Who makes a good CD recorder?

Who makes a good or decent CD recorder? I am interested in making compilation CD's to sit back and listen to on my new Bryston BCD-1 player. In the past there were a number of CD recorders on the market. NAD made a CD recorder but it was only on the market for a year or two. Now there are but a few CD recorders on the market and all are very inexpensive.
You're probably better off using a CDR drive on your computer than a standalone.

First, the standalone recorders require you to buy "music" CDRs which have paid the RIAA royalty fee. These are more expensive and your choice isn't as broad.

Second, the computer format offers you far greater flexibility in choosing songs for your mix, and if you elect, you can also match volume, clip or even remix music with a program like Audacity or Adobe Audition.
Actually there aren't many made anymore. Due to, I would say mainley, to what Mlsstl points out. However if you prefer a stand alone CD recorder as I do. The last one I bought was a dual well Denon that is no longer made but if you Google it there are (or were) a few new available. I have another one which I bought years ago a Pioneer Elite that I use to record vinyl or off of my Ayre CDP. To be quite honest I don't hear "much" of a difference between the two. My thought was the Ayre was a better transport than I would find in a $500 dual well Denon. Well the Ayre/Elite recorded disc sounds slightly better than the Denon. I haven't tried using the Ayre with the Denon so I can't tell you if it is the transport or the recorder that gets the credit for the "slightly better" result. In addition to the Denon CDR-W1500 I have at the time I bought it,(1 yr ago) Sony, Yamaha and Tascam were still making CD recorders. And I am sure there a few more than I found at the time. Hope this helps.
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the denon in my system works quite well and should not cost much if you can find one.

if you will just be recording tracks from cd, the computer option is best. windows media player does it all.

i use my recorder mainly for recording from analog sources on my system, like vinyl these days since adding a pc based music server.
I have had a Philips 765 CDR since 1998 and it has served me well.Ditto the above posts on using the correct media,CD-R Music.If I were wanting to record CD's today,I would do what Mlsstl suggested and use a computer.Just a thought.
Here's the best stand-alone recorder I've heard: Reality Check CD Audiophile Grade Duplicator from George Louis; gsLouis@gslouis.com. It only copies at 4X
so they take about 12 - 15 minutes each. It somehow makes the copies sound better than the originals (bumps instead of pits, or some such thing -ask George). Of course you've heard about his UltraBit Platinum CD treatment that is Stereophile recommended as a best buy tweek (it is and not subtle). I own and use both but otherwise have no association with Mr. Louis. (But tell him Truman/Atlanta sent you..it couldn't hurt.) Good stuff. Enjoy.
Alesis Masterlink(hard drive CDR)
Alesis Masterlink is sweet. SWEET. Don't use your PC to record cd compilations. If you have a revealing system, they sound pretty bad. Actually, unlistenable. The Alesis is studio quality-$800 street. I haven't used the Tascam but it has caught my eye, especially with the CF Cards.
Agree on the Alesis Masterlink ML 9600. Had mine upgraded by Balanced Power Technology. It is a great CD recorder and a very fine CD player.

I am now making CDs on my computer-based system using an iMac with iTunes. Those CDs sound excellent I am not much using my Masterlink anymore/ The convenience factor and flexibility using the computer is much better.
Unlistenable???!!! Seriously?
On my big rig, yes-unlistenable. The Masterlink makes copies which sound as the original. The inside of a PC is just too noisey (..and I have an outboard Lacie burner, shunyata power cable, line conditioner, etc...). JUst my experience with my gear. Sounds ok in the car but not on the stats.
I have a Sony RCDW 500C that is currently availiable brand new at Amazon for $223 including shipping. I make compilations and put LP's on CD with great results. I also burn CD's on my computer and find that better for some circumstances (like track volume leveling and editing) but for most instances the Sony stand alone burner sounds better. And yes, you do need to use Music CDR's with the Sony.
Unfortunately the Masterlink is listed at B&H as discontinued. Sweetwater.com lists it as out of stock but expected to be in stock shortly. Not sure how much confidence I would have in that.

Here are some other pro-oriented recorders offered at B&H, including a couple of Tascams:


Not sure if you are just interested in compiling tracks directly from cd, working entirely in the digital domain, or if you will be digitizing analog signals. If the latter, I would suggest using a high quality compact flash recorder, then transferring into a computer via firewire or usb (depending on which interface the recorder provides), or via cf card reader.

If you want a really top-notch cf recorder, and are willing to spend $1875, I would suggest the Sound Devices 702:



Numerous others are available at B&H for half that amount or less, including models from Marantz, Tascam, Fostex, etc:


For software, I can highly recommend the Sony Sound Forge family, although Audacity and other free programs may be adequate for your purposes.


-- Al
I have had a Sony 500C for about six years and would recommend it as a great stand alone unit. Many complain about the manual, but if one takes their time to review it there is no issue. My other unit is a TDK DA5900, which I use for compilation cds because it allows you to adjust output recording levels +/- 6db digital to digital.

I have a Marantz Professional model that frankly as a stand alone player is pretty darn impressive. As for recorder it makes great copies. I'm very impressed at the quality of the playback section.
I am a fan of Denon brand,I have a CDRW 1500 for many years.Yes is a very good cd recorder,...but also I ovned from Harman Kardon CDR2 and CDR30,and I must say very sure,"if you will have a best recording cd,use this CDR2 or CDR30 from Harman Kardon".I have compared also with Maranz DR17 and with some models from Philips.
You can use 4x speed and the quality of recording is extraordinary,(the better suport is MFSL Gold blank disk).
You can find second hand HK CDR2 with very litle price.If he have problem the laser head is Sf151 from Sharp /15 Euro,and another problem can be the power suply parts.
In another words,with 200-300 Euro in my opinion,you can have one of the best mod of posibil record.And....trust me,not matter what say some people about the PC recorder....forget this comparativ with a dedicated cd recorder lyke HK or Denon,Marantz....
I used to use a Sony "Pro" rack mount component recorder. Very, very good recordings. Lots of features. To copy records for the car or a friend it was much more convenient and somewhat faster than computer recording. I sold it to downsize but I may buy another one. As a payback deck it was poor.