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Best way to duplicate (as back-up) audiophile CD's

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Best way to duplicate (as back-up) audiophile CD's

Postby DoodleBoy on Tue Mar 09, 2004 3:15 am

I have some audiophile CD's that I would like to duplicate (create a copy) so that I can listen to the copy and not risk damaging the originals that are quite expensive.

Can you suggest the best way to copy high quality audio CD's? What burner should i use? I read that copying at 1x will minimize jitters. What other tips can you give?

How about copies from a computer cd burner vs a cd recorder?

Thanks
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Postby burninfool on Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:05 pm

I never make a copy(CD or DVD) "on-the-fly" I always make a copy to HD first then burn because of high C1 and C2 errors...KProbe has confirmed this.Burn speed depends on media quality and how fast your writer is.I get low C1 and C2 errors when I burn at 16-24x.
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Postby BurninMan921 on Tue Mar 09, 2004 6:26 pm

Rip the CD with Exact Audio Copy; burning app really doesn't matter; Nero, CopyToDVD, EasyCD Creator, or any of the very good freeware apps.

BUT, burn with the media/speed combo your CD burner likes best.
Usually TY discs are the best quality; although Verbatium DataLife Plus Super-AZO discs are also VERY good.

I have a Lite-On 52327S; it does it's best at 24x with either TY or said Verbatium's. Riteks (in the form of Maxell's) did very good, too.

You might want to try Maxell's "CD-R Pro" discs; they're TY's, not Riteks, and have a "scratch proof" coating on them.

Whatever you use, make sure you HDD is defragged before burning; use good media, and drop the burn speed from the drives max speed.

If you want to buy TY discs at the store, find the "Made In Japan" Fuji-Films (watch it; not all of them are made in Japan anymore) or the Maxell CD-R Pro discs.
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Postby DoodleBoy on Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:33 am

Forgive my ignorance. What does RIP the CD mean?

:)
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Postby Bhairav on Wed Mar 10, 2004 3:07 am

Ripping refers to the process of converting the audio CD contents into wave files (.wav) on your hard disk.
Read :
http://mp3.radified.com/eac_lame.htm
for an excellent guide on how to use EAC+Lame.
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Postby DoodleBoy on Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:00 pm

Thanks,

An additional question about 16 bit and 24 bit. I read from another forum that nero will burn at 16 bit only. However, some audiophile cd's have 24 bit recordings and my cd player is a unsampling 24 bit. That means that the copy wont be as good as the original since it will contain only 16 bit right?

Is there any way to make exact duplicates of 24 bit audiophile CDs?

Just to clarify more about ripping. So i RIP (i.e. copy the original CD using EAC to my hard drive) then i use nero or something to copy the WAV file in a blank CDR am i correct? Audio CD's are in WAV format right?

SOrry i might really sound clueless because i am. :)
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Postby cfitz on Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:03 am

The Red Book audio standard for CDs specifies 16-pit PCM audio encoding, so anything you burn as a conventional audio CD will be 16-bits. The same goes for anything you rip from a conventional audio CD. Thus, you won't lose any quality (assuming you rip properly with no errors) in copying a standard audio CD.

If by 24-bit audio you mean SACD (which isn't PCM so "24-bit" doesn't exactly apply), then as far as I know you are out of luck when it comes to making an indentical copy. I don't know of any consumer-level drive that can write an SACD disc. Furthermore, SACD uses various content protection methods to prevent direct copies.

If by 24-bit audio you mean DVD-Audio, well, then you're not talking about CDs anymore, are you? :wink: I don't know too much about this. I know there are various programs that are advertised as DVD audio rippers, but every one that I have seen is actually designed to rip the audio from a DVD-Video disc, which is not the same as ripping a DVD-Audio disc. DVD-Video and DVD-Audio are two different formats. See here for a little more information about DVD-Audio.

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Postby Bhairav on Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:42 am

DoodleBoy wrote:Thanks,



Just to clarify more about ripping. So i RIP (i.e. copy the original CD using EAC to my hard drive) then i use nero or something to copy the WAV file in a blank CDR am i correct? Audio CD's are in WAV format right?

