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Thread: Cheap upgrade

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rusnzha's Avatar
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    Cheap upgrade

    I've been hanging out on sites where I stand less of a chance of putting my foot in my mouth, but this is too good. I googled "best cd burner for audio" and replace my $15 burner for a Plextor 891SAW that cost me $30. I also burn CDs at 8x now. This thing burns more precisely especially at lower speeds. The disks that I reproduce on this thing don't sound quite as good as my one Blue Spec2 CD, but they many of the same qualities. The bass is much tighter than the original disk. The highs are smoother and the mids are warmer and more defined. I noticed the most improvement in older CDs that just didn't sound do good. It sounds like I upgraded the whole setup, but I didn't. If you want your CDs to sound better, all you have to do is copy them and burn them on this thing. you won't believe the difference. The price has gone up since I bought mine, I see them for about $56 now, still a bargain.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusnzha View Post
    If you want your CDs to sound better, all you have to do is copy them and burn them on this thing. you won't believe the difference.
    How does a lay human with, granted, only a passing familiarity with the way "digital" works rationalize such empirical evidence?
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rusnzha's Avatar
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    It burns the pits more precisely than the industrial burn of the original. This is opposite of analog which goes downhill with each succeeding copy. The CD can be copied with the ones and zeros burned more precisely which will sound better than the original. The best evidence is one's ears.

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    are you playing the burned disks back on the CD burner or
    in a stereo system ?

    I can dupe CD's to minidisks and they sound better. I looked up the phenomenon
    and it is attributed to a better DAC in the MD player.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    It would seem to me any player is either going to get the 0 or 1, or not. I understand the DAC in which case the original disc would sound better on a better DAC, regardless of burning a copy or not. But I can't believe a read-error will get better on a burned copy. And how would any original factory-made CD have pits less precise than a burned copy?
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  6. #6
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Depends on the amount of error correction the player has to perform.
    A data drive can re-read problem areas, which could fix some issues
    that a real-time playback might not. I'm sure there are knowledgeable
    folks who have ripped apart and measured the various SNRs and done
    bit comparisons, jitter studies, etc... and published papers

    Hard (for me) to imagine -all- discs sounding better when returned on
    cd-R media.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rusnzha's Avatar
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    The burner doesn't duplicate the flaws in the pits and that information is not saved. It takes the 1s or 0s from storage and lays them down more consistently and precisely. This is counter-intuitive, but it makes sense in my opinion.

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    CD's are not burnt, they are stamped from a glass master much the same as a vinyl record.

    Allan.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Correct me if I don't seem to understand the basics of CD burning.

    This is an internal optical drive for a PC. In order for it to duplicate a CD that CD must first be read and the data either transferred immediately to the burner with a buffer, or stored as a disc image while the burner copies it. The ability to read the 0's and 1's, or duplicate information from a pre-made CD lies in whatever optical drive is creating the disc image for the burner to duplicate. If you're getting better quality from your CD-R than the original, then it's whatever drive you're playing it on, or the DAC it's connected to, not the burning of the disc. The burner can only replicate what was read from the original by another drive. So how the heck can it "improve" on the original?
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  10. #10
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    are you playing the burned disks back on the CD burner or
    in a stereo system ?
    you didn't answer ... that fact could help me understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusnzha View Post
    The burner doesn't duplicate the flaws in the pits and that information is not saved. It takes the 1s or 0s from storage and lays them down more consistently and precisely. This is counter-intuitive, but it makes sense in my opinion.
    TO ME ...that doesn't make sense , maybe some EE type can explain and it will be perfectly clear , but not now.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Correct me if I don't seem to understand the basics of CD burning.

    This is an internal optical drive for a PC. In order for it to duplicate a CD that CD must first be read and the data either transferred immediately to the burner with a buffer, or stored as a disc image while the burner copies it. The ability to read the 0's and 1's, or duplicate information from a pre-made CD lies in whatever optical drive is creating the disc image for the burner to duplicate. If you're getting better quality from your CD-R than the original, then it's whatever drive you're playing it on, or the DAC it's connected to, not the burning of the disc. The burner can only replicate what was read from the original by another drive. So how the heck can it "improve" on the original?
    yes. the only way to improve the original is to remaster ... but I don't think that's what we are talking about.

    and Alan is correct ... purchased CD's are stamped, not burned. CDR's are.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rusnzha's Avatar
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    I'm playing on a 7.1 system, not the computer. I don't believe the individual flaws in the pits are duplicated. A better laser should burn more precisely, like in Blue Spec CDs. They are burnt with a blue laser, not stamped. I didn't realize that typical CDs are stamped, I don't know what to make of that in terms of quality control. I also use Izotope, but I don't think that's the whole story. I could be full of hockey, but the only way to know for sure is to try one.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    On my PC there is a Plextor Lightscribe burner that will make DVD's at 24x. A relativly
    expensive unit. When burning, I shut down all other progs, including email , tho I have lots of
    processing power/ram.

    Duping a CD , I hear absolutely NO difference .. as you would expect. BUT ,,,
    the burned ones do sound better on the Arcam CD player as it has a great DAC.

    About the Ring DAC: This is the same 24-bit-capable DAC (except for the output-stage rework mentioned above) used in the Alpha 9. Algorithmically, it's virtually identical to what you get in dCS's own Elgar, which earned an A+ rating in Stereophile's "Recommended Components" and would set you back a cool $12,000—without a transport. What makes the Ring DAC unique is that it provides something of a middle ground between multi-bit and single-bit converters. It uses a five-bit DAC (thereby having fewer steps in the resistor ladder, and better precision getting the smallest values right), and 64x oversampling (a lower rate than that of 1-bit DACs, which makes it less prone to timing errors and jitter).

    The "Ring" in Ring DAC isn't from Wagner—it comes from a process that continually varies the number and positions of the current sources for the DAC for each sample, sort of like a car's rotary distributor—thus "Ring." This randomizes the small variations in the current sources throughout the quantizing range. As a result, these variations are transformed into random white noise, which is then moved out of the audio frequency range (above 100kHz, actually) by fourth-order noise shaping. This high-frequency detritus is then filtered out in the analog domain.

    BUT, good as the "Ring DAC" is ... on some disks there seems NO improvement.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rusnzha's Avatar
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    Playback

    I am playing on a Sony ES999 with all the Mod-Wright upgrades. My DAC is not in the same class as yours, but the preamp sounds a lot better than the digital outs into the receiver.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusnzha View Post
    I've been hanging out on sites where I stand less of a chance of putting my foot in my mouth, but this is too good. I googled "best cd burner for audio" and replace my $15 burner for a Plextor 891SAW that cost me $30. I also burn CDs at 8x now. This thing burns more precisely especially at lower speeds. The disks that I reproduce on this thing don't sound quite as good as my one Blue Spec2 CD, but they many of the same qualities. The bass is much tighter than the original disk. The highs are smoother and the mids are warmer and more defined. I noticed the most improvement in older CDs that just didn't sound do good. It sounds like I upgraded the whole setup, but I didn't. If you want your CDs to sound better, all you have to do is copy them and burn them on this thing. you won't believe the difference. The price has gone up since I bought mine, I see them for about $56 now, still a bargain.
    I get where you're coming from, man, but you've come to the wrong board for this kind of stuff. Welcome to (objectivist) Hell. lol.
    S4700 owner.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rusnzha's Avatar
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    There's plenty of that going around these days

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