog. She agreed the digital copy was more accurate but preferred the sound of the analog version. I don't think this is snakeoil and there should be measurable differences between an analog and true bit for bit perfect digital copy.
I thought the analog sounded more lifeless in general as well as highs more rounded. My guess is analog looses the leading edge attack on transients. Who says accuracy is always desirable?