ultimate CD-R burner system?

Hello what would the ultimate CD-R burner system consist of? Also must you send the signal through the sound card when burning a disk? Any way around it?
As the signal is kept in the digital domain in any computer, buy the one with the fastest speed you feel comfortable buying, I doubt you'll hear any difference.

If you are recording from analog sources......you would need to go through the sound card or a A/D converter....
Plextor and TDK are generally rated the best burners. If you have a scsi-based pc go with Plextor. Stay away from Yamaha IMHO - had 2 units crap out on me. Have burned hundreds with my scsi-based Plextor without a misshap.

If your going to use your burned cds in your audio system, check your manual or manufacturer to make sure your player will read a cdr, some don't. Stick to premium quality blanks, the cost difference is minimal. Some swear by Mitsumi gold for audio cdrs, others rave about black by Memorex. Experiment and decide yourself.

Software is another area where personal tastes vary. Your burner will come with a version providing at least basic capabilities. If you want some opinions read the threads in discussion/news groups like alt.comp.periphs.cdr and comp.publish.cdrom.software.

As Kennyt says, if burning from an audio source you'll need to wire through the sound card. Better soundcards DO make a difference.
Grandpad: Please help me...What's a scsi-based pc and how do I know if I have one? thanks.
Reading up on an earlier post GO WITH THE SLOWEST SPEED AVAILABLE . Copying a cd at 40X is just a bad proposition sonically, with all the audible pops and clicks. Try to stay at 8X and under if you can. The sound quality is amazing compared to fast speeds...
A computer CD-burner system is really a two part system.
The hardware, and the software.
Using the hardware... ALWAYS copy the original source to your harddrive. (that is: do not copy from source CD to burner directly).
Using a Cd drive that pleases you. Everyone has a favorite, based on what they "like" or avoiding what "failed" for them. (I have several, TDK40..., Yamaha 3200.., LiteOn 32X and LiteOn 48X and a Toshiba DVD/CD-RW.. My fav. is the LiteOn, only because it is recommended by both "CloneCD" and "BlindWrite" software sites as a burner which will do all the subcodes, DAO96, etc, and do the best on protected CD formats:(of course these are used only to create backups of legally owned software, music, and games!)
Then the software:
I found a copy of Sonic Foundry used and love it for downloading CD's into my system. But I use CloneCD to burn "bit for bit" copies of stuff. (Clone CD do a search on Google for "elby" or "cloneCD". its about ?$40).
I personally don't like Nero for music. (A new free download of a complete software item from "Jetaudio" is available. Big download and a complicated "beta release" but it looks VERY promising and I think it will be a winner. I found it in the website "Hydrogen Audio" " A lot of options in it. I just got it so no time for a review... from me)
Some claim the CD-R blanks are important, but any brand you have heard of is ok if you have a good burner and good program.
Make sure your discs are lint free!!! before you burn to or from them.
Good luck
hey elizabeth i did a searc on sonic foundry and so many products poped up for a non musician just burning cds/making mp3's whaterver what do you recommend ?? which did you get ??thanks for the idea..:)