SOrry i might really sound clueless because i am. :)


You're welcome.Yeah, you rip the CDs as .wav to your HDD using EAC, and use Nero to burn the WAVs to blank CD-R discs.
EDIT : Use EAC in "Secure" mode if your drive supports it, and here's a nice site you might want to peruse :

www.chrismyden.org
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Postby DoodleBoy on Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:51 am

By 24 bit i mean my unsampling CD player sayd 24 bit so i presume there are 24 bit CDs out there. Not SACD or DVD-A but i think my question was answered by you.

16 bit is just as good if properly copied.

Last question - would you care to recommend a good CD burner? Or all all burners created equal. I am using a Lite-on now and am planning to buy a plextor - will it make a difference in burning quality? My first lite-on had a defect (errors in copying) so they replaced it; made me kinda iffy with its quality from then on.

Sorry i dont think the attached site is working :)
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Postby pbi76 on Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:00 am

Hi Doodleboy.

I suggest you get a Yamaha burner. Either the F1 or 3200E so you can take advantage of AMQR. Note that the improvement is not apparent on all audio tracks and given that you will be copying Audiophile CDs, you may not notice much of an improvement. However, not all CDs are pressedwell so so may experience some gains with other burns.

You mentioned that you have an upsampling CD player? May I know which model you have?

Thanks.
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Postby DoodleBoy on Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:59 am

Its a shanling t100. :) looks like a space ship but sounds sweet and good for the money. tube cd player btw
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Postby pbi76 on Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:13 am

oh I've read good things about that CD player. :)
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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:41 pm

The Yamaha drives are long out of production, so you will likely have a very hard time getting one. Plextor is a good alternative, because Plextor makes good quality drives and many include a feature called VariRec that allows you to adjust the laser power. In general VariRec should be left to its default setting for best results, but you audiophiles are a different lot that like to play with tweaks. :wink:

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Postby DoodleBoy on Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:14 pm

Yeah. pbi are you an audiophile too? What system do you have? If you want a tube CD the China made ones are pretty good value. The US or British are really expensive. $6000 for a tube CD player? whew!

Another Question guys - how do you burn at 1x? I am still using my Liteon and nero program and the slowest speed is 4x. Read somewhere that 1x will give better copies. - less jitters
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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:46 pm

You don't. That drive, and most modern drives, won't burn at 1x. 4x is about the slowest you will get.

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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:56 pm

By the way, if you are really interested in jitter, get the Plextor Premium. With it you can not only measure jitter of the CDs you burn (to some degree of accuracy), but also proudly proclaim to have bought the most expensive CD-RW drive possible.

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Postby pbi76 on Sat Mar 13, 2004 4:06 pm

Doodleboy, I think I'm more of a music lover than an audiophile - meaning I'd rather blow my money on music than new equipment. but I do appreciate high end gear... too bad I can't afford high-end gear which can be so insanely priced.

I'm sticking with solid state technology due to its inherent robustness and flexibility. I'm a bit apprehensive about tubes not because of sound quality but more on durability. Eventually, I would like to experiment with tubes.

I have a modest system (Mid-Fi as opposed to Hi-Fi?) composed of an Arcam CD72T, Arcam A-85, and a pair of Dynaudio Audience 52. When I'm lazy to change CDs, I use a Yamaha Carousel. If I'm feeling nostalgic, I use a Pro-Ject turntable.

Being able to burn at 1x or whatever speed is dependent on both the drive and software if I am not mistaken. A drive, for example may have a maximum write speed but it does not mead it can write at all speeds below the minimum. The software should give you a list of usable write speeds. My Lite-On bottoms at 4x as well but the Yamaha

From what I have read and from experience, burning at low speeds, as a rule should yield less jitter. But I also read somewhere that some drives are better at writing at a higher speed, which actually makes sense given that burners now are designed to burn fast. One thing I am sure of is that burning at too high a speed can cause problems other than jitter. I experimented with high speed burns (16x up) for a while and aside from a major degradation in sound quality, some of my CD players had a harder time recognizing/playing the CDs, hence I use 4x almost all of the time.

