What to look for in purchasing CD-R's for recordin

I have never burned a CD before and when looking at what is available in stores in regards to blank recordable CD's, I am at a loss to what is considered "better". Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
I use Matsui Gold. I buy them online. Here is an interesting link to an article you can read that talks about burning discs and different CDRs:


Go to the Downloads section, then click on Whitepapers. The second pdf under white papers is the one.
Many folks prefer the Black CDR (Memorex) and will go even farther claiming that these Clones actually sound better than the original copy.
Having heard a few types in a demonstration for our audio society, I'd say the Mitsui Gold discs probably have the best quality (MFSL sells them, don't know about the others) in terms of clarity and detail. The black discs I've heard have a consistently warmer sound than the standard ones; some people like that. And the differences, while not night and day, are noticeable, which surprised me. One thing you should know is that you should make sure you get the right type of disc for your burner; for example, my Mitsui gold discs are for computer and general use, but unfortunately my Yamaha music server can only cut discs on blank music CD-Rs and so it won't recognize them.
I have tried many but use the Sony Music CD-Rs consistently now. You can find them at Target.

They have a very extensive CD burning file on downloads
go down to white papers.

I am a Mastering Engineer and I use Taiyo Yuden Silvers. They consistantly give me the lowest C1/C2/BLER error rates on Plextor Premium burners.

I use Memorex black CD-Rs and Mitsui. black discs are pretty good, but as someone mentioned tend to have a warmer sound. Which is not at all a bad thing in some cases. I use Mitsui for more critical stuff. But in any event, to me, the copies don't sound as good as the originals, despite the fact that some people say this is the case.

You can get Mitsui discs at americandigital.com

Be aware though, that some cd transports and players don't read CD-Rs. So before you buy a 100-pack, make sure they work in your player.
Look for Maxell or TDK.
Bruce - where do you buy the Taiyo Yuden Silvers?


Taiyo Yuden makes the best and are what most professionals prefer. They may be a little harder to find but can be obtained online easily enough. Look at shop4tech.com.
I won't use anything less than TDK. But like many of the gold discs out there. Oddly enough, company's names starting with M seem to have too much mids for me, (Mem, or Max not in Gold discs or Mobile Fidelity.)
The Taiyo Yuden Silvers can be bought at these fine sites:





They are half the price of Sweetwater here: http://www.shop4tech.com/user.htm
I think the burner makes as much difference as the blank. There seems to be some preference for black cdrs, but when it comes to burners, I find no concensus whatsoever.
I'll also cast a vote for Taiyo Yuden CDR's. Simply first rate. I get mine from http://www.cddimensions.com/
Mlsstl, which do you get the Everest? Is there some way you can buy fewer than 500?
I buy the item marked as TAI-CDR80WPHP, which is available in quantities as low as 100. I don't have a thermal printer so use the ink-jet version.
Yes, the burner makes just as much of a difference as the media. That's why I stated TY media on a Plextor Premium burner. All burners are different. My Alesis Masterlink absolutely does NOT like Black CD-R media while my Tascam DV-RA 1000 loves it. That's why you have to check your error rates for each burner/media to acheive the best match!

Thank you everyone for the great replies. What if I am simply making copies on my PC? I would only be making a handful of CD's so I don't want to purchase a large number of blank CD's.
What if I am simply making copies on my PC? I would only be making a handful of CD's so I don't want to purchase a large number of blank CD's.

Memorex black CD-Rs in Best Buy will do the job just fine. $20 for 50-disc spindle. You can use them for data as well and they sound very good.
Thanks Audphile1. Most likely any recording I would be doing is making copies for people who are not audiophiles or making CD's to use in my Van.

Another question - I notice that CD's state a record speed, such as, "up to 48x". Does this speed have any bearing on quality?
Contrary to popular belief, burning high speed discs at slow speed can cause errors. But, it seldom happens. It is hard to find slow speed discs but HHB has them. I use them with my HHB stand alone because HHB warns against using high speed CDRs in their recorder. I use Taiyo Yuden 48X in all of my computers.
And surprise... Guess who makes HHB CD-R's? Most of them are by Mitsui, a few by Ricoh. Except that they are low-speed discs rather than the usual 52x (which is fine with me, because I can't stand listening to CD-R's burned faster than 2x anyway). I would guess that Mitsui makes Apogee discs too.

The best-sounding discs I've heard (because they produce the least amount of jitter upon playback):

Ricoh (hard to find)
Taiyo Yuden (Maxell PRO and some Fuji are TY if made in Japan)
probably Kodak & Apogee too, but haven't tried them.

As for the person above who uses nothing but TDK - are you aware that TDK no longer makes any of their own discs? They are made by cheaper companies in Taiwan and TDK stamps their name on them. TDK discs are not what they used to be.

There are other factors that improve the sound of CD-R's:

1. Always burn at slow speed (1x-2x) if possible.
2. Use demagnetizer to reduce static charge on the plasic before burning.
3. Clean the disc with isopropyl alcohol or distilled vinegar before burning.
4. If using a computer, get rid of the cheap ribbon cables inside and replace with premium shielded/grounded round cables. The best-sounding ones are IOSS Gladiator RD3XP but I think they are now discontinued. Also use a premium power cord.

And yes, I actually do all of the above to my own discs. I use an old 4x burner to burn at 2x, since I don't think there's any newer burners that burn slower than 4x.
for non-audiophiles, playing this cd in their car system or on the boombox?
should have 0 effect what speed they were recorded on.
But to be safe burn it on the lower speed...may provide better error correction during recording.