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Loss of quality on Audio CD backups


Thread Starter
Apr 1, 2007

I have just started to backup my audio CDs for use in the car which works okay. However when I play the backups at home on audiophile kit I hear a marked loss in quality. The backup becomes slightly harsh especially on drums and treble sounds. I get a similar sound to what I would If I played the original on a lesser quality CD player. This suggests that the copy is introducing errors and is not exact.

I have tried the backups via audio copy and data copy with the same results.

Am I expecting too much from cloneCD? If so is there another CD copy program which is more accurate? Or.... is there something wrong with my installation?


The program is only a part of the process. The CD burner and the media is a big if not bigger part. Also, are you using an Audio CD or a Data CD for the back-up? Data CDs will work but an Audio CD will have better sound.
I'm using Infinity professional 48x. It says on the cake that it's for Audio, photo, video, data. 80min/730mb. I also used a BASF CD and got the same result.
My drives are TSSTCORP DVD-ROM TS-H352C and Philips DVD +-RW DVD8701.

What is the difference between an audio CD and a Data CD?

Okay, I think I may be getting somewhere. I read about an app called exact audio copy (EAC) which reads and re-reads the data until it gets minimum errors. Then it writes to a lossless compressed file. I now understand why it needs to do this (jitter primarily). Obviously most people don't need this level of accuacy so I understand why CloneCD would not go to the same trouble.

So... I may have the extraction covered however I haven't seen anything about how to get the same accuracy burning back to CD. At the risk of straying from the purpose of this forum (matters pertaining to cloneCD) does anyone know how this could be done?


PS I must add that I find CloneCD more than adequate to backup for car use but now that I'm getting into it I can see a reason for backing up some cds for home use (those I tend to lend out or party with!) and for that I guess I need a more accurate method.
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What is the difference between an audio CD and a Data CD?


A data CD just says "Recordable" under the Compact Disc logo. An audio CD says "Digital Audio Recordable" under the Compact Disc logo. They cost a bit more but have a cleaner and crisper sound.
When you're copying the cd to your hard drive I think it would be better not just ripping the audio tracks by extracting them from the cd, but to make an 1:1 copy of that cd (make an image of that cd). But this is not so good if you want to just extract certain tracks or make a compilation with tracks from different cds. You could try to make an image of the cd and then extract the audio tracks from the image on your hard drive by mounting it on a virtual drive...

As for error checks after burning a backup. I use Nero 7 Enhanced and it has an option called Verify data on disc after burning for seeing if any errors were introduced in the burning process.

This is from the Daemon Tools site:

1:1 COPY:

Many (most??) people don't have a clue what a 1:1 copy means so I guess it's time I clear some things up. First some general explanations to (hopefully) make you understand why a 1:1 copy is ESSENTIAL when it comes to burning protected CDs. The most important thing to know is that a CD contains A LOT more information than just the files and directories. For example:

Lead In/Lead Out (Lead In stores CD structure, Lead Out is mainly to let the CDROM know where the CD ends)
CD subchannel (storing e.g. CD Text, Text and synchro data on Karaoke CDs and is used for several copy protections)
This is also the reason why the CD size shown in Windows Explorer (or any other file manager) and the size of an image done by a burning program ALWAYS differ. The image is always bigger in size as it contains many more data than just the files. In an extreme case this difference can be 600 MB (german game called "Frank Busemann Zehnkampf" - the actual game files are about 30 or 40 MB, the rest of the CD are unreadable sectors).

A 1:1 copy simply means to use the "CD COPY"-option of a burning program, preferrably one of the programs listed here! This means the burning program reads the CD sector by sector and burns it the same way. The opposite would be a file copy (can NEVER be a 1:1 copy!!!) where just all files are read and then stored on CD. This way the files would probably not even be in the same place (means in another sector range) as on the original CD. It would be very easy to identify such a CD as a copy! And copy protections have MUCH more options to identify a copy - I hope you now see why just copying files from CD to HD and then burning them or 'drag 'n' drop' in a burning program will extremly seldom produce a running copy of a copy protected CD.