Check out this article about jitter:

http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Article ... s&Series=0

I have tried burning at 1x on my old HP8200E external burner. My Yamaha supports 1x but I have never tried it. I have tried regular 4x burns on the Yamaha but I usually just use AMQR for peace of mind. My Lite-On is so new that I have only used it to backup data.

Based on my listening tests, the originals always sounded better (as should be the case), but the margin varies. It can be quite small at times, quite noticeable on others, as well as negligible.

This article may be of help as well:

http://www.whathifi.com/newsMainTemplat ... ectionID=3

My suggestion is for you to experiment at 4x. You should also check out different media brands. From there, trust your playback equipment and especially your ears then make a judgement call as to whether the copies come close enough to the originals or not.

Should you find your recordings unsatisfactory, then I think it's time for new equipment. A new burner could work but as Cfitz pointed out, it is hard to find a Yamaha burner with AMQR (I recently tried to find a Yamaha F1 in Greenhills and the sales people all looked at me funny). I have no experience with Plextor but the first article I posted shows that AMQR is best at jitter reduction. But again, you can always experiment with Plextor given that it is still cheaper than the next step which is to get a stand alone component recorder. I'm sounding like the Yamaha posterboy but they do make some excellent recorders with built in hard drives making matters more convenient. NAD makes a good twin-tray recorder (one tray for playback only and the other for both playback and recording)while Pioneer offers a good single tray recorder at a good price.

As Cfitz pointed out, audiophiles (and music lovers) are a different lot. Bordering on obsessive/compulsive and perhaps anal retentive in some instances? :lol: ...hence the long post. Hope it helps, though. :D
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Postby DoodleBoy on Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:42 am

Thanks for the wealth of information. Oh, will a recorder such as NAD give better results? It would be much easier since no need to rip and back-up etc etc.

I read somewhere that they are all the same. not sure. I prefer the 2 dock where i can play and record without using a CD player to play
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Postby pbi76 on Sun Mar 14, 2004 9:20 am

Doodleboy,

In theory, a stand-alone recorder like the ones I mentioned should yield better results. I have never had the chance to audition and examine recordings made using such devices. However, the fact that they are made for the sole purpose of recording music should provide some comfort. They are also usually constructed really well. This should result in, but not limited to, better vibration resistance which I'm sure you know is one of the basics in the audiophile world. They also tend to use higher quality components like thicker circuit boards with cleaner paths for the audio signal.

Recorders are not built equal and switching from one recorder to another is an expensive proposition. You have a CD player so you can use that as the source for your recordings on whatever kind of recorder you get.

Twin-tray recorders, being all in one products, do have the advantage of not requiring you to decide on which digital cables sound best for you should you opt to use the playback tray as the source. However, it is possible to get better results by using a source other than the playback tray. You are going to have to experiment to find out what is best for you.

There are other drawbacks. Component recorders have to use Music-only CDR/CDRWs which cost more. These blanks are the same as blanks for computers except they contain a special code that component recorders will look for prior to allowing recording. The added cost of the blanks are actually royalty fees that go to the music industry. More importantly, component recorders are sometimes not able to make digital duplicates of copy-protected CDs. The workaround there is to do an analog dub which puts your recordings under the mercy of the quality of the Digital-to-Analog and Analog-to-Digital chips of the recorder and source. You also have to figure out which media will work best with whatever recorder you get. Ideally, this shouldn't be much of a problem but unfortunately, there aren't too many Music blanks available in Manila. I did find some Maxell Music blanks in Greenhills and I have heard good things about them.

Again, I suggest that you experiment first with your computer gear and different media brands. Personally, I was surprised with the big differences in media as shown in sites like www.thedolphinreview.com.

Unfortunately (and I'm sure you know), this is the bane of being an audiophile. The perfect sounding system is very personal and subjective. It may take some time and work to find the perfect sound, and that is the sound you like.
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Postby DoodleBoy on Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:57 am

pbi,

Salamat uli.

I think i will just stick with computer recording. I am a novo audiophile actually so my ears aren't worth that extra $$$ ha ha ha.

Recorders are pretty costly to experiment on given the cost of the unit. This coupled with the prices of interconnects that will sound clearest, power conditioners etc etc etc. Nah... i can live with an almost similar copy.

