I have older stand alone ones that were made for home use. They sound good with their built in A/D converters. The home ones need audio/music only type of blank CDs. If you buy a "Pro" type of recorder, it should be able to use regular data CDs. The audio/music blanks are getting harder to find. One drawback, they say that some older players have problems with the audio type of CD, worse yet a lot more don't get along with the ones made on data blanks. Try burning a data CD with music from your computer, and see if your players like them. I had a Meridian (model?) that was picky about this.
I have the predecessor to that TASCAM, a CD-RW700. It uses any kind of CDR blank, has been very reliable over the past 10 years, and produces disks that I cannot tell from the originals. Sometimes I think they sound BETTER than the originals.
The first few shipments of the CD-RW700 shipped requiring
consumer CD-RDA and CD-RWDA. The original design did not call
for this, it was added at the last minute due to legal considerations
about the CD-R market. All units that shipped after March, 2000
do not require consumer media.
For the older units which required consumer media, the SCMS
code and consumer media requirements have a deep system menu
allowing these settings to be overridden. Since the legal issues
have been resolved, we are releasing the information on how to
reset your machine to use regular media.
The above is from a commercial/pro unit. The SCMS is for home units. This requires the special audio/music blanks. They also call some commercial besides "Pro" usits. A lot of these are re-branded home units, without the SCMS. Link for the SCMS used for home units, switchable on some pro units.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Copy_Management_System]
Tascam 9000 Pro Fantastic unit!
Why not just use a computer? My Imac makes great compilations with AIFF burning.
I agree w/ Tan43 -- use your computer. Of course, you'll want a good burner unit like a Lite-On or equal; and good burning software, like Nero or equal.
There is some merit to the idea that CD copies sound better than the originals. The (supposed) reason is that the "pits" in commercial CD's are actually physical HOLES in the metal which refract laser light which can degrade the data retrieval somewhat. Whereas a "burned" copy is exactly that -- and the "pits" are actually just burned "spots" which no longer reflect the laser light, but do not scatter it!
Or maybe I have it all backwards? I can't remember!!
Dedicated recorders burn with substantially less errors than computers.
I used my Lenovo and upto 30% of burned copies are unreadable and skipping.
Alesis ML9600 makes CDs even more perfect than originals.
If you want a really great cd recorder, look no further than HHB pro recorders. I currentl have a HHB CDR 830 Burnit Plus, a great machine. I bought mine used for $225.00 They have several machines in their lineup, an 850, and a dual-well model. I also use a Marantz CDR500 pro model, which is no longer available, but can be had on the used market. Both machines are user friendly and give me no problems. The pro models also allow you to override any copy-protection on the discs, and allow you to add your own protection of your own discs.
Marakanetz -- if there are problems with burning on a PC (read/write errors?) then blame the drive, not the PC! I personally think Lite-On makes the best CD drives and many of the "pro" CD burners use Lite-On drives!
As for your (disappointing) results burning copies on your Lenovo, well geez, what did you expect from that crappy little drive they have to cram into a laptop ;--)
As for Pro units, a composer friend who does a lot of film scoring swears by the HHB products (and he also has the Tascam stuff if he wants). I've never tried HHB, almost bought one on his rec. but never got to it.
Another way to reduces errors when burning discs (from your computer or a dedicated burner,) is keep the speed under 20X, under 12X if you're not in that big a hurry ;--)
Tascam CD-RW900SL. Bought one this year and have been very pleased with it. We discussed it here, you might want to do a search.
Don't use a PC if you plan on playing it back on a high end rig. If youre plying in your car PC rips are fine but for a revealing system, they sound horrible. I have the Alesis Masterlink 9600 and it does excellent. Sound is probbaly better than the original if you use good blanks. I have been burning with my Masterlink onto Mofo gold CD/R for years and have never had an issue; awesome way to archieve vinyl as well.
Thanks for the input. I am leaning toward the TASCAM 900.
I have used a Marantz CDR-632 for about five years now. It is a "pro-sumer" model that uses music or data CD-Rs and CD-RWs. I use only the analog inputs to digitize analog sources. The sound is very good. While a recorded LP still sounds like a digitized LP, most usually sound better than the commercially released CD of the same album. The current Marantz, which shares an OEM platform with a TASCAM model, replaced the rather flimsy CD drawer of the 632 with a slot.
The remote and the ability to adjust the input level of each channel separately are big pluses for me.
One caveat: If you don't trust the auto-track marker, and I don't, you must monitor each recording carefully and manually insert the track breaks on the fly. If you screw up, you either accept it or start over. You could use a CD-RW, and then burn a copy once you get it right, I guess.