My band is ready to hand off our self-produced CD for mastering. Several of us have done recording projects before, but they've all been provided to mastering on DAT; this time around, the whole record has been done (and kept) in 24-bit on a PC DAW. The first guy that we talked to, someone that I've had positive experiences with in the past, told me that he'd rather have me dither to 16 bit and then take an audio CD as his source material, since he'd run it in through an analog front end anyways. When I asked about using the actual 24-bit final mixes (as WAV files), he made it sound like it would be a huge hassle for him and even implied that he'd charge us extra for it. The next guy gave pretty much the same response, saying that it would be a great big deal and I'd have to bring in my computer (!) to use my 24-bit mixes. (Umm...I have WAV files on CD-R, ya know.) When the bandleader told him (via voice mail) that we're planning on using someone else, he blew up and sent a nasty email accusing us of "wasting his ^#$%ing time." After a little back and forth, he insulted our musicianship and lack of label sponsorship -- keep in mind, he's never even heard us. Okay, all turd-polishing jokes aside, we've poured heart and soul into these recordings. I know that in the end, it's a miniscule difference between a UV-22 dithered 16-bit audio CD as a source and a 24-bit WAV file. But am I wrong to think that we should at least have the option? I really didn't like to hear that I'd have to throw away 8 bits of resolution that I've painstakingly kept along the way, just to make things more convenient. There's also the issue that using an audio CD as a source can introduce jitter and uncorrected errors, since audio CDs don't have the same level of error correction as data CD's -- WAV files on a data CD-R are guaranteed to be bit-for-bit identical with my final renders. Now, I'm not mad at the first guy; he's got the way he likes to do things, and far be it from me to tell him how to do his job. But the second guy, well, I guess he's got enough business that he doesn't need our money. I guess my question boils down to this: How do you professional mastering folks view the source format issue? Do you have a way that you prefer to work, and shepherd your customers into doing things that way, or do you provide a list of options and pros/cons?