I just found out that my dad has an old Yamaha burner. I do not know if it is the good one as suggested on the review site you attached. However it is a Yamaha :) so i hope its good. BTW SCSI, ATI do they matter? which one is better?

When you rip your CDs do you use the burner or another CD drive? I am thinking of using the burner since my burners are branded which should be better than the generic CD-rom that comes with cheap computers.

I've learned from you so much. Hope that I can assist you too on other stuff... if you need anything :)
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Postby pbi76 on Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:58 pm

Doodleboy (and anybody else that may be able to provide some input),

Audio equipment prices, on the high end, are insane so I have stopped upgrading... for now at least. hehehe...

Going back to recording, I myself am learning a lot more from this site and others. Now, I am in the process of reevaluating my procedures and gear.

Some have suggested using EAC for ripping. Since it is free (well, the writer of the program is asking for a postcard or better yet, a donation - seems like a swell guy), I installed it and I have been experimenting with it. What is interesting about EAC's method is that it reads tracks several times to ensure that it's ripped right. It sort of reminds me of Meridian CD players. Meridian players are known for great performance but slow startup because the player reads the tracks several times to make sure it's done as accurately as possible, reducing the amount of error correction needed. However, I am not certain if my analogy is correct.

EAC also has a feature where you can compare two wave files if they are exactly the same. This prompted me to experiment with ripping procedures.

For the source CD, I chose Sade's "The Best of Sade" (it's about 74minutes long) - While not an audiophile CD, I find the vocals good, the songs are easy to listen to, and there are some tracks that present a great sense of spaciousness. My original Sade CD has no major scratches but it does have some shallow ones. One part of the CD also had some small imperfections on the playing side.

Here are the rips that I tried:
Rip A: EAC (secure) with Yamaha.
Rip B: iTunes (w/ error correction) with Yamaha.
Rip C: iTunes (no error correction) with Yamaha.
Rip D: EAC (secure) with Liteon.
Rip E: iTunes (w/ error correction) with Liteon.
Rip F: iTunes (no error correction) with Liteon.

Here are the results of the wave file comparisons:

Rips A,B,and C are completely identical. Rips D,E, and F are also completely identical. However, the first 3 rips are different from the last 3 with exactly the same kind of discrepancies for each track (same number of missing or repeated samples).

Ripping with EAC using the Liteon was the slowest. It would rip at 2.5x but remember that EAC essentially performs the rips twice (almost like a real-time rip). This is just too slow for me.

Ripping with iTunes with error correction disabled was naturally fastest and was drive speed dependent. Liteon being 52x was fastest.

All other rips would range from 5-11x which I can live with.

Note that my rip speeds are just estimates (looking at what's displayed on the status screens) and based on what I can remember. But I am very certain about the EAC-Liteon combo being the absolute slowest.

In retrospect, I should have used a CD with more scratches just too see how the error correction of iTunes compares with EAC, and to see how each drive would perform under harsher conditions. Maybe I'll try that next.

Anyway, what really caught my attention was:

1. the exactness of rips A, B, and C
2. the exactness of rips D, E, and F
3. the differences between the Yamaha and Liteon rips being consistent.

I am guessing that the difference between the Yamaha and Liteon rips are due to offset differences between the two drives. Offset differences are mentioned and discussed in the EAC and related sites.

Assuming that my procedures are not that flawed (I'm new to testing), I am inclined to believe that it is best to rip with the drive that you will burn with, at least for the sake of uniformity (another audiophile rule :lol: ).

Regarding software to use for ripping, in the meantime, I would use EAC (limiting me to using the Yamaha because the EAC+Liteon was just too slow) because of to the many praises about it and the manner at which it does the job. I will have a more definitive opinion when I compare iTunes and EAC rips using other CDs (more scratches).

Regarding SCSI vs ATAPI (thats what you were refering to right?), I have no clue as to whether one has a a significant advantage over the other, at least for my purposes. Back then (many years ago), SCSI components had a huge performance advantage but I'm not sure if that is still the case today. Others here would know more so I hope thay can share their inputs.
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