Each burning program has an option to sector copy a CD, some burning programs don't do anything else (like Alcohol 120%, CloneCD or Blindwrite). We'll concentrate on these programs as they have in most cases more options and abilities to create REALLY perfect 1:1 copies. Although it's possible to do perfect copies of nearly any protected CD success completely depends on A) the used recorder, B) the used burning program and C) the protection the CD uses. Many protections (oversized CDs, illegal TOC etc.) can be copied on every recorder and with nearly every burning program. Other protections like e.g. Safedisc or Securom need special recorders and burning programs.

For DAEMON Tools a 1:1 copy is necessary in any way for the reasons listed above. Whether you want to mount an image to PHANTOM CDROM or if you want to run a copied CD doesn't matter. Without a correctly created 1:1 Image or CD DAEMON Tools cannot work!!!

PS: Check the Verbatim website. They have a media storage range called Live It which includes CD-Rs and CD-RWs made specially for audio content.

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that's a very interesting topic...couse I would like to create copies of my CD, and done this with the same quality of the original cd. When I say "copies" I mean reverse the content of the original CD on HD. So, I have some question about this:

1) The quality of the cd reader can influence the process and so the quality of the final file?

2) If the objective is just have files on HD, it's better use clonecd (creating image file) or EAC for preserve the quality?

3) The protections can give me problem on a burned cd or also on files extracted and the image file?

4) If I have done the image of a CD and I can listen it without problems on clonedriver, it means that it will run also when I burn it or not?

5) Exist protection that avoid me to transfer files from HD to other devices (for example an USB pen)?

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1. You should use a good drive to read the cd. I have an LG GSA-4163B supermulti, but I plan to also get a Plextor.
2. Don't know for sure if the error rate is lower when making an image of the cd then that for only extracting the tracks; I make images. If you want to just rip the tracks be sure to do it in a lossless format like wav or flac; also be sure to have the error correction selected in your ripper.
3. I didn't have until now any problems with copy protection from cds.
4. Yes, if you make an image of the cd and then you burn it back to a blank cd-r it will work on a cd player.
5. If you have access to the files on that HD, I don't think any file has a built-in protection that prevents the transfer from one device to another. There may be some protection that may prevent the file from playing on different devices, like the encripted DVD-A tracks

If you want to listen your music from the pc I suggest you don't use the onboard sound chip you may have or a cheap soundcard. There are several options you could use:
1. Get a quality sound card like the Lynx Two and connect it to your integrated amp or preamp.
2. If you want to make the DA conversion outside the pc (which is better), use the spdif out to an external DAC or get a digital interface card like the Lynx AES16 or RME AES-32 to connect to the XLR digital inputs of an external DAC
Thanks for you answer. But so, about point 3, have you never had a problems with protections both on read the image file from pc and burn it from a disk??And what about securoom protection?

About listen files, I was planning to use an external media player with OTG function for read files from an external HD or to use something like Squeezebox.
When I said I didn't have any problems with copy protection from cds I was referring to audio cds, not games or other multimedia software. I don't think securom is used in audio cds.

As for connecting your pc to your hi-fi system I'm not such a big fan of wireless connections, at least when it comes to audio playback since the signal is more prone to external influences. I haven't used Squeeezebox but i don't think its DAC would be that great...
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I have never experimented sqeezebox, only hear about it...anyway I thought the the result was the same of to put the CD in the readerbox...
Otherwise I could use a mediaplayer that can take files from an external device (for example an external HD)...for the moment I haven't seen yet anyone of so good quality to put in an hi-fi system, but I think that in the future things like these will be common...
What external DAC could I link to my pc?do you know some brand/model for to do this work?

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It depends on how much you would like to spend... If you want a reference DAC I would go with a Weiss DAC1 MkII (6700$) or a Lavry DA-924 (8500$) pro units but they are expensive. Lavry also has some cheaper models like the LavryBlack DA 10 (1000$) which I read its a very good value. Check Audiogon or Audio Asylum for discussions about DACs...

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?ddgtl&1126769860&read&3&4& (long thread about reference DACs)

(a list with available DACs at different price points)


Thanks, but it's very expensive...
I'm not going to spend 8000$ for a DAC...and anyway be limited of listen files only from my pc.