The Difference between CD Duplication and Replication

When you know what the difference is between the CD duplication or replication processes, you know which one will serve your needs the best. You will need to consider three main things with having your project created professionally; the number of CDs you want produced, the time frame you need them in, and the look of the discs.

When you wish to create many copies of a single CD at a time, CD replication provides a high quality manner of completing this process. This process, performed in a manufacturing facility, depends on creating a highly detailed master CD. Using this, molds are then created of the disc. Professionals use these molds to produce many CDs at a single time. This process is normally reserved for producing more than 1,000 discs.

The CD master for this technique is made in a unique manner. The desired sound goes into special recording equipment. This equipment makes a positive imprint of your desired sound onto the surface of a disc that is constructed of gold, glass or silver. Copies are made from these with special stamping equipment to make negative imprints. Injection molds are made from negatives to make positive imprints once again.

CD replication turns out an extremely good quality of music. Injection molds can make a high volume of duplicates that are also covered with an aluminum film and some lacquer for protection. These also go through a hardening process under an UV light before they are ready to use.

The CD duplication process is less complicated, and produces a single copy of a disc at a time. Normally, it is used for creating fewer than 1,000 duplicates. In this process, a computerized disc drive is used to transfer the sounds off an original CD. This recording is then transferred, or “burned”, onto another CD to create a perfect replica.

You choose your CDs from three main types of them for this process. Stereo systems and computers that are older are compatible the CD-Rs. The newer DVD players, car and home stereos, and computers will play the CD+Rs and CD-Rs. Select which one you need by the targeted audience. Now, there is also the rewritable version of blank CDs called CD-RWs. These can be recorded, erased, and re-recorded if necessary similar to the old VHS tapes.

I don’t think the process of CD duplication produces as high quality of sound as the CD replication technique. However, there is such a slight difference that it takes a well-trained ear to notice. Sometimes during the process a blank CD will show up that was not made correctly. CDs like this are not useable for recording. They still show blank after the process has been performed. You need to insist that the CDs be tested to make sure they recorded the desired material.

Which of these processes you choose will make a slight difference in your final product. While CD replication does produce a slightly better product, it generally takes more time and is cost prohibitive for runs under 300 pieces. CD replication produces the standard shinny discs and duplication is on the greener discs. Duplication is normally faster. Keep these facts in mind when choosing which method you want to use in creating your CDs. Remember to plan ahead for either process.

Thank you to WTS media for information on duplicating discs and blank CD media. Check out for blank CDR information and other blank media. WTS is a leading supplier of blank cd & dvd media.

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