Why does CD sound better copied?

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Hello all,

Now... I must say that I am a computer professional by trade. So I am totally taken aback by this interesting phenomenon.

As you all well know, data is data and bits are bits and unless the code for recreating the analog from the digital has undergone changes, all else being equal the sound of my CD's should be the same when I copy it to another disc. However, I have experienced that when I burn a copy of a CD (and I have done this four times) the sound of the newly burned CD is very noticably better than the original.

I hear more details, more music, more solid bass (notes are more individual), warmer voice, clearer highs.

I would like to believe that the new disc has "deeper pits" with less ringing or less "jitter" (a very moot point since stability is very superior these days) or less whatever. To me, again, data is data and once it is read into memory those other "problems" are nonexistent. And I am 100% sure that the data does not go through the A/D conversion, so that the sound can undergo the analog modifications of better analog devices.

I am burning my CDs on a Compaq laptop running W2K, using Roxio's CD Copier, with a TEAC burner, just in case this matters. I play them throguh a Sony auto stereo deck through a highly modified power amplifier. I have listened to these CDs for at least 1.5 years before copying them. I even hear a difference on the computers sound system (I have a pair of amplified speakers. Sound is pleasant enough).

So... what then is it????????

Thanks all in advance,
I listen to the copies on my main system and I don't think they are better. It seems like they are more compressed and they don't have high frequency extention of the originals.

Last two years I made probably 500 copies. For me it's the only way to get new music.

There was other thread dealing with that http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2341
My copied CDs also sound better, for a simple reason. The originals were scratched and the CD player obviously couldn't retrieve up all the data. However, when I used Exact Audio Copy along with Plextor's CD burner to read the contents of the CD, it would re-read every suspicious position and retrieve almost everything possible. (CD burners tend to read scatched CDs much better than any CD-ROM or CD player, in my experience.) Thus, the CD copy had almost all of the original data, and it could be read 100% unlike the original.

PS: I should add that I'm using high-quality Ricoh media, not el-cheapo CDR spindles.
In my opinion a copy is not like to sound better than the original.But sound is different;a litlle more vulgar,so prehaps yes big bass and presence of treble,too much I think.

In fact seems to be less liquid and loose the charm of analog (that your ears feel)...
I'm using Pioneer CD Recorder PDR 509. It's not compatible with computer CD-Rs and I have to use CD-Rs for audio. They are 3 times more expensive than the regular ones, but I always thought that this is a better way to copy CDs (especially when using good transport).


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With a properly set up Exactaudiocopy and a good reader you will
get Bit-perfect copies, i think it will be superior to an Audio
recorder due to its error recovery. An Audio Recorder won´t try
to correct an suspicious part as long as EAC, cause the stream
would broke. I use an Asus 50x as reader.
I only heard really bad sound when i copied to Bestmedia CDRs.
Since then i use black Intenso and had no problem since. I only
burn 2x speed with my Teac 512EB.


Sorry I seem to have posted a repeat subjct, I did a search but couldn't find that reference. I guess I used a different wording.

At any rate... I like what I hear. More detail, less harsh high end. Better defined bass, not overbearing bass.

I tend to doubt the jitter thing because in the early 80's I used to align hard drives and jitter, once it was aligned, was very stable. That with "discrete" technology. That is, there were five boards with gates, regulators, buffers and processors, versus the one chip with everything.

With today's LSI technology, laser trimmed quartz crystal timing, etc. Jitter shouldn't even be thought of, let alone the error correction etc. Also, I would think that in a computer, the switching power supply would reak havok in everything, especially the very delicate programming in memory (ever zap the old computers with static electricity from your fingers?) and processor chip. So.. that said... It is fascinating.

Also, I copied a couple of brand spanking new disks just to avoid that possibility. So there goes the scratched up CD theory.

Now, the compression factor may be what it is. But... wouldn't that be a change in algorythm?


Thanks for the input!

Interesting link. I would be more interested in circuit that allows make copies from a copie, since I have a big collection on DATs.

I did a computer copy of a disk using Toshiba drive, recorded on Matsushita drive, using Nero 5.

The copy sounds different and I might be biased, but for my ears the original has more microdynamics and 3 dimentionality. The midreange is better defined, while a copy produces more laid back presentation with softened treble. I didn't see any difference in bass.

Overall, however, not bad and I had some trouble deciding which one sounds better. Considering that my drives are pretty cheap and the blank disk is average quality, not bad again.

I'm gonna do more copies using same blank disk for both computer and Pioneer audio burner.

I downloaded Exact Copy, but the interface seems to be not clear. What do I have to do to make a copy?:confused:
This doesn´t work as EAC needs time to correct small
scratches. The datastream would cut.

Omitting the HD brings nothing. The data must be delivered to the
Cashe-Ram of the burner, it doesn´t matter what source.

You can copy a CD to HD to CD to HD and the music itself is
always Bit identical. The only hearable effect brings the accuracy
of the burner and the CDR media. So choosing good medias and a good
burner is very important. Also slower writing speeds increase the

Something to the headline of this thread.

Todays quality of CD-Burners is better than 10 years
ago some masters for CD production.
So copying an old CD to a CDR may improve over the original.

As todays masters are from superior quality you hardly will reach
the quality with any burner.

I remember when in the beginning of '90s Pioneer introuduced first CD audio recorder and blanks cost $20. The Stereophile reviewers claimed that copies sounded better. Since paying $20 for blank CD didn't make sense I bought Sony portable DAT. At that time I didn't hear any difference in sound quality between original disk and DAT tape copy.

Today, after reading previous claims I thought that maybe I'm not doing everything right and computer copies sound better indeed. So I did both. My computer copy listening impressions I posted already and here is my opinion on Pioneer audio burner.

I used Fuji CD-R Audio blank. The copy is closer to original then computer copy. Actually everything is the same, except the highs. There is some degradation or softening of trebles, they are not razor sharp like the original, but slightly dull.

Please note, that my comparisons were not done on car stereo, or computer, but on a top notch transport ( CD_PRO ) and a processor based on parallel Burr Brown 1704 DACs, with almost any tweak possible.;)
I know your impressing system, half of the forum is full of it!

But this is very interesting.

Could you waste another CDR and burn it at single speed?
The Audio Recorder only writes single speed also if i´m right.

Would be very interesting if you could here different writing speeds with your burner.

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