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recommended CD-writer?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by dymaxian, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest

    So, it seems that my CD-drive is what burned out on me the other day... What do you guys recommend for a replacement? It'll be used to create demo CDs for my band, as well as masters for other recordings. I've thought about getting a DVD writer of some sort, but the cash isn't available yet...

    What have you guys had good (or bad) luck with?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Do you mean a PC unit or stand alone?

    In the PC unit case I like Plextor, Yamaha and the new Lite On (cheap but really good).

    In the stand alone dept. I think you can go with a Sony or if you need a truly pro unit the Alesis Masterlink may be worth investigating.

    Hope this helps

  3. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest

    Found myself a pretty good deal on a Plextor, so I picked that up. It looks like it'll write up to 52x speed...

    Now, obviously, for stuff going to the mastering engineer or the duplication factory, I'll be putting it on it's lowest speed, but for demoCDs for my band, will it cause trouble for people if I burn them at high speed? We'll be handing these out for free, and the cd players that don't agree with audio CD-Roms will pretty much either work or won't work, regardless of burn-speed...

    Being able to crank out 50 or 60 demo CDs in a night would be nice. But I'd like them to work properly... will the high speed torpedo their playablility?


  4. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    Burning speed is a well debated subject on this and other forums, so you'll find different opinions; I'll offer mine based on my experience:

    I think that the higher the speed the lesser the time the laser has to burn the pits, the higher the possibility of writing errors; this can come out in different ways: the CD can either be fine on some players and don't play on othres (which is the most common problem, compatibility), or can randomly skip, or be fine wherever.

    I usually picture the burning process as someone having to write a letter on a moving roll of paper: if you increase the speed of the paper the calligraphy will get blurry, then erratic, till you won't be able to read anything he wrote at all (at the most exterme speeds); now, this is just an example, and the more modern burners have calibrated lasers that allow more precision at higher speeds; several other things are involved, like your burning app, the buffer of your system (that can be affected of "buffer underrun" problems, less likely with newer burners), and really important the quality of the medium you write on: different brands react differently.

    In my case, I did a test: I sent two masters to the mastering house I rely on for the projects than can get pro mastering; the first was 2X, the second 4X (obviously of the same master CD); they sent me back (as I asked) an error check report that they perform on dedicated machines: well, the 4X had about double the errors of the 2X.
    This usually translates to lesser compatibility with players, even though it's up to each single player error correction capability.

    The interaction between media and burner is critical so different combination could yield different results.

    I tend to stick to low (2X,4X) for masters that I send out, for refs, 8X is fine, for data CDrs the sky is the limit (as long as you verify them).

    Hope this helps

    L.G. :)

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