Purchase a professional Sony CDR-33. You can find them for around $550. Cory
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If your desire is to backup existing music CDs, may I make a suggestion that may cause a sign stating "Kick Me" to appear on my rump, but I truly believe it needs voicing. Go with a computer CD-RW unit, assuming you own a PC. HP, Plextor and others manufacture reliable, high-speed burners that IMHO make better copies of CDs than you may find in sub-$500 consumer audio CD recorders. The added benefit of having a CD burner for your computer at about 2/3rds of your budget, and being able to use less expensive data CDs blanks doesn’t suck either (also assuming you own an audio CD player, and it is capable of playing data CDs). Whether you would choose to use an existing CD/DVD player for source direct copying, or interim copy to the hard-drive would be a different conversation, but I believe you would get the most bang for the buck via this route.
Why do they make better copies? I can't even spell "EE" so I won't even try to give you the details, but there have been a few threads here that extol such units. I'd suggest searching for the thread “Do CD-R's sound the same as originals” and reading it, especially an explanation provided by “Kocho”. There is even reference to a website that provides some further info, specifically concerning jitter that you may find useful, at the very least interesting. I did.
If you are looking to copy analog music, I am going to have to defer to those that may post following me. I will say that the A-D converter in my audio CD-recorder (living in semi-retirement in a double-wide outside of Kissimmee) didn’t seem up to the task, and professional audio types may well tell you that good A-D converters can not be had at discount rates. Best of luck.
My opinion, for what it’s worth.
I was ready to go the computer route due to the several limitations of "consumer grade" cd burners; e.g., inability to use a copy as a source for copying, requirement to purchase more expensive audio cds instead of regular computer cds. I decided on a stand alone burner because I want to record fm broadcasts on cd, and my audio system is not in the same room as the computer. I found a "professional" grade burner, the Marantz CDR500, which uses any cd disc, and which doesn't prohibit using the copy as a source. It was $569 at Electronic City (online purchase)which makes it competitive with "consumer" burners.
You may wish to check this out or look at Marantz' CDR631, a similar unit for less money. Good luck. Dave