I need help with choosing a cd-burner and have some questions.

Todd smith

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Apr 2, 2002
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I am thinking of getting a dvd burner to go with my h/k 520 and am hoping I can use the burner as a player as well. q1 Will a good cd-burner have playback quality as good as just a stand alone nice cd player? q2 If so can you suggest some burners I can look at that will sound AWESOME for playing cd's as well?
 

KeithH

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Todd, generally speaking, I feel comparably priced stand-alone CD players will outperform recorders. However, some recorders are good players. Take a look at the Harman/Kardon CDR 30, the NAD C 660, and Marantz recorders. The H/K is the cheapest of these models, but is a solid unit. I bought mine from OneCall a little over a year ago for $450, but you might be able to get it for a bit less now. It's a solid player for the money, though I don't use it for playback. It has an HDCD decoder and can play MP3-encoded CDs too. It dubs at 2x and 4x, and I have never made a coaster with it. Copies sound just like the originals to me.
The above models are consumer decks. However, Tascam and HHB pro models are well regarded as well. Benefits of pro decks is that they can record to computer CD-Rs and CD-RWs and can bypass SCMS. For more information on these decks, go to www.hhb.com , www.tascam.com , and www.samash.com . Note also that Marantz makes pro decks.
 

Todd smith

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Apr 2, 2002
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Keith,

Thanks for the reply! I need to be able to record from one cd-r to another cd-r. Does this mean I need a pro deck? I also need a burner where I can manually fade in and out of tracks. I am a big Dead Head and I want to make mix cd's of live shows so I need to be able to fade in and out of tracks at will. What do I need? Obviously I know very little about the technology. Thanks for your help.
 

KeithH

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Todd, to record CD-Rs to CD-Rs, you will need a pro deck. I'm sure that some of the pro models have a fade in/out feature, but check the web sites I referenced in my previous post for more information.
 

Andrew Pratt

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keith have you listened to CD's copied on the stand alone burners vs those from a PC side by side? I'm not doubting you just find it hard to believe that there would be any difference so long as care was taken in both processes.
 

KeithH

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Andrew said:

keith have you listened to CD's copied on the stand alone burners vs those from a PC side by side? I'm not doubting you just find it hard to believe that there would be any difference so long as care was taken in both processes.
What specifically that I said are you not doubting? I made no mention of PC burners in my previous posts, just consumer component decks and pro component decks. Furthermore, I made no comments about the relative sound quality of copies made on consumer and pro decks. Finally, I said nothing about the relative sound quality of copies made on audio CD-Rs/CD-RWs and data (computer) CD-Rs/CD-RWs. All I said is that I have found that copies made on my Harman/Kardon CDR 30 consumer deck sound just like the original (pre-recorded) CDs.

To answer your question, I have not compared copies of a single CD made on both a computer burner and a component burner. In addition to the H/K deck, I have a PC burner, and I use the two burners for different things. I use the computer burner for making mixes and for making dubs where I want to incorporate text (disc title, song titles, artist name). Computer burners are great for making mixes since you can store songs as files on the hard drive. When I make mixes, I draw from 15 to 17 different CDs, and if I were to use my component burner and something were to go wrong in the copying process resulting in a coaster, I'd have to start over from scratch. That would be a real pain given all the time I would lose. With the computer burner, if something goes wrong, it is typically one song (file) that is bad, so I just extract that one song again. Everything else is still on the hard drive.

As I said, I also use the PC burner when I want to dub entire CDs and include text. I am in the process of copying all of the CDs in my megachangers to CD-Rs and am including text. It's an arduous process, but it will be worth it in the end. It will be great to have 600 CDs loaded with text. I am using the Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4, which makes text incorporation very easy.

I use the H/K burner to make quick copies where text information isn't important. The H/K deck has no text capability. There are also times when I want to make quick dubs to CD-Rs without firing up or tying up the computer. Also, my old car had a CD player that could play CD-RWs, and I used to make quick dubs to CD-RWs on the H/K deck in the morning before heading out to work. I could use CD-RWs over and over for the "CD of the Day". I lost that capability as the Sony player in my new car only plays CD-Rs. Maybe I'll get a CD-RW-compatible player for the car again. In any event, I get a lot of use out of my computer and component burners, and both make great copies to my ears. Both are also extremely reliable. I get an occasional coaster with the computer burner, but it is only occasional.
